Wyze Cam Outdoor v2 review: A great camera for the money


  • Color night vision
  • Customizable detection settings
  • Free cloud storage option
  • Easy installation, installation

I do not like

  • 1080p resolution
  • No automatic siren
  • Not compatible with HomeKit

Since entering the home security market a few years ago, Wyze has released a number of budget-friendly cameras, including its first outdoor model. We loved the Cam Outdoor when it was released, despite a few minor concerns such as then-no free atom detection and a limited 110-degree field of view. Quibbles aside, the Wyze Cam Outdoor still holds up today as a high-performance, low cost camera — but now there’s a new and improved model: the Cam Outdoor v2.

The $74 Wyze Cam Outdoor v2 is equipped with a larger field of view than its predecessor and features color night vision, a more advanced passive infrared lens, and the option for free person detection alerts, among other improvements. It’s not entirely perfect — better image resolution, for example, would be nice — but the v2 is still a noticeable step up from the original Cam Outdoor.

I got my hands on a Wyze Cam Outdoor v2 and tested it over the course of about two weeks (See how we test security cameras). I played with the settings dozens of times, tested two-way audio, watched live streams and recorded video in light, dark and rain, and even tried a Cam Plus subscription. Here are my thoughts on the whole experience.

Another budget-friendly setup

One of the most appealing aspects of the Wyze security cameras though inside, outdoor the both, is the logical value. The Cam Outdoor v2 is understandably more expensive than the first model, but at just $74, it’s still one of the lowest wireless outdoor camera settings I’ve seen (from a known and trusted manufacturer, that is).

Everything you need is included in the package — the camera, the mount with hardware, a base station, power cables for the base station and charging the camera battery, an Ethernet cable and a short owner’s manual.

Additional cameras are available from $63, and a single base station will support up to four in total. They won’t work on their own without a base station, though, so you’ll want to start with the $74 bundle before adding any of the $63 individual cameras to your network, a la carte style.

I couldn’t have asked for an easier installation

David Anders/CNET

I just found a good point for the camera, it took less than two minutes to install. Simply drill a few screws for the mounting bracket to slide on, then place the camera on the magnetic base and adjust the folding bracket as needed.

You can install the stand on a horizontal or vertical surface. The in-app camera settings allow you to flip the view 180 degrees, meaning you can also place the camera upside down. The magnet might be strong enough to hold the camera upside down without it falling to the ground below, but I didn’t risk testing it.

The base station is a bit less convenient as it needs to be connected to your router during setup, so an Ethernet cable is included. If you have one mesh Wi-Fi system, connecting to any device or node, not just the “master”, should suffice. He did it for me.

After the installation is complete, do what I did and change the connection settings to Wi-Fi. This will free up an Ethernet port on your router and allow you to move the base station to a more inconspicuous location — ideally, one closer to your camera for better signal quality.

As for the setup itself, the Wyze app will guide you through the process step by step. There’s nothing more to it than plugging things in, turning on the camera, and waiting for the base station’s blue light to become solid before you name your camera. Towards the end of the setup, you will be asked to connect the camera to Alexa or Google smart home hub, but this is optional and you can do it later if you want. There is currently no compatibility with Apple HomeKit.

Acceptable image resolution, impressive color night vision

It was just after 5 p.m. in early December when I completed the installation and setup, so I immediately saw how the camera performed in the dark. Granted, there was a little daylight left, but the feed was so bright and colorful I almost couldn’t tell it was mostly dark.

To be clear, this is the Color Night Vision mode, not the night vision setting. Traditional night vision is still an option, and you can illuminate objects up to 25 feet away thanks to four built-in infrared lights, but if you want to see color, turn night vision off. Color Night Vision uses a Starlight CMOS sensor to automatically make the most of low-light settings, bringing back colors and details that would otherwise be mostly hidden in semi-darkness. It’s a new feature for the v2 camera, and it’s a good one.

While the color night vision is a significant upgrade, the image resolution unfortunately remains at 1080p. Along with the previous Wyze Outdoor Camera, the Blink Outdoor Security Camera and the Google Nest Cam with batteryamong others, they have the same resolution, but some manufacturers, including Arlo with the Camera Pro 4 and TP-Link’s Tapo C310, made the leap to 2K resolution.

The Cam Outdoor v2 at least has a wider field of view, 130 degrees compared to the v1’s 110. That’s still not the best on the market — some offer a wider 160-degree view, for example — but it’s an improvement.

Installed about 25 feet from the back of my house, the camera gave me a full view of the house from one side to the other, as well as most of my yard and a good run into the side yards. In short, you can cover a large area with a single camera and you can count on an instant notification when something is detected.

Advanced motion detection, near-instant alerts and loud siren

Like the previous model, the Wyze Cam Outdoor v2 has a passive infrared sensor, which helps reduce false alerts from things like falling leaves and swaying branches. Still, I got a lot of push notifications, mostly from cars passing or stopped at the stop sign, about 75 to 100 feet away. These notifications came quickly, almost instantly, but they were more than I needed.

Screenshot of Wyze motion detection settings.

Adjust the motion detection distance and sensitivity, or create a detection zone, for more focused monitoring and fewer alerts.

Wyze/Image by David Anders/CNET

To reduce frequent notifications, I reduced the motion detection distance and created a custom detection zone. The vehicle alerts pretty much stopped except for someone pulling into the road and I got more relevant alerts and event logging as well. This not only reduced notifications, but also helped conserve battery as there were fewer instances of event recording.

Fortunately, none of the notifications I received indicated an actual security or breach event, so I didn’t need to activate the built-in siren. I did it anyway, once, to see how powerful it was. They’re loud — definitely loud enough to scare someone who was up to no good. I could also hear it clearly while inside, and it might even be loud enough to alert your neighbors, depending on how far away they are.

Another thing to note about the siren: It’s not automatic, meaning you’ll have to act as your own security guard and sound the siren manually through the app if you detect suspicious activity. If that’s more demanding than you’d like, Wyze offers a professional surveillance plan, Wyze Cam Protect, starting at just over $3 a month. They won’t activate the siren on your camera, but they can ensure emergency services are dispatched if necessary.

Free person tracking and cloud storage if you want it

I didn’t try the Wyze Cam Protect service, but I did use the Cam Plus free trial. The Cam Plus plan provides 14 days of cloud storage for recorded events of any length, continuous recording (otherwise there is a 5-minute delay) and a host of other benefits, including people tracking. After the trial period ends, a Cam Plus subscription will cost you just under $2 per month.

If you don’t want to pay a subscription for cloud storage and tracking people, consider the Cam Plus Lite plan. It comes with 14 days of cloud storage for recorded events of up to 12 seconds, person detection, and the option to “name your value” — even if that value is zero.

About the security of your security camera

We’ve said it before you treat your home security cameras as compromisedand this was partly due to vulnerabilities found in Wyze cameras at the time, as well Ring and Google share user material with police. Wyze has since taken steps to mitigate the vulnerabilities through software updates, but ultimately had to end support for the Wyze Cam v1 (not to be confused with the Wyze Cam Outdoor v1).

Wyze Outdoor Cam v2 and base station.

David Anders/CNET

Cam Outdoor v2 has end-to-end encryption to keep your live streams and recorded videos private, but nothing is safe when it comes to devices connected to the internet. Be sure to download software updates when they become available, as they often include patches for any vulnerabilities found. Also, make sure to keep your home Wi-Fi password protected and secure.

The Verdict: A solid outdoor camera for the price

While the Cam Outdoor v2 isn’t perfect, it’s a worthwhile upgrade to the already capable v1 without a significant price increase.

At $74, the Wyze Cam Outdoor v2 offers everything you could ask for, from live video streams, two-way audio, and the new Color Night Vision feature to free cloud storage and people detection if you want it. Little things like 2K resolution and an automatic siren would be nice to have, but I still found the features, ease of use, and overall performance to be worth the cost.

Leave a Comment