Imou Bullet 2E test: an outdoor camera for Alexa or Google Home

Our opinion on the Imou Bullet 2E outdoor camera

Imou Bullet 2E - Outdoor camera

IMOU Bullet 2ND CAM Surveillance EXT

Price as of: September 28, 2022 19 h 06 min

An outdoor surveillance camera can certainly watch over the surroundings of his home from anywhere in the world, but also has a highly deterrent effect. For this, you need a camera capable of withstanding the vagaries of the weather, but also of capturing the Wi-Fi network since this is mostly the chosen option. Imou proposes to answer this with its outdoor camera Imou Bullet 2E sold for € 66.69 except promotion… let's see what this one will offer.

Imou is a brand owned by the company Dahua Technology founded in 2001 and which is based in Hangzhou, China. It offers “all-in-one” connected objects for the general public including a cloud service (IoT) for cameras, but also connected locks, video doorbells and alarms.

Imou Bullet 2E outdoor camera

Unboxing

The Imou Bullet 2E camera is delivered in a very solar glossy cardboard packaging with its orange background highlighting a visual of the camera in situation. Voice assistants Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are clearly displayed as well as compliance with European data protection regulation (GDPR) from its cloud. Indeed the servers are located in Europe, enough to reassure the most cautious. On the back and on the side, pictograms show the functions and characteristics of the outdoor camera such as the viewing angle (120 °), recording on SD card, cloud or NVR, color night vision up to 30 meters. We can't wait to see it.

Let's unpack the outdoor camera Imou Bullet 2E. It is perfectly held in place in a molded polyethylene foam shell and covered by a plate of the same type. Accessories are also entitled to their compartment.

Long 14.8 cm, its front face measures 7.4 cm aside and up 11 cm high antennae raised. The camera weighs all the same 345 grams, a weight to be taken into account because quite substantial. Compared to the outdoor camera TP-Link Tapo C310, that's 60% more.

The camera body Imou Bullet 2E is made of white ABS plastic while the front, protected by plastic film, is dark like all cameras.

We find on this one:

  • The operation indicator LED in the upper part. Depending on the color it indicates:
    • Steady red : booting or device problem
    • Blinking green : waiting for Wi-Fi connection
    • Steady green : normal running
    • Flashing right light : network connection failure
    • Green and red indicator flashing alternately : firmware update
  • The camera lens is equipped with a sensor with three different focal lengths:
    • 2.8 mm : identifies objects at 38.6 meters with a 120 ° field of view
    • 3.6 mm : identifies objects at 52.8 meters with a field of view of 108 °
    • 6 mm : identifies objects at 82.8 meters with a 60 ° field of view

But there is no adjustment to choose one or the other focal length, everything is internal and automatic ...

  • 2 LEDs acting as spotlight : they are positioned on either side of the lens. They will go into action if a human presence is detected.
  • Microphone which captures and transmits sounds surrounding the camera.

Two MIMO Wi-Fi antennas (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) or multiple inputs and outputs in French, to optimize reception, are positioned on each side of the camera body.

Below the Imou Bullet 2E camera, we find the reset button which will act differently depending on its use:

  • 2 successive presses on the button switch to AP mode for pairing.
  • Pressing once for 1 seconds resets the camera.

The button is positioned on the outside, on a hatch closed by two Phillips screws, which is very practical. When opening, we see the small gray rectangular button which corresponds to the external button and which presses on it. Access to the slot of an SD card (up to 256 GB, not included) is also done here.

You also find the QR Code of the camera. You will have to use it to pair it with the application.

 

A 90 ° swivel rod to facilitate installation, it is housed in the notched fixing support which is held by three screws and plugs supplied. This is the only possible adjustment of the camera, it is not motorized.

The cable coming out of the Imou Bullet 2E camera is 30 cm and is divided into two parts. One is forpower supply, the other will allow you to plug it in Ethernet. If the latter ensures better stability in the connection, the distance necessary to take the cable to the outside may be the major obstacle to choosing this option. But it has the merit of existing and it is a very good thing that the brand offers it.

On the top, a label affixed will give you information, in addition to the FCC and CE certifications, its serial number and especially the camera security code. Kind of PIN code. A little advice, write it down either on the start guide for example or take a photo because it is placed on the top, so it will be exposed to bad weather and if one day you need to use it, there is has a risk that it will be erased.

 

As accessories, you will find:

  • Un bag of screws (3 screws and 3 wall plugs).
  • A bag of waterproof protective gaskets for Ethernet cabling.
  • Le power supply DC 12V 0.3A mains supply is equipped with a cord with a length of 3 meters.
  • A drill guide.
  • A multilingual quick start guide including French.
  • A flyer on the precautions for use.
  • Two stickers: one to remind that the camera connects to 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi with email support if needed and another for advertising.

Technical specifications

  • Brand : Imou
  • Model : Bullet 2E
  • Size : 14.8 cm x 7.4 cm x 11 cm (antennas deployed)
  • Weight : 345 grams
  • Origin : China
  • Color : White
  • Resolution : 2MP or 1080P HD
  • antennas : double MIMO type
  • Lenses (mm) : 2.8, 3.6 and 6 mm
  • Power Consumption (w) : 3.5W
  • Protection sign : IP67
  • Alert notification : Yes 
  • Video compression format : H.265 / H. 264
  • Maximum IR distance : 30m
  • Food :
    • Input: 100 - 240V 50 / 60Hz Max 0.3A
    • Ouput: 12V 1A
  • Angle of vision : 120 °
  • Connectivity : Wi-Fi 802.11 / b / g
  • Audio bi : no speaker
  • Operating temperature : -30 - 60 °
  • Warehousing : on Micro SD card up to 256 GB possible (not included), cloud on subscription or NVR
  • Zoom :Digital 16x

 

Installation and use of the Imou outdoor camera

 

Imou has created an environment specific to the management of its cameras. It is therefore necessary to install the application Imou Life available Android, IOS and it is even possible to have the application Imou life on Windows PC as we will see! Enough to ensure monitoring at all times.

Once the app is downloaded:

  • Agree to the terms of use, permissions for storage and location (now is the time toactivate GPS if it is not yet done, we will need it to continue).
  • Go to " Sign up »Then enter an email address and a password and accept the confidentiality agreement
  • Go to your mailbox. A verification code has been sent to report on the next page.
  • You are invited to subscribe to the brand's newsletter. You are free to accept or take the step.

The registration of the account being completed, here we are on the home page, it is proposed to you to adhere to the improvement of the user programs. Answer yes or no, it's up to you, and the actual installation is complete.

As with any device addition, you must click on the "+" top right.

There two integration options are offered:

  • Addition by recognition of the camera's QR code (it is below)
  • Adding in manual mode.

We opt for installation with the QR code version and in Wi-Fi mode.

The option being chosen, a scan of the QR code present under the camera is to be carried out after authorization given to Imou Life to take pictures. Then if it has not yet been done, connect the camera which will then go into pairing mode directly by flashing green. Allow the camera to be linked to the app. Its small technical name is displayed and click on " To log in ".  The search for your Wi-Fi network is done. A reminder: the camera must be paired to the 2.4 GHz network. Select it, then enter the corresponding password and to be sure, activate " Save Password »Then click» Next" page (in French).

A countdown is displayed but does not last long as the connection is fast! Here is Imou Bullet 2E camera is installed In two shakes of a lamb's tail.

Give it a name and choose a destination room if you wish. Do not hesitate to open  "Other parameters" below, because you will be able to refine the time zone by selecting Paris and activate or not the management of summer time / winter time, the thing that we always look for every 5 or 7 months and which we no longer know where is it…

You also have the indication where to find the password corresponding to the camera which it is also advisable to change regularly. (It is on the label placed on top of the camera). In use we will see that the “factory” one remains in memory.

Once the various elements have been entered, the home page with the camera appears. It may be necessary to update the firmware.

A click on the central "Play" button and the live video is presented.

Let's detail the image that is displayed and the different features offered:

  • On the left, the connection speed
  • On the right, the timestamp. It cannot be deleted

Below the stream, the action buttons on the image:

  • || ou |> to activate or pause the live stream
  • ⌈⌋  allows you to switch to the display of one to four videos. A very practical function when you have several cameras to follow what is happening on each of them.
  • SD ou HD allows you to switch from one mode to another. No mention of image quality in SD mode
  • Speaker : adjust the volume of your smartphone and you will hear what is going on around the camera. The sensitivity is quite good, you will be able to hear, the wind, the small birds and of course if someone is talking. Note all the same a slight background noise which may in the long run annoy.
  • Square with arrows at the angles, on the right, switches the image to landscape mode and full screen.

In the middle part, "View history" allows access to recordings whether made in the cloud or on an SD card.

In the lower part action buttons. They are ... few in number and immediately we notice that that ofa microphone is missing and the two-way audio function will not be possible.  A lack which can be crippling for some as the function is present in many competitors see on other models of the mark.

You can perform with the buttons:

  • Snapshot: take a photo
  • Record: record a video
  • Lum Spot: the two projectors send flashes for about XNUMX seconds. The use can be manual, here, but it can also be provided for automatic triggering upon detection of movement. And it works great

Let's go back to the upper part:

  • Le circle crossed by an arrow, proposes to add to the home page of your smartphone a direct access shortcut to live video. You just avoid going through the home page.
  • La toothed wheel allows you to enter the settings for the use of the camera. Thereby :
    •  The photo of the camera allows access to the section to change its name, obtain the QR code label with the serial number that we advise you to save in order to have easy access to it, change the password of the device (you know, the one that's on the top label of the camera). Even modified, keep the original one close to you….
    • The cloud refers you to the cloud subscription offer after a free 30-day trial period. The prices are quite reasonable.
      • For 3 days of registration: 1.89 € monthly or 18 € annually.
      • For 7 days of registration: 2.79 € monthly or 27 € annually.
      • For 30 days of registration: 6.49 € monthly or 63 € annually.
    • All recordings : allows you to access the streams stored in the cloud or an SD card by choosing the type of alert to view : all, human detection or movement.
    • Device sharing : you can invite a third party to view your camera's feed.
    • Features : take the… characteristics of the camera.
    • Device overview : by default, it is automatic snapshot which is selected and a preview of the last capture is displayed but by clicking on it you can determine a personified action between:
      • Mobile Snapshot: Activates your camera or printer scanner (kind of a shortcut).
      • Choose from the album, like your gallery, the image that will be displayed instead.

The usefulness of the function has not jumped out at us so far.

    • Notifications : activate the function and you will receive push notifications with the overlay of a captured image. You can also enable sending of notification in case the camera goes offline.
    • Detection : This is where everything is decided!

You will refine the various settings and determine which type (s) of detection you want. Indeed, you have the choice when motion detection is activated also activate the one corresponding only to human forms so as not to be bombarded with notification, if for example your little four-legged companions pass in the field of vision. She shouldn't be sending out an alert. This is called, false positives. In this same section you can program the days and times for automatic activation of the detection or even adjust sensitivity. By default it is on 3, median sensitivity but you have the choice between 5 levels.

Strangely, notifications are displayed with or without the photo. It seems random. The 2 lower notifications correspond to those with the detection programming carried out. There is no photo overlay but a press on the notification referred to the application where the photo capture is visible on the home page and the journal. So the trigger has been done. The one with the photo, is with the h24 programming but the last one done under the same circumstances, should have displayed the associated photo but this is not the case. Trigger delay / interval problem? Possible but not certain.

Allow between 1 and 2 minutes between each alert. There must be no movement for it to "reactivate" the detection. It is average for this type of camera.

With Activity area you can delimit a detection field. Very practical for outdoor use so as not to film for example at the neighbors, or the street. The grid is fine, it allows a good adjustment.

    • Online storage : refers you to the subscription service
    • Local storage : if you put an SD card
    • Storage rule : For the recording of videos you can choose the recording quality between HD and SD and the recording period (s) as to put them in adequacy with that (s) of detection.
    • Light Spot : once the function is activated, the two projectors turn on automatically at the same time that a detection is carried out. They will flash for 30 seconds.
    • Night vision : 5 levels of light sensitivity as well as 4 settings are available :

      • Intelligent night vision : IR night vision if low light and color vision activates when motion is detected.
      • Brilliant color night vision : In the dark the projectors come on and the video is in color.
      • IR night vision : IR light turns on to provide a black and white image.
      • Flawless color night vision : The image will be the best possible without the use of projector or IR light.

There for the last, the title is "night vision in color" without using the projector or the IR but the display is not in color. However without anything, the camera perfectly displays the details.

    • Audio recording : you can deactivate the function and will no longer have sound during the live and video streams that will be recorded.
    • HDR : to optimize the image quality. It is proposed, as much to activate it.
    • Wifi : displays your Wi-Fi network and those around it.
    • Add to Home Screen : as the name suggests.
    • More : you can find in this section in particular the activation or not of the indicator light on the camera, image rotation at 180 ° in the event of an upside-down installation, the time zone setting (if you have not been verified during the configuration, it was personally configured on Tripoli ...) or the format of the timestamp which is in start in Anglo Saxon mode. However there is no possibility to suppress the function, the timestamp will always be present.

By returning to the home page of the application, you will find access to the cloud with the cloud and the two small dots next to it opens a menu allowing you to access again the functions that were first found in the "parameters" menu.

At the bottom of the page, you will find:

  • La bubble with the colon, in the center, opens the detection log. A click on the image displays it in a larger format, see full screen in landscape mode.
  • Le profile, on the right, provides access to, among other things:
    • Local file : this is where you find the captures and video that you triggered manually. Access is not the most direct, it must be admitted, but at the time of capture he suggested you view it with the mention "touch to display in local files".
    • More service: This is simply an indication of support by voice assistants Alexa and Google Home. But you cannot link accounts from this app. You have to go to each of them and make the required association.

The application is fairly extensive and easy to configure as needed but it is clear that the "siren" function announced with the spotlight on the box is not present and for good reason, there is no speaker on the camera and the app do not have a microphone function for two-way conversation (which, it is true, is not mentioned).

With Amazon Alexa

The camera is compatible as seen previously with Amazon Alexa. You will have to activate the skill Imou and link the accounts. This being done, the camera is immediately integrated. It is well recognized as a camera but no action is proposed like the announcement of movement (which can quickly become annoying it is true) nor be integrated into a routine although present in the list of devices. In an upcoming version? We hope so.

But it is quite possible to view the live stream on the screen of a device such as Echo Show 10, Echo Show 5 2021 (second gen.) ou Echo Show 8 second gen). Nothing could be simpler, just say: « Alexa displays [camera name]. "

It is possible to zoom by stretching the image on the screen, to the detriment of course of the image quality, because the pixelation will be very important but it is possible.

With Google Assistant

The camera is also supported by Google Home. You must install the Imou add-on by clicking on the "+" and "Configure a device" and "Works with Google"and link the accounts as for Alexa. From then on returning to the home page of the application, the camera is displayed.

A Nest Hub's screen will also be able to display the live feed from the camera. However, it will not be possible to zoom the screen.

Do you want more ? No problem ! You can also manage Imou Bullet 2E camera on your PC by downloading the Imou client for Windows dedicated that the site makes available. Once installed and logged into your account, you will be able to find your camera on the big screen. Is not it great ?
By clicking on your profile, then in " System settings »You will have access to notification sound alarms for your PC in case of motion detection.

In use, the camera Imou Bullet 2E perfectly detects movements and the sending of notifications is instantaneous. On the other hand, we noticed that some presented a photo capture and others did not, without really knowing why, but the majority of them do indeed present a "snapshot" ...

Image quality and colors are good reflecting reality well, whether on the application, the screens of the voice assistants or the PC. The display on the screens of the voice assistants is done without difficulty, but there is frequent buffering on the Google Nest Hub unlike theAmazon Echo Show that offers an uninterrupted flow and with lower latency. Being able to view on the screen of a PC is a really appreciable additional comfort.
Only small bug to report; we found the camera in a fixed red point, then flashing green (therefore trying to reconnect to the network). In the application, we had to make a new association (without uninstalling it), the code we had defined no longer worked. We tried to put the one on the label. Bingo! The flow has returned… Why has it reactivated instead of the one we had put on? We cannot tell you, but we therefore advise you to keep the code in a safe place.
Speaking of code: you can take advantage of 20% reduction on the WHOLE Imou store on Amazon of the brand thanks to our code below! Click, the code is copied!
€59,90
In stock
5 new from € 59,90
September 28, 2022 19 h 06 min
Amazon. Fr
Update: September 28, 2022 19 h 06 min
In conclusion, the outdoor camera Imou Bullet 2E is easy to install, whether over Wi-Fi or Ethernet, especially as it has a mains cable of a good length (3 meters). The image quality is good, without being exceptional, but we especially regret the absence of a speaker for two-way audio or a siren which however mentioned on the box: built in spotlight and siren. On the other hand, we appreciate the possibility of creating detection zones as well as the server's compliance with our very demanding GDPR. We appreciated the possibility of seeing several streams on mobile, but also on PC thanks to its Windows client. A feature that is not widely used. Finally, at 66.39 € only, the Imou Bullet 2E camera also has the undeniable advantage of its low price!

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.