Tag: Featured

By March 13, 2017 Read More →

Y-Cam Protect Alarm review

1486848637243Y-Cam is a security setup that employs a bunch of little peripherals under the one hub to give you peace of mind when away from home of when you locked everything up for the night.

Here we take a look at the Y-Cam Protect Alarm system. A basic, starter kit that notifies you when something happens in the home.

What you get in the box:

First up is the alarm hub itself. This box looks like an alarm system, is large enough to act as a deterrent however it’s designed to plug into your route so it might have some limits as to where you can place it. The Hub has some holes on the back for screws to allow wall mounting.

Also is the box is a door sensor with some adhesive tape to attach to both the door and the door frame. A motion sensor and remote control are also included.

 

The Y-Cam Protect calls itself a “Triple Layer” security system. This uses wired, wireless and SIM card to protect your home if your internet or power is cut.

In order to use the third level, the user has to pay for the SIM service. This costs either £5.99 per month or £59.99 for the year. The SIM provides alarms to the application and text messages to your phone when the alarm has been triggered.

There is also a feature to include the Plus button on the remote to send an emergency message to two mobile numbers. If an elderly relative has fallen perhaps, they can summon help if they have the remote on their person.

The battery on the Y-Cam lasts for around eight hours, this would be handy if there was a power cut and house was broken into a few hours afterwards. The motion and door sensors are battery powered and are said to last a year before needing replacement their batteries replaced. 

 

The sensors work for the most part. Testing the motion sensor was a little deflating as I was able to wave at it in the dark from a meter away without it jumping into action. During the day it was triggered by my pets and unlike my main house alarm does not have a function to disregard differing weight categories. However, it’s cost £150, my house alarm was close to £1000 and only upsets the neighbours when it goes off instead of tapping me on the shoulder to tell me my phone collection might not be there when I get home.

You can also arm or disarm from anywhere by the application. Whilst the Y-cam isn’t loud enough to annoy the neighbours on a false alarm it would probably aggravate your dog/cat that set it off in the first instance.

When armed the hub announces that it has been armed before allowing an adjustable grace period to clear the area. Setting off the alarm is an odd experience. The bell inside is loud, but not pant wettingly loud. You neighbours are unlikely to investigate and the sound may only serve to alert an intruder that something has happened. Instead, notifications will fly out to your device for you to react to.

The Y-Cam app is available for both for iOS or Android and is relatively simple to use. There are not many options, however, I would imagine as you add more peripherals to the system it would become a lot busier. Whilst I do not have the addition camera the functions are available to give a taste of how I could enhance the system if I were to feel inclined.

The Hub settings have a large amount of customisation making for quite an attractive experience. From naming sensors and items on the Y-Cam system to checking signal, there is a lot to work with, however not all is necessary when you are just plugging in and wanting it up and running.

 

The Protect system works pretty well. The remote is useful however I found using the application a lot more useful. I couldn’t help but think that the remote would really only be for the elderly. It’s not something you would attach to your keys when you go out and oddly enough it sat beside the Y-Cam hub for most of the time, so I didn’t lose it.

The Protect function arms and disarms quite quickly and the app is updated quickly when something happens with the system. One afternoon I did encounter a problem with the app when I received an error stating “regld required” however it worked later.

The Y-Cam Protect is a good-value home alarm system with an extra layer of reliability. It’s easy to setup and use with the benefits that easily outweigh the shortcomings. The subscription fee has it merits however it might not suit everyone.

 

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By March 12, 2017 Read More →

XM-L2 Led flashlight from Uniquefire Review

IMG_5728You’d be amazed at the technology that goes into modern flashlights. I’m not talking about the cheap and cheerful/nasty ones you can pick up for £1 at the checkout at Tesco or a petrol station, I mean “proper” flashlights. Precision machined reflectors shape the beam pattern and balance the throw and spill. Cutting edge LEDs generate insane amounts of light. Clever electronics regulate the output to ensure a constant and steady output for as long as possible before dimming, squeezing the maximum out of the batteries. And that’s not to mention the various user interfaces that allow for a number of different light levels along with other modes such as strobe, S.O.S. and beacon. These lights cost between “quite a lot” and “eye-watering” on the scale of wallet pain. Believe me, I know, I have quite a few of them.

Yes folks, my name is Paul and I am a flashaholic.

Uniquefire sent us one of their flashlights to take a look at. At £18 I really didn’t expect a lot, but two things intrigued me, the name of the light and the specification/description from the manufacturer, but I’ll get to those later.



So let’s judge the light on its own merits. Is it any good? Well, yes and no. For £18 it falls firmly into the cheap but useful pigeon hole. It does feel quite solidly made, which surprised me. I initially thought the tail button glowed in the dark which would have been a really nice feature, it alas no, it’s just green.

The light can be powered by either an 18650 battery or 3x AAA batteries. The former will provide more power, but they are not exactly common, so most people will opt for the much more readily available AAA option. There are 5 modes available – high, medium, low, strobe and S.O.S. which are cycled through by half-pressing the tail button. The main gimmick of the flashlight is the zoom function. This allows the output to transition between a wide flood or a tight and narrow beam for maximum throw.

It all sounds very positive, but there are some issues. The reflector, what there is of it, is incredibly shallow and untextured. This is compensated by a parabolic lens to magnify the light from the large LED. It’s a common feature on cheaper lights.



Putting the light on high mode the flashlight does a decent job at illuminating a wide area, perhaps 5m wide, but only for about 3m in front of you. Pulling the head away from the body create a telescoping effect which tightens the beam to a bright but very narrow profile that stretches out perhaps 80-100m. The beam pattern is horrible though. It’s square, full of artefacts and clearly shows the cheapness of the light. I compared it against my little Zebralight SC51, a single AA light that, although almost twice the price, is also a fraction of the size and weight. It has an output of 200 lumens, so it should be interesting to see the comparison.



As you can see from the pictures below, the zebralight may lack the zooming feature, but a properly engineered reflector can create simultaneous spill and throw, giving a much more versatile beam.


Now onto my issues with the name and spec. The light is called the “XM-L2”. I have seen this particular sales tactic before. It leads the buyer to believe that the light has an XM-L2 LED, a high output, super efficient component in it and not the sort of LED one might find in a low-end light. I don’t know what LED is actually in this. The spec from the company is vague, non-specific and potentially misleading. Generally, companies will provide output and runtimes for each mode, but sadly not in this case. You can see that the 200-lumen zebralight appears to be putting out more light, yet the XM-L2 claims to put out 600-1000 lumens in its somewhat confusing information. I don’t think so.

Overall, this light isn’t bad for the money, and if it marketed itself as such, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. However, I take issue with how it appears to be presenting itself as a high-end light when it is very clearly not.

Pick one up from Amazon here.

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By March 9, 2017 Read More →

A look at the Dubleup Powerbank

unspecifiedIn an age where we increasingly rely on our smartphones for work, for keeping in touch with what’s going on in the world, chatting with our friends and checking social media, absolute power is an absolute necessity. The sheer panic many people feel when their phone is running out of juice and the mad scramble to find a power source can now be a thing of the past.

The Dubleup power bank, which is launching on Kickstarter on the 9th March, offers a truly portable solution to your charging issues. Being the same size as your average credit card, it can easily be popped into your purse or wallet so is readily available to charge your phone whether at work, on the move or whilst travelling. The ultra-light and ultra-thin design mean you will hardly know you are carrying it, no bulkier, heavy chargers weighing you down now!

Dubleup is not only incredibly portable but also incredibly stylish and is available in a choice of gold, silver and black. It is available with either a built-in lightning connector for iPod and iPhone or a built-in MicroUSB for Android devices. With a capacity of 1280mAH, there is more than enough juice to give a dead or dying iPhone 7 (1,960 mAH battery capacity) sufficient battery life to last the rest of the day.

The LED power indicator displays your battery level and charge status so no more flat battery dilemmas either. The power card has met worldwide safety approvals and is Apple Certified, so you can rest easy knowing that your device will charge safely when the power bank is operational and that all of your Apple items will be supported with Dubleup’s power bank.

Don’t miss out on this stylish and portable charging solution, register your interest now on Dubleup.com and check out the Kickstarter page on 9th March and make your life a little lighter!

Early Bird Offer! The first 6000 backers will be able to get their Dubleup for just $50 USD (Around £39.94).

Thereafter the price is $59 USD (Around £47.13).

Both of these prices will include shipping.

By March 8, 2017 Read More →

Tech Addicts UK Podcast – 8th Mar 2017 – Turn off all electricity to continue

Slink Podcast Logo 1400 x 1400This week featuring Gareth Myles and Jay Garrett

RSS Link: http://mobiletechaddicts.libsyn.com/rss

Direct Download.

iTunes

Stitcher

Tunein

 

News:

Play Test:

Jay

Gareth

Bargain Basement:

Main Show URL: http://www.techaddicts.uk

Email: contact@techaddicts.uk

Twitter: @garethmyles ; @gavinfabiani  ; @GadgetyNewsCom ; @JayGarrett ; @swanny ; @girlsngadgets ; @wildlime

Facebook: Tech Addicts

Web: http://gavinsgadgets.com ; http://GadgetyNews.com ; http://swanny.me/

Google Plus: +Techaddicts; +garethmyles ; +gavinfabiani-laymond; +JayGarrett

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By March 7, 2017 Read More →

BenQ BL2405HT monitor review

91yDSTWGsPL._SL1500_The BenQ BL2405HT has both Flicker-free technology and Low Blue Light Modes allowing for both an approach to office and gaming in the one unit. Priced at £130 the BenQ is worth considering if you do a bit of both.

The BL2405 has a 2cm wide bezel all around the screen. This is a totally acceptable and non-offensive or obtrusive amount. Certainly, it adds a large amount of the width and height of the screen, however, given the size of the screen, the bezels a are not overwhelming in any way. Buttons have been placed on the right edge of the screen. Here we have a power on/off, a select “Enter” button, Up/Down buttons for use in the menu system and to control the volume and brightness. There is also a Menu button and an Auto function. The indicator of the Brightness down button is a sticker and it would see the inputs have been upgraded. Pressing the brightness down button allows the up/down buttons to control the brightness. After a timed delay, the brightness control is released and hitting the volume Up button allows the Up/down buttons to control the volume. Take a little getting used to however as most home computer operators will probably have speakers connected to their computers this saves having an extra two buttons and the brightness can monopolise the inputs.

Here BenQ has an Ultra-Flexible Height Adjustment System (HAS) and it’s probably one of the best mounts for a desktop screen. Once attached, the screen has a full 11cm of vertical travel. Additionally, there is a very smooth 45 degrees of swivel and a twenty degrees of tilt.

On the rear are a 3.5mm audio input and a second output, for headphones or desktop speakers. As for image inputs, there is an HDMI 1.4 port, a 24-pin DVI-D input and a D-SUB. One of the great features is that the Power Supply Unit (PSU) is internal so there is no power brick.

Featuring a backlit 24-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) LED TN panel with an aspect ratio of 16:9 the BL2405 manages a contrast ratio of 1,000:1 with a maximum dynamic contrast of 12 million to one. BenQ reckons the Pixel response time is roughly two milliseconds and there is a viewing angle of 170 degrees horizontal and 160 degrees vertically.

Screen are continually tied to problems with eye-strain and BenQ have been taking steps to ensure their screen have the correct technology inbuilt to reduce common problems. The Low Blue Light modes a noticeably different to the standard settings however they take some getting used to whilst they do help eye strain. BL2405HT works well in bright environments with the impressive maximum light output. In darker conditions, the BL2405 suffered a little from light pooling in the corners however it really isn’t too much of an issue and can be overlooked given the price tag.

A trained eye might pickup on a little corner bleed here and there, noticeable when gaming or watching a movie, however, it is not to the extent to ruin an experience. The screen works well as either an office panel or gaming/media consumption panel and most will find it perfectly acceptable. I honestly like this panel a great deal and using it as the main display on a secondary computer saw no faults or blemishes I would feel it was worth pointing out.

This is a solid screen for a very reasonable price and comes as an easy recommendation.

Available on Amazon for around £130.

By March 1, 2017 Read More →

Tech Addicts UK Podcast – 1st Mar 2017 – Mobile World Congress 2017

Slink Podcast Logo 1400 x 1400With Gareth Myles, Gavin Fabiani-Laymond and Jay Garrett

RSS Link: http://mobiletechaddicts.libsyn.com/rss

Direct Download.

iTunes

Stitcher

Tunein

Show Notes

Listener Feedback:

Hi thanks for a great podcast I was just wondering what app or software? do you use for your smartphone web home security solution?
Thanks
Neil

Nate langston has done Patreon, will MTA go that way?
Leigh

News:

MWC 20117

Play Test:

Gavin

Jay

Gareth

Bargain Basement:

Main Show URL: http://www.techaddicts.uk

Email: contact@techaddicts.uk

Twitter: @garethmyles ; @gavinfabiani  ; @GadgetyNewsCom ; @JayGarrett ; @swanny ; @girlsngadgets ; @wildlime

Facebook: Tech Addicts

Web: http://gavinsgadgets.com ; http://GadgetyNews.com ; http://swanny.me/

Google Plus: +Techaddicts; +garethmyles ; +gavinfabiani-laymond; +JayGarrett

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By February 23, 2017 Read More →

Win Speedlink Laser Gaming Bundle

113939_1_LargeProductImageFERUS Gaming Keyboard

Time for a change! Swap the standard black keycaps on your FERUS Gaming Keyboard in a flash – for fire-red gaming keys. They make those critical WASD and arrow keys really stand out, plus guide you so you always hit the right key when things get tense in the heat of battle. The keyboard also features 10 hotkeys for direct media player and Windows control so you can chat to your comrades-in-arms during the gaming session. With driverless plug & play functionality, a full-size key layout, plus height adjustment – this keyboard is incredibly easy to use and feature-packed.

CRIPT Ultra Thin Gaming Mousepad

Locked and loaded for greater gaming glory! The CRIPT Ultra Thin Gaming Mousepad was born for breakneck, energetic gameplay. Experience superior control thanks to its incredible combination of precision, gliding area and sturdiness: a non-slip layer on the base, a chrome-effect layer sandwiched in between for maximum sturdiness, and a surface designed for ultra-fast gliding. Available in classic black or in a camouflage look, the CRIPT is a truly impressive accessory for optical and laser mice.

productimage

 

LEGATOS Stereo Gaming Headset

The LEGATOS Stereo Headset will supply the soundtrack to action-packed games. Treat your ears to incredible comfort when fighting it out in multiplayer games. With its ultra-soft ear pads and padded, flexible headband plus adjustable microphone which captures your voice with crystal-clear clarity, you’ll enjoy gaming and chatting using this headset just as much as listening to the balanced stereo sound.

ASSERO Gaming Mouse

Click by click: with its impressive 3,200dpi resolution and fast, driverless installation the ASSERO becomes a reliable companion in terms of levelling up. Thanks to its symmetrical design, the five-button mouse comfortably fits the hand perfectly and is suitable for right and left handers. Even in the playground of destruction the glow of the mouse wheel and the logo lettering make the ASSERO a shining eye-catcher. In operation mode, the gently pulsating lights will automatically toggle between the colours Midnight Blue, Passionate Pink, Volcano Red and Tyrian Purple. In addition, the mouse wheel lighting colour indicates the current dpi level. A brilliant bonus: between the games the multimedia mode provides quick and convenient access to fundamental control functions, for example in your music software.


To enter, all you have to do is follow Tech Addicts on Twitter and retweet the following tweet: “RT I want to win a Speedlink Laser Gaming Bundle with @techaddictsuk. You could too: http://wp.me/p7q35G-Rg” You can also click the retweet link below to save you copying and pasting the phrase. Your twitter name will be entered into the draw.

RETWEET ME!

Your twitter name will be entered into the draw. You’ll have to keep following us as we’ll notify winners via DM.

Entry is open until midnight on the 1st March 2016 and the winner will be picked on the March 2nd.

We’ll contact the winner via twitter so make sure that you are still following us! Good luck and get tweeting!

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By February 22, 2017 Read More →

Mio MiVue 688 Unboxing

vlcsnap-00037The Mio Mivue 688 dashcam is an all in one solution for your in car security and on road recording. A small unit with big potential. Priced around £155 the MiVue688 features:

  • 1080p Full HD recording at 30 fps – with the latest H.264 technology for high-quality videos at a smaller file size
  • High-quality Sony™ optic sensor for an optimal view and superior quality, especially in low-light conditions.
  • Safety Camera Warnings – Free safety camera data with monthly updates for the lifetime of your device, so you’ll always know where to drive extra carefully
  • GPS Tracking automatically records your driving information, including speed, altitude, longitude, latitude and heading
  • Lane Departure Warning System Offers a sound alert if you drift away from the centre of your lane
  • Wide Viewing Angle 140° wide-angle lens to capture every detail at critical moments
  • Bright F1.8 lens This results in brighter and clearer videos, even in low-light conditions.
  • 3-Axis G-Sensor When the G-sensor detects sudden motion, MiVue will save and lock the event recording to protect it from being deleted/overwritten. The integrated 3-axis Sensor records G-forces, which show the direction and force of accident impacts.
  • Rotating Mount Design Mount is easily rotated to any desired angle for video evidence collection
  • Parking Mode motion detection activates and records from a parked car with no driver present
  • Switch to photo mode Use the dash cam as a camera for close-up accident evidence collection. The pictures include your GPS coordinates, so you know the exact location of what happened
  • Speed Alarm offers a sound alert if you go over the speed limit
  • Auto power on starts recording when you turn the key to start your car. You can even choose to have the device always on a recording, which is possible in vehicles with constant power supplies.
  • MiVue Manager Intuitive interface allows you to browse recorded videos with speed control. Records your driving directions with a 3-axis G-Sensor for post-accident analysis. Combine videos and share them to social media sites like YouTube™ & Facebook®. Track your routes with the GPS receiver. Play video with tracks on Google Maps.

Currently, the camera is on sale for £114.99 through the Mio website and for that price, it comes as a recommended purchase.

By February 21, 2017 Read More →

Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 Review

IMG_20170212_170538_436Network branded mobiles have always had a bit of a stench to them. Back in the day T-Mobile and Orange produced an almost endless line of MDAs and SPVs manufactured by good companies like HTC or ZTE yet hampered by Network tinkering. Removing buttons, bands, features and tinkering with the software to make the OS a Network experience rather than a Microsft or Google experience. In short, they are days best forgotten. However, if the Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 is anything to go by they could be resurrected but for the better!

The Smart Platinum 7 is a £300 smartphone built by Alcatel. Don’t let that put you off, Alcatel is making some top notch devices! Just ask Blackberry. Whilst it might be £300 Vodafone is going for a premium user experience.

Looking around the device there is a generous 5.5” display with 1440 x 2560 pixels. A pair of front facing speakers are positioned at either end and a front facing 8-megapixel camera is hidden in the inky black bezel. The screen is thankfully built of 2.5D Gorilla Glass front and the sides of impressively metal with chamfered edging that really makes the phone feel luxuriant in the hand. A deeply impressive build!

 

On the top are a 3.5mm headphone socket and a small hole for a microphone. At either end is a visible antenna.

The bottom also has a small hole for a microphone and two notable antenna points however off centre is a MircoUSB socket. This phone is over 6 months old and therefore launched before the USB Type-C revolution.

On the one side, there is a rough textured volume rocker and a power button. These buttons are of not as they give a satisfying click when pressed and you are centre you have pressed one. The rough texture is especially useful to guide your thumb to ensure you are pressing the right button. A great addition.

On the other side is the SIM card tray. The device takes a Nano-SIM and a MicrsoSD card. Unfortunately, there is not dual SIM setup up. The microSD allows for an additional 256GB of storage to expand the phone’s built-in 32GB. Above this is a dedicated camera button, configurable in the settings. From the standby mode, two taps of this button bring you straight into the camera and you are good to go, press the button to take a snap. The button is small and not as easily pressed as the volume and power on the other side. There is a lower grain texture on the camera button.

On the rear of the device, there is a circular fingerprint scanner, just below the camera lens. Given the level of effort put into the side buttons, I was surprised to find the fingerprint reader is a little bit difficult to find as the ring around the sensor is quite subtle and does not protrude from the rear. The scanner is perfectly acceptable, no issues with misreading fingerprints or slow operation. Above this is a larger protrusion for the 16 Megapixel camera and there is a small LED flash to the side. The back has a glass surface again that is rather slippery, especially on a cold day, without a case, you will drop this. Under the glass is a light pattern and a Vodafone logo has been added.

The instant you pick up your Smart Platinum 7 you will know this is a premium phone, however, is materials used are a cause for concern and whilst if feel fragile due to the slippery feel it also shows all kinds of fingerprints and grease. So have a case and a cloth at the ready.

The 5.5-inch, QHD AMOLED screen is gorgeous. At 1440×2560 the resolution is outstanding as the PPI hits 534. Icons, wallpapers and media pop on this screen with exceptional clarity and sharpness. The rest of the colour palette is bright and vibrant, reds standing out, in particular, making Vodafone logos striking and impressive.

The phone operates as one would expect, and thankfully there isn’t too much bloat from Vodafone. Certainly, there are some tutorials for how to use certain features and whilst they are incredibly basic there is no doubt someone, somewhere will find something of use. At any rate, you are given a skip option anytime a new tutorial appears.

Unfortunately, the Smart Platinum 7 is still running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Whilst Nougat obviously hasn’t’ reached the majority of recent phones Marshmallow is better than what we could have seen. A little digging suggests Vodafone may update the firmware, but then again, maybe not. Marshmallow is still rock solid and only time will tell if the phone will get an update.

A non-removable Lithium-ion 3,000mAh battery keeps things going through the day. Thanks to the lower powered processor this will see the average user through the day, easily. Power users will notice that they can get through more than before, or, if you like, a power user will probably put this on charge later in the afternoon than an S7 or 6P.

The Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 has an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 with 3GB of RAM. This arrangement keeps things skipping along nicely. The Snapdragon 652 is the updated version of the 620 and whilst not as powerful as an 820 in some other devices around this price point users will notice a big power saving.

Things run smoothly from games to serious multitasking, flipping through a bunch of different apps, copying and pasting from Outlook to the browser and vice verse. I didn’t notice any particular slow down and never felt I need to close a few background apps for a little boost. I noticed a drop in performance only during my synthetic benchmark tests. In the generalist

Both AnTuTu and Geekbench captured some decent scores. Of course this will not mirror the S7s out there, however, the Smart Platinum 7 can hold it’s on.

The camera is simply average. In idyllic conditions, shots are perfectly acceptable however if you try outside of that the optics try, but just can’t manage to deliver to goods. It tries but fails. One big plus is that the camera is astonishingly fast to take a picture. You press the button and the picture is taken, in Auto mode. No fiddling around with focusing and lighting. If just happens and the results (in idyllic conditions) are good.

The front camera is capable of shooting usable selfies in decent light. Club rats will be sad to hear it’s not stellar in low light, even with the front LED flash. With the flash off shots are pixelated and close to unusable in low light. With it on, while usable, people and objects are too bright and lack detail. Being fair to Vodafone this is an issue I see on close to all phones’ front cameras.

Video recording is a little odd, the camera app doesn’t have any manual controls for video recording, meaning the phone will shoot at 2160p resolutions at 30fps. A steady hand is required as there does not appear to be stabilisation. The microphones prove to work quite well and pick up wind, conversations and unhappy children.

In all the Vodafone Smart Platinum 7 is a serious contender. Like most phones it’s almost perfect, marred by a handful of flaws.Even at this, some of those flaws are easily overcome or may not apply the user. For £300 this is a terrific offering and Vodafone have really put together a superb package. Whilst the camera might be a weak outside of its comfort zone the vast majority will make the most of what this phone has to offer. An excellent phone, just buy a case!

Posted in: Phones, Reviews
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By February 17, 2017 Read More →

A look at the Y-Cam Protect Alarm System

Image38Featuring a Triple Layer level of protection, Smart Home Security System is an Internet-connected smart alarm for £150. With compatibility with Android and Apple devices, you can monitor the system whilst on the go utilising smartphone applications.

  • Instant alert notificationsEasy wire-free sensor setup
  • SIM card and data included (Y-cam Plus required)
  • 8 hour battery backup
  • Internal Siren
  • Access from anywhere on your smartphone
  • 24/7 line monitoring (Y-cam Plus required)
  • Expandable system

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