We all want to be safer, in every area. In addition to safety information technology, therefore, which has become very important especially in the last period, often we also talk about personal safety. This is indispensable nowadays and is more accessible than ever, thanks to the presence of several private companies that have invested in this sector over the years. We are not speaking, therefore, only of more well-known brands, but of companies that have gradually made their way into the consumer market, offering increasingly reliable and economical solutions. Xiaomi, for example, is precisely one of these brands, perhaps in general the most aggressive in terms of value for money. How did she behave, then, Xiaomi IMILAB C20, the new security room of the Chinese brand? Is it worth buying, for less than 30 euros? Let us try to answer these questions, within our own Full review.
Xiaomi IMILAB C20 review
Package made entirely of recycled cardboard, good Xiaomi! Here, therefore, the packaging is quite minimal, showing the stylized image of the product on the front, as well as some main technical specifications. Within this box, therefore, we find:
- Xiaomi IMILAB C20;
- USB / microUSB cable for powering the product;
- wall power supply, with European socket;
- set of screws and plugs for fixing the IP Camera to the wall;
- short instruction manual, also in Italian.
Design & Materials
Like other Xiaomi branded devices, also in this case we find the prevalence of the white color. This accessory, therefore, shows a design clean and rather sinuous lines, while not standing out in terms of originality. Despite this, the plastic which is coated seems to be quite resistant, but it is still a product intended for the home environment. This is why this device does not have any type of certification against water and dust. In terms of dimensions, then, this IP Camera measures 112 x 76 x 76 mm, With a weight of 211 grams. It is therefore not excessively heavy or bulky, as it can be placed almost anywhere. Thanks to the screws and the base present in the package, in fact, this security camera can also be fixed to the wall or ceiling. In case it has to remain on a piece of furniture, or a bedside table, no problem: the base is characterized by the presence of resistant rubber pads that offer a good grip.
Looking more closely at the product, we notice the presence of some details. I want to start, therefore, right from the front where we find a Status LED, photographic sensor main, the microphone and, further down, the key RESET and admission microSD. These last two components are revealed only when the whole central porthole is pushed upwards. There is also no shortage of ben 4 LED for the infrared vision, which the company has decided to place around the goal. Going to analyze the back, however, we have the speaker and the charging port microUSB. As mentioned, then, below we have some rubber pads, some information and product codes and the attachment to fix the IP Camera to the wall.
In case you are unfamiliar with the wall fixing of this product, you may find the instruction booklet useful. The latter, in fact, also presents the Italian language and everything seems to be translated in the right way.
Hardware & Connectivity
Xiaomi has always focused on the quality of its devices, not only from an aesthetic point of view. This is why this IMILAB C20 is no exception, showing pretty good signal reception. Obviously, however, we do not recommend placing the IP Camera too far from the modem / router, as some connection problems could arise. To tell the truth, in fact, even during the configuration phase the product was reluctant to connect to Wi-Fi home. After several attempts, however, everything went well. Just download the official smartphone application and follow the procedure contained within it. After a few moments, therefore, it is immediately operational. Pay attention to one detail, however, because this product is only compatible with 2.4GHz networks.
During the test days the product never showed indecision, remaining constantly connected to the smartphone.
Technical Data Sheet - Xiaomi IMILAB C20
- Dimensions: 112 × 76 × 76mm;
- Weight: 211 grams;
- Image Sensor: Image Sensor f / 2.1, 1080p (1.920 x 1.080 pixels);
- Video format: H.265;
- FOV: 105 °;
- Video Resolution: 1.080 x 1.920 pixels, 30fps;
- Night Vision: 4 x infrared LEDs;
- Memory: microSD up to 64GB.
When it comes to the ecosystem, Xiaomi is definitely second to none. However, many of the companies that work under its wing are not often included within a single application. To be clear, I would have expected this IP Camera to be able to configure it with Xiaomi Home, but it is not possible to do so. You will therefore necessarily have to go to the Play Store and download Imilab Home, another app dedicated to the devices of this brand.
I must say that Imilab Home is rather minimal, therefore easy to use. From the main screen, in fact, we have a clear view of what has already been configured. With the "+" key, at the top right, you can add new products to the list, while at the bottom you can see some items such as Imilab Cloud, Events e My. As it is easy to guess, Imilab Cloud allows you to subscribe to the brand's Cloud system, to save all the various files recorded by the IP Camera. On Events, on the other hand, there are the notification messages, relating to all the times in which the security camera detects some human presence in the surroundings. All of these menus, however, are general and concern the app in general. Therefore, in the event that you have more than one security camera connected to this app, you would see the notifications and videos related to all these cameras.
By clicking on your own camera you can access the control of the same. After a very short loading, therefore, it is possible to view live what the accessory is taking. Let's see, however, how at the bottom there is a controller which allows us to shift the view, turning the lens 360 °. Not only that, however, because the main lens also moves vertically, making it perhaps one of the most dynamic devices in this respect. The system, however, is not too responsive but it works. Further up, in the toolbar, we find image quality, audio on / off, snapshot, video recording and full-screen view.
As you have already noticed from the screenshots, below we have the possibility to view the notifications related to this room, on Events, as well as accessing the Cloud, viewing past videos on Replay and browse files on Album. Besides all these functions, with the key symbolizing a telephone it is possible to speak through the camera, communicating with the person who is in the room at that moment. In case you still want to put your hand to a few more options, you will have to click on the three dots present at the top right, thus modifying the reception of notifications, the automatic rotation of the image when the camera is fixed to the wall, the detection of the subjects humans and much more.
Operation & Video Quality
The quality is not bad video shown by this camera, which is capable of recording in 1080p to 30fps. Taking a look at the videos, therefore, we find colors slightly too saturated but a good enough yield. The images are not very detailed but fortunately the application allows you to zoom in more markedly to better identify faces. I would have expected a better fit of the brightness, especially in situations of strong backlight. There is a slight adaptation, but it really is poco marked. Despite this, it is still possible to recognize the subject shot in a close-up manner. Also good is the Night Mode, which is always activated in a rather reactive way when the light goes down and which allows you to have a wide view over the whole room. When you place yourself in front of the lens, however, the camera tends to overexpose the image a bit, especially at close range. Lagging further behind, however, the quality is decent.
This camera also allows you to detect human presence and to follow its path. If activated, in fact, this function moves the lens precisely in the direction of the offending subject, trying to frame it in the best possible way. It must be said, however, that this function is activated only when the movement of the individual is quite marked, forcefully entering the objective of the IP Camera. However, we are not at a level of precision that justifies its use, so unless you absolutely need it, I recommend not activating this feature.
We will be able to decide how often to receive one notifies update, or what type of detection to activate. Thanks to this room, in fact, we will be able to be updated in the event that there are strange noises inside the room in which it is located and, I add, rather loud. Just raise your voice slightly to activate the sensors of this IMILAB C20, which promptly sends an alarm message to the smartphone. In any case, there is no way to manage the sensitivity level of the detection, as happens on other competing products.
Price & Conclusions
Xiaomi IMILAB C20 is currently on AliExpress at about the price 22 €. What would you have expected for this figure?
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There are currently many competing products on the market, in the same price range, which perform more or less the same tasks as this camcorder. It is therefore not easy to say that this accessory is actually the best ever. Even in this case, in fact, it is a question of points of view and needs. Many are willing to pay more for their security, others simply want to use a functional product that is reliable, while not showing excellent video quality. Let's say, therefore, that starting from a device of this type could be very useful, perhaps carrying out an upgrade in the future to move to a more complicated system. The fact remains, in any case, that this product is simple to use, easy to configure and with few options, making it very convenient for all newbies.
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