Samsung BabyView video baby monitorSamsung.com

Gadget king Samsung makes everything from HD TV’s to security cameras . . . so why not video baby monitors?

Samsung’s flagship monitor is the Wisenet BabyVIEW (SEW-3053WND), a $230 PTZ camera with five-inch touch screen parent unit. It features two-way intercom, feed time, photo diary and night vision up to 16 feet. A free app is available allowing you to check on baby remotely.

None of this is terribly innovative—most of Samsung’s competitors in this space offer similar specs. As for pricing, Samsung monitors are priced at about the same as similar offerings from competitors like Infant Optics and Levana.

So like all baby monitors, our review comes down to three basic factors: ease of use, picture quality and overall reliability.

As you might expect from this brand, Samsung monitors score well on ease of use, in our opinion—most functions are no more than two clicks away from the main screen or menu.

Let’s talk picture quality. In past reviews, we’ve given Samsung monitors good marks, noting their decent night vision. However, as we survey the field today, competitors have surpassed Samsung’s picture quality. That’s because many of the top-rated video monitors today stream in higher definition (1280 x 72o).

Overall, we found the Infant Optics DX-8 to offer better picture quality than Samsung’s models. Since they both have similar resolution, you might think both cameras would perform the same. But Infant Optics ships with a separate optical zoom lens for a much clearer zoomed-in picture. By contrast, Samsung uses “digital” zoom which basically just enlarges the picture in the viewer, making it more pixelated/fuzzy.

Overall reliability is another issue for Samsung. We gave Samsung good marks for this in a previous review, but recently, we see more reader complaints about Samsung monitors failing in one way or another after a short period of use. Battery issues (units not recharging after six months of use, for example) are common across the line. Range also crops up as a major frustration—Samsung monitors are again falling behind competitors. Samsung’s promised 900 feet of range is more like 90 feet or less, say readers.

Samsung needs to upgrade this line with more HD cameras and fix quality issues. Rating: B-