- Decent image and video quality
- Powerful night vision
- Motion alerts with 5 still images
- Lacks audio
- Lacks cloud recording
- Doesn't record motion events automatically
What security camera can a hundred bucks get you? A mid-tier battery-powered indoor camera? A spy cam hidden inside a phone charger? How about not just one, but four weatherproof indoor/outdoor cameras? Yup, for practically $25 a piece, you can get the Zmodo Smart Wireless Indoor/Outdoor security camera. But before you snag one, or rather four of them, there are a few catches you need to be aware of.
Full disclosure: I don't own a Zmodo Smart Wireless Indoor/Outdoor camera, and I don't intend to get one. This review is purely based on the information provided by Zmodo and user reviews via online retailers such as Amazon as well as our experience in testing dozens of other home security cameras.
Zmodo Smart Wireless Indoor/Outdoor Hardware & Installation
One of the things users usually praise about the Zmodo Smart Wireless kit is its construction. According to them, it looks solid, and it's pretty tough. As an indoor/outdoor camera, it's designed to withstand harsh weather conditions. It is both water and dustproof with an IP65 rating. Zmodo claims that it will work in rainy or snowy conditions. Take note that the camera requires power from an outlet, so you'll have to consider that when choosing a location.
On the other hand, many users disagree with Zmodo's claim that the camera is easy to setup. This is mainly due to Wi-Fi issues. In Zmodo's defense, the description states that the camera will only work with a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connection using WPA or WPA2 encryption types.
Image & Video Quality
Zmodo Smart Wireless' image quality is another favorite feature among users. Although it has a narrow viewing angle of 81 degrees, the camera captures images in 720p HD. Though not FHD, the quality is sufficient for a camera that cost more than half the cost of other HD cameras. In fact, Zmodo's image quality is often described by users as "surprisingly good for its price."
In addition to HD video, Zmodo claims that the camera can see up to 80 feet away using night vision backed by automatic IR LEDs. Night vision is also adjustable. If you place the camera where lighting conditions are unstable (i.e. it gets bright and dark multiple times of the day), you can lower the sensitivity of the IR LEDs to improve night vision performance.
Features That Enhance Home Security
Unlike more expensive cameras that have an exhaustive list of security and automation features, Zmodo only has one: motion detection. The motion detection feature is slightly improved by motion zones, the ability to create virtual zones around areas you want to monitor. When motion occurs within a motion zone, you'll be notified, but if it's outside the motion zone, the camera won't bother. Motion zones are particularly helpful when monitoring outdoor spaces. That said, while reading through Amazon user reviews, I found a potential downside: Zmodo's motion sensor is not so good at detecting motion, often failing to detect relevant events.
Zmodo Smart Wireless also lacks audio (two-way voice) and sound detection. Although it is equipped with a microphone and speakers, both features are yet to be activated.
On the bright side, Zmodo does more than send push notifications. If it detects motion, it will send you an alert to your smartphone, including five still images of the event. Will it record video? It should, but it can't. Zmodo's cloud storage offer isn't ready yet. If you're quick, you can record a video of events, but you'll have to trigger a recording manually. If you receive a notification, launch the app, go to live view, and press record. The resulting video will be stored on your mobile device.
Another pro for Zmodo is how it protects your privacy. It uses AES 256-bit encryption and Transport Layer Security (TLS) for all images and videos making it difficult for hackers to access your info.
Zmodo Software Behavior
Zmodo is accessible through an Android and iOS app. The app itself is sometimes a hit, sometimes a miss. Some users like it for its simplicity, others find it inconsistent. Zmodo is well aware of their app's shortcomings, and they are working on improvement.
Despite being advertised as a camera that can store videos in the cloud, Zmodo doesn't offer cloud service. In fact, the camera offers very little in the way of storage. It doesn't work with third-party recording services, DVRS, or NVRs. You can store photos and videos on your phone manually via the app, but you'll have to hit the Record or Take Photo button manually to make that happen.
Pricing and Working With Others
Zmodo Smart Wireless Indoor/Outdoor Camera works with other Zmodo cameras via the app. You can add as many Zmodo cameras as you want to your account and access them all via the smartphone app. Unfortunately, Zmodo cameras don't work with other smart home brands or services.
A set of 4 Zmodo Smart Wireless Indoor/Outdoor cameras sells for $99.99 on Amazon.
Are the Reviews Real
One of the reasons why we are not buying a Zmodo Smart Wireless Kit for testing is that it appears that the reviews are inflated. It's not easy to take the #1 spot on Amazon, and we know for a fact that Zmodo offers incentives in exchange for reviews. One of our testers purchased a Zmodo Smart Doorbell and she was offered a free security camera in exchange for her praise. But that's not too uncommon. What is uncommon is for a company to promote fake reviews, and it appears that not all Zmodo's Amazon reviews are real. Currently, this camera holds a C rating from Fakespot indicating that almost 25% of the reviews are low quality.