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Xiaomi Mi 360 Home Security Camera 2K Pro
What we like
What we don't like
Xiaomi Mi 360 Home Security Camera 2K Pro
One of the earliest products Xiaomi introduced as part of its ecosystem expansion was a home security camera. The feature-packed camera was an easy sell in the then-nascent category and it certainly didn’t hurt that the camera was much lower priced compared to the competition. Since then, the market has expanded significantly. From budget-focused options from Xiaomi, realme, and more, to pricier but more robust solutions from the likes of Google Nest and Amazon’s Ring, it is possible to get quality wireless security cameras at all price points. In the Android Authority Mi 360 Home Security Camera 2K Pro review, we see if Xiaomi’s upgraded model brings enough to the table to justify the uptick in price and if it makes sense for existing buyers to upgrade their cameras.
What you need to know about the Mi 360 Home Security Camera 2K Pro
- Mi 360 Home Security Camera 2K Pro: Rs. 4,499 / €59.99 / ~£50 (~$60)
Xiaomi’s upgraded Mi 360 Home Security Camera 2K Pro is all about the updated image sensor and refreshed hardware design. While the feature set isn’t drastically different compared to the previous model, the new camera should be able to capture a lot more detail. That new sensor also allows the camera to capture full-color nighttime images.
It’s important to note that Xiaomi isn’t positioning the Mi Home Security Camera 2K Pro as a replacement for existing models like the standard 1080p indoor camera, or the 360-degree 1080p camera. The latest model, instead, sits a tier above as an upgrade for those who want a higher-resolution image.
Xiaomi’s home security camera operates in a relatively isolated space, with limited alternatives. Primary options in India include realme’s 360-degree security camera, as well as alternatives from TP-Link and CP-Plus. However, all of these cameras top-off at 1080p recording, which sets the Mi Home Security Camera 2K Pro apart. In Europe, Eufy, TP-Link, and Amazon’s Ring offer competitive products.
The Mi 360 Home Security Camera 2K Pro goes on sale in India starting September 15 and will be available for Rs. 4,499 at Mi.com, as well as Amazon. In Europe, the camera is priced at €59.99 or for around £50 in the UK and is available to buy now.
How’s the hardware?
The Xiaomi Mi 360 Home Security Camera 2K Pro is as straightforward as home security cameras come. While previous generation models were geared towards indoor use with softer curves, the Mi 360 Home Security Camera 2K Pro is designed more like a traditional dome security camera.
The entire construction is white polycarbonate with a 360-degree rotation motor embedded in the base. It’s fairly noiseless and once mounted, you can barely hear the camera moving around. The vertical motion of the camera is controlled via a central module that offers 110-degrees of visibility.
The camera supports memory cards up to 32GB and the card slot is tucked away below the camera lens. You’ll have to coax the camera module up, either by using the app or by manually pushing it up to slot in the card. It’s not the most convenient solution, but it does guarantee a modicum of security considering nobody can extract the card without being in the camera’s frame of view.
Finally, over at the back, you’ll find a micro-USB slot to power up the camera. Xiaomi has tossed a power adaptor in the box along with a sufficiently long micro-USB cable which should allow you to run the camera a fair distance from a power socket.
There's not much to the hardware here, but the dead-simple setup should be a boon to first-time users.
It’s all pretty straightforward, as it should be, and the camera can even be mounted to the ceiling using an included bracket. All hook-ups are included in the box, and you’ll just need to drill in two holes to mount it. That said, I would have liked to see a locking mechanism of some sort as it is too easy to twist and remove the camera.
Is it easy to set up?
The Mi 360 Home Security Camera 2K Pro taps into the standard Mi Home app, like all of Xiaomi’s ecosystem products. Set up is straightforward and the app automatically detected the camera the first time I powered it up. After that, all it took was scanning in the QR code at the base of the camera to add it to my list of devices. The app automatically transfers the last saved Wi-Fi SSID and password to the camera.
Unlike many devices, I didn’t feel the need to fiddle around much with the out-of-the-box settings. Xiaomi has done well to make the camera as plug and play as possible.
Is the software any good?
Tapping the relevant camera in the app brings up a fullscreen view of the camera as well as associated controls. An on-screen joystick lets you adjust the position of the camera. There’s a hint of latency here, but that’s to be expected with most security cameras. Additionally, you’ll find controls for taking snapshots, videos, listening in to the camera’s microphone, and also broadcasting audio through the camera itself.
The app also includes a setting to allow the Mi 360 Home Security Camera 2K Pro to follow humans within the frame. Unfortunately, the camera does not return to its original position once the person moves out of the frame, making it a bit redundant.
Xiaomi's security camera gets the basics right, but there are a lot of missing features.
Another obvious omission is detection zones. The camera detects motion across the entire viewing plane, which means that plants moving in the breeze trigger motion detection just the same as a person walking across. Sure, the app lets you easily toggle human triggers and standard motion detection while reviewing security footage, but the lack of zones means that there’s simply no way to block out a busy street or foliage for motion detection. Detection zones have been common on security cameras for years, so it’s rather disappointing that Xiaomi refuses to add the feature here.
While most of these issues are an annoyance at best, I do have a major concern with the Mi 360 Home Security Camera 2K Pro. Notifications have a cooling-off period of three minutes. Moreover, the camera only records 60-second clips if you’ve set it to record on motion detection. Since the camera uses a combination of the infrared and camera sensors to trigger a notification, all too often the recording starts well before the object is visibly within the frame, and you won’t get any further notification or recording. I own and use a number of Xiaomi security cameras and the only real way around this is to set the camera to record continuously. Thankfully, the app is able to classify recordings with people in them, so it’s easy enough to go back and review footage.
The camera also offers seven days of cloud backups for clips, which should give users some peace of mind in case a perpetrator makes off with your camera. Finally, it is also possible to use a NAS device for storing recordings. The setup process is a bit clunky and needs you to switch back to the SMB1 protocol on your NAS. Moreover, Xiaomi includes no clear documentation on the process. It’s pretty obvious that the company doesn’t expect too many users to opt for this storage method, but the option is there for those who want their personal recordings safely backed up.
Elsewhere, configuring specific recording times is a cinch here, and you can opt between full-time, daytime, or nighttime surveillance. The app will also let you set a customized schedule. You can easily set up a start and stop time for camera monitoring, however, the lack of multiple schedules is a bit disappointing.
I like Xiaomi’s one-stop approach to the app as it lets you easily pop into additional cameras, and also accessories. It also allows for some interesting automation possibilities, like starting the Mi Robot Vacuum or Air Purifier when the camera detects motion. The feature is a handy replacement for IFTTT since the cameras don’t support the third-party service.
How well does the Mi 360 Home Security Camera 2K Pro work?
Xiaomi’s latest security cam sports a 3MP camera that can shoot at 20fps. The stream isn’t silky smooth, but it suffices for the price and I found the picture quality to be on point. The upgraded dual-band Wi-Fi with support for 5GHz networks comes in clutch, and the stream starts a second or so after you tap the button in the app.
With the sensitivity set to high, the camera was fairly reliable with sending motion detection notifications to both my OnePlus 9 Pro and my iPhone 12. On Android, however, you’ll need to switch off battery optimization and lock the app in memory to ensure that you don’t miss out on notifications.
The upgraded sensor also allows for full-color nighttime images which is a pretty incredible feat. There’s ample detail in both the daytime and low-light shots. Video quality is good enough for the intended use case, too.
- Smart home integration: The Mi 360 Home Security Camera 2K Pro integrates well with both the Google and Alexa smart home ecosystems. This includes broadcasting the feed on a Google Assistant-powered smart display, as well as casting the video feed to a Google Cast-enabled device like an Android TV. It appears that the video feed is locked to 360p, which isn’t particularly high quality. Additionally, there’s no option to cast a grid of all cameras on the network, which is a bit of a bummer.
- No water resistance: Xiaomi doesn’t really advertise the camera as an outdoor cam, but the form factor and functionality make it perfectly suited as one. Having a degree of splash resistance against rain would have been a definite value add. You can, of course, mount it away from direct sunlight and keep it protected from errant splashes.
- Bluetooth Gateway: The camera also serves as a Bluetooth gateway and can work as an extension to Bluetooth-enabled IoT products like bulbs.
Value and competition
The Mi 360 Home Security Camera 2K Pro is pretty well priced for the feature set it offers. The real advantage here is the upgraded 2K sensor that captures a lot more detail. The camera doesn’t offer granular controls over every aspect, but it is a consumer-facing product and isn’t really meant for hardcore security use.
The most obvious competitor comes from within Xiaomi’s own portfolio. The Mi Security Cam 360 (£39/Rs. 2,999) offers many of the same features at a significantly lower price point. You’re only losing out on resolution and even that isn’t much of a loss if the camera is being used indoors for basic monitoring.
Read more: The best smart home devices you can buy
For those in India, the realme 360 Smart Security Camera (Rs.2,999) offers a very similar feature set to Xiaomi’s 1080p 360 cam. In fact, your decision will only be dependent on which company’s platform you want to lock yourself into.
There’s also the TP-Link Tapo C200 (£34/Rs. 2,599) that wins out over Xiaomi’s offering with its longer recording times once it detects motion. The rest of the feature set, however, is on par with Xiaomi and realme’s cameras.
Xiaomi Mi 360 Home Security Camera 2K Pro review: The verdict
The Xiaomi Mi 360 Home Security Camera 2K Pro is a very good consumer-grade security camera, all things considered. It covers the basics of picture quality, ease of use, and quick notifications. However, it’s not a massive upgrade over the 1080p model. Additionally, the lack of “Pro” features likes motion detection zones is disappointing, to say the least.
The Mi 360 Home Security Camera 2K Pro is a perfectly good camera, but it doesn't differentiate enough to justify the higher sticker price.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with the Mi 360 Home Security Camera 2K Pro. However, It might be a testament to Xiaomi’s prowess at delivering value that most users will be perfectly happy with Xiaomi’s existing 1080p solution. It does almost all the same things as the upgraded 2K model while costing a whole lot less.