A surveillance camera for private use can be useful. How else would I have seen what a cat is doing in my garden at 4:38 in the morning? Or why the dog is barking at a stick? In the EZVIZ eLife 2K+ review, we took a detailed look at the wireless cam with 2K resolution.
|Image sensor||1/2.8″ 4 megapixel progressive CMOS sensor|
|Minimum light intensity||0.01 lux at (F1.6, AGC ON), 0 lux with IR|
|Exposure time||Self-adjusting shutter|
|Lens||2.8 mm at F1.6; 116° (diagonal), 100° (horizontal), 52° (vertical)|
|Day and night||IR cut filter with auto switching|
|Night vision function||10 m|
|Max. Resolution||2560 × 1440|
|Image speed||15 fps. Self-adapting for network transmission|
|Video compression||H.265 / H.264|
|Video bitrate||Ultra-HD, HD, Standard. Adaptive bitrate.|
|Local memory||Built-in 32 GB eMMC memory|
|Cloud storage||EZVIZ cloud storage|
|Price||€ 169.99 *|
EZVIZ eLife 2K+ review: the scope of delivery
For the review, the manufacturer provided us with the EZVIZ eLife bundle that consists of said 2K+ surveillance camera and a solar panel. The duo comes in a quite handy white cardboard box. The camera and the panel are packed separately inside.
Inside the box, we find everything we need for use. In addition to the camera itself, the package includes a power supply with USB cable, manuals, and a wall mount (including screws) as well as the obligatory manuals.
Conveniently, the manufacturer includes two wall mounts. One in the form of a magnetic head that fits tightly at the bottom of the EZVIZ eLife 2K+ and one that is screwed to the camera via the threaded connection.
Manufacturer EZVIZ includes a mounting sticker with both the camera itself and the solar panel. It shows the distances and positions of the holes for which you have to drill. So you don’t have to measure – very commendable.
The corresponding solar panel comes with its own instructions, as well as its own metal stand. Again, we find the sticker and all the necessary screws and dowels right in the package.
Design and workmanship
In terms of shape, the EZVIZ eLife 2K+ camera reminds us a bit of an oversized cartridge. The main part of the body is kept in light gray, while the top and the lower third come in black color scheme.
All controls, i.e. microUSB charging port, speaker and power button are found on the bottom of the camera. The upper side, on the other hand, consists of the lens, LED display, two headlights and PIR sensor. The latter is used to detect movements based on temperature changes.
The camera is just under 10 cm long and has a diameter of 6.5 cm at its widest point. The comparatively high weight of the camera is immediately noticeable. Without extras or accessories, it weighs in at a hefty 364 grams, which speaks for a robust construction.
There is nothing to complain about in terms of workmanship. Even the USB port is protected with a rubber cover, which earns the camera an IP66 certification. Thus, the eLife 2K+ is fully protected against dirt and strong water jets and should withstand even the strongest thunderstorm.
Annoyingly, however, this does not apply to the power supply and USB cable, which do not have IP certification and are therefore not suitable for outdoor use.
Everything you need to mount the EZVIZ eLife 2K+ is included right out of the box. So ideally, you first find a place where you want to mount the surveillance camera, attach the included sticker, drill the appropriate holes and attach the camera.
This is child’s play. Especially since the camera works wirelessly and therefore there are no cables that could get in the way and complicate the installation. The included magnetic mount also has the advantage that you can fine-tune the cam a bit afterwards, while it stays firmly in place with the normal wall mount.
However, due to its rounded design, mounting it to a wall or surface is almost mandatory, as the eLife 2K+ does not stay on surfaces well. However, with a bit of finesse, I managed to get the camera in position on the windowsill for the test. Theoretically, you could also position it on a branch, tree stump or similar surface.
Setting up the EZVIZ eLife 2K+
Setting up the EZVIZ eLife 2K+ is done using the manufacturer’s companion app, which is free to download for iOS and Android. This also works in no time. Simply download the app, create an account and connect the camera using the QR code.
A connection to the Wi-Fi network is then established and the configuration with the desired settings is completed. The app explains the most important steps in detail. It does not take long to view the picture from the camera within the program. Further fine adjustments can of course be made at any time later, if desired.
The variety of options within the app is huge. From video quality to energy-saving mode to intelligent person recognition, you can set absolutely everything to your liking. It’s also commendable that the app regularly prompts us to set two-factor authentication and pays attention to security in other ways as well.
Practical test and recording quality
Once we have everything set up and the EZVIZ eLife 2K+ in place, it is already doing its job. In terms of functionality, the surveillance camera leaves nothing to be desired. It does not take long until the cam detects the first movements and sends a message to our smartphone.
If we tap on the message, the companion app shows us a short video recording of what was moving there. From a dog playing with a stick in the backyard, to myself testing the camera for function, to a cat sneaking through the grass in the middle of the night, everything was excellently detected and captured.
The range is a maximum of 10-12 meters, but so is the maximum WLAN range. Therefore, it was unfortunately not possible for me to attach the camera to the front door. This is where Bluetooth headphones usually run out of steam at the earliest for my tests. With the EZVIZ eLife 2K+, it already stops just before the door, after about 10 meters.
In addition, you have the option to set different options for recording or monitoring. For example, you can additionally use the aforementioned PIR sensor to record movements based on temperature fluctuations. This worked similarly precisely in the test.
It’s a bit of a shame that detection can only be turned on and off. So if you bring the camera into position while it’s on and change the location, you’ll regularly trigger an alarm in the process. But once installed, you do not actually take off such a surveillance camera.
Battery life and alarm
Except for charging, of course. This is where the 7,800 mAh battery comes into play. Or is it 10,400 mAh after all? The manufacturer apparently does not agree itself here, because the stated capacity printed on the packaging differs from the one found on the product website.
We cannot say how long the battery lasts based on the short test. According to the manufacturer, however, it should last up to 270 days. Alternatively, you can simply connect the solar panel to the camera using the cable and don’t have to worry about recharging.
Of course, you also have the option of activating an alarm. Here the cam makes a loud and extremely annoying noise and flashes alternately blue and warm-white.
Image and audio quality
The image quality of the EZVIZ eLife 2K+ is on a good level. The built-in 4-megapixel CMOS sensor with a wide 116-degree field of view and bright f/1.6 aperture delivers quite sharp video and photos. At least when the “target” isn’t hanging around directly in front of the lens, because otherwise it’ll be blurry.
What’s odd is that despite 2K resolution (2,560 × 1,440 pixels), the cam takes pictures in just those dimensions, but videos are only saved in 720p (1,280 x 720 pixels). This is despite the fact that I set “Ultra HD” as the quality in the app. Still, more than sufficient.
The built-in microphones are also good, as they let you listen in on what is happening in the camera’s field of view via the app. Alternatively, you can also communicate with the outside world yourself. The quality allows a quite understandable voice reproduction, but you should not expect miracles now.
Storage, cloud and costs
The camera stores videos, clips and pictures on the integrated eMMC memory with a size of 32 GB. That will last for quite a while. Alternatively (and selected by default), the data is backed up in the manufacturer’s own cloud (called EZVIZ CloudPlay). A 30-day trial version is included directly with the purchase.
Otherwise, different plans are offered, which are once again divided into 7-day and 30-day storage. The costs start at 4.99 Euros per month or 49.99 Euros per year. But fortunately there is no obligation to use the cloud.
The EZVIZ eLife 2K+’s companion app is largely self-explanatory and intuitive to use. Here you have many different options to choose from to make settings.
Strangely, however, some points are not explained at all – not even in the manual. For example, it is unclear how long videos are recorded in the different operating modes. Or what the concrete difference is between energy-saving mode and super energy-saving mode.
Also praiseworthy is the ability to integrate the camera into smart home solutions or operate it via voice control. Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT are supported. However, end-to-end encryption must first be disabled in the app for this.
- More from EZVIZ: C8W Pro 2K: New 360-degree security camera with AI features
EZVIZ eLife 2K+ review: conclusion
With the EZVIZ eLife 2K+ surveillance camera, the manufacturer puts together a coherent overall package. The workmanship is excellent and the wireless use is a real added value. Thanks to IP66 certification, you are also on the safe side in the rain.
The picture and sound quality are also convincing, at least considering the price, and the internal storage is praiseworthy. The app and its focus on security are also appealing, although not all functions are explained sufficiently (or at all).
Only the Wi-Fi range could be better and the use of the 5 GHz band would be nice-to-have. Why videos are only recorded in 720p is still not clear to me. Otherwise, the EZVIZ eLife 2K+ surveillance camera is an absolutely well-rounded product.