YI Home Camera Review (Read before buy)

This article is a YI Home Camera Review based on my tests.

If you are looking for information about this product, you are in the right place.

I've been using and testing the Yi Home Camera at my office, and I want to share my experience with the product. After reading this review, you can decide if it's right for you. So, sit tight and keep reading to the end.

Yi camera

The Yi Home Camera is a inexpensive smart camera with interestng features, you can find it on Amazon. Just click the link below to check the price and availability.

The Yi Home Camera Overview

The Yi Home Camera is a 1080p (Full HD) home camera for indoor use only. 

The camera has bi-directional audio communication, records video in a local micro SD card, has night vision, AI human detection, and activity zone. It works with Alexa and Google Assistant to display videos using voice commands.

Reolink Lumius works with Alexa
Reolink Lumus works with Google Assistant

The installation is straightforward, and you don't need to hire a technician.

My first impression

I decided to test and review this camera because I was curious to see if this model is good for the tag price. I have a Wyze cam, which is also inexpensive and has a good quality, so perhaps the YI camera could be similar.

This smart camera is small  and elegant; you just need a mobile phone for the setup.

I've never had a YI camera before, so the overall impression was good at first.

What is on the YI Home camera box

The content in the YI Home camera box is minimum.

Yi Home camera what  is the box

The box brings the camera, a power adapter with a USB cable, and user's manual.

The YI Home Camera

The camera has a beautiful design and it's pretty elegant.

YI Home Camera in the box

In the front part, there's a lens and a LED that indicates the camera status.

The camera back

In the camera back there's a speaker, a QR code that should be used for the setup,.

Yi Home Camera Back

It's also possible to see the USB port connection and the reset button

Yi camera reset button

The YI Home camera features

The small YI Home camera has some interesting features.

Let's take a look at some of them.

Camera resolution

The YI camera captures images with full resolution, which means you can set up the camera to record videos with 1920 x 1080 pixels.

The camera has good quality as you can see in the picture below.

YI Home Client Software

The dynamic range is good; it's possible to see a little bit of the balcony outside, even with the strong sunlight.

Indoor use only

The YI camera is NOT weatherproof so you can't install it outdoor and 

Bi-directional audio

The YI Home Camera has a speaker and a microphone for bi-directional audio communication; it's possible to talk to somebody close to the camera and hear the sounds around the camera.

Alert notification

The camera can send a notification to a mobile phone, and it's nice to see the message "Human Detected" 🙂

Yes, the camera has AI (Artificial Intelligence) capabilities.

You just need to enable the human detections, as shown below.

Yi Home Camera Human Detection Settings

See below an example of the alert that I got on my smartphone.

Yi Home Camera Human Detection Alert

That's cool, huh?

And that's the moment the camera captured the video...

Yi Home Camera Human Detection Alert video

Since I'm a human, I'm glad I could be detected 🙂

Motion Detection Zones

It's possible to select specific areas for motion detection.

See the picture below with the example of a selected zone.

Detection Zone Selection

SD Card Recording

You can use a micro SD card to record the videos.

Cameras record when off with SD cards

I recommend you to buy a class 10 micro SD card to avoid problems with recording. You cal also buy a micro SD to SD card adapter.

Cloud Recording

The camera allows you to record either in the micro SD card and also in the cloud.

If  something happens to your camera, you will have the footage recorded elsewhere, as long as you pay for a subscription plan.

After the setup, there's an offer to try the YI Cloud service for 30 days.

Activate YI Home Camera cloud

The extra cloud storage is offered as a "Premium Cloud Service".

That means the camera can record more than the original 6 seconds clip.

Yi Home Camera cloud storage

You can try any of the cloud service plans for Free for 30 days.

There are plans to record from 1 to 5 cameras and from 7 to 30 days. 

Yi Home Cloud service price
Yi Home Cloud service price

The most expensive one costs $12.50/mo and allows you to record up to 5 cameras for 30 days, and the less expensive plan costs $6.67/mo for 1 camera recording for 7 days (paid annually).

If you don't have a subscription plan, the camera records only 6 seconds in the cloud every time there's motion is detected, and this is called "cooldown period".

Wait a minute... I've heard that before.

Yes, I remember the Wyze Lab use this same term (cooldown period).

That's right, the YI Home Camera records on the Wyze Cam Cloud.

I noticed that because there's a small Wyze logo on the top of the offer.

==> Just in case you want to learn more about the Wyze Cam, please read the article Wyze Cam Review and Set Up.

Wi-Fi connection

The YI home camera can connect to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi routers.

The 5GHz frequency is not available, but that's OK since the 2.4GHz can reach further distances even though it is more susceptible to interference.

Yi Home Camera Wi-Fi

For a better experience, make sure the camera is installed in a good position, and objects do not block the Wi-Fi signal. That's important for a good signal transmission and data communication between the camera and the Wi-Fi router.

YI Home Camera App

The YI Home App is well designed and easy to use.

Live video

It's possible to watch live video, take a snapshot and control the audio (mic and speaker) in the main screen where the motion alerts are shown.

Yi Home Camera on the App

You can have a high-resolution video stream and a second one with lower quality. 

You can choose each one to use to save bandwidth.

You can manually choose between SD and HD, as shown below.

Yi camera video quality

Playback

You can playback only 6 seconds from the cloud storage.

Every time you get a message to unlock the cloud back (subscribe).

Yi camera recording alert

Yeah, I think that's not good 🙁

Alexa and Google Home Assistant integration

The YI Home Camera integrates and works with Alexa and Google Home.

This feature allows you to ask Alexa or Google to display the video from the camera to devices such as the Amazon Fire Stick or Google Chrome. 

You can just ask Alexa or Google to display the image on a TV or other display.

Technical support

During the camera setup, I had a problem with the email account registration. 

To use the YI Home App is necessary to create an account, and it's necessary to enter an email address to receive an activation code.

After entering my email and didn't receive an activation code and couldn't finish the setup and I must say that I tried a lot... I repeated the process several times, used a different smartphone, a different email account, and nothing seems to work.

I opened a support ticket at YI Help Center, and I got an answer 40 minutes later. 

Customer service

The agent told me that the problem was escalated to the engineering team, and I would have a response within 24 hours. 

So, I just tried to create the account again the next day, and everything worked fine, but 2 days later, I still didn't get a response from the technical team.

I think they fixed some problems related to their server but didn't give me a response as promised.

So, I think it's better to be prepared for some slow response technical support.

The Pros and Cons of the YI Home Camera

OK, it's time to talk about the pros and cons of the YI Home Camera.

Based on the tests I've done for this review, here are the results...

Pros

  • High-quality video recording
  • Bi-directional audio
  • Micro SD and Cloud recording
  • Dual-stream feature
  • Alexa and Google Home integration
  • Easy to set up
  • Human Motion Detection
  • Price

Cons

  • 6 seconds cloud recording
  • Slow technical support

Related articles

Here's a list of articles that may interest you.

Conclusion

I definitely think the YI Home Camera  is a good product for the price.

It's designed for indoor applications, has good video quality. It can record on the SD card and use the AI feature for motion detection and alerts.

Besides the fact that it requires a subscription to have the clips recorded on the cloud, the camera is good enough for day to day application, and I recommend it.

I hope this review can help you make up your mind and make the right decision.

Click the button below if you want to check the best price for this product.

Disclaimer

I'm not a YI employee neither the company representative. 

I purchased the product to evaluate and write a review about it but I don't have any obligations to enforce the product advantages.

My opinion about the camera quality is based on my tests and analysis of the features and I'm just giving the final verdict accordingly.

I do receive a small affiliate commission when people buy this product using the buttons available on this article but there's no extra cost at all to the buyer.

The Learn CCTV blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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