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Hive View Review

Written by  Mar 14, 2019

The Hive View is one of the nicest looking cameras you'll find, it has standout design, and is integrated with one of the biggest smart home systems for the UK market.

Designed by Yves Béhar

  • Two colour options
  • Detachable camera unit, 56mm cube
  • Exquisite stand design

The Hive View has been designed by Yves Béhar and is probably the best-looking indoor camera that we've seen, not like many ugly security camera devices that are also available.
That's thanks to the brushed metals used with a choice of two colour combinations: white and champagne gold, or black and brushed copper. It's very contemporary and has a premium build that stands out in among a sea of hard plastic home cameras.
A key feature about this design, however, is the detachable camera unit. The 56mm cube attaches magnetically to the stand, not only allowing you to change the angle of the head for the perfect view, but also meaning you can move the camera and place it somewhere else.

With a small battery inside, the camera will then give you an hour of coverage in another room, perhaps to keep an eye on something where you don't have a camera. It's not a huge amount of time, but if you wanted a camera in the nursery while you sort out something in the garage, then you have that flexibility.

The Hive View also comes with a 3m USB cable to power it, giving you a little more flexibility on how to locate this camera. It can either sit on a shelf on that stand, or you can mount it, with a magnetic plate in the box that you could attach to the wall for perfect positioning. It's designed as an indoor camera.

hive view indoor camera design

Hive View setup and control

  • Uses existing Hive app
  • Quick and easy to setup
  • Standalone of integrated into Hive system
  • 720p or 1080p capture supported

Because the Hive View uses the existing Hive app, if you're a Hive user already with another Hive device then it's quick and easy to setup, with the camera then appearing in your Hive Dashboard like your other Hive devices - which is something the old Hive Camera doesn't do.

The Hive View connects to your home Wi-Fi network, so there's no need for the Hive Hub to make it work, with setup taking place via Bluetooth from the app on your phone (Android and iOS supported). A such, Hive View will work as a standalone device. However, while the Hive app is good and stable, we have found that camera sometimes just disconnects and then reconnects for no apparent reason - but it will send you a notification about this occurence.

There are plenty of options for setup, which defines the functionality of this camera. You can choose the resolution (with 720p HD or 1080p Full HD supported), but there's no support for HDR. You get control over the sensitivity of sound detection, as well as the type of motion the camera will detect, with a choice of everything or just people - so you can effectively ignore your pets or the trees blowing in the garden.

You also get to control the lights on the device. There's an illuminating ring around the lens (which you'll be using when you setup the camera), plus an LED status light - both of which you might not want on if the camera is in a room where you're always looking at it. Deactivating them is easy, though.

It's also worth noting that anyone who is signed into your Hive account will get all the notifications from the Hive View, so if you have Hive Heating, for example that your partner also has control over, they'll also have access to the Hive View (and all other Hive devices within the app).


Hive View Indoor Security Camera - Black and Brushed Copperamazon uk
£183.00

Hive View performance and features

  • 1080p capture with digital zooming
  • Live monitoring with notifications
  • Sound detection
  • Subscription-based archiving

Although there is no HDR, we're impressed with the quality of video that the Hive View offers. This is something that the camera gets right, with a lovely 130 degree wide field of view, so if you put it in the corner of the room then you'll essentially be able to capture everything.

The View is equipped with infrared (IR) for night vision, too, which you can turn off if you prefer. Again, it works well, giving nice clear video in the dark where you can clearly see what's happening.

Sound detection lets you set the sensitivity, so things like passing cars can be ignored, but someone smashing open your door or talking will be detected. You can also capture sound along with video - and you can talk back via you phone through the small speaker on the camera.

The Hive View is designed to monitor, detect and alert. It is able to recognise people, which is the setting we chose. We had a few false alarms, but on the whole, it will ignore pets moving around the room and save the notifications for when it actually sees a person.


Hive View Indoor Security Camera - White & Champagne Gold
amazon uk£154.00

Notifications will appear on your phone via the Hive app and these will include a thumbnail of the face of the person it has detected, which is handy. You can also get emails. Sadly, these emails don't contain any visuals, it just lets you know that something has happened. This means that you're solely dependent on the app - and if you're in an area with a bad connection, you might not get to see those images. Arlo, one of our favourite rival systems, puts images into its emails - so you can at least review the action without needing the app.

Video that is captured is available for 24 hours - as long as monitoring is enabled on the Hive View.

All the above comes as a free service, but if you want to expand things to be more useful, you'll have to pay a subscription of £4.99 a month. This then gives you 30 days of rolling footage from the camera stored online, so you can easily access it (so long as you have monitoring turned on for it to capture). This subscription will cover two cameras, whereas some rivals want to charge you per camera, so it's not bad value.

However, Hive View is only accessible through the Hive app. It doesn't work in the browser Dashboard, which is a serious limitation. If you lose your phone, you cannot view or even enable your Hive View camera remotely.

Following launch. Hive made it possible to download video to your phone, meaning you can have storage of video files and you don't instantly lose them within 24 hours. This gives you a lot more flexibility, but at the same time, something like the Arlo Q gives you a week of capture stored online, without any fees.

Hive Actions is an emerging piece of the Hive platform. They existed to a minor degree previously, letting you turn on a light if a door was opened, for example, but they were limited in scope.

With Hive Actions added to support the View camera, there's a little more of interest here. For example, you can have a light or plug turn on if the camera sees movement when it's dark. That's a convenience thing as much as it might be a security measure, but you can also have the heating resume when motion is detected.

There are platform-wide Actions too. You can turn off everything on Hive and turn the camera on when you step out the door via a quick action, for example. But there's no geofencing here to do it automatically when you walk away from home, which is a shame.

Equally, although some of the Hive system is compatible with other smart home platforms such as Google Home or Amazon Alexa, the camera isn't included. Currently you can ask to view devices like Ring or Arlo through your Echo Show, but Hive View doesn't support this, so it feels a little isolated. We'd really like to be able to ask Alexa to turn on monitoring, but alas, it has to be through the Hive app.


Hive View Indoor Security Camera - Black and Brushed Copperamazon uk
£183.00

Verdict

The Hive View is certainly the best-looking indoor camera you can buy. It's priced to compete with the likes of Netatmo Welcome or Arlo Q, with that ability to temporarily move it to somewhere else and have it run off a battery. Integration with the Hive platform adds some additional appeal to existing Hive owners - because you're using one smart home app - and the detection and recording quality is good.

The Hive View now supports video downloads. But you still only have 24 hours to download these videos, unless you pay the subscription to give you a month of storage online for your monitoring.

However for a standalone camera, Arlo Q offers a better comparable service. It's a similar price, but offers a week of video storage online at no additional cost - whilst also offering wider compatibility with other smart home products.

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