More and more people are buying into the smart home trend and, as a consequence, the security camera market started growing at an impressive rate, allowing the manufacturers to move past the traditional CCTV systems and develop a large variety of IP cameras. But, despite the large number of available devices, this sector never really feels overcrowded and new players are always welcomed to try and challenge the already established players, such as the Arlo devices (coming from the networking giant Netgear) or the inexpensive Wyze cameras.
Meco has been bold enough to come forward with its new battery-powered weather-proof camera and it’s ready to join the group of popular outdoor-friendly cameras, offering 1080p footage, motion detection, IR night vision, protection against the elements and a rechargeable battery (some device from the competition require that you periodically change the batteries).
While it makes it very convenient to be placed almost anywhere, there are some compromises that need to be made when using a battery-powered camera, such as a lower resolution video quality (the 1080p footage is an interesting claim from MECO) or the lack of continuous recording (only when the PIR sensor detects motion, to save the battery life), but MECO does say that a single charge could last more than three months and there is subscription-based Cloud storage available to make up for some of the inevitable shortcomings.
Note: Inside the package, besides the mounting kit and the camera, there’s also a gift card for receiving a Class 10 32GB microSD card.
After I took the Meco Eleverde IP camera from the package, it became immediately evident that the manufacturer did took some inspiration from the Canary Flex camera and it also does share some elements with the Netgear Arlo, featuring a similar long oval-shaped case made of sturdy plastic and, while most of the device is covered by a white matte finish, the front is reserved for the glossy black surface where you can find the camera, the IR sensors, the microphone and the motion detector (the glossy finish does retain fingerprints, so make sure to keep the camera clean in order to get a clear footage) – immediately underneath the glossy black area, you can also find the holes for the speaker.
This type of design approach seems to be quite popular due to its minimalist nature and its size should render it relatively unobtrusive – it measures 3.93 x 2.16 x 1.96 inches, so it’s quite similar to the Netgear Arlo Pro 2 and shorter than the Canary Flex.
The camera is also a bit heavy (it weighs 7.4 oz) which we, users, usually associate with a premium construction and indeed, the device does feel robust enough to handle the outside conditions. Speaking of which, the Meco Eleverde IP camera is IP65-rated, which means that it is completely dust-proof, so no amount of dust or any other solid particle can get inside the case to do any kind of damage and it’s also resistant to low-pressure jets of water, regardless of the angle, but you should not submerge the device under water since it is not waterproof – it should offer some decent protection against the rain, but I wouldn’t mount it on a pole in a vulnerable position (not only because of storms, but also because of lighting, since it lacks any kind of protection against it).
I noticed that on the rear side of the camera, you can remove a silicone cover which is positioned towards the bottom and once removed, it exposes the ports area which includes a microSD card slot (supports up to 128GB), a 5V microUSB port for recharging the batteries (I would have preferred a type-C port, but it does have a relatively long cable inside the package), a On/Off button and a recessed Reset button (use the tool provided in the box to push and hold the button until the front LED start blinking to return the device to the factory default settings).
Inside this area, you should be able to identify a small plastic clip which, when released, it will open the entire back cover of the camera (the plate is also magnetic), exposing the two internal 18650 lithium batteries offering a 6000mA capacity – the batteries can be removed and replaced (as well as recharged). When you reattach both covers, make sure that the plastic is properly aligned, so no dust or water can get inside the enclosure and it’s also worth noting that the small silicone cover has a removable portion through which you can run the USB cable (it’s more difficult to take out the cover than to put it back on).
The Meco IP camera offers two ways to mount the device on the wall or ceiling: either using the magnetic bracket that you need to attach to a wall (using a single screw – it is provided in the package) or by relying on an interesting contraption that gets attached to the back plate of the camera and then mounted on the wall using three screws (I would have also liked a vertical magnetic mounting to keep the device on the desk). The magnets are really strong, so you shouldn’t be afraid to mount the camera in this manner, but I would advise against doing so outdoors, since it’s very easy to be removed from its place by any passing person.
The fact that I can put the Meco camera next to the Netgear Arlo Pro 2 or to the Canary Flex and not feel like it’s a cheaper device is fantastic considering that it does come at a much lower cost, but, while the construction is definitely on par with its competitors, how’s the video quality and the mobile app?
Setup and Functionality
After you choose the perfect location for your camera, to get access to the footage, you need to download and install the CloudEdge application on your mobile device (compatible with both Android OS and iOS). Afterwards, you will need to either log into an existing account or create a new one (the app will ask for access to your photos, media and files – you will also have to choose the country where you will install the camera) and, once you gain access to the user interface, press + to add a new Device: choose Battery Camera.
On the next step, you will be asked to allow the app access to your device’s location (apparently, the reason for this is to allow the Meco camera to access the WiFi network or the mobile cellular data) and afterwards, enter the WiFi network credentials (it has to be a 2.4GHz network – the camera will not work on the 5GHz WiFi). Next, you will be asked to reset the device and to do so, remove the silicone cover, power on the camera using the On/Off button (wait until the LED turns red) and using the provided metal pin, push and hold the Reset button until the LED flashes red; once it does, press Next. At this point you should remove the protective layer on top of the lens and point the camera towards the QR code that has appeared on the display; once you hear a beep sound from the camera, you will know that it has identified the QR code and you can press Next and wait for the set up process to be finished.
Note: If the LED is solid red, then there is a problem with the network, otherwise, if it’s blue, then it means that everything is working properly and, in case is flashing slowly blue, then the device has entered the AP mode (it should happen after you pressed the Reset button for 1 second).
The user interface will first display all the Devices and, since we have a single Meco camera, it will display the name of the product next to an icon to let you know if you have any new messages and the status of the Cloud Storage Service (Meco will let you use the Cloud to store your videos for free for seven days, just like the Netgear Arlo Pro 2), while on the top, there’s the last captured frame. If you tap on it, it will take you to a dedicated window, where you should be able to see the live footage of the camera’s surroundings (the field of view is 120 degrees), as well as the amount of battery left (a small icon on the right), the Bit Rate and the WiFi signal strength.
Further down, the options are divided into three main groups, the first being the Live group, where you can easily take a Screenshot of the live footage, talk through the Intercom (the sound is decent enough), Record the live footage (you will need a microSD card to be installed or to have a Cloud subscription available) and activate the Body Detection feature. To adjust this function, you need to tap on the three dots from the top right corner and under Detection Alarm, you can set the sensitivity to Low (13 feet), Medium (20 feet) or High (26 feet) – this way, you reduce the number of false alarms. Furthermore, it is advisable to not position the camera vertically to the moving target, but a bit inclined, so it will be able to accurately see movement (it also goes without saying to not point it at a busy street since you will have thousands of notifications every day).
When testing the camera, the claim was accurate enough and indeed the camera would detect movement from 26 feet (and even up to 30 feet) when set to High sensitivity, while the Medium sensitivity would trigger the sensor up until reaching about 18-19 feet and the Low sensitivity would work great for objects closer than 10 feet. Next to the Live section, there’s the History group which relies on the installed microSD, where you can select a specific day for when you want to see the recorded footage, as well as view any archived Screenshots, Recording or Alarms; lastly, there’s the Cloud section which offers the same options as the History section, but it gets its footage from the Cloud.
To adjust the way the camera works, we need to go to the Settings (three dots on the top right corner), where you can change the Device Name, enable or disable the Notifications, Share the Device with your friends, view some Info about the camera and the network to which is connected or adjust some Basic Functions (such as Rotating the View, enabling or disabling the Nigh Vision, modifying the Speaker Volume or accurately viewing the Remaining Battery power); you can also configure the Detection Alarm sensitivity, view the SD card’s capacity (or Format it), view the Cloud Storage Service, the current firmware Version or Delete the device. If we return to the initial page, besides the Devices, there is also the Messages section, where you can view the Alarm or the System Messages, the Friends section, where you can Add a new account to view the live footage from your camera and the Me section, where you can modify various aspects about your account.
It’s worth noting that even if you’re not connected to the local WiFi network, you’ll still be able to view the live footage from your home or receive notifications as long as you are connected to the carrier’s Internet. By default, the camera will film in Standard Definition, which is 640 x 360p and the footage is decent even at this resolution (including during the night), but you can always change to the HD mode which will capture videos and photos at a 1920 x 1080 resolution (12 frames per second). As I said before, you shouldn’t have to recharge the battery on this camera for at least a couple of months, but the duration is highly dependent on the amount of times you check the live footage, on the amount of alarms that it gets from the motion sensor (as well as the sensitivity) and on the video quality (SD videos will offer more battery life than HD videos).
The Meco Eleverde is a surprisingly well done camera, featuring a solid build, a good battery life and I found that the motion sensor was very quick at picking movement. It’s true that these types of devices won’t be able to capture continuous footage (because of the battery-only limitation), but the videos that it has recorded were decent enough in both Standard Definition and 1080p (close enough to some cameras that cost double the price of the Meco). Furthermore, I noticed that the motion sensor would wake the camera every time there was movement (even trees blowing in the wind will trigger it, but adjusting the distance should prevent this from happening) and the application does satisfy the minimum requirements and will allow you to store recorded videos and screenshots on an SD card or on the Cloud (needs a subscription), as well as to view live footage even outside the local network, so, if you’re in the market for a reliable indoors/outdoors battery-powered camera and don’t want to spend a lot, then Meco does offer a very compelling product (the only missing element is the support for the smart assistants).
Check out the product here:
Meco Outdoors IP Camera
Mark is a graduate in Computer Science, having gathered valuable experience over the years working in IT as a programmer. Mark is also the main tech writer for MBReviews.com, covering not only his passion, the networking devices, but also other cool electronic gadgets that you may find useful for your every day life.