Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
More so than any other we reviewed, the Motorola MBP35 Digital & Audio Baby Monitor seamlessly integrates innovative design with high-tech qualities. However, the handy features and eminent brand name just aren't enough to make it a top contender among baby video monitors.
Since the monitor is manufactured by Motorola, we weren't surprised that it comes equipped with a highly sensitive microphone that delivers crystal-clear sound. One feature that far exceeded our expectations was the two-way communication; the receiver unit is also outfitted with a microphone so you can speak directly to your baby without entering the room. A word to the wise, though: the speaker on the monitor's camera unit is startlingly loud, so talk softly! Also not surprising was the high picture quality. At an unmatched 3.5 inches, the Motorola video baby monitors boast the largest LCD screen we came across and offer a great picture with just a slight delay in transmission. The night vision is equally as clear and transmits a sharp image in very low light.
Aside from the video features, it is relatively low on additional features; for the steep cost, we expected to find more valuable features such as sound-activated lights, more flexible camera swivel and audio-only. We're also disappointed the camera doesn't have any pan or zoom capabilities (something other users also complained about emphatically). What the monitor does have are a handful of non-essential features including a temperature gauge (which we noticed was consistently off by a few degrees) and a lullaby player. It’s easy to see why the Motorola video baby monitors ranked low among the other products reviewed.
There's also quite a bit about the Motorola video baby monitors that seem counterintuitive. For instance, there is no volume adjustment for the talk-back on the camera speaker (hence the aforementioned warning) and there's no mute button. Again, the power-saving mode will turn off the audio and video but sensitivity cannot be adjusted and VOX mode will trigger for faint sounds (like a slight cough or sneeze). So you're likely to keep the volume on the lowest setting just to keep from hearing a constant white-noise hiss.
Motorola video baby monitors also have limited portability since only the receiver unit includes rechargeable batteries; the camera unit requires three AA batteries (which drain extremely fast) or must be connected to a main power source through the included AC adapter. Lastly, although the monitor has 64 channels, we were disappointed it still had irritating intermittent interference with Wi-Fi networks.
While we happen to like the Motorola video baby monitor's design, it is admittedly a bit unconventional, quirky and certainly not right for everyone. Plus, the shape of the camera (resembling a dog, perhaps?) hinders wall-mount capability and the entire system feels a bit cheap and plastic. We also would have liked to see a more comfortable and user-friendly receiver unit; compared to other monitors, the receiver unit was awkward and cumbersome to hold and we noticed buttons could easily be accidently pressed as a result.
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The Motorola MBP35 Digital & Audio Baby Monitor unquestionably offers some great features and capabilities, the most notable being the screen's impressive picture quality. Nevertheless, as far as infant video monitors go, we aren't entirely convinced this one is worth the money.