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Motorola MBP26

Motorola MBP26 review - expandable baby monitor

Ben Pitt Matt Breen
19 Jun 2019
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
70
inc VAT

Keenly priced, but the Motorola MBP26’s digital pan and tilt function may be a hindrance

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Specifications

Screen size: 2.4in, Audio display meter: Yes, Talkback microphone: Yes, Temperature Sensor: No, Mat motion sensor: No, Dimensions (camera and parent units): 102x74x54mm and 63x111x25mm

I’d be tempted to describe the Motorola MBP26 as a no-frills video baby monitor, if it weren’t for the Motorola MBP18 with its even fewer frills. The MBP26 seems positively decadent in comparison with its larger 2.4in screen and talkback microphone so you can advise your baby to be quiet and go back to sleep from the comfort of the sofa. More realistically, this feature is useful for older children who might sometimes need a reminder that they’re on camera so they should play nicely.

The camera unit has the words Digital Pan & Tilt emblazoned across its front. What this means in practice is that there’s a 2x digital crop function applied to the camera’s output, and it’s possible to pan around the image using the controls on the parent unit. It’s a nice concept, but various other video baby monitors offer this as a digital zoom option, whereas with the MBP26 it can’t be turned off to see the whole picture. The cropped image has a relatively narrow field of view, which is good news if the camera is located a couple of meters from the cot but less helpful if it’s mounted just above. It may also prove to be too narrow a view when you want to use the monitor to keep an eye on toddlers playing in their room.

Motorola MBP26

Otherwise, the MBP26 performed well. The video feed turns off four minutes after a button was pressed, which helped to deliver a respectable battery life of just over eight hours. It’s a bit odd that there’s no way to turn the video feed off manually but I can’t see this being a problem in practice. Wireless range was excellent, giving flawless reception throughout my three-storey house and continuing to work outside the house for a little further than most other baby monitors tested under the same conditions.

The camera unit is plain but functional, with a pivoting base that’s easy to angle and holes for wall mounting. Video quality showed a slight fizz of noise but it’s fine for the purpose, and there’s a bank of infrared lights for night vision mode. Sound quality is pretty feeble by any normal standards but it’s perfectly adequate.

There’s a row of LEDs on the parent unit to show the audio volume, alerting you to crying babies even when the video is off and the sound is turned down — or perhaps if it’s being drowned out by the TV or music system. These LEDs aren’t very bright, though, so while they’ll probably catch your eye in a darkened home cinema you may not notice them under normal household light.

The parent unit supports up to four cameras but additional cameras don’t appear to be available to buy in the UK. There’s a dual camera kit available for £125 from Amazon, though. Meanwhile, the MBP26 Babysense Bundle costs £140 and pairs the video baby monitor with a Binatone Babysense 5 — a motion sensor that sits under the mattress sounds an alarm if it can’t detect breathing. The two products work independently but they make an effective partnership for monitoring your baby. I’d recommend going for the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature if you require a motion sensor, but the MBP26 is a decent choice on its own. 

Hardware
Screen size2.4in
TouchscreenNo
Infrared night modeYes
Remote pan/tilt controlDigital
Features
Digital zoomFixed at 2x
Web-based accessNo
Sound-activated videoNo
Audio meter displayDedicated
Talkback microphoneYes
Music playbackNo
Night lightNo
Light showNo
Mat motion sensorNo
Camera motion sensorNo
Temperature sensorNo
Temperature alarmNo
Video battery lifen/a
Audio only battery life8hr 4m
Physical
Camera dimensions (WHD)102x74x54mm
Parent unit dimensions (WHD)63x111x25mm
Charger connectorProprietary
Camera power cable length2.7m
Camera mounting optionsScrew mounts
Buying information
WarrantyOne year RTB
Detailswww.motorola.co.uk