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    Reviewed: TP-Link Tapo C200 smart camera

    TechnologyCamerasReviewed: TP-Link Tapo C200 smart camera

    Smart cameras have started gaining traction in recent years. Brands such as Realme, Xiaomi, and many others have started including smart cameras in their smart home portfolios. Among the many who have integrated smart cameras in their lineup is TP-Link with their Tapo series. The Tapo C200 is their version of a budget smart camera and it just costs PHP 1,200. 

    Design: 4/5

    In terms of design, the TP-Link Tapo C200 looks-like your typical security camera but in a smaller form factor.

    Of course, the lens is the first thing you’ll see when you take it out of the box. The MicroSD slot and the reset button. Also included in the box are the power brick and mounting tools, which is great for those who want to position this in an inconspicuous location.

    Hardware: 4/5

    The TP-Link Tapo C200 has a 1/2.9-inch camera sensor that captures video at Full HD resolution. The camera has infrared to enable night vision but only up to 9 meters. In terms of audio, it has a built-in mic and a single speaker. As for the connection, it has Wi-Fi at a single band (802.11 b/g/n).

    User Experience: 4.5/5

    If there is one thing that I liked the most about the C200, it was its painless setup. You just need your smartphone and the Tapo app, and you’re good to go. You’ll need to create a TP-Link Account first since the camera mostly saves videos on the cloud.

    So why would you want a smart camera? For us, it was a cheaper alternative than setting up a full-fledged security system. But you can also use it as a monitor for your loved ones (babies, elderly, and even pets).

    I was amazed at the quality the C200 offers for its price. Full HD resolution is great in seeing the subject clearer. While it is just 15fps, it was ok especially since you’re not watching it 24/7.

    Everything is accessible within the app, even when you have multiple cameras setup around your place. You can set up notifications within the app including how often it triggers. The default setup has the motion trigger sending you notifications every time. 

    You can only control the C200 on a single account, but the host can share the camera with other users, provided they have their own TP-Link accounts. Unfortunately, the secondary users can’t control the camera and only see the stream as is.

    One of the bad things I found while using the camera was its short IR focus. Ours was set overviewing our garage, and if I panned the camera to an area with spider webs, the camera would focus on that and darken the background.

    Another thing I found was that the speaker was on the quiet side. But since we were using this as a security cam, this was not a major issue. However, if you plan to use this as a camera to connect with someone (elderly monitor, baby monitor), you might have some issues.

    Value: 4/5

    Coming in at less than PHP 1,200 the TP-Link Tapo C200 is a great value for those who want to secure their home or get a camera where they can see their loved ones despite circumstances.

    Specifications:

    • Camera Sensor: 1 / 2.9-inch
    • Resolution: 1080p Full HD
    • Lens: F/NO: 2.4; Focal Length 4mm
    • View Range: 360-degree (horizontal); 114-degree (vertical)
    • Night Vision: Yes, 850nm IR LED up to 9 meters
    • Audio: Built-in Mic and Speaker
    • Storage: MicroSD (up to 128 GB)
    • Video Compression: H.264
    • Frame Rate: 15 fps
    • Video Streaming resolution: 1080p
    • Connection: Wi-Fi

    What’s Hot:

    • Easy setup
    • Pairable to Assistants (Alexa and Google Assistant)
    • Full HD
    • Included mounting mechanism

    What’s Not:

    • Pan is not 360-degrees
    • Speaker is not that loud

    Bottomline:

    This budget Wi-Fi camera packs a ton of features in a small body.

    Reviewed by Gabriel Pe
    Also published in Gadgets Magazine February 2021 Issue

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