Wyze’s new outdoor camera adds 2K resolution and faster person detection

Smart home company Wyze has released the latest generation of its popular budget security camera. The $49.99 Wyze Cam v3 Pro adds 2K resolution and on-device AI for faster processing of smart alerts for person detection. Wyze also says the Pro camera has a faster CPU, an improved speaker and microphone, and a better Wi-Fi connection with two antennas compared to the $29.99 Wyze Cam V3. Although it still only works over 2.4 GHz networks.

Another new feature is Smart Focus. Part of a new app interface for Wyze’s cameras, Smart Focus adds a smaller view of the livestream while the main view focuses on the person detected, giving you more information in a single glance.

The Wyze Cam V3 Pro is a wired, outdoor camera (rated to IP65) powered by a USB cable with a new 5V2A power adaptor. (You need to buy the $14 outdoor power adaptor if you plan to plug it into an outdoor outlet.) Wyze says it delivers 20 FPS video in daylight and 15 FPS at night. The camera also uses Wyze’s excellent 4 MP Starlight sensor for full-color night vision, plus it has an onboard spotlight and siren.

The camera supports up to 256 GB micro SD card for 24/7 recording and has a 116-degree field of view plus 8x digital zoom. As with all Wyze Cams, it supports integrations with Alexa and Google Assistant for alerts and voice control, and the Wyze app features schedules and automations.

The main reason to spend the extra $20 over the excellent Wyze Cam v3 is for that higher resolution — 2560 by 1440 p — and the local processing of person-detection events. The latter leverages the faster dual-core 1.2 GHz processor to deliver AI alerts that don’t rely on the cloud. Wyze used to offer onboard processing of person detection for free using a company called Xnor.ai’s tech, but it ended that partnership in January 2020 when Apple bought Xnor.ai.

While the person alerts are free — as it uses local processing and no cloud component — you will need to subscribe to Wyze’s Cam Plus service ($1.99 a month / $20 a year, per camera) to view recorded video. The new Wyze Cam is not compatible with Cam Plus Lite (the free version that provides 12 seconds of recorded video with a 5-minute cooldown between recordings), so — unless you use an SD card to record video locally — you will only get thumbnail images of any detected activity.

Wyze Cam Plus provides unlimited-length video recording with no cool-down period and also adds person, pet, package, and vehicle detection. Plus, you can also view your Wyze Cams on its web portal.