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Motorola Focus 66/73/85 WiFi Home Camera Review

With the Internet Of Things becoming increasingly popular, the number of products that fall under this banner are increasing too.

One of the fastest expanding segments within this market is that of the security camera, that can allow you to monitor your home, office or other locations from your smartphone, tablet or web browser (use the app it is better).

Motorola Focus Camera 5

For me, security cameras are one of the logical first steps in connecting your home.  The peace of mind it brings for many, is quite great.  Could we cope without? Yes of course, but being able to remotely check in has many advantages.

Motorola Focus 66 – £55

Motorola Focus 85 – £75

Motorola Focus 73 – £130

A full CCTV system is not what Motorola Focus cameras are about.  You could kind of create a full CCTV system, with them but there are some limitations in the way they work that make this more difficult to achieve.

If you want assurances of constant recording and logs of activity a more premium solution is likely the route to go.

I will not get into the moral discussion on whether it is ‘right’ or not to be able to use cameras as a way of checking on family, tradespeople or possibly employees, but cameras do serve a purpose and the Motorola Focus range I am reviewing here offers a fairly simple and cost effective way to achieve such.

Motorola Focus Camera 11

In this review I am looking at 3 cameras. All 3 are different but similar.

  • Focus 66
    • Entry level designed for indoor use.
    • Infrared night vision up to 6 metres.
    • Wall mountable.
    • Two way communication
  • Focus 73
    • IP rated for use outdoors.
    • Wall or ceiling mountable
    • Infrared night vision up to 10 meters
    • Pan & zoom options
  • Focus 85
    • Premium camera for Indoor use only.
    • Infrared night vision up to 6 metres.
    • Pan & zoom options
    • Wall mountable.
    • Two way communication

Motorola Focus Camera 2

What all the cameras share is a simple setup process, connecting to your wireless network and once connected you have the ability to access the camera(s) via a Hubble application on mobile devices and web browser on a PC or MAC.

The Focus 66 and 85 offer two way communication whereby you can listen to what is going on within the camera surroundings as well as speak via the camera.  For example, you could speak to someone at your home via the camera, whilst you are at work.

All record in 720p HD and have motion and temperature sensors built in.  Alerts can be received if motion is detected and temperatures above or below set levels. There are to, options for  alerts based on sounds.

These alerts are logged in the Hubble for Motorola application and you can have them pushed through to you so that you get instant notification of what is/has been going on.

When motion is detected you can also have the recording saved so that you can watch it back or download it for review at a later date.  This recording is saved in the cloud on Motorolas servers.

Depending on your needs and desires of a security camera will depend on your view of the Motorola Focus range and whether it works for you.

As the cameras are so similar in what they achieve, I thought it best to list out below what I like and did not like so much about these.

Motorola Focus Camera 7

What I liked

  • All Cameras
    • Simple to setup
    • Good value for money
    • Motion, sound & heat detection
    • Night vision
    • Take a photo
  • Focus 66
    • Simplistic and functional
    • Two way communication
  • Focus 73
    • Ideal for outdoors overlooking the front or back door
    • IP rated
    • Solid construction
    • Option to be connected via ethernet rather than WiFi
  • Focus 85
    • Premium look and feel to the camera
    • Pan and tilt option
    • Two way communication
  • Hubble App
    • Simple to use and remotely control settings
    • Available for iOS & Android
    • Logs of events

Motorola Focus Camera

What I disliked

  • All cameras
    • No 1080p video function.  Image results were ok but not great.
    • No option to record constantly
  • Focus 66
    • The the design looks and feels a bit cheap.
    • The thermometer hangs out the back
  • Focus 73
    • Heavy and takes a bit more effort to instal with cabled due to taking power outside.
  • Focus 85
    • Can’t really find a fault with it.
  • Hubble App
    • No option to view all the cameras at the same time like an overview.
    • Lag in the application.  Caused a lot by the wireless connectivity but it did hamper the experience at times.

Motorola Focus Camera

Having spent a few weeks testing these cameras at home overall I am quite impressed with them.

I would like to show you some sample footage.  However, this can only be viewed in the app. Although it can be downloaded to the phone you can’t extract it. Check out our video to get an idea of what it is like.

There are a couple of things that I feel should be mentioned, but are perhaps not big enough issues to say that I did not like them, but more points to note.

This is really around the motion and sound detection and notifications.

When it comes to notifications, you are going to want to tinker with the settings as you can end up with lots of notification in quick succession.  This will depend on your setup and preferences but it is a word of warning that in the first couple of days, unless you have got your settings just right or turned them off expect lots of notifications.

I found a few inconsistencies with the motion detection.  The camera was pointing out over my drive but was in view of the main road and although about 40 meters away there was a lot of motion detection.  However, it was inconsistent, sometimes there was lots of activity on the camera and other times considerably less, yet the traffic was passing regularly. I think in my case it was because the camera was looking out over a vast area and was at the limits of its motion detection range.  

It is a point to consider when positioning cameras as for me the notification of the road activity was pointless, I wanted to know when someone was coming up the drive or to the door.  Moving the camera’s position slightly assisted greatly as does reconfiguring the sensitivity levels.

Motorola Focus Camera

This is a similar situation with the sound.

The scales of detection are not really based on anything like decibels, which is fairly standard, but different environments and setups will require different setups.

There is always a delay of at least 5 seconds, even when on the same wireless network when viewing footage or controlling the cameras.  This is to be expected to a point, but it can be longer depending on your connection setup and speeds.  Over 3G it can be 20 seconds.

This is not a real problem, but it is a bit of a hassle if you try to remotely pan and tilt a camera.  By the time you have sent commands and they have been followed through you may have missed what you were trying to catch etc.

Whilst logs remain for as long as you have the camera setup, any recordings of motion appear to be available for no longer than a month after capture.  So, if you want to save a clip, you need to download it.  What is frustrating is this can only be viewed back in the hubble app and not exported for use elsewhere.

Motorola Focus Camera in black

Personally, for me, the focus range do not offer enough for what I want in a security system.  I want to be able to get an overview of the camera’s view at all times and record activity to a hard drive for review at a later time and these cameras simply do not offer that.

This is my personal view however when it comes to essentially setting up a CCTV system.

What I cannot dispute is the simplicity in setting these cameras up and just keeping an eye on things.

At all times the cameras appeared to keep working, I noticed no downtime and the app is simple to use.

If you simply wanted to have a camera in a room at home to check the kids are home safe from school or to check the window cleaner did come, then these cameras certainly serve a purpose with limited hassle and cost.

Motorola are a reputable brand and I think for the money you could do worse.

If you are interested, you can pick any of the focus range up on the links below for the mention prices.

Motorola Focus 66 – £55

Motorola Focus 85 – £75

Motorola Focus 73 – £130

Motorola Focus Camera