I’ve wrote reviews for most of the UniFi gear in use at my office, one of which I haven’t reviewed on the blog yet is the Unifi G3 Micro.
I’m firmly invested into the UniFi ecosystem, my office security depends on their cameras, as does my home set up. I haven’t got the largest collection of UniFi gear in the world, but I do have a fair bit.
I won’t give away all of my security secrets, but I’ve got a bunch of G3 Flex Cameras a handful of G3 Instants and a G4 instant all in use. I like all of them and each model serves a specific purpose in my security setup. One I couldn’t quite figure out though, was the UniFi G3 Micro, until now that is.
So, let’s get into my UniFi G3 Micro Review. We’ll find out if it’s any good and what the best use case for it is.
UniFi G3 Micro Review
As with all of my reviews, I’ll cover a bunch of things from the packaging, environmental impact, toughness, usability and how it performs. But, we’ll start off with my first impressions.
I opened up the outer packaging and was greeted with a beautiful white box that was consistent with the UniFi brand I’ve grown to love.
Sliding the inner box out of the white sleeve I was greeted with a tough brown box. The packaging is strong and is made with super high quality materials.
Opening up the box I was immediately drawn to the form factor, which I really like. It’s in the ‘Goldilocks Zone’ of being not too small and not too big, it won’t cause a distraction once it’s in it’s final position in the office.
My eyes were also drawn to the design of the G3 Micro, it’s unlike any other UniFi cameras I’ve got in my setup. It’s purely circular design looks great and is functional too, offering a wide viewing angle.
Inside the box there is also a bunch of different mounting accessories and everything you need to get the G3 Micro set up and connected to the UniFi Protect ecosystem. If you do go ahead and buy this camera, remember, you will need the UniFi Cloud Key.
The Cloud Key is basically UniFi’s own internet connected NVR. It means you can record your footage and view it securely over the internet with their app.
Single Use Plastic
Plastic. A metric I feel is really important to discuss because of the environmental impact it can have on the world. I’m passionate about trying to make the tech world a bit more environmentally friendly, which is a bit of an oxymoron but every little reduction in single use plastic helps.
There’s hardly any single use plastic at all with the G3 Micro. UniFi could change the lens protector to a paper one and that would be an improvement right away and they may even save some money in production costs.
Overall then, my first impressions are good. I like the design and form factor and on paper, the video performance should be great too. My only worry is the price, it’s fairly expensive and there are cheaper alternatives.
Video Performance & Features
I set the camera up at the entrance to my office. Just at the bottom of the stairs, it’s a great location and I made full use of the magnetic mount to position it to cover the entire stair case, the 124 degree wide-angle lens helped with this aswell.
The set up was quick and once I’d adopted the new camera, I looked at my watch to see how long it took, it was around 2.5 minutes, which is really quick.
As a camera, it’s been very well designed and ships direct from UniFi with multiple mounting options. You can position it on a stand or mount it to the wall.
I admire the power cord length. Often I’ve reviewed camera where the cord is next to useless because it just doesn’t have the length needed to be placed where it needs to go.
Arguably the most important metric when choosing a new surveillance or security camera. The camera needs to not only operate in day and night but, excel at capturing key features of people, cars and other objects etc.
The G3 Micro captures video in full 1080p at 30fps. You’ll get super smooth HD recordings which are great in the event that you might need to pull the footage and use it as evidence for whatever reason.
Watching the daytime HD recordings back I can see that this G3 Micro has got a great range of true to life colours and there aren’t any artifacts in the footage that cause any concern. The image is super clear and I’m able to easily pick out identifying features of a person or object a person is carrying.
Night-time recordings are a bit of a let down though, you can tweak the sharpness and saturation settings though, but the quality is still roughly the same as the G3 Instant. When UniFi are charging almost £170 for the Micro I’d expect better image quality than a camera that costs 3 times less.
It’s WIFI data connection only so you’ll need a strong signal in your home or office. It is dual band capable so if there is a lot of internet traffic you can use 2.4GHz or 5GHz. WIFI cameras do provide more flexibility than hard wired ones. You can mount it where ever there is power. You could also, in theory at least, power it with a solar panel connected battery system.
There’s a built in speaker and microphone for 2 way audio via the Protect app. The audio quality through that speaker and mic combo is basic, but it does the job just fine. Voices and sounds are clear and the microphone does a good job of capturing the audio track.
Overall, I’d describe the camera performance and features as ‘ok’. I’m not wowed like I was with the G3 Flex, so I’m hoping the build quality will be the saving grace.
When it comes to the unit itself, UniFi have clearly designed this camera to be quite robust. It feels solid in the hand and there are no obvious gaps between the plastic components.
I tried to twist and flex the main circular camera head to see if I could damage it. I couldn’t. It offers very little flex and gives me all the confidence in the world that it last a lifetime. Aswell as this, I also tried to pull the head and body of the camera apart, no surprises here, I wasn’t able to.
I tried my usual scratch test, running a knife down the plastic to see if it leaves any lasting damage. It did leave a small feint line behind but it wasn’t a deep gouge, which goes to show that the polycarbonate it’s made with is rugged.
Under the main ‘head’ of the camera you’ll find the USB-C port that’s used to power the device, the port is strong and when I tried to jam the charger into it, it didn’t scratch, bend or cause any damage to the plastic outer.
Another test often featured on the blog is the drop test. It does exactly what it says on the tin. I dropped the camera from 1.5 meters onto solid wood flooring. There was quite the loud bang from the impact and I could hear a small rattle from the inside of the camera, but it still functioned correctly.
The bundled accessories carry the same consistent build quality. For example, the power cord is extremely well made and is designed with ease of use in mind. The proprietary power connector used for the magnet mount is simple, yet allows you to have the camera sit flush whilst it’s plugged in, which is well thought out.
The build quality in a word, fantastic. It really is, but I can’t for the life of me understand why it costs so much, but I have my suspicions. I suspect that it’s due to increased manufacturing and engineering costs associated with the complex magnet mount.
Where To Buy
The camera is sometimes available from Amazon or Ebay. Keep an eye on the UniFi store as they occasionally have stock and will email you once it is available to buy.
If you buy it from Ebay expect to pay a higher price due to various scalpers buying up the stock and selling it on for ridiculous premiums.
Summary & Verdict
I think the decision to allow you to power it using Ethernet was wrong. I can kind of understand it though. Most people don’t want to put in the time, effort and expense that’s required to gracefully install Ethernet cable runs throughout their home. It’s a convenience thing.
It is very, very overpriced, if it was half the price I’d be shouting from the roof tops to go and buy this camera. I’d also have given it an 8/10.
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CodeWithMike is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com
The Unifi G3 Micro Camera used to write our review was paid for by us.