In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Levana Jena Review

Lower priced dedicated monitor that gets the job done
Best Value Award
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Price:   $80 List | $80 at Amazon
Pros:  Long battery life, easy to use, lower price
Cons:  Shorter range, average sound and video
Manufacturer:   Levana
By Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Oct 22, 2018
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62
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 10
  • Range - 30% 6
  • Sound Clarity - 20% 6
  • Video Quality - 20% 5
  • Ease of Use - 15% 7
  • Battery life - 10% 9
  • Features - 5% 4

The Skinny

The Levana Jena is a dedicated baby video monitoring device. It comes with night vision, talk to the baby microphone, sound activation, and digital zoom. It features a nightlight, lullabies, and room temperature sensors. With a below average price the Jena can meet most monitoring needs, but it does lack some nice to have features like sound sensitivity adjustment, remote control camera, and better zoom. The Jena has only average sound and video images compared to the competition making it a poor choice for families hoping to see every detail in baby's room. Despite these shortcomings, we think parents on a budget, who aren't interested in wi-fi cameras, will appreciate what it has to offer for the price.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Levana Jena is a simple device that offers the features most parents are looking for.
The Levana Jena is a simple device that offers the features most parents are looking for.

Performance Comparison


The Levana Jena is a basic dedicated monitor with few features but a nice price.


While this monitor has few features and only average images, for the price there is no competition in the dedicated monitor realm.

The camera on the Jena has a shorter range than most of the competition.
The camera on the Jena has a shorter range than most of the competition.

Range


The Jena range is less than desirable earning it a 6 of 10 for the range. The manufacturer has a range of 500 ft listed and our open field test shows the unit works up to 750 ft with no interference or walls between the nursery and parent unit.


Indoors, the Jena only worked up to about 65 ft on average through four walls of separation. Several other dedicated monitors in our review worked through five walls. If you live in a larger home or have thick walls or appliances that cause interference, then the Jena is not the monitor for you.

The sound on the Jena is average with some distortion and echo and a slight buzzing at some volumes.
The sound on the Jena is average with some distortion and echo and a slight buzzing at some volumes.

Audio / Visual


The Jena sound clarity isn't great with a 6 of 10 result, but only one product earned a higher score, the Philips Avent SCD630 with an 8.


The maximum decibel level of this monitor is 97dB. The sound is bright and hollow with a slight buzz in the background and distortion when it is turned up to max volume. It has sound sensitivity and background noise filtering features that work so-so compared to the competition.

Daytime zoom on the Jena is good enough to see details like eyes open or closed.
The image for the Jena is good enough to see what is happening in the baby's room but the details are hazy and the color is not true to life.

Video quality is also somewhat disappointing with images that are not true to life and could be too fuzzy to work out the details. The Jena earns only 5 of 10 for video quality in our tests.


The picture overall isn't bad, it is somewhat grainy but good enough to see that the baby is crying or moving around. However, even on zoom, you won't be able to see if her eyes are open.

Night vision on the Jena is lacking compared to the day and the edges of the field of view are fuzzy and difficult to make out.
Zooming in on the Jena using night vision results in losing significant detail. While this detail isn't 100% necessary it does mean you can't tell if your little one is awake or asleep if they aren't making noise.

Night time images take another hit with a clearer center but fuzzy edges. However, your baby is unlikely to be around the edges if you set up your camera in a good viewing location, so for the price, we think it is something parents will be able to adjust too.

The Jena has limited buttons which make the face clean but also means you have to toggle through to find the functions you need.
The Jena has limited buttons which make the face clean but also means you have to toggle through to find the functions you need.

Ease of Use


The Jena is not a complex unit earning a 7 of 10 for ease of use. This score is the third highest in the group and shared by several competitors.


The camera and parent device link automatically so it is a quick plug-and-play setup. The pan and tilt for this camera are manual, so you need to be in the room to make a field of view change. The menu is pretty simple, but you do have to click through it to get to what you want instead of having specific buttons for everything.

The parent unit on the Jena comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
The camera on the Jena plus in and will also work with a backup battery making it a good choice if you are worried about monitoring should the electricity go out.

Battery Life


The Jena parent device has a rather long battery runtime which earned it a 9 of 10, the best score for a dedicated video monitor.


This unit has a lithium-ion rechargeable battery with an average operating time of 12.25 hours. The manufacturer lists operating times of 12 hrs in PEEP mode and 8 hrs continuous use.

The side buttons on the Jena have multiple operations which can make them a little harder to operate and keep straight when sleep deprived.
The volume of the Jena is easy to adjust even in a sleep induced haze.

Features


This unit doesn't have as many features as some of the other dedicated monitors earning a 4 of 10 for this metric which is the lowest result in the review. The Jena lacks remote camera capabilities and sound sensitivity adjustment, two useful features some parents may miss and the viewing screen is the smallest in the group.


The Jena does the bare minimum you'll need to get the job of monitoring baby done. While features like humidity level sensors may woo you, we find most parents fail to use the bells and whistles found on higher priced models, and after a few months the monitor is really more of a sound and see device.

The Jena camera is manual operation only so you need to be in the nursery to make adjustments.
The Jena camera is manual operation only so you need to be in the nursery to make adjustments.

This product offers the following:
  • 2-way talk to baby
  • Temperature sensors
  • Nightlight
  • Lullabies
  • Battery operable camera with 3 AAA batteries not included
  • Sound activation
  • Auto-screen wake and sleep
  • 2X digital zoom

Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Levels


The Jena nursery camera has an average EMF reading of 3.74 with the reader 6 ft from the camera. This reading is the highest in the group, but the value will decrease the further you place the camera away from your baby. The distance between the baby and the camera could be a potential issue as the zoom feature isn't great, so it will need to be closer than some of the competition. The EMF reading for the parent unit is 2.93 V/m on average with the reader at 3 ft. We test this unit closer because most parents will place it on their nightstand when they sleep.

Manufacturer Video




Other Versions


Levana makes a variety of video monitors for little ones. The Jena is their most basic model with other models offering remote cameras, larger screens, and additional features. However, our online research and user reviews indicate they aren't as well-received as the Jena.


Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz