Panasonic Homehawk Smart Home Security Camera Review – 2020 Deep Dive
A Deep Dive Into The Panasonic Homehawk
The Homehawk is a home security solution from noted media manufacturer Panasonic, offering a discreet way to observe and record your home while you are not there to monitor it. The device includes audio and video recording, with real-time viewing for the owner and Secure Storage in an on-board memory chip in case you want to review what happened in your house later.
A motion sensor array is integrated into the front of the device and begins recording whenever disturbed; the recording can be viewed life, as well as being stored on an included micro SD card.
The Panasonic Homehawk also allows you to monitor your house’s temperature from afar; a thermometer keeps you alerted of what the temperature is and whether it is leaving certain safe zones.
The camera feed is streamed to mobile devices via a proprietary app for both IOS and Android that will alert you when the camera has been disturbed and is recording. This live monitoring service comes at no added cost to the buyer and means that you will know right away if something is going on in your home.
By using a wide-angle lens and omnidirectional microphone, the Homehawk gives you a clear view of everything going on, Although ideal for rooms inside your house, it is equipped with a night vision mode that allows you to monitor your house’s exterior as well.
Of course, there are times when one would rather not have a camera in the room; whether an awkward gathering, intimate moments, or as a matter of privacy. We all have times when we would rather not be recorded. For these occasions, you can simply slide the manual shutter across the front of the Homehawk. This will physically disable the camera and microphone, ensuring that discreet matters stay that way.
The camera attaches securely to any wall and has a Sleek exterior profile that is at once modern and unobtrusive, making it an easy and stylish addition to your home without overpowering the decor or making you and your guests uncomfortable. It is worth noting that this device is not battery powered, connecting it to an AC plug will be necessary if you are planning to use the Homehawk.
Who’s It For?
The Panasonic Homehawk is for anyone looking for a discreet and effective means of monitoring their home in their absence. It answers nearly every desirable attribute of a home monitoring solution, including real-time monitoring, motion-sensitive recording, and even a temperature sensor to monitor whether your home is still exactly how you left it.
This product is fairly inconspicuous, but there is no mistaking this for a hidden camera. Anyone wanting true clandestine on the reservation, whether of themselves or others, will need to look elsewhere. Similarly this is a plug powered camera, so it is not for those who cannot arrange an available outlet wherever they put this camera.
What We Like About the Panasonic Homehawk
To begin with, it is exceptionally effective at its job. Wide-angle recordings capture pool rooms at once with clear audio as well, and the motion sensor cruise a useful attribute in only recording activity as opposed to filling up the memory card with nothing at all. The mounting plate sits quite securely when applied, and the arm can be adjusted to fill in the room from any angle necessary.
On top of that, the mobile app allows for long-distance monitoring in real-time; the crucial factor in reporting home invasion is knowing when it happened, and nothing is clearer about that than a live report while the invasion is still in progress. One last perk of this camera is the manual kill switch inside the front shutter. This way you can have some privacy just by closing the shutter, as opposed to needing to take the entire camera offline.
What We Don’t Like About the Panasonic Homehawk
Although an overall impressive product this camera does have some shortcomings. First among them is its need for a plugged-in power supply, which creates a serious limiting factor where one can replace the camera, which can negate to a certain extent its enormous capture angle and discrete outline.
Many users report that while the camera itself functions perfectly, the software connecting it to a smartphone or computer is frequently good. Additionally, some users reported incompatibility with older operating systems, and lack of knowledge from Panasonic customer support should you need help setting up your home security.
- Wide-angle recording
- Clear audio capture
- Motion sensitive recording captures the action as it happens
- Unobtrusive profile on a wall or shelf
- Night-vision mode for low-light scenarios
- No battery-powered option – a plug will be necessary
- Buggy streaming software and poor customer service
The Panasonic home Hawk comes with fairly minimal accouterments. Apart from the quick start guides and comprehensive instruction manuals, the only things included are the camera unit itself and the power unit to hook it up to the plug.
Depending on which country you are ordering from, some runs of this product also include a 16 GB micro SD card preloaded into the dock on the camera; this should spare you having to hunt around for your own, but can be upgraded to 128 GB and above.
Not included is any means of concealing the camera. Some cameras in this field come with a phone book or picture cover to allow for truly unseen monitoring of the room in which they are placed. Additionally, this camera does not come with added mounting options, leaving users stuck with a single adhesive mounting plate which may be unsuitable for some surfaces.
It would also have been nice if the monitoring software that allows you to stream to your phone had been available in some format for desktop. Although many people outside their homes are indeed closer to mobile devices than to a desktop, it would still be nice to be able to monitor a house on any platform.
Overview Of Features
The main feature of this product is of course its camera, a wide-angle lens capable of capturing up to 142 degrees of video in 1080p quality. The camera is accompanied by a microphone for omnidirectional audio capture and an ambient thermometer that alerts you when the temperature in the room changes.
There are two storage options while using this device: first, the video is stored in an onboard micro SD card for local storage with no attached fees. Additionally, video and audio recordings are both accessible on a mobile device via a proprietary app that comes with the camera.
In some editions of this device, the SD card will be shipped with your Panasonic Homehawk while others will require you to buy your own. Some people prefer to buy their own anyway, as the included one is only 16 GB and fills up quickly thanks to the high-quality capture of both the camera and microphone.
The camera runs on a plugged-in AC connection and mounts securely to both horizontal and vertical surfaces with the included mounting plate. The Homehawk can also be turned vertical and placed in a standing position on a mantelpiece or shelf. The exterior is stylish and discreet enough to allow either one without being an eyesore in the room.
Although built for use indoors, this camera is also capable of handling outdoor activity or recording when you have your lights off. A low light mode allows you to record in the dark to a range of almost 17 feet. Keep in mind that the low light mode includes an infrared lamp that may disclose the camera’s location to someone looking for it.
If you want a more intimate or private setting, you can simply close the manual shutter on the front of the camera. This shutter acts as a hardware disconnection for both the camera and microphone, ensuring your privacy without requiring you to disconnect and then reboot your camera system.
The Panasonic Homehawk features motion-sensitive recording with a pre-recording threshold some degrees before the camera’s viewing arc in each direction; this triggers the recording before the subject is actually in front of the camera, capturing a complete recording of the subject as opposed to starting with their back already past the centerline of the camera.
Unlike many home security solutions, the Panasonic Homehawk requires no monthly subscription or monitoring; all services are provided by a mobile app at no extra charge. As convenient as this is, customers should know that this software has been reported unreliable. Those particularly worried about home security should look for a more reliable option or even a live monitoring service.
The mobile app for monitoring your home is available on both iOS and Android, so you don’t need to worry about getting a new device to use with the Homehawk. Keep in mind that a strong internet connection on both ends is necessary. If you spend time off of Wi-Fi or have a weak data plan, you may want to look for a different solution.
As a home monitoring camera, this product excels in every way. It has both clear viewing and high sound quality, and motion detection to make sure it is not filling its memory card with hours of inactivity. The added touches of a temperature sensor and privacy shutter are both welcome steps in making your home not only more secure but more comfortable as well.
Features ancillary to the camera could stand some serious improvement. Beam mounting plate is capable of holding the device but does not stand up to any degree of force, and the internet connection needs to be relatively strong for a proper stream. The control app is available on iOS and Android but excels on neither, leaving many homeowners waiting to get home to properly review footage.
As a home security solution, this camera does quite well overall; apart from some minor inconveniences of the app, it should provide high-quality monitoring in any lighting for as long as you need. It is worth mentioning that this camera does not attach to any alarm system, so any countermeasures against an intruder will need to be installed separately.
Additionally, keep in mind that this camera is not a hidden camera and that the privacy shutter can be closed by anyone. It is a relatively simple matter for an uninvited guest to notice the camera and close the shutter, instantly eliminating your ability to detect and report their activities.
Because this camera is likely to be connected to your home Wi-Fi, keep in mind that it represents a second vulnerability for a different kind of intruder. Devices like the Homehawk tend to link to any Wi-Fi network available, and so represent an easy point of entry for hackers looking to attack your home network.
This is especially true if you were using your Panasonic Homehawk as part of a smart home system; with every device linked up to one router, this camera can easily be hijacked and serve as a way for hackers to disable your home security or access personal computers and devices kept in the house.
Make sure to protect yourself with a strong password and possibly set your router to only accept physically verified devices; many modern routers come with the ability to see which devices are connected to them by way of a PC or mobile app, so make sure to check regularly that no other devices have found their way onto your network.
One final word of caution is in order about this product: as wide a viewing angle as it has, it can only look in one direction. Although naturally more expensive, you may need to place several cameras around your home to properly monitor all of your home’s doors and windows while you are not around.