Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
iSmartAlarm's $99 Spot is a cute little indoor security camera with a magnetic base. It's power-adapter-dependent and offers 720p HD video resolution, free 30-clip rolling cloud storage and a built-in microSD card slot (it can accommodate up to a 64GB microSD card, but that isn't included), as well as night vision and motion and sound alerts. Spot is definitely worth considering, especially if you're looking for a lower-priced DIY camera that's big on features.
Spot is actually the third camera to come from the iSmartAlarm brand. Its first model, the original iCamera, is still sold as a $150 optional add-on to the sensors that accompany the standard security kit, but it was glitchy during our testing.
The second-gen $150 iCamera Keep was generally more reliable than its predecessor, making it a much better option if you want to add a camera to your iSmartAlarm system.
At the same time, the Keep camera didn't wow us due to its lack of local or cloud storage. That put it at a serious disadvantage as a standalone security camera when models like the $150 ArcSoft Simplicam, the $190 Samsung SmartCam HD Plus and the $200 Nest Cam all offer either local or cloud storage -- or both. And some brands, like Netgear's $220 Arlo Q , as well as its $180 Arlo, the $70 Ezviz Mini, and the $279 Icontrol Piper NV have free cloud storage services.
Now, the iCamera Keep has been updated and it can store up to 30 clips for free, but Spot brings iSmartAlarm even closer to the DIY security camera mainstream with its suite of new features and ease-of-setup-and-install.
Spot performed well overall, too, delivering prompt motion and sound alerts that I could view on the related app. One drawback is that the app doesn't clearly differentiate between motion and sound alerts when you're scrolling through the saved video clips.
But, the night vision was pretty crisp and its advanced "sound recognition," designed to detect a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm and issue a custom alert worked very well. (iSmartAlarm plans to add more sounds in the future, like glass breaking or a baby crying.)
iSmartAlarm's $99 Spot security camera has more to offer than the $70 Ezviz Mini, but still manages to cost about $100 less than many of today's high-def models. Definitely consider Spot if you're looking for a smart and simple DIY security camera.