The world of home security now passes through very cheap but feature-rich peripherals. Although the ANNKE brand is famous for its professional video surveillance systems, this time the brand has chosen to launch a very simple, inexpensive but functional product. Crater is the primary indoor surveillance camera.
Unboxing from ANNLE Crater holds some surprises. It’s a slim and essential piece of equipment, which in addition to the camera has a power source and wall support if you choose to hang it on the wall. It’s a basic package, just like the camera, and it’s very easy to assemble.
At the time of purchase, it is also possible to choose MicroSD integration, up to 128 GB, useful for storing clips and photos of the camera locally. Not only that, in the carriage you can also select a 3-meter cable, which will allow you to install the camera even in areas completely far from the electrical outlet. Given that the camera does not have a built-in battery, it is necessary to choose the right cable size for its optimal installation.
On an aesthetic level, this hole is quite familiar. Remember the basic style of Xiaomi. The room has a rather wide base on which the ball containing the room occupancy is placed. It is very simple and modern, and it will adapt well to both domestic and business environments. The black part has an original shape, overall the camera is compact and light.
The same eye, right at the bottom, hidden from view when turned on, hides the MicroSD compartment and the reset button, while on the back there is a MicroUSB input (yes, a little dated) and the loudspeaker that allows you to talk to anyone in the room.
On the aesthetic level, it turns out to be a slim, light and simple room, which will definitely fit into any corner of the house.
Easy to install, as it only needs one cable, just as easy to set up with your smartphone. After plugging it into the electrical outlet, simply download the free ANNKE Smart app from the App Store and Google Play. After choosing to add a device, by selecting the WiFi camera icon, just follow some simple on-screen instructions.
It basically involves choosing your home router, entering the key, and scanning the QR code that is displayed on the smartphone screen with the same camera. Configuration is now complete. In short, after a few minutes it will be possible to watch the live broadcast from the application, of course also remotely.
While we had no problems at the initial setup stage, Android smartphones brought back some uncertainty in sending notifications. On the iPhone, however, there is no problem. These issues are almost certainly related to the battery management systems that some brands impose on Android, which makes notifications not always accurate and timely.
Usage and application
However, the camera, for its part, accurately records any movement, and returns any activity within the log in the Message Center. In addition to this section, the application also offers a second axis with a virtual palette, which allows you to move the camera eye both vertically and horizontally. It is a motorized chamber, which provides pan and tilt capabilities of 330° and 90° respectively. This way, you will be able to cover the view of the entire room, whether it is small or large.
Crater offers all the functions one would expect from such a party. It is possible, first of all, to set the privacy mode, so as to turn it off when you are at home. Moreover, it is possible to choose whether or not to activate motion detection and even whether to activate the tracking functions or not. This last option will allow the camera’s eye to move automatically when the person is framed.
Thanks to the room equipment, speakerphone and microphone, it is possible to manage the two-way audio from the application so that you can listen to the noise in the house, as well as send messages to those inside.
In terms of compatibility with voice assistants, this hole is missing a bit. Unlike many others that support Alexa and Google, the latter is only compatible with the Amazon Assistant. This is not a huge loss, considering that the control function is not often used with assistants of this type of room in particular. Usually, assistants allow you to monitor the video stream on a smart screen. Of course, it might be interesting if you use it as a baby monitor to see what’s going on in the next room, but this function is more useful in outdoor rooms. In the latter cases, it’s interesting to be able to visualize what’s going on outside inside the house, but in an indoor room, using virtual assistants can cause you to sit in the back seat.
Video sound quality
Crater doesn’t even disappoint in terms of video quality, even in the face of the fact that it’s a really low-cost camera. It offers Full HD picture quality, which will surely satisfy you, both in home use and for potential use in the workplace.
The speaker volume does not have a very high volume, but given that the use of the room is indoors, you will be able to conduct a conversation without particular problems, and you can also listen to any suspicious sounds inside the house.
Night vision is present, which is enough to control a medium-sized room.
It is possible to store photos and videos from the camera directly on MicroSD, to be purchased separately, but ANNKE also offers cloud plans starting at €2.29 per month. This allows any event recorded in the past 14 days to be stored on the cloud. On the other hand, if you want to extend the storage time, the € 6.39 plan will allow for registration for the previous 30 days. There’s also a free plan that lets you try the service for 30 days, logging events that happened in the past seven days.
Crater is a basic security room, in form and function. It has everything you need to take control of your home, and its price is really low. Definitely worth what it costs, just for the pan and tilt possibility. We recommend it for those who do not want to spend a lot, but need a motorized camera.
- aesthetically fit
- Easy to set up
- Two-way audio
- Responsive and silent pan and tilt
- Video quality
- On Android some notification problems
- Does not support Google Home
Price and availability
You can buy it at this address for only 24.99 euros.