With the holiday season around the corner, keeping an eye on your front porch or property at large becomes even more valuable to secure all those packages on their way. Delivering peace of mind in more ways than one, the new eufy SoloCam S40 arrives with a solar-powered design so there’s never a worry about the battery dying and missing out on coverage. But is it a worthy addition to your smart surveillance kit? That’s what our latest Tested with 9to5Toys seems to answer.
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Hands-on with the eufy SoloCam S40
As one of the more recent additions to the Anker eufy smart home security stable, its new SoloCam S40 debuts with the unique feature of a built-in solar panel. Pairing with the built-in battery, this allows the camera to surveil your property indefinitely without needing to go and recharge things yourself.
Its weather-resistant package features a 600-lumen spotlight which pairs with its built-in motion detection features. To go alongside its 2K recording, you’re also looking at color night vision and a wireless design that connects right to your Wi-Fi router. Not to mention local storage and on-device AI for notifications and the like.
In the box, you get the camera itself alongside an outdoor mount and all of the necessary chargers. The entire package will run you $199.99, making it a fairly steep price tag for a standalone camera. But is the peace of mind offered by a solar-powered design worth it? Dive into our thoughts down below.
Here’s a closer look at the spec sheet:
- Sunlight each day is enough to continuously power SoloCam S40, so you never have to worry about changing the battery. When the sun sets, the built-in battery keeps the juice flowing.
- The ultra-bright 600-lumen spotlight switches on as soon as motion is detected, shining a light on any unwanted guests, while the color night vision picks out details in the darkness up to 8 meters away.
- Capture every event that occurs around your home in ultra-clear 2K resolution.
- SoloCam is a one-time purchase. There are no monthly fees or hidden costs. Everything is done on-device for complete security and transparency.
I’ve previously written about how most smart security cameras I’ve tried out haven’t really stuck, which has largely remained true outside of my UniFi Protect system. That being said, using the eufy Solar SoloCam S40 over the past few weeks has certainly shown me what I’ve been missing from more traditional smart home cameras.
What caught, and then proceeded to keep my attention was the solar-powered design. Not only unique to the eufy lineup, the Solar SoloCam S40 is one of the few models on the market that can draw power from the sun out of the box, at least without plugging in an external panel.
Being able to set up a camera and then almost forget that it is there in the first place has been a big perk of the wire-free design, though it is made even better by not having to worry about charging a battery in the first place. I’ve had no problems with keeping the eufy Solar SoloCam S40 where it resides on my patio, and the experience has made other strictly battery-powered offerings feel like half-measures by comparison.
I’ve also had zero issues with connectivity (contrary to the Amazon reviews). One of the perks of rocking an almost entirely wired setup is never needing to worry about one of the cameras losing its Wi-Fi connection. Surprisingly, things have worked pretty flawlessly over the past few weeks, and the video feed has quickly been ready to access when pulling up the app. Though I will say with it being an outdoor camera, having a strong 2.4GHz connection where you’re looking to place it is probably a good idea to achieve consistent results.
The last thing that really stood out for me was the motion alerts. There’s a pretty small delay between when activity is detected and when the notification pops up on my phone, and the alerts have consistently been for actual package deliveries or passersbys. So not too many false alarms! This is even more impressive considering everything is processed locally on the camera. I haven’t really had a chance to hone in the settings, though you can tweak what sets off an alert and several other factors.
This leads to the area that eufy could improve the most on its Solar SoloCam S40. Alexa and Google integration are pretty nice, don’t get me wrong, but being a HomeKit household has me wishing there was Siri support, too. It would be fantastic to be able to take advantage of the Home app, or even be able to tie things in with the rest of my preferred ecosystem. The omission of that feature is really the only thing that stands in the way of a glowing recommendation, so if you mainly use one of the other two voice assistants, then a lack of HomeKit isn’t even something worth considering.
Otherwise, the added assurance of not having to worry about recharging the battery is definitely enough to justify the price tag. It’s a notable smart home security upgrade, even if it has a steep price, and I can’t really see myself ditching the solar-powered design for a strictly battery-powered offering anytime soon.
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