The home security market is filled with standalone cameras that advertise the ability to protect and monitor a home, though many of them fall short of the services they claim to provide. One of which is SpotCam, who recently upgraded their catalog to include a camera option that can be used and operated outdoors, the SpotCam Sense Pro.
The Sense Pro is an upgrade from the previous SpotCam Sense. The original Sense camera features a glossy white design and can only be used indoors, while the Sense Pro has a matte black finish and can be used both indoors and outdoors, and is said to be waterproof. The other minor differences besides color is that the Sense has a speaker mounted to the top of the camera, and the Sense Pro’s speaker is mounted on the backside of the camera.
Both cameras are cylindrical devices with nearly three inch bases and two inch bodies. The cameras sit on base hinges that allow them to rotate as much as 70-degrees back (which explains why the camera is angled down by 20 degrees if it mounted on a wall), or 40-degrees looking forward.
The devices are each six inches tall including the stands that accompany them, and their stands can also be turned into wall mounting kits. This is a useful feature for users who want to get their units off of counter-tops and desks.
Similar to other Stand-Alone Security Cameras
Just like most devices in the stand-alone camera space, the Sense and Sense Pro are set up using a smartphones and WiFi connection. The devices receive push notifications and have the ability to stream and view a live-video feed in the home. They each have two-way talk capabilities, and alert homeowners with built-in sirens.
Users can receive instructions on how to set up their devices with the installation booklet that SpotCam provides upon sale, as well as videos online. Setup is simple and easy, and since SpotCam is a stand-alone product, it won’t take very long.
These devices are IFTTT compatible, so they can be connected with other smart-home security and automation devices. The new SpotCam Sense Pro is priced at $188.99.
Problems with the Sense and Sense Pro
For starters, a number of home webcams on the market have better software, integrations, and products overall than these Sense devices.
Both devices only allow 24 hours of free video recording through their apps, which could be used up rather quickly. A more interesting feature of the new Sense Pro camera is that it comes equipped with a 10-foot power cord and can not be operated simply with batteries. This seems odd that a device that is intended for outdoor use and waterproof is accompanied with a power cord that isn’t waterproof.
Can the Sense Pro actually be used outside? Will it be safe from the elements, like snow, rain or other storms, or will the power cord interfere with outdoor use? This power cord also means that front door mounting will be limited, since the camera’s cord will likely get in the way of things, and provide intruders a means to unplug the device.
It’s been reported that SpotCam siren volumes aren’t very loud, and some people have even said that the volume sounds more like a child’s toy than an intrusion alert. For some reason, the volume for the two-way talk feature is actually louder than the siren itself.
Stick with the Pros
Like we’ve mentioned throughout our blog and content, this device and similar stand-alone tools are not all encompassing home security systems. They aren’t connected to central monitoring stations, so they won’t alert authorities immediately if a break-in occurs. They will simply send you a push alert notification and response procedures will be left up to you.
Since SpotCam and similar devices aren’t all-encompassing home security units, you will also be missing out on other important features of home security, like smoke, fire, carbon monoxide, and disaster sensing protection.
When it comes to home security, tools like SpotCam can seem convenient and appear as though they’ll get the job done, but something as important as the safety of your home and family should not be left up to push alert notifications. We suggest sticking with the pros when it comes to home security.