Logitech has officially unveiled its new Circle View smart camera that works exclusively with Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video platform. The Circle View is similar to the wired Circle 2, but with a focus on privacy and a new black design.

The Circle View features what Logitech calls a “TrueView” camera offering 1080P video quality with a 180-degree field of view. The infrared camera system can also provide “full-field visibility and superior clarity in the dark up to 15ft away.”

The Logitech Circle View shares many similarities with the wired Circle 2, which added support for HomeKit Secure Video last year. The Circle View features a wired design that’s weatherproof for indoor and outdoor usage. The included 10-foot power cable is tethered to the camera and (unfortunately) white.

Included with the Circle View is wall mounting hardware, including a mounting plate, cable clips, screws, and anchors. Unfortunately, what seems to be missing as of right now are the various mounting accessories that were available for the Circle 2, such as the incredibly useful Window Mount.

Logitech has put privacy at the forefront of its new Circle View smart camera. Supporting HomeKit Secure Video ensures a certain level of privacy, but Logitech has taken things a bit further. In fact, there’s a button on the camera itself to instantly disable audio and video.

Other technical specs of the new Circle View include:

  • Wireless Protocol Support: 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Sensor/Video: 16:9 format sensor with up to 1080p HD video recording and glass lens, with 180-degree DFOV
  • Night Vision Illumination: 2 IR LEDs that provide illumination in an unobstructed area up to 15 ft away
  • Microphone / Speaker: Digital MEMS Microphone, Mono Speaker
  • Camera Body Weatherproof Rating: IP64

The Logitech Circle View will begin shipping this month and will be available from Logitech’s website as well as Apple’s Online Store. It will retail for $159.99.

9to5Mac’s Take

It’s interesting that Logitech has made the new Circle View work exclusively with Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video platform. It underscores the privacy-centric design of the camera. While the original wired Circle 2 added HomeKit Secure Video, it also could work with Logitech’s app as well as basic HomeKit support.

My colleague Zac Hall walked through HomeKit Secure Video in detail last year, pointing out both the benefits of the platform as well as some of its quirks. Much of what Zac wrote then still rings true today, including the requirements to use HomeKit Secure Video in the first place:

  • iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 13.2 or iPadOS 13.2 or later
  • iPad, Apple TV, or HomePod used as a home hub
  • 200GB ($2.99/month) for one camera or 2TB ($9.99/month) iCloud storage plan for up to 5 cameras

Because the Circle View is limited to HomeKit Secure Video, everything is easy to manage in the Home app, and all settings are adjustable, such as the camera status light, night vision light, recording preferences, and more. For someone deep in the HomeKit ecosystem, having everything in the Home app is very convenient.

A couple of other quick impressions:

  • HomeKit code located on the bottom for easy access
  • The Circle View only exposes motion and brightness to the Home app, not other details like temperature
  • The power cord is USB-A
  • HomeKit Secure Video doesn’t count against iCloud storage space

The on and off button on the camera itself is the differentiator with the Circle View. The biggest downside here is that it’s not automated. Instead, you’ll have to manually press the button on the camera itself to turn it off or back on, or rely on geofencing — and geofencing isn’t necessarily the solution everyone wants.

Finally, my preferred way to view live footage of HomeKit cameras is through the third-party HomeCam app. This makes it possible to view multiple cameras live at once, and quickly access associated controls. The Home app requires you to tap on each individual camera to view their respective live feeds.

What do you think of the new Logitech Circle View? I’ll have a full review soon, so be sure to share any questions down in the comments!

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