What I Like:
- Great video quality in day and night with high detail
- Acceptable audio recording
- Accurate motion detection alerts
- Good build quality
- Local SD card recording
- Tilt and pan functions
- Easy setup
What I Don’t Like:
- Video jumps/skips in Foscam app
- Chrome plugin functions limited (requires Firefox for full functionality)
- SD card recording not enabled by default
Conclusion: With excellent video quality and accurate motion detection, the Foscam R2 is a contender for the best IP cam I’ve tested to date. Unfortunately it is hampered by a less than stellar app experience. For those who need local recording or plan to use a desktop or laptop to view their IP cameras, this cam will work for you, but the mobile experience just isn’t there yet.
Where to Buy
I gave this camera a 4/5, noting that while it has excellent video quality, its usability is hampered by a mediocre app which is required for most camera functions.
Foscam has really improved on their build quality and design with the R2. It is sleek and modern looking and feels solid in the hand. It has a micro SD slot for local recording as well as an external Wi-Fi antenna. Set up was very easy: install the app, scan the QR code, press the WPS button on the camera and my router. Done. That’s much improved over the last foscam camera I tested. Turning on local SD recording was a bit more difficult to find, but after it was done the function worked fine – though note that the camera only recorded to SD card when motion was detected.
Video quality is fantastic too, by a long shot the best IP camera I’ve tested to date. It’s got good color, exposure and tons of detail. The sensor is high enough resolution that it can zoom right in on objects and still maintain details. The mobile app is well designed and features like motion detection work fine. The issue I had lies in the fact that with the android app or chrome plugin the camera lagged and stuttered to the point where it was unusable. I had better luck with a 3rd party app – as you can see here it runs pretty smooth, and in Firefox everything worked fantastic. Foscam, you need to fix this, because otherwise you’ve got a great camera on your hands. There is NO EXCUSE for releasing software in this condition – these bugs should be worked out before a product is shipped. Anyways…
It’s worth noting that this camera will be entirely usable for those who wish to have a local recorder or even with the cloud/Firefox, but those who want to view on mobile might have more trouble. Also, the Foscam uses an MJPEG format, which consumes a lot of data, so if you’re on a limited internet connection that might be something worth taking into consideration. Motion detection works fine too.
Overall, there’s a lot to like about this camera, but because of the issue getting the app to work I had to ding it a star. Since the camera works otherwise for local recording and through Firefox on a desktop, I gave it a 4, but if Foscam fixed the app it would be a 4.5 at least – maybe even a 5. compatibility is key here and this is something that could be pretty easily fixed in the future.