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If you’re forever awkwardly balancing your video monitor precariously on a shelf to try to get the best angle of your little one, this monitor is for you. Although even the best models out there can’t provide a completely unimpeded view of what’s going on in your baby’s cot, the Motorola Halo+ Monitor practically stands alone in the video monitor market due to its unique overhead mount design, which provides a complete bird’s-eye view of your baby.
Motorola has developed a reputation for its innovative and cutting-edge smart home tech and this latest offering from the brand doesn’t disappoint. Although the company has a huge array of monitors in various price brackets, the Halo+ is its most premium product. Its nearest rival is the new Nanit Plus – another over-cot design with similar features – which isn’t currently available in the UK.
In terms of other monitors without the over-cot arm in a similar price bracket, the next best is probably the Philips AVENT SCD620 monitor (£145.57 on Amazon), which also has night vision, lullabies and talkback, but the Halo+ knocks it out of the park with its additional functionality, such as the projected light show, colour-changing night light, temperature monitor, extra lullabies and audio books, not to mention the features of the app, which includes growth and development tracking, parenting tips, the ability to capture photos and videos of your little one, plus sleep analysis with a subscription.
Charlotte and her husband live in Kent, and tested the Motorola Halo+ HD Smart Video Baby Monitor with their 2-month-old baby girl, Izzie.
First impressions of the Motorola Halo+ HD Smart Video Baby Monitor?
The mounted over-cot arm looks a little intimidating to set up. The design is sleek and modern and the parent unit display has a generous-sized screen, although a little smaller than my BT 6000 at 4.3 inches.
How easy is the Motorola Halo+ HD Smart Video Baby Monitor to set up?
The Halo+ was mercifully simple to install and I had it mounted onto the cot in just a few minutes. It easily clamps into place by attaching the adapter plate to the crib bars with a large threaded screw, while the over-cot arm snaps into a floor stand with an adjustable leg.
However, it took a few attempts for the Hubble app to detect the camera and hook it up to my mobile – you’ve got to have a pretty strong Wi-Fi connection.
How easy is it to position everything correctly?
Super-easy, as its overhead mount means you can attach the camera to any part of the crib and you’ll get a great view of the cot wherever you position it, although it’s probably best placed centrally to get the full picture.
Is the Motorola Halo+ HD Smart Video Baby Monitor adjustable?
Obviously, the camera covers the whole cot so there’s no need to adjust it, but it does allow you to zoom in for a close-up view of your baby – on the app you can zoom in even further.
What is the sound quality like on the Motorola Halo+ HD Smart Video Baby Monitor?
The sound quality could be better for the price – it’s a bit harsh and muffled, with it cutting out on the odd occasion, which can be disruptive when playing lullabies.
There are also sound-sensitive lights on the parent unit, but these seem overly sensitive, jumping quickly into the red, so it’s not easy to tell how much your baby really needs you when the sound is turned low/off.
How was the background noise?
Even on full volume it picked up little if any background noise, and I didn’t notice any interference.
What do you think of the over-cot arm – is it worth the money?
The over-cot arm is pretty unique with the bonus being the projector and the seven-colour night light. Obviously, it’s great to get a whole view of the cot – I imagine this will be especially useful when your little one is more mobile and moving around the entire bed.
Although I’m not sure it’s totally necessary, once you’ve had it, you wouldn’t want to go back to a basic monitor. It’s a nice-to-have rather than an essential – unless you’ve got nowhere else to put a desktop camera.
What is the picture like on the Motorola Halo+ HD Smart Video Baby Monitor?
Although the camera’s 1080p video quality is really impressive, it’s a shame the parent unit lacked the same sharpness. The infrared night vision is good, though, and doesn’t disturb your baby while they’re sleeping.
How did you like the various entertainment modes for your baby?
The projected light show was a great addition, displaying a moving celestial scene, which Izzie was fascinated by. She also loved the colour-changing halo ring, which can be set to just 1 colour or have 7 different hues on rotation with 3 brightness levels – this definitely caught her attention the most.
The audiobooks would be great for toddlers to help settle them at bedtime, while the lullabies and particularly the white noise track calmed Izzie the most.
What did you think of the different sounds?
The Halo+ has 10 pre-loaded tracks, which are pretty decent, ranging from traditional lullabies such as ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ and soothing classical music to nature sounds and white noise.
There are also 10 audio books, read by both men and women in animated voices, plus there’s the option to download around 20 extra songs and audiobooks from the app to add to your repertoire.
One feature I liked is that you can also make your own audio recordings, so you could sing your own lullabies or pre-record readings of your favourite books for your little one to enjoy.
Is there a talk-back function on the Motorola Halo+ HD Smart Video Baby Monitor?
Yes, there’s a button on the parent unit to instantly access the two-way intercom, which works relatively well although there’s a slight delay once I’ve stopped talking and it’s a little quiet in her room.
The only downside is if the music is playing it’ll stop once you’ve activated it, so you’ll have to go back into the main menu to put the lullaby back on.
Does the Motorola Halo+ HD Smart Video Baby Monitor have a voice-activation function?
Does it have a temperature indicator?
Yes, the temperature gauge on the monitor was spot on. It made my Gro Egg redundant, given the monitor also has a night-light feature on the over-head mount.
What about Motorola Halo+’s data analysis of baby’s sleep – is this helpful?
We didn’t use this, as we would have needed to pay at least £99 to try it out – it comes with the standard £99 and premium £299 plans (there is also a basic plan of £29). However, we used the 7-day free video sleep diary trial, which meant we could capture videos of her but it wouldn’t monitor her movements.
Given that it operates via Wi-Fi, is the Motorola Halo+ HD Smart Video Baby Monitor hack-resistant?
The Halo+ is generally considered a secure piece of kit. It was connected to our home hub, which is password-protected, so this made it feel secure.
Does it operate on mains or battery?
The camera is mains-operated and the parent unit is both mains-operated with a rechargeable battery that will last around seven hours – the monitor will indicate when the battery is close to running out so you won’t get caught short.
What were your favourite features of the Motorola Halo+ HD Smart Video Baby Monitor?
Izzie was mesmerised by the built-in projector and colour-changing night light, which definitely helped her settle more quickly once she was put in her cot – something we’re just getting her used to (she’s currently in a bedside crib). Hopefully, it’ll make the transition to the cot full-time that bit easier and it certainly created a soothing atmosphere.
The Hubble app is also a real bonus as it essentially works like a second parent monitor – great if you’ve left the handheld monitor in another room. I also found that it’s a real win for grandparents, or when my husband’s away, as they can chat to her through the two-way talk feature, read her stories, or simply watch videos of her.
The tracking features on the app are an added bonus and the quality of the video is excellent.
Who would the Motorola Halo+ MBP944 HD Video Monitor be best for?
Whether you’re a tech geek or not, this bells-and-whistles monitor will appeal to many parents as the myriad of features are so simple to use. It’s ideal for parents who don’t have anywhere suitable to mount a conventional desktop camera and want an unimpeded view of their little one.
The Halo+ is also great for parents who want to track their baby’s sleep and development, or those who are tight on space and want to cut down on the extra gizmos. Given it has to be attached to a crib, it might not get much use in the beginning for newborns, unless you’ve got space for a cot in your bedroom, but this camera will see you right through until toddler age.
Is the Motorola Halo+ HD Smart Video Baby Monitor value for money?
On the face of it, the Halo+ seems a lot of money, but when you consider it functions as a sound machine, night light, light-show projector, movement monitor with sleep analysis, temperature monitor and video monitor in one, it saves on buying other popular gadgets like a Ewan the Sheep or Gro Egg, for example.
The only thing to consider is you’ll need a strong broadband signal at home for it to perform at its best and you’ll need to fork out extra if you really want to unlock its full potential when it comes to sleep analysis.
Would you recommend it?
The more I started using it, the more I fell in love with this monitor and it felt hard to go back to a simpler monitor once I had played with all the various features. I’d definitely recommend it if you’ve got the money to spend.
Where can you buy the Motorola Halo+ MBP944 HD Video Monitor?
Its available from John Lewis, Mothercare and Amazon.
When you strip away the unique overhead cot arm, this monitor probably isn’t that different from other, more affordable models on the market, including Motorola’s MBP855 Video Baby Monitor at around £100 less.
But if you want that extra functionality, a super bird’s-eye view of your baby and are happy to pay extra to access the meatier features of the Hubble app, it’s definitely worth considering this feature-packed monitor.