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Wyze launches model three of its $ 20 safety digicam

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Wyze first made a name for itself when it launched its $ 20 indoor surveillance camera a few years ago. Since then, the company has specialized in other smart home products, from doorbells to scales. Today it is returning to its origins with the introduction of the Wyze Cam V3, the third generation of its flagship camera.

The new version still costs $ 20 (although it can do that without shipping unless there's a free shipping promotion on the Wyze store), but the company has redesigned both the outside and much of the hardware in the camera designed, which now also has IP65 protection. Now also use it outdoors.

Credit: Wyze

The Cam V3 now has new sensors that allow color night vision thanks to a lens with an F1.6 aperture that captures 40% more light than the previous version. That lens now also covers a 130-degree field of view (down from 110 degrees in V2), and the company has increased the frames per second from 15 during the day and 10 at night to 20 and 15 respectively.

The company also added the classic black and white night vision mode, which you still need when it's really dark outside or in the room you're monitoring, to add a second set of infrared lights to the camera.

Other new features include an 80 dB siren that scares off unwanted visitors. This function is triggered by the AI-supported person recognition function from Wyze. However, the company recently put that feature behind its $ 2 per month CamPlus paywall after initially being offered for free. That won't break the bank (and you get a generous free trial), but it would be nice if the company could have kept this relatively standard feature for free and instead just billed for additional cloud storage or advanced features (though) you get free 14-day rolling cloud storage for 12-second clips.

Wyze Cam V2 (left) and V3 (right).

Wyze provided me with a test device (and a Cam V2 to compare them) prior to today's launch. The image quality of the new camera is significantly better and the larger field of view makes a difference, although the distortion around the edges is now a little more noticeable (but given the use case, this is not a problem). The new night vision mode works as promised, and I love that you can set the camera to automatically toggle between them based on the lighting conditions.

The person recognition was almost 100% accurate – and unlike some competing cameras that do not offer this function, I did not receive any false alarms when it rained or when the wind blew leaves across the ground.

If you already have a Wyze Cam V2, there is no need to upgrade to this new one – the core features haven't changed too much after all. However, if you are in the market for this type of camera and not tied to a specific security system, then it's hard to beat the new Wyze Cam.

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Katherine Clark