Foreword: As parents we are always out looking for the best and most useful products out there for our kids. One product I have a lot of parents ask me about is Baby Monitors. So when I received the Motorola Motorola MBP855Connect Baby Monitor for review from Motorola free of charge I had one of my friends Marcie Review it. Check out what she thought below. Although we received this product free of charge. All opinions are 100% hers.
As a first time mom, it can be overwhelming deciding between all the baby gear that you supposedly “need.” Which items do you invest in and which do you purchase on the cheap? When I was about 6 months pregnant and walking around a baby store doing my registry, I came to the display of baby monitors. Video? Audio? None at all?I mean, for goodness sakes, the baby was going to be right across the hall; wouldn’t I just hear him or her (this, according to my husband)? I must have had a blank look on my face, because a fellow mommy came up to me, showed me her phone, and whispered: “Just get this one on Amazon. $90. I have it and it works great. No need to spend so much on a monitor, but do get a video one.” It seemed meant to be! I mean, how perfect was this chance encounter? The monitor she showed me was a company I’d never heard of before, but the reviews seemed to be mostly positive, so I registered for that one.
This review is not about how much I hate that monitor, which I do. This review is about how much I love the monitor that I was lucky enough to replace it with: the Motorola MBP855Connect. It’s hard for me not to compare and contrast the two, but I am coming from that perspective. Basically look at it as a comparison between the el-cheapo monitor that’s just ok on a good day/worthy of being thrown out the window at 2 a.m. (or any time really) on a bad day, and the one that’s top quality that you’ll be happy with. To me, who’s now used both, it’s no contest: Motorola all the way.
The MBP855Connect’s image quality is amazing. The first thing I noticed was that I was able to see my baby’s chest rise and fall in perfect clarity and real time as she slept. What’s more reassuring than that? The picture is so clear, that last night I thought I could see drool dribbling down my teething baby’s pudgy little cheek. Turned out to be the lace on her collar moving as she breathed, but I was able to zoom in and see that level of detail. On my other monitor it would have looked like a white line; on the Motorola, I could see exactly what it was.
The second thing I noticed was that it didn’t cut out (i.e. “lose connection”) every.five.minutes. I think in the two weeks I’ve been using the Motorola, this happened once. Any monitor is going to cut in and out occasionally. It just will. But my el-cheapo did it constantly. And beeped to tell me so. Constantly. The sweet sound of silence with the Motorola tells me this baby (pun intended) grabs that connection and holds onto it for dear life. Additionally, it does not interfere with my cell phone or wi-fi. The other one did all.the.time, to the point that I got a new phone to see if that would help, which it did not. We even got a new modem! Now, no issues. I can actually talk on the phone in my house now. Imagine that!
Other Positive Qualities:
Other goodies: the screen is huge, the menu is intuitive and easy to navigate, and the battery lasts a pretty long time. I was surprised. I keep it on medium volume and the lowest brightness possible, so this helps. Additionally, it filters out the white noise from baby’s room, so we no longer have to eat dinner to the tune of whooshing noises from the monitor every night.
What makes this monitor stand out to me even more is the ability to use your smart phone as a monitor as well. Other monitors have this capability, but I think Motorola nailed with the Hubble app. Once you get it set up (which I’ll talk about in a minute), it’s surprisingly intuitive. I didn’t have a manual to reference, so I had to wing it. The app is easy to use and does what it’s supposed to do. There are actually a lot of bells and whistles available, and they all work. You can zoom in and out, pan up and down, left and right (which you can do with the monitor as well), take a photo from the app (which I love and have used tons of times, because sleeping babies are the best), record video, and customize pretty much everything. I could name the camera (Nursery Cam) and use my own photo for an icon to label it. This is in case I have more than one camera set up, to easily tell the difference between them, instead of just Camera 1 and Camera 2. You can set up alerts to tell you if you the monitor picks up a noise or movement, and how sensitive you want this monitoring to be. I think this would be a useful feature for an older baby/toddler that you don’t have to watch as closely; the app will watch for you. I turned these features off because my baby tosses and turns a lot, so even on low sensitivity I got more alerts than I needed, and she’s only 7 months, so I watch her during naps anyway. But this really is a useful feature that I’ll put to good use once she’s older. The app does pick up the white noise, but it’s because it’s running on a phone, not Motorola equipment. Lastly, you can set the app to tell you if the room temperature goes above or below temps that you specify.
Other Useful Features:
Other features: you can play 5 different melodies from the camera (and I actually like them! They aren’t cheesy), and this is possible from both the monitor and the app. Both also provide the temperature in the room where the camera is set up, and I find it to be pretty accurate, maybe a degree or two higher than it really is. Both allow you to talk to your baby. The app gives you the option to turn night vision on or off, or just leave it on auto. I have it on auto most of the time, but once it should have utilized night vision and it didn’t, so I turned it off then back on and it was fine. Took me awhile to realize what was going on; I actually thought something was blocking the camera, so I went into the room to check, of course woke the baby, and found nothing blocking the lens. Learn from my mistake: it’s just the night vision!
The monitor came with a Star Grip which I LOVE. It is the easiest way to set up a monitor. It can attach to anything and stays attached. I thought initially it was just some silly gimmicky thing, but it’s really awesome and adds a lot of value to the package. The Star Grip is a rubbery, bendy star-shaped doo-dad that affixes to the camera, and then can grab onto anything you need it to, do to its bendy legs. Voila! The camera is installed wherever is convenient for you. It’s really ingenious actually. Make sure for safety reasons to keep the Star Grip 3 feet from the crib.
Finally, set up. My least favorite part. I’m not saying that set up was really tough, but I’m not going to say it was easy either. Perhaps it was because I decided to attempt this just before dinner/just before baby’s bedtime, so we were both cranky. Perhaps it was because I was expecting it to be complicated and self-fulfilled my own prophecy, but I did not enjoy the set up process. I did everything the Quick Set-up said to do, and it didn’t work. I threw my hands up in frustration, whilst my husband repeated the exact.same.steps, and it worked perfectly. Was it me? Was it the monitor? Who knows. But the second time around it worked fine, and the steps you need to follow literally take maybe 5 minutes. So if all is not well on attempt #1, do it one more time and it should work.
Besides that little hiccup, there are three things I can find to complain about, and a couple of them could potentially be deal breakers for some people. One is that sometimes there is a lag in the image. Like I said before, my baby thrashes a lot so this type of quick movement can sometimes be blurry on the screen due to the lag. I think that because the image is so high quality, the technology elves are putting most of their efforts into that, so something else has to get sacrificed.
Second is the fact that the power cord that goes into the camera falls out very very easily. If I don’t have it sitting just right, the camera will lose power and the monitor loses connection, which leads to the dreaded BEEEP BEEP BEEP at any hour of the day or night. This doesn’t happen very often, but when it does it’s extremely frustrating, because I have to go into baby’s room and play around with the wire until the camera is happy again. In the dark. It’s a USB port, which doesn’t make sense to me. Why not just make it a regular power port? Poor design and kind of stupid in my opinion.
But the one thing that takes the cake, and I honestly cannot believe Motorola did this, is the LED light on the camera. So there are two lights on the unit: a tiny red flashing light on the side of the camera unit that is very dim, and a flashing blue LED light on the front of the unit which literally lights up the entire room. At first I thought there must be something wrong with my camera. After several calls back and forth to Motorola, I came to find out that this is completely normal and means the camera is communicating with the wi-fi or monitor (not 100% sure). So here’s the deal: I think all baby video cameras have a blue light on them that’s on all the time. Totally fine. This, in my opinion, is so that when you have to go into baby’s room at night, you can see where you’re going. This is a useful feature. However, on the MBP855Connect this light FLASHES. Why, Motorola, why? It’s SO bright and lights up the room, then darkens it. Then lights it up, then darkens it. I don’t know how anyone could sleep with such a distraction, let alone a baby. I ended up putting electrical tape over it and that didn’t help, because the entire base of the unit also lights up!!! It’s really ridiculous. So one night out of desperation, I took an old pair of black underwear and draped/wrapped it around the camera base. This worked, but it looks ridiculous. I don’t know what else to do, so the undies are still there. Motorola is unapologetic about the light. It’s a design flaw, pure and simple. Just keep this in mind when you’re shopping.
Overall, the MBP855Connect isn’t on the less expensive side of the monitor price spectrum, but the fact that it WORKS makes it worthwhile. If you get a cheap one, you will need to replace it within 6 months. The charging cable will stop working, there will be interference, the image quality won’t be good, etc. etc. (Or in my case, all of the above). Keep the monitor’s negatives in mind though. My top 3 problems with this monitor are issues that Motorola should address with the next generation.
To find out more information on this and any Motorola Baby Products you can head over here.