TP-Link Tapo C200 review: the small indoor camera

In addition to its solutions for improving the Wi-Fi network, TP-Link, a multi-card company, as we have seen with the TP-Link Deco P9, but also various and varied connected objects such as connected sockets and bulbs, or even cameras. It is also the small indoor camera TP-Link Tapo C200 that we are going to pass under the microscope of our Lab '.

TP-Link is a Chinese family business created by two brothers in 1996 in Shenzhen, the metropolis of High Tech, now present in 170 countries. Do you know what TP-Link stands for? No? The name is the abbreviation of "Twisted Pair Link" or: twisted pair link. Basically: electrical wires coiled between them. Now you know.

TP-Link Tapo C200: the small camera in R2D2 style

It is a classic packaging in the colors of the Tapo range that envelops the camera. Our box has suffered a few shocks, but it is only packaging ... It displays a visual highlighting the camera and its main assets: 1080p High Definition video, ability to capture a movement in the dark up to 9 meters or to store everything on a micro-SD card. Attention, the latter is obviously not provided. On the back and on the sides, the different functions and the contents of the box are described (in English)

Presented in a molded papier-mâché shell, the elements are in plastic to protect them. By taking out the elements we discover:

  • A small ball surmounting a half-sphere, would it be a miniature replica of R2D2?… Ah no, it is indeed the small TP-Link Tapo C200 camera with his eye in the center!
  • Un wall mounting bracket as well as two wall plugs and two screws accompanied by a drill guide.
  • THEpower supply : it is provided by a type C adapter (without earth) on one side and DC plug on the other. Let us underline, because sufficiently rare, the cable of a great length (3 meters).
  • The traditional ones installation booklets and quick start: QR code that returns to the store to install the home application.

Let's take a closer look at the TP-Link Tapo C200. Frankly looking at it, it looks like a little robot, don't you think? It lacks only wheels for movement. Small in size with its  8.66 8.5 cm x cm product for 11.77cm height it will easily find its place on a shelf. Presented in the form of a ball overhanging a half sphere (but in a single molded part) resting on an articulated base, the whole is in matt white plastic with a pleasant touch. The finishes are neat. On the skirt, Tapo is discreetly mentioned in gray. The whole thing weighs only 195 grames on our scale.

In the center we find the "technical" area. Partly including the objective consisting of a 1 / 2.9 ″ image sensor, the microphone and the various LEDs, these are inserted in another black internal sphere, also matt plastic. This part is mobile allowing it to be articulated on a vertical axis of 114 °.

By raising this area, you access the lower part protected by the white shell. We then discover the location provided for inserting a micro-SD card (up to 128GB possible) not supplied and the button reset if necessary.

On the back of the camera, the speaker overlooks the DC jack which is placed on the plinth. This is articulated and turns 360°.

In profile, we see that no sensitive part of the lens protrudes. Everything is set back from the white hull.

Under the base of the Tapo C200, three non-slip silicone pads gives it stability if you want to put it down. If you want to fix it on a ceiling, the hollow part in the center fits into the mounting bracket provided for this purpose. In the latter case, a simple adjustment in the application allows the image to be reversed so that it is not displayed upside down on the smartphone or on the screen of your voice assistant Amazon Echo ou Google Home.

Technical sheet :

  • Brand : Tp-Link
  • Model : Tapo C200
  • Size (W x D x H): 8.66cm x 8.5cm x 11.77cm
  • Weight : 195 grams
  • Colour : White and Black
  • Materials : Plastic
  • Type : Pan / tilt
  • Power Input : 100-240V, 50 / 60Hz, 0.3A
  • Power Supply Output : 9.0V / 0.6A
  • Network : 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi
  • Wi-Fi Security : WPA / WPA2-PSK
  • Vertical rotation : 114 °
  • Horizontal rotation : 360 °
  • Video compression : H.264
  • Frame rate : 15 frames per second
  • Resolution HQ: Full HD 1080
  • LQ resolution : 360p
  • Image sensor : 1 / 2.9 ″
  • Optical : F / NO: 2.4
  • Focal distance 4mm
  • Night vision : Infrared
  • Infrared vision range : 8 meters
  • Audio system : Bidirectional
  • Operating temperature : 0 ° - 40 °
  • Storage temperature : -40 ° - 70 °
  • Operating humidity : 10% - 90% (RH) relative humidity non-condensing
  • Storage humiditye: 5% - 90% (RH) relative humidity non-condensing
  • Warehousing : Micro SD card up to 128GB (not included)
  • Cloud storage : No at present.
  • Maximum number of cameras supported : 32
TO READ :
Ring Indoor Cam (2020): a cheap and really compatible camera Alexa !

TP-Link Tapo C200: Installation and use

TP-Link's Tapo range has an application dedicated to its product line. We refer you to the Tapo L530E bulb test, if for you this is the first acquisition of the brand. As far as we are concerned, we will just have the application recognize the camera.

First, of course, you have to connect the Tapo C200 camera. The top LED flashes green and red, indicating that it is ready to be configured.

When the LED is:

  • steady red: commissioning
  • flashing red: camera reset
  • slowly flashing green: connection to the Wi-Fi network
  • steady green: connected to Wi-Fi
  • fast flashing green: camera update

 

On the application, a click on the "+" At the top right then on the next page we select the Tapo C200 camera. The search for the camera to hook up the Wi-Fi is done. As far as we are concerned, it is not even necessary to go to the connection settings of the smartphone, a real pleasure when you know that sometimes it is difficult to return to the application to continue. Here, everything is done without any intervention on our part, except for the next step, or the password of the Wi-Fi network must be entered.

It goes extremely fast, no time to display a research scale that already the Tapo C200 camera is found and displayed. It is possible to change the name now or later, via the settings. Finally, we are asked to define its location. And now, it's over ! Extremely simple we told you!

Following this, a small information about the local storage on micro-SD card is displayed, and the Tapo C200 takes place on the home page of the application. Notice that under "My home" the number of cameras is displayed. It's a shortcuts for viewing. Note the place, we will come back to it at the end.

Let's find out about the features offered by this little ball. The first thing you notice this is the division of the image area. Indeed, display capacity is 32 cameras grouped by 4. A real video surveillance system!

On the banner at the top we have the settings for:

  • Video quality: HQ 1080p or LQ 360p. Note that clicking on the image zooms in.
  • 3 lighting modes:
    • "sun" day
    • night "moon": in night mode, 4 LEDs light up to allow the lens to capture movement within 8 meters.
    • automatic "Auto"
  • The toothed wheel provides access to multiple possible configurations. We will come back to this a little later. Let's continue with the Tapo C200 management page.

Under the group of 4 images the page number as well as the arrows " < " Where " >"Allow you to go from page to page. (It is necessary to target the arrow well, a little small it is true).

In the banner below we find the classic menus:

  • View switching mode : one or four views on the page.
  • Screenshot : takes a picture of what is broadcast by the camera and saves it in » Reading and memory ”.
  • Video capture : record a video and save it in: " Reading and memory" page (in French).
  • Volume : here it is the sensitivity of the microphone that is to be adjusted. A word of advice, do not push it fully, the microphone is very efficient, under penalty of hearing more ambient noise or feedback effects than the voice of the interlocutor, which would be a shame.
  • Full screen mode : switch the image to landscape mode on your smartphone. To note that the switch is also performed when you simply rotate your phone.

La infrared vision even in high quality has its limits for recognition. In the image above, we can clearly see the environment, but placed in another place, the rendering is no longer the same although the darkness is equivalent. Below, placed 3 meters from the objective, then at 1.5 meters, the distinction is not clearer. However, detection is done very well and if you activate the alarm on the camera you will hear the siren which confirms that the lens has detected movement.

Let us now see the menus in the lower part. They interact directly with the Tapo C200 camera. These settings are also found in different menus:

  • Microphone : by clicking on it you open a page where by letting your finger press the microphone, you can be heard from a speaker on the other side of the camera. Microphone and speaker sensitivities can be adjusted.
  • Pan and tilt : allows you to perform a rotation up to 360 ° and tilt up to 114 °.
  • Voice call : the same access to parameters as micro with just a stopwatch ...
  • Confidential mode : allows you to deactivate the camera. On the device, the green LED goes out when confidential mode is activated and no flow is displayed. A simple click on « exit » on the message displayed instead of the stream reactivates the camera.
  • Alarm : activated, a " Mermaid »Emits a series of four beeps oscillating between 60 and 70 dB during each motion detection. While this is not very disturbing, it nonetheless has the merit of existing and attracting attention in the event of an intrusion, if you leave the windows open for example.
  • Reading and memory : playback of images and videos stored on a micro-SD card or on the memory of the smartphone. Different parameters like: filter that " photo " or " video", Just like displaying what is referenced as" favorites "or" non-favorites "is possible. A stream or an image can also be shared with others.

As said before, let's now see the parameters of the Tapo C200 accessible from the star wheel at the top right:

A visual of what the camera sees is displayed with the assigned name, here we have not changed it. By clicking on it you can access the camera's recording information such as its IP address, signal strength or simply the possibility of renaming it.

  • Reverse images : If you install the camera on the ceiling, activate the slider to reverse the direction of the images to put the display in the correct reading direction.
  • LED: you can choose to turn it off to make the camera even more discreet
  • Alerts and detections : here are the main actions to perform to configure the camera to your liking as
      • Activate or not the detection mode of movement, define detection zones (they appear in a red box), the detection sensitivity. Note that there are only 3 possible choices: low, normal or high. It is not possible to define the sensitivity more precisely.
      • Define the notification schedule that we can receive on the smartphone
      • Activate or not the alarm according to the desired schedule and define the type: sound (2 possible choices: siren or beep), luminous (the LED flashes white) or both at the same time
  • SD card : if a card is used for continuous recording for example, it is advisable to format it directly with the Tapo application.
  • Advanced settings : you will find among other things:
    • la distortion correction in order to avoid the effect Fish eye
    • the display parameter on the screen: to activate or not the time stamping

By returning to the home page of the application, and clicking on "Me", we discover other parameters including the addition of tags on the stream such as Live or the flow. If the mention "Live" appears, that of the flow is displayed when you click on the shortcut that was created on the home page.

With Amazon Alexa

Although it is not mentioned on the packaging, TP-Link Tapo C200 small camera is compatible with voice assistants Amazon Echo and Google Home. 

TAPO app logo

If necessary, install the Tapo skill and link the account Amazon to that of Tapo. You will see the camera go back into the app without a problem. She looks fine as a camera, but it is not possible to do routine with her, such as "If motion detection then turn on a light" for example. Always a pity to note this lack while some are able to do it like the Ring Indoor Cam for example.

Anyway, with Alexa, it is possible to view live streams on an Echo Show device by simply asking our favorite voice assistant:

  • « Alexa poster [camera name] to watch the video »
  • « Alexa stops to return to the home screen »

With Google Assistant

Same principle. If this has not already been done in the past, it is necessary to install the Tapo Add-on via: "Configure a device", "Works with Google" and search "Tapo" then link the two accounts. This done, the camera appears in the list of devices in Google Home. Here too, no possibility of creating a routine.

With Google's voice assistant, it is also possible to see live streams on the screen of a Google Nest. The same voice commands as with Alexa are to be used by invoking Google of course.

Our opinion on the Tapo C200

In conclusion, this small indoor camera does not have to be ashamed of the comparison with many of its competitors because, at a low price, it offers very powerful configuration possibilities. The possibility of having several simultaneous views on the same page, which we had not encountered so far, is quite interesting and allows create a complete video surveillance installation, in a store for example. Its coverage is almost total thanks to wide possibilities of rotation, the excellent video quality by day, very effective motion detection. Certainly, the image can be improved in the dark, but very correct if you place it correctly. You could also fault it for being wired, but the TP-Link Tapo C200 camera is designed for indoors, so it's easy to find an outlet nearby, especially with its 3-meter cable. In short, if you are just looking for a small camera for live surveillance or to monitor baby sleeping in his bassinet, then this is the camera for you.

Offered to only 34.90 € excluding promotion, the TP-Link Tapo C200 won us over and we can only recommend it to you.

TP-Link WiFi Surveillance Camera, 1080P Wireless IP Tapo Camera with Night Vision Motion Detection, Baby Camera with Two-Way Pan / Tilt Audio (Tapo C200)

€34.90
8.4

Installation

9.0/10

Design

9.0/10

Functionalities

8.0/10

Application

8.0/10

Price quality

8.0/10

Most

  • Reasonable price
  • Installation simple
  • Pleasant application
  • Detection zone configuration possible
  • Multi camera display

The lessers

  • No routine possible on voice assistants
  • Sensitivity adjustment mode limited to 3 occurrences
  • No possibility of cloud storage
Simple user and novice fallen into the pot Alexa, this one fascinates me and thanks to the boys, Jean-Christophe and Alexien Modo, I learn a little more every day. Loving the different aspects ofAlexa, I turned to skills to share my discoveries with you.