Logitech’s new Circle View camera comes with built-in privacy controls

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Logitech is unveiling a new version of its Circle security camera today called the Circle View. Spec-wise, it’s nearly identical to its predecessor, the Circle 2, but the camera’s housing has been completely redesigned and it now relies on Apple’s smart home system to function. This generation of the security camera is a lot more straightforward, which means less flexibility overall, but it’s something that should be easier to just plug in and start using.

The Circle View records 1080p video at a 180-degree field of view, and it can capture infrared footage at night up to 15 feet away. Those key specs are the same as the Circle 2, but Logitech says the camera’s night vision should be clearer this time around. (Weirdly enough, the Circle View drops support for 5GHz Wi-Fi; it’s 2.4GHz only.)

There’s only one major technical difference this generation: the Circle View is exclusively designed to work with Apple’s smart home system, HomeKit. It’ll be able to stream video, send alerts about animals, people, and vehicles, and store recordings in iCloud if you pay for a large enough plan. But one way or another, you’ll need to have an iOS device or a Mac so you can access the camera through Apple’s Home app. There’s no Android support.

The big hardware change this generation is a redesign of the camera’s body. It’s now a much more normal camera, and it looks a lot nicer. The Circle 2 was a modular device that could be swapped between various housings, making it smaller, easier to mount, or even battery-powered for use outdoors. The Circle View eschews all of that for a permanent housing that makes it look a lot like a Nest Cam. It’s sleeker, with a black design and metal base, and it has an IP64 weatherproof rating so it can be used outdoors. The power cable is integrated and there’s no battery option, but it connects via USB so you might be able to sub in a power bank if you want to use it somewhere without a plug.

Logitech has added a pair of nice privacy features to the camera, too. The first is simple: the camera can be tilted downward to face its base so that you can easily block it from seeing anything. The second addition is a hardware button on the back that lets you shut off the camera and microphone so nothing is being monitored. Buttons like these have become increasingly common on indoor devices with cameras (from laptops to smart speakers and displays), so it’s good to see one being added to a device that is squarely aimed at in-home surveillance.

The Circle View goes on sale this month for $160 and will be available from both Logitech and Apple.

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