Most security cameras require a hefty monthly fee in order to get smarter notifications of who’s outside.
What you need to know
- Starting February 15, Wyze will offer Wyze Cam Plus Lite, a subscription that offers person detection and 12-second cloud storage clips.
- It’s a pay-what-you-want (PWYW) system, so you can technically receive these features for free.
- 12-second storage was previously free, but you had to pay $15 per year per camera for AI detection.
- This feature will come to Wyze Cam v3 and v2, Wyze Cam Pan v1 and v2, and Wyze Cam Outdoor. It’ll also come to Wyze Video Doorbells at a later date.
- Wyze has improved local storage firmware, allowing you to insert larger microSD cards than before.
Wyze is making AI detection free — sort of — on its security cameras starting in mid-February. However many Wyze Cams you own, you’ll pay whatever monthly fee you think is fair across all your cameras, including $0 for all of them.
According to a Wyze blog post, Wyze Cams frequently get “250+ notifications” every week, with users ignoring recordings because “they’re just getting too many recordings of insignificant Events like insects and waving tree branches.” Making AI detection widely available will cut down on those numbers immensely.
Up to this point, Wyze devices like the Wyze Cam Outdoor or Wyze Cam v3 stored brief clips of detected motion every five minutes, without any AI differentiation. Now, recent Wyze Cams will default to Wyze Cam Plus Lite, which offers the same 12-second clips in addition to Wyze Person Detection.
Wyze used to provide free AI detection with its cameras before Apple bought the AI company it used, forcing them to shut detection down and then charge for it. Now, this once again makes Wyze a good choice for people hoping to avoid monthly fees with their security cameras, making it more competitive against Eufy and Nest.
Wyze Cam Plus Lite is, unsurprisingly, fairly lightweight in features. To get unlimited cloud storage, package/pet/vehicle detection, and Wyze Web View for checking camera footage in your browser, you’ll still need to pay $1.99/month for Cam Plus. Otherwise, your camera may not get enough footage to fully capture someone’s appearance in just 12 seconds.
Wyze Cams do offer local storage if you want to avoid cloud storage, but they previously could only accept 32GB microSD cards, limiting the amount of footage you could save. But Wyze also announced today it was updating its Wyze Cams’ firmware to support exFAT, meaning you can now use microSD cards at 64GB and up.
Wyze didn’t give a specific maximum, but you may be able to slap a 1TB card in your Wyze Cam and save days to weeks of footage locally. Among the best security cameras with local storage, most have much stricter storage limits without a hub. Wyze is also adding 30-second rewind and fast-forward buttons to your local storage footage, so you can more easily scrub through minutes of footage looking for anything suspicious or noteworthy.
Wyze Cam users must opt in to Wyze Cam Plus Lite by February 15, or else their cameras will take thumbnails of events and allow live streaming but won’t record any cloud footage or offer AI detection.
Wyze Cam v3
$36 at Amazon
$36 at Best Buy
While it’s a simple and affordable device, this security camera is best for the outdoors. It gives you the option to store footage locally via a microSD card, and it excels when it comes to superior night vision so you can see, even in pitch-black settings.