The TP-Link Tapo C220 improves slightly over its C210 predecessor. The new version is still a no-frills home security camera — down to the same cheap plastic camera housing. But the Tapo C220 comes with an upgraded camera, and has gained some AI smarts. It also gets a cloud storage option, albeit requiring a paid subscription. And the price has gone up a bit. Nevertheless, it's still fairly affordable at around S$60, and works well for the price and features.
- 2K 4MP camera (2,560 x 1,440 pixels)
- Pan and tilt (360-degree horizontal, 114-degree vertical)
- Local storage (microSD card up to 512GB)
- Night vision of up to 30ft (~9m)
The Tapo C220 comes with a new, and improved 4MP camera that boasts a 2K resolution. This camera also supports up to 30fps, which is twice the 15fps offered by the older C210. As its name suggests, the C220 supports pan and tilt functionality. So you can scan the camera's surroundings remotely using the Tapo mobile app. The camera movement is smooth, and the remote controls are responsive. I'm testing this at home via Wi-Fi, so your mileage may vary depending on the internet connection. I also like that you can save a fixed viewpoint for the camera (say one that's pointed at a doorway). Tap on the saved viewpoint in the app, and the camera will pan or tilt back to that exact position. You can save multiple viewpoints.
Unlike the previous version, the C220 now offers a cloud storage option. Dubbed Tapo Care, it costs S$3.98 a month for 7-day unlimited cloud storage. But if you're like me, and too cheap to pay for this service, the C220 has a microSD card slot. It now supports larger (512GB) microSD cards compared with the C210 (256GB). More importantly, your data remains with you, and not in the hands of TP-Link or its cloud storage provider, which could be hacked. But note that intruders can also easily access the microSD card slot (and the camera factory reset button) by tilting the camera — no screws required. The camera sends a notification if someone is tampering with it, but that's moot if you're away. So if you do intend to mount the C220 outside your house, I recommend placing it out of reach, such as on the ceiling to prevent tampering.
Having a paid Tapo Care subscription also enables rich notifications with snapshots. This feature includes an image from the camera in the camera notifications. But you can still enjoy TP-Link's AI-powered camera smarts, which can distinguish between motion, objects, and even sounds, without a subscription. In my testing, the C220 correctly tags a person every time. Like many other smart cameras, it's also capable of distinguishing pets and vehicles, though I wasn't able to test those. In addition, TP-Link says the C220 can distinguish sounds such as the crying of a baby or the barking of a dog. However, the C220 didn't react to baby crying sounds from a YouTube video.
Common home security camera features such as the ability to customise, set and monitor activity zones, a built-in alarm, and a two-way microphone and speaker, are included on the C220. You can also choose between the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa if you like to link the camera with a voice assistant. Overall, I think the TP-Link Tapo C220 Pan offers good performance and features for a budget home security camera. It's definitely an upgrade, especially the camera, and the software features, over the previous model. TP-Link sells the C220 at around S$60, but I have seen it go below S$50 during a sale. You even get a 3-year warranty for this price. Get it from Shopee and Lazada.
Note: Review unit provided by TP-Link.
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