By Zachary Lloyd
If you’re in the market for home security, let’s discuss the D-Link Omna HD Camera. Tested in a single room, studio environment, this $150 camera sits in the corner of any room; strategically placed to watch the world around it using its 180-degree field of view.
It is made from an aluminum material, and feels very sturdy in the hand. Its neutral color helps it to blend in with all but the most rustic of furniture schemes, as it features an all silver body with black accents, and a multi-color led dot on the front. The charging port is on the back of the camera, and it is indented a few centimeters into the casing, with a square hole. The included charging cable features the same shape end on the connector, so it fits flush, and feels extremely premium. On paper, the camera looks like it boasts many impressive features: It has the ability to connect to your Android or iPhone via the Omna app for live view, automatic recording, and alerts for when the camera detects motion.
The setup process is fairly straightforward: Just plug the camera into the wall outlet, download the Omna app, wait for it to detect the camera, and then just connect it to Wi-Fi. However, the app is extremely slow and cumbersome to use, and getting the camera to show up in the list of devices was more difficult than it should have been. Moreover, once it was able to be seen by my phone, it took a few more tries before I had it connected to the network and streaming data.
The camera notified my phone as soon as I stepped in front of it, and the night viewing mode worked like a charm. The live view, even with its massive delay, seems like it would be a good feature to have, if it worked consistently. Every time I attempted to open the app to check out the live view, I was presented with almost a full minute of loading screens, before I could finally enter the viewing screen. Plus, the app did crash some of the time.
Most times I tried to use the Live View, it was a direct result of having received a motion detection notification. However, even with the door to the small room closed, the fan off, and 100 percent assurance that there was nothing in the room, I would get a motion notification once every 30 seconds up to every 5 minutes. While the camera does feature the saving of recordings to a Micro SD card, the whole point of this product is to be able to monitor your home from afar, and it just lacks the ability to do that in most cases.
Things did, however, improve a bit with the Apple HomeKit app. It felt fast and streamlined, and even though the delay was still massive, the motion detection notifications were fixed in this version of the app. You can even ask Siri for the status of the camera. However, many users use Android devices, and the camera must properly work for these users, not just iOS lovers.
The physical camera sensor has a 180-degree field of view, which enables you to see your whole room. However, it does not feature continuous recording, something that camera at this same price point, or even cheaper, offers in the base models. It is 1080p HD, which is more than enough for the tasks it has to handle, and has the ability to save all the data to a 128 GB Micro SD card (this is not included in the box).
- A sturdy, metal construction
- Integration with both Android OS and the Apple HomeKit
- 180-degrees of view
- Motion detected alerts
- Ability to save data locally
- The setup needs to be more streamlined
- The Android app is buggy and could use some updates
- The camera does not include a Micro SD card of the box – necessary for basic functionality
- The motion detection sends too many notifications
- The live view has a large delay
Overall, it is very hard to recommend this camera to anyone when options such as the NestCam exist in this price category. The camera caters entirely to Apple users, offering a buggy Android app, an overly sensitive motion detector, and is expensive for the level of functionality.