Mother and Baby

BT Smart Video Baby Monitor with 5-inch screen Review

£117.99 - RRP: £149.99

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Mother&Baby Awards
  • 2020 Shortlisted Best Baby Monitor

At a glance: 

The BT Smart monitor allows you to watch your baby wherever you are with HD video and talkback straight from your phone. The monitor will be there to help you even when your hands are full. This device can pair with your Amazon Echo or Google Home where you can calm your baby by commanding a lullaby to send them to sleep. 

How did this product make your life easier?

Bethan: I have twins, a boy, and a girl. They are 18 months old. Up until this point we've used a Motorola with two cameras to get views of them both and it's just been fiddly now we can't have the cameras on their cots because of their mobile. But this one is great - one camera at the end of the room and a screen big enough to see them both!

Leanne: The large screen is great for watching your baby whilst they nap. The picture is decent quality as is the sound. It has clever features such as being able to pan around the room to adjust the angle of the camera. I love that it has an app to connect to so you can watch your baby when away from home and even speak to them. 

Natasha: The best feature is the video quality combined with a large screen (Here size matters, the 5-inch screen seems worth the extra £20 you pay over the 2.8 inches). With our previous monitor, it often took some time to figure out where our baby was lying, like CSI detectives poring over CCTV footage to identify a criminal, but with no option to say “Let’s enhance” to the technician in glasses. “Is that his head? No, I think that’s Buttercup Bunny, I think that’s his foot in the bottom right, here” It gives you more peace of mind to be able to see baby so clearly, you can tell if that movement is a baby with wind about to start complaining loudly or if he’s just snuggling into a comfortable position. That means you’re less tempted to go in and disturb a squeaking baby that would have gone back to sleep. The talk function is less like the static-filled hiss of the Apollo missions communicating with Houston that our previous monitor managed, which means baby actually responds more positively.

Would you recommend this to other mums?

Mary: I would definitely recommend this monitor to a fellow mum, it is so easy to use and the picture is very good. The ability to pan the camera and zoom is also a feature that makes it stand out, although I haven't needed to use these options much as the camera has a wide enough angle to be able to cover the whole cot all the time. I have transported and set up this easily when staying elsewhere, and there has never been an issue with the parent unit being out of range within a medium-sized house.

Emma: The BT Smart Video Monitor with a 5-inch screen is a good baby monitor with a large screen to view baby while they are in a different room in the house. The display screen is clear enough to be able to make out what the baby is doing. The ability to link it via an app to your mobile phone could be useful for some people. It enables you to take video or still pictures of the baby via the app. The app also allows you to monitor the temperature of the room and alerts can be set to notify of changes in temperature. I did not come across any difficulties in the signal between the camera and monitor units. It was very easy to set up. Both the monitor and camera units feel strong and like they would withstand a bump or two. The camera can be wall-mounted, which is a smaller nursery may be useful as I did find I had to position it quite a far from the cot in order to get a good view of my baby. However, the power lead seems quite short, and so this might be a problem depending on where in the room the sockets are. It would appear that there is the ability to have more than one camera linked to the monitor, but I am unable to comment further on that as it was not part of this test.

Rachel: I'd recommend this product as it does exactly what it says. There's no fuss about using it, it's not difficult to work out how to set up at all and I like the design. It's a really good price too. I like that the parent unit has a stand making it easier to keep an eye on your baby while doing other things.

Would you choose this product to win?

Joanne: We love how easy this monitor is to use, the aesthetic look is good blending in with our nursery, the good quality screen picture is essential and the talk function has allowed us to be able to settle our daughter back to sleep without going into her bedroom. We have not tried the monitor outside nor on our phones whilst this idea seems good we don’t have any reason to need to use it on our phones. For me, this product serves its purpose very well and I would definitely recommend it. My only critique is that the baby unit always has to be plugged in, however, I am not aware of another unit on the market in which the baby unit does not have to be plugged in. This was not a major problem but it would be nice sometimes to be able to use the monitor when our daughter was sleeping in other areas of the house, for example, we sometimes put her to sleep in her pram downstairs but there is no plug socket nearby so cannot use the monitor at these times.

Kate: It is very good quality and the best thing about it is the screen size it makes it seem really quality. It has the option of linking to your phone or Alexa but we didn't try this as it seemed a bit of a gimmick and not something we would use. This is the 4th monitor we have tried over the years and it is definitely the best.

Lianne: Despite its technical ability, I personally prefer a much simpler monitor. I did not find the temperature reading to be accurate with the thermometer based in the room, and the monitor itself was rather large and bulky. For those spending many evenings away from bedtime, I really can see the appeal, but most of its technical ability would be wasted and therefore I would not feel that the money for this product would be well spent.

What changes would you make to this product?

Gemma: The view on the camera is too limited which, for me, is critical when buying a video monitor. You can only have the camera placed ‘side on’ to a cot (i.e. looking through the bars) as the camera gives a narrow horizontal view and barely pans up or down. If it is wall-mounted, you can’t see the whole of the cot (even when using the pan options to their maximum), only a narrow strip. This then means, for a baby/toddler in a cot, the view is extremely limited by the cot bars. I didn’t feel comfortable using this with my baby as it’s hit and miss how much of the baby you can actually see between the bars (having been used to a good view from a wall-mounted monitor previously) and only used it with my toddler who I felt I didn’t need such a good view of when sleeping. If the camera had a better vertical range and could pan up and down then it could be wall-mounted, looking down into the cot, which would then make it much more usable.

Bethan: The brightness and size of the light on the camera. We like their room completely dark and on our last camera, it was just a little light I could stick something over so it didn't disturb them. The design of this one means I can't do that which I find irritating though presumably, it's a security feature so you know it's on etc... 

Rachel: I think this product is great for all the reasons previously mentioned however, the camera quality isn't amazing. I guess for the price it's good enough but it is quite disappointing. If the camera was improved, I'd say this product would be the best one on the market, it just needs to be a sharper picture because when it's fuzzy, it's hard to know for sure that the baby is breathing.

While training as a journalist at the University of Gloucestershire for 3 years, she was nominated for the Best Feature Category at the Midlands Student’s Media Awards this year, and Head of News and Social Media for the university’s radio station, Tone Radio. Ellie has been published by the likes of Heatworld, Heart, Gloucestershire Live, and ITV West Country. 

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