Being a new parent is stressful even in the best of circumstances. Babies don’t follow the same rules as everybody else. They wake up when it’s time to sleep. They want food five minutes after they just ate. And toilet training is still years or months away. For the next few years, you can forget about anything that really qualifies as “me time”. And all of this comes with some serious responsibilities. You’re responsible for the life and welfare of this tiny new human. So how do you keep tabs on your baby while managing household chores and your own sanity? The obvious answer is to use a quality baby monitor.
We’re about to review the HOMIEE Video Baby Monitor. This isn’t your old-school audio-only video monitor. It’s a video monitor, so not only can you hear your baby, you can also see them. But what else does it bring to the table, and will it keep your baby safe? We’ll take a deep dive into all the features, and talk about how the HOMIEE works. We’ll also talk about the physical design of the recorder and receiver, as well as how they connect. Finally, we’ll discuss a few sweet extra bonus features that HOMIEE has added to their baby monitor.
As you might expect, the HOMIEE Video Baby Monitor has two different components. The first is the camera, which goes in the room with your baby. The second is the LCD monitor, which you use to keep tabs on your baby. In this respect, it’s not terribly different from most old-school audio monitors. Before we talk about any of the monitor’s other features, let’s see how each component works.
The spherical camera is mounted on a wide, tripod-style base. The total height is just over 4 inches, with a base width of about three inches. It’s constructed from ABS plastic, with a matte white finish that’s easy on the eyes and easy to clean. On the front of the base, there’s a grey HOMIEE logo, with a pair of small microphone holes above it. On the back, there’s a small radio antenna that can be rotated to get a better signal. Underneath the antenna, there’s a small egg-shaped thermometer fob that’s also flexible.
The front of the camera features a round stainless steel ring, which surrounds the glass lens cover. Underneath, you’ll see the lens located smack dab in the center. Above the lens, there’s around infrared light. Unlike many other night vision cameras, it produces no visible light whatsoever. This ensures that bright red light won’t disturb your baby’s sleep. The camera itself can be rotated 360 degrees, so you can see the entire room if you need to. It also has a 70-degree vertical field of view. This ensures floor to ceiling coverage in just about any room.
The monitor itself is constructed from the same matte white ABS plastic as the camera. It measures 7.5 inches wide and 4.7 inches high, so it’s slightly larger than the average smartphone and case. The back of the monitor features a small grey kickstand. With the kickstand, you can conveniently place the monitor on a kitchen counter, table, or nightstand. Above the kickstand, there’s a similar antenna to the one you’ll find on the camera.
The front of the monitor features a 5-inch LCD display, which provides a 720p image. This isn’t 1080p, but that shouldn’t be a significant issue. At this size, there’s essentially no difference between 720p and 1080p. Your eyes can’t even tell the difference. Beneath the display, there’s a grey HOMIEE logo that matches the logo on the camera. To the right of the display, there’s a control panel. These buttons allow you to control all the functions we’ll talk about shortly. The menu has a simple, easy-to-navigate interface that anyone can figure out. Underneath the buttons, there’s also a sound level indicator, as well as a microphone hole. Both the monitor and the camera are covered by a 12-month manufacturer’s warranty. Any manufacturer’s defects will be a non-impact.
A traditional, dedicated monitor isn’t your only option for keeping tabs on your baby. Another option is to use a simple smartphone monitor. If that’s what you need, check out our review of the Nanit Smart Baby Monitor. It sends 960p video directly to your smartphone, but the camera is installed in a fixed location.
The HOMIEE Video Baby Monitor can operate in two different modes. It can run in always on mode for constant monitoring. But if your baby is sleeping, this really shouldn’t be necessary. Instead, you can activate “vox mode”, which turns the monitor on when noise is detected. This has two distinct advantages. First off, it improves your battery life. When the monitor is always on, it gets 5.5 hours of use. But when it’s in vox mode, the monitor gets 8 hours of usage. In addition, with the screen off, you might be able to catch a few winks yourself.
When used in vox mode, you can set three different levels of sound detection. Low will detect 80dB, which means it will probably not turn on unless the baby is actually crying or screaming. Medium will detect 70db, which can detect louder vocalizations. In High mode, the HOMIEE monitor will activate at 65dB, which is about the sound of normal baby chatter. Setting sound detection to “Off” simply means that the monitor will return to always on mode.
During monitoring, you have a few different options that put the HOMIEE above the competition. To begin with, you have a choice between 7 different volume levels. If you’re sitting in a quiet room, you can turn it down to one or two. If you’re watching a movie, you can turn it up to 6 or 7. And when the monitor activates, you can shut the audio off with the tap of a button. You’re already on your way to comfort a screaming baby. No need to listen to it while you’re on the way.
In addition, the HOMIEE monitor allows for two-way audio. This means you can comfort your baby if they wake up from a bad dream. Sing them a lullaby, coo back at them, or simply talk to them. If your baby just woke up from a bad dream, this might be enough to soothe them back to sleep. If you want a closer look, you can zoom the camera in to 2X. Depending on your camera placement, this can be a very useful feature. You can position your camera across the room, and still get a clear view of your baby.
So, what if you like the HOMIEE Video Baby Monitor, but you want longer battery life? In that case, you should take a look at the Annke BM100 4.3” Video Baby Monitor. It offers an impressive 10 hours of battery life, among the best performance on today’s market. That said, the video quality is only 480p.
Connectivity & Extras
Many modern baby monitors connect via your home’s WiFi network. This allows them to connect to your smartphone. On the downside, you’re limited to your WiFi network’s range. Step on the wrong side of that invisible line, and you suddenly lose your signal. The HOMIEE Video Baby Monitor gets around this by using a simple radio signal. With a range of 1,000 feet, this is sufficient for any house. You can even go out in your backyard and still maintain a clear, consistent signal. Moreover, you can connect up to 4 cameras simultaneously. This is useful if you have twins, or if you run a home childcare center.
That said, there are plenty of reasons you might want a WiFi-connected baby monitor. The main reason is that you can take advantage of a smartphone app. In that case, consider the Motorola Connect40. It comes with a full-featured WiFi app, but the battery life is limited to 3 to 4 hours.
Just because the HOMIEE Video Baby Monitor doesn’t have a WiFi app doesn’t mean that it’s ineffective. On the contrary, it has several worthwhile features. Perhaps the most useful of these is that it can be programmed with a feeding reminder. These alerts can sound anywhere from 2.5 to 5.5 hours apart. If you tend to get forgetful, feeding alerts will ensure that you remember to feed your infant.
The HOMIEE can also play 5 different lullabies when your baby wakes up. This can be useful if you have a bad singing voice or can’t carry a tune in a bucket. No worries! The HOMIEE will get the job done for you. It also tracks the temperature in your baby’s room. If your house tends to get too hot or too cold, this can be a useful feature. You can even set an alert that will warn you when the temperature is too hot or cold.
So, is the HOMIEE Video Baby Monitor worth your money? Depending on what you need, it’s an excellent choice. The 720p video feed is more than enough for the screen size and monitoring your baby. Even in a darkened room, you’ll be able to see your baby just fine. And the adjustable volume is a nice feature. Depending on your environment, it can be very useful. The overall design is also nice, with an attractive appearance and sturdy kickstand. The camera base is very sturdy, and won’t topple easily when it’s mildly disturbed.
The HOMIEE won’t connect via WiFi. For some people, that might be an issue. However, the radio signal is strong and clear. If you want the longest possible range, you’ll get better results than you will with WiFi. Moreover, the extra features are well worth a second look. Two-way audio is a handy feature, as is the ability to play pre-recorded lullabies. Added to this, the feeding timer is another nice touch. All in all, you’re looking at a full-featured baby monitored with plenty to recommend itself.