Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Product Review: Baby Monitors - MobiCam AV Wireless Monitoring System vs Summer Infant Day and Night Video Monitor

Hey Mamas! Sorry to have been gone for so long. I'm still hanging in there at 39 weeks and 5 days pregnant today and have been spending TONS of time around the house cleaning (with my Shark Navigator, of course!) and preparing for baby's arrival!

In my frenzied preparation of our nursery, I've finally had the chance to try out a bunch of the baby products that I received at my shower. Today's post is about a product I was super excited to receive, but actually ended up having to return: the MobiCam AV Wireless Baby Monitoring System ($125.99 at BRU online; $96.80 at Amazon).

I registered for this baby monitor for a number of reasons: its has color video and audio, night vision, and is portable/handheld. It also got pretty great reviews on (where I registered) for picture clarity and a low rate of interference.

To an extent, the reviews were right--the video quality is good, if a little grainy--but the product has some flaws that made it the wrong monitor for us:

First, the design of the video camera is such that there was no where for us to put the monitor so that it looked down into the baby's crib. Even if we mounted the camera on the wall, we couldn't swivel the camera low enough to see into the crib. Not to mention that the monitor didn't come with wall mounting hardware.

Second, the video monitor is really small--just a 2 inch screen. Its awesome that the monitor is in color when not in night vision mode, but color means nothing when I can barely see the screen in the first place!

Finally, for the unit to be portable, you need to fill her up with batteries... and I mean FILL HER UP! Both units require 6 AA batteries if you dont want to use the included power cords. And the batteries do not recharge when the units are plugged in; you need a separate battery charger. To add insult to injury, the MobiCam directions say to remove the batteries when the monitor is not going to be in use for an extended period of time, which requires tracking down a screwdriver--annoying.

Sooooo... I returned the MobiCam and bought the Summer Infant Day and Night Video Monitor today. ($99.99 at BRU in-store and online; $95 at Amazon).

Summer Infant Day & Night Baby Video Monitor with 5" Screen - White

While the video monitor on this unit isn't handheld or color--thus the cheaper price--I'm much happier with this product primarily because I can place the more sleek and flexible camera on a shelf or on the wall (it comes with mounting hardware) and see into the crib perfectly on the 5 inch black and white screen!

I also haven't noticed any interference on the baby monitor's 3 channels so far. Actually, what I thought was interference at first just required me to adjust the "V-Hold" knob on the back of the video monitor. After I fiddled with that knob, the picture was perfect.

The sound on the unit, however, is a bit harsh and since I live in a small apartment, I can see myself never putting the sound up on the monitor (the digital whir would probably drive me crazy.) The video monitor also extends back about 7 inches (think an old school television vs a flat screen), so you'll need to clear a bit of space on your nightstand.

If you're like me and live in a small place and want to save a bit of dough on a video monitor, I'd go ahead and give the Summer Infant Day and Night Monitor a try. Of course, if you have the money to spare and need a slimmer monitor, check out Summer Infant's super-sexy color handheld monitor HERE. I drooled over this baby monitor, but at $199, we just couldn't justify the expense for our tiny apartment! Ah, c'est la vie!

Summer Infant Slim & Secure Handheld Video Monitor - Summer Infant  - Babies"R"Us


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