The $200 (£160 and AU$260 converted) 1080p HD D-Link Omna is a fine security camera, delivering prompt motion alerts and storing activity locally on a microSD card. It’s also the first camera to work with Apple’s smart home platform, HomeKit.
Yes, this integration is a milestone for the iOS 10 software, but HomeKit still has far fewer integrations than competitors like Amazon Alexa. You can still set up automations within Apple’s Home app that link the motion sensor inside the Omna to select HomeKit devices, but there just isn’t much feature depth here (yet). Because of that limitation, the ability to view your Omna camera’s live feed from Apple’s Home app isn’t hugely appealing today.
The Omna is very much a niche product, one that only makes sense for early HomeKit adopters who don’t mind waiting for broader, better integrations.
D-Link brings HomeKit to home security cameras
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Getting to know Omna
The Omna has a light silver-gray finish and a tall cylindrical design, with access to a microSD card slot on the bottom (it supports up to a 128GB microSD card, which isn’t included). It’s a fine looking camera, but D-Link’s hardware choices don’t necessarily make it easier to use.
Conversely, the Nest Cam Indoor has an extremely thoughtful layout. Its durable but flexible magnetic base twists and rotates with ease, and you can separate the camera from its base for a more permanent wall-mount installation. In other words, the Nest Cam’s design enhances its usability.
The Omna’s design is much less modular than the Nest Cam’s. It doesn’t have a flexible base, and you don’t have the option of mounting this camera to a wall. You have to put your Omna on a flat surface, or nothing at all.
Curious how the Omna’s specs compare to other DIY cams? Take a peek at the chart below:
Aside from its 1080p high-definition video streaming resolution and HomeKit compatibility, the Omna camera’s main selling point is its 180-degree field of view. This wide-angle lens sees more than the Nest Cam Indoor, the Netgear Arlo Pro and many other DIY cams on the market. The video gets somewhat distorted at the far corners of the feed, but that’s a common issue with 180-degree lenses. That problem was even more exaggerated with the Piper Classic and NV security systems we tested.
The Omna also offers local storage, which is a significant deviation from many of the mainstream models’ optional cloud subscription services. Here’s an overview of local versus cloud storage, but the gist is that local storage doesn’t pass through a remote server. Instead, your video footage stays in your house. One major complaint about local storage relates to theft — it’s a lot easier to steal a microSD card than it is to access a remote server’s video cache. On the other hand, you don’t have to worry about the reliability or security limitations of a distant server.
Finally, D-Link’s Omna doesn’t currently have an Android app. Since it’s a HomeKit device, that isn’t incredibly surprising. But plenty of HomeKit-enabled products are versatile enough to work with both Android and iOS — you’d just ignore the HomeKit component if you’re an Android customer. August’s second-generation Smart Lock immediately comes to mind as an example.
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