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It's been three years since we reviewed the iBaby M6T and a lot of baby monitors have come out since then, including a new model from iBaby itself. Yet, the $110 iBaby M6T remains on our list of best baby monitors because it's a bargain. It offers a dedicated mobile streaming app, an HD camera, reliable Wi-Fi connectivity and a reasonable price that often falls below $100, thanks to sales. It's a good alternative if you find newer baby monitors like the Arlo Baby too expensive for your budget.
From the moment you unbox the M6T, it feels like you bought an Apple product. The inside packaging is intricate and clearly designed with flair, and the camera unit itself is a bold, bulbous ball done up in Jony Ive white.
Thanks to the monitor base, the M6T is a bit wider than competing baby monitor cameras — at roughly 5.7 x 4.25 x 4.25 inches — but it's still not something I'd consider unwieldy or intrusive. The camera bulb is ringed by red infrared lights that turn on in night mode, though they're not nearly as distracting as the lights in other baby monitors we tested.
Setup is a breeze; you just hook up the supplied USB cable from your phone to the underside of the camera after you set up an account through the companion app (available for iOS or Android). The whole enterprise takes only a couple of minutes, and then you're off.
Camera Range: 360-degree pan, 110-degree tilt
Handheld Monitor: No
Mobile App: Android, iOS
Temperature Sensor: Yes
Humidity Sensor: Yes
Handheld Viewer Size/Weight: NA
Video Recording: Yes
The M6T's camera pans a full 360 degrees from left to right — though it doesn't completely spin around like an owl's head or an annoyed R2-D2 — and tilts 110 degrees up and down. That's an overall range you're not going to see in a lot of other video cams, not even in high-end models like the Nest Cam. The ability to pan around the room in full means your child will literally never be out of sight.
Built-in temperature and humidity sensors provide readings to the companion app down to a tenth of a digit, a higher specificity than any other camera. You can also pair up to four M6Ts in all or mount the camera to a wall with a $35 kit.
The companion app includes a gallery where you can access all of your pictures, manually recorded videos and motion-triggered video clips. The most glaring miss here is the inability to provide the Web-based video-streaming offered by other monitors, such as the Nest Cam and the Motorola MBP853. But the iBaby mobile app is so feature-rich and easy to use, that this omission is easy to forgive.
The music option is especially well-designed, as it can play 13 preinstalled tunes that come with the iBaby app, not synthed MIDI files either but actual MP3-quality songs. The sound, which comes out of the speakers on the M6T's underside, is clear and audible.
The full-revolution M6T camera records detailed, high-def images (provided your Wi-Fi signal is coming through at full power, natch). When you use the camera in night mode, there's a ring of red infrared lights around the camera bulb; however, they're not nearly as distracting as the lights on other cameras. The feed quality in low-to-no light is still stunningly crisp, if a bit muted, with facial features easily discernible from 7 feet away or so.
My phone remained connected to the iBaby camera consistently, and I never noticed any considerable lag between the images appearing on my phone and any cries emanating from my son's room.
You control the camera through iBaby's app, which makes every facet of the camera's operation intuitive and easy to grok. The app immediately opens to your camera feed, and you flick the screen with your fingers to change the camera positioning. Atop the feed, you'll see the temperature and humidity displayed (both are easily visible even in night vision), and the user buttons for taking pictures, push-to-talk, recording video, listening and playing music are all visible at the bottom.
iBaby's M6T evokes a feeling that everything just works the way it should. Connectivity is a snap, the HD video feed is crisp, it's easy to send and save the media you record, and you don't need to worry about charging a stand-alone handheld unit (other than your phone). At $200, the price is right, without any need to spend extra money on a separate subscription. The iBaby M6T is a must-have for any parent in the market for a high-quality video monitor at a good price.
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Erik Malinowski is an author, features writer and editor who has contributed to numerous publications, including Wired, Rolling Stone, Slate, Bleacher Report, BuzzFeed, Atlas Obscura, Baseball Prospectus, and more. He has also been recognized in three editions of the Best American Sports Writing anthology and has written a book on the rise of the Golden State Warriors.