Home break-ins are on the rise globally and CCTV is now kind of an essential equipment to be installed at home to protect the safety of your love ones. However, it’s not cheap to get someone to install a complete CCTV camera system at home. Not sure about other countries, at least in Malaysia, it will cost you in the range of RM1,500 to RM15,000, depending on the number of cameras and the camera’s quality which you plan to install. I’m not paying that. It’s just too expensive. Not forgetting also, there will be hacking here and there too. Imagine all the dusts and hacking debris that you need to clean after the installation.
Having said that, here’s one cheap CCTV with reasonable quality and requires no hacking here and there in your house. I personally used it for my house and my parents’ house. So, here it is, Xiaoyi Smart Camera (see the picture below. It looks pretty neat, right?).
To set up XiaoYi camera is pretty easy. You just need to download the “Yi Smart App”, plug in the power cable and pair it to your phone. and that’s it. Just follow the instructions on the user manual and you’ll get it up and running in minutes.
Few things to note though about XiaoYi camera. There are always good and bad about everything, right?
- The Yi Smart App is only available on iOS and Android. If you are using a Windows phone, say goodbye to this camera or get yourself a new iPhone or Android phone. Haha…
- If you are using Android phone, the app is not available on Google Play Store. You need to download the apk file and install it yourself. Here is the link to download the apk. Do note that before you can install the app, you may need to change the security settings as shown below on your phone.
- The whole user manual is written in Chinese. If you can’t read Chinese, say bye-bye to this camera also or get someone who can read and translate it to you =)
- The power charger that comes with XiaoYi camera uses China Plug standard, but it’s lucky that the charger supports 100 to 240V. You just need to buy an adapter to change the plug standard to your own country’s plug standard
- If you would like to stick XiaoYi camera on the wall, you need to purchase good quality double sided tape (3M double sided tape recommended)
- XiaoYi camera doesn’t come with micro SD card. You need to purchase it to store the recording. (32GB class 10 micro SD card recommended so that you can keep a month of recording before it gets overwritten)
- You can’t upgrade the firmware of the camera to the latest one if you do not have a micro SD card installed on XiaoYi camera.
- This is kind of obvious, but it’s good to mention it here. You need to have Wifi connection at home and Wifi must be enabled all the time, 24/7.
- XiaoYi camera is not an outdoor camera. It’s meant for indoor use. I stay at an apartment, so I have the camera facing the entrance door. In fact, it is best used for apartment/condos/flats.
- Touch wood. If there’s a burglar break-in and the burglar took the whole camera away, you will lose the video recording about the break-in as the micro SD card is mounted on the XiaoYi camera itself. There are 2 solutions to this, one is to install XiaoYi camera high up, near to the ceiling where the burglar will have a hard time reaching it. The app will alert you whenever this is a movement and you’ll have time to capture a photo of the burglar before he/she can do anything on XiaoYi camera (this is what I did, hehe…). The other way is to transfer the video recording periodically to a local storage every single day (Drop me a comment below and I’ll share to you how to do that).
By now, you might be thinking, what the heck, is it worth to purchase this cheap CCTV? To me, at least it is. I get to set up the CCTV myself at an affordable price and I’m pretty sure that there’s no hanky-panky done on the CCTV by the installers who may be tapping and watching my house activities.
Ok, that’s all for now. If you are interested, you may check out Xiao Yi camera at Lazada (delivery within Malaysia) or AliExpress (international delivery). Typically, the price hovers around RM110- 140/camera or US$30-$35/camera depending on whether there’s a promotion on-going.