A smart camera is a useful device for protecting an apartment, office, or country house. Small, feature-rich devices prevent unauthorized entry and provide safety.
Modern video cameras are equipped with a set of additional sensors and can replace a complex security system for professional monitoring
In our selection, we have collected the best smart cameras for maximum control day and night.
What to look for when choosing a smart camera
A clear definition of the task will help you to select the right gadget
Three main criteria:
- Place of installation. Cameras intended for outdoor installations should have a sealed case. In addition, consider the vandal-resistant version.
- The higher it is, the more distance you can identify the face and see fine details.
- Focal length. The viewing angle depends on it. The lower the value is, the wider the viewing angle is.
In addition, pay attention to the night mode, motion sensors, connection type (wired or wireless), microphone and speaker, matrix type, recording speed, the possibility of integration with other systems.
Think about features that you need for your best smart home camera, your budget, whether you want to plug in the camera or change the battery, and any additional costs you might have (such as a subscription plan). Moreover, the camera app is just as important as the camera itself. If the app is difficult to use, slow or laggy, you probably won’t be satisfied with the device as you will have problems using its features.
Top 7 smart cameras of 2020
Modern video surveillance tools allow you to organize unobtrusive and effective control in the office or at home, as well as to save a pretty sum of money on the protection of various objects and their lighting at night. Read about the best camera systems for outdoor and indoor use in our rating.
Best overall value. Wyze Cam Pan
This fun looking Wi-Fi camera can scan a room in three seconds.
If you do not want to scan the entire room, you can configure the Pan Scan function and the device will scan only the selected area
The device tracks movements very easily while paying attention to children and pets. Now you don’t have to guess who broke the lamp. Another argument for choosing this gadget is its nice price — Wyze Cam Pan costs less than $30.
Despite its bargain price, the best cheap smart camera Wyze Cam Pan provides you with many features including mechanical pan and tilt, motion tracking, local and free cloud storage, and slow-motion recording.
- affordable price,
- 360-degree view angle,
- smart tracking of movements,
- night vision that allows seeing up to 30 feet in absolute darkness using 6 infrared (IR) LEDs,
- works with Alexa and Google Assistant,
- free 14-day cloud storage.
Best Google Assistant camera. Nest Cam IQ Indoor
Smart indoor camera Nest Cam IQ can track movement around the room and alert you with phone notifications.In addition, the device has a built-in Google Assistant, which helps with camera control, answers questions, and controls smart home devices
The wide-angle lens (130-degree view angle) allows you to position the camera so that maximum space falls into view. Thanks to the IR filter, the device sees even in the dark, in this mode the maximum viewing range is six meters. A built-in hinge mechanism provides precise adjustment of the viewing angle. The camera is equipped with a system of three microphones, due to which it can record and transmit sound, cutting off unnecessary noise. This function not only makes the smart home camera Nest Cam IQ useful for the protection against intruders but also turns the camera into a gadget that allows you to look after children remotely.
Nest Cam IQ outdoor advantages:
- excellent video quality day and night,
- easy installation and operation,
- a wide-angle lens that gives a good angle of view,
- possible audio recording, intercom function,
- good integration with other Nest devices.
Best Siri-enabled camera. Logitech Circle 2
This gadget is suitable for indoor and outdoor installation. It runs together with the Logi Circle mobile app. There are two versions: wired and wire-free, designed for wired and wireless connections, respectively. The Circle 2 Window Mount allows to mount the camera on the window, it’s important for an outdoor camera to monitor what is happening outside the home. The Circle 2 Plug Mount allows you to mount the device anywhere in your home with a power outlet.
Circle 2 camera is capable of broadcasting in 1080p format, including at night. It has a 180-degree view angle, provides two-way voice communication. When buying a camera, the user simultaneously gets disk space in the cloud storage, sufficient to store 24 hours of video recording.
Logitech has also installed Alexa support for Circle 2. Each camera has a built-in HomeKit chip, so it will work with Apple system too.
Important! HomeKit does not support battery-powered cameras, so Circle 2 will only work with it when connected to an AC adapter
Best outdoor security camera. Arlo Pro 3
This gadget has won the CES 2020 Design Innovation Award. Best outdoor smart camera Arlo Pro 3 records video in 2K resolution with high dynamic range and broadcasts it in real time to a smartphone. You can zoom the resulting videos to see the details. The camera has a waterproof body, a viewing angle of 160 degrees, and equipped with a color night vision function with an ability to work in common black and white mode.
The device is also equipped with a microphone and speaker for two-way communication, a floodlight, and a motion sensor
Equipped with an emergency siren that is activated by a motion sensor or remotely from a smartphone. The captured video is stored in the cloud storage for 30 days.
Arlo Pro 3 also integrates with the rest of your smart home. It supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, and you can use it with HomeKit. In addition, the previous Arlo Pro or Arlo Pro 2 is an excellent camera for SmartThings system. The integration of this system with Arlo Pro 3 is still being completed.
Best budget outdoor home security camera. Blink Outdoor
Blink, one of the companies owned by Amazon, has recently offered new Blink Outdoor CCTV. The device is made in an angular design and is capable of recording videos in Full HD resolution. The camera is equipped with infrared lighting for shooting in the dark, motion detection sensors, and support for two-way audio communication. Using the Blink Home Monitor app, users can view videos from their cameras and talk to people at home. One of the main features of the new camera is battery life, up to two years from two AA lithium batteries. The device works with Alexa.
In addition, you can choose storage for video recordings. The cameras come with free access to cloud storage until the end of the year, which can be renewed for $ 3 per month for a single device, or $ 10 for unlimited cameras on the same site. Recordings can be stored locally, as well. Outdoor smart camera Blink is designed so that you can set up your video surveillance system in minutes. No wires, special professional skills are required for installation.
Great performance at a very affordable price. TP-Link Kasa Cam KC120
TP-Link Kasa Cam Smart Home Security KC120 is a smart IP camera for indoor video surveillance day and night with a wired connection and FullHD resolution. It has small and can be fixed to any flat surface.
Features and benefits:
- High quality streaming video. The built-in wide-angle lens not only provides high-quality video recording but also delivers video broadcast in 1920 x 1080p resolution.
- Night vision. Even in complete darkness, the camera allows you to see what is happening in the room, covering the available area within a radius of 10 meters. This is convenient because you can check at any time whether the child is sleeping or who is making noise in the kitchen.
- The motion and sound sensor instantly sends a notification to the phone when noise or activity is detected, and the camera at this moment records a short video.
- Four zones of movement. While using a special mobile application for setting up a security camera, you can select the main motion areas that will receive increased attention. Thus, you can identify the most vulnerable places in the house.
- 48 hours of video history. The camera records video and stores videos for the last 2 days in the cloud. You can record specific clips yourself, save them on the server, and share them online.
- Voice control. Indoor camera Kasa Cam works with Amazon Alexa (Echo Show or Fire TV required) and Google Assistant (Chromecast). Due to this, using voice commands, you can, for example, start or stop a live broadcast.
Best Apple HomeKit integration. EufyCam 2 Pro
Anker, which manufactures smart devices under the Eufy brand, released an updated version of its famous best indoor camera Eufy Cam 2 this summer, but with a Pro prefix. The camera acquired 2K resolution, the ability to work offline for up to 365 days, and local video storage. The camera provides reliable protection for your home, allowing you to remotely monitor it even at night, thanks to the night vision mode.
The camera is compatible with the “big three” voice assistants: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit. Integration into Apple HomeKit is a guarantee of reliability and security as it is one of the most positively proven ecosystems in the field of the smart home.
With the help of the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, users will be able to view the picture from the camera from anywhere using voice commands
EufyCam 2 Pro uses local storage located in the base station, which negates the need to pay for cloud services. This feature is not available in many home security systems and it always sets eufyCam cameras apart from the rest. Long-term operation is achieved due to the built-in battery, which ensures the operation of the camera for 1 year in active use mode or for 3 years in standby mode. It also features 8x digital zoom, motion detection with adjustable sensitivity, and IP67 water resistance.
Smart camera purchase costs
|Wyze Cam Pan||$29.99||14-day free, then from $1.99 monthly|
|Nest Cam IQ Indoor||$299.99||30 days of cloud storage costs $6 a month or $60 a year|
|Logitech Circle 2||$180||From $3.99 for a single camera|
|Arlo Pro 3||$199.99||From $2.99 monthly|
|Blink Outdoor||$99.99||A year free, then $3 monthly|
|TP-Link Kasa Cam KC120||$60||$7 a month or $70 per year per camera for 30GB and 30 days of history|
|EufyCam 2 Pro||$324.99||$3 to $10 per month|
While choosing the best smart home cameras, be it outdoor or indoor, for SmartThings or Apple HomeKit, consider the functional tasks and areas of application of the device in order to achieve the desired result and not overpay for options that are not required later.