When we reviewed the Momentum 720p Wi-Fi Video Camera last year, we were impressed with its affordability and sharp daytime video quality, but felt its night vision quality and mobile app needed work. The new Momentum Cori HD Smart Home Security Camera is also very affordable ($59.99 for a two-pack), and it delivered sharp day and night 720p video in our tests. The mobile app looks the same, but exhibits none of the quirkiness we saw with the last time, and the camera's motion and sound detection work as advertised. At $30 per camera, the Cori is a good deal for anyone looking to add a measure of security to their home, but our Editors' Choice for affordable home security cameras, the Wyze Cam V2, is a better deal.
Design and Features
The oval Cori camera has a black finish, measures 4.2 by 2.6 by 2.7 inches (HWD), and weighs just 5.0 ounces. It sits atop a round base that lets you tilt and swivel the camera. There's a mini USB power port and a reset button on the back, and a microSD card slot on the left side that can be used to store video locally (up to 128GB), but you have to supply your own media. The camera captures video at 720p and has a 110-degree field of view. The Wyze V2 also has a 110-degree field of view, but it captures video at 1080p.
The Cori uses infrared LED lighting to provide up to 25 feet of black-and-white night vision. It has motion and sound sensors, a 2.4GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi radio, and a microphone and speaker for two-way audio. The camera will record video when motion or sound is detected, and it'll send a push notification, a feature not found on the original Momentum 720p Wi-Fi Video Camera.
Missing is support for IFTTT applets, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, and interoperability with other smart home devices such as lights and door locks. The Cori does offer limited interaction with the Nest platform—you can add a Nest Thermostat to your device list and control it from the Momentum app. According to a Momentum spokesperson, IFTTT and voice support is on the roadmap for future upgrades.
You can use the microSD card slot to store video locally, or subscribe to one of Momentum's cloud plans. Its 7-Day Plan costs $5 per month, per device, and gives you access to the past 7 days of recorded video and unlimited downloads. The 30-Day Plan goes for $10 per month, per device, and gives you access to the past 30 days of video with unlimited downloads. It's important to note that if you decide to use the cloud service for both cameras in the two-pack, the monthly costs are doubled.
The mobile app (for Android and iOS) looks identical to the app we used to test the Momentum 720p Wi-Fi Video Camera. The dashboard screen displays the name of the camera with a still image of the last captured frame. Below, there are Activity and Rules buttons. Tap the Activity button to see a list of motion- and sound-triggered events with thumbnails. To play or download a clip, tap the thumbnail. Use the Rules button to create rules to have the camera record video and send a push notification when sound or motion is detected. Here you can enable/disable recordings and notifications for specific times of the day and days of the week.
Tap the still image to launch a live stream that can be viewed in full-screen mode by turning your phone sideways. At the bottom of the stream are buttons for initiating two-way audio, manual video recording, taking a snapshot, and viewing past activity. At the top of the screen is a camera on/off switch, a speaker mute button, and a gear icon that takes you to a settings screen where you can configure Wi-Fi settings, date and time settings, motion and sound sensitivity settings, and create motion zones.
Installation and Performance
To install the Cori camera, I downloaded the mobile app and created an account, then plugged in the camera. A voice command told me that the camera was ready to connect with my Wi-Fi access point, so I opened the app, tapped Pair Device, and selected Momentum Cori from the list. I scanned the QR code on the bottom of the base, connected to the camera using my phone's Wi-Fi settings, selected my Wi-Fi SSID, and entered my Wi-Fi password. After 60 seconds or so, I was told that the pairing process failed and to try again. On the second try the installation was successful. I gave the camera a name and was done.
In my tests, the Cori camera delivered relatively sharp 720p daytime video with vivid colors and no noticeable barrel distortion. Night vision video quality was much better than what I saw with the Momentum 720p Wi-Fi Video Camera: The Cori's night vision video appeared well lit, with good contrast out to around 20 feet. Motion and sound detection worked as promised, but I first had to adjust sensitivity levels to prevent motion alerts caused by passing cars and sound alerts from casual conversation. Push notifications arrived immediately after an event. Two-way audio was loud and distortion-free.
With the Momentum Cori HD Smart Home Security Camera you can keep an eye on the inside of your home without costing a fortune, especially if you choose to store recorded video locally on a microSD card. It delivered colorful 720p daytime video and sharp black-and-white night video in testing, and unlike the first Momentum 720p Wi-Fi Video Camera, the mobile app performed well. The camera doesn't currently support Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa voice commands, nor does it support IFTTT applets, but these upgrades are on the horizon. At $59 for a two-pack, the Cori is a good deal, but you get more bang for your buck with the Wyze V2. For only $20 per camera, you get 1080p video, free cloud storage, local storage, time-lapse recording, and motion tracking, making it our Editors' Choice for affordable home security cameras.