The Guardzilla 360 camera is truly an amazing camera. Check out their demo, it’s truly amazing to have a full 360 degrees of footage or live view. Unlike many cameras, you don’t have any moving parts, and can scroll instantly to any position. The hardware is really solid - execution seems top notch. The software (admittedly early) is not quite on the same level.
First let’s start with what you get in the package. The camera itself is on display in the package. It’s conical shaped, w/ black plastic surrounding the camera area. In the base of the box you’ll find a charger, stand (for sitting on a table/shelf), and magnetic mount. The magnetic mount in particular is strong, giving you some confidence. The stand technically works well. I assume if you had a large open plan home, using this inside either on battery or hooked to power you could watch your entire home. I took the getting started instructions advice, and charged it fully before running on battery.
The magnetic mount was my choice of mounting hardware. I chose eve mounting on my front porch. This is a key area for me, since so many packages get dropped off here. Sometimes the delivery guy chooses my garage area, and the 360 degree nature allows me to at least get a peak at that area as well. Once mounted, I started the app. The first pairing didn’t work, but a few button holding/pressing/rejoining WiFi fixed it. The camera is standalone, which means it needs your smartphone to connect, configure and get it running on your WiFi. It does use 2.4Ghz WiFi, and despite some other people’s complains, I prefer IoT devices on my 2.4Ghz WiFi to keep my 5Ghz humming away for my actual devices. 2.4Ghz range is better anyways and even if this device supported both, would be my choice. Once paired, you can view the camera by choosing ‘Monitor’ in the app.
Now the app… This is probably the biggest weakness of the camera setup at the moment. It’s not horrible, but it also isn’t what I would consider world class either. When I first installed it, it sent me several notifications that were pure marketing, telling me to buy the product I already owned. This is a key example of non-contextual marketing, and it is obnoxious. It’s fine to announce new products, but if the customer already owns it, don’t tell them to rush out and buy it now. The app is also a huge up-seller. The option for cloud storage is pretty basic on the free tier (and somewhat hidden - giving the impression you have to pay to play after buying your relatively expensive camera), and moving up to the $5 a month plan allows 30 seconds with audio (free tier doesn’t record audio - a somewhat silly limitation) and allows access for 7 days. This ‘enhanced tier’ is comparable with Netgears’s free service for Arlo. Another advantage with Arlo is you can use local storage to save your own recordings (albeit with a separate base unit - making the cameras non-standalone). It might have been nice to provide a micro sd or NAS storage option for those who might not want to use the cloud storage. There is also several different ways to end up in the ‘Professional Monitoring’ upsell, which for $10 a month. They make sure to point out that insurance companies do offer discounts for professional monitoring - but I haven’t looked into this option.
Still, the app is workable, and most problems fixable. It would be awesome to implement motion zones, but I’m unsure of how that would work on a battery operated device (might be a limitation of the technology -not sure). Speaking of battery, I’m down to about 50% after 2 weeks or so. I’d expect a solid month from this device (some higher usage these first two weeks might have run it down faster than normal too). The included charger is 5.3V at 2.0a microusb.
Notifications seem to work, and then other times seem to miss. I have the detection set to high and for the most part it picks up deliveries, etc. However far away motion isn’t picked up (thankfully), but it’s hard to understand where that threshold is. I’ve also had it totally miss close motion when armed. I initially only had push notifications on, but oddly, when I enabled ‘email’ notifications along with push things seemed to work better, so I’m unsure what’s up with that.
In conclusion, the guardzilla 360 is truly a great camera technology, with some limitations (limited flexibility with motion detection, guardzilla only cloud storage, mediocre app). If you can live with those limitations, have a good place to mount, and have an equally good use case for the 360 view, you won’t be disappointed. However if all you need is to monitor a porch or hallway, your money is better spent on a smaller angle camera. That said, the software is still early, and the company is producing great hardware - so the limitations might shrink quite quickly.