Dropcam vs VueZone vs Amaryllo iCam HD Video Surveillance

Dropcam is seriously cool right now and with Google’s money behind them it seems like they have the market cornered. Although Dropcam is by far the most marketed video surveillance option, Gartner has named underdog Amaryllo one of their 2014 Connected Home Cool Vendor program winners and they’ve bagged a 2015 CES Innovation Award. Finally, VueZone hangs it hat on awards for engineering and outstanding design.

Dropcam = Cool Full HD

Dropcam launched in 2009. They currently make two cameras; the HD and the Pro. The Dropcam Pro is their premium option and is a #1 best seller thanks to stellar marketing, easy setup, and integration with other home automation products. We tested a Dropcam Pro in-home and agree that it was easy to setup with an impressive zoom. Dropcam tried to expand its potential as a home security device with the release of wireless movement sensors called Tabs which they scratched after joining forces with Google subsidiary Nest. They are now part of the Works with Nest program which focuses more on the connected home than home security.

VueZone = Wireless and Cordless

VueZone is known for their 100% cordless design. The cordless design allows homeowners to easily adjust the area they are monitoring. The VueZone can monitor indoors or outdoors with the addition of a weatherproof shell. The VueZone is also a little different from other video surveillance products as it requires a base unit to work. The VueZone base station plugs into your router and speaks to your camera. This allows the VueZone to remain 100% wire free.

Amaryllo iCam = 360 View and Free Cloud Storage

Amaryllo’s iCam is probably the craziest looking video surveillance system I’ve ever seen. It’s half camera, half rubik’s cube. The rubik’s cube style design is paired with a wide angle lens which gives owners the ability to pan the camera and see a live 360 degree view BUT what really sets iCam apart is integration with WebRTC. What this means for you is less lag time and a greater chance that the live streaming footage you see on your phone is real-time footage. There is one other feature that really sets the Amaryllo iCam apart = free cloud storage. The iCam products can upload scheduled recorded video to your Google Drive account which offers 15GBs of free cloud storage. We tested the iBabi HD 360 version and were blown away by the camera when controlled by an Android device. Post a firmware update later in the year we also had an improved experience controlling the camera with an iPhone. Finally, we visited Amaryllo at the 2015 International CES show and had a first hand look at their latest creation which is more robot than camera.

To make comparing the Dropcam, VueZone, and Amaryllo iCam easier, we’ve charted some of the most important features of a video surveillance system below.

Compare Dropcam, VueZone, and Amaryllo iCam Side-By-Side

ImageVueZone DayAmaryllo iCam
ModelDropcam ProVZSM2200iCam 360 HD
Purchase Price$199.99$208.99$199.90
Resolution1280×720640×4801280×720
Wireless
iOS Compatible
Android Compatible
Live Streaming in Color
Night Vision
Local Storage
32GB microSD Slot
Private or Public CloudPublicPublicPublic
Cloud Video Recording Basic$9.95 per month$49.99 per yearFree
Cameras Supported in Basic CVR Package151
Storage Included in Basic CVR Package7 Days250MB15GB
Premium Cloud Video Package Option
Built-in Microphone
Built-in Two-Way Talk
ProductDropcam ProVZSM2200iCam 360 HD
PowerPower Adapter or USBLithium CR123 PhotoPower Adapter
Zoom8x4x
Motion Detection
Text Alerts
Push Notifications
Battery Backup
Pivot, Tilt, Pan
Digitally Pan for $4.99 per month
Warranty1 Year Parts1 Year Limitedunknown
Wall Mountable
Additional Fee
Installation Skill LevelEasyEasyEasy
Encryption128-bitYes256-bit SSL
Where to Buy
Image
Model
Dropcam Pro
Purchase Price
$199.99
Resolution
1280×720
Wireless
iOS Compatible
Android Compatible
Live Streaming in Color
Night Vision
Local Storage
Private or Public Cloud
Public
Cloud Video Recording Basic
$9.95 per month
Cameras Supported in Basic CVR Package
1
Storage Included in Basic CVR Package
7 Days
Premium Cloud Video Package Option
Built-in Microphone
Built-in Two-Way Talk
Product
Dropcam Pro
Power
Power Adapter or USB
Zoom
8x
Motion Detection
Text Alerts
Push Notifications
Battery Backup
Pivot, Tilt, Pan
Warranty
1 Year Parts
Wall Mountable
Installation Skill Level
Easy
Encryption
128-bit
Where to Buy
Image VueZone Day
Model
VZSM2200
Purchase Price
$208.99
Resolution
640×480
Wireless
iOS Compatible
Android Compatible
Live Streaming in Color
Night Vision
Local Storage
Private or Public Cloud
Public
Cloud Video Recording Basic
$49.99 per year
Cameras Supported in Basic CVR Package
5
Storage Included in Basic CVR Package
250MB
Premium Cloud Video Package Option
Built-in Microphone
Built-in Two-Way Talk
Product
VZSM2200
Power
Lithium CR123 Photo
Zoom
4x
Motion Detection
Text Alerts
Push Notifications
Battery Backup
Pivot, Tilt, Pan
Digitally Pan for $4.99 per month
Warranty
1 Year Limited
Wall Mountable
Installation Skill Level
Easy
Encryption
Yes
Where to Buy
Image Amaryllo iCam
Model
iCam 360 HD
Purchase Price
$199.90
Resolution
1280×720
Wireless
iOS Compatible
Android Compatible
Live Streaming in Color
Night Vision
Local Storage
32GB microSD Slot
Private or Public Cloud
Public
Cloud Video Recording Basic
Free
Cameras Supported in Basic CVR Package
1
Storage Included in Basic CVR Package
15GB
Premium Cloud Video Package Option
Built-in Microphone
Built-in Two-Way Talk
Product
iCam 360 HD
Power
Power Adapter
Zoom
Motion Detection
Text Alerts
Push Notifications
Battery Backup
Pivot, Tilt, Pan
Warranty
unknown
Wall Mountable
Additional Fee
Installation Skill Level
Easy
Encryption
256-bit SSL
Where to Buy

Are these cameras good for home security?

VueZone explicitly states that their camera is not intended to be used as a video surveillance device because the cameras only record video when being viewed, or if scheduled in advance. They also state that 24/7 streaming of video will quickly run down the battery. Remember, these cameras are 100% wireless. Per VueZone,

A new battery should last 6 months with normal usage. Normal usage is defined as 5 minutes of viewing or recording a day. Depending on your specific usage battery life can vary widely. The VueZone personal video network is not intended to capture video 24/7 for later review. The cameras only operate when you are looking at them, or if you have a schedule video recording running. VueZone is meant to quickly check in on what’s most important to you when you are not there!

As a contender the iCam blows my mind. The concept is genius and a great value for owners but I am a bigger fan of their newer camera like the iSensor HD and the iCamPRO. I recommend one of these two newer versions for home security.

Dropcam does have some lag issues which renders it ineffective as a standalone security system. Dropcam is best when backed by SmartThings (available on Amazon) to manage motion detection. If the SmartThing’s multi sensor detects motion, you can log into Dropcam to check things out.