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Setup

Setting up the Logi Circle was very easy, just as easy as the Nest Cam and Foscam C1. Setup was accomplished using the Logi Circle app connecting via Bluetooth Smart, just as Nest Cam does. Your device must support Bluetooth Smart to set up the Logi Circle; there are no other options. Included in the list of devices that support Bluetooth Smart are the iPhone 4s or later, the 3rd Gen iPad or later, 5th gen iPod Touch or later, any iPad Mini and a whole slew of Android devices. If you want to see if your device would work, check out Logitech's supported list.

The image below shows the relevant steps from plugging in the camera to being online. The app first connected to the camera via Bluetooth Smart, set up the Wi-Fi settings, pulled an image from the camera, then allowed me to set up an account. I left the Bluetooth connection screen out because all it said was "Got It", but it would be the second screen if it were included.

Logi Circle relevant setup screens

Logi Circle relevant setup screens

Once set up, live video can be accessed via the Android or iOS app, which you see below with my other security device.

Logi Circle entry screen

Logi Circle entry screen

Features

While most other cameras in its class offer free and premium storage options, so far Logi Circle does not. The product page mentiona premium features are"coming soon", but as I write this, the free option is the only plan available. The free version provides only 24 hours of motion event recording storage, and is laid out nicely as you see above, with a time bubble for any time motion occured. I was never able to confirm the maximum length of motion detection clips, even from Logitech support, but they seemed quite long. As I was attempting to capture motion detection footage, the camera would often continue recording a rather long clip.

You can add as many Circles to your network as your bandwidth allows; there is no limit. This is different than most other cloud cameras we've looked at, which have a hard limit. From the main screen you can also tap and get the two-way audio button to appear.

The Circle app does not have configurable motion detection settings like Nest Aware. Logitech's "Scene Ituition" is said to adapt to your home to "identify and record interesting activity" and filter out ambient motion. I believe I started to see traces of this happening as I was trying to capture motion clips. I placed the Circle in a position where a spinning ceiling fan would take up most of the screen so I could try to make a very long clip. But Circle quit recording after a few seconds. A feature such as this is helpful in instances where a fan or night light is in a room where the Circle would be recording. But to be honest, I'd rather be able to set zones manually.

The Circle has a Settings screen to change options on the camera such as Microphone levels, 180° rotation, night vision on/off, LED on/off, Power Save on/off and Notifications. It took a call to Support to find this screen. Logitech's support site mentions what the icons are, but falls short of saying how to get to them.

I'm used to getting to Settings screens such as this by using the Android Menu button, but support told me to swipe left. When it didn't work, I was told "maybe they were updating the app". After I hung up and experimented a bit, I found swiping left from the very edge is what needed to be done to get the screen to appear. Besides turning Notifications on and off , most people probably won't go to the Settings screens much.

Logi Circle Settings screen

Logi Circle Settings screen

The final app feature I really enjoyed was the "Day Brief" option. Nest Cam also includes a similiar feature, although it's laid-out for easier access in the Circle app. Basically with a tap on the "Day Brief" button, the app creates a time-lapse video of all the motion that occured throughout the day. I found this entertaining and could be especially interesting if you were keeping an eye on the dog or your yard. The video below shows an example Day Brief.

Logi Circle Day Brief

Let's talk about mounting options and battery life. As I mentioned above, the Logi Circle has a permanent mount with a magnetic base, a charging ring and then the camera. The versatile mounting options let you take the camera down and move it temporarily to any location for recording. Logitech says battery life is up to 12 hours. Granted I did not have it on Battery Save, but I found the battery life was more like 2-4 hours if I were using it at all. While I think the battery is a neat option, I'm not sure of its usefulness. I don't consider Nest Cam immobile due to lack of a battery option, and the magnetic base makes the Circle easy for someone to grab even when mounted permanently.

Video and Image Quality

For video and image quality I'm going to compare the Circle primarily to Nest Cam, but I'll throw in some Arlo just for the fun of it. Even though the Logi Circle is an indoor-only camera, I felt its portability could be compared to Arlo, so I took it outside for comparisons as well. First, let's look at the indoor motion detection video during the day.

Logi Circle motion indoor day
Nest Cam motion indoor day

Both daylight videos look very good, you see a little pixelation at the start of the Logi Circle video, but it clears up. The Circle has a slightly wider field of view and it's rather hard to distinguish more or less resolution from either video. Colors are nice, motion is very fluid and you could easily do a snapshot of the "burglar's" face if you needed to. I said the camera name in the Circle video so you can see how good the microphone really is. I wish I'd done that in older videos, but I'll do it going forward.

Let's look at some outside video during the day. Sometimes outdoor video will wash out on indoor cameras, so I don't often take the indoor cameras outside, but I decided to take some outdoor video with the Circle primarily due to its battery backup and the fact it will probably make its way outside at some point. For comparison sake we'll compare it the Edimax IC-9110W, an outdoor camera. For fairness I'll note the Edimax IC-9110W is in the $150 range whereas the Logi Circle is $199.99.

Logi Circle motion outdoor day
Edimax IC-9110W motion outdoor day

Overall both of these videos look really good, but the Circle has the sharper image. Neither is washed out from the outdoor light and both adjust well with motion.

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