The invention of video baby monitors has given us the liberty to keep a close eye over our kiddos while they sleep. With all the features that keep coming out, it’s hard to know just what you need. The Summer Infant Wide View digital color video monitor is a low to moderately priced monitor, but is it worth it to spend more for the extra sense of security?
Huge Color Screen
The Summer Infant Wide View baby monitor has a 5 inch flat-screen LCD color screen. Five inches is amongst the biggest screens that I have seen available, if not the biggest. You can use the color screen to view your little one, and you can turn it off when not looking at the screen. The sound will still stay on when the screen is turned off (this helps extend battery until needing to be charged). If you don’t have the monitor plugged in, the screen will automatically turn off after a couple of minutes to save battery.
Wide Angle Lens
This Summer Infant monitor has a wide angle lens, meaning it captures a bigger picture of your child’s room. This can be especially helpful once your baby turns into a toddler and can get out of bed on their own.
You can add more cameras to this system. The basic package comes with one camera and one monitor but you can add up to three more cameras to the system if you want even better coverage of your child’s room. You could also set up cameras in different rooms if you have more than one child so that you can view them both with the same handheld device.
If you do add additional cameras to the system, you won’t be able to watch them simultaneously (i.e. on a split screen). Instead, it scans between each camera every 8 seconds.
This monitor works great at night too – it uses infrared LEDs to send quality video feed to the monitor. This feature is automatic when the room is dark, so you don’t have to worry about any adjusting during nap time or bedtime.
Talk to Your Baby From Afar
One neat feature that the Summer Infant Wide View monitor has is a two-way audio communication function. This means not only can you hear your baby, but you can also talk through the monitor to them. Obviously this might be more useful with older tots, allowing you to have a conversation with them, maybe reminding them that it is bedtime or asking what they need from downstairs.
Range of up to 600 feet
The range on this system is 600 feet, so it should work in most houses unless you have a very spacious house!
Doesn’t Run on Wifi
The Summer Infant Wide View monitor is not a wifi monitor – it runs on a wireless technology method called frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS). In short, it uses radio signals. Some people are opting for wifi monitors because they allow you to use your phone as the monitor by using a baby monitor app.
I list the fact that this monitor does not run on wifi as a positive feature because, in my opinion, I don’t want to be relying on my wifi in order to see my son on the monitor. With radio signals, you don’t have to worry about your cell phone or internet device losing communication.
In addition, wifi is not as secure as FHSS radio signals (you’d think it’d be the other way around, right?). Wifi baby monitors are vulnerable to being hacked, similar to the way that someone can hack into your wifi network itself. There are ways to prevent this (e.g. change the default password on the monitor), and the chances it would happen to you are rare. However, it creeps me out enough to want to avoid it all together.
Long power cord
The Summer Infant Wide View monitor comes with a 12-foot power cord. With a 12 foot cord, you shouldn’t have to worry about reaching an outlet. I know this is something I always have to think about because there are limited outlets in my house, and I don’t like using extension cords. But with this monitor, you should be able to set it up wherever you want in your child’s room with cord to spare.
Problems with the Summer Infant Wide Monitor
Can’t Pan or Tilt
The Summer Infant Wide View monitor does not have pan or tilt features. This means you cannot change the view of the camera remotely. More and more baby monitors are coming out with the panning and tilting features, and I can see why. They eliminate the need for extra cameras in your child’s room and ensure full coverage.
Keep in mind that this Summer Infant model does have a wide angle lens, so you should be able to capture a good portion of your child’s room without tilting or panning.
Not Picture Perfect
If you have never had a baby monitor before and you are expecting the picture on the monitor to be crystal clear (like your phone), prepare to be disappointed. Baby monitors that utilize radio signals just aren’t that clear. The picture is clear enough for you to see your child, but I think we have gotten so used to crystal clear screens that some people are shocked at the picture quality.
The picture may look more pixelated than you’re used to, but as long as I can tell if my son is sleeping or awake or standing or sitting, I’m happy with it.
Battery doesn’t last long enough
The battery on the handheld monitor for this system does not last long before needing to be recharged. The life of the battery is listed as 6 hours, but it really depends on how long you keep the screen on. The battery won’t last 6 hours if you keep the color screen on. If you just use the audio function, however, it will last longer.
The battery on the Summer Infant Wide View monitor typically won’t last you through the night. This is disappointing as it means it will have to spend the night plugged in if you want to be able to have it on all night long.
You can purchase another monitor for this system so you can have two. This won’t eliminate the issue of it not lasting through the night, but I found it more convenient for naps. I decided it was worth having two because I usually have one charging upstairs and have the other one downstairs. But of course, this isn’t absolutely necessary for this system.
How to Repair
- Huge (5 inch) color screen
- Wide angle camera lens
- Can add more cameras to system
- Two-way communication – you can talk to your child through using monitor
- Long power cord
- Does not pan or tilt
- Picture is not crystal clear
- Battery doesn’t last long before needing recharging
I’m surprised this monitor doesn’t have higher reviews. Most of the negative reviews focus on picture quality, which I didn’t see as a major downfall of this product.
3.6 out of 5 stars, 62 reviews – Target
4 out of 5 stars, 89 reviews – Walmart
3.5 out of 5 stars, 410 reviews – diapers.com
I’m a bit of a minimalist. I didn’t even have a baby monitor for the first 6 months of my son’s life because our house was so small and he slept in the same room as us at first. Once I got a baby monitor I realized what I had been missing out on! I must admit I do love watching him sleep. But I personally don’t find it necessary to have all of the new features they keep coming out with for baby monitors. As long as I can see whether my son is awake or asleep and can hear him with zero interruption, I’m happy.
This monitor is a nice, safe product to go with. I find it relatively cheap considering the features it does have. It doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles that the top end monitors have, but it does what it needs to do. Honestly, I mostly use the sound function on my monitor and see the picture function as more of a luxury – just to see when my son sits up or stands up when he’s ready to get out of his crib. Because of this, it doesn’t bother me to have a monitor that doesn’t have the best picture quality. The Summer Infant Wide View monitoris a decent monitor at a good price, and I would highly recommend it.