Quick Notes

Thumbs Up

  • Hardware is waterproof
  • Heat-sensing motion detector
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Cloud & local storage

Room to Grow

  • Limited features
  • Noticeable clicking noise
  • swann-smart-security-camera

    The recent boom in smart home security cameras in recent years, with brands such as Nest, Ring, Netgear and Protect America, has overwhelmed and laid claim to the home security market that was previously occupied by CCTV (closed circuit television) companies. The new generation of home security cameras are more compact than their predecessors, which were anything but sleek, depended on a hard-wired power source and were simply way too expensive.

    The Swann Smart Security Camera is a far cry from the past generation of CCTV cameras. It’s compact, ready for the elements with its waterproof casing, and eager to share what it sees via a wireless connection that streams a 1080p HD picture—in short, Orwell would approve.

    Essential Features without any Fluff

    The Swann Smart Security Camera is priced at $150 per camera, which is well below the industry average, but don’t perceive the striking price difference as a sign of a lesser product. The Swann Smart Security Camera boasts a broad 120-degree field of vision with night vision capabilities ranging 32-feet in range, two-way audio and a True Detect PIR heat-based motion sensor. While these core features may fall short of other industry leaders that feature integrated sirens and/or lighting, the price difference of around $70 per camera is a fair trade off for fewer features. The Swann camera includes free, seven-day local storage for captured video feeds under 20-seconds in length means that the Swann system is not cloud dependent. However, Swann does offer two days of free cloud storage with an optional 30-day/5GB plan for $/month or $70/year.

    Fewer Options Means Easy Operation

    Sometimes less really is more. Swann takes this concept to heart with SAFE by Swann, the quick and easy app for users to set-up and monitor their camera(s). The interface is flat out basic and clear, thanks in part to the overall lack of settings. If you’re hungry for layer upon layer of complex menus filled with arbitrary options…you best look elsewhere because the SAFE app is about as simple as they come.


    Impressive, but Less than Perfect Image Quality

    While the Swann website proclaims “crystal-clear, 1080p full HD video”, the real-world experience leaves a little bit to be desired. Swann’s image is sharp yet overexposed and the fisheye lens effect is rather pronounced. The overall image quality is a drastic improvement from the previous generation of cameras but falls short of the image quality produced by a few of the more expensive alternatives.