The Tend Lynx Indoor Camera doesn’t look like much, but its multi-use functionality make it a great option for DIY security beginners.
The Tend Lynx Indoor Camera is intrigues the user from the first moment the box is open. The miraculously small camera body (and low cost) leads one to believe that the item they are about to install is low quality, but after several weeks of using the camera I can confidently say this camera is anything but mediocre.
The camera itself is small, measuring only 2.2 by 3.5 inches and can be covertly placed anywhere in a home. The long power cord and wireless capabilities give you the flexibility of placing the camera wherever you want.
The camera streams and records 1080P HD live video with night vision, has free and secure 7-day cloud storage, two-way audio, motion detection, instant alerts and intelligent facial recognition software.
Inside the box you receive a little stand to place the camera on, which sturdies the camera on a flat surface. The stand leaves a little to be desired as it seems the camera could easily be knocked over, but for the purposes of holding the camera up without interference, it works fine.
In the box is a card prompting you to download the free Tend app to continue with the installation process. From there, the app helps you to connect your smartphone to the camera and then to your wireless signal in your home.
My first few tries at connecting to the camera were frustrating. My phone would either not find the camera, or it would find the camera but then fail to connect to my home’s WiFi signal. After two or three tries, the camera did connect and within minutes, I was up and running.
From there, you can adjust the camera settings such as camera name, talkback volume and motion detection sensitivity. You can also choose to share the feed with another user, perhaps someone you share your home with.
This camera does everything it says it is going to do and the longer you have it in your home, the more it learns the surroundings and people. The video quality is stunning; whether you are watching the feed live from the app or watching a playback of recorded video, the quality is never pixelated and always high resolution.
I was also really impressed with the camera's night vision. I played around with the camera, turning off all the lights, then turning on lamps around the room to watch just how long it would take the camera to adjust to the different lighting and every time the camera would quickly adjust to the new lighting conditions and stream high-quality video.
The above photos show the camera's night vision adjusting as I turned on a lamp in the kitchen.
The intelligent facial recognition was a feature that really interested me about this product. I entered in my photo to the “Facial Recognition” setting and for the first few recorded videos, the app would ask me who appeared in the video. I would chose the option for my face and over time the camera started to learn which figure in the video was me and which figures recorded in the videos were not me.
I can see the facial recognition function being used to update a parent when their children walk in the door or when a pet sitter, or house guest arrives. While it isn’t always right 100 percent of the time at first, over time the camera is able to learn about its environment and accurately report the going-ons in your home.
I do not have any pets, so I can’t talk to the sensitivity of the camera while I’m away from the house. I would use the camera like a “security system” turning on the instant alerts and recording when I left and then shutting them off when I got home. I was never notified incorrectly and the camera did not pick up any movement that was clearly nothing.
The ability to stream live video and save recorded videos and photos to your smartphone are my favorite part of this camera. It is one thing to have a camera that constantly streams, but it is a whole other ballgame when you have a camera that can intelligently pick up instances that need to be recorded for viewing at a later date.
The only drawback of this camera is that I am not able to integrate it into the other security systems I currently have in place. For example, it is not compatible with the Wink Lookout I currently have installed in my home.
For less than $50 I feel like I can get over this little speed bump, but it would be nice to be able to see all my security devices in one app and on one platform.
My overall experience with this camera was great. I wish that the installation and setup process was a little bit more fine-tuned to be seamless, but I am not sure if this is a problem throughout all of the cameras or just user error on my part.
The intelligence and quality of this camera is like nothing I’ve ever seen out of a device listed for under $50 and in my opinion is worth every penny.