Head2Head Review – D-Link EyeOn vs. iBaby Monitor
Baby monitors are one of the first things that any self-respecting geek dad heads online to research when he finds out a little one is on the way, but with so much choice out there how do you decide? Do you go audio only to avoid being glued to the ‘Baby TV’ all evening or have the video available to stop you popping your head in every 10 minutes just to make sure everything’s OK?
Most of these cameras use a direct signal to send the audio and/or video to your monitor` with not a great range of features above and beyond night vision and talking back to your baby. However, a new breed of monitors are becoming increasingly popular and aren’t much more expensive than what’s already popular in the market. These might look just like glorified webcams (in the D-Link EyeOn‘s case that’s particularly true though), but advances in our smartphones are allowing these cameras to be used in far more useful and user-friendly ways.
To look closer into the world of web-enabled baby monitors we got hold of two of the leading devices on the market, the D-Link EyeOn Baby Monitor (to give it its full title) and the iBaby Monitor (Model M2 to be exact). And here’s what we thought.
WHAT DO THEY DO?
Both: In terms of features, both devices boast a similar range of basic functions, These include: The ability to take pictures and video, two-way audio, zoom functionality and one of the most useful is push notifications on their sounds and motion detection (so you don’t have to keep the app open and on all the time). All of these work perfectly well and do as they say on the tin.
In slightly more interesting functionality and something that takes these away from being glorified webcams is the ability to play lullabies to your little one remotely. These are by no means high quality audio recordings of orchestras, but simple beeps that I’ve found my little one rather enjoys at least!
Arguably the most important feature, for me at least, is the remote access. This means that when I’m sat in my office during the day I can still check in and see my little bundle of joy to make sure she’s ok and not giving her mother too much of a hard time! Both cameras also allow for multiple cameras and users to be set-up, so you could even have cameras in different rooms too and let the grandparents have a login!
EyeOn: One of the main benefits of the D-Link monitor is the built in temperature gauge, allowing you to see how cold or warm your baby’s room is. This is a handy addition for those worried about freezing or overheating that baby – as someone that had their first during this summer’s heatwave and is now entering the depths of winter, I can vouch this is a concern. In my own experience, I’ve also found this invaluable when going away for an extended period – so rather than having to take the monitor and room thermometer, we have these built into one camera. The EyeOn also boasts 720p HD quality, although naturally only when the regular daylight camera is working.
iBaby: The iBaby’s unique feature is it’s having an inbuilt battery, with up to 2 hours charge time. This is perfect for a nap if she’s not going down where you’ve place the charger or simply want to keep an eye on her in the other living room while you’re making yourself some breakfast. The other claim the iBaby makes is its ‘Easy` one-click set-up’, which although sounding like marketing rubbish I must admit it was easier to get up and running than its competitor.
EyeOn: Both apps come with free apps and for the D-Link it’s the ‘mydlink Baby’. It works perfectly well and I have no real gripes with the functions. The only issues I have are really with the user experience of the app, as it feels rather clunky and basic in its design. For example, logging into the app gives you a sea of blue with buttons and options that mean you have to click into the camera to open it, It’s not a major issue` but if we’re going head to head then I have to be picky!
iBaby: The iBaby app is where this monitor really starts to come into its own. From the moment you login it takes you direct to the camera view and you get straight to the baby, with all the controls you might need are there. The app has just clearly been a little more thought through and designed to a slightly higher standard.
EyeOn: The EyeOn works really well. It’s a solid piece of kit with the reliability that you’d expect from someone like D-Link. My only gripes are that the user experience isn’t quite as polished as it could be and this is exemplified by the slight faff required to set up a new monitor. It took me around 15-20 minutes when I last tried at my in-laws, which was not the first attempt at setting it up either! Again isn’t a massive issue if I was writing a simple review, but in a Head2Head it certainly falls short.
iBaby: The user experience has been put at the forefront when creating this monitor and app; it really is just so user-friendly. From the initial set-up, which took less than 5 minutes, to logging in from work it does the job I want it to quickly and efficiently. Yes` the temperature and HD would be nice to have on top, but it’s the basic functionality and user experience that I need to keep me happy.
EyeOn: The D-Link EyeOn will set you back around £100, although the RRP appears to be closer to £130. So compared to most direct video monitors that would set you back £80-£100 this is certainly good value for money for all the additional features it offers.
iBaby: Again, the RRP appears to be around £130, but is currently (as of writing this article) on Amazon for around £120. So a little more expensive than that EyeOn` but still good value for the additional features in comparison to the ‘standard’ monitors.
Both the monitors are strong additions to any household with a baby, with very similar basic features and the variations not really being a massive game-changer. Price is also in a very similar ballpark with the EyeOn just a touch cheaper. So the decision for a winner really has to come down to the user experience, which the iBaby wins hands down. From the look of the hardware, to the initial set-up and the app to use with it, the iBaby is simply a much stronger option that has been truly thought through and changed to fit the needs of a parent – rather than tweaking a stock webcam to fit.