In the wide, varied world of smart home cameras, there’s always something that makes each stand out, and Wyze is no exception to the rule. But what exactly makes Wyze stand out?
While Wyze smart home cameras offer a lot of the same functions and capabilities as those of their competitors, they do so at some of the lowest prices in the smart home camera sector. Even though their cameras are some of the least expensive available, they still hold a reputation for being reliable cameras.
This balance of price and quality has garnered them a lot of attention from consumers who are thrilled to be able to get a good smart camera at such a low price. However, their low price point has also gained them critics who wonder if they’re sacrificing something significant in exchange for a lower price tag.
So why is Wyze so cheap in comparison with other smart home camera brands? Before we can answer that in full, let’s dive into a quick background about Wyze as a company.
What is Wyze?
Wyze is a smart home product brand started by former Amazon employees in 2017, and based in Kirkland, Washington. Their product line includes many different kinds of smart devices for the modern home, including a security system, smart lights, and motion sensors. But their most popular products by far, are their smart home security cameras.
One reason their cameras have become increasingly popular is because of their relatively low price in comparison with their competitors. Another facet that draws customers in is the fact that Wyze cameras also give you more options for storing your recordings.
Ring, for example, requires you have to a paid subscription if you want your motion-detected recordings to be saved. If you don’t have an active subscription, your cameras will continue to detect motion, but won’t save any of the videos, so you don’t know what happened unless you’ve seen it live.
Wyze, however, does things differently. While they do offer a paid subscription plan, this isn’t required to have recorded videos saved. You also have the option to record locally to an SD card, thereby not relying on the Cloud. Even if you don’t have an SD card installed in your camera, motion-detected events can still be saved.
Price Comparison: Wyze vs. Ring
In order to get a better picture of how price differs between smart camera brands, here’s a comparison between two of the most common smart home camera brands found in homes today; Wyze and Ring.
Both are very popular, and can easily be found at most electronic giants such as Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and Amazon.
Here’s a breakdown of what price to expect with different models of the Wyze and Ring cams. Each model is matched with its comparable camera of the competing brand.
|Ring Indoor Cam||$59.99 (Source: Ring.com)|
|Wyze Cam v3||$35.98 (Source: Wyze.com)|
|Ring Stick Up Cam (Wired and Wireless/Battery)||$99.99 (Source: Ring.com)|
|Wyze Cam Outdoor + Base Station||$59.98 (Source: Wyze.com)|
|Ring Video Doorbell (Wired)||$59.99 (Source: Ring.com)|
|Wyze Video Doorbell (Wired + Chime Included)||$95.00 (Source: Wyze.com)|
As evidenced by the price structure above, there is a notable difference – especially when it comes to the Indoor and Outdoor cams. The Wyze cameras are often half the price than the matching Ring camera.
However, once you get to the more complex devices such as video doorbells, the price difference shifts in the other direction. In fact, Ring has Wyze beat in this smart doorbell competition!
This is largely thanks to the ultra-cheap Ring Doorbell Wired that was released in early 2021. Before this, the cheapest wired Ring Doorbell was over $100 meaning that Wyze were more than competitive.
How are Wyze Products so “cheap”?
In the grand scheme of things, Wyze isn’t exactly “cheap”. Go to Amazon.com and do a search for “smart home cameras”. When you peruse the selection, of course, you’ll find that there are several brands that are comparable or more expensive than Wyze. However, you’ll also find that there are many that are even cheaper than Wyze. Take Blink for example – their Indoor Mini Camera is only about $35, or sometimes only $23/each when purchased in a multi-pack (Source: Amazon).
Some contend that Wyze’s cheaper price is because they’re made in China – but so is everything else we use! Yes, even the more expensive brands of smart cameras, such as Ring, are assembled in China. Wyze doesn’t use inferior materials, and their specs are comparable to that of most other smart cameras on the market, making this argument null and void.
Perhaps the most major factor that contributes to Wyze products being cheaper is actually thoughtfulness on the part of the manufacturers. Simply put, affordability was a key component as they were creating their line of smart home products. They recognized that the average consumer didn’t have hundreds of dollars to spend on smart cameras, just to be able to stay in touch with family and keep an eye on their home.
They actively sought to reduce costs by using less expensive, more efficient channels of communication and technology – all without sacrificing quality and ease of use.
In a nutshell, while they are cheaper than the more expensive brands, they’re not ‘dirt cheap’ and still present a lot of value. Naturally they sometimes have glitches (like the image being flipped upside down), but this is more of a one-off – the products are generally quite solid and bug free.
Still, being they don’t cost as much as higher-end products – how does Wyze make their money?
How does Wyze make money?
Because Wyze products are on the lower end in terms of price, this is a common question among consumers. However, if you really think about it, creating quality, affordable smart cameras is a smart move for Wyze. Why? Because while people are attracted to low prices, they’re also attracted to quality. Now put the two together and you’ve created a win-win situation.
The more affordable the cameras, the more people buy them. Then take into account that people often purchase more than one camera for their home and possibly even the Wyze brand microSD cards to go into the cameras. Ah but it doesn’t stop there!
Once Wyze cams have made their way into the home of the consumer, said consumer is going to want to get the most bang for their buck, right? They’ll want all of the best features and access to all of the settings and options that their smart camera has to offer. Enter, the Wyze Cam Plus plan.
Wyze Cam Plus
This is Wyze’s Cloud Plan, which they offer for about $20/camera per year or $2/month per camera.
Wyze Cam Plus enhances the functionality of their smart cameras. Without Cam Plus, the cameras only record 12 seconds of motion-detected or sound-detected events to either the SD card, or if no SD card is inserted, to the Cloud. But with Cam Plus, users can record clips longer than 12 seconds to the Cloud. In addition, they get more advanced AI motion detection settings. Instead of just general motion being detected, the camera will be able to differentiate between inanimate objects, and actual people.
So take for example one person who owns about 3 Wyze cameras in their home. If they opt for the Wyze Cam Plus plan, they now pay about $60/year, or $6/month (coming to $72 for a 12-month period) – that’s a pretty penny!
And when you have more than 3 cameras, Ring’s own protection plan (the Ring Protect cloud plan) starts to look good value. This is because the Ring Protect Plus plan – costing $10/month or $100/year – covers all cameras. So if you have 6 smart cameras, Wyze no longer seems “so cheap”:
- Wyze Cam Plus – $120/year to cover all six cameras
- Ring protect plan – $100/year to cover all six cameras
Do Wyze Cams fall short of their more expensive rivals?
One of the biggest concerns when it comes to a smart camera being cheaper than most, is that performance may be affected. Users may be afraid of getting poor video or sound quality, or a camera that suddenly stops working when it’s needed most.
Fortunately, Wyze doesn’t fall into this category. They hold their own very well when compared to their competitors. Of course, this also depends on what you’re looking for in a smart home camera. Some more expensive models from different manufacturers may offer extra options such as enhanced customization when it comes to motion-detection zones, such as in the case of Ring. Their app gives you the option to create multiple motion-detection zones.
When it comes to Wyze, however, though their price tag isn’t as high as some other smart cameras, their quality and specs are right up there with some of the biggest contenders in the industry.
Security on a Budget
Thanks to the thoughtfulness of the creators of Wyze, that lower price tag doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing anything. Wyze without a doubt holds their own. They aren’t made out of cheap materials, and many users comment that the picture and voice quality is actually quite on par with most of their competitors.
Add to it the fact that a paid Cam Plus Plan isn’t required to be able to great functionality out of your camera, and Wyze actually has a leg up on a lot of the competition.