Security

The Best Cameras for SmartThings Available Now

(Last Updated On: February 22, 2018)

As the Internet of Things – and more specifically home automation – continues its torrid pace in today’s market, more and more users look for ways to keep their homes safe and secure.

There are many smart home products available to provide home protection, but there’s something to be said for the security and peace of mind provided by a smart camera.  

Smart cameras are great because they afford users the ability to view their home remotely, no matter where they are. They offer protection against criminals in a variety of ways. Primarily, they deter would-be thieves by their mere presence.   

Most burglars will take one look at the window, see a security camera in place, and move on. However, for those thieves that don’t, a camera connected to a SmartThings hub and set to armed will emit an alarm when illegal entry occurs.

It will also send notifications to you and any other predetermined numbers while recording a minute of video, which you can view through the SmartThings application.  

There are many smart cameras on the market that will work with SmartThings if users are willing to do a little tinkering. However, there are six smart cameras explicitly designed for use with SmartThings.

While there are only two manufacturers to choose from – Samsung and Netgear – there is a wide range of cost and features, allowing any user to find a camera that suits their needs. Let’s take a look at your options when it comes to the Best Camera for SmartThings.  

SmartCam HD Pro 1080p Full HD WiFi Camera  

As it states in its name, the SmartCam HD Pro allows for up to 1080p streaming to your computer or laptop and provides 720p quality via mobile phone.

It has a simple, straightforward setup, which consists of merely downloading the SmartCam app supplied by Samsung. Using the application wizard allows you to begin using your camera quickly and easily.  

The HD Pro 1080p also provides a handful of excellent benefits. The two-way talk feature, for instance, allows you not only to hear what is going on around the camera but to respond to your phone as well. External speakers can be purchased to enhance the quality of sound.  

Advanced detection provides information for users that can come in handy when pets or children are home alone. It knows the difference between a piece of litter blowing around in the wind, and a child occupying an area of the house he or she should not. Advanced detection alerts you when unexpected events occur.  

Also a feature of the HD Pro is the ability to select zones based on your needs. You can choose up to three zones at any given time by merely drawing a square around them. It’s as easy as that! If there are any sudden movements within the selected zones, the camera will alert you.  

The SmartCam HD Pro also has the following specifications:  

  • H.264 Video Format 
  • 4x Digital Zoom 
  • 2.4 and 5 GHz 
  • 802.11a/b/g/n 
  • 300-foot wireless range (line of sight) 
  • .64 lbs 
  • 65mm x 36.5 mm 

SmartCam HD Plus 1080p Full HD WiFi Camera  

Like its counterpart, the Samsung HD Plus 1080p offers many features that a smart camera user will find beneficial. The full HD video allows for a robust viewing experience, whether it’s for personal or business use.

For users needing access to more than one stream at a time, the SmartCam HD Plus supports up to five streams.  

The two-way talk feature provides the opportunity to have a conversation with those in the vicinity of the camera. You can hear what’s going on around the camera, and use your smartphone application to speak to others.   

Just like the SmartCam HD Pro, the HD Plus offers both Motion & Audio Detection and Motion Zone Select. With Motion & Audio Detection, the SmartCam provides a distinction to the user between what is and is not an essential event.

Blowing leaves, falling rain, and other irrelevant occurrences do not register, and it sends notifications when true motion events occur.  

Zone Select allows a user to choose specific areas they want to monitor more closely. If you are expecting a package at the front door, or need an alert when the kids get out of control, all you have to do is draw a box or circle around that area. When anything happens within the selected zones, you get an alert.  

Additionally, the SmartCam HD Plus provides email alerts and notifications. There’s no need to feel tied to your computer, staring at a camera feed for hours because you can enable alerts when specific events occur.

Whether you’re at the office or on vacation, you can rest easy with the knowledge that notifications are sent if something happens.  

Users will also enjoy the Wide Dynamic Range and Ultra-Wide Angle features provided by the SmartCam HD Plus. With Wide Dynamic Range, the camera adjusts automatically to bright lights causing interference with the picture.

Ultra-Wide Angle gives users a better viewing angle, with a 130-degree wide-angle lens. Now you can get the whole picture, a more comprehensive picture, and see the details that weren’t visible before.  

Last, but most definitely not least, is the ability to save feeds directly to a local microSD card. The SmartCam HD Plus supports up to 128GB cards and allows viewing of recordings through your mobile device, which means you can view them from anywhere.

With local storage, you can record when an event occurs, log continuously until storage is full, or manually record when you deem necessary.  

Additional specifications for the SmartCam HD Plus include:  

  • H.264 Video Format 
  • 4x Digital Zoom 
  • 2.4 GHz 
  • 802.11b/g/n 
  • 300-foot wireless range (line of sight) 
  • .64 lbs 
  • 65mm x 36.5 mm 

Samsung SmartCam HD Pro vs HD Plus  

 

HD Pro

HD Plus

HD Video 

x 

x 

Two-Way Talk 

x 

x 

Advanced Detection 

x 

x 

Zone Select 

x 

x 

Wide Dynamic Range 

 

x 

Ultra-Wide Angle 

 

x 

Local Storage 

 

x 

Netgear Arlo Wire-Free HD Security Camera 

 The Netgear Arlo Wire-Free HD Security Camera boasts itself as the world’s first completely wire-free, weatherproof camera that you can place anywhere you need.

The appeal of the Netgear Arlo Wire-Free SmartCam is the complete absence of wires. There are no tangled cords to struggle with, letting you find the area where a camera is needed most.  

With an HD quality stream, you’ll never have trouble seeing your feed, doubly so at night, when the camera’s infrared lights come on. There’s never a need to worry about inclement weather, as the Arlo is weatherproof, and even if you’re not able to keep a vigilant eye on your camera, you’ll still receive alerts and notifications if motion is detected.  

In addition to the aforementioned features and benefits, the Netgear Arlo also includes access to recordings from the previous week stored in the cloud. This access never expires and is included with every Netgear Arlo camera.   

Included with the Netgear Arlo SmartCam are batteries for the camera, wall mounts, and screws, and users can download an iOS or Android application for easy setup.

Users can connect up to five cameras at the same time, for multiple streams, and can set up a schedule to mimic their own. It also allows you to share streams or saved videos with family members and friends, so everyone can be aware of what is going on.  

More specifications include:  

  • H.264 Video Format 
  • Lithium CR123 Batteries 
  • 2.4 GHz 
  • 802.11n 
  • 300-foot wireless range (line of sight) 
  • 4.3 oz 
  • 2.8 x 1.7 x 2.6 in. 

Netgear Arlo Wire-Free Pro HD Security Camera  

The Netgear Arlo Wire-Free Pro SmartCam includes all the features of the Arlo Wire-Free HD, plus a few additional benefits. Just like its counterpart, the Arlo Pro provides an entirely wire-free experience.

However, it also provides users the option to go wired if preferred. Some users feel more comfortable knowing their SmartCam is hardwired, and the Arlo Pro offers that peace of mind.  

The Arlo Pro also offers a weatherproof SmartCam, along with HD quality streaming, cloud options, and night vision. It also provides alerts via email and text, just like the Arlo Wire-Free HD SmartCam. But this is where the comparisons end.   

With the Arlo Pro, for instance, users get the added feature of 2-Way Audio, similar to what the Samsung Smart Cameras provide. With 2-Way Audio, users can hear sound around the camera and speak through the built-in speaker on the camera via the smartphone application.   

Additionally, purchasing the Arlo Pro includes rechargeable batteries, local backup storage, and a smart siren. The rechargeable batteries take much of the expense out of purchasing a wire-free security camera setup, while the local backup storage allows for the usage of a USB drive to backup data locally.

As mentioned, the Arlo Pro also comes with a Smart Siren, which boasts a 100-decibel siren that can be triggered manually, or through the camera’s automatic motion detectors.  

Additional specs for the Arlo Wire-Free Pro are:  

  • H.264 Video Format 
  • 2440mAh rechargeable battery 
  • 2.4 GHz 
  • 802.11n 
  • 300-foot wireless range (line of sight) 
  • 4.8 oz 
  • 3.1 x 1.9 x 2.8 in. 

Netgear Arlo Q HD Security Camera  

The Netgear Arlo Q HD Security Camera is a great Smart Camera for twenty-four-hour surveillance. It offers AC power, HD quality streaming, night vision, and 2-way audio. Using the Arlo Q allows you to set up alerts via text or email when unwanted motion or audio is detected.  

With its 1080p HD streaming, you’ll be able to view your feed with exceptional clarity, and never have to worry about poor quality or blurry content. And as long as you’re monitoring, you can listen in or speak with those in the vicinity of the Arlo Q with its 2-way audio capabilities.   

The Arlo Q also has the ability to include other streams from up to five cameras. A wide-angle 130-degree lens provides enough visibility to see and be notified when a significant motion or sound is detected.

This is the case even at night, as the Arlo Q turns on its infrared lights at night to expose would be criminals in the darkness.  

Unfortunately, unlike the Arlo Wire-Free models, the Arlo Q is not weatherproof. These cameras are indoor only, so if you are seeking an option for keeping tabs on your front door, this may not be the direction to go.   

Other specifications for the Arlo Q are:  

  • H.264 Video Format 
  • 8x Digital Zoom 
  • 2.4 and 5 GHz wireless support 
  • N600 WiFi Speed 
  • 300-foot wireless range (line of sight) 
  • .37 lbs 
  • 2.75 x 2.80 x 4.50 in. 

Netgear Arlo Q Plus HD Security Camera  

The Netgear Arlo Q Plus is a Smart Camera explicitly designed for business applications. With the Arlo Q Plus, users have several power and connectivity options from which to choose, including power over ethernet.

You will also rest easy knowing what is going on in your residence or business at any time, from anywhere, by using the free Arlo app.  

Where installation of traditional systems take both time and money, the Arlo system takes only a few minutes to setup and requires no professional experience. It is easy to use and manage and will be a welcome addition to your business office or retail store.

Plus, nighttime security is no longer an issue as the Arlo Q Plus provides nighttime infrared vision, to shed light on what’s going on in the dark.  

Like its Netgear counterpart, the Arlo Q Plus includes 2-way audio, 1080p HD quality streaming, smart alerts with a wide 130 degree viewing angle, and a USB port for local backup storage.

It also provides an option to upgrade to continuous video recording, which stores twenty-four-hour footage in the cloud.  

Some additional specifications for the Netgear Arlo Q include:  

  • H.264 Video Format 
  • 8x Digital Zoom 
  • 2.4 and 5 GHz wireless support 
  • N600 WiFi Speed 
  • 300-foot wireless range (line of sight) 
  • .37 lbs 
  • 2.75 x 2.80 x 4.50 in. 

Netgear Arlo Comparisons  

 

Arlo Wire-Free

Arlo Wire-Free Pro

Arlo Q

Arlo Q Plus

Weatherproof 

x 

x 

 

 

HD Video 

x 

x 

x 

x 

2-Way Audio 

 

x 

x 

x 

Wide-Viewing Angle 

 

 

x 

x 

Local Backup Storage 

 

x 

 

x 

Cloud Storage Option 

x 

x 

x 

x 

Night Vision 

x 

x 

x 

x 

 While there are additional smart cameras available on the market today that will work with SmartThings, these are the ones from which you’ll want to choose. Each camera listed integrates smoothly and efficiently with the SmartThings platform and will work with the SmartThings application.   

Not all of these cameras are going to meet your needs, but at least one of them should. When it comes to smart cameras, there are no one-size-fits-all best options.

Whether you need something to keep an eye on your front door, your backyard, or your retail space at night or while you’re away, one of these SmartCams should do the trick. Some work with batteries and some require a plugged-in power supply, but all of them work with SmartThings. 

About the author

Patrick Sinclair

Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn't have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!

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