Guardzilla 360 review

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The Good: The $230 Guardzilla 360 is outfitted with a 360-degree livestreaming camera; it can see everything in a room at the same time. The camera is also a self-contained security system with an integrated siren, arm/disarm modes and optional professional monitoring.

The Bad: Guardzilla’s glitchy app crashes unexpectedly and looks outdated.

The Bottom Line: The Guardzilla 360 indoor security camera can see an entire room, but it isn’t all that easy to use.

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The $230 Guardzilla 360 indoor security camera sees everything in a room at the same time. Set it on a flat surface, plug it in, configure it using the free mobile app and suddenly you can view a live 360-degree video feed and watch saved 360-degree motion clips. Gone are the days of panning to capture activity or fighting against the limitations of a fixed-angle lens.

It’s also a self-contained security system with an integrated siren, arm and disarm capabilities and optional professional monitoring.

The camera’s ability to see 360 degrees is a big deal, but many folks use a livestreaming camera for a specific purpose — to watch an entryway, to monitor a sleeping baby. They don’t actually need to see every possible vantage point and likely won’t want to spend more for that feature. The Guardzilla app is also in desperate need of a redesign. It’s outdated, clunky and generally uncooperative.

The Guardzilla 360 is neat, but it’s only worth the extra money if you really want to keep your eye on a large space with a single camera.

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A new Guardzilla to watch over your house

Guardzilla’s 360 security camera is a significant departure for the startup. Its two other cameras — the Guardzilla All-In-One HD and the Guardzilla Outdoor HD — each cost just $100 and have fewer options. The pricier 360 instead wants to be your all-in-one home security system, similar to the Piper NV, the Canary and the LG Smart Security system.

Here’s how it compares with the competition:

Comparing all-in-one security devices

Guardzilla 360 LG Smart Security Piper NV Canary
Price $230 $200 $280 $199
Color finish Black and gray Black Black, white Black, white
Type Indoor only Indoor only Indoor only Indoor only
Power source Adapter Adapter Adapter Adapter
Resolution 1712p HD 1080p HD 1080p HD 1080p HD
Field of view 360 degrees 130 degrees 180 degrees 147 degrees
Livestreaming Yes Yes Yes Yes
Siren 100-decibel 93-decibel 105-decibel 90-decibel
Continuous recording No Yes No No
Cloud storage Free 48-hour event-based clips (Optional: Pay $5 per month for 7- or 30-day clip storage for $5 or $9 per month; professional monitoring available for an additional fee) No free option. 7-day/30-day continuous cloud storage for $10/$30 per month; professional monitoring for $20 per month; 7-day/30-day continuous cloud storage and professional monitoring for $25/$40 per month Free event-based video history up to 100 clips Free 12-hour event-based video history up to five clips (Optional 14- or 31-day event-based video history for $4 or $10 per month)
Local storage No No No No
Mobile app Yes, Android and iPhone Yes, Android and iPhone Yes, Android and iPhone Yes, Android and iPhone
Web app No No No No
Night vision Yes Yes Yes Yes
Alerts Motion Motion, tamper Motion, audio Motion
Activity zones No No No No
Two-way audio Yes Yes Yes Yes
Third-party integrations Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Nest (SmartThings coming soon) Amazon Alexa, Built-in Z-Wave hub IFTTT, Built-in Z-Wave hub Google Assistant, Wink

The Guardzilla 360’s free two-day stands out in the chart above, as well as its 360-degree field of view and variety of smart home integrations.

Yes, the 360 still has Guardzilla’s original pyramid shape, but the design actually makes (a little more) sense in this case. The 1712 by 1712-pixel resolution camera points up toward the ceiling, with the base of the system extending out to accommodate its other hardware components. The 360 camera is complete with a 100-decibel siren, two-way audio, night vision, a motion sensor, arm/disarm modes and geofencing. Guardzilla’s 360 currently works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, as well as IFTTT and NestSmartThings compatibility is in the works.

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Pairing the 360 cam with Alexa is very simple, but it does include creating a four-digit PIN code for voice-enabled arming and disarming. Just say, “Alexa, tell Guardzilla I’m leaving/I’m home” and your Amazon speaker will prompt you for your code before completing the request.

While the Guardzilla 360 gives you a lot of options for customization, like adjusting the streaming quality from “min” to “max” depending on the strength of your Wi-Fi connection or opting in to Auto-Arm mode tied to your phone’s location, the app needs a lot of work.

You’ll eventually find the setting you need, but the layout is strange and the design is outdated. For instance, selecting the settings icon at the top right of the livestreaming screen returns the options “Show POV” and “Set POV” (see the screenshot to the right). Not only is it not immediately obvious what those buttons do, most settings menus from a live feed let you adjust streaming quality, set schedules or Home/Away and night vision modes. But Guardzilla hid those settings elsewhere in the app.

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Note: Set POV and Show POV let you adjust the camera’s point of view, so you can start the live feed pointing at a particular spot.

Otherwise the Guardzilla 360 worked pretty well. The motion alerts were prompt and the system was simple to arm and disarm. Pan around the room from the live feed screen to see what’s happening — or review the free 8-second clips stored for up to 48 hours.

Pay $5 per month for seven-day storage or $9 per month for 30-day storage; Guardzilla also offers professional monitoring for an additional fee. You can read more about Guardzilla’s optional cloud storage subscription service and professional monitoring here.

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Is it worth it?

You can find DIY home security cameras with HD live streaming and free clip-based cloud storage for just $60. More premium do-it-yourself cams will set you back upward of $300; the average price for a home security camera is around 200 bucks.

That makes the $230 Guardzilla 360 a slight splurge, but its 360-degree view is unique and might be worth it if you want to see a whole room from a single camera. At the same time, its app needs a lot of work and will likely be a source of annoyance — particularly early on as you learn where everything is located. It’s ultimately up to you, but I’d strongly consider how much you need a 360-degree camera before you buy.

(cnet.com, https://goo.gl/FRPnvd)

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