Motorola MBP36 Baby Monitor: The Ultimate Review for Parents

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Why Motorola MBP36 Baby Monitor?

  • Calm and drift your baby to sleep with the 5 preset lullabies or use the push-to-talk, two-way communication function to soothe them with your own voice
  • Monitor multiple rooms or keep an eye on twins sharing the same sleep area with up to four additional cameras that pairs up easily with a single handheld unit

What You Need to Know

Motorola MBP36 remote wireless video baby monitor, sometimes written as MBP36BU or MBP36 B2, isn’t anything close to Infant Optics DRX-8, but its performance is adequate.

Lightweight and simple in design, with a screen roughly the same size as an iPhone, the MBP36 delivers finer details and better display compared to the 2.8-inch MBP33 baby monitor.

For the price, you get a unit that’s easy to carry around, with a kickass stand at the back of the parent unit for propping the monitor on a desk or table.

The Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum technology, founded by the U.S military to combat wireless communication threats, encrypts video and audio signals on a dedicated 2.4GHz frequency for your baby’s safety.

And while I am more than willing to admit that no gadget is 100% secure, the FHSS is less likely prone to hacking.

Plus, it’s free from interference and even helps to keep background noises to a minimum, if not eliminating them entirely.

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Motorola MBP36 Review

Design

motorola mbp36 performance

Since Motorola MBP36 baby monitor is not internet-enabled, it’s free from possible online threats and there is no Wi-Fi configuration needed.

The parent unit and the camera come preregistered, ready to use out of the box. You can mount the camera on a wall, although the screws for mounting the unit are not included in the box. Or, you can just stand it on a dresser, a distant from the nursery.

The remote pan, tilt, and zoom function, which in my opinion is Motorola’s strongest selling point, makes it easy for parents to adjust the unit in the nursery accordingly. And if the camera is mounted properly, it should be easy to view the entire crib with ease.

Further, the handheld unit has eight volume and sound control, which are quite appropriate for controlling the level of brightness and sound of the monitor – especially in the evening or at night.

With an option to connect up to four additional cameras, and monitor them all at the same time on a split screen, Motorola MBP36 is a deal good enough for monitoring multiple rooms or keeping an eye on twins who share the same room.

Performance

Motorola MBP36 doesn’t monitor movement like the Snuza Hero and the Snuza Go, but it has a commendable temperature sensor with visual indicators that warn you if the temperature falls below 57 degrees or goes above 84.

Many parents don’t take advantage of the AV output port, but it’s a handy feature that lets you connect the monitor to your TV and watch your baby on a much larger screen.

To activate this feature, turn the parent unit on and select the camera before plugging in. Unfortunately, the fact that you cannot activate controls of the handheld unit after connecting the unit to your TV renders the feature rather less useful.

Then there is the sleep mode, which disables the unit when the baby is sleeping and then automatically turns it back on when your little one makes a sound.

Range

For most people, and especially those who live in small houses, the effective operation range of this monitor should be sufficient.

The audio and video signals, transmitted via a secure 2.4GHz frequency communication link, can travel up to 650 feet in range before cutting out.

In my point of view, the 650 feet coverage is fairly decent range. So this monitor qualifies to appear on our list of the best long range baby monitors. on top of which you get an audible alert if you go beyond the set zone.

Audio

The audio quality and sound clarity of this unit are two things I do appreciate. It’s easy to hear every small noise and every single whimper coming from the nursery.

You’ll need to use the volume settings to lower the sound to a minimum if you are a light sleeper, so you don’t end up waking to false alarms.

In fact, the lower the volume settings the better, because it lets you hear only the sound of your baby when you cry.

With 6 level sound indicators, located right at the top of the monitoring unit, Motorola MBP36 makes a great baby monitor for deaf parents.

The indicators light up depending on the noise levels in a child’s room, remaining green when the baby is calm or playing and switching to red every time they cry.

The Display Unit

motorola mbp36 display

The video quality of this unit is not up to par compared to DBPOWER Record Monitor or the Cocoon Cam Plus, but it’s not disappointing either.

At least, you get clear images on the 3.5-inch LCD display, accompanied by clear sound from the nursery.

Unfortunately, the display itself has a flaw that the company is yet to address, or reluctant to.

Unless you leave the parent unit plugged into a power source, the video screen will automatically shut off after two minutes.

And since there is no configuration option to leave it on while running on battery, you will have to constantly press the video button repeatedly.

Battery Life

Perhaps the biggest problem with this baby monitor is with the rechargeable battery. While Motorola states that it runs for 3.5 hours on a single charge, different video and audio tests show that the battery doesn’t quite hold charge for long.

On average, you get around 1 hour 20 minutes of video feed, which is an equivalent of almost 2 hours of audio alone, before the battery runs out.

The display does not show the battery level with the video off, so it’s hard to tell when the unit will go off. And you do not get a warning when the battery is about to die.

Despite this issue, I love the fact that it is possible to replace the battery, especially if you have a feeling that it could be the problem. You can click here to get a replaceable battery for the unit.

When it comes to charging the whole unit, here is what you need to know:

The camera that you put in the baby’s room requires its own dedicated charger. The same applies to the handheld display unit.

This is quite a big problem, particularly because it is hard to tell which power adapter suits either of the devices. But you can try this power adapter or even this one here to see which one might work for any of your devices, in the event that you need a replacement.

The Parent Unit

As someone who loves simple, easy-to-use devices, I’d say the parent unit has been designed quite well. It’s lightweight, weighing just 5.88 ounces, so it is easy to bring it with you wherever you go, but keep the effective operation range in mind.

Plus, there’s a kickstand at the park, which you can use to prop the unit on a desk if you don’t move around often.

There are four directional buttons on the left side of this handheld unit. Use them to control, pan, and tilt the camera in the nursery.

On the right side of the device are four additional buttons for the general menu, two-way communication, video control, and an OK.

Besides displaying images of your little one in real time, the parent unit also lets you see battery levels, signal strength, number of cameras connected, as well as the level of temperature in the baby’s room.

Talk Back Communication

The push-to-talk two-way communication is a particularly impressive feature, because nothing could be more fulfilling like talking to your baby as though you were right there beside them.

And if you love to sooth children with your own voice, just as I do, this should be a feature to use quite often.

The built-in lullaby, with five preset songs, is a great addition, but it hasn’t been well implemented quite yet.

Although it provides a good way to soothe your baby, the volume on the child unit is low. And Motorola hasn’t done anything about this for months. So, this won’t actually work well, unless you bring the camera close to the nursery.

Night Vision

If the night vision weren’t included in this digital baby monitor, I bet it wouldn’t be possible to see your baby’s room at night.

In fact, this feature lets you watch them sleep and dream peacefully, the same way it lets you see them whine and cry.

But that’s not the end of story.

What you see on the LCD screen are images in black and white color, which, in all cases, is exactly how night vision is designed to work.

While the quality of the images isn’t good enough, it doesn’t disappoint either. Placing the camera close to the crib will give you a very clear view at night.

However, the further you move the camera from the nursery the less clear the images displayed on the handheld unit get.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is MBP36BU the same as MBP36?

Yes, the terms MB36BU and MBP36 B2 all mean the same thing. In other words, they are names for one baby monitor model from Motorola, the MBP36.

2. How do I leave the screen on if the parent unit is unplugged and the baby isn’t crying?

Unfortunately, the screen only stays on when it is plugged in. If unplugged, the display will automatically turn off after three minutes. The only thing that stays on, whether plugged in or running on a rechargeable battery, is the audio.

If you are worried that you might miss what’s going on in your baby’s room, you can only do two things:

The first option is to keep the parent unit plugged in, assuming you do not move around a lot. That way, you can see your baby the whole time.

The second option would be to turn up the volume more, especially if you move in and around the house a lot. You wouldn’t really miss any sound coming from the crib, which includes your baby’s first cry.

3. Can I buy an extra parent unit?

You cannot buy an extra handheld parent unit, because Motorola makes it hard to do that.

As far as I know, every parent unit of this model is preregistered to a camera, and it seems that the company isn’t planning to sell separate units anytime soon.

The only replacement parts that you can buy are the rechargeable battery and a power adapter. But you still have to test these determine if they would work fine for the unit you have at home.

You can also buy additional camera if you would like to have more than one in your baby’s room.

4. Does this baby monitor beep?

While Motorola MBP36 video baby monitor has an out of range warning, it does not have a low battery alert. As such, it’s hard to know if the battery is about to die unless you check manually.

5. Does Motorola MBP36 have a mobile app?

It is important to understand that the MBP36 is not a Wi-Fi baby monitor. Traditional monitors cannot connect to the Internet.

And since this is one of them, there is no mobile app required. It is designed to work straight out of the box, with minimal configuration.

Also, there is a user manual for this unit. You can download it from here.

 

Pros

  • You get clear night vision if you place the camera close to the nursery
  • You can control the camera in the baby’s room remotely
  • The temperature monitor is a commendable feature

 

Cons

  • The parent unit must be plugged in to show continuous video feed
  • The battery life is exceedingly poor, you will need to keep recharging it every now and then