As first-time parents, my husband and I were very excited for the opportunity to review the Summer Infant Baby Touch 2 monitor. My husband, a self-professed tech geek, was interested in the touch screen features and auto scan features. I was focused on finding a monitor with ultra-clear viewing to observe/stalk/obsess over our newborn’s every breath. (That’s totally normal, right?)
The packaging was very straightforward. It was secured in a sturdy cardboard-type packaging so it was easy to pull out the individual pieces. The manual itself is very user-friendly, with large illustrations of each component and all of the special features. The illustrations are in full color and clearly label each feature (and there are a lot of them) so you do not miss anything crucial. The manual includes a great deal of safety warnings as well (battery warnings, strangulation hazard warning, ventilation requirements). The safety information is in very large print in the middle of the back page of the manual.
The camera, and charging stand assembly barely required looking at the directions. The power cords were clearly labeled (one for the monitor and one for the camera) with pictures of each on the adapter, so they can’t be easily mixed up. The monitor can be charged either by placing it in the included magnetic base, or simply by connecting it to the charging adapter directly. The entire assembly process took approximately five minutes, from unpacking the monitor to turning it on.
The video monitor itself is smooth, sleek and sexy! It is very lightweight, especially compared to other monitors on the market that we have considered. No battery installation is required, as it is already placed in the unit. Although it is lightweight, the monitor seems to be durable and has a dual purpose kickstand/belt clip on the back which is made of metal. The buttons on the monitor are large and clearly labeled.
The monitor also comes with hardware to mount the camera on the wall for better viewing angles. The camera comes with a very long power cord, so we did not need to do the wall mounting. We were able to place the camera on a nearby shelf and get a great view of the full crib. We do not have many outlets in the nursery, so the long cord was definitely an added bonus. The wall mounting hardware instructions were simple and clear, and we are confident it would have taken only a few minutes to install. The unit also comes with six security clips to keep the power cord away from the baby’s reach.
We turned on the monitor and it was already paired with the camera—it worked immediately. We started experimenting with the touch screen controls right away and found the displays very intuitive. My husband is definitely the tech geek of the family, but I found the product extremely easy to use and not intimidating at all. Whenever we needed to review the features, we referred to the manual’s illustrations for quick recall.
We first experimented with the camera’s manual scanning features. The range of motion from left to right is excellent. The range of motion up and down is a little limited, but still sufficient. The camera has remote scanning and a multi-level zoom that far exceeds what we have seen in other monitors. We recommend keeping the up-and-down limitation in mind when considering where to place the camera. Since the left-to-right range is so good, we found several places in the nursery that worked equally well for viewing the baby’s crib.
The other special features of this monitor include automatic motion tracking; room temperature monitoring in both Fahrenheit and Celsius; two-way audio; a nightlight with a remote on/off switch; LED visual sound indicator; and automatic transition to the night camera. The unit also has a quick-view video on/off button, which allows you to switch back and forth from audio-only to audio and video.
One of our favorite features that we have not seen on any other monitor is the automatic motion tracking. This enables the camera to automatically follow a person’s movement in the room. This is beneficial for babies in a crib, since they tend to scoot around, but would be even more useful for older, more mobile babies and toddlers who may get in and out of bed.
The room temperature feature seems somewhat inconsistent. Based on our home thermostat readings, the temperature reading on the monitor is sometimes on the high side. Other times, it is accurate. Overall, it’s only off by a few degrees, and this is not a big concern for us since we do not rely on the monitor to adjust the temperature of the room.
The switch from day mode to night mode is automatic and seamless in our darkened room. There is virtually no loss of picture quality once the camera switched to night mode, which we found extremely impressive. The camera includes a remote-controlled night light, which is just bright enough for comfort or convenience lighting, but not so bright it will wake a sleeping child.
The sound quality of the monitor is excellent—crisp and clear with no interference. The LED visual sound indicator, which demonstrates the level of noise in the room, is very accurate. The two-way talk feature worked very well and is extremely handy for communicating with someone else in the other room (or soothing a baby back to sleep!)
The monitor will support up to four cameras. We added a second camera while testing the unit. In order to set up the second camera, all we had to do was pair the camera to the monitor by pressing the pairing button on the camera. In a matter of seconds, the second camera was added and functioning. The settings allow you to manually select a camera to view and also automatically switch views from one camera to the next every 30 seconds or so. This is a great benefit for families with children in different rooms. We also used the second camera to spy on our two dogs, who relax in our bedroom during the day. We learned that they sleep a lot!
The battery does require an initial 12-16 hour charge, but had a very long battery life once fully charged. With moderate use, the battery will last close to the 10 hours of charge time it claims. This product also claims to have a 600-foot signal reception range. We tested it all throughout our house with no real reception issues, so this seems accurate. Only on the very long end of the range have we experienced any signal loss.
The product itself is white with silver trim. The magnetic rechargeable stand is white with a chrome bottom. Based on pictures included with the unit and the photos online, it appears to only be available in white at this time.
The bottom of the recharging stand does not have anything to “grip” onto a surface, so we were a little concerned about sliding/shifting. The whole unit seems very stable once placed in position, so this may not be a real concern. It is smooth on the bottom, so there is no risk of scratching furniture that we could see.
One of the minor negatives for this monitor is that the on-screen menu automatically times out after five seconds. There does not appear to be a setting that allows you to adjust the duration of the time-out. This is mostly noticeable when setting up the device, but is not really an issue during regular use.
We also noticed that the box and full manual only have written instructions in English. There is no Spanish or other language support, which seemed unusual.
Given the ease of use and breadth of functionality, this is one of the best monitors we have seen on the market. The touch screen capabilities, remote camera panning, and automatic tracking are our favorite features and really make this monitor stand out among many others. Could you get by with a “lesser” monitor, without all the fancy features? Yes, but as first-time, nervous parents, we really appreciated all the viewing options and felt we would always have a clear view of our baby. That kind of peace of mind is really priceless. We would not hesitate to recommend this monitor to family and friends who are seeking a high-end monitor that utilizes all the latest technology.
To buy: babiesrus.com