Founded in 1938 by Lee Byung-chul as a trading company, Samsung is now one of the world’s leading multinational business conglomerates and South Korean’s largest. Entering the electronics industry in the late 1960s, Samsung has of 2012 become the world’s largest information technology company as measured by revenues. It counts approximately 80 companies under its corporate umbrella. While a consumer electronics behemoth, Samsung is a relative late arrival to the niche baby video monitor market.
Samsung Video Baby Monitors Overview
According to samsung.com, the electronics branch of the company currently manufactures only two video baby monitor models and a wireless baby monitoring camera. However, third party vendors apparently still sell legacy or discontinued Samsung baby monitor products, including audio monitors. The flagship product is the SafeVIEW Baby Monitoring System (SEW-3037W), ranked #7 in toptenreviews.com ‘2014 Best Baby Video Monitor Reviews and Comparisons’, earning a score of 9.13 from a possible 10. Other industry observers share similar impressions of the SEW-3037; babygoespro.com accords the product five stars out of five while topbestreviews.org rates it 4¼ stars out of five. However, consumers are a bit more critical. According to amazon.com customer reviews, the SEW-3037W (W for wireless) has an aggregate rating of slightly over 75%. Customers from toysrus.com gave the product four stars out of five, based on nine reviews. The reviews from WalMart customers were five stars out of five.
The Samsung SEW-3037W has nearly all of the bells and whistles most discriminating consumers expect today from a premium model video baby monitor. Advanced features include an infrared night vision camera with remote pan, tilt and zoom capabilities (300° pan, 100° tilt and 2x zoom) and visibility in darkness up to 15 feet (4.572 meters). The camera can also be wall-mounted. It includes 2-Way talkback audio, a built-in microphone and speaker with a VOX quiet mode filter and adjustable sound sensitivity that removes superfluous background noises. There’s even a remote-controlled nightlight built into the camera for baby’s comfort. The 3.5 inch color LCD display monitor has a total pixel VGA of 640×480 with 320×240 CIF resolution. The system transmits over a secure and static-free digital 2.4 GHz signal which extends up to 900 feet (274 meters). The monitor uses AC power and a rechargeable battery (parent unit only), a low battery warning and monitor LEDs with five sound level indicators. According to Karina Fabian of Top 10 Reviews, the monitor panel “looks and feels a lot like a smartphone.” There’s also a power-saving ‘Sleep Mode‘ that detects sound around the camera while the monitor screen is off. It has a convenient flip stand and belt clip. The system can be expanded to include up to four cameras. Sells on Amazon for approximately $200 and comes with a one-year warranty.
|Item Weight||1.1 pounds|
|Product Dimensions||4.5 x 11.2 x 9.5 inches|
|Item model number||SEW-3037W|
|Safety warning||STRANGULATION HAZARD|
|Standing screen display size||3.5 inches|
The only other baby monitor product Samsung currently sells is the SEB-1019R camera, which is the additional camera meant for the SEW-3037 should users need a replacement or choose to expand their current system. Available from Amazon and soltechsecurity.com for US$79. Also available from Amazon is the discontinued SEB-1014R Night Vision camera purposed for the legacy SEW-3034/3035/3036 models at US$99. Note that this “simplified” camera is not compatible with the SEW-3037W. For those looking for a version with virtually the same features and a lower price, the Samsung SEW-3036W is a good choice. The biggest difference is that this model’s camera lacks the PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) capability of its more expensive brother. The system’s range is less at 800 feet (243.84 meters) and there is no built-in night light. At present an Amazon reseller has the model available at US$163; Amazon sells it for US$170. Note that Amazon customers rate the product at approximately 72%. There are gripes; users have reported that the system “overpowers” the home WiFi network and is susceptible to periodic “blacking-out” during night vision operation.
Both Target and soltechsecurity.com carry older legacy Samsung Video and Audio baby monitors. For example, Soltech has the SEW-3022 EzView for US$129 and the SEW-3036 for US$169. Note that the SEW 3034 and 3035 both come with a temperature sensor and an AV output (allowing connectivity between the video monitor and a TV), features that the 3036 and 3037 apparently lack. Moreover, the 3035 seems to be the only model with a USB port for Skype connectivity.
For those who require only an audio baby monitor, Target carries the Samsung Audio Baby Monitor and One Receiver for US$50. (Regrettably, Target does not include manufacturer model numbers, citing only an “Online Item # 13987305” and a “Store Item Number (DPCI) 030-04-0017.”) This audio monitor transmits on a digital 1.9 GHz digital frequency with a range of 900 feet (274.32 meters). The wireless receiver includes a belt-clip, a sound-activated light and an out-of-range- and low-battery-indicator. Weighing only a half pound (226.8 grams), the dimensions are 4.5 inches (11.43 cm) high by 2.75 inches (6.985 cm) wide by 1.5 inches (3.81 cm) deep.
As is the wont of many mega-corporations, Samsung manufactures video baby monitors with built-in obsolescence (note the incompatibility of the 3037W camera with previous versions). The observant consumer will discern a gradual tendency toward “new and improved” models with more fringe features — and each succeeding model comes with a higher price tag compared to its predecessor. The hefty cost of the SEW-3037W would be easier to swallow if it had all of the features included in prior incarnations such as the temperature sensor and the USB port. Undoubtedly, the next “latest and greatest” video baby monitor model from Samsung will have all these features at an even greater cost.