There’s a lot of camera options on the market these days, but Swann has been delivering quality products in this space for a number of years. Their latest offering is the Swann Xtreem Security camera, a ‘100 percent wireless and can be easily mounted and set up anywhere indoors or outdoors’. The camera has hit retailers in Australia and they’ve sent one over for a review.
The basics of the Xtreem is, well, it’s extreme. It’s a ruggedised, completely wireless video camera which offers 1080p video with on-device storage and cloud access with two-way communication and a massive 13,200mAh Lithium battery which can last up to 6 months.
You can receive smart alerts on your mobile device with heat & motion sensing, and you can also check in day or night with infrared night vision, which automatically enables as the day fades.
The camera also has an easy mounting system that magnetically attaches the camera to a wall mount for easy positioning and of course removal when you eventually need to charge it.
I’ve been using the Swann Xtreem Security camera for a couple of months now and here’s how it went.
Hardware and Setup
The Swann Xtreem Security camera comes with everything you need to set it up, connect it to your phone and get under way. In the box you get quick start guides, USB cable (microUSB), magnetic mount, the mounting screws, or you can use an included 3M sticky pad to attach somewhere you may not wish to drill into. You also get a plethora of Theft Deterrent Stickers.
You also get the camera in the box, and it’s a fairly hefty unit weighing in at 350grams, mostly thanks to that massive battery inside. As well as batteries, the camera also includes a magnet which allows it to attach to the wall mount.
I was pleasantly surprised by the magnetic mount. It’s very easy to attach and position with minimal effort,remaining right where you place it with no drooping.
The easy mounting system is also a concern if you mount the camera in easy reaching distance. You can use a number of mounts on the market, including one Swann themselves sell, which use the 1/4″-20 tripod screw mount on the base of the camera to secure it more thoroughly.
The base of the camera is flat so you can simply rest it on a table or on a bookshelf, or use a tripod mount to position it anywhere. There’s a microUSB charging port on the bottom, sealed with a solid rubber seal and a speaker so you can speak with any guests, delivery drivers etc.
There’s another port on the top of the camera, also covered by a rubber seal which hides the setup button and also the microSD card slot for recording video locally.
All those seals are to aid the weatherproofing of the camera, with the xtreem camera carrying an IP56 rating. It’s also able to operate in extreme temperatures ranging from -10ºC to 50ºC, something the cold winter mornings here in Canberra have been trying to achieve.
Mounting the camera is fairly easy, though you will need your own drill bit, but all the plugs and screws are included.
You can download the Swann Security App on both Android and iOS where you’ll need a Swann account to use the service. It’s a fairly simple setup from the app, tap the big ‘+’ symbol in the app, follow the instructions and you’re done.
The camera is only able to connect to 2.4GHz Wifi which can be a little tricky if you have great 5GHz Wifi support, but once connected the setup process is fairly easy.
As part of the setup, you will need to look at whether you want to record your footage to the cloud as well as locally to the microSD card. For local storage you get a 16GB microSD card already inside the camera (my review unit had a 32GB), but you can also swap it out for one up to 64GB in size.
You can access videos in the cloud for a day, though you can extend this with a Swann Secure+ plan. You can choose to pay for up to 60 days of cloud video storage which costs $6.95 for a single camera, or if you plan to get more (it’s super easy to add them to the app) you can pay $19.99 per month, with discounts ($69.90/$199.90) if you go pay for a year.
You get a 100-day free trial with the Swann Xtreem Wireless Security Camera, and if you need backups or need to review footage from some time back, say for a business, then the cloud storage would be a great investment.
Swann advertises a 6 month battery life for the Xtreem Wireless Security Camera. I’ve placed it in a high-traffic area with a load of alerts and motion and it’s still tracking fairly well to come close, though it’s on track fall just short.
Overall though I’m fairly happy with the battery life and the magnetic mount that lets you remove the camera easily for charging.
If you want to mount the camera a little more permanently you can choose to install the official Swann solar panel, which will keep it charged. Otherwise you simply remove the camera when needed and use the supplied USB cable to plug it in.
Actually using the camera is a breeze, and having access to all your recordings from the microSD card almost instantly on your phone is convenient.
The camera has a bit of fine tuning on the setting once you’re setup. The app is really well laid out and easy to use with the ‘Live View’ of your camera opening when you launch it. There’s a notifications history on the far right, with a historical playback video tab next to it. On the left you’ll find quick shortcuts for setting Home, Night and Away modes and finally the Devices tab which is where you select your camera and hit the settings.
In your ‘Camera Settings’ you can choose Video Quality, Mode (indoor or outdoor) and choose whether to use Day Mode or automatically cut to Night Vision as the day fades.. You can also tune the mic and speaker volumes, something I’ve been missing on other camera setups.
The other part of your setup is the motion sensitivity which may take a little playing with before you settle on the right settings. It’s all dependent on where you setup the camera and how busy the traffic is. My camera faced onto the driveway of a townhouse complex, so I had to dial it in taking into account neighbours traversing the driveway which I didn’t particularly need alerts for – but your needs may vary.
There’s also a setting to activate an on-board siren when it detects motion which is handy if you have an area that no-one at all should be accessing.
Communicating between the camera and the person in view is pretty decent, though it isn’t an overly large speaker it does have decent volume.
Once the setup is out of the way, using the Swann Xtreem Wireless Security Camera is extremely simple. You get alerts for motion based on your settings, and if you miss it you can always grab them from the clips tab in the app which are listed in order, with separate date tabs to really make it easy to find an event.
For anyone approaching your house you can put up a number of the Swann warning stickers warning of video surveillance, and if anyone is unsure if the camera is on there’s a red LED which lights up when it detects motion.
The video is captured in Full HD 1080p resolution, with clips ranging from 10 to 60 seconds in length, as long as there’s motion detected. Clip size varies depending on the length of footage, but the 16GB card should hold you over fairly well.
These clips are easy to access from the app, and you can save them locally to your device if you need to.
For any smart home aficionados, you can also set the Swann Xtreem Wireless Camera up with both Alexa and Google Assistant. This allows you to view the camera feed through your compatible Assistant devices. It’s a nice inclusion for anyone living in either eco-system and setup is very easy, just add the skill for either assistant in their respective apps.
Should you buy it?
The great battery life of the Swann Xtreem Wireless Security Camera, along with the easy to use app and mounting is a great option for anyone looking to setup a security system with an eye for offline storage in addition to cloud features.
The design is sturdy and the magnetic mounting system makes installation easy. There are rough edges on the setup with the 2.4GHz Wifi not always the easiest, but once connected there’s no issues at all.
Quality of the video, as well as the intelligent heat and motion sensing alerts make for a well rounded camera, though it lacks the intelligence of higher tier models from the likes of Google and Arlo. But it is a great camera system, and is backed by a great app, making it a good choice for anyone looking at setting up a camera with storage options.
The Swann Xtreem Wireless Security Camera sells for $199, or $399 in a two-pack from Swann Australia or retailers around Australia.