After months of rumors, Signify has finally taken the wraps off another smart home camera initiative, this time under the Philips Hue brand. The name? Philips Hue Secure.
The new brand ties into the existing Philips Hue smart light ecosystem and even uses an updated version of the existing Hue app, but there's no support for things like Apple's HomeKit Secure Video, unfortunately. Instead, you'll have to pay for a new subscription if you want to take advantage of some of the best features.
Philips Hue Secure launches with two new cameras and a floodlight, all set to become available this fall.
A more secure Hue
The main option for security camera buyers will be the Philips Hue Secure camera, with both wired and battery-powered versions available for $199 (£174) and $249 (£219) respectively.
Both cameras are essentially the same, bar the choice of a cable or a battery. You'll get 1080p video support as well as night vision, while the cameras can be used indoors or outdoors — it's up to you. Table stakes features like two-way comms and motion detection are also present, as you'd expect.
But this is Philips Hue, so you know there will be a combination of light and camera, right? That's the Philips Hue Secure floodlight camera and it'll sell for around $380. You'll have to wait until Q1 2024 for that, but once it arrives you'll get what you'd expect — a camera with a motion-detecting light attached to it.
Subscriptions R Us
To get the most out of your new cameras you're going to need to pay for a subscription, with two to choose from and multiple payment options available.
The Philips Hue Secure Basic plan includes 30 days of video history with payment options available either annually or monthly. The catch? It's per camera, not per account. Prices start at $3.99 a month or $39.99 a year.
The Philips Hue Secure Plus plan starts at $9.99 a month or $99 a year and that gets you 60 days of video history. This is per account, however, so might be the best option if you have a few cameras up and running.
Philips says that activity zones and detecting if a person, package, animal, or vehicle triggered an alert will be part of that paid plan as well, so that's something to consider.
We were hoping that these cameras would become some of the best HomeKit Secure cameras, but alas. Maybe that'll come in an update later, but given the subscription situation that seems unlikely.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.