Panasonic KX-HNC800EW (£159)
What's the story?
If you’re already using Panasonic’s Home Network hub and smart home devices, the HNC800EW camera should definitely be on your shopping list. It’s a wide-angle, full HD, wall-mountable indoor camera that has temperature, motion and sound sensors in its arsenal, as well as two-way communication.
It doesn’t actually need the hub to connect and, best of all, has a rolling video buffer for capturing two seconds of footage before it's triggered. Like the D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD, it records video footage locally only, via microSD card (128GB max, not included), without the option for a more secure cloud backup.
Setup was not a simple affair - it should have been, but the iOS version of the app failed to even give an option to set up a camera, offering only a setup wizard for the hub. Even our Android phone struggled to connect to the camera, but after a few unsuccessful tries, it locked onto the camera, and the signal has been robust ever since - over the same Wi-Fi, over data, and over a separate Wi-Fi network.
You might be lucky and get a clean install first time, but if not, keep persevering as this Panny is otherwise worth the effort. Remote recording can be triggered manually from the app, or automated with the sound and motion sensors. Stills can be taken remotely too, and are saved directly to your camera roll. The two-way chat is clear enough, if a tad laggy (up to five seconds), though this is a feature that even the all-conquering Netatmo Welcome lacks.
If you don't mind a slightly rocky take-off and no cloud storage, this is a capable home-watcher