DIY cameras have been flooding the market over the last few years and growing in popularity in the home security market. Now to setup a surveillance system all you really need is the camera and a smart phone. You’ve probably heard of the Arlo or Nest cam before, but even though they are primarily dominating the market there are other cheaper cameras starting to emerge that have similar features for a fraction of the price. The Ezviz Mini O falls into this category.

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The Mini O’s specs aren’t exactly revolutionary. In fact, the 720p video is pretty much the bare minimum in home security video these days. The Mini O connects to your home Wi-Fi just like just about every other security camera on the market right now. While it does have a well-designed mobile app, decent night vision and passable motion detection, these features don’t really distinguish it from its competitors. However, one feature it does have over its competitors at that price is its ability to connect to an Alexa and receive voice commands.

Design Features and Appearance

When you first open your Mini O you’ll be surprised how much smaller it is than your expected. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Its compact design makes it really easy to mount and give you more flexibility. The height on the camera measures out to about 5 inches and only weighs 4 ounces making it one of the smallest cameras available. It has a sleek oval design that kind of reminds me of one of those aliens from “Area 51.”

The camera is powered by a USB cord and comes with both a charger and a 10 foot cord which at the price is pretty impressive. It also has a 128GB capacity micro SD card slot and some rather impressive speakers on the back. It does lack an Ethernet port for those who would prefer having their camera hard wired, but if that’s the type of camera you’re looking for the Mini O probably wouldn’t be a good choice even if it did have one.

Hands Free Recording and Event Handling

When the Mini O was first released it was one of the only cameras out there for the price that had compatibility with Alexa. This however, is no longer the case. Not that this camera isn’t still a very cheap implementation of this technology. If you have an Echo Snow, Spot, or even a Fire TV you can pull up your video feed with a voice commands.

If you pair in the IFTTT features of this camera you can imagine the possibilities this opens up. Imagine having a few of these cameras set up around this house and you have them separated by room names. One day, you’re watching TV and you hear a crashing noise from the other room. Since you have your cameras already set up and connected with Alexa all you have to do to see what happened is simple say,

“Alexa, show me the dining room.”

And a feed from your dining room Mini O cam pops up.

There are a few other automation features as well. You can set up the Mini O to only record when you are away from home for example. Or connect it to smart lighting so you can get clear video when motion is detected.

Cloud Storage Pricing

When you’re relying on your security cameras for protection, then cloud storage is pretty much mandatory. I mean, if I was stealing from a house and I saw a camera I doubt there is anything that would stop me from simply grabbing it and taking it with me. So if you’re relying on a MicroSD card for video storage then you’re probably not as protected as you want to be.

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The downside to the Mini O is they don’t have any free storage like other cameras. Usually you will get at least a few hours of storage with your purchase which is enough when it comes to motion detection recording, but Ezviz only gives you a 30 day trial.

If you don’t intend to pay any monthly fees for cloud storage then you might want to reconsider getting this camera. With local storage only the Mini O is effectively not much better than a glorified baby monitor.

Tying Video with Security

If you are serious about protecting your home and lining up some cameras then you might want to consider getting a professionally monitored system with Protect America. Not only will it automatically notify emergency services when something bad happens, but it will also connect to your other smart home devices, push notifications about what’s happening in your home to your phone and offers other advantages like automatic smart locks. Get a free quote with Protect America today!