Levana Ovia {Review}+UPDATE

mamanloupsden_levana-ovia-2-video-monitor-422x318Several weeks back I did a review of the Levana Lila. The Lila was a mediocre product at best. So, Levana sent me a new monitor system to review, the Ovia. This really ranges in price from $150 to easily over $350 depending on how many cameras you get with your system, as well as where you purchase it from. My system came with two cameras.

The system looks nice, and appears much more modern in design than some of the other Levana systems that I’ve seen. Set up was easy. The cameras quickly sync to the monitor, and mounting them to the wall took a matter of minutes. Unfortunately, like the Lila, the cord for the Ovia still isn’t quite long enough to reach the corner of a standard wall without an extension cord.

While the monitor appears to be touch-screen, it unfortunately isn’t and instead operates on a moderately difficult arrow-and-enter button system. The interface is difficult to use, especially in the middle of the night when I’m waking up from a dead-sleep. The features are fairly straight-forward: there is a microphone to speak to your baby, a pan/tilt option, the home button, arrows, and the enter button (which also serves as a 2x zoom.) The home screen offers a few other features, which I’ll talk about below.ovia_lcd.jpg

  1. The Pan/Tilt Feature: Great. I love being able to change the pan/tilt from the monitor. The only down side is that the camera motors aren’t nearly quiet enough for a nursery. I found them to be fairly loud, and my 9 month old is a light sleeper.
  2. The Zoom Feature: A good option to have. I zoom in to check my son’s breathing, but the zoom is only a 2x zoom, so it’s nothing to dote over since there’s no variable zoom.
  3. Music: Definitely my favorite feature of this monitor. There are three song choices that you can turn on from the monitor, and they will play from the camera base. You can also adjust the volume.
  4. Camera/Video Recording: Cool feature, but the quality of the camera is too poor to really matter (getting to that point shortly…)
  5. Wake Mode: One of the best features of Levana monitors is that you can keep the monitor on constantly, or have the screen and sound turn on only for various noise levels in the nursery.
  6. Camera: Shockingly, disappointingly poor. The camera on this is SO bad that sometimes I can hardly make out the outline of a baby in the crib. The clarity is terrible, which seems to be in part because of the camera’s inability to focus and define exposure. There is a ton of noise/pixelation in the photo. I get that it’s a baby monitor and doesn’t need to have perfect definition, but this is worse clarity than you would find on a cell phone from 2004. Essentially, do not expect your picture on your monitor to look like the advertisements…
  7. Camera Switching: The menu interface gives you the option to see one camera, or all cameras (up to 4.) I would prefer to see an easy option for switching cameras on the main-frame instead of having to use the menu or the up arrow button.
  8. Monitor: Sturdy, decent stand, but the interface still leaves much to be desired. And if you’re looking to purchase one of these, it’s important to know that it comes with a power supply, but not with the docking station. (An SD card is already included with the monitor, though.) Also, I found it difficult to see the monitor sitting on my night stand from my bed. The way that the screen is designed, you need to be looking at it square-on to see the picture (much like many PC monitors.) But really, who wants to sit up in the middle of the night to see what their LO is up to? (It’s not me.)
  9. Battery Life: Much better. So far, I’ve used this monitor for several hours with no problem. At night, I leave it plugged in and during the day I usually carry it around.
  10. Wifi: This monitor so far has not interfered with the WiFi signal in my home like the Lila did. Definitely a plus.

The design of this system was good in theory, but really not executed to the extent that it should have been for such a pricey monitor. With a few of the camera issues worked out, moving to a touch screen, and fixing some of the other small issues, I think this would be a much better sell.

UPDATE

After around half a year of owning the Levana Ovia, I’ve had even more difficulties. The exposure has continued to decline. The audio sometimes makes noises. My second camera only displays upside down, and my monitor sometimes shows the picture with the icons on top of it. It constantly cuts out. I contacted Levana, and the customer service isn’t great. They want a deposit to return, as well as the owner of the system to pay shipping costs upfront. After a technician decides whether or not your system is good or not (when it’s blatantly not,) you get your deposit back. Also, they expect you to send your system in before receiving a new one, which makes baby monitoring…well…impossible, unless you own another system. Only after I asked did they offer to send in a new system while I send back the old (with the deposit, of course.) Overall, I’m incredibly shocked at the poor product as well as the poor service. I love a few of my Levana products, but their monitors have consistently disappointed.

-Katie

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**

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