The Motorola MBP41 baby monitor is one of the company's best monitors ever made. It offers remote pan, tilt, and zoom, plus night vision and 2-way communication. It isn't the only video baby monitor to offer those features, but it is one of very few to offer them while coming in under $200.
Baby Monitor Features
The MBP41 comes with a camera unit, a handheld parent unit and AC adapters.
The parent unit can be used while it is plugged in to charge, and it can be carried as a cordless unit around the house after charging.
The camera has a secure digital signal, 2x zoom, infrared night vision, and it can turn side to side and up and down. The high-sensitivity microphone is made to catch all of baby's sounds, down to the littlest sigh, without any annoying background noise.
The parent unit measures 4" x 3" x .75" and has a fold out antenna and a flip stand on the back so it can be propped upright for easy viewing. The screen measures 2" x 1.75" (or 2.8" diagonal). The pant and tilt buttons are to the left of the screen. A menu button and controls for the video feed and microphone are to the right, and there's a power button up top.
Motorola MBP41 Review
Overall, this is an excellent video baby monitor, particularly at less than $200. The video picture is relatively clear, and the night vision is excellent compared to other monitors with that feature.
A photo is included here of the night vision feature being used in the house where this monitor was tested. It was tested in a bathroom that has no windows or light sources once the main lights are turned off. The room was completely dark You can see that the night vision function still allows you to easily check out what's happening, no matter how dark it is in the room.
The setup for this video system is easy. No complicated pairing routine is needed. For the base unit and parent unit, you just need to charge up the batteries and scroll through the initial menu. You can add up to three more cameras, though, which are sold separately. Then you can watch the various video feeds from the same parent unit. Adding the extra cameras is also easy, thanks to the menu selections, and the on-screen menu that switches between views is also intuitive.
The main controls are buttons on the sides of the handheld unit. In a world where everything seems to be touch screen, the actual buttons seem a little strange on such a high-tech monitor, but they're simple enough to use. Frankly, the physical buttons make it easier to change the volume or click between camera feeds while still half asleep! The handheld unit is smooth and easy to hold in one hand.
The zoom feature works fine (just two settings, 1x and 2x), but you have to navigate through a menu to get to that feature. That isn't a deal-breaker by any means since MBP41 has so many other nice things to offer, but it's a minor annoyance. Another minor gripe is the lack of a belt clip on the parent unit. You can stick the whole thing in your pocket, but a clip would be a better option.
The sound quality is excellent, and the range is very good, as well. With the test camera unit inside the house, a walk outside, more than 400 feet from the house, still allowed parents to see and hear what was going on in the nursery. The range depends on what's between the camera and the parent unit, though, so if your house has thick walls or other signal-blocking materials, you may not get the same result.
The video and night vision quality and the ability to add 3 more cameras are the best features of this baby monitor. Another video monitor with similar quality and slightly higher price is the Summer Infant Baby Touch Wifi monitor, which also can be connected to your smartphone or tablet for remote viewing and has a larger 3.5" screen. However, the Baby Touch can only handle two cameras total and the range isn't quite as good.
The MBP41 is an older model in Motorola's video baby monitor lineup. In fact, it isn't listed in their current group of video monitors. However, it is still available in stores and online, and is a worthy choice if you come across one.