Logitech’s Logi Circle Is Different From Other Security Cameras

I’m still waiting for the perfect home security camera but technology is getting better. The question is, will homeowners give up before companies get it right? Just last month I invested in three home security cameras to try to find a clear winner and what I found is that there are leaders but even the leaders have problems. And as much as I’m tempted to invest in another camera, I’m not sure that I’m ready to take the leap on Logitech’s Logi Circle.

About Logi Circle

Logitech is not new to the home security camera game. I wrote about their Alert Digital system in 2013 and we’ve covered their Harmony smart home system a couple of times. Alert Digital was a great product but it was expensive, required a yearly fee, and complicated. It didn’t catch on.

Taking a page from startups, Logitech has created a camera that offers simplicity. Many technology reviewers are drawing parallels between the Circle and Nest but that’s not a fair comparison. Logi Circle is different.

In my opinion Logitech is attacking companies like Butterfleye, Homeboy, Blink, and Arlo as Circle can be used with a power source or without. Yup. It’s got a battery. The catch with a battery powered security camera is that somethings got to give. Normally its resolution or live streaming but in the case of Circle they’ve sacrificed battery life.

Circle is packed with features. It offers night vision, live streaming, recording in 720p, two-way audio, and an activity light. The catch is that it needs to be recharged every 3-12 hours depending upon use. Compare this to Homeboy which can last up to 3 months on a single charge and other battery powered cameras like Blink which promises a 1 year battery life and you can understand why Circle’s battery seems more novelty less functionality. This is similar to the FLIR FX. Both cameras should really call their battery feature “battery backup” but they’ve both decided to tout it as portability. And stretching the marketing power of a battery isn’t all they have in common. These two cameras are decidedly similar.

 FLIR FXCircle
Purchase Price$199.00$199.99
Includes1 Indoor Camera1 Indoor Camera
Indoor/OutdoorWith CasingIndoor Only
Internal Storage OptionMicroSDNo but you can download video to your phone.
Cloud Storage48 Hours Free24 Hours Free
Option to Pay For More Storage
Not At This Time
Activity/Smart Zones
iOS and Android App
Web Interface
Resolution1080p720p
Zoom
Night Vision
Field of View160 Degrees135 Degrees
Two-Way Audio
Battery Life4 Hours3 Hours
Motion Detection
Kind of
Humidity & Temperature Alerts
Magnet
Where to Buy
FLIR FX
Purchase Price
$199.00
Includes
1 Indoor Camera
Indoor/Outdoor
With Casing
Internal Storage Option
MicroSD
Cloud Storage
48 Hours Free
Option to Pay For More Storage
Activity/Smart Zones
iOS and Android App
Web Interface
Resolution
1080p
Zoom
Night Vision
Field of View
160 Degrees
Two-Way Audio
Battery Life
4 Hours
Motion Detection
Humidity & Temperature Alerts
Magnet
Where to Buy
Circle
Purchase Price
$199.99
Includes
1 Indoor Camera
Indoor/Outdoor
Indoor Only
Internal Storage Option
No but you can download video to your phone.
Cloud Storage
24 Hours Free
Option to Pay For More Storage
Not At This Time
Activity/Smart Zones
iOS and Android App
Web Interface
Resolution
720p
Zoom
Night Vision
Field of View
135 Degrees
Two-Way Audio
Battery Life
3 Hours
Motion Detection
Kind of
Humidity & Temperature Alerts
Magnet
Where to Buy

Circle Timelapse and Free Storage

As you can see above, its Circle’s software that makes it shine. Both FLIR and Circle offer free features that other companies charge for. For one, Circle includes a timelapse feature that condenses an entire day’s footage down to a few moments. Two, it includes learning software that overtime should learn to reduce false alerts. Three, the app will help you review footage which is stored thanks to free cloud storage. And though the camera does not include internal storage, you can download clips to your phone as needed.

6 Reasons Why I’m Not Buying Logi Circle

I buy technology like some women buy shoes. And yet, I don’t want to buy Circle. Why?

1. The novelty of a magnet is cool but lots of cameras offer magnets. In fact, I own a $36 camera that includes a magnetic base and my Nest Cam has a magnetic base too. As the battery will only last 3 hours in full strength mode I don’t see how a battery will help me.

2. The novelty of battery is cool but I’m waiting on Butterfleye and a Blink which are true battery powered cameras.

3. The same problems that plague other security cameras also plague Circle. Mashable’s Raymond Wong posted his review of Circle a few days ago. He notes that the camera missed motion events multiple times. This is the biggest deal killer for me. I don’t need another camera that can’t do its job.

4. It’s not a security camera. Logitech is calling Circle a lifestyle camera. In fact, motion detection isn’t really motion detection. The camera uses a feature that looks for significant motion events. Basically it might ignore a sleeping pet but if your pet gets up to play, it will wake up and send you an alert. Though this isn’t that much different from a camera made for home security, I don’t see the point in investing in a camera that doesn’t plan to keep my home safer.

5. I’ve seen the online test shots shared by others. The camera records in 720p which shouldn’t be that distinguishable from 1080p cameras BUT resolution isn’t all that matters in a home security camera. Whatever that magic ingredient is, Circle appears to be missing it. It doesn’t read nearly as clear as Nest or Canary but the purchase price is the same as these high-end cameras.

6. It doesn’t play with others. So it doesn’t protect my home or connect to my smart home. What’s the point? I don’t find myself so interesting that I need to record myself throughout the day. I wish I was reality TV worthy but I’m not. So there’s that.

What do you think? Would you buy Circle? In the meantime checkout my list of the best home security cameras.