February 26, 2013

VSee review

VSee ( www.vsee.com ) has actually been around a while, but I only heard of it recently when introduced to it via LinkedIn member Rich Griffin.

Testing comprised of a call between Rich and me, he on a Verizon LTE connection and me on my laptop at home, with a cable connection and wifi. Secondary testing was my iPad to the same laptop used in the other test. Face Vision camera was used in place of the integrated camera.

Items of note– I was disappointed at first to find out that VSee did not yet have an iPad app. This takes the whole “I want to be mobile” out of the equation. Well, two days after my test, the app was approved in the Apple store. No Android, no iPhone apps yet, but my guess is that these are coming. I was happy they launched the iPad app first (as I don’t have an iPhone).

Ease of Use
VSee is a 21mb download from their website. Before you can download, you must provide a username and password and register. I typically don’t like products that force users to register as it adds a step in the mix. VSee however had something up their sleeve. I’m getting ahead of myself here. Once the product is installed and fired up for the first time, the audio and video setup interface pops up to get everything squared away before a meeting. After that, the interface before a call looks like a messaging/chat service with names of people you know shown (like Skype). All it takes is clicking on a name and calling. Incredibly easy.  The entire product is very easy to use and you don’t have to fumble too much around to initiate a call, share, receive a share or end a call.

Quality of Product
“Wow” about sums it up. In a direct head to head comparison with Zoom.us, VSee was the clear winner. My 45 minute call with Rich was without any noticeable audio to video sync issues on my end. The product had zero hiccups. Video quality is considered “very acceptable” for a laptop to laptop meeting. Audio to video sync can be summed up as exceptional if not close to perfect. The call, especially one of this length, is almost expected to have issues. There were none. Our Zoom call had numerous frozen images and audio cut outs to the point that I almost suggested we switch back to VSee to finish our conversation (until I realized we were comparing products more than having a meeting).

Rich tested the screen share/app share with me. It worked without issue. I did not; however test it from my end. We also tested the file transfer with Rich giving me a file and it was seamless. I did not happen to test it the other way.

Notes regarding the iPad app: When you select “flip camera” (from front facing to rear), it also flips the image so it is reverse to the other endpoint. I can’t think this is anything other than a small glitch. I could also not accomplish screen or file sharing from my laptop to iPad.

Another item of note – I could not figure out a way to adjust the video resolution. I didn’t even see anything that stated what the current resolution was. There is some network information available if you want to see it.

Pricing is available on their website. Currently there are three pricing structures with the first being FREE (that’s always good!). What makes this different from others is that it allows multi point calls at this price structure. The free version only allows for one appshare per day though. Jumping up the $9 per month tier gets unlimited appshares for you and the $49/month gives unlimited app sharing for everyone in the call. The free version suits me just fine, thanks.

Summary – ladies and gentlemen, we have a new winner and this is it. If they straighten out the iPad issues and introduce an iPhone and android app in short order, it’s going to be all most of us will need.

This review is the opinion of Bryan Hellard based on a subjective one-off test. I firmly believe this is the best way to test products as it represents a real world situation where participants may not be on the best of equipment or network.

Thanks for reading,

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great review, Bryan! Screen sharing is coming up on our next iPad release :)