One of the best deals in the smart home is a deal no more. Wyze, the company behind the affordable WyzeCam security camera, is discontinuing its original WyzeCam V1 on Feb. 1.
Wyze told customers in an email that while they’ll be able to use the camera after the end of the month, the company wouldn’t sell it anymore or “improve or maintain” its software. Wyze then discouraged continued use of the WyzeCam, adding that it carries “increased risk” for users. Wyze is discontinuing the first-gen model because it doesn’t support a critical security update.
The Wyze Cam V1 became a surprise hit. It’s considered one of the original good budget security cameras, and normalized affordable home surveillance. It even helped bring some of its competitors’ prices down. Wyze’s cameras also became popular because they don’t require monthly subscriptions for premium features like the costly Amazon Ring and Google Nest security cameras do. Wyze recently announced a pay-what-you-want subscription tier for its cameras to add things like AI-enabled person detection. It’s unclear if the new offering has anything to do with why the Wyze Cam V1 was discontinued.
In its email to customers, Wyze included a $US3 ($4) coupon toward purchasing a new Wyze Cam, which doesn’t save you much if you’re replacing a bundle of cameras at once. As you can imagine, this olive branch didn’t sit well with some of Wyze’s forum users. “I bought a bunch of these cameras in good faith,” writes one user. “Talk about planned obsolescence,” wrote another.
But the Wyze Cam V1 is about five years old at this point, which is (unfortunately) considered a pretty good run. Right now, five years is considered the minimum promise for security updates from other vendors, including Google, which deprecated some of its Nest devices last summer after updating nearly its entire product lineup. Wyze offers its own end of life policy as part of its terms and conditions.
If you are still using a Wyze Cam V1, now is the time to swap it out for something current. Wyze’s current flagship model is the Wyze Cam V3, but there are four other models to choose from, including the Wyze Cam Pan V2, which can remotely pan and tilt.
If you can afford something a little pricier, the Nest Cam Indoor is one of my favourite security cameras and it’s chic as hell. Brands such as TP-Link and Eufy make budget-friendly security cameras that integrate with Amazon and Google’s ecosystems and are worth checking out. Eufy’s cameras also work with Apple’s HomeKit.