Eufy SoloCam E40 in the test: The anti-subscription security camera


“Who would like to pay for another subscription service? The Eufy SoloCam E40 defies this trend. ”

  • Does not require subscription service

  • Razor-sharp night vision quality

  • Above average battery life

  • Fight with dynamic range

Digital subscriptions are ubiquitous, especially in the world of surveillance cameras. Users can only access premium features like cloud storage or artificial intelligence surveillance by paying for a subscription service. Between paying for YouTube Music, Amazon Prime, and Apple Fitness +, my bank account withdrawals for recurring payments are at an all-time high – so it would be a relief to potentially prevent another pinning.

The Eufy SoloCam E40 is the first of many new security cameras to hit the market this year that frees us from the shackles of subscription services as it is a standalone all-in-one security camera system. There is no need for a separate hub to store footage on a microSD card or subscription service for remote access to footage. The included data sheet sweetens the deal as it offers 2K video recording and a battery life of 120 days. A dream comes true – or does it?

Design: Say goodbye to the hub

First of all, I have to point out that previous Eufy outdoor surveillance cameras required the use of a bridge – something I love to know is no longer the case with the Eufy SoloCam E40. Because the camera now connects directly to the WLAN, which is a welcome relief.

Back cover of the Eufy SoloCam E40.John Velasco / Digital Trends

With its design, an elongated, rectangular shaped chassis that is quite light and solidly built, there is nothing out of the ordinary. With the all-plastic construction, it has a waterproof protection class IP65, which keeps it operational in all weather conditions. Even if I don’t mind the supplied screw attachment, I would have liked a magnetic attachment as an option for quick and easy removal.

Installation: Ready to use in around five minutes

With the hub not in the equation, getting the Eufy SoloCam E40 up and running is a breeze. In fact, it took me about five minutes to complete. Once out of the box, all I have to do is run the app and then point the QR code at the camera to connect it to my home’s Wi-Fi network.

Eufy SoloCam E40 on external screw mounting.John Velasco / Digital Trends

There were no problems with the installation, so I had to screw the bracket to the wall using the screws that came with it. Although it is advertised as an outdoor camera, it can easily be converted to an indoor camera as well as it is a wireless camera that does not require constant power to operate. If you want to save yourself the hassle of charging, you can connect it to a power source via its micro-USB port, which is hidden behind the rear cover.

Features: All the basics at your disposal

Today’s cameras have some advanced features like facial recognition to distinguish people, package detection to protect shipments from pirates on the porch, HDR recording, and even the ability to digitally pan and zoom a person. Advanced features like this can be found in top-notch cameras like the Arlo Pro 4, but the Eufy SoloCam E40 gives you the basics.

Well, that’s not a bad thing, especially when it is effective in monitoring, detecting, and providing a general sense of security. The range of functions consists of activity zones, person recognition, night vision and local storage. With the latter, however, the Eufy SoloCam E40 does not rely on a microSD slot like other cams, but instead has its own 8 GB integrated memory. This can be alarming in the event of the camera being stolen, but the footage is protected by military-grade encryption.

The range of functions is rounded off by an integrated 90 dB siren, two-way communication and support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. These are all contemporary features of today’s security cameras, but nothing out of the ordinary compared to what other notable cameras in the field have to offer.

Video Quality: A few minor nuances in 2K videos

Another aspect of the Eufy SoloCam E40 that I appreciate is that it doesn’t settle for 1080p footage, but instead opts for 2K (2,304 x 1,296) videos. The preview of the footage on my smartphones is very clear. It does struggle with dynamic range, however, which can be seen in how highlights are blown out unlike the rest of the scenery. In addition, the film material is sharpened too much and a colder color temperature is preferred. While the overall quality is still cheap, it records clips at a slower rate of 15 frames per second (fps) – far less than the 30 fps standard found on other cameras.

In contrast, the night vision material is incredibly clear, razor sharp and well lit. With the help of its infrared LEDs, the Eufy SoloCam E40 has captured some deer walking through my garden with breathtaking clarity. Fortunately, there is no drop in the frame rate with night vision as the same rate of 15 fps is maintained. The only things missing here that would add significantly to the arsenal are color night vision and a headlight.

Battery life: go the distance

After testing the Eufy SoloCam E40 for a week, I’m happy to announce that the battery life is still 100%. I know it’s technically not at 100%, but it’s charged enough to indicate a full charge. My only complaint is that you have to go through the power manager’s settings to see the percentage as the app only shows a battery icon with five bars on the main screen.

It’s one less subscription service that you have to worry about paying.

Of course, battery life will depend on a lot of factors, but I’m hoping for the 120-day rating. It’s ambitious but certainly not out of style, as the Arlo Essential XL has been chugging for over 90 days since I last charged it.

Our opinion

Eufy’s new camera isn’t groundbreaking, but it doesn’t have to be if it does the job safely by notifying me of relevant detection notifications. It’s at least capable of distinguishing humans from animals, but the Eufy SoloCam E40 really gets my attention because it’s a complete system that works out of the box – something that doesn’t require paid subscription services.

At $ 130, it’s mid-range, which is reasonable for its offering and performance. Hey, at least it’s one less subscription service to worry about at the end of the month.

Is there a better alternative?

When it comes to features and performance, the Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight is still an incredible option as it has 2K HDR video recording, advanced AI detection, and color night vision for $ 200.

The Wyze Cam Outdoor is a cheaper, full-featured option for $ 60 and even has a handy offline mode for recording footage to a MicroSD card when there is no Wi-Fi connectivity.

How long it will take?

The all-plastic construction feels sturdy, so I’m sure it will withstand all weather conditions. There is a one year limited warranty that covers defects.

Should you buy it?

You bet. It’s one less subscription service that I have to pay for on a monthly basis. It also offers a good balance between price, features and performance.

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