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. So what 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.
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 affordable options for storing your recordings – though this has experienced changes recently.
If you have or know someone that has Ring devices, you know that they require you to have 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.
Now, Wyze used to do things differently and saved 12-second Motion Detected events, for free and without a subscription. Now, a Wyze Cloud subscription is required in order to have any videos saved to the Cloud.
However, Wyze has an advantage over the competition. While a Cloud plan is now required, it’s still cost-effective. In fact, their most basic plan, Cam Plus Lite, is a name-your-price plan that’s available for as low as $0. That’s right, you can get 12-second event recordings saved to the Cloud for FREE – a clear advantage in the smart camera sector.
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 – but only if you spring for Cam Plus Lite or Cam Plus.
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||$29.99 (Source: Wyze.com)|
|Ring Stick Up Cam (Wired and Wireless/Battery)||$99.99 (Source: Ring.com)|
|Wyze Cam Outdoor + Base Station||$69.99 (Source: Wyze.com)|
|Ring Video Doorbell 3 (Wireless + Chime)||$224.99 (Source: Ring.com)|
|Wyze Video Doorbell Pro (Wireless + Chime Included)||$79.99 (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 of the matching Ring camera.
This is especially evidenced when it comes to the Video Doorbells. In recent times especially, the prices of Ring Doorbells have gone up, especially when it comes to bundling with the Chime. If nothing else, this definitely leads people to give Wyze a second look.
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 only $28/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 practically 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 Cloud subscription plans. Once only offering Cam Plus, they’ve now expanded and upgraded their Cloud plans.
Wyze Cam Cloud Plans
Wyze has recently upgraded and expanded their plans. Some have changed, as well as gone up in price.
Features that were previously free and included with every Wyze camera, are now available only with one of their newest plans, Cam Plus Lite. You’ll need Cam Plus Lite if you want benefits such as 12-second video recordings, the ability to differentiate between general motion and person detection, and recordings saved to the cloud for up to 14 days. The benefit of Cam Plus Lite is that you can name your price – even if that’s $0! But of course, Wyze is hoping you’ll pay something.
The next tier up is Cam Plus.
This is Wyze’s original Cloud Plan, which they offer for about $2/month per camera, or $15/year per camera.
Wyze Cam Plus takes the functionality of smart cameras up another notch. 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 people, packages, vehicles, and coming soon – facial recognition!
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 $45/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 Plus cloud plan for example) starts to look like a 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
For higher price tags, Wyze also offers Cam Plus Pro and Home Monitoring – though Home Monitoring is more of an add-on plan where you’ll need Cam Plus on your devices for all of the features to work.
Cam Plus Pro comes in at $4/month per camera, or $40/year per camera. Home Monitoring is $10/month per account, or $100/year per account, with a maximum of 5 cameras.
So even though their cameras aren’t expensive, they make sure to recoup expenses with their Cloud plans.
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 you have the option to pay absolutely nothing for a Cloud subscription plan. This gives you the ability to get great functionality out of your camera, and gives Wyze a leg up on a lot of the competition.