There are high-end security cameras, such as Nest Cam, Canary, and Piper. And there are cameras that don't quite reach high-end status. Fortunately, there are also cameras in the middle. You know, better than average, but not over-the-top. Such is the star or rather stars of today's review: the SpotCam Sense series.
- Free 24-hour Cloud Storage
- Humidity and Temperature Sensors
- Works With IFTTT
- Inconsistent App
- Requires 2.4GHz Wi-Fi Connectivity
- Lacks Smart Motion Detection Features
Hardware & Installation
There are two cameras in the SpotCam Sense lineup.
First is the SpotCam Sense Indoor Camera. While it is an indoor-only camera, it's designed to operate in temperatures between 32℉ and 122℉. It can set on top of tables and shelves, or you can mount it on a wall using the included wall-mount kit. Be sure, however, to keep it close to an outlet as it requires power. You'll also need a computer or smartphone to connect SpotCam Sense to your Wi-Fi router.
The second camera is the SpotCam Sense Pro. Pro is an outdoor camera with an operating temperature of -22℉ to 122℉. It's also weatherproof and waterproof with an IP rating of 65. Like the indoor version, you can place Sense Pro on a flat surface or mount it. It also requires power and a computer or smartphone to connect it to Wi-Fi.
Image & Video Quality
When it comes to image and video quality, Sense and Sense Pro are the same. They both have a maximum resolution of 1080p recording at 30fps, but while live streaming, the resolution may drop depending on your internet speed. They are both wide-angle cameras, with a diagonal viewing angle of 150 degrees. And finally, they are both equipped with 12 high-power Infrared LEDs for night vision.
SpotCam Sense and Sense Pro to Enhance Home Security
SpotCam Sense and Sense Pro's camera specs put them in the same league as high-end cameras. However, there are other things to consider, such as features that enhance home security.
Sense and Sense Pro are both equipped with the same set of sensors. They have motion sensors, sound sensors, humidity sensors, temperature sensors, and illumination sensors.
The humidity, temperature, and illumination sensors are all used as lifestyle sensors, similar to Canary's air quality sensors. For home security, the primary value is in the motion sensor.
SpotCam Sense and Sense Pro can keep an eye on your home and detect motion. If they see something moving, they will notify you via email or push notification. However, take note that the cameras don't include smart detection features such as detection zones. You can schedule when to arm and disarm the motion sensor, and you can potentially enable it to arm and disarm via IFTTT automatically, but without detection zones, SpotCam is prone to false alerts, especially outdoors.
The cameras also include a 100dB built-in siren. The siren sounds whenever the cameras detect motion, but if you want, you can turn this feature off. However, take note that only motion events can trigger the siren. There's no panic button on the app to activate the siren manually nor will it sound when it detects abnormal air quality.
What about your privacy? Both cameras stream and send encrypted videos to a secure cloud. SpotCam uses bank-level encryption.
Aside from their security features, another critical thing to look at is software.
SpotCam uses one smartphone app for all of their cameras. Their app supports iOS and Android mobile devices. They also have a browser app compatible with Internet Explorer 10+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 3+, and Chrome.
Both the smartphone app and browser app enable you to check on your house live, watch recorded clips, and tweak your camera's settings. They also let you speak through your device using two-way audio.
All of these app features are good, but they mean nothing if they don't work. And according to several Google Play Store reviews, the app can be unreliable. Complaints range from constant freezing and crashing to a buggy interface that makes it almost impossible to use the app.
Still, the app is rated 3.4 on the Google Play Store and 4 on iTunes. In reading through the app reviews, I noticed a weird pattern. Several male fashion models, or at least that's what's shown in their profile pictures, left high-rating reviews and positive comments about the app... all on the same day. It could be that around twenty models decided to write positive reviews for SpotCam's app or that SpotCam used fake accounts to boost their app's rating. I guess the latter.
The app may not perform as well as we'd like, but on the plus side, SpotCam offers free cloud storage enabling 24 hours of storage for motion event clips. After 24 hours, clips are automatically deleted. This is better than Nest Cam's offer of 3-hour snapshots for free or even Canary's 24-hour shared cloud storage. However, SpotCam's free storage is no match for Arlo's 7-day free cloud offer. The only catch with Arlo is that you are limited to five cameras under the free plan. With SpotCam, no matter how many cameras you buy, they will each have 24 hours of cloud storage space.
(Want to learn more about cloud service offers from different camera brands? Head over to our Ultimate Cloud Storage Guide for more information.)
Beyond their free cloud storage plan, SpotCam also offers paid subscription plans for those who want more storage space.
|3-Day Cloud Storage||7-Day Cloud Storage||30-Day Cloud Storage|
Pricing, Availability, and Smart Home Compatibility
Aside from working with other SpotCam cameras, Sense and Sense Pro also work with home automation devices and services thanks to an app called IFTTT. IFTTT allows you to create rules by setting a trigger and an action to correspond with every trigger. Using IFTTT, you can make SpotCam Sense and Sense Pro turn on lights, lock doors, or even close smart blinds when motion is detected. You can also make Sense and Sense Pro automatically arm/disarm or turn on/off when certain trigger actions are activated.
A Quick Summary
To summarize, if used as a team, SpotCam Sense and Sense Pro can make your home safer inside and out. They record high-definition videos, offer powerful night vision, have sensors that monitor for intrusion, and they also measure air quality. Though the cameras don't directly integrate with third-party devices, Sense and Sense Pro do work together and with other devices through IFTTT. However, they have a couple of shortcomings. For one, the app reviews appear good, but they're a little fishy. Second, the cameras don't include any smart motion detection features, so it's safe to assume they are more prone to false alarms.