Anker eufyCam E 1080p Surveillance Camera: 12-month battery life & NAS Support

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Unless you're a serious do-it-yourself person who likes household diy projects, do you really want to drill a 7/8-inch hole to mount a security camera?
Wireless systems give you the freedom of being able to place them anywhere without having to crawl into an attic, finding outlets and running cords.
This is particular true if you are setting up a wireless home security system that allows multiple cameras such as the Anker eufyCam E Homebase E kit which allows a massive of 16 cameras, all cameras being 1080p wireless security cameras with 140-degrees wide lens and 7.5 meter viewing distance (how far the eufyCam E can see).
The Anker eufyCam E security camera system works via a hub unit (called Homebase E) which connects to your home Internet router via the included Ethernet cable and it's powered via an included 12V/2A power adapter.
The Homebase E unit has a 300ft range in direct line of sight but house walls severely weaken the wireless range. Eufy is planning to release a Wifi range extender in the next 2 months so it will be interesting to see how much of a boost it gives the Homebase E unit.
The Homebase E unit is needed in order for the eufyCam E security system to operate so the cameras cannot connect directly to a home WiFi network.
The Homebase E unit sends and receives signal from the cameras and stores the recorded footage on a 16GB microSD card, which is also included. There is no backup battery inside the Homebase E unit which means the eufyCam E cannot continue operating during a power outage; hence the eufyCam E isn't completely self sufficient from a house power supply.
infrared leds on either side of the lens with status led on bottom
Having a security camera system is no doubt a worthy investment but having to pay for storage to save the recorded footage is definitely a huge drawback. This is where the Anker eufyCam E wireless camera kit outsmarts the competition by charging no monthly fees for storage usage and offering NAS (Network-attached Storage) support.

You can have all the recorded videos from a specific camera saved to a NAS as long as your NAS supports RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol) protocol and, as long as the eufyCam E camera is operating (i.e. when watching a live stream or when the camera is recording after detecting an event). If the camera is in standby mode, no video streams are saved to NAS.
If your NAS supports RTSP, all you need to do is enable NAS RTSP Stream from the eufy Security app and select a specific camera that you want to stream to. Having NAS is not required for eufyCam E to operate but they come handy to have because the eufyCam E cameras are high resolution/high-definition cameras using 1920 x 1080 pixels so the size of the storage data will be high.

sync/alarm button to manually connect to the cameras and turn off alarm siren
The Homebase E that comes with the eufyCam E includes two cameras but can support up to 16 cameras. If you are serious about surveillance recording, you'll most likely get more than two eufyCam E cameras so it's a good idea looking into Network Video Recorders (NVRs) instead of NAS because NAS devices require that you have a licence for each connected camera. Most NAS vendors offer free licenses for up to two cameras so if you want to add a third or fourth eufyCam E camera later on, you would need to purchase extra licences.
indoor eufyCam E day time footage
With an NVR system no licences are required; however, NVRs operate based on number of channels so if you where to buy an 8-channel NVR for 8 eufyCam E cameras and later want to add two more cameras you would have buy another NVR system.
indoor eufyCam E night time footage
With a NAS, you only have to buy new licenses which may workout cheaper. Overall, NAS systems have an edge over NVR systems because of the file management and sharing capabilities of a NAS and its private secure cloud based environment.
day time footage outdoors
Video quality is another important feature with any security system so it's nice that the Anker eufyCam E camera is able to monitor and record in Full HD 1080p resolution day and night thanks to built-in night vision technology.
night time footage outdoors
The eufyCam E camera lenses really do a good job at delivering a sharp picture thanks to the built-in Sony Exmor sensor and large f2.2 aperture, which is the same aperture you get with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and iPhone XS phones. The Sony A5000 camera uses a Sony Exmor sensor.
2 way talk speaker holes
As far as smart features, the eufyCam E Homebase E doesn't include AI facial recognition but does include notifications for motion events and other neat features like 2-way talk and 9-meter motion detection range. To enable 2-way talk, you simply press and hold the microphone icon on the eufy app. The other icons you see on the above image are start/stop video recording, screenshot capture, 2-way talk, and mute volume.
When motion is detected, you receive a prompt alert to your smartphone with a video clip of what the camera saw by whatever triggered the camera's motion detection as it happened. The motion detection is pretty accurate but accuracy depends on the size, angle and speed of the subject.
The two-way talk feature means you could use the eufyCam E as a 2-way talk baby monitor as this feature turns the eufyCam into essentially a two way radio like a walkie-talkie.
EufyCam E's two way communication is clear but since it uses wireless, instead of radio frequency you get some delay the further the cameras are from the Homebase E unit.
The eufyCam E camera has a built-in alarm siren sounder that is triggered by the built-in accelerometer when someone tries to yank the cameras.
You can trigger the alarm manually and so can you trigger the Homebase internal alarm which is much louder than the eufyCam E camera's alarm module.
The alarm siren sound is fairly loud (100-decibels) but don't expect it to be as loud as a building intruder burglar alarm. If you plan to use the magnetic mount, it would be wise to mount the eufyCam E cameras indoors or higher up outdoors to avoid the camera being easily reached.
If the cameras were to be stolen and the person attempted to use them, you could probably track/geolocate them since the Homebase E unit has its own Mac address.
foam rubber base
reset button pinhole
The eufyCam E camera battery life is rated at 365 days lifespan (3 years on standby) on one single full charge based on one camera recording 10 videos a day, lasting 30 seconds each. Combining the two cameras this would equal 20 videos a day, lasting 30 seconds each.
The included 16GB microSD card that comes with Anker's eufyCam E Homebase E (model T8002) is able to store 1 year’s worth of recording footage as long as it's 10 videos a day lasting 30 seconds each; hence with two cameras the 16GB microSD card would only be able to store 6 months of recorded footage.
Luckily, the microSD card slot on the Homebase E unit supports Class 10 microSD cards up to 128GB so a card of this size would able to store for a whole year for 80 videos a day, lasting 30 seconds each. The Homebase E unit measures 13cm tall, 13cm long and 6cm thick, and weighs 343 grams (20 grams less than the camera).
If the battery cells inside the eufyCam E cameras are anything like the batteries you get in Anker external battery packs then the eufyCam E is onto a sure winner. Just like with car batteries, the colder it is the quicker battery charge gets depleted; hence eufyCam E's claim of 12-month battery life will depend also on the temperature of the location where the eufyCam E camera is installed.
From left to right, the buttons/ports on the Homebase E unit include refresh button, DC input, PowerIQ USB port, RJ45 Ethernet port and microSD card slot. You can recharge the eufyCam E cameras via the Homebase E unit and a mains electrical socket. 
neat way to fast charge your phone too
On the back of the Homebase E unit there is an Anker PowerIQ USB port which delivers fast charging when using the included 1.5 meter long charging cable which is an AWM Style 2725 30V VW-1 USB Type A to microUSB cable. 
The PowerIQ USB port outputs 5V/2A and 9V/2A. You can also recharge the cameras using a regular 5V/2A or 9V/2A USB wall charger (not included).
Each eufyCam E camera weighs 364 grams which is fairly weighty but then again, each camera has built-in to them a 7.4V 6700mAh Li-ion non-removable battery.
Being non-removable means you will have to take the cameras down from wherever you fix them to recharge them via the micro USB port on the back of the camera which is protected by a white rubber grommet.
Whether removable or non-removable, most batteries can be replaced at the end of their useful life. Should the batteries become faulty and/or stop holding proper charge, you will always be able to reach out to Eufy Life. They also offer 30-day money-back guarantee should you want to return the product for any reason.
Considering the long battery life of the eufyCam E cameras, you won't have to deal with the inconvenience of regularly having to recharge batteries. In fact, if you happen to have a portable power bank laying around you won't have to even take the cameras down as you'll be able to temporarily hang it next to the cameras while they're charging.
You are also able to monitor battery charge via the Eufy Security mobile app, which is compatible with iOS and Android devices.
magnetic mount weighs 34 grams
Two types of wall mounts are included in the box, both of which make it easy to position the cameras on any vertical surface thanks to the foam-rubber backing on the mounts.
screw-in mount weighs 62 grams
You get a 1.8-inch dome by 1.3-inch tall magnetic base and a 2.3-inch-tall screw-in base that has a 2.1-inch-square bottom. The hardware for mounting the cameras is also included.
The magnetic connection between the magnetic mount and the camera is really strong and secure. It takes quite a bit of force to manually remove the magnetic connection by hand which is nice reassurance that the camera will not separate from the magnetic mount even under heavy gusts of wind.
After downloading the eufy Security app, you simply signup for an account and follow the on-screen prompts.
The Homebase E unit has to be added first in order to add the eufyCam E cameras. If the eufyCam E app is not finding the Homebase E unit or eufyCam E camera, you will need to wake them up.
To do this on the Homebase E unit, you need to press the sync/alarm off button on top; while on the camera you press the white "sync" button on the back of the camera.
You can manually adjust the length of the footage recorded between 5 seconds and 120 seconds and customize motion detection triggered interval between 0 seconds (minimum delay) and 60 seconds (maximum delay); hence you can delay how long should the eufyCam E camera waits before it detects motion again.
The eufy Security app doesn't have a feature that allows you to reset the unit back to factory settings but you can delete all data from the eufyCam by removing it from the app and uninstalling the app from your phone. Alternatively, you can simply format the micro SD card from the eufy Security app.
The eufyCam E surveillance camera system doesn't currently support Google Assistant but supports Alexa AI voice assistant with Amazon devices like the Echo Show smart speaker and screen and the Fire TV digital media player so you can ask Alexa to pull up a live stream from those devices to see what’s happening.
If you are looking for a live streaming home security camera that you can use outdoor too, the eufyCam E is worth a second look because of its IP65 rating so it can handle all weather and temperature changes between -4°F (-20°C) and 122°F (50°C).

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