HAVIT produces some excellent affordable hardware, like the KB396L so I was pleasantly surprised by a $9 webcam from the company when my Logitech C920 finally decided to start crashing the PC. Unfortunately, the HAVIT N5086 wasn't worth the money.
Costs about $14Bottom line: It's cheap for a reason. The N5086 is a webcam you'll buy as last resort.
- Easy to set up.
- Works without issue.
- Awful picture quality.
- Terrible sound capture.
- Poor build quality.
What you will like about HAVIT N5086
The price. At just $14, it's a seriously cheap webcam and one that comes from a reputable brand, which has a catalog of quality accessories and peripherals. Unfortunately, it seems that HAVIT's affordable but quality approach wasn't used with this webcam. It's a simple webcam, though, which means you can plug it in and get started immediately.
There's no faffing around with drivers or required software, nor does it take long to unpack everything. Speaking of which, one area where the N5086 is great is the packaging. Companies have come a long way with tech packaging over the last decade and even lesser known parties get it right.
What you'll despise about HAVIT N5086
While there are a few things to like about this webcam, there's a whole lot more to be unimpressed about. The microphone isn't great on the N5086, but this shouldn't come as a surprise as most webcam microphones are terrible, compared to headsets and dedicated microphones. Where the more serious problems lie is with the actual picture quality.
It's not bad, but terrible. This is simply unacceptable in a webcam, which sole purpose is to record visual data and send it to the PC. On a meeting call or chatting with friends, you'll find that the quality is worse than what your smartphone can produce. You won't want to use this anywhere near your video game stream either.
Issues with the picture quality aside, the webcam is clearly just a more affordable, cheaply made version of the Logitech C920. It looks a little different but shares a similar design. It's a shame as from the front, the N5086 looks like a webcam that costs just as much as the Logitech accessory it tries so desperately to imitate.
Overall, it's just not a pleasant experience, regardless of the price. And you should never payout to be dissatisfied.
Should you buy the HAVIT N5086 webcam?
I would try to look elsewhere, even at $14. I simply cannot justify the cost for what you get. Not everyone has encountered the picture quality issue that I have with this unit, in particular, which would make it a dud, but overall it's just not what I expect from HAVIT.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.