REVIEW – What are some of the features that you think makes a good home security camera? It has to detect motion and send an alert, it needs a clear image in during the day and night time, and no subscription fees. What if I add in AI person and face detection, and the ability to pan? Let’s check out the SimCam 1S AI Home Camera.
What is it?
The SimCam 1S AI Home Camera is a home security camera that offers the following features:
- Enhanced Facial Recognition
- Enhanced Person Detection
- Car Detection
- Pet Detection
- Home Automation (IFTTT, Alexa, Google Assistant)
- Local AI Processing
- 1080P Recording
- 360° Pan
What’s in the box?
- SimCam 1S camera
- AC adapter
- Wall mount hardware
- User guide
Design and features
The SimCam looks similar to other small home security cameras. It has a base with a camera above it. For the 1S, the camera is made of black plastic with a chrome accent around the base.
The camera has a status LED on the front above the camera lens that glows blue while the camera is powered on and there’s also an IR sensor and a microphone below the camera lens on the front.
On the back of the camera is a grill for the built in speaker, a protective cover over the micro SD card slot, and on the base there’s the connector for the AC adapter (left) and a square slot (right) for the included wall mount bracket.
To get access to the micro SD card slot, you have to use a small Allen wrench (included) to remove the screw that secures the cover.
To mount the SimCam on the wall,e you use the included bracket and hardware.
You can manually adjust the vertical angle of the camera to the maximum angles that you see in the pictures above. The 1S has the ability to pan left to right by using swipe gestures in the SimCam app, which I’ll talk about next.
Like most home security camera apps that I’ve tested over the years, the SimCam app shows a static thumbnail of the connected cameras with a selection of icons that you can tap to toggle the state of the feature. The Private button toggles sleep mode so that the camera won’t detect motion, etc. The Detecting button turns on person detection. LAN mode toggles remote viewing.
You can also access the camera’s settings from the main view or view the past notification alerts, the library of manually captured images and videos.
Tapping the camera thumbnail will start the live view and tapping the double arrow in the bottom right corner of the thumbnail will switch to full-screen landscape orientation.
As you can see from the image above, the SimCam’s IR starlight night vision video quality is crisp and clear and offers a lot more grey tones than other IR night vision cameras.
Daytime video quality is good too.
If you look closely at the live view screens, you will see that there’s a clock in the upper left corner and a variety of buttons along the bottom. As for the clock, it apparently does NOT adjust for DST and even though I have the time zone set correctly, it is 1hr off.
The buttons at the bottom allow you to toggle audio through the camera, take a picture, capture video, use the 2way audio feature, 2 options for setting zones for object monitoring, and a button to trigger an alarm/siren sound.
The SimCam camera is smarter than a lot of security cameras that I’ve reviewed in the past because it uses AI to tell the difference between a person, a pet, and a car. You can also train the camera to detect specific people. To do this, you have to add images of the people to the app. But after they are added, the app does a good job of alerting you by name when it detects each person. You can preload the SimCam camera with up to 200 faces. It can recognize 3 faces in one frame at the same time.
In addition to detecting people, pets, and cars, you can also set up a special person detection zone.
There’s also an object monitoring feature that will alert you when an object is moved. This feature is designed to keep an eye on packages, but it could be used for anything. The only caveat of this feature is that it only triggers once and it can be triggered by unexpected motion. For example. See the white box in the image above to the right of the door? That is the object monitoring zone. If I walk up and take one of the items, an alert will trigger. But if I put it back and then later take it again, an alert will not be trigger. It can also be triggered just by standing in front of the object and once triggered, the feature is turned off until you set it again.
Notifications show the type of detection, but when you click on the notification, it doesn’t take you to the specific motion clip but instead, it takes you to the app. From there you can go to the alerts list to watch the individual alerts.
If you add a micro SD card to the camera, you can playback video by scrolling through a timeline. This is a feature that few cameras (that don’t require a subscription) offer. Most cameras only save the motion clips to the micro SD card, but this one saves ALL video. Although not shown in the screenshot above, the timeline will have red lines where motion was detected. This allows for a quicker scrub through the footage. Scrolling through past footage is VERY fast, unlike other cameras that have this feature (Wyze Cam, I’m looking at you).
SimCam offers two advanced features like the ability to save footage to a NAS device and the ability to stream locally via RTSP which means that you can view live footage from your computer.
It’s not all rainbows and unicorns though. There is one annoying “problem” with the SimCam 1S. It’s noisy.
The video above demonstrates the sound that the SimCam makes when it’s panning to follow motion or when you manually pan the camera. As you can hear, the sound is pretty loud so that there’s no way that it would work out as a hidden camera.
What I like
- Panning feature
- 24/7 recording to micro SD
- NAS storage option
- Face, pet, car, person detection
What I’d change
- Improve object monitoring feature
- Improve/lessen panning noise
- Add DST switch so the time is correct
The SimCam AI home security camera has a lot going for it. It can detect people, pets, cars, and even tell you when it sees a specific person. Add in the panning feature both manual and auto tracking, along with the ability to record all footage on a micro SD card or NAS device without requiring a subscription, ability to view live footage via RTSP, and you have a nice alternative to other cameras on the market. If SimCam can fix their object monitoring feature and tone down the panning noises, I think this home security camera is pretty much perfect.