I’ve never been one of those people so concerned about home security that I felt I’ve really needed a security camera. But this blog and YouTube channel gives me the opportunity to test out things and find out they’re useful—even beyond the standard operations. I’ve tried out a few different security cameras, and the latest to arrive is by Toucan Smart Home. The Toucan Smart Home Wireless Outdoor Camera promises clear video, easy set up and worry free surveillance. I’ll tell you if these promises are met.
Review: Toucan Smart Home Wireless Outdoor Camera
This camera is a small and fully wireless outdoor camera designed to let you keep an eye on your property via Wi-Fi through the Toucan app, from inside the house or across the country.
It’s weatherproof with an IP56 rating, has a magnetic mount for easy positioning, and offers 1080p HD video. You do need a cloud recording plan if you want to access videos beyond the last 24 hours. More on that in a sec. There’s also no hub or base station required with this camera.
Easy set up
I was pleasantly surprised at how quick and easy the set up is. After first downloading the Toucan app and signing up for an account I clicked Add Device and followed the prompts in the app. After connecting to my home’s Wi-Fi, I was ready to go in a minute.
Video Quality: Toucan Wireless Outdoor Camera
Let’s talk Video quality of the Toucan Smart Home Wireless Outdoor Camera, and don’t forget to watch my video review for actual footage.
The video feed is 1080p HD video and it’s definitely clear and easy to view. The viewing field is very wide and I could easily see a huge swath of yard. The video loads quickly after motion is detected so you can see exactly what tripped it.
I placed this camera in my backyard so I can watch my dogs and monitor for anything odd, but you could easily put this just about anywhere around your hose to watch the kids play, keep watch over a garage, shed, motorbike or RV. If you’ve got Wi-Fi at the cottage, you could easily keep a remote eye on things.
Other fun uses? Because it’s cordless, You could install it in a tree to watch a family of birds or other wildlife.
Night vision video
At night, the camera also gives you a great picture, thanks to night vision; I could see well and think it would be easy to make out any pertinent details.
Great connectivity, even at distance
One of the things that surprised me about the Toucan system is the strong connectivity. I placed this camera at the far end of my yard, where I’ve struggled to get other devices to connect to my home Wi-Fi. Toucan camera had zero issues. It was always connected, and gave me a beautiful, stable and reliable video picture 24/7.
Rechargeable battery: lasts 6 weeks-6 months
The Toucan Smart Home Wireless Outdoor Camera comes with a rechargeable battery. I couldn’t find any specs on battery life, so I reached out to Toucan to ask.
They tell me the expected battery life depends on how often it’s used and how much motion is being detected or how much video is being captured. It’s estimated to be about 6 weeks to 6 months. That’s a pretty wide gamut.
I did charge the battery fully and after about 2 weeks I was getting a battery warning, but with no way to get further intel about the battery and how much juice was really left. I brought it inside and recharged it and it shows as full.After a few days the battery level seems to be holding steady, and since the Doorbell went in at the same time, and it’s still full, I hope that was a minor initial glitch. I’ll update this if I have any further problems.
There is also the option of connecting this camera to AC power if you have it in a place where you can make that work.
Snap still photos any time
Sometimes you want a little more than a view. Toucan Smart Home Wireless Outdoor Camera lets you not only see but speak with whoever’s in front of the lens. You can find out who’s on your property, talk to your children, quiet the dogs and more.
Audible Siren is marginally loud
For added security, there’s an audible siren to help you scare off intruders. You have to manually turn it on inside the app. I will add it’s not piercingly loud.
…or use pre-recorded voice prompts
- Similarly, you can use the embedded prerecorded messages. By pressing the little talk bubble you can have the camera say things like….
- “Hello, Who is it?”
- “No soliciting thank you.”
- “How can I help you”
- Or set off the sound of a barking dog.
I found this feature wasn’t super responsive and didn’t work all the time (see more in my video review); sometimes I’d have to hit the prompt multiple times and then I’d get all the commands being said at once!
No snooze, no motion zones
I also noticed there is no way to snooze motion on the camera—you can only shut it right off or schedule it, and there’s no way to adjust motion zones, like you can on a Ring camera so you could turn off motion alerts from the busy sidewalk, but keep your driveway under watch. This camera may be lacking a lot of additional features found on some other cameras, but as far as a basic simple, high quality camera goes, you’re getting all of that for a good price.
Toucan Shield Cloud Recording: for a fee
As I mentioned you do have to pay for cloud recording if you want videos older than 24 hours. The Toucan Shield protection plan’s Free version lets you look at videos within the last 24 hours. The Pro plan for $3US/month gives you 7 days worth of cloud storage and the Elite plan lets you access your videos for up to 90 days.
While this burns some people’s butts, a paid cloud recording plan is now standard with most Wi-Fi camera brands. I will also say for the most part, I’m only ever looking at videos that are a day or two old. But that’s just me.
Voice control with Google & Alexa smart homes
Toucan Smart Home cameras and Doorbells are compatible with your smart home digital assistants like Alexa and Google, in particular, ones with a screen like Amazon Echo Show8 or Google Home Hub Max.
By enabling the Skill in the Alexa app or connecting Toucan to your Google Home, you can ask your assistant to “show me the backyard” and you should get a live video feed of your camera.
Sometimes this worked for me and sometimes it didn’t.
Overall Review: Toucan Smart Home Wireless Outdoor Camera
Overall this camera is pretty good! I was pleasantly surprised. The video quality is great, the camera was easy to set up and the app is user friendly. The wireless connectivity is strong, and combined with the magnetic mounting bracket means I can put it absolutely anywhere… though I will point out that because it’s not really locked to the bracket, someone could just reach up and pluck it down if they were inclined.
Some folks won’t like the fact that you need to pay for cloud recording, but with this camera you do get access to the last 24 hours of videos, unlike some other camera plans.
Overall, I do like the Toucan Smart Home Wireless Outdoor Camera and I can definitely recommend it for your home security needs. It sells for about $129CAD from Best Buy.