Should I get a battery-powered model or mains powered? Battery-powered outdoor security cameras are the most flexible, as you can place them pretty much where you want them without having to drill any holes in your walls. The downsides are that these models tend to use PIR motion sensors, so you may get more notifications and, if you point them somewhere busy, you can run the battery down quickly. Mains-powered security cameras tend to have activity zones to cut down how many notifications that you get and don’t need to be charged, but installation tends to be a little more complex. Do I need cloud storage? Pretty much every outdoor camera that we’ve tested requires a subscription to a cloud storage service. These make a lot of sense, as you get secure online storage for your footage, so even if your camera is stolen, you can still get the footage. How important is the viewing angle? Viewing angles are described in degrees, with higher numbers taking in a wider field of view. In other words, if you’ve got bigger viewing angles, then your camera will capture more. This is quite important outside, as a camera with a wide viewing angle will see more of what’s going on. Typically speaking, look for a camera with 150-degree or wider field of view, although doorbells tend to be slightly narrower and more focusses to make it easier to talk to someone at your front door. Can an outdoor security camera be stolen? As cameras are placed outside, then they can more easily be stolen. There are cameras that have magnetic mounts that are relatively easy to knock out of alignment or to the floor. However, there are ways around the problem. Careful positioning of a camera so that anyone fiddling with it will be spotted is a good idea, and you can often buy or upgrade to a more secure outdoor mount that makes theft harder. What else should I look for? Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support is handy if you want to stream footage to your TV or screen-enabled smart speaker. IFTTT can be useful, too, letting you control other devices when motion is detected, such as turning on a light automatically. Nest cameras have Works With Nest automatic rules, so they can be turned on automatically when a smoke alarm goes off, for instance, or they can turn on your Hue lights automatically if suspicious activity is detected. Should I turn an outdoor security camera on and off? For the most part, outdoor security cameras should be left on recording all of the time. The exception is that if you have a camera in your back garden, you may want to use the app to disable it when you’re outside. How important is resolution? The higher the resolution, the more detailed the video, in general. That said, 1080p footage is generally good enough to find a frame in a video where it’s easy to spot a person’s facial details; go higher, if you want more detailed footage. Are there any other features I should look out for? Some outdoor cameras have spotlights on them, which can be a useful way of advertising their presence to scare of thieves, and to improve the quality of the footage at night. All cameras have IR night vision, but you get a softer image when using this.
Should I buy a battery-powered camera or a mains-powered one? Inside, there are fewer problems getting to a power socket, so mains-powered cameras make a lot of sense and you don’t have to worry about changing batteries. That said, if you want to put cameras in some areas that are usually poorly covered by power sockets, such as hallways, then a battery powered model makes sense. Just be careful where you place a model like this, as pets walking around can drain the battery. What resolution do I need? There’s little point in buying anything other than a 1080p model at the moment, as you’ll get sharp-enough footage to capture everything you need. Go for 2K or 4K footage if you want even more detailed footage. Should I turn cameras on or off? You should turn indoor cameras off when you’re at home and off when you’re out or its night time, as this means that you won’t record yourself by accident when you’re walking around. The best cameras have tools to make this easier, such as Ring cameras, which let you activate or deactivate cameras based on the Ring Alarm setting. Do I need cloud storage? The advantage of cloud storage is that any footage is safe from theft; you can always download it and hand it over to the police. However, there’s a monthly cost associated with this. If you only want the odd bit of footage and don’t want to be tied to monthly plans, look for a camera that has local storage instead. Should I get a camera with a pan and tilt motor? Cameras that you can remote control to pan and tilt around used to be very popular, giving you a way to look around to see what’s going on. They’ve fallen out of favour for two reasons. First, they’re expensive. Secondly, if you move the camera’s field of view, you may not be covering the most important parts of your property.And, motion zones don’t work with these cameras, as you can’t mark an area to watch if you may move the camera. Instead, we recommend buying a fixed camera and focussing in on the area that you want to monitor. If you need more coverage add an additional camera. What else should I look for? Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support is handy if you want to stream footage to your TV or screen-enabled smart speaker.IFTTT can be useful, too, letting you control other devices when motion is detected, such as turning on a light automatically. Nest cameras have Works With Nest automatic rules, so they can be turned on automatically when a smoke alarm goes off, for instance, or they can turn on your Hue lights automatically if suspicious activity is detected.
Sage the Smart Oven Air Fry
An oven and air fryer all in one: this model is super fast at cooking everything
Generous capacitySix handy presetsDishwasher-safe
Larger worktop footprintNo power cable storageHeavier than most air fryers
Most air fryers tend to look a lot like deep fat fryers, but the Sage the Smart Oven Air Fry looks a lot like a microwave oven. This design lets you spread out food, so that it’s evenly cooked, rather than having to shake food as you do in an air fryer.
The oven can also employ its Element iQ tech to direct power where it’s needed to eliminate cold spots in food. In practice, it worked perfectly, leaving us with evenly cooked home chips that had a crispy outside and fluffy inside.
And, the size the oven means that you can use it for larger items, including chicken legs or even an entire pizza. Just be careful with the preset options, as we found that our pizza began to burn after 15 minutes, although the programme was set for 20 minutes.
With a higher-than-average temperature option of 230C, rather than the usual 200C, the Sage the Smart Oven Air Fry can cook food faster than many other air fryers, although it does take a bit longer to heat up.
Comparatively expensive, this model won’t be for everyone, but its unique design lends itself to foods that other air fryers can’t even think about.
Reviewer: Rachel Ogden
Full review: Sage the Smart Oven Air Fryer review