July 5, 2020


Connecting People

Logitech’s Circle View is an OK security camera if you want to go all in with Apple

The $a hundred and sixty Logitech Circle See weatherproof protection digital camera only supports Apple HomeKit, Siri and HomeKit Secure Video. You will find no Logitech app — and the enterprise would not have options to add Alexa or Google Assistant into the mix.


  • The digital camera performs well and has a durable weatherproof layout for exterior use
  • Check with Siri to exhibit your protection digital camera and your mobile phone will show the stay feed

Never Like

  • It only is effective with Apple HomeKit and the iOS-only Home app
  • HomeKit Secure Video’s promised ten times of free cloud storage is not truly free

It definitely is Apple or very little with this one particular. 

For some people, that’s just fantastic. Use Apple’s Home app on your iOS unit of decision to set up your Circle See digital camera, to perspective its stay feed and to change your configurations. You can also enlist Siri to exhibit the stay online video feed if you want to use voice instructions.

It can be a large bonus that HomeKit Secure Video consists of ten times of free cloud storage, but you have to set up a compatible Apple hub to allow that feature and it is not *definitely* free (I will go into far more detail on this down below). 

General, this is a decent digital camera, with plenty of functions and reliable overall performance. But it boundaries itself by only supporting Apple by using the Home app. If you do not thoughts people limits, this could possibly be a superior choice. Or else, seem elsewhere. 

Browse far more: The finest Apple HomeKit devices for 2020

Logitech’s new protection digital camera

I like the layout of the indoor/outside Circle See far more than any of Logitech’s prior Circle cameras. The Circle See feels durable, it has a refined black finish and the digital camera swivels and bends in quite significantly any way to accommodate your installation needs. For privacy, Logitech claims you can rotate the digital camera down to ensure it will not likely report, but you can also press the button on the back again of the digital camera to flip off its audio and online video capabilities promptly and simply. 

This digital camera arrives with a ten-foot white electricity adapter that’s constructed into the back again of the digital camera and a USB electricity source. I would like a black adapter to enhance the camera’s layout, but it truly is fantastic. The Circle See digital camera must be connected to the adapter 24/seven — there is certainly no rechargeable battery choice below.

The Circle See has 1080p High definition stay streaming, a a hundred and eighty-diploma discipline of perspective, free ten-day cloud storage (with HomeKit Secure Video), movement detection, Siri voice capabilities and night vision. Almost everything is available by means of the Home app on iPhones and iPads with iOS/iPadOS 13.two or more recent. 

In the beginning setting up the digital camera is easy (the baffling element arrives afterwards). Plug in the digital camera, open up your Home app and adhere to the prompts in the app to add a new accessory. For the Circle See digital camera, that mainly entailed scanning the QR code on the base of the digital camera — and voila. My Circle See digital camera started stay streaming proper absent. 

In the configurations, I enabled notifications and was ready to get Siri to open up the stay feed for me with the command, “Siri, exhibit my protection digital camera.” Almost everything labored well. 

But there is certainly a capture. 

The out-of-the-box functions, like movement alerts, labored wonderful. Placing up my Apple Tv High definition as a HomeKit hub was significantly far more baffling. 

Screenshots by CNET

When you go into the configurations section to allow cloud recording and some of the other HomeKit Secure Video functions, you get a pop-up window that reads: “Home Hub Needed: To adjust digital camera modes or set up recording, add an Apple Tv (fourth technology or afterwards) or HomePod to this house to act as a house hub.”

If you do not currently have one particular of these devices, you may have to get one particular to entry free cloud recording and digital camera modes. That will make this camera’s rather fair $a hundred and sixty price tag a tiny significantly less fair… offered that you have to currently have — or get — a further piece of hardware to get seemingly clear-cut protection digital camera functions to get the job done. 

Demanding a HomeKit hub is a protection evaluate that ties into frustrations that have existed since HomeKit was initial declared in 2014. The Apple clever house system has developed far more little by little than Alexa and Google Assistant, with comparatively much less third-bash unit integrations than its rivals and far more complicated set up needs. Other individuals like its stricter privacy and protection guidelines.

That’s in the long run a stability you have to weigh for on your own, but it would support if Apple manufactured the HomeKit hub a lot easier to pair.

In concept, it ought to get the job done like this, copied straight from an Apple guidance page: 

  1. On your Apple Tv, go to Settings > People and Accounts and make absolutely sure that you’re signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID as your iOS unit.
  2. Soon after you signal in to iCloud, your Apple Tv automatically sets itself up as a house hub. 

To see if your Apple Tv is connected as a house hub, go to Settings on your Apple Tv. Then go to People and Accounts > iCloud and seem below Home Hub.

It would be wonderful if it definitely had been that straightforward, but people techniques certainly did not get the job done. Soon after examining to make absolutely sure my Apple Tv was, in fact, compatible (it was), double-confirming that my software package was up-to-date (also, indeed) and logging in and out of iCloud on each my Iphone 8 As well as and my Apple Tv High definition, I nevertheless couldn’t get it to get the job done. 

My Apple Tv was also telling me I required to allow AirPlay two, but the techniques I had been making an attempt straight from the Apple Tv directions — making absolutely sure my mobile phone was unlocked, that Bluetooth was enabled on my mobile phone and then inserting my mobile phone in the vicinity of the Apple Tv yielded no benefits — just the same display on my Apple Tv telling me to set up AirPlay two. 

At this position, I caved in and termed Apple purchaser assistance. Turns out, all of my iCloud stuff was fantastic and it was in the long run a easy deal with to link AirPlay two. All I had to do was unplug my Apple Tv for six seconds and attempt once more and it connected promptly. 

But nowhere in any of the myriad guidance web pages I go through suggested that choice. I would say that’s an anomaly, but HomeKit has brought about us different, but likewise irritating concerns, throughout the distinctive HomeKit-compatible devices we’ve tested more than the many years. 

When I got the HomeKit hub to get the job done, my Apple Tv appeared in the Home app higher than my Circle See digital camera and I had the choice to allow cloud storage. However, tucked absent on this Logitech Circle See merchandise page is this cloud storage need: “A supported iCloud prepare to store activity heritage – one particular digital camera on 200GB prepare / up to five cameras on 2TB prepare.”

Certainly, if you’re like me and you do not currently fork out for an upgraded iCloud storage prepare, you may have to fork out at the very least $3 per thirty day period for your digital camera to report. So it is not definitely free immediately after all. Bummer.


Hold out, you have to fork out for iCloud storage?

Screenshots by CNET

The Circle See belongs to Apple

The $a hundred and sixty Logitech Circle See is a superior protection digital camera that’s held back again by the far more baffling aspects of Apple’s HomeKit hub needs. That mentioned, I like the more actions in place below in an effort to make your protection digital camera far more secure. ten times of free cloud storage would be a main bonus, but if you do not currently have an upgraded iCloud storage prepare, you nevertheless have to fork out for it.

If you’re an Apple purchaser who currently has a compatible Apple Tv or HomePod and an upgraded iCloud prepare, the indoor/outside Circle See could possibly be a superior decision. All people else ought to weigh the price of obtaining the digital camera, a HomeKit hub unit and an iCloud prepare with their interest in acquiring a HomeKit-enabled protection digital camera.