Table of Contents:
- Best Motion Spy Camera Reviews
- Motion Spy Camera Buyer’s Guide
- Are Hidden Cameras Illegal?
- Final Word – Best Motion Spy Cameras
The advancement of motion spy camera technology has given us a way to carefully protect what we love the most. Innovative, new devices have become the way of the future, allowing us to be more connected and safe. Spy cameras give us that monitoring advantage over our valuables and homes, so we know exactly what’s going on at all times. That peace of mind is important, especially when we have children who need supervision or amazing pets that need our care and attention.
There are a few things that you should look for in any hidden camera. Not only will these traits give you the most value, but the biggest feature that we look for is connectivity. You want to be able to see through your camera’s lense whenever you need access.
With that in mind, we compared the top spy cameras for 2021 and included a buyer’s guide to elaborate on those handy camera features that will make it easier for you to see what’s going on.
Best Motion Spy Camera Reviews
In our research, we compared 10 of the top hidden cameras to see which ones had the most connectivity, high-quality picture, smart options, battery life, audio, smartphone capabilities, and storage. In order of best to worst, here are the top spy cameras that we tested.
Everyone needs a clock by their bed or somewhere else in their homes, right? That’s the discreet quality behind the FULAO Spy Camera, which we found to be one of the top options if you want something discreet and within a decent budget. It comes with a number of features, including iOS and Android app capabilities. You can stay connected and view the live stream wherever you go. It’s the perfect answer for home security and surveillance without paying too much or having to connect to many devices.
The camera has a great 140-degree wide angle lense that operates wirelessly within the clock, completely concealed. You can place it on a desk, ledge, or bedside table without ever questioning that it’s just a clock. The WiFi streaming allows you to check in at any time, and it’s motion-activated with night vision and alarm capabilities. You truly get everything in a great package with this clock.
This clock truly does it all, and you would never guess that a 1080P camera is inside, live-streaming everything happening around your home or office. You can easily see and hear what’s going with the audio and H.264 compression. It’s the best option that we tested if you want all the features and clear pictures with an alarm and motion detection for the right price as well.
For our runner-up, we really liked the home surveillance setup of the SpyStar 1080p spy camera. This is a hidden camera that is completely hidden in what appears to be a small wall charger. You can use it to charge devices, but it’s true power is in the live stream. You can live stream from anywhere and use the WiFi network to access the feed from your phone using the iOS and Android app. We did have some issues installing this app at first, but it seems as though those issues have cleared up. It’s working great, and you’ll get a clear view of everything that the wall charger sees.
The great thing about this spy camera is that it can go anywhere with a plug. You can place it in your office, bedroom, garage, and other areas, and even though it’s a bit expensive for the size, you’ll get a great picture. The audio was a little choppy at times, but that really depends on placement with this tech because of its size.
We like this camera for its capabilities and HD video quality. The price is a little high for the lack of night vision, but it will serve you well depending on how it’s placed. With remote access, you can quickly see what’s going on with your phone and you can record video to an SD card.
This small camera was one of our favorites as well. However, it’s not as discreet as the first two on this list, which was a bit of a drawback. Overall, it’s incredibly easy to place this camera on a wall or in a discreet corner of the home, especially if you want surveillance, such as a nanny cam. You can live stream right to your smartphone using the iOS and Android app, and it offers motion detection, night vision, time display, and infrared LEDs. You can clearly see what’s going on during the day and night with this little camera.
It’s quick small and provides 1080p HD video. The motion detection is incredibly sensitive, so the battery will need to be placed often if you have pets or lots of activity in your house. We suggest turning off the camera when you’re at home so it doesn’t wear out.
While the technology is there with the Hosuku, it’s a little bit difficult to spy and be hidden when the camera is simply mounted without any other concealing element. It’s great if you want people to know that you have surveillance, but it’s easy to avoid a camera that you can see, especially if you see it every day.
The Phreiland Hidden Spy Camera is one that we wanted to try for a very long, and it doesn’t disappoint. The 180-degree wide angle lense in this thing allows you to see the entire room, and it discreetly plugs into your wall outlet as a charging device. It provides connectivity to your smartphone and tablets via iOS and Android apps, so you can go anywhere and connect to the camera without having to be at home.
The motion detection and alarm on this thing are quite perfect. You’ll be able to get footage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but we did have trouble seeing it clearly on the app. It doesn’t always come through in 1080p. We also found that the alarm notifications that should push to your cell phone don’t always work right away. It may take a few minutes to recognize that someone has triggered the alarm.
Phreiland has created an affordable and really capable camera that works most of the time. We think that the good features, discrete nature, and sensitive motion detection make it a great option for those who are on a budget and want to have surveillance in their home with an added security measure.
This is another USB charger camera that is a little bit less expensive, but it does have some lesser capabilities. While it does record, you can’t stream to your smartphone, and it doesn’t have the same wide angle as the other cameras. You’ll only get about 90-degree maneuverability with this camera. However, it’s quick and easy to set up, and you can access the memory at any time.
One of the things that we liked about this is that it comes with a one-year warranty, and you can clearly see everything that’s happening in 1080p quality. The battery is strong, and it won’t stop recording until you tell it to. It’s definitely a good standby if you don’t want to constantly be connecting to WiFi or if you have trust issues with WiFi-connected cameras in your home.
If you are looking for something that is constantly available for live-stream, this isn’t going to be your favorite spy camera. However, for those who don’t want to have too many WiFi-connected devices or have some hangups about cameras with WiFi access, this is the perfect solution. You can record everything happening in your office or rooms in your home without needing access to your smartphone. You can simply unplug the SD card and place in your computer to see the video recordings.
FUVISION creates one of the most expensive spy cameras, but it’s also one of the most discreet and has a long battery life. Along with WiFi capabilities and streaming to any device, you can quickly set this camera and frame up anywhere in your office or home for surveillance and alarms. It comes with motion detection, “no glow” night vision, and 1080p HD recording.
There’s a lot to love about this discreet setup. You will never be able to tell that the frame has a camera, and it allows you to watch videos in full color with audio. You can also get more viewing with a wider lense and a downward viewing angle. The warranty also guarantees a full year of battery life.
If you can afford it and need high quality surveillance in your home or other area, then this will be the option for you. While it’s not necessarily within our surveillance budget, we think it’s perfect for someone who wants to have instant access to monitoring and surveillance tools, whether day or night.
FUVISION has a second option that’s much cheaper than their premium camera frame. This is another wall outlet camera that truly looks like a wall plug. It doesn’t look like something that has a camera in it, so you won’t be able to tell that it is ever recording. It has 15 days of guaranteed battery life and uses a pinhole camera to record 1080p video.
For the price, we really expected a bit more, however. This camera is a bit old and set up just for surveillance without any WiFi or live-streaming capabilities. While you can get it mounted quickly and easily, you’ll only be able to remove the SD card to view the videos. If you are looking for something that isn’t connected to WiFi or just want to add more surveillance to different areas, this could be a high definition tool that you’d like. We think that you can do better in terms of price.
For the price, you can really get something that’s going to offer more features. However, this doesn’t stick out at all or look like a camera. You can easily set it up in any area with an outlet and not think anything of it. While it isn’t WiFi enabled, the video quality is still excellent, and you won’t have to change it as much due to the long battery life.
When you want a covert surveillance camera, you may think of something small and barely noticeable. The WBESEV Hidden Spy Camera is a 1080 WiFi camera that can go with you anywhere. It is actually the world’s smallest portable camera with a lens that has been compared to the size of a shirt button. It’s easy to hide and fit for all kinds of applications.
You can access the camera via remote control and WiFi, allowing you to use the P2PLiveCam app for Android and iOS. You can record and watch video from anywhere at any time, and it records at a pretty high frame rate. It includes motion detection and has loop recording. This can be problematic if you don’t download the videos off of the SD card.
We like this small camera for its obvious versatility and convenience. You can set it down in an office meeting and head out to take a call to listen in and see what your employees do, or you can hide it somewhere in your home. However, it does require that you figure out how to mount if you want it to be a permanent surveillance camera. This is actually more like the spy tools that you see in the movies.
Lionsoul has been in the business of surveillance for a longtime. You’ll be able to record everything with this hidden camera that comes in a small yet slightly not discreet package. The real issue here is that you have to figure out how to mount the camera yourself. While it’s only 0.72 inches in size, you’ll need to place it inside of something for it to really find a discreet recording spot.
The night vision on this camera is excellent. You’ll be able to see in clear black and white frames. The daytime camera records in perfect 1080p color. It’s also durable and waterproof, allowing you to bring it with you as a helmet cam or surfing cam if you like.
This is another camera that can go with you anywhere, and you can access all of the videos through the SD card. However, you won’t be able to connect it to your smartphone. We found that it’s the perfect surveillance camera if you want night vision, motion detection, and alarms. It works well when placed indoors, and you can take it with you if you are looking for an outdoor activity camera too.
This is a small security camera buried in what looks like night light. While it’s pretty discreet and has motion detection, you won’t get any smartphone capabilities or WiFi action. For the price, we think it’s a discreet surveillance camera that will easily fit into any area of your home.
The camera comes with high definition video, long operating life, and allows you to record in darkness up to 70 feet away. One of the other issues with this camera is that it’s not wireless, so you’ll be expected to hook it up.
You may not think twice about this surveillance camera because it doesn’t have a lot of features. We agree that it’s not as multifaceted as many others on this list. However, there is something easy about it if you just want surveillance that you can access 24 hours a day without worrying about WiFi connectivity and multiple devices uploading video over the Internet. However, we don’t know how discreet this device actually is, especially if you haven’t had a night light before or if you don’t need one.
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Motion Spy Camera Buyer’s Guide
There are a lot of reasons that people need spy cameras these days. For one, you may want to keep track of your family members, especially teenagers, or you may just have a lot of valuables and pets at home that need surveillance. Some cameras are great for motion detection and alarms, allowing you to get instant security. However, other cameras work solely for the purpose of surveillance, allowing you to record video but not stream it to your devices.
Here’s some reasons we found where spy cameras work best:
- Home security and alarms
- Nanny cam and surveillance
- Nursing home surveillance
- Cheating suspicions
- Children and pets
- Roommate stealing and valuables surveillance
- Office surveillance
So which one will work for your purposes? One of the key differences is whether you want to be able to instantly access the live stream of what’s going on or if you want to hear alarms. In these cases, you’ll need to find a camera that provides great video, audio, and smartphone capabilities so you’ll get updates as soon as there is activity.
Top Features in Hidden Cameras
The hottest cameras in today’s world all have similar features. It’s the quality of those features and how they work when you need them that matters. With any of these products, you should read the latest customer reviews and also check out if they have support in case you have questions or need to return an item.
If you want to be able to ward off intruders, talk to your pets, or just communicate with those near the camera, then you’ll want a device that has communication built-in. This isn’t the most important feature of a spy camera, but it certainly helps to defend your home or business from people you don’t want around or offers convenience if you want to talk to those who are important to you.
The ideal spy camera will provide 1080p live-streaming color video during the day, and it will provide a high-quality contrast either in black and white or night “glow” vision for dark nights. Most cameras have 720p or above, and if you’re paying a bit of money, you should expect it to be in 1080p all of the time.
AC vs Battery Powered
For wired cameras, you’ll use the AC option. This allows you to keep up surveillance non-stop. However, if you want to be able to move the camera or don’t want obvious wires, then you’ll go with a wireless setup and a battery-powered camera. Battery-powered spy cameras are preferred now, but they don’t always have long battery lives. You’ll need to check the specifications to determine what you need.
You want a camera that turns on with motion. This allows you to conserve power and not record endless hours of nothing.
Most intrusions happen at night, so it’s important to have clear night vision allowing you to record what happens when you’re in a vulnerable position during sleeping hours or when the office is closed.
Smartphone and WiFi Capabilities
These are important for 2021 because we want to be connected at all times. There are certain apps that have better interfaces that send alerts with video clips so you can get an an alarm or push notification when the motion detector has been tripped.
Are Hidden Cameras Illegal?
For surveillance video recording, it’s legal in the United States to record with a spy camera or hidden camera even if you don’t have the consent of the person you are recording. The use of nanny cams is one reason for this, but it’s also common among parents and spouses to set up surveillance that they can use to check in on their homes and families.
However, there is a difference when it comes to audio and visual recording. In most states, it is illegal to have a hidden audio recording device, especially when the subject is supposed to have privacy. In your home, it could be illegal to record in the bathroom or bedroom if your subject lives with you, which typically refers to in-home nannies and housekeepers.
In addition, you cannot use any type of recording for illegal purposes, such as blackmail or other malicious activities. Even if your state allows secret surveillance, you won’t get away with extortion using a hidden camera.
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Final Word – Best Motion Spy Cameras
In a lot of ways, homeowners should have a spy camera set up immediately when they move in. These cameras come in handy to protect you and your family, but it’s also a way of keeping tabs on things while ensuring peace of mind. For the best camera, we think you should opt for something discreet and easy to place, such as our top pick by FULAO. This clock can go anywhere and doesn’t appear to be a camera at all. In some cases, USB chargers and outlet cameras work, but some people, especially those who have spy cameras, know exactly what a wall outlet charger is supposed to look like when it has a camera in it.