Gadgets

TP-Link Tapo C310 review

A budget-friendly smart security camera with great video quality and a well-made app.

The Tapo C310 is the latest from TP-Link’s new line of smart home Tapo devices, featuring a 3MP ultra-high definition camera, motion detection and instant notifications, IP66 weatherproofing, wireless/wired connectivity, two-way audio and support for local storage via microSD card.

TP-Link is fairly new to smart home devices, with the launch of the Tapo Brand, but the C310 has all the features of a budget-friendly smart home security camera with a number of advantages.

TP-Link Tapo C310 review
TP-Link Tapo C310 review

Highlights:

  • 3MP Ultra-High-Definition Video
  • Wired or Wireless Networking: Connect to the network through Ethernet or Wi-Fi
  • Advanced Night Vision: Provides a visual distance of up to 98 ft (30m)
  • Motion Detection and Notifications: Notifies you when the camera detects movement.
  • Sound and Light Alarm: Trigger light and sound effects.
  • Two-Way Audio: Enables communication through a built-in microphone and speaker.
  • Local Storage: Locally stores up to 128 GB 3MP video on a microSD card
  • Voice Control: Works with the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa

Packaging

TP-Link Tapo C310 comes in a Tapo branded cardboard box. Inside, all the parts are well protected by cardboard compartments.

TP-Link Tapo C310 review
TP-Link Tapo C310 review

The box includes:

  • Tapo C310
  • Power Adapter
  • Installation Kit (Anchors, waterproof seal, waterproof cable attachments and screws)
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Installation Guide

Design & Installation

The TAPO C310 comes in an all-white high-quality plastic case. The front panel with the lens is black and glossy. The device looks simple and clean.

At the front are the lens, infrared sensors and an LED indicator. On either sides of the camera are the moveable Wi-Fi antennas. At the base are the built in speaker and microphone for 2 way communication and a slot for the microSD card (supports upto 128GB).

In order to install the microSD for local recordings, there is small panel at the bottom part of the camera that can be removed using a small Philips screwdriver.

The camera has two cables – one for Ethernet and one for the power cable, it doesn’t work on batteries. It can also be connected via Wi-Fi. There is no ethernet cable included and needs to be purchased additionally if you plan to connect it this way.

TP-Link Tapo C310 review
TP-Link Tapo C310 review

The camera module is located on a small leg-stand, which is mounted on base. The base needs to be removed first for wall mounting, after which the camera can be easily screwed on to the base.

The next step is to download the Tapo app which can be found on both App Store and Play Store. For quick access, there is also a QR code on the box and on the installation guide.

Once the app installed, you will need to create a free account followed by a screen to add devices either via Wi-fi or ethernet. For this review we setup the device using Wi-Fi. Setup and Installation is fairly simple and takes about 5 minutes.

At this stage you can now turn on the Tapo camera, the LED at the front will start blinking red and green in about 30 seconds. Once it does, go back to your Wi-Fi settings and you should see a new wireless network for the Tapo device.

Connect to this new network and go back to the Tapo app, press “I’m already connected”. The app will now sync with the camera and you can now connect the device to your local home or office network.

The next step is to name the device and set the location. You should hear an automated messaged from the camera that it’s connected to the Wi-Fi and ready for use.

You can now monitor video footage via the Tapo app by clicking on the device, receive motion detection notifications, hold to speak through the camera speakers or record and playback from the local microSD recording.

The Tapo C310 also works with both Google Home and Amazon Alexa.

Performance

The 1/2.7″ sensor records video in 2304×1296 resolution at 15 frames per second. The focal length is 3.89 mm and night vision is provided by an 850 nm infrared LED which can cover a distance of 98 ft (30m).

The camera quality is good during most lighting conditions. During daytime, the image is decent and you can see the fine details on the picture. You can also zoom in by double tapping / pinch-to-zoom.

During night, the camera switches to IR, resulting in a black and white footage. Footage is really clear and detailed.

The recorded video is compressed using H.264 encoding (MPEG-4 AVC), it can be device without the need for any conversion.

TP-Link TAPO C310 review
TP-Link Tapo C310 review

The only downside here is that this is a fixed camera without any support for pan/tilt. The camera needs to be manually positioned in the preferred direction. While other cameras will follow the source of the motion around the room, the Tapo C310 is not capable of this.

For motion detection, you can select either the entire frame area or configure some specific zones, or even several of them. There is a built-in system will trigger light and sound when motion is detected. In our experience, it worked very well and even the smallest movement is captured without problems and the notifications were instant.

Recording can be configured both for motion detection and constant. In addition, you can configure a recording schedule.

Two-way audio allows real-time communication. The voice quality is good and the volume is loud enough even if mounted high.

Verdict

The TP-Link Tapo C310 is well designed, but it does lack a few features such as pan/tilt, being able to schedule alerts for specific periods of time, cloud backup and built-in battery in case of power failure.

The real dealbreaker here could be that while most smart cameras utilise cloud technology for video recording, the C310 uses a microSD card to record footage. This means there’s no backup if the footage is destroyed, the microSD card is stolen, or worse, the camera is tampered with.

Another downside is that the camera does not have its own built-in battery. In the event of a power failure, the device will not function. But this can be solved by using a backup power source.

For the price segment, the TP-Link Tapo C310 is a high-quality Wi-Fi camera that is relatively inexpensive and a good way to secure your home. It also comes with a two-year warranty.

7.5

TP-Link Tapo C310

The TP-Link Tapo C310 is a high-quality home Wi-Fi camera that is relatively inexpensive and a good way to secure your home. It also comes with a three-year warranty.

THE GOOD
  • Affordable
  • Decent image quality
  • Well-built mobile app
  • Two-way audio
  • IP66 Weatherproof
  • Local storage
THE BAD
  • No pan/tilt rotation
  • No cloud storage
  • Operation limited to mobile app
  • No built-in battery
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