Home security cameras are a growing category with many manufacturers coming out with new or improved models. But while almost all connect by Wi-Fi, most still need to be plugged into power to operate. Not so with the EZVIZ Mini Trooper, which uses long-lasting lithium batteries in each camera.
The camera part of the EZVIZ Mini Trooper is an egg-shaped device, about halfway between the size of a chicken egg and a goose egg. The bottom is flattened so it can sit on a table or shelf, plus there’s a threaded socket that would allow it to attach to a photo tripod or similar mount. The back is magnetic, so you can stick the camera on a metal wall or use the included metal ball mount, which can itself be attached to a wall or even a tree with a screw.
I mention a tree because the camera is weatherproof to IP65 – which means it is sealed against dust and even rain. It’s good outdoors between 14 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit. The camera uses four CR123A batteries (3 volts each) and is sold with the first batteries included. They are said to last up to 9 months, depending on camera use, and the camera can actually work with just two installed.
The camera itself produces images of 116 degrees in 720p HD. There’s a PIR infrared motion detector that triggers a recording and alerts the app on your phone. PIR means only the motion of warm-blooded objects gets it recording, but your cat, dog or some other animal (when the camera is outdoors) will set it off. This is an issue that no home security camera maker has completely solved, that of non-human motion triggers. The camera has a microphone to record sound, but no two-way communication.
The EZVIZ Mini Trooper requires, and the starter kits come with, a base station that plugs into any power outlet and connects to your home Wi-Fi or wired network. And yes, for some reason they made it look like a giant fly. (Then again, I don’t know why the device is named “Trooper.”) There’s a microSD slot for cards up to 128 GB, and that’s where the base station records all videos. Up to 6 cameras can be linked to one base station.
The setup is a little complicated: you have to scan a QR code, download the app, create an account, among other steps, and getting the battery door open on the EZVIZ Mini Trooper camera to put in the batteries almost broke my fingernail. But the included instructions are generally easy to follow, although the mini booklet uses small, light type and I had to do a lot of squinting with my “senior” eyes.
The EZVIZ app for Android or iOS is pretty simple, you have to find your way around it on your own though. Each “triggered” recording alerts your phone and you can zoom in if you wish, look at multiple cameras if you installed them, and even manually record a video or take a “still” photo. It also shows you the battery power left in each camera, so you’ll know when to replace batteries.
It almost goes without saying these days, but the EZVIZ Mini Trooper works with Amazon’s Echo devices, so you can have Alexa control things and even see recordings on the Echo Show.
The EZVIZ Mini Trooper one camera starter kit is under $150 at Amazon and elsewhere, and there’s a kit with two cameras as well. Additional cameras are under $110 and of course you’ll need to buy extra batteries in 12 to 16 packs for $18 to $22.
Here’s the EZVIZ Mini Trooper promo video featuring our younger selves: