Electronics

Infant Optics DXR-8 Monitor Review

Infant Optics DXR-8 Monitor Review Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals
Written by zeeshan

The Infant Optics DXR-8 has over 33 thousand reviews on Amazon, and 75% of those are five star reviews. However, we tested not one, not two, but three of these monitors, and we’re left basically scratching our heads as just to how this monitor is so popular. Well let’s talk about why we were so confused, and dive into our Infant Optics DXR-8 review. (upbeat music) Be sure to stay tuned until the end to find out how you can win our favorite baby monitor of 2020. Spoiler alert, I don’t end up saying a whole lot of positive things about this camera, so if you came to this review looking to be convinced to buy it, then. (sucks air) So let’s start by taking a look at what you get for the $165 it costs to buy this monitor. The DXR-8 uses an interchangeable lens system, which means you have the ability to swap out lenses with different focal lengths. There’s the standard lens that comes on the monitor out of the box. You’ve got the zoom lens that comes with the box as well, or you can purchase the wide angle lens for an additional $12. It has a 10-hour battery life when in sleep mode, meaning the video feed is shut off, and a 6-hour battery life with the display screen on. It has remote pan and tilt capabilities, and can pan around 270 degrees and tilt 120 degrees. I’ll discuss why this is basically a red herring of a feature in just a bit. It also has a two-way communication feature, which is maybe one of its only redeeming qualities.

Infant Optics DXR-8 Monitor

Telling ya, this is gonna be rough review. The menu of the parent unit allows you to control the sound and the brightness levels. It lets you set a video feed shut off timer, it lets you do a two-time zoom, and then you can also control how loud the low battery alert it. Now there’s an icon on here that’s a bell. I have no idea what this alarm button does, but you can set it for two, four, five hours, or just have it turned off. Again, I honestly don’t know what this means or what it does. It’s like finding an old key at your grandparents house, and then becoming obsessed with what it opens, or maybe that’s just me. I don’t know. Either way, please comment below, and let me know what that icon means. You also can connect multiple cameras to the DXR-8, which can allow you to monitor kids in two different rooms by flipping between the two feeds. Okay. Let’s get the good stuff out of the way because it’ll be short. The one undeniable quality feature this monitor has is its two-way talk feature. Having two-way audio is a must have if you plan on using this monitor into the later stages of your kid’s life. There’s also no need to worry about any wifi issues you may have since this monitor and camera are connected via a radio frequency signal. This is actually a rare scenario where dumbed down tech has a bit of an advantage over more advanced tech. It also has remote pan and tilt, and theoretically these types of monitors are hard to hack. It can still be hacked, but, in the simplest terms, someone would need to have built a rigged up device maybe they got from RadioShack, and quite literally be feet from the device. Now, before moving to the bad, I want to immediately dismantle these last two points. The pan to tilt feature and the harder to hack concept. In today’s world, having moving mechanical parts like these are obsolete. They will more than likely introduce problems in the future because, as with all mechanical parts, the more you use them, the sooner they break down. Here’s my point: Why not just make a camera that has, oh, say 130 degree field of view and give it a decent resolution, and then give the monitor unit a screen with nice resolution as well as the ability to pinch and zoom, and then you don’t have to worry about what lens you’ve got on the camera, and how much you need to pan or tilt. (exasperated sigh) Wooh sah. Not only do you get rid of the mechanical parts, but now you also don’t need to buy and inevitably lose these interchangeable lenses. “Hello, Mr. Bond. “So we meet again.” (lens falls) Now let’s briefly talk about the wifi versus non-wifi hacking issues. There have been some stories reported in the media about wifi monitors being hacked, but I challenge you to get on the old Google machine and find, I don’t know, five stories of wifi monitors being hacked this year. I’ll wait. How many did you find? Were any of these brands on the list? I’ll answer that for you. No, because companies like these have made security a top priority, and take it very seriously. We’ve linked to a really good article below that details quite clearly everything a hacker would need to do to hack into a wifi monitor, and long story short, the risk is exceedingly rare and, quite frankly, severely overblown. All right. Let’s talk about the bad. First off, connectivity. The specs say that this monitor has a range of 700 feet. Every time I tested it, I only made it about half that far before losing a signal, and that was with a clear line of sight to the camera. Practically, here’s what that means in an actual house. The connectivity isn’t that great. Next, the bulky parent unit issue. The size of this parent unit has not decreased in the four plus years from when we bought our first Infant Optics monitor, and here it is. Now I’m gonna switch them up. Which is the old one, which is the new one? You would think by now some slimming up of something this needlessly bulky would’ve happened. It just hasn’t. Not only is it bulky, but it’s made from a cheap plastic-y material, which means you’re playing Russian Roulette every time you drop it. All right. The resolution on this thing is crap, plain and simple. It’s 320p, which is stone age resolution. Now the video feed coming out of the camera is 640 by 480, which means it’s just simply not good. Another downside of this monitor is that it’s expensive compared to the features that come with it or lack thereof. It doesn’t have white noise, it doesn’t have alerts outside of telling you when the battery’s dying, and given how poor the picture quality with both the monitor unit and the camera is, plus the lack of a whole lot of useful features like vitals monitoring, the price tag of $165 just seems a bit much. The last issue I wanna talk about is the lack of innovation or evolution of this monitor. As far as I can tell, there’s only been one change to this unit since we bought our first one nearly five years ago, and that big change is the plug input on the monitor. It went from micro USB to this plug. The one change. Five years. Here’s the deal, having test three of these monitors now, there’s no way anyone could ever convince me that the Infant Optics DXR8 is deserving of 26 thousand five star reviews. Infuriatingly, when the unit that never connected was turned on, it just kept saying out of signal coverage even when it was literally feet from the baby unit, and none of the troubleshooting things recommended did squat to fix the issue. From the video resolution to the fact that this monitor literally hasn’t change one feature outside of this stupid plug since we bought our first one nearly five years ago, there are far more things not to like about this baby monitor than there are to like about it, especially for this price point. There are much better options out there like the Cocoon Cam, which only costs $150 and can monitor breathing, which is a feature that many people are looking for. (exasperated sigh) Okay. Enough of that. You stuck around until the end, and we appreciate that. If you thought this video was helpful, we’d very much appreciate a quick tap on the like button. And if you’re tapping stuff, go ahead and tap the subscribe button if you’re not already subscribed. Okay. Now onto the monitor giveaway. We’d like to give you two entries to win. First, subscribe to our channel, get an entry. Simple as that. For entry number two, head over to fathercraft.com/tube, and for entry number three, go ahead and tap on our best baby monitor video. It’ll magically appear, ready to be tapped on when I’m done talking in about five seconds.

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zeeshan

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