- 1 Motorola MBP18
- 2 Pros
- 3 Cons
- 4 Key Features Of The Motorola MBP18
- 5 Motorola MBP18 Video
- 6 What The Customers Say
- 7 The Last Word
- Low price
- similar price to audio only models
- Simple to use
- Good customer reviews
- Small screen
- Basic functionality
- Not much cheaper than better models
Hot on the heels of the MBP27T and the MBP26 Babysense bundle comes our third placed baby video monitor, the Motorola MBP18. This rounds off our top three nicely, as the highest placed budget monitor, which also happens to be a basic, entry level selection from the video monitor market. As you might expect, what you’ll get for your money at the cheaper end of the market is a no frills version of the higher priced products. For example, with the two higher priced Motorola units, you’ll get extra functions such as motion sensor pads or thermometers, whereas the basic units simply fulfil the essential aspects of a baby monitor, namely to see and hear your child wherever you are in the home.
In this review, you’ll find out a little more about what this unit has to offer, and whether the Motorola MBP18 baby monitor is a good choice for your requirements.
Key Features Of The Motorola MBP18
Unlike higher models, when you open the box of the MBP18 video baby monitor, you’ll just get two pieces of kit, the camera unit (left) and the parental unit (right). On the face of it, they look very similar to the more popular MBP26 baby monitor, but there are some important differences between this and its big brother.
In order to understand what you get in the box, and how this video monitor works, lets talk about the two parts individually.
Camera Unit/Base Station
The camera will look familiar if you’ve been reading our reviews of other Motorola video baby monitors. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s identical, though, you’re not getting anywhere near the camera unit in the high end models. Whereas other video monitors support remotely tilting the camera, panning left and right and zooming in and out, this is a fixed direction without the movement of other cameras. In other words, whichever direction you point it in baby’s room will dictate what you see on your screen. That may not be a problem in the early days of baby’s life, but as they get a bit bigger and more mobile, you might find it a little frustrating to keep tabs on them. The camera does support night vision, however, so as the light level falls, you’ll switch over to a black and white image, which is fairly easy to use to keep an eye on your child through the hours of darkness.
The camera unit also has a built in microphone to allow you to listen in to baby’s room from elsewhere in the house. It does not support talking to baby though from wherever you are, for that you’ll need a higher model.
You plug the camera unit for this monitor into the mains using the provided AC adaptor, which is designed to be used with a standard UK wall power socket.
The parent unit for this Motorola monitor is much smaller than the others we’ve looked at, measuring in at just 1.8 inches. It wouldn’t be fair to say that its too small to be effective, but as this monitor doesn’t allow you the facility to move the camera remotely, a smaller screen makes that absent feature even more noticeable.
According to Motorola, you can operate the parent unit up to 200 metres from the camera, but that doesn’t factor in walls and general interference which significantly affects that range. In real world conditions, such as a family home, you might find that range is no more than twenty to thirty metres, but that will undoubtedly cover the needs of the majority of people interested in this model – if you can afford a mansion you can afford a higher model!
Motorola MBP18 Video
Here’s the promotional video for the MBP18 from Motorola, please note the discrepancy with the tilt/pan information. We’ve double checked our info with Amazon’s listings and we don’t believe its a standard feature on this video monitor. If you choose to buy this and it is supported, please view that as an unexpected bonus, rather than expecting it!
What The Customers Say
Hopefully you’ve seen at least a couple of our other reviews, and be aware that we like to collate opinions of other people that have purchased the product and given it a road test before leaving their thoughts. In this section we’ll cover those:
Baby Can Wriggle Out Of View
As we mentioned, we think there may be an error in the Motorola video above, as customers also mention that it would be useful to be able to move the camera from the parent’s unit. Newborns are highly unlikely to be moving around much of their own accord for months, but as most parents find out, once they learn to drag themselves around, they’re practising that new skill all the time. If you’re wanting to keep the camera on them for peace of mind once they’re more mobile and in a bigger bed (such as a cot bed), then consider a higher model.
Motorola have managed to keep most of their video monitor prices low, and its a common plus point that parents include in their reviews. In particular, the point is often made that they expected video baby monitors to be a lot more expensive than the audio only versions. That may have been true five or ten years ago, but the gap has drastically narrowed recently, to the point where most parents at least seriously consider choosing a video model.
Good Quality Image But The Screen’s A Bit Small
While there’s a few gripes about the static video direction, there’s good feedback about the image quality. The downside is that the screen is the smallest in the entire Motorola range on this model, so if you want to watch across a room or haven’t got the best eyesight, you should probably think carefully about whether this is for you.
Does Exactly What You’d Expect
There are plenty of innovative features available on other monitors on the market, such as night lights, two way communication to talk back to baby as well as hear them and built in thermometers. The fundamental reason you buy a monitor, though, is to watch and listen to your child when you’re not in the same room – usually for a few hours in the evening.
The Last Word
We’ll start summarising this baby monitor by picking up where we left off in the last section. Where this monitor shines is its simplicity. If you just want to see and hear your child sleeping, this will do just fine, and its a very affordable choice. That’s the reason it’s at number three in our top ten. If you want more features, they’re available elsewhere and it won’t cost a huge amount more. However, it’s important to us that we cater for all requirements and that means all budgets, so the Motorola MBP18 is a great choice for new parents on a tight budget.