IP cameras are increasingly becoming a necessity. Some need it for home security when they are away from home; others need it to watch over their kids, pets, and the elderly. There are tons of IP cameras out there with prices ranging from as low as $30 to as high as several thousand dollars. Many affordable IP cameras have a lower quality. But there are a few good ones that are reliable and jam-packed with necessary features. The ANNKE I41CJ appears to be one of them. It offers two-way communication, HD quality footage, and you can control it right from your smartphone.
ValueWalk received a unit of ANNKE I41CJ for review. It arrived in a neat packaging, and I used it for a few weeks before writing this review. Besides the IP camera, the box contained a USB power adapter, a paper user manual, an Ethernet cable, a micro-USB cable, a mounting base, and mounting screws and plugs. At first glance, it may seem like setting up the camera would be difficult. But it’s a breeze.
ANNKE I41CJ HD IP Camera: Design
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The first thing that came to my mind when I looked at the camera is: Wow! It’s so damn cute and adorable. Whether you place it on a desk, shelf, or mount it on a wall or ceiling, it doesn’t shout “Look at me.” Thanks to its simple design, it fits in nicely with your home decor. It consists of two rounded parts: a base and a head. The company has placed the head part in a cradle, allowing it to move vertically and horizontally with ease. There is no complex cabling. The camera comes in black and white color options.
A 2-megapixel camera with 1080p HD resolution is arranged in the head portion. The black frame that houses the main camera also includes six infrared LEDs that are used for night vision. On the back of the base, you’ll see a reset button, an Ethernet port, a microSD card slot, and a USB port for power input.
ANNKE has taken a minimalistic approach to its design. There is nothing else on the front except for the ‘ANNKE’ logo. It measures 13cm in height, 10cm in width, and just 9cm in thickness. Moderately small. Its body is made out of plastic, but it doesn’t feel cheap in any way. From what I have gathered so far, it is durable enough to withstand daily usage.
ANNKE I41CJ: Features and specifications
The IP camera is capable of recording 1080p HD videos at 30fps. It offers impressive colors and contrast, allowing you to recognize things in the room with ease. The ANNKE I41CJ camera can tilt 100 degrees vertically and 350 degrees horizontally to let you monitor the entire room with minimal blind spots. You can control the camera movements from your smartphone. Also, it has a built-in microphone and speaker to support two-way communication.
The camera has a viewing angle of 80 degrees. Thanks to the six infrared LEDs, it can clearly see in the dark in black and white. The ANNKE I41CJ offers night vision up to 10 meters. It can automatically activate the night vision mode in low visibility circumstances, though there is also an option to turn it on manually. It offers local storage via a memory card slot that supports up to 64GB. The files can also be stored on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. When you are away from home, you can watch the live video or playback the footage on your Android or iOS device.
ANNKE has also added the ability to send push alarm notifications to your smartphone upon detecting unexpected motions. Yes, it also has a motion detector.
Our experience with ANNKE I41CJ
Let’s start with the setup process. It’s pretty easy and straightforward. You just to have to download the corresponding iOS or Android app, and the app will guide you through the setup process. It took me just a few minutes to plug in the power adapter, turn on the camera, connect over Ethernet, add the camera to the app, and enter the WiFi credentials before I was all set to watch the live video. Here is a video showing how you can set it up in a few easy steps.
However, things get a bit difficult once the camera is up and running. The app itself is easy to navigate, but it doesn’t offer you any guidance on how to configure the camera settings to your liking. There are tons of things that you can change such as contrast, brightness, saturation, notifications, alarms, etc. The user manual isn’t of much help here either. You have to figure things out on your own.
Once you have customized the system, just open the app from wherever you are and tap on the thumbnail image to watch the live video. You can connect multiple cameras to the same app. If you have placed two different cameras in two rooms, you’ll see two thumbnail images in the app.
I was impressed with the quality of the footage. I particularly liked the night vision feature as I could see what my little boy is doing in the next room when the lights are out. Sometimes when I feel lazy, I can speak to kids across the house as it supports two-way audio. Enabling the two-way audio is as easy as pressing the mic icon and holding down the on-screen button. Both sides can hear each other clearly.
It took me some time to figure out how to change the camera angle. It’s as easy as swiping in the direction I wanted the camera to move in. You have to wait for a moment or two after swiping before the camera moves in the direction you want.
The ANNKE I41CJ camera has motion detectors that can sense if someone enters your property or if there is an unexpected motion. The camera instantly sends a push notification on your smartphone. From there, you can allow the camera to take a screenshot or video and send it over to your phone. I live in a safe area, but there were a few robberies in the neighborhood last year. So, it’s nice to have an IP camera in the house.
How much does it cost?
Given its beautiful design, HD footage, night vision mode, motion sensing, and other features, you might expect it to be priced above $100. But right now you can buy it directly from ANNKE Security’s website for $80. ValueWalk readers can use the coupon code “ANNKE-I41CJ” to buy it at a discounted price of $55. ANNKE also offers 60 days return policy and three years of warranty.
ANNKE I41CJ is a smart and wireless solution to keep your home secure, and monitor kids, elderly, or pets. There are tons of IP cameras out there at almost every price point. Most of the affordable IP cameras tend to compromise on quality in one way or the other. The ANNKE I41CJ HD IP camera has an affordable price tag, but it delivers HD images and comes with tons of cool features without compromising on quality.
Full disclosure – This is a sponsored post. Additionally, Annke was kind enough to send us the camera for free in return for an honest review of the product.