iZON Remote Room Monitor Review



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The iZON Remote Room Monitor is totally unlike the traditional complex surveillance cameras for the home that are out there. Instead, it’s designed to be a sophisticated and easy to use way to keep an eye on your home remotely. Furthermore, besides for its chic and very minimalist design, the iZON Remote Room Monitor is especially unique in the way that it is totally iOS mobile app driven.

Design

The design of the iZON Remote Room Monitor is super unique. With an Apple’esque design, the iZON Remote Room Monitor can easily be hidden anywhere. It looks so unlike other traditional cameras that it’s almost unidentifiable as one, and that is a good thing. The white iZON Remote Room Monitor is actually stationed on top of a matching rounded magnetic base which makes adjusting the camera’s angle easy as pie.

Set-Up

The iZON Remote Room Monitor is designed to work with the free Stem:Connect App for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Even set-up of the the device requires that you run this app. Overall, the set-up process of the device is quite unique and a tad complex, but the app guides you through it every step of the way. Part of the process requires that you have to create a Stem Account. The good news is that the iZON Remote Room Monitor works independently of a PC and its totally wireless, and able to work over WiFi.


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Video Quality

Video streaming quality for the iZON Remote Room Monitor is good, but not great. It does a fine job and serves the purpose of remote surveillance well, but don’t expect any sharp or high quality video streaming to be produced here. Colors are pretty accurate, but motion tends to get very blurred. There is also no night vision on the camera, but at this price-point, that is the norm. Overall, the  iZON Remote Room Monitor pretty much on par with your average budget surveillance camera.

The App

The camera is able to record both audio and video, but this functionality is limited in the way that you can only use the app to record videos and have the videos upload to a private YouTube account.

The app also has support to stream video over 3G and even Edge, although we certainly wouldn’t recommend trying the latter.  There is a catch though, and that is that the app only lets you watch video remotely over 3G for up to 5 minutes at a time. However, if you’re at home on the same network, you can watch video via the app for as long as you want. The apps also lets you view the video stream stream in fullscreen mode, and the app can also let you control and stream video from multiple Stem products all at once, including the TimeCommand Audio Alarm Dock.

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What’s especially great about the Stem:Connect App, besides the ability to stream the camera’s feed, is the ability to receive alerts via push notifications. These push notifications can be triggered via motion sensitivity controls, or via audio. You can set notifications for when there is Motion, Noise, or when the camera goes offline. You can even specify which part of the room for the camera to keep an eye out for motion on. The alerts come through as push notifications on iOS5. Unfortunately, all they are is alerts really. You can not play back what the camera saw or heard to trigger the alerts, unless you have enabled private recording to a private YouTube account. This is one of the most limiting features of the device, and that is that video recording is limited to only directly to YouTube.

Overall the app is quite functional,  yet still very buggy, as it was often laggy and became unresponsive. We also really wished that we could access the livestream from a web browser besides the apps, but for now you’re limited to using it’s app to have access to iZon’s stream. We also would like to have the option to receive email alerts.

Conclusion

The iZON Remote Room Monitor is a solid home surveillance device with a lot going for it, especially for $129.99. We love that it’s app driven, easy to use and we appreciate its chic design. That said, there is room for improvement here – for example, we would like to have the option to receive email alerts, and to be able to access the video feed from a web browser. We also noticed about a 30 second delay on the video feed, even when watching over our own home network. The app is also buggy. We’re hoping that most of our gripes get addressed via future software updates from Stem Innovations.

The Good: Reasonably priced; excellent design; good video-stream quality; easy set-up process; iOS app driven

The Bad: No Android or BlackBerry App – iOS only; video only records to YouTube; won’t work via a web browser; no e-mail alerts; no option to view feed via a web browser; app is buggy

Update 10/31/12: Check out our review of the Stem IZON 2.0, which includes the new software update for the IZON.