GE Cync Indoor Smart Camera – 2022 Review
The Cync Indoor Smart Camera from GE Lighting ($69.99) is the first indoor security camera to carry the Cync (formerly C by GE) brand. The 1080p camera delivered crisp day and night video in our tests and offers a handful of useful features, including people and sound detection, local and cloud storage options, and voice control. It works well, but the $51.99 Eufy Indoor Cam 2K Pan & Tilt P24 offers more features and 2K video for less money, while the $35.98 Wyze Cam V3 costs even less, supports IFTTT and also works outdoors.
Flexible design and storage
The Cync camera’s white oval housing measures 4.7 x 3.1 x 1.4 inches (HWD), and its round base and mounting arm allow you to tilt and swivel the camera in any direction to get the best viewing angle. The base functions as a desktop stand, but you can also attach it to a wall or ceiling with the included mounting hardware. A sliding privacy shutter on the front of the camera lets you block the lens and built-in microphone, while a microSD card slot sits on the right side. The back includes a reset button and a USB power port.
The camera captures 1080p video and uses infrared LEDs for black and white night vision. It features a motion sensor, ambient light sensor, microphone and speaker for two-way talk and sound detection, and a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi radio to connect to your home network. The camera records video and sends push alerts when it detects people, sound or other movement.
To view the video recordings, you must pay for a Cync CAM subscription, which costs $3 per month or $30 per year. This plan supports a single camera, lets you keep two weeks of video, and lets you filter clips by detection events (sound, motion, or people). Alternatively, if you want to avoid subscription fees, you can purchase a microSD card (up to 32GB) to store recordings locally.
The camera works with other smart devices via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant routines, and lets you stream video to compatible smart displays via voice commands, but it doesn’t work with Apple’s HomeKit platform . It also doesn’t support IFTTT, so it can’t interact with the dozens of third-party smart devices enabled by the service. It also cannot trigger other Sync devices.
Cync mobile app
The camera uses the same Cync mobile app (available for Android and iOS) as the company’s indoor and outdoor smart plugs. Tap the Cameras panel on the Home screen to view a list of your cameras, then select a camera name to view a live feed from that device. Just below the video panel are the buttons for speaker mute, two-way talk, manual video recording, and snapshot. Below the buttons are video clip thumbnails that you can filter by event (motion, noise or people) – tap any thumbnail to view, download or delete the video. A Privacy Mode button at the very bottom of the screen lets you disable the camera and microphone.
To access camera settings, tap the gear icon in the upper right corner and choose Edit indoor camera. Here you can change Wi-Fi settings; change camera name and room assignment; select a video quality setting; flip the video; turn off the status LED; and enable audio recording and night vision. Detection settings allow you to configure motion and sound sensitivity settings; create movement zones; enable people detection; and set up notification schedules.
Simple and reliable
It didn’t take me long to set up the Cync camera. I already had the Cync app on my phone from a previous review, but if this is your first Cync device, you need to download the app and create an account.
To get started, I pressed the Add Devices button on the app’s home screen, selected Indoor Cameras, and then turned on the camera. When the light started flashing blue, I pressed Next, allowed the app to use my phone’s location services, turned on notifications, and selected my home Wi-Fi network. I entered my Wi-Fi password and held my phone up to the camera so it could scan the QR code that appeared on the screen. After a few seconds, I heard a chime; I pressed Next and the camera instantly connected to my network. To get the device to appear on my Cync and Alexa device list, the last step was to give the camera a name and location.
The Cync camera delivered solid 1080p video quality in testing. Colors looked crisp, with good saturation during the day, while black-and-white night video looked evenly lit and crisp at around 30 feet. Motion and sound alerts appeared instantly, as did associated clips of these events; the camera also did a great job of identifying movement caused by a person. I had no issues streaming video from the camera to an Amazon Echo Show, while an Alexa routine I set up to turn on a Wyze bulb when the camera detects motion worked without a hitch.
A good start
The GE Cync indoor smart camera allows you to keep an eye on the inside of your home without spending a lot of money. It can detect motion and sound events, lets you choose between local and cloud storage options, and provides encrypted 1080p video. That said, our Editors’ Choice winner, the $51.99 Eufy Indoor Cam 2K Pan & Tilt P24, records cleaner clips, offers mechanical pan and tilt controls, and supports Apple HomeKit. For even less, the $35.98 Wyze Cam V3 (another Editors’ Choice winner) works indoors and outdoors and offers IFTTT support for greater third-party interactivity.