If you’re a new parent, you’ve probably spent an inordinate amount of time Googling baby monitors. It’s tempting to invest in a high-tech smart monitor that will track each breath and heartbeat and teach them to sleep through the night. But I must warn you, new parents: You’ll need a monitor for much longer than the first year.
What was that bump or thump? Is that a ghost, or is the toddler throwing every single book on the floor? Did they stay under the covers, or are they dangling off the bed? Monitors that mount directly over the crib don’t work as well once your kid gets older. You need a monitor that can help you Where’s Waldo hidden pairs of tiny feet. That’s where the Eufy SpaceView comes in.
While the Eufy SpaceView works well for small babies, it’s perfect for the years when your kids are big enough to get out of bed, but not big enough to understand how doorknobs work. The shiny, billiard ball-sized monitor has a 330-degree horizontal rotation and 110-degree vertical rotation to peep in every hidden corner of your kids’ room. There’s also an optional wide-angle lens that increases the viewing angle to 110 degrees. The SpaceView
For the past week, I’ve been panning around my kids’ room with the SpaceView’s handheld unit, watching them as they march through the dark in bedtime protest. While it does lack a few features, the SpaceView is a great-looking, reliable, and easy-to-use monitor. I expected nothing less from Eufy, the maker of adorable, affordable robot vacuums and other smart home appliances.
Eufy boasts that the SpaceView, its very first baby monitor, requires no installation out of the box. It doesn’t. That’s mostly because it’s not internet-enabled—you just plug it in and point it at your kid’s bed.
Not having Wi-Fi might throw some parents for a loop. Our house has smart everything; at this point, testing a device without an app is like picking up a fork that’s missing two tines. After all, Wi-Fi capabilities mean you can view your child from your phone, whenever or wherever you want. And schlepping a handheld unit around your house is annoying. It’s just one more thing to lose in the piles of crayons and robot unicorns that litter our house.
But things that connect to the internet tend to have security problems, and of all the smart home devices in your house, a baby monitor is the one that you’d least want to get hacked. Ask yourself if you have the time and energy to take some basic security precautions for a Wi-Fi monitor? Do you want to change all your passwords, update your security protocols, set up a mesh network, or subscribe to a VPN service? No? For some parents, a Wi-Fi-enabled monitor might not be worth the time, or the risk.
Since the SpaceView doesn’t have Wi-Fi, you don’t have to create yet another account, remember another password, and tediously pair it with your phone. Instead, the SpaceView transmits data to a handheld unit via an FHSS radio connection. It’s simpler to set up, more secure, and allows you to continue monitoring your kids even if the power goes out.
If you can get around the fact that the SpaceView has no Wi-Fi, setup is remarkably simple. A corner wall mount is included in the box, in addition to the monitor unit, handheld screen, optional wide-angle lens, and chargers. I didn’t need to mount it, though. The night vision range is within 13-16 feet, and I got a great view of my sleeping kids by just plonking it on the dresser by their beds.
A built-in 2,900 mAh battery gives the camera and monitor a separation range up to an advertised 460 feet. In testing, I got around 250 feet away from the camera before it lost connection. In fairness to the SpaceView, I have to admit that in order to get this far away, I had to leave my house and walk halfway down the block, which isn’t something that I find myself doing on a nightly basis.
Using the 6-inch by 3-inch handheld monitor unit is simple. It has a two-way microphone and speaker to let you talk to your kids. You can also turn night vision on or off, set sound-activated alerts, adjust the screen’s brightness, switch anti-screen flicker modes if the screen is flickering, add more cameras, or set a sleep mode for the screen to turn off after a certain number of minutes. The camera also comes with a temperature sensor unit to warn you if the room is getting too cold or too hot.
It has a small antenna and kickstand that flips out to prop it upright. The handheld unit is slightly bigger than the wildly popular Infant Optics DXR-8, but the 5-inch screen is also bigger and easier to see—though it could pack a few more pixels. I didn’t have a problem with the 720p color screen, which was clear enough for me to see my kids’ eyes blinking open or closed. But it will look grainy if you’re used to watching video on your phone at 1080p (Full HD), especially when you zoom in.
Radio Killed the Video Star
I don’t have an opinion on whether or not it’s safe to use a smart Wi-Fi baby monitor. For me, a big drawback of the SpaceView was that it can’t save video clips. I know, I know—who needs clips of their kid sleeping? Still, they’re adorable. And I have so many hilarious nighttime moments saved on my phone from a Wi-Fi-enabled monitor. It’s sad to think that I wouldn’t have been able to save them with this one.
The SpaceView’s handheld is also too big to fit in my pocket as I trundle from room to room after my kids go to bed, and the battery life isn’t as long as I expect. Around 17 hours of battery life on power-saving mode means that I needed to recharge the handheld monitor unit daily, or turn it off in the morning.
It also lacks features that are common on other baby monitors, like a nightlight or a motion-detector alert system, but I didn’t miss these. My kids are very mobile, and the last thing I want is constant dinging as they pop out of bed for one microsip of water.
It’s easy to travel with, too. At under 4.5 inches tall, it’s small and portable, and its wide viewing angles mean that you can leave it by a Pack ‘n Play at your parents’ house or in a hotel room without drilling a hole into the wall or fiddling with Wi-Fi. For parents of young kids, especially multiple ones, the SpaceView’s simplicity is a gift. If you are at the child-rearing stage when you spend less time worrying about whether they’re breathing and more time trying to figure out if they fell asleep in the closet again, the SpaceView is a great pick.
social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #wired https://www.wired.com/review/eufy-spaceview-baby-monitor