Logitech Circle 2: security camera that sees all in 1080p
Logitech is one of those brands that everyone has had owned a product from (or at least, they've heard of them). Its products are durable and usually have a very good price. Circle 2 is the second security camera presented by the Swiss company: a camera that offers many features and are value for money. In this article, we'll share our views about this device.
- Waterproof to IP65
- Night vision
- 180º Full HD
- Easy set-up
- Average video quality
- Low volume speaker
- Accessories raise the price
- Recognition function only with premium account
Release date and price
The Circle 2 camera is available as a wired or wireless version, although in our review, we've only tested the wired version (this version of Circle 2 is available for around $178, while the wireless Circle 2 is available for about $196).
Saving packages containing several cameras are also available, as well as other accessories: plug adapters, longer cables for outdoor installations, or accessories that will allow us to attach the device to the window.
Design and build quality
The Circle 2 camera, as its name suggests, is equipped with a rather small circular body. The device measures less than 9 cm and is just under 7cm in depth, although this last dimension increases when we plug the power adapter in. The appearance of the camera isn't very striking, but it won't go unnoticed.
The assembly is very simple: place a rubber ring around the camera to help protect it from water and install the connector behind it with the cable (3 m) matching the two notches. Also, to secure the connector you will have to turn it slightly so that the two notches are not in the same place. On the other end of the cable is a USB port and a 5.1V and 1.4A power adapter, much like a smartphone charger, which is included in the box.
The connector in the box has a non-slip base and can be placed on the wall with screws, which are also included. There are other accessories sold separately for special situations: an adapter to connect it directly to a socket (about $35), another one to attach it to a window ($25), a 6400mAh rechargeable battery accessory ($29) and for outdoor use there is also a waterproof cable of 4.5 meters ($32).
The application makes it easy to configure
To set-up the camera we only need the application. First, create an account to manage all its functions and recordings. A web application is also available to do this from any device.
The first configuration is very simple, just follow the instructions of the application to pair the devices. Once the camera is associated to our account, we'll be able to see in real-time what the camera is recording, with a couple of seconds of delay.
In the settings you can configure: the resolution, the field of view, the volume of the camera microphone, turn the camera on and off, turn the LED on and off, trigger night vision, change the Wi-Fi network, activate the speaker and it also has different modes depending on the support we use. Private mode is particularly useful, where the camera doesn;t record or notify what is happening when it's active (it only streams). Circle 2 is an IP camera, with which we will connect through its application with a 256 bit AES security protocol.
180° FullHD recording
We have three resolutions for video recording: 360p, 720p and 1080p (720p is the default setting). The image quality is acceptable and improves in better lighting conditions. Some details are lost in the image depending on the distance of the object or person it is recording. The Circle 2 features a 2MP CMOS sensor offering image quality that can be improved, although to achieve higher image quality in a competitive product we would need to invest more budget.
The maximum distance at which night vision works is 4.5 meters, enough to recognize the faces of people approaching. The infrared light that "illuminates" the night scene has less impact the further away from the center of the scene, so at night the sides are somewhat dark.
When the camera recognizes motion, in addition to sending us a notification to the smartphone, it selects the clip in which the action happens so that we can later watch it again, and even download it. In the mobile or web application, on the right we have a timeline where we can review all the clips. In addition, we can generate a video summary of the main events of the day. In these selected events, the clips where the most movement occurred "stand out". Below the option to watch it live we have the summary of the day, composed of a clip with the moments of greatest activity.
Security camera and walkie-talkie
Along with the video we can also hear what is happening around the camera. Setting the microphone to a loud sound will transmit everything it picks up at a good volume, while setting it to half sound will cancel out ambient noise. The sound has a lot of volume up to about 3 meters but at greater distances in open spaces the sensitivity deteriorates.
The camera has a small speaker in addition to microphones. With it we can talk through our smartphone (when we talk we stop receiving sound, just like on a walkie-talkie). The volume is not very loud but for someone about 2 meters away the sound is clear.
Additional features require a subscription (unfortunately)
This is one of the few surveillance cameras that has a great integration for your smart home as it works with the main assistants: Google Assistant, Alexa, Apple Homekit and it also has a Logitech POP smart button. For example, we can say to Google Assistant: "OK Google, show the room" to see the Circle 2 that we have installed there.
With each camera you can receive 24 hours of cloud recording for free, and you'll get notifications when motion is detected and the ability to create a summary of the day.
The basic plan includes, in addition to these functions, a cloud recording of up to 14 days for $3.99/month for one camera and $6.99/month for up to 5 cameras. The premium plan offers 31 days of recording and three extra features: personalized day summaries, people recognition and configurable movement zones; from $9.99/month for one camera or $17.99/month for up to 5 cameras.There is also a reduced price for annual subscriptions.
Overall, the Circle 2 is a camera that does its job very well, if we consider the quality and compare it to the price. It has all the typical problems Wi-Fi cameras have: if they are unplugged (there is also a battery-powered version available) or disconnected form the internet, you can say goodbye to service.
The quality of the video could be a little better but is acceptable, and it at least offers FullHD video with 180º capture, which not many devices offer. It is also waterproof - perfect for using both indoors and outdoors. It's a little cheaper than competitors devices, very easy to set up and has a free 24-hour notification and recording service, which meets the needs of those of you who don't want to pay any unnecessary subscription fees.