I’ve tested more HomeKit cameras over the years than I can likely remember. However, I recently had the opportunity to start using the Homam camera with HomeKit Secure Video support, and I can say without a doubt that it’s the best option if you want premium hardware with robust software outside of the Home app.
HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.
What makes it different?
The first thing you’ll notice if you look at the listing for the Homam camera is the price. It’s much more expensive than other single HomeKit cameras – certainly ones that aren’t battery-powered.
So, what makes it worth the price as a Homekit camera? Quite simply, it’s the best-built HomeKit camera on the market. I would love to use it as an outdoor camera, but alas – it’s indoor only. The Homam is powered by USB-C and a USB power brick. It contains a variety of mounting options, so you can mount it on the wall or place it on a bookshelf.
The Homam camera has a matte black aluminum exterior and a Magic Base that magnetically attaches to the body of the camera to keep it in place.
Overall, the hardware makes it worth the premium price, and everything it does in Homam software is an addition.
One of the negatives of the HomeKit is the HomeKit code. While it makes it easy to pair initially, there is a risk that you can lose the code unless you write it down or store it digitally in an app like HomePass.
Homam gets rid of the HomeKit QR code and uses an NFC connection to pair itself to HomeKit. First, you’ll need to pair it using the Homam app, but then you’ll see an option to bridge it to HomeKit. I started looking for the QR code on the device until I looked at the instructions a little closer, where it mentioned pairing it by bringing it closer to the device. All it took was a tap on my iPhone to pair it – what a fantastic process.
Once it’s in HomeKit, you can create automations, look at old recordings, configure recording options, select activity zones, and more, just like you would any other HomeKit camera.
Homam recording vs. HomeKit
Homam includes built-in storage (64GB), so you can use it standalone without adding to HomeKit. You can also use the HomeKit storage and Homam built-in storage simultaneously. Since all the recording happens on the device, there are no additional monthly fees. If you’re in a situation where you don’t want any cloud storage involved with your home cameras, Homam is very attractive.
Homam hardware specs
- 5 GHz Wi-Fi
- True HDR
- Wide angle
- 7-glass, low-distortion fisheye lens
- High-end night vision (8 IR diodes)
- Resolution: 1920 × 1080
- Proprietary video protocol to reduce bandwidth requirements
- Field of View: Diagonal 156°, horizontal 134°, vertical 75°
- Focal length: 2.39mm
- Frame rate: 30fps (DOL WDR 2 frames)
- Streaming: Multiple 2MP streams at 30fps, level 5, main profile, up to 40Mbps
- Speakers: 2× high-SPL Mylar stereo
- Microphone: 2× stereo; premium-grade FETs
Worth the price?
I’ll admit, the Homam camera is expensive. In using it, though, it has the best-looking indoor night video quality, the best-sounding microphone, and the best overall build of any HomeKit camera on the market. You’ll just need to decide if you care about the benefits it brings over lower-cost ones.
The Homam app is fantastic, and I think Apple could copy its UI for the HomeKit Video rewind process. The app also contains several modes: view, nanny, guard, and more. All these modes extend the camera’s usefulness. However, many of these modes can only be accessed using the Homam app versus just the Home app.
The bottom line is that as a premium HomeKit camera, Homam succeeds. Its premium build makes it a fantastic option for higher-end HomeKit installations. Of course, to get the most out of the camera, you’ll need to use the Homam app, but it can still record to HomeKit and trigger automations.
In the future, I’d love to see Homam offer an outdoor option as well. I could see buyers appreciating the high-end build quality even more as an outdoor camera.
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