Don’t buy this camera.
Honestly, you don’t even have to read this review any further, this is by far the worst security camera I have ever tested (and I have tested the lot.).
When I buy a home security camera, there are 7 things I expect from it and 4 of those things are non-negotiable.
I expect from a security camera to have RTSP access, be reliable, have clear picture quality and to be accessible from the internet for remote viewing, these are my non-negotiable needs when it comes to security cameras.
The other three functional abilities I expect from a security camera is cloud recording / SD card recording, over and above the RTSP / Dedicated NVR as well as the ability to move the camera around using PTZ controls and lastly ONVIF support.
This Xiaomi Mijia 1080P 170° Smart IP Camera has none of those things (except the picture quality), yet it costs double what other security cameras in this tier costs.
RTSP: This is a standard feature on almost any camera since 2013, not providing rtsp access tells me you are doing something funny and this being a full on Chinese brand, I have no doubt in my mind they are doing something funny. Having access to an rtsp stream for the camera allows you to add the camera (independent of brand) to your NVR of choice, be that a Hikvision NVR, Uniview NVR, Blue Iris, Zoneminder or even a Synology NAS the point is with rtsp access you are in control of how you want to access and store the security footage instead of being tied in to a specific App or Brand.
Needless to say, none of the Xiaomi Mijia cameras allows rtsp access, which is more than enough reason to not buy this camera.
Reliability: I define reliability as follows: If I am on the road and my wife and kids are alone at home and I want to quickly check up on the yard and movement around the house by opening up the app on my phone then the footage needs to load quickly and in real time, everytime.
I have absolutely no room for error in this regard, if your family is in danger the security camera MUST work no exceptions. Well Xiaomi clearly thinks exceptions are welcomed because this is by far the single most unreliable security camera on the market today. In fact I would go as far as to say that I believe Xiaomi should be sued for even selling this as a security camera.
The app barely works, the camera hardly ever records to the SD card, and not even to mention that the camera is locked down so there is no way to implement a backup. See on the Sonoff and any other security camera for that matter, I always have the camera record to the onboard SD card as well as to a dedicated NVR and as a last resort, I also record the RTSP stream that way a hell of a lot of stuff needs to go wrong before I lose the ability to record a security breach.
On the Xiaomi Mijia 1080P 170° Smart IP Camera however you are considered lucky if that app even opens the camera feed.
The camera will also stop recording to the SD card without warning and when you go back through the app (if it opens the playback ability, which is very rarely) then you notice you lost 2 days of recording and the only way to get it to record again is to restart the camera.
I say again, do not buy this camera.
You have been warned.
Clear Picture Quality: Here is where this review gets difficult, for all the bad stuff this camera has going for it, the picture quality is not one of them. The quality is decent, it’s slightly better than the Sonoff, not a lot, but still better. The camera has a 170-degree field of view which is incredible and a very good compromise considering it does not have PTZ functionality.
What makes this part infuriating is that if Xiaomi just offered a small compromise by allowing rtsp access then all of these other issues would immediately fall away, because then I am in control and can reliably record and access the camera’s footage. You will rarely get to see the great picture quality because the only way to access it is via the Mi Home app which is unreliable.
Remote Viewing: Yes, it has remote viewing. It also has SD card recording, doesn’t mean it works. The remote viewing on this camera is about as unreliable as it gets. I would absolutely not trust my family’s security in the hands of this camera’s remote viewing option. I am not even talking about a weak 3G or LTE signal. When this camera is at Home A on a 200Mbps Fiber line and you try to access the camera from location B also connected to Fiber, you have a 30% chance that the camera feed will play and you can totally forget about doing any sort of remote playback, even if you are on the same local network, the playback functionality is horrific at best.
The only reliable way to get the footage of this camera (if it recorded anything) is to take the camera off and take out the SD card and put that SD card into a computer and retrieve the files.
It’s impractical to use this camera for anything, it’s not even useful as a Cat Monitor.
Cloud Recording: It says it has this ability, but it doesn’t. Rephrase, every feature that is marketed with this camera from Cloud Recording to Facial Recognition is paid for. You have to sign up for a subscription to get access to any feature of this camera. Guess what, the subscription doesn’t work. I tried everything to get the subscription to work to unlock the cloud recording and nothing happened.
This just continues to show how utterly unreliable Xiaomi is as a brand (I have the high end camera too, and I have their top end robot vacuum and I have their top end phone – they are all rubbish).
SD Card Recording: The funny business continues here because the camera is software locked to only work with SD cards up to 32GB instead of 256GB like most other cameras and this is done to push people to use their cloud recording subscription instead – which, would have been alright if it worked, but now you end up with a camera that cannot record to the cloud, does not provide you a backup via a rtsp feed and is limited to 32GB of SD card space and then barely records to the SD card and requires frequent reboots when it gets stuck.
PTZ: This model from Xiaomi the MJSXJ02HL does not have PTZ support, but it does come with a 170 degree field of view so it more than makes up for it.
ONVIF Support: None of the Xiaomi cameras support ONVIF or any other open standard for that matter, the cameras are completely locked down with chinese software.
The app interface is a disaster, most of the settings are only available when you have a subscription which you cannot buy and the app itself is very unresponsive. I do think this is partly because it is all routed through china and the camera itself does not have any meaningful processing power so the camera can get overwhelmed quickly and then bombs out.
As I mentioned earlier, the picture quality of this camera is not terrible, in fact if Xiaomi stops being evil and just enable RTSP on the app through a firmware update on the camera, trust me the ability is there they just intentionally hide it, then this would probably have been my most bought camera.
The picture quality on the Xiaomi MJSXJ02HL is really good given that this camera is only $22.99 (If you really want to you can buy the camera on Banggood), I cannot stress this enough, add rtsp to this camera and it would have been a fantastic unit to add to your security set up, alas the flaws of this camera greatly outweighs the quality of it’s picture quality.
The video of this camera isn’t bad either, but it’s a moot selling point because you will barely ever be able to use it.
Here are the specifications of the Xiaomi Mijia 1080P 170° Smart IP Camera again it looks good on paper, but do not be fooled.
|Wireless Connections||WIFI IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz|
|Storage Function||Micro SD Card (32GB Max)|
|Support System||Android 4.4 or iOS9.0 or Above|
1 x Xiaomi Mijia 1080P 170° Smart IP Camera
1 x US Plug Charger
1 x Charging Cable
1 x 3M Wall Sticker
View the Terms and Conditions, it speaks to China.
I feel sad writing this review, because this camera had so much going for it. The camera is designed by an artist, this is by far the most beautiful and aesthetically pleasing security camera on the market today. I have to admit, I bought this camera because of what it looks like and I hoped the functionality and performance would match it, but sadly it does not, not even close.
This camera is a great example of “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” however in this case the book cover was click bait.
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