Piper nv Review

Piper app


In order to use the Piper nv, you’ll need to download the corresponding Piper app – available for Android and iOS. There’s not a whole lot of change to its layout and operation from what we’ve seen last year, so for the most part, it’s a great hub for accessing the live stream, adjusting some of its detection parameters, and even controlling some of the various Z-Wave accessories that are compatible with it.

In particular, there’s a Z-Wave Smart Switch that allows us to turn on/off whatever is plugged in to it – like a lamp in our living room. Additionally, we’re able to set up a Z-Wave Door sensor that notifies us whenever the door is opened and closed. And best of all, we can set up the Piper nv to record video whenever any of our triggers are activated.

With the live stream, there’s great coverage thanks in part to its 180-degree wide-angle lens. What’s new, though, is the option for being able to set on/off night vision. In complete darkness, this feature comes in handy in illuminating the scenery – whereas without it, there’s just pitch black darkness.

We really dig at how comprehensive the app experience is in giving us complete control of even the smallest of parameters. If motion is detected, we’re notified and video is recorded. If the indoor temperature is too high, we can set one of the Z-Wave sensors to turn on a fan. If it gets too dark in a room, we can have a light turn on automatically – and then turn off after a period of time. Seriously, we can spend a lot of time fine tuning things.


Connectivity


The Piper nv is connected to the cloud via Wi-Fi, while the various Z-Wave accessories are connected using Piper’s own internal wireless system. While live streams are available at any time, there’s no way to manually record video – or even download them for archiving.

Performance


At the heart of it all, the upgraded camera and night vision are what makes this new Piper different than the old one. Indeed, there’s better quality in the way video streams look, offering more sharpness to many things captured. However, it’s not dramatically better to allow us to make out finer details – such as title of a book on a shelf. In fact, viewing the streams from this and the Piper classic, it’s really tough to distinguish the new Piper nv’s improved quality on such a tiny screen.

Nonetheless, it’s the night vision feature that provides the biggest boost in making this one more useful. With the Piper classic, it’s pretty much useless in the dark – it’s just pitch black all around. Now that there’s night vision, the Piper nv sees through the darkness to ensure that nothing ever goes unnoticed. Best of all, it can still detect motion in the dark, and then notify us if something is captured. That alone is useful!

Conclusion


Comparing their prices, the Piper classic is still selling for $200 – while the new Piper nv will set you back $280. That $80 difference, by itself, is pretty substantial in our opinion, since the main differentiator at stake here is night vision. Even though there’s an upgraded 3.4-megapixel camera in the Piper nv, its quality advantage isn’t too profound when compared to the Piper classic. Generally speaking, we’re still quite content with the video quality put out by the original model.

Therefore, it simply boils down to night vision. We’re inclined to say it’s an invaluable feature, seeing that the Piper classic can’t perform when it’s completely dark – it just can’t! Well, it’s just a matter of figuring out whether or not the $80 price difference is warranted in picking the new over the old.



Pros

  • Night vision sees through the darkness
  • Upgraded camera produces slightly better video quality
  • Comprehensive control using the app
  • No monthly charges or subscriptions for the service

Cons

  • Basically the same set of features from before
  • There’s no way to download recorded footage
  • Tough call on paying for the $80 difference vs the Piper classic

PhoneArena Rating:

8.0

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2 Comments

1. waddup121 unregistered

Finally you guys got to review! It's a great little gadget!

2. Brewski

Posts: 722; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

Can you buy multiple cameras and view them all at once in the app?

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