TP-Link has launched a series of smart home devices. There are three models of intelligent security cameras, Kasa KC120 (S$99), KC100 (S$75), and KC200 (S$145), as well as three smart bulbs, Kasa Smart Light Bulb KL130 (S$65), KL120 (S$55, tunable white 2700-6500K), and KL110 (S$42, dimmable white 2700K), which all do not require a separate hub to operate. The Kasa KC200 is an AC-powered outdoor weatherproof camera, and the KC100 is an entry-level smart home camera with Full-HD 15fps video capture.
Here with me on review is the Kasa Cam KC120. It is a step up from the Kasa Spot (KC100) for a few reasons:
Dual Band Wi-Fi
Very few smart home cameras can support both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, but I believe the trend will move towards that. Meanwhile, KC120 supports the faster band which theoretically means it can stream live surveillance video at a higher bandwidth. Based on my experience over the past weeks, there is no significant difference in the performance, but if there are network congestion, having more Wi-Fi bands can help to spread the load.
2-day Cloud Storage
The camera comes with complimentary cloud storage for the past 48 hours, protected by AES-128 bit data encryption and SSL/TLS. Footage stored on cloud has the advantage that they will remain accessible even if the camera or local storage media is destroyed. Videos are recorded up to 30 fps.
The KC120 has a built-in stand that is made of metal alloy and a base with strong magnet. I could stick this on most iron-rich surfaces, saving me the need to drill a mount, which is also included in the package. If you have an existing white board or if you have a false ceiling with metal support beams, the KC120 could stick onto them.
Worry not if you thought the built-in stand limits the installation angle. The camera unit can actually be rotated so you can orientate the stand in any direction.
130-degree angle of view
Most webcams are around 110 to 120 degrees. KC120 gives you that little more angle for more view.
Customisable Activity Zones
Most webcams configure activity zones by tapping the predefined detection areas across the frame. The KC120 lets you plot the zones in any quadrangle shape.
Motion or Audio Sensor
You can trigger recording either by motion or by audio. You can also define how long the motion should last before it should trigger recording. For instance, trigger recording if someone lurks around an area longer than 5 seconds. This helpful on top of defining motion sensitivity.
All the TP-Link smart home devices are controlled from Kasa Smart app, where users configure the device settings. The UI is quite straightforward: entering the main page of Kasa Cam will load the live footage with previously recorded ones in thumbnails below. Users can scroll horizontally and tap the footage that they want to review. Older footage can also be reviewed in another tab in the main Kasa app. A convenient microphone button allows users to quickly transmit their voice to the camera speaker. At the bottom, user can access the schedule to set the periods that the camera should monitor.
One small nitpick: when watching the live footage, there is no option to mute unless you adjust the smartphone volume. Also, there is no option to capture still image.
I love products that are affordable and works reliably. The Kasa Cam KC120 retails at S$99. It is well-built, sleek, and functionable, especially with its base that sticks on magnetic surfaces without requiring additional drilling.
The rest of the TP-Link Smart Home products are also attractively priced, like the smart bulbs that do not need a hub to operate. If you have a TP-Link Deco M9 Plus Wi-Fi Mesh router, it can even replace Kasa Smart app to control all your TP-Link smart devices from a single app.
Local Pricing and Availability
The TP-Link Kasa Cam KC120 (S$99) and Kasa Cam Outdoor KC200 (S$145) together with the complete range of Kasa Smart Light Bulbs; the KL110 (S$42), KL120 (S$55) and KL130 (S$65) are now available in authorized TP-Link resellers. The Kasa Spot KC100 (S$75) will be available in June 2019. All products come with a 3-years product warranty. TP-Link is locally distributed by Ban Leong Technologies Pte Ltd.