We all want to keep our belongings and loved ones safe, and IP Cams are a great way to do just that. There are plenty of available options out there, many of which feature some sort of paid backup. SpotCam would definitely like you to purchase their cloud backup packages, though they’re also one of the few who provide at least some free online backup. One of their newest cameras, the SpotCam Sense Pro, is available now. Keep reading to see how it performs in this full review.
- Bracket: Ф7.5cm(2.95″)
- Body: Ф 5.4cm(2.13″) × 14.8cm(5.83″)
- Weight: 265g(9.34oz)
- Power Input: 12V1A
- Video: Up to 1080P FHD(1920×1080) at 30 frame/sec
- Streaming: H.264 encoding
- Field of View: 155 degrees (diagonal)
- Audio: Speaker and microphone
- Night Vision: 12 High-power IR LEDs
- Internal Storage Space: 500 MB
- Protection level: IP65
- Warranty: One-year parts
- Operating Temperature: -30°C – 50°C, designed for indoor/outdoor use
- Humidity sensors
- Temperature sensors
- Illumination sensors
- Built-in alert siren
- Watch real-time video anytime anywhere
- Motion and audio event detection
- Receive event alert by email or mobile APP
- Share live video or snapshot with other people
What’s in the Box
- SpotCam Sense Pro
- Wall mounting kit
- 3m (10 ft) power cable
- 12V1A power adapter
- Quick Start Guide
The SpotCam Sense Pro is cylindrical in design, and is approximately 5 3/4” tall and just over two inches in diameter, with the vast majority of the height taken up by the body of the camera. Just underneath the main cylinder is a hinge that allows the camera to tilt forward or backward, and then the base. The base has a rubber foot to keep the camera from scooting around too much, as well as a plastic cover that can be used to mount the camera to a wall.
The front of the camera includes the camera lens, which is surrounded by twelve high power IR LEDs which allow for night vision. Just below the large circular camera apparatus is a narrow oval inset that includes the status LED near the top with a hole near the middle for the microphone. Just below that is the Sense model name, and just below that is the SpotCam name mark.
The back of the camera includes a small star-shaped speaker grille near the top. Just above the base you’ll see the AC input as well as the wifi mode switch, AP mode is used during the setup process, client mode is used for normal operation.
The entire camera has a soft touch plastic exterior, and has a bit of weight to it. This is definitely a solidly built camera that also looks nice.
Ease of Use
Setup for your new SpotCam Sense Pro is relatively straightforward, and can be done via your PC/Mac, or your Android or iOS phone or tablet. You can see a step-by-step instructional video below explaining setup for all types of devices.
A few things to keep in mind during the setup process, your camera will need to be in AP (Access Point) mode during initial setup on mobile, and then switched to Client mode in order to transmit video. You’ll also want to be sure if you’re connecting to the SpotCam access point via mobile that you ensure your phone is actually connected to the WiFi. You may have a WiFi notification that requires an additional setup step in order to connect. You’ll also need to ensure that the camera is able to connect to a 2.4GHz wireless network. If you’ve only got a 5GHz network or a combined SSID for both your 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands the camera will not work.
After setup, using your SpotCam is as easy as opening the app, or logging on to the web portal, which I’ll discuss more in the next few sections.
The SpotCam app is available for Android and iOS, and provides an easy way to watch your camera from wherever you are. You’ll create an account and tie your camera to that account during the setup process, but you can then add more cameras, view your existing cameras, or search for and view other cameras that users have made publicly available. Your own cameras are private by default.
The app is nice, though the online portal at myspotcam.com is a great way to keep an eye on your camera from your computer, tablet, phone, or really wherever you are. Simply log in with your SpotCam account, and you can view any cameras tied to your account, or any public cameras that you might be following.
Both the app and the web portal have recently added a new Visual Search feature, which allows you to more quickly and easily find items in your archived footage. You’ll start by selecting a day, at which point you’ll see 24 snapshots, one for each hour of the day. Once you narrow it down by hour, you’ll see 60 snapshots, one for each minute in that hour. From there it should be a lot easier to find what you’re looking for, as you’d think that whatever you’re searching for would likely overlap at least one minute that has been recorded.
The app also lets you pinch to zoom and pan slightly to areas that are already in the viewing frame of the camera. The camera also has several environmental sensors on board, and the app will show you the “Vitals” where your camera is located. You’ll be able to see a graph for the temperature, humidity, overall light, overall volume, and overall activity.
From the app or web portal you’re able to watch and listen, as you’d expect, but you can also talk via the speaker on the camera. You can also take screenshots or record short video clips to save any available recorded footage. SpotCam is also compatible with IFTTT, so any recipes you can create can be used with SpotCam.
SpotCam, as with most other IP camera manufacturers, would love to sell you some of their cloud hosting to keep your footage backed up. Unlike most other IP camera manufacturers, however, SpotCam will give you 24 hours of backup for free. This means you’ll have a rolling day’s worth of footage to review, which should be enough for most people. Chances are good if something happens that you’ll need to review, you’re going to do it within 24 hours. If you need more time, other packages are available in 3-day, 7-day, or 30-day chunks for an additional charge. If nothing else, you can start with the free 24 hour backup, and if you feel that you need more, options are available.
The Sense Pro shoots in 1080P, and includes night vision to further expand its usefulness. The video from the camera comes through very clear, though the night vision kicks in a bit more easily than I may have expected. Your room will need to be very light in order to have the “normal” camera operation, and as soon as it begins to get even slightly overcast/dark, the night vision LEDs kick into effect. Audio comes through mostly clear, though the mic isn’t quite as robust as the camera (really wasn’t expecting it to be, honestly). You can hear what’s going on via the app or web portal, and you can talk back providing you’ve got a mic (or are using your phone) using the on-board speaker. Scare the heck out of your dog, say hello to your wife who is home on her lunch break, let potential robbers know that they’re on camera, the speaker will be your friend in those and many other instances.
The app and web portal work effectively allowing you to monitor your camera. You can save screenshots or video clips, and searching is quite a lot easier now with the Visual Search that was recently added.
The SpotCam Sense Pro can be used both indoors and outdoors, though in my testing it was only used indoors.
The SpotCam Sense Pro is available for $180 USD on Amazon, and for the price you’re getting a relatively compact indoor/outdoor camera with 1080p video and night vision. Add in free 24hr online backup (with longer backup available at an additional cost) and you’ve got a pretty nice package.
If you want to keep an eye on your belongings, pets, etc. and are looking for an IP camera, the SpotCam Sense Pro should be on your list. The quality camera, good features, and free basic online backup give you a good product for the price.
*We were sent a review sample of the SpotCam Sense Pro for the purposes of this review.
SpotCam Sense Pro$180 USD
- Quality video from the 1080P sensor
- Good night vision with 12 LEDs
- Free 1-day cloud storage is great
- App and web portal make for easy viewing of your camera
- Indoor or outdoor camera
- Night vision kicks in pretty early if the room is even slightly dark
- Won't connect to a 5GHz or combined wireless network