SmartThings Cam: How to add a Samsung camera to SmartThings?

The latest device from Samsung’s SmartThings Cam is an indoor security camera that you can add to your existing

SmartThings ecosystem or use independently without the need for a hub.

A 1080p camera that delivers High Dynamic Range (HDR) video and offers

sound and motion detection, as well as free and paid cloud storage.

But it lacks IFTTT support, motion sensitivity settings, and the ability to independently stream video to Alexa and Google devices.

The D-Link Full HD Wi-Fi Camera DCS-8300LH, offers native Alexa and Google streaming, IFTTT support, and more storage options.

Design and Features

SmartThings Cam

The above pic is the Samsung SmartThing Cam, the black and white body enclosure measures 2.7 by 1.5 inches (HWD).

It is attached to 2 inch arm and a 3 inch round base which makes you to use it as a desktop or rather place it to a wall or ceiling.

The SmartThings Cam captures 1080px video at 30fps and uses HDR to

deliver brighter whites, dim blacks and an overall bright picture.

It has a 145-degree field of view and uses 2 infrared LED to provide up to 16 feet of colourless night video.

Two-way audio comes by way of a microphone and speaker, and

the camera connects to your home network via an embedded Wi-Fi radio that supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz connectivity.

The SmartThings Cam offers motion and sound detection with push alerts.

It comes with free cloud storage that gives you a rolling 24 hours of 10-second event-triggered videos, but if you require longer

clips, you can subscribe to the $7.99 per month Premium Plan that gives you 30 days of rolling storage and 60-second clips.

Missing is an SD card slot for local storage as you get with the D-Link DCS-8300LH and the Wyze Cam Pan cameras.

The camera works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, but you it must be paired with a SmartThings Hub to be able to use voice commands.

How it Works

When you first open the free SmartThings app (available for Android and iOS),

you’ll see the My Home screen with tabs for each room and its installed devices.

Here you’ll also see the SmartThings Home Monitor tab, which lets you to arm and disarm the camera for home and away

modes, buttons for Scenes that you’ve created, and the SmartThings Video tab, which brings up a list of event video clips

with the time and reason (person, sound, object motion) of the event.

Tap the camera tab to view a live feed, turn the camera on and off, take a snapshot, manually record a clip,

and initiate a two-way conversation. To configure camera settings, tap the three dots in the upper right corner.

Here you can enable HDR, flip the image, adjust speaker volume, set motion detection zones,

and adjust sound detection sensitivity. Missing is a motion sensitivity setting.

SmartThings Cam 2

Back at the My Home screen, the plus icon in the top right corner is used to add new devices,

and tapping the three-bar icon in the left corner will launch a menu where

you can view each room or all installed devices.

There’s also a menu tab for creating Scenes that allow you to control the

camera and other connected devices with a single tap,

and Automations, which allow you to have the camera respond to certain

triggers such as time of day, location, and other SmartThings Wi-Fi devices.

For example, you can create an Automation to have a motion from the camera turn the Smart Plug on or off.

Installation and Performance

SmartThings Cam 3

First time installation? It took just a few minutes to get the SmartThings Cam up and running.

You’ll have to download the app from Play Store and create an account.

Open the app, tap the plus icon in the upper right corner, select Add Device, and tap the SmartThings icon.

Select Camera from the list, press Start, and select a location and room for the camera.

Following the on-screen instructions, plug the camera in and waited around 20 seconds for the LED to begin blinking amber.

Click Next and use the phone’s camera to scan the QR code found on the bottom of the camera base.

Allow the camera to join the SmartThings network, select my Wi-Fi SSID from the list, and enter your Wi-Fi password.

After a few seconds, the camera will be connected to your home network and you will be prompted to enable a free 30-day Premium trial.

The SmartThings Cam delivers very sharp video in my tests.

Colors appeared well saturated, and black-and-white night video was uniformly illuminated, with excellent detail out to around 16 feet.

Motion and sound alerts arrived quickly, but the camera was triggered by

even the slightest movement including movement from outside from passing cars.

A motion sensitivity setting would help to reduce the frequency of triggered alerts.

Created an Automation to have a SmartThings Smart Plug turn on when the camera detected motion and it worked like a charm.

This was the only Automation that I was able to create, as I didn’t have the camera (or the plug) paired with a SmartThings Hub.

Two-way audio was crisp and recorded video was just as sharp as the live feed.

In Conclusion

The Samsung SmartThings Cam is a solid indoor home security camera that

will work on its own or fit seamlessly into an existing SmartThings home automation system.

You’ll need a hub to make it work with third-party devices such as door

locks, thermostats, and lighting systems, and to use voice commands to stream video to Amazon and Google smart displays.

It doesn’t offer HDR video, but it delivers sharp 1080p video and supports

IFTTT applets stream video using voice commands and offers local and cloud video storage.

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