Not everyone has hundreds of pounds to spend on a smart security set up, and not everyone needs to either. The Moobox Pro XT is a simple, affordable smart security camera that, at £80, comes in at a third of the cost of some of offerings from the premium brands.
Despite its low price tag, it still comes with a number of important features, including a compact, battery-powered design, 1080p full HD resolution, an IP65 waterproof rating and motion detection alerts.
But is this an area to scrimp on or are you better saving up to go for a pricier model? Read on for our thoughts.
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What is the Moobox Pro XT?
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The Moobox Pro XT is a wireless full HD smart security camera, with a separate hub that connects to your router.
Unlike the Arlo Pro 2’s rather chunky hub, the Moobox Pro XT’s is much more compact, and hooks up to your router in the same way, via ethernet cable. The cameras are a very similar size though, and aren’t dissimilar to look at either. You can sync up to four cameras with each hub.
The Pro XT stands upright on its own, or it comes with a magnetic wall mount if you prefer, which works really well with its wireless design. Moobox says the battery will last for four months, but the actual amount of time between charges will depend on how often it is recording.
For smart home enthusiasts, the Moobox Pro XT is not currently compatible with any smart speaker, so can’t be controlled with your Amazon Echo or Google Home speakers, for example. There’s also no web interface to control it with – you have to use the Moobox app, making it a little more restrictive than the pricier competition.
How easy is it to set up?
Getting the Moobox Pro XT online follows a similar process to setting up the Arlo Pro 2 and other home security cams. First you scan the QR code on the base of the hub to set it up within the app, then you go about adding your cameras.
Each one requires the button on the camera’s base to be held down for a few seconds to put it into 'pairing' mode, and then a button on the hub to be pressed, to get them linked. It took us a few tries to get the lights flashing the right colours to connect, but we got there in the end.
Once the hub and camera have connected to one another successfully, their LEDs will flash green and then go out. You will then see that camera in your Moobox app.
Compared to some of its competitors, the Moobox app is pretty basic, which makes it very easy to use. On the homepage you’ll see all your cameras (extra cameras are available separately for £70 each), with an events tab for storing clips of any detected motion. The Moobox Pro XT can record video in 10, 15 or 30 second clips.
Who will the Moobox Pro XT suit?
The Moobox Pro XT is a very straightforward smart security setup, and would suit those on a budget looking for some very simple home surveillance.
That’s because, while it has specifications that match a lot of pricier cameras on paper, the features it offers are much more limited – and the experience is too.
So while it is wireless, full HD and weatherproof, it doesn’t have the ability to tell the difference between animals and humans in its notifications, for example. That means you could end up getting a lot of notifications indeed, especially if you have pets or are monitoring a garden.
If you were hoping to build it into a wider smart home setup too, you would need to look elsewhere – this doesn’t support any of smart assistants, like Alexa or Google Assistant.
How does the Moobox Pro XT perform?
The Moobox Pro XT is a bit of a mixed bag on the performance front, and it will depend on your requirements and expectations as to whether it will suit your needs.
Simple feature set means lots of alerts
The Pro XT is one of the simplest smart security cameras we’ve used, in terms of the number of features you have to play with once set up. That makes the app uncluttered and easy to use, but there is very little you can tweak in terms of settings.
You can adjust the sensitivity of the motion detection to reduce unwanted alerts (like trees blowing in your garden, for example), and also set a timer to schedule when the camera should be on watch. However it leaves fancier controls like geolocation (being able to switch the camera on or off automatically based on when you’re at home or not), face detection and the ability to differentiate people and animals out of the equation.
This means you get more notifications than you would with other, more sophisticated systems, which in turn affects the wireless camera’s battery life. While you can turn off the push notifications in your phone’s settings, you would have to trawl through hundreds of clips to find anything of note, which is not very convenient.
Average picture quality
Despite being a 1080p full HD camera with 120-angle wide angle lens, the image quality does lag behind the competition somewhat, which is probably due to the quality of the sensor the Pro XT uses.
While day time shots are sharp enough for the most part, the image can become blocky and pixelated during motion playback, and is a little soft on detail thanks to heavy handed compression. Night vision footage fares a lot worse in this respect, and is grainy and poorly defined, even when there is ambient light. Pricier alternatives perform better in the pitch black.
Can be used indoors and outdoors
The fact the Moobox Pro XT can be used indoors and outdoors, thanks to its IP65 waterproof rating, makes it very flexible for the money. I found the range on it to be pretty good too, and had no problems installing it in the garden, some distance from the hub.
Free cloud storage, no subscription required
As part of its simple approach, Moobox doesn’t offer a subscription service, and just offers seven days of cloud storage for your footage for free. That means there are no hidden costs to Moobox, which will be reassuring for many.
If you prefer, you can also store your footage locally on the Moobox Pro XT’s 16GB included SD card so it’s always to hand, no internet connection required.
Two-way voice is clear enough
The built-in mic and speaker allow for two-way talking via the camera, which is loud and clear. It’s arguably not as crystal clear as the performance from Arlo or Nest, but it should do the job at scaring off any unwanted visitors if required.
Motion detection only
The Moobox Pro XT only detects motion, and not sound, so it won’t pick up the sound of a window being smashed in another room, for example. Motion detection footage also doesn’t capture sound, despite there being a microphone on board for the two-way voice feature, which seems like a missed opportunity.
What did I like?
It’s a great, convenient design that rivals the likes of the Arlo Pro 2, and it’s also super simple to use.
The price is also very attractive if you just need some casual surveillance for when you’re out of the house, and aren’t keen on paying for an ongoing monthly subscription to unlock the very very best features. With the Moobox Pro XT, you get everything that it offers straight out of the box.
What didn’t I like?
While its simplicity will be part of its charm for some, the amount of notifications that you receive when the camera is recording can be quite annoying. As I have dogs, having this camera in the living room when I was out meant I got a lot of notifications, even when I set sensitivity to low. If you have this focused on a garden or a driveway, I could imagine you’d get even more. Overnight, that could be very annoying indeed.
The video quality is also not the best, which is frustrating. If you have a product like this, you want to be sure what it captures will be reliable and usable when you need it, and at night, I’m not convinced it would be.
Finally, with no smart assistant compatibility, this won’t slot into a larger smart home set up, which is a bit of a shame.
Real Homes verdict
The Moobox Pro XT offers a decent performance for the price, but we can see the experience being frustrating for many due to inability to tailor the notifications you receive.
These will be particularly frequent if you own pets or are using the Pro XT to keep on eye on the outside of your property, and those people may want to consider choosing a more sophisticated system to improve that.
The video quality isn’t the greatest either, particularly at night, so you’ll have to manage your expectations as to what this is capable of. Plus this works entirely on its own - there’s no way of adding it into an existing smart home setup, which is a bit of a blow for a smart security system.
If you’re happy to overlook these issues to get a surveillance system on a real budget, then the Moobox Pro XT could well be worth a look.
About our reviewer: Verity Burns
Verity Burns is our smart home tech expert. She has been writing about technology for over a decade, and spends a lot of time tinkering with the latest in smart home tech for The Hub section of Realhomes.com. You may even spot her chatting about smart home best buys and top tips on The Real Homes Show.
When she's not writing, reviewing or offering tech support to various members of her family, she's a mum of three – one real baby and two furry ones. You’ll always find her in the living room, or recalibrating terrible TV settings at parties.