When my husband and I discovered we were expecting our first baby, we tried to be laid-back about the whole thing, not buying too many toys or accessories before he arrived. Since we live in a relatively small apartment we’d decided we didn’t need a baby monitor at all—and especially not a video monitor. As we made that declaration to friends with new babies, though, they all vehemently disagreed and proceeded to rave about the convenience of being able to peek in on the baby without having to open the bedroom door—even in a small apartment.
These are friends we trust, so when the opportunity arose for us to review the MobiCam Secure Start Digital Video Monitor we figured we should give it a try. I have to say that despite our initial inclinations, we were both impressed. The camera and monitor were both so simple to use, straight out of the box. The monitor required a few small, rechargeable batteries (included) and then both units simply had to be plugged in using the enclosed, interchangeable cords. Once the batteries were charged, the monitor could be carried around wirelessly. The camera itself has to be plugged in all the time, but that isn’t a problem from the spot where we’ve mounted it above his crib (although we could also just sit it on a shelf using the attached base). Both the camera and the monitor are small, unobtrusive, sleek units, and the monitor is light enough that I can definitely see myself wearing it around on a daily basis.
The only tool we needed was a small flat-head screwdriver to open the battery panel on the back of the monitor; otherwise both units were practically ready to use right out of the box. Although there were directions in the instruction manual for how to help the units “find” one another, our camera and monitor linked up as soon as we turned them both on. I usually leave the technology stuff in our house to my husband, but even I could handle this; it was nuts how simple the whole thing was to use. It’s kind of unbelievable that we can keep an eye on our little one so easily.
The unit includes the basic picture and sound on the monitor, but you can also use it as a sort of intercom to talk to your little one if they need to be soothed during the night. The camera also switches to night-vision automatically, and the picture is surprisingly clear considering there is only a tiny green light on the front of the camera indicating that it’s on. Our favorite feature, though, was the VOX (voice activated) function on the monitor. When you switch this feature on, the monitor screen stays dark unless the baby makes some sort of noise. You can adjust the sensitivity level of the system, but I have to say that it’s plenty sensitive enough to pick up the sound if your little one needs you. The VOX feature also helps save battery power if you’re wearing the monitor around all day.
We felt there were only a few cons to this video monitor system. Although the pictures on the box and in the instruction manual show a perfectly clear, crisp, color shot of baby, in reality the daytime camera mode is a bit more sepia-toned. It shows more color than black-and-white, but even after adjusting the brightness on the monitor the colors were not quite true to life. We’re not too worried about this, though, because the picture was still very crisp and clear. Additionally, the sound (on both the monitor and the intercom through the camera) can be a little tinny if the units are too close together. This may be something to keep in mind if your room is right next door to baby’s. Finally, although the monitor can be used wirelessly, you have to remember to plug it in each night because the charge on the batteries doesn’t last much more than one day, especially if you aren’t using the VOX mode.
You can’t beat the quality of this video monitor for the price. Although this model doesn’t have some of the features of fancier video monitors (think scanning the crib or zooming in and out), I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a simple, easy-to-use, affordable video monitor. It more than suits our needs, and we learned our lesson: friends are always right—at least when they recommend video baby monitors.
To buy: getmobi.com