Home Security is one aspect more, and more Indian households tend to neglect. While people are now shifting towards installing CCTVs at their places, the traditional ones are more costly and tedious to install.

This is where a breed of smart security cameras is thriving. Just in the past 1 year or so, we have seen countless products pop up in this category at various price points. We now have a new entrant in the block, the ‘Qubo Smart Outdoor Security Camera.’ This is by Hero Electronix, a Hero Group company that forayed into the consumer technology market in 2019.

Qubo Smart Outdoor Security Camera claims to provide many nifty features at an affordable price, and some of those features are tailor-made for the COVID19 pandemic. We used the smart camera for a little over two weeks, and here’s our full review.

Qubo Smart Outdoor Security Camera Specifications

  • Model: HCM01B
  • Video Resolution: Up to 1080p 30fps
  • Video Format: H264
  • Audio: 1W speaker with echo cancellation; Full Duplex-2 Way Communication
  • Storage: Cloud (Free: 5GB); Micro-SD Card: up to 128GB
  • Connectivity:4Ghz Wi-Fi (802.11/b/g/n)
  • Software: Qubo App available for Android & iOS, OTA updates on camera
  • Power: 110V – 240V, Barrel connector
  • Other Features: Continuous Real-time monitoring, 110 Degrees Field of View, 180 Degrees & Mirror Flip, IR Night Vision, Motion Detection, Car Parking, Person Detection, Still Image, Face Mask Detection

Box Contents

Here’s a complete list of items you get inside the box:

  • Security Camera
  • Power Adapter
  • Cable
  • Mounting plate
  • Screws

Design & Installation

The camera features an oblong shape with the construction done in plastic. This shape is quite common in the smart camera category. There is a two-tone finish on the white color variant, while there is an all-black option in the market. The camera rests on a swivel mount.

On the front of the camera, you get the camera lens, LED, and the mics, while the backside houses the speaker grill. The microSD card slot and the reset button are placed on the right side and have a protective flap over them. Given the slot’s position, it is quite easy to pull out the SD card, which we feel is not the ideal position for placing a critical component.

The camera uses a barrel-type power connector which is led-down given the competition offers MicroUSB and even Type C connector. Another thing to mention is the fact that the barrel connector is attached to the camera with a small 5-inch cable with the extension cable bundled in the box. The bottom of the camera has the mounting plate attached, which uses two screws for firm placement. Qubo claims the cam is IP-65 weather-resistant which makes it weather-proof to an extent.

Moving to the installation, this part is easy and can be done without hassle. All the necessary screws and fixtures are bundled in the box, along with the cable. The camera is not 360-degree and can be mounted in a handful of positions. Though the camera comes with an IP65 rating, the operating temperature limit is up to 45℃. So, it would be best if you placed it in a place where the sunlight exposure is limited.

The pairing and other setup are done via the Qubo app that is available for both Android and iOS. Upon opening the app, you are prompted to make a Qubo account and then add the camera as a new device. Once a new device is added, the app generates a QR code which is to be read by the camera to finish the final setup.

Features & Performance

Once the camera setup and the mounting process are done, all the necessities are carried on the Qubo app. The camera almost has all the standard features, and some are exclusive to it. You get support for Night Vision, meaning the camera can record in nigh time. Some features require you to use the microSD card, so it is advisable to pop one up during the installation process.

The camera has three colors LED that shows different colors as per the tasks being carried out. If the light turns green, it means that the camera is recording. The camera can record up to 1080p videos in H264, which consumes quite a lot of storage. In comparison, some of its competitors can record in H265, where file sizes are small, and you don’t lose out on the footage quality as well.

Using the app, you can set up the Car Parking Zone, which essentially marks a section of the area where you park your vehicle and check for activity in the region. Another feature is the Face Mask Detection, where the camera prompts you if the person in the frame is not wearing a face mask. This could be helpful for some users, given the current pandemic. There is native support for Alexa, but the camera features can be controlled via Google Assistant as well.

The camera also has a two-way communication option using which you can carry a conversation with, say, a delivery person visiting your place to drop off a package. This turns the camera into a smart bell as well. There is a small 1W speaker built-in that can sound an alarm as well if that option is turned on. By default, your Qubo account comes with 5GB cloud storage, but the brand has rolled out subscription plans as well, which start at INR 99 per month and offer a host of AI features along with extra cloud storage to store the footage.

Qubo has taken the security aspect very seriously, and the brand is claiming that all their servers that store your data are based in India. Apart from this, the brand has worked closely with Qualcomm to provide extra security features. The footage on the cloud is encrypted, guarantying peace of mind.

Pros

  • Ease of Use
  • Car Parking Zone, Face Mask Detection
  • Continuous Recording support

Cons

  • Proprietary Barrel power connector
  • Lack of H265 recording support

Verdict – Should you go for it?

The Qubo Smart Outdoor Security camera has some nifty features up its sleeve. You get Car Parking Zone, Face Mask Detection, two-way audio support, along all the standard smart camera features.

Qubo also guarantees that your footage is being stored on servers that are based out of India. Barring this, there are some downsides to this camera as well. The SD card is placed at a convenient place for starters and can be pulled out quite easily. Then there is Qubo’s proprietary cable and slightly dated video compression. Add the complexity of the subscription plans if you opt for cloud storage and features.

The camera at the time of writing this review is priced at INR 3,990, which is quite high when compared with the competition. The only upside we could for this is the “Made in India” tag.