If you’re only going to buy one home security product, then Yale wants you to make it this one: it’s a video camera, it’s an intercom, and it’s an alarm, hence the “all-in-one” part of its name. It’s like a small automated sentry, ready to keep an eye on your property for you.
Of course just because a gadget can do a lot doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all that good, but we’ve been impressed with what we’ve seen from this Yale camera during our testing. It may not be the very best product in its field, but it’s definitely one of the best value ones.
You can check the widgets on this page for the latest prices on the Yale All-in-One Outdoor Camera, but you should expect to pay not much more than £100 for it. Considering everything that the device is able to do, that’s an excellent price, relatively speaking.
Based on the time we’ve spent trying out the Yale All-in-One Outdoor Camera, it pipes through 1080p HD video to your phone reliably, gets a lot more hits than misses when it comes to motion detection, and is straightforward to operate for the most part.
Yale All-in-One Outdoor Camera review: design and setup
If you’re picking a home security camera to look after your property, then you probably don’t care too much what it looks like – which is good in this case, because the design of the Yale All-in-One Outdoor Camera is fairly basic. It’s a chunky, plastic, white and black cube, sat on a plastic white stand.
Setup isn’t the most straightforward we’ve ever seen – your first challenge is to work out which of the several Yale apps you actually need – but it’s nothing too onerous. We were up and running in the space of ten minutes or so, and once you’ve actually unpacked everything and found the right app, the connection is pretty fast.
You do need a broadband connection running on the older 2.4GHz Wi-Fi frequency, it’s worth noting: just about every router out there still supports 2.4GHz, though on some modern routers you might need to do a bit of fiddling to get the camera to recognise the 2.4GHz frequency over the faster 5GHz one (most routers now try and handle this switching automatically).
We do like the 3-metre cable that you get with the camera – the camera is IP65 rated, so you can stick it outside, as long as you can still plug it in somehow. We’re not so keen on the screw-in stand, which is harder work to get fixed up and correctly positioned than it really should be. Everything you need is in the box, including screws for mounting the camera on a wall, if you need them.
Yale All-in-One Outdoor Camera review: features and functionality
With the app setup all sorted, the camera is very responsive, whether you’re trying to tap into the live feed, turn on the light, activate the intercom, or whatever else. The 1080p video feed is crisp and clear, the 110-degree viewing angle means that plenty is in the frame, and it’s mostly a pleasure to use. Oh, and it works with Amazon Alexa too, if that’s something you think you’ll need.
Recording videos and photos works fine, as does the motion detection, as far as we were able to test it (you can’t adjust the sensitivity unfortunately). The 110-decibel alarm is loud enough to alert the neighbours – not bad for a device this small – and the night vision is powerful enough to see to the end of an average-sized back garden (Yale says it’s good enough for 10 metres).
You can set activity zones for the motion detection, which you don’t get with every home security camera, and recordings can be made to your phone or a microSD card (not supplied). What you don’t get at the moment is any kind of cloud archive support, but that’s fine with us.
The Yale View app isn’t the most intuitive or intelligent we’ve ever used, but it’s good enough to do everything you need it to do, and we can forgive a few rough edges. For the key functions, it works well, even if it does mean yet another app on your phone and yet another user account you’ve got to sign up for.
Yale All-in-One Outdoor Camera review: price and verdict
The Yale All-in-One Outdoor Camera can do an awful lot and won’t cost you much at all. It’s a comprehensive home security solution hiding in a small security camera, though of course it’s limited to protecting whatever’s in its field of view. You can do a lot worse than this, and it’ll fit in with a bigger Yale smart home system if needed.
Besides the number of functions packed into the camera, we’re impressed with the quality of the footage – the 1080p HD quality, the night vision, the 110-degree field of view. It’s also refreshing to find a camera that doesn’t need a separate ongoing subscription, though getting footage of the microSD card can be a bit of a pain.
It’s not perfect, with a few odd design choices and a few little annoyances in the app, but overall it’s hard to quibble with what the Yale All-in-One Outdoor Camera gives you for this price. Alternatives from the likes of Nest and Netgear might offer more polish and more features, but they’ll also cost you a lot more too.
The smart home security camera market seems to be getting more crowded with each passing week, and you’ve now got a host of different options to pick from. This camera-alarm-spotlight device from Yale definitely holds its own amongst the best of them, and is among the best value as well.