REVIEW – I have used the SpotCam family of security cameras for several years, mainly the cameras for inside the house. The Solo 2 was the first camera that I have used outside the house, on our front porch, which gets hit with lots of different weather of course. So I was curious about how it would hold up to the elements. Let’s find out!
What is it?
The SpotCam Solo 2 is a wireless indoor/outdoor waterproof 1080p security camera. Can be used as a 100% wireless camera that you can place anywhere within range of your wireless signal, or you can use the included USB cable and power supply to plug it up to power.
What’s in the box?
- The SpotCam Solo 2 camera
- A magnetic mounting bracket, with screws and waterproof adhesive sticker
- Power adapter with USB cable (if used connected to power)
- User manual
And here are the specifications:
3.2 inch x 2.95 inch
5V/2A or Lithium batteries. 3.2 ft power cord.
10 oz (without bracket)
Up to 6 months per charge with daily event trigger 20-30 times
Field of View
180 degrees (diagonal)
Speaker and 2-way audio microphone
8 High power IR LEDs
Up to HD 1080P (1920 x 1080) at 30 frame/sec
-22 degrees Fahrenheit to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, designed for indoor/outdoor use
up to 128 GB micro SD card, Complimentary FREE 7 Days Cloud Recording Service
Installing the SpotCam Solo 2 camera is pretty easy. Using the Spotcam app you just follow the on-screen directions to connect to the device via Bluetooth, then follow the steps connect it to your wireless network. The whole process takes just a few minutes and you are done. The Solo 2 is billed a true 100% wireless camera, and that’s true. It has built-in lithium ion batteries and comes with a unique round magnetic mount that attaches to whatever surface you choose. The mount is round and there is an indentation on the back of the camera that attaches to the mount and then you simply move it around to whatever angle you choose. It really is that easy. You simply sink 1 screw into the surface where you want to mount the camera (in my case, a square wooden post on the front porch) and slide the mount on the head of the screw. Then you take the Solo 2 and pop it onto the round magnetic mount and position it as you like.
Features and Performance
The 180-degree viewing angle of the Solo 2 means that you can place this thing pretty much anywhere and you’ll be able to cover alot of square footage. My front porch is about 40 feet wide and about 8 feet deep and the Solo 2 can capture pretty much the entire front porch, as you can see in this image.
As with other SpotCam cameras, the app provides you a timeline ruler (seen in the image above that is right below the main image) where you can use your figure to scrub backwards and forwards through the timeline to watch any footage you like. Any motion events will show up as colored markers on the timeline. And as you can see in the screenshot above there are other buttons above the timeline ruler, and at the bottom of the screen, to do various things like to take snapshots, see a history of motion events, press the microphone to talk, and more.
On the back of the camera you’ll find the indentation for the round magnetic mount and the sealed rubber flap that covers the USB power port that you use to charge the camera batteries or use it with the power brick in a powered setup. On the top you’ll see 2 small rubberize buttons, one that you use to open the back of the camera to expose the batteries and the other to initiate a reset of the camera. And on the bottom of the camera is the speaker. The battery life of the lithium-ion batteries will depend greatly on how much activity the camera captures. The more motion it captures, the quicker the battery runs out. I have alot of activity in and out of our house every day, and there are always neighborhood workers in the side yard working on shrubs, flowers, grass cutting, etc. So the camera picks up all that activity as well. So the batteries for me have been lasting about 3 weeks.
The Spotcam app does a great job of giving you quick access to all the features that the Solo 2 offers. For example you can set a schedule for your camera to send alerts to you, like only during the day while you are at work. You can set the motion sensitivity. You can swap the image 180 degrees in the event you have to install it upside down for some reason. Using the app you can speak to whomever may be in front of the camera, and you can use the app to change the speaker and microphone volumes. You can also change the quality of the image that is captured. And much more.
The SpotCam Solo 2 has built-in night vision that works great, as you can see in the image above of the front porch. Using the app you can save video and images and share them. The Solo 2 has a micro SD card slot behind the batteries and it can handle up to a 128 GB cards. It also comes with 7-days of free cloud storage for life, which is pretty awesome. You can pay for more cloud storage if you want for a pretty decent price of $3 a month for 30 days storage, or up to a year’s worth of storage for only $6 a month.
There isn’t much I would change about the SpotCam Solo 2. The price of $88 is a good price for all that you get. Some folks might want the ability to secure the camera to the surface to prevent someone walking away with it, but the magnetic mount makes is really easy to remove it. That’s good for me when I want to take it inside the house to charge it, but it could be bad if anybody figures out they can grab it and run. There is also a feature called the ‘motion mask’ which let’s you slice up the camera image into sections to prevent alerts about any motion inside the parts of the image that you block out. But as you can see from this image (below) from the app, you can only block out 6 areas of the image (4 of them are highlighted in green in the image, indicating that anything that moves inside those green blocks will be ignored), and the 6 blocks don’t even cover the entire image from the camera. In the current location that I have the camera, which is facing the front door to our house and much of our front porch, this feature isn’t very useful to me so I don’t use it. I would use it though if I had more granular control over the areas of the image.
What I like
- Micro SD and cloud storage
- Ease of installation
- Waterproof for outdoor use
- True wireless performance
- Affordable price
What I would change
- A way to secure it to the wall to prevent theft
- More granular control over the motion mask feature
SpotCam cameras are, in my opinion, affordable middle-of-pack consumer webcam products. They aren’t the most expensive cameras but they aren’t the bargain basement cheap products either. And so the performance could be described the same way. For the price you pay for these products, you’ll be happy. The app is feature rich with many detailed settings to control just about everything you could want to control about the camera. You can even pay for additional premium features in the app like detecting cars, animals, babies crying, digital fencing, and more. I don’t pay for any of that and I am happy with the features that come with the cameras. For the Solo 2, the ease of installation, the true wireless performance, and the flexibility of positioning it make it a great choice for using it either inside or outside your house.