Top 5 Best Outdoor Smart Cameras in 2020

In a previous lifetime we'd protect our castles with high walls, moats and huge drawbridges.

Not very practical for 2020 though!

A more popular choice these days is to fortify your perimeter with smart cameras.

Smart cameras allow you to view and monitor your home 24/7 from anywhere in the world.

You get smart features such as instant mobile phone alerts, two way voice talk and in some cases loud sirens!

But with a wide range of outdoor smart cameras on the market, just which one do you choose?

We've rounded up our top five based on how easy they are to install and use, the build quality, the app quality and overall peace of mind felt by owning each particular camera.

 

1. RING SPOTLIGHT CAM BATTERY

Ease Of Installation: 10/10

Ease Of Use: 9/10

Build Quality: 8/10

App Quality: 10/10

Peace Of Mind: 10/10

TECH4's Opinion: It's hard not to like the Ring products, they are one of the original smart camera manufacturers and as such the user experience is really well polished and easy to use. It's really well built, looks good and the choice between mains powered and battery powered is really useful as there are often situations where you just can't get power.

I'm finding the app reliable and fast regardless of where I am, however I do have a good WiFi system so do remember that good quality WiFi is essential.

At the end of the day smart cameras are bought because you want peace of mind against intruders both to protect your property and your family. Having a high quality and reliable app is essential.

The built in LED lights are a nice added touch for extra home security in warning off unwanted visitors, it's also very useful for general lighting.

The battery powered versions are obviously very, very easy to install. We've given the mains one an 8/10... they are really easy to install, but it all comes down to how easy it is to get power to the given location, it's not fair to mark it down on this as every property is different and no mains powered outdoor smart camera will be any easier to install.

 

Price: £199

 

Nest Outdoor IQ Smart Camera

2. NEST CAM IQ OUTDOOR

Ease Of Installation: 8/10

Ease Of Use: 9/10

Build Quality: 10/10

App Quality: 9/10

Peace Of Mind: 10/10

TECH4's Opinion: Google is a big player in the smart camera world and it's easy to see why. The app is polished and works well as you'd expect from Google. It's also a great option if you buy into everything Google as from one app you can control and monitor smart cameras, smart thermostats and Nest Protect smoke detectors. If you're going down the Google route then it's a no brainer.

Build quality is great, personally I think they look high quality and have a decent weight and feel to them which reinforces the higher cost.

With the IQ version you get person recognition so not only will your camera see a person but it'll start learning who that person is, if it's yourself then no alert but if it doesn't recognise the person it can send an alert to your phone. Pretty clever!

All in all it's easy to feel pretty safe with Nest cameras installed at home.

 

Price: £329

 

YCAM Outdoor Smart Camera

3. Y-CAM OUTDOOR SMART CAMERA

Ease Of Installation: 8/10

Ease Of Use: 7/10

Build Quality: 8/10

App Quality: 6/10

Peace Of Mind: 7/10

TECH4's Opinion: Y Cam have been round for a long time so they know the market well, their outdoor cameras are well built, look nice and most importantly work well. 

The app is good, but it's not at the level of Ring or Nest. However there are added benefits such as being able to view from web browser and the free 7 day rolling cloud storage.

A key differentiator on the Y CAM Outdoor smart camera is the fact it has an ethernet port and can be connected directly to your home router rather than simply relying on WiFi. This is good for network stability and reliability which ultimately leads to better performance.

You can also power this via POE (Power Over Ethernet) which can make for a much easier installation.

We'd recommend the YCAM if you want to go for a more reliable wired but still smart system in areas where you may not have optimum WiFi performance.

These are currently on offer for a really good price so get one whilst you can.

 

Price: £84.99 (Whilst Stocks Last)

 

Nedis Smart Life Outdoor Smart Camera Pan Tilt Zoom

4. NEDIS WIFI SMART PAN/TILT OUTDOOR SMART CAMERA

Ease Of Installation: 8/10

Ease Of Use: 6/10

Build Quality: 5/10

App Quality: 6/10

Peace Of Mind: 6/10

TECH4's Opinion: The NEDIS smart camera here isn't scoring quite as high as the others, but the price is a lot cheaper so don't discount it just yet... It's a good camera that works on the popular Tuya Smart Life platform. The app is actually very good, it's reliable, easy to use and works well.

We've found that two way talk and recording is not as good as the more popular brand names such as Ring and Nest, but I guess that's to be expected from a cheaper camera.

If you have a Tuya Smart Life controlled home then these cameras work seamlessly within your same app. You can also record to SD card to avoid any costly monthly subscription fees. Indoor cameras to expand the system are a lot cheaper than competitors too so overall it's a good cost-effective system.

With this one the key differentiator is the pan, tilt and zoom which isn't available on most other outdoor smart cameras. You can easily pan and tilt the camera to cover wider areas. Useful in certain situations however we'd generally recommend using multiple cameras to cover bigger areas properly.

Peace of mind is clearly affected here though, i'd recommend these outdoor smart cameras more for occasional use rather than vital high security use.

 

Price: £114.99

 

EZVIZ Smart Floodlight Camera

5. EZVIZ FLOODLIGHT CAMERA

Ease Of Installation: 9/10

Ease Of Use: 7/10

Build Quality: 9/10

App Quality: 7/10

Peace Of Mind: 8/10

TECH4's Opinion: I've got an EZVIZ floodlight camera installed at home covering my back garden so I've lived with this for a good few months now. All in all it is a great camera, the build quality is very good and it was easy to install by simply replacing an existing floodlight (although I did raise it up a metre to get a better view over the garden). 

The app is not bad but it's not nearly as polished as Ring or Nest. We've found that the alerts are very accurate, unless it's raining! Then it picks up motion and alerts constantly. A little bit annoying. Often the app needs to be closed and re-opened, it's not a major problem but in comparison to Ring it's not nearly as reliable.

One of the key draws to EZVIZ is the micro SD Card slot. You don't have to pay for cloud storage, which is a good bonus, however do bear in mind if someone was to go through the trouble of stealing your camera or removing the SD card your footage would be lost. Unlikely, but possible.

A great purchase though when you look at the EZVIZ system overall, indoor cameras are a bit cheaper and SD card slots avoid cloud storage fees.

 

Price: £179 (RRP: £199.99)

 

So that's our round up of the top five outdoor smart cameras on the market today, all of these we've played with and trust enough to sell with high confidence.

If you would like help choosing the right outdoor smart camera for your home then please give one of our smart home experts a call on 02392 006118.

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