As technology advances have enabled the cost of IP cameras to be made reasonable for the standard consumer, this market seems to be in the midst of a boom. One of the major players in this market is Foscam and is a solid competitor to the likes of D-Link, Dropcam, and Netgear.
One of the latest solutions from Foscam is the FI9821p, a 720p HD solution that offers both wireless via 802.11n and wired connections. The rear of the unit is capable of holding a microSD card for onboard DVR with a capacity ceiling of 32GB. The Foscam FI9821p utilizes H.264 video compression and adds to this with features such as remote viewing, night-vision, and 300-degree pan tilt zoom. The night vision gives you eight meters of viewing distance while the motion detection is capable of sending alerts to your phone, email or FTP.
Compatibility of the Foscam FI9821p extends to both iOS and Android in addition to web browsers including Firefox, IE, Chrome and Safari. MSRP of the Foscam FI9821p is set at $79.99 with a one-year warranty.
Above, we have the packaging for the FI9821p. The right side carries an image of the camera while the bottom has features listed including the 720p functionality, Wi-Fi connectivity, and microSD support.
The backside of the box gives a good amount of marketing information including several use cases. Along the bottom of the box, features are listed including PTZ, Motion Detection, and Night Vision.
Upon opening the package, I was greeted with an interesting label that allows you to check your serial number to make sure your camera is not a counterfeit product.
The scope of delivery for the FI9821p includes a vast array of accessories. To the left we have an Ethernet cable and software disc while to the right we have the power adapter and mount for the camera.
A closer look at the camera reveals the IR LEDs surrounding the 1MP lens.
The backside of the camera has the antenna connection along with the audio in and out. The left side includes the LAN port and micro SD slot.
As seen in past reviews, the Foscam iOS allows quick setup of your IP camera. From the menu above, we start by selecting the add a camera button.
Unique to the Foscam, we then scan the QR code placed on the bottom of the IP camera to begin setup.
After scanning the QR code, we land at the menu above which has a unique ID for the camera. It is also worth noting that the app will automatically select the wireless network your phone or tablet is connected to as the default source for the camera.
The Settings menu for the Foscam includes options for changing networks, alerts along with connection info. Further down we have settings for the OSD and turning on or off the LEDs.
Above, I placed the camera just inside my window looking out. As you can see, the clarity is quite good as well as the color depth. Once you are in the viewing mode, the app will place the controls of the camera down below, these allow you to control the two-way audio, video quality, and PTZ if supported.
With this being my second camera I have had the chance to look at from Foscam, I had a good idea what to expect regarding quality. When I reviewed the C1 camera just last month, I was quite happy with how well that solution was put together and the same can be said for the FI9821p. The FI9821p carries a rubberized plastic on the exterior that tends not to attract the dust, dirt, and fingerprints of high gloss applications. Also, I was quite pleased by the wireless functionality of this camera including its range, which for my use gave me reliable video quality 30 feet from the router. The onboard DVR seemed to work quite well, but I did end up shutting down phone notifications as it appears the motion sensing on this particular camera is quite sensitive.
Video quality of this solution as seen in that last image was quite good with a clear picture, good color depth and little if any lag at all. The application used for setting up and viewing this camera is easy to use and takes only a few minutes to have you up and running. The usability after setup is fluid. I like that all the controls for the camera are right below your viewing window, and if you need to change settings, there is a button at the top right to do so.
Overall, for those wanting to get a handle on their property by setting up an IP camera or multiple cameras, the Foscam FI9821p, while not a top tier solution, does offer 720 HD quality at an affordable price.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Z97-A - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
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- Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower 750W - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 - Buy from Amazon
|Quality including Design and Build||85%|
|Bundle and Packaging||85%|
|Value for Money||90%|
The Bottom Line: With a solid amount of features including PTZ controls, Night Vision and 720p capabilities, the Foscam FI9821p is a budget friendly camera for consumers wanting to monitor activity around the home.
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