When we were researching baby monitors before BattleKid was due, we quickly determined we wanted a video one, and, after much reading and comparing of both functions and prices, we decided on the Motorola MBP36 Baby Video Monitor.
It’s features include:
- 3.5″ diagonal colour screen
- Infrared Night vision
- Video remote pan
- Tilt and zoom functions
- High sensitivity microphone
- Pre-recorded lullabies
What we liked about the Motorola MBP36 Video Monitor:
- The parent unit is nice and slim, not too heavy and the screen is an excellent size. The picture is lovely and clear, as well as colourful by day, and has good quality image via Infrared by night. It has a power save function whereby it turns off the picture (if not mains-connected) after 4 minutes (although the manual claims 2). This helps save the battery life a bit. To view the picture simply press the camera/tv button or on/off button. The LED lights across the top of the screen are bright and do the job of telling you the level of incoming sound, whether you have the parent unit sound turned high or low.
- The remote tilt, pan and zoom of the camera unit are great functions. It means you can move the image as baby moves without having to physically and manually adjust the camera in their room. And it’s quiet enough that moving it has never disturbed BattleKid. The power light on the camera unit is not too bright either to disturb BattleKid. He has only just started noticing it since he turned 1 and learned what “lights” are.
- The 2-way sound system is clear and crisp, we’ve never had any issues with sound. We’ve gone from almost the highest sound setting at night to the lowest now on the parent unit. This is still enough for us to hear BattleKid cry out at night (he is 15 months old now). While watching tv we have it around 4 or 5 sound bars. We have spoken to BattleKid through it, usually as we got to get him, and he always turns around to look at the camera unit. It’s quite cute to see. BattleDad has listened from BattleKid’s end and said the sound is loud and clear enough.
- Overall this system is easy to install and use straight from the box. Just as well as BattleDad got rid of the box and manual before I had a chance to get near it. It’s pretty self-explanatory.
We first used it perched on the end of BattleKid’s cot but once he moved into his own room we’ve hung it from a picture frame as shown below.
This gives us a great view of him and room to move the camera as he wriggles around his cot. Having a video baby monitor is a Godsend as it saves you running up and down the stairs at every little whimper, moan or cry. You can simply check them on the parent unit to see if they need you or not.
As much as I love our monitor it is not without its flaws I’m afraid to say. But fear not, they are only minor ones.
What we didn’t like about the Motorola MBP36 Video Monitor:
- Firstly, I have to confess I don’t like the pre-recorded lullabies. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by the harp lullaby on BattleKid’s Ewan the Dreamsheep but I’ve never used them on this monitor. I tried them once or twice but they just wound BattleKid up and he cried rather than settling, so these were of no use to us.
- We have also discovered that the temperature display on the parent unit is around 1-2 degrees higher than the actual room temperature by comparison to three other temperature devices in BattleKid’s room. I have since seen this come up on other reviews. While it may not be accurate it still gives you an idea of the room is getting too hot or cold.
- Although the range between the units is quite good, occasionally signal drops or freezes but this is occasional and only for a few seconds. That said I have used the monitor from the front and back gardens with ease and we live in a moderately big house.
- The battery life on the parent unit is something that could be improved. If it hasn’t been plugged in most of the day we just about get 3-4 hours life before the red light warning and sounds spring to life. I also looked into getting a spare charging cable for it to no avail. The third-party ones available through the likes of Amazon and Ebay were hit and miss according to reviews and feedback so in the end I didn’t bother with one.
Please be aware that the camera unit requires a socket as it is mains operated. So placement of this unit will depend on availability of sockets.
All-in-all we have been very happy with this monitor which is still going strong (I hope I haven’t just jinxed myself!). It has been reliable, functional and good value-for-money. We haven’t used all the functions like the alarm or multiple camera options so cannot comment on these. If I was going to buy a baby monitor I would go for the newer version, the Motorola MBP36S, which is claimed to have crystal-clear two-way sound, improved background noise suppression (never had a problem with the background noise), reduced Wi-Fi interference and increased battery life (Source) over the MBP36 model.
Video monitors are a great way of keeping an eye on your little one and I’d recommend them to anyone who is in the market for a baby monitor, particularly the Motorola’s.
*I was not asked to write this post.