This month Wyze introduced version two of its Wyze Cam Pan for $39.99 plus shipping. This upgraded model gains a few new features over its predecessor including a better processor. The benefit here is improved motion detection, which is very useful for a camera that can rotate and follow people or other objects in an area. I’ve been testing the WyzeCam Pan v2 and while it works well, I’m not sure every smart home needs one.
Before explaining why, let me recap what the Wyze Cam Pan v2 is and how it works. Essentially, it’s a taller WyzeCam on a rotating base. That allows it to swivel up to 360-degrees instead of being limited to the camera sensor’s field of view. Although the word “tilt” isn’t in the name, the camera lens itself does tilt up and down. That offers both a 360-degree horizontal view option plus up to 93-degrees of vertical coverage. Wyze says the 1080p camera also supports zooming, standard for a PTZ, or pan-tilt-zoom camera, but that’s a stretch. There’s no optical zoom on the lens. Instead, you can manually use digital zoom up to 8x by pinching on a video in the Wyze app. Think of it like zooming on a web page in your phone’s browser. It works but visual clarity isn’t great.
The setup process was simple and used familiar steps for anyone who’s previously set up a Wyze product in the past. Plug in the camera, use the Wyze app to show a QR code, and scan it with your new camera. Because I’ve used Wyze products in the past, my Wi-Fi network information was added for me. Note that even though the Wyze Cam Pan v2 requires a 2.4GHz wireless network, it connected just fine to my Eero Pro 6 mesh networks that use both 2.4 GHz and 5GHz. Your experience may vary based on your router though.
After that, I just had to run through or configure the options I wanted. And there are plenty, although most are the same as any standard, fixed Wyze camera. What’s new here is the camera panning and there is a Pan Scan option specifically for that. By default, the camera will rotate horizontally in a circle when Pan Scan is enabled. There are four waypoints, roughly 90-degrees each, that the camera will move to in this mode. Every ten seconds, the camera moves another 90-degrees. You can also set your own waypoints if you want to pan across a certain area.
This is nice but with the camera installed inside looking out my back window, I didn’t need a full 360-degree view. I really only want to see the outside, so I changed the waypoints. That let me use Pan Scan as a type of “outdoor sentry mode”. The camera has motion tracking too, and I immediately enabled it because that’s where a panning camera offers a big benefit. In the below video you can see how the Wyze Cam Pan v2 tracked me as I came up to my deck, moved around, and walked away.
This gets me back to my earlier statement that perhaps not everyone needs a panning camera. Any webcam with a very wide field of view could have captured the same outdoor scene, and with no moving parts. The latter point is important because moving parts can break down. So unless you want to scan a very wide area, or capture both indoor and outdoor areas, a non-motorized wide view webcam may work.
This camera also gains color mode at night thanks to an improved sensor. The older model doesn’t have this feature and it’s a nice addition that provides color video similar to that of the Wyze Cam v3 I’ve reviewed previously. Even if you don’t want color at night, the grayscale videos look nicer too: Wyze boosted the infrared lighting to assist there. You can set alerts or trigger events from the camera, just like the other Wyze cams.
I do like Wyze offering a better pan and tilt camera for a low investment, even if not everyone needs one. And I appreciate the microSD card support for keeping video local. Wyze provides up to 14-days of cloud storage for rolling video captures if you don’t mind sending your video to the cloud. Note that by default, the camera captures up to 12 seconds of coverage and has a configurable 1 to 5 minute cooldown period.
For more storage with a longer history, you’ll want the Wyze Cam Plus subscription at $1.25 per month when billed annually. That eliminates the cooldown time, extends the recording length to an unlimited amount, and adds advanced AI features to detect people, pets, vehicles, and packages.
Overall, this product works as advertised. It’s not expensive although advanced features do require a subscription. My take: If you specifically need the pan and tilt functionality, go for it. If not or you already have a wide view camera, you can probably pass.