Cleverloop is marketed as a security system, but it is technically a home security camera solution. While Cleverloop shares many characteristics with its competitors, there are things that make it unique. Notably the fact that it is one of the few plug and play camera solutions offering the option to add an outdoor camera. On top of that, the system is “clever” and learns and adapts over time.
What is Cleverloop?
Cleverloop is a self-monitored camera system that is easy to set up and easy to use. The cameras are controlled and monitored using the included mobile app for iOS or Android devices. The downside to this setup is it lacks other home security sensors and it lacks the ability to connect to other smart home devices. The other downside is that the cameras require a base station or a hub in order to work. The upside is that the system is usable out of the box without a contract and without monthly fees. All of the features including “cleverness” and storage are included for free. But is this enough to set this system apart from solutions that already exist?
What constitutes as an event is something that sets Cleverloop apart from other security camera solutions. Instead of detecting an event and sending an alert, the system does a little thinking and decision making.
Cleverloop thinks using “clever learning”. Though the system is semi-smart out of the box, you must be willing to teach it to help it reach its full potential. In theory, it should identify a person walking around your house while ignoring your cat. If it makes an error, you will provide feedback within the app. Feedback makes the system smarter. While this is a great promise, I’ve seen companies both succeed and fail in the learning category. Companies like Camio have nailed it. The problem is Camio started off as free software and quickly realized that the amount of compute power needed to learn and learn well would require more funding which turned into a monthly fee. Companies like Canary have not nailed “learning”. In my experience, training Canary hasn’t made it any smarter. They recently rolled out a new feature allowing users to manually choose motion alert sensitivity – essentially overriding learning features. Will Cleverloop nail learning and nail it for free? TBD.
Another feature that sets Cleverloop apart is geo-fencing for automated arm and disarm action. While it isn’t the only camera that can do this, there are surprisingly few that can, and it is an extremely useful feature. First of all, it’s hard to forget to arm and disarm when the process is automated. Second, this feature enhances your personal privacy. Using geo-fence technology, the system looks for connected smartphones. When all smartphones are gone, it arms. When one returns, it disarms. When you are home, it doesn’t record. Also, you can schedule inactive times where the system won’t record at all.
HYBRID LOCAL AND CLOUD
A final feature that sets Cleverloop apart from other solutions is the way video is sorted and stored. With Cleverloop, videos are analyzed in your home first. Less important events never leave your house (stored locally), while more important events are sent to the cloud where they are securely stored for free.
Locally, footage will go to your SD card. The base station comes with an 8GB card. Once full, the system will automatically erase older footage so that recording never stops. If you feel like 8gb is not enough, you can swap it out for a larger card.
Cloud storage is provided for free. The camera system includes 7 days of saved clips, though you can pay for more if needed.
Cleverloop includes two bonus methods of video storage. If you see something you like, you can download and share an unlimited amount of video clips. If you want to record continuously, you will need to add an external hard drive. The system supports external USB storage devices.
PACKAGES AND BASE STATIONS
There are three primary Cleverloop Security packages. Each package includes a base station which operates as the brains, controlling all cameras and functions. The base station has an 8GB SD card for local storage and can support up to 3 cameras. If you need more than 3 cameras, you will need more base stations. You can control multiple base stations using one app and you can control an unlimited amount of base stations.
The three packages include the one camera, two camera, and three camera system. You can mix and match indoor and outdoor cameras as needed within each package. The one camera package is $279, the two camera package is $349, and the three camera package is $399 on Amazon. Buying the one camera package is fairly pricey, and would put Cleverloop in the same ballpark as Nest Cam, the Piper NV, and would make it more expensive than a one Arlo package. However, the more cameras you buy, the more attractive Cleverloop’s pricing becomes. To compare, a three camera kit by Arlo is $449.
If you start with a one or two camera package and want to grow your system, you can add additional indoor or outdoor cameras for $70 each.
The cameras are equipped to protect. They can be controlled using the mobile app and include the ability to live stream or watch recorded video.
The indoor camera records in 720p with a 115° FOV. This is a decent angle but not as good as some competitors. Also, the camera is completely stagnate and cannot digitally or mechanically pan, tilt, or zoom. It supports two-way audio, night vision, and can work wirelessly or via Ethernet. The outdoor camera also records in 720p, but offers improved night vision allowing the camera to see up to 65 feet. However, it has a smaller 60° field of view.
While I have not personally tested the cameras, others have. In general, users seem to enjoy the user interface, but say that the cameras have a “cheap feel”. In this Reddit post, a Cleverloop representative responded to this feedback by admitting they chose to focus on their core products – the base and the app – while outsourcing the camera’s to a third party. In his words, “The cameras are in good quality, but the design and material is kinda cheap.”
A camera that costs almost $300 should play with other smart home devices and should record in FHD. I also wish the base station was equipped with battery backup, but it’s not. Even missing these features, I would say this appears to be a solid camera system. While it’s pricey for those that want just one camera, it is affordable for those that want a multi-camera setup especially considering the long term savings incurred thanks to free cloud and local storage options.
You can purchase the three camera setup on Amazon or the smaller packages direct from the Cleverloop store. CleverLoop ships and works in multiple countries including the US, Canada, Argentina, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, and more.