Imou Ranger IQ

Imou is a Chinese company, though not that easy to find on their English site (the actual company is Hangzhou Huacheng Network Technology Co.,Ltd), though the Store site refers to Primetech Ltd who are based in Rickmansworth just north of London.

The Ranger IQ is a golf ball type camera (about 8cm across) with a black base and black surround. The camera can swivel almost 360 (actually 355) degrees around and is can tilt 0-90 degrees the camera has a reasonable wide angle lens.

Setup is done using the Imou Life app (available on both iOS and Android). The camera uses a USB power supply (both cable and PSU supplied) and supports both wired Ethernet (100Mb/s) and WiFi (b/g/n so 2.4GHz) and comes with a mounting plate, screws and nicely a template allowing accurate placement for drilling holes.

The camera supports up to HD (1920x1080 at 25/30 fps) using H.264 and H.265 video compression and 16x digital zoom. There's also a microphone and speaker and a microSD card slot (supporting up to 256GB cards).

Opening the app presents a login/sign-up screen (and asks the normal security pop ups for notifications, using location and camera later). Sign-up with an email/password and it will send a verification code to the email (with a 15 minute validly). Once verified the main screens presented and it will be mainly empty. Click the + at the top right corner to add a device, then the camera will be used and scan the QR code on the camera.

It can be a bit fiddly to connect, but the password is on the sticker (which isn't obvious).

Once the device is added then it can be configured to send notifications when it detects someone (and follow them), when a noise happens over a certain threshold. Once triggered a short clip will be sent to the phone and a notification appear. If triggered the Ranger IQ can also be set to sound a siren or prerecorded announcement and the user can talk through the app. Setting triggering to humans is very accurate and in that mode pets will be ignored.

The app supports geofencing so it will automatically 'disarm' when in the defined zone so it doesn't trigger when, you get home. It's also important to set the sensitivity of the motion detection as if too sensitive it seems to trigger for events that don't seem to be there. It also has the ability to ignore a region in the camera's view so if there's a clock or something that move, it won't trigger. There's also a privacy mode whereby a plastic guard covers the camera so that it really cant see anything.

The above is monitoring a garden and has been used to monitor various wildlife that appear during the day and at night.

The camera has a night mode and it does work, though in complete darkness it might not pick a face.

There is an issue that when in privacy mode (i.e. the camera blocked that it can "fall off" the network and won't automatically reconnect.

Videos can be stored locally to the memory card and to Imou's cloud storage service (a monthly fee of £1.69, £2.49 and £5.99 for 3, 7 and 30 days respectively). Though having your video stored on Chinese servers may not be optimal.

It's available for £69.99 (reduced from £89.99 from the Imou Store

If purchasing via Amazon, the code BBVF9RUT (at checkout) should give 30% off.