The Netatmo Presence has been out for a few years now, making Netatmo well ahead of the curve for wired outdoor surveillance cameras with a floodlight. It is only the past year or so that we have seen options from Ring, Arlo and Yale offering similar functionality.
Similar to their indoor Welcome camera, the Presence has several unique features that differentiate it from the pack. This has smart detection which will distinguish between people, animals and cars, and there is no cloud service, everything is stored locally. This means no monthly charges and fewer privacy concerns.
It is currently priced at £225.00 on Amazon and has 169 reviews giving it a very positive score of 4/5.
This is the first outdoor camera that I have had to wire into the mains, this allows it to work to its full potential with the floodlight never draining the battery, nor you having to mess around with charging batteries. Competing brands offer some alternative options, the Yale outdoor camera is wired but it uses USB for the power, so you only have to route the cable into your house and plug it in. Ring and Arlo both have battery-powered options, which are great if you refuse to drill holes into your house but will not offer always-on floodlights, and will require regular charging.
Thankfully we had an old motion detecting lamp at the front of our house, which meant I did not need to drill any holes into the house. It meant placement was not idea for a floodlight but any other option would be far too difficult for my liking.
If you are a skilled DIYer, then there is nothing technically complicated about installing this, but for most people, I would strongly recommend an electrician. The installation video makes things look very easy.
Once you have the wiring in place, mounting it isn’t that easy either, nor is it the best design. The metal mounting bracket to the wall attaches securely, but then the housing for all the wires is plastic which is held in place with one bolt and a smaller screw. It doesn’t feel like the most secure design, but once set up there is little to no movement.
Partly due to my poor DIY skills, but also the design, the plastic housing doesn’t fit 100% flush with the wall, even if it does, it won’t be weatherproof, so you need to seal the edges between the wall and housing. In my case, I had no back box built into the wall, so there was less room for wires, I am probably going to get it redone by someone that knows what they are doing.
Once you have it all mounted and sealed off from the weather, the set up is quite simple, similar to the previous Netatmo, you pair it up via the Netatmo security app, pass it your Wi-Fi credentials and everything should pair up. If you need to reset the device you have to show the camera a QR code, which will then restart the set-up process.
With it set up in the app you have a few settings that are worth tweaking. You can set motion alert zones helping you reduce false alerts, so in my case, I reduced the motion zone away from street level so I wasn’t warned every time someone walked past.
You can then adjust the floodlight settings. With the smart object detection, this allows you to have it switch on when it sees a person or car, but ignore animals or other motion.
You also have the option to set up different recording and notification settings based on objects. By default, it records every motion, but only notifies for people
In the past few weeks, I have used this, it has worked very well. Due to the number of cameras I review, I currently have three trained on my front door, the Ring Doorbell, Eufy E and now the Netatmo.
I have found this to be very accurate in object detection, it has been able to detect cats roaming my garden, and when I didn’t set up the motion zones correctly, it detected people from across the street, even though you could only just see their head.
When it detects someone, it will notify you, but I have found the speediness of these notifications inconsistent. Sometimes it is instant, other times it may be a few minutes, this is fine for security but if you want instant notification that someone is at a door it is not perfect. In general, Ring is superior to this, but it does, on occasion, suffer from delayed alerts. Wi-Fi signal will be a factor, but I am unsure why both devices are good one day and less good others. The Ring Doorbell doesn’t have person detection though, but due to its placement and zoned alerts I have been able to reduce false alerts completely.
When Presence does detect someone, the app saves thumbnail images of the person so you can have an overview of who has been at your house. I have static IP CCTV cameras too, and I like that this gives me time stamps, so if something is identified, I can quickly pull up my 24/7 footage without spending ages looking through video. In the Netatmo app, you can click on the images and this will allow you to either stream the recorded footage or download it to your phone.
Unlike the Welcome camera, this only identifies people and does not have facial recognition. It is not important, but it would be nice to have on any future releases.
The floodlight functionality is excellent too, it provides some extra light when we arrive home at night, but then also as a deterrent from any would-be burglars. Unlike PIR sensors, this rarely triggers by mistake, and I have found PIR lights almost useless in specific locations due to wind moving branches or other objects.
Connecting to the camera and downloading footage has been reliable, but the downloading things can be a little slow. It connects to using Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz) which is good for range but poor for speeds. Considering this is wired and reasonably expensive I would have liked Wi-Fi 802.11 ac which is considerably less congested.
Once set up properly this works very well, it is vastly superior to a PIR flood light, and it is significantly better than most outdoor cameras due to its person detection and wired connectivity. In particular, I have had absolutely no false positives from things like moving branches and shadows, whereas with other, less smart products, I quite frequently have to limit notifications due to getting pestered every time the wind picks up.
Being wired into the mains makes it a nightmare to install, and the back box feels a little lightweight, but a competent DIYer or professional installer should be able to install this and weather proof it with no problems.
I have limited experience with wired cameras, with the Yale Smart Living All in One Outdoor Camera being the only other one I have done. They are quite different products too, the Yale is extremely easy to install as long as you can find a way to route the cable into your house, however, it lacks the intelligent features of this, and its floodlight is nowhere near as powerful.
The Ring Floodlight is the closest competitor, and cheaper too, it appears to have similar issues with the installation being flush, and some people have problems with the WiFi range. However the big difference is that you will need a subscription, so the Netatmo maybe more expensive initially, but should work out cheaper in the long term.
Netatmo Presence Review
Product Name: Netatmo Presence
Offer price: 225
Overall - 82%
Tricky for amateurs to install, but this smart floodlight security camera offers superior object detect and security than many competing products