We’ve tested the Xiaomi XiaoFang 1080P smart IP camera in this review to share with you of the hands-on experience and all the information you may need for a confident purchase.
In this new smart home era, IP camera are widely use to enhance the home security. With the IP camera installed, you can be able to keep an eye on your home when you are not around. It is an indispensable smart security gadgets that it facilitates your daily life and grants you that evasive peace of mind when it comes to the safety of what matters the most.
As the demand for home security is growing rapidly, more and more IP cameras appear on the market, wired version, battery-powered version, upgraded feature sets, easier installation and use and more.
In this post, we take a detailed look at one of the latest offerings from Xiaomi – the Xiaomi Xiaofang 1080P smart IP camera. What is Xiaomi’s IP cam really like?
Read on to find out about our hands-on experience, buying advice, suggestions and the final verdict. We promise to keep it real!
After we unbox the Xiaomi smart IP camera, we can see the square-shaped IP camera, a USB power cable, a user manual and a USB charger (need to buy UK type adapter for Malaysia region).
Design & Appearance
Xiaomi Xiaofang is a small cube with a big round lens at its front. Looking like a miniature robotic cyclops, the camera’s design brings fun into functional.
In addition to the 110 degree FOV 1080P lens, you will find two IR lights and an ambient light sensor on the front of the camera. IR lights ensure that the camera will be able to produce clear footage even in the dark. And the ambient light sensor automatically detects the light of the surrounding area helping the camera lens use just the right amount of light.
The bottom of the camera is equipped with a strong magnetic mount which is also an adjustable bracket. With it, you can easily secure the camera onto any metal surface – you can use a metal plate to attach it to a wall or ceiling for maximum coverage.
Thanks to the adjustable bracket, you can easily regulate the camera’s height expanding its range of vision. The camera can also rotate to up to 180 degrees to the left and right.
On the bottom of the cube, there is also a SETUP button and a micro SD card slot. When pairing the camera with your mobile device, you will need to press on the SETUP button for 3 seconds until you hear ‘waiting for pairing’ voice alert in mandarin language. If you want the footage recorded, you will need to insert a micro SD card in the slot.
At the back of the camera, you will see a USB port, a power supply port and an indicator light. To power the cam, simply insert the USB power cable into the slot and connect it to the power source. What’s really convenient is that you can even use a power bank to supply juice to the camera, letting you take and use it anywhere. You will also see a USB port at the bottom, but currently it has no practical use and is meant for software updates performed by Xiaomi’sengineers.
Key features test
1080P Full HD Camera Snapshot and Recording
After I connected the Xiaomi Xiaofang to my phone through Mi Home app, I saw the dynamic monitor menu on the app’s interface. There are three resolution ratio levels – Low, High, and Super. The default resolution ratio setting is Low: the image I saw was not too clear. So I changed the resolution to Super. I thought the image quality would improve significantly – but the difference was not big at all. What I saw was definitely not 1080P quality – so I think the specs may be a bit exaggerated there.
8x Digital Zoom
The camera features an 8x digital zoom which would make a good function for when you need to see specific detail. Despite the camera’s unimpressive resolution ratio, I have to admit that the zoom feature is quite functional – at the very least, you can easily distinguish objects to get a bit more detail.
IR night vision
In addition, I’ve tested out the IR night vision feature by turned off all the lights in my room during night time. I watched my phone screen: the moment the room went dark, the screen turned dark as well and nothing could be seen.
However, a mere second later, the two IR lights on the camera lit up and it switched to night mode letting me see everything quite clearly on the screen – naturally, in black and white.
Two way audio
This feature enables two connected devices (XiaomiXiaofang and your smartphone) to act as an intercom. I pressed the Speak button on the Mi Home app on my phone and said something. My voice came through clearly from the IP cam.
I tapped the Speaker icon on the app to turn it on, turned up my phone’s volume to the max and moved the phone away from the camera. I spoke a few words next to the camera and heard them coming out of the phone speaker – loudly and clearly. The only downside is a 2-second delay in sound transmission – but it does not really affect the overall performance. The two-way audio feature performs quite well.
Some IP cameras can be quite a pain to install: lots of cables to connect and fixings to attach. And once installed, the camera can be difficult to move around, often requiring help from professionals. This is not the case with Xiaomi Xiaofang – it’s really easy to install. With just a handy mobile device, a USB power cable, a power source and a WiFi signal, the IP camera is ready to work when you are. It’s worth repeating that the camera requires a 5V 1A power supply – so you can use a power bank to power it up and use it anywhere even on the way. The cam’s mobility is really convenient.
Overall, the Xiaomi Xiaofang comes with a nice set of features and an affordable price tag. It’s easy to operate, is user-friendly and a worthy entry level security choice – which I would highly recommend for personal use. However, if you are looking for a comprehensive solution for some vital occasions / places such as the office, bank, or government building, Xiaomi Xiaofang’s security level cannot satisfy the high requirement. So I’d suggest you going with some more secured, professional, and multifunctional IP cameras.