Ezviz ez360 Pano review

The Ezviz ez360 panoramic smart cam offers impressive views but little polish

Home security fans will love ez360’s panoramic views and monitoring features, but it isn’t an essential pick for mainstream homes.
Home security fans will love ez360’s panoramic views and monitoring features, but it isn’t an essential pick for mainstream homes.
Home security fans will love ez360’s panoramic views and monitoring features, but it isn’t an essential pick for mainstream homes.

Highs

  • Good looking camera
  • Extremely wide field of vision
  • Local recording to microSD card
  • Variety of monitoring modes
  • Integrated siren

Lows

  • Requires wall or ceiling mount
  • Metal chassis surround runs hot
  • Poor quality audio
  • Limited documentation

DT Editors' Rating

With today’s smart camera market packed with choice, manufacturers are continually seeking new angles to differentiate their wares. In some cases, quite literally. The $180 Ezviz ez360 Pano is equipped with a dynamic fish-eye lens, supporting 360-degree views around a room.  While it may sound like witchcraft, it’s trick we’ve seen before, in the innovative, but ultimately disappointing, Guardzilla 360.

Where that desk-mounted device was let down by smeary, low-resolution video, the ez360 supports wall or ceiling mounted positions, with a 3 MP (2048 x1536) sensor and a range of video monitoring modes promising somewhat better results. As you’d expect from a modern smart cam, motion detection alerts, two-way audio and light integration with Amazon Alexa & Google Home adds substance to an innovative headline proposition.

A giant eyeball

Resembling a giant eye ball from a robot, the ez360’s metal-clad body is both attractive and robust, although the flimsy, plastic screw mount that ships with the device is far less impressive. In operation, we did find that the metal chassis ran hot, though, so think about mounting locations carefully. There’s no desktop stand included, as the camera is really meant for wall or ceiling mounted positions. In fact, the camera’s panoramic features aren’t effective unless the device is ceiling mounted, which is more restrictive than Guardzilla 360.

Thankfully, Ezviz includes a long micro-USB power cable that should reach high-mounting points, but for the neatest installation, you’ll still need to spend time drilling and hiding cables. While devices like Netgear Arlo Pro 2 or the Swann Smart Camera may not offer ez360’s panoramic views, magnetic mounts and battery power make for a simpler and neater install.

Ezviz ez360 Pano
Terry Walsh/Digital Trends

With support for dual-band Wi-Fi networks, ez360 can stream live video to a smartphone, capture recordings to a microSD card (up to 128 GB) or to the cloud, should you opt for Ezviz’ inevitable subscription service (Seven-days of recordings from $6 per month).

Camera setup, via a free smartphone app for iOS and Android devices, was quick and easy, requiring a quick scan of a QR code and the novelty of an audio-powered device connection. Here you’re asked to place your phone near the camera, which plays a series of high-pitched audio signals to complete configuration. Sounds strange in theory, stranger in practice, but hey, it works!

Resembling a giant eye-ball from a googly robot, the ez360’s metal-clad body is both attractive and robust.

Once you’re up and running, you can start reviewing the variety of monitoring modes available. In fact, we’d suggest doing so before settling on a final mounting position. The Ezviz app is mostly simple to use – viewing live streams and reviewing captured clips is a quick and easy task. We noticed some text formatting issues dotted around, but no show-stopping issues.

You can use the app to select a wall-mount or ceiling-mount mode for the camera. The former uses the fish-eye lens to provide an extremely wide field of vision. Images are bright with good color-balance, but quality is less refined than some smart cams on the market today. That said, they’re certainly an improvement on Guardzilla 360’s gloomy, smeary output.

In terms of exposure, as we see with most smart cameras, bright window areas with strong daylight were completely blown out, but the camera did a better job elsewhere.

If you opt for a ceiling-mounted position, you can take advantage of a 360-degree panorama view encompassing the entire room, or a split-screen 180-degree panorama which uses a horizontal split-screen design to show front and rear views. As you’d expect, given the lens design, both options incur noticeable fish-eye distortion to maximize the field of view, but again, image quality is good enough for security purposes.

Those requiring more robust, multi-camera setups will be pleased to see a quad split-screen option that’s a cinch to configure. Tap one of the quadrants, select a (compatible) camera, and you’re good to go. Overall, we were impressed by the Ezviz app – while it’s not particularly sophisticated, from a security-monitoring standpoint, it’s a cut above many consumer smart cam apps.

Elsewhere, you’ll find ez360 offers the usual array of features encountered on most smart home cameras, but performance was mixed. The camera’s night-vision mode is mostly effective, supporting clear images and decent contrast at range. However, it took 6-7 seconds to detect a change in lighting and switch to night vision mode, which we felt was too long.

Can you hear me?

Two-way audio is also available, but the camera’s integrated speaker isn’t particularly refined. More of an issue was that we were unable to hear any audio detected by the camera when streaming live or reviewing recorded clips in the Ezviz smartphone app. We had more success with the company’s standalone Windows app, which isn’t mentioned the camera’s documentation, but can be used (with some effort) to view recorded clips and live video. We weren’t impressed by the results, however – audio was muffled and suffered from echoes.

We were able to link the camera to a Google Home, but it wasn’t clear what you could do once linked.

As a bonus, however, the camera is equipped with an internal siren which can be triggered by motion detection. As sirens go, ears are unlikely to be split when it sounds, but there’s more than enough volume to scare away intruders.

Rounding up the features, ez360 offers support for both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. We were certainly able to link the camera to a Google Home, but it wasn’t clear what you could do once linked. We tried various ways to coax Google Home to display a feed from the camera on a connected TV (which works well with Nest cameras, for example) but we couldn’t rouse a response.

Warranty information

Ezviz ez360 ships with a 1-year limited warranty.

Our Take

With mixed performance, the Ezviz ez360 is a niche smart cam which should only be considered by home owners or small businesses that really need panoramic views. While we like Ezviz’ versatile array of monitoring modes and the camera’s wide field of view, competitor cameras offer an easier, more polished experience that’s a better fit for most smart homes.

Is there a better alternative?

While it doesn’t offer a single panoramic view, you may wish to consider a far cheaper pan/tilt/zoom camera like the $30 Wyze Cam Pan. Otherwise, you’ll need to look at small business/professional solutions which are likely to be more expensive than ez360 and may require more extensive configuration.

How long will it last?

While ez360 offers firmware upgrade features, there were none available at the time of writing. The company offers both telephone and email support in North America, while support in Europe is via a web form. We can’t tell you or guarantee how long it will last.

Should you buy it?

You should only consider ez360 if you really need a panoramic camera. Otherwise, competitor smart cams will offer better value and an easier experience.

Product Review

Kwikset Kevo Contemporary review

Tired of carrying around keys? Make keyless entry so easy that all you have to do is have your phone nearby to open the door. It’s a little pricey, but sleek lines and simple features make the Kwikset Kevo Contemporary a great choice for…
Smart Home

Nevo Butler is the latest smart home hub coming to the market

Universal Electronics is the latest company getting into the smart home market, announcing at CES 2019 that it intends to market the Nevo Butler, a new smart home hub with onboard A.I. and voice control technology.
Smart Home

Want a smarter home? Ditch the keys with these great smart locks

A good smart lock should offer a combination of security and convenience. Fortunately, these devices keep your home protected, your family safe, and your belongings secure from possible intruders.
Home Theater

Polk Audio’s Command Bar joins Alexa’s multiroom music party

Polk's Command Bar is a home theater soundbar with Alexa built in. But with a new update, it can also be grouped with Amazon's Echo products and other third-party speakers for a multi-room experience.
Photography

From 4K powerhouses to tiny action cams, here are the best video cameras

Although not as popular as they once were, dedicated video cameras still have their benefits. From travel vlogging to home movies to recording your kid's little league game, here are the best video cameras you can buy right now.
Smart Home

GHSP makes a (back)splash with its touchscreen concept kitchen

One of the coolest concept kitchens from CES 2019 came from GHSP. It created a backsplash entirely made of touchscreens. That means the control panel for your kitchen is accessible no matter where you are.
Health & Fitness

In search of the fountain of youth, beauty companies turn to tech

Beauty tech is a fairly new concept, but at CES 2019, companies such as Olay, L’Oreal, and Neutrogena were fully embracing it with all kinds of gadgets that promise to give you glowing skin.
Smart Home

Airbnb says sorry to guest for how it dealt with undisclosed security camera

An Airbnb guest recently found a surveillance camera in his rental apartment that hadn't been properly disclosed in the listing. The firm admits its initial response to the guest's complaint was poor, but has since made amends.
Smart Home

Thinking of buying an Instant Pot? Here's what you need to know

The Instant Pot is a powerful kitchen appliance that does everything from pressure cook to to slow cook to steam. Heck, you can even make yogurt in it. Here's all you need to know about the magic device.
Smart Home

The best sous vide machines cook your food perfectly, every single time

Want to make four-star meals from the comforts of your own kitchen? Here are the best sous vide machines available right now, whether you prefer simple immersion circulators or something more complex.
Smart Home

Busted: Facebook Portal gets 5-star reviews from company employees

It's fair to say that Facebook's Portal smart display received a tepid response at launch, so it was something of a surprise to see lots of glowing reviews of the device on Amazon. Turns out some were written by Facebook workers.
Smart Home

Idaho mother says her child’s light-up sippy cup exploded

After a mother filled a Nuby insulated light-up cup with milk, the cup allegedly exploded. The incident caused burns to the mother's hand and face and a stinging sensation in her lungs that required a trip to the hospital.
Smart Home

Project Alias is a ‘smart parasite’ that stops smart speakers from listening

Two designers chose to do something about nosy smart speakers. The result is Project Alias, a "smart parasite" that whispers nonsense to Google Home and Alexa until it hears a specific wake word.
Smart Home

DS3 Clean water-free swatches could be the future of cleaning products

DS3 Clean swatches were on display at CES 2019. The small swatches come in several types, including shampoo and toilet cleaner. They're great for travel, but their real impact is in how such supplies will be shipped and stored.