This article focuses on reviewing the best hidden spy cameras on the market today. When someone says “spy camera”, you might think of a fancy gadget from James Bond, but these days, the spy camera industry is actually a lot more practical than using to foil international crime syndicates. One application for spy cameras that is very popular is to keep your eye on your child’s new nanny, as there have been reports of abusive nannies out there, which is unfortunate.
Other than keeping an eye on bad nannies, there are many other uses for spy cameras as well, such as keeping an eye on employees, or otherwise covertly watching what’s happening on your property, whether it be home or business. Many people simply refer to these types of cameras as hidden cameras, as they don’t like the sound of the word “spy”.
Whatever you want to refer to them as, technically speaking, the cameras we will show you here come in many different shapes and sizes (and guises), such as alarm clocks, power banks, electric outlets, and other discreet objects.
Without further delay, here is our review of the best hidden spy cameras for your home! Here they are, in no particular order.
Jumbl Mini Hidden Spy Camera Radio Clock
One of the more popular forms your hidden spy camera will come in is in the form of an alarm clock. Jumbl makes a good one. Here we have a device that is both a clock and a radio (with a full range tuner), plus a fully functional camera that operates off of a microSD card that stores up to 32 gigs and also can the ability to record continuously, overwriting data once it gets full. So, you’ll have to check out the footage, which is time-stamped and includes audio, before it gets to the end and starts to record again. Also, the microSD is not included so that’s something you’ll have to pick up yourself.
There’s a lot to like about the Jumbl spy camera. For instance, the battery is rechargable, or you can just plug it into the wall. This Jumbl alarm clock cam can be set to save on energy by being in motion detection mode, hence only recording when it detects motion. Makes sense to us! It also has night vision abilities, which is very handy indeed. So, even if you have it sitting in a dark room, you can still get the footage you need. With about a 9 foot range, the infrared that enables the night vision doesn’t have the hugest range, but hey, it’s not too bad either.
What else do we like? You don’t have to hook up to any computer or laptop to see what the camera saw. You can, instead, watch it on a built-in 2 inch colour display screen. Jumbl also throws in more bells and whistles, such as having music playback via a 3.5 aux line, with a quality built in speaker. This means your little spy cam can be a little boom box if you want, and you can plug in headphones as well.
All things considered, people are generally quite pleased with this camera but it does have its detractors. Some people find it hard to use, or they think that the images aren’t clear enough, but the majority of people like this product just fine, as it’s not overly expensive. You’ll also have to keep in mind that this is an alarm clock, and that means its going to look suspicious in some situations if you’re trying to be discreet. Not every place in the house or at your place of work is going to make sense having an alarm clock sitting there, even though it does function as a clock. Recommended if it suits your needs.
MEAUOTOU Hidden Camera Alarm Clock Spy Cam
Here comes another alarm clock spy cam, this time from our friends at MEAUOTOU. What’s with the company name, you ask? We have no idea. But, what we do know is that this spy cam is very well liked by the many people who own one. Not to disparage the previous cam by Jumbl, but this camera does seem to have a few things going for it that the previous one does not in terms of features.
First, let’s talk about what is the same between this camera and the last one. Like the previous model, you get motion detection, which is of course a benefit, as it saves on energy. If you’re going to be watching out for something specific on your camera, rather than just keeping a general eye out, it’s extremely handy to have the motion detection option. Then, after 3 minutes, it will save the footage. There is some logic to how this camera is set up, because it allows for 3 minutes to pass before saving the footage and this would seem to be enough time from the point when the motion detection is activated to capture what you might need.
Unlike the previous camera, where a few people complained that it was a little too grainy for their tastes, this MEAUOTOU spy cam is inarguably in full HD 1080P, in .AVI format, which you can then view later on your computer. In fact, you will need to synch this camera up with your computer first, and you’ll be needed the adapter they’ve included.
Like the previous camera, you can use a 32GB Micro SD card to store footage, but this camera will record for 2 hours / 8 GB. All round, this camera is a good deal and it’s not a bad looking clock either!
Corprit Hidden Spy Camera Power Bank
Up next we have the Corprit Hidden Spy Camera Power Bank, which is about the size and weight of a small cell phone. What we like about this little device, which acts as a real power bank while it is also a spy camera with a very discreet little spy lens, which basically ensures you get the footage you need without notice. That means it’s perfect for spying on whoever you like. Many people buy these cameras to spy on nannies, as we’ve mentioned before.
Yes, this camera does fortunately have motion detection technology, as the other two alarm clock cameras do, but this one also has a super duper 6000mAh lithium ion battery, which can allow you to extend the recording time of this camera for up to 15 hours. That is, if you need that much footage. Video card expansion is supported here up to 64 gigs. If you don’t need that much footage (15 hours), you can just use it with the motion detection feature which works quite well and skip ahead to what’s going on at that moment. After the SD card fills up, it will overwrite old material.
Now, this is not an alarm clock, this is a power bank, so there’s that to consider. If you’re doing some discreet recording, an alarm clock is only going to look natural in certain environments, and the same could be said for a power bank. We might argue that power bank could be discreetly used in more places than a camera, but it really depends on the application. After all, this thing is just a little black rectangle so it doesn’t really draw a lot of attention to itself.
One of the technical plusses of this Corprit spy camera is that the video quality is very clear and in 1080P HD using Syntek chipset technology, so your footage is going to be easy to interpret. On top of that, this camera has a G-sensor, so that means nomatter how you place it, the camera itself knows which way “up” is, and will right the view for you so you never get upside-down footage. This is an easy-to-use system as well, with a one button operation style, so you can’t really beat that either.
In terms of complaints, people have mentioned that they have had trouble changing the settings, which requires you to edit the text file to change things. Aside from this, there are those who do have their hang-ups about the supposed finicky nature of this device, but they are definitely outnumbered by the satisfied buyers.
Tonut Mini Spy Camera
If you weren’t wanting to get something that really resembles a clock or even a power bank, the Tonut mini spy cam is even more discreet. This spy cam is a black stick that runs off of WIFI and is very small so you can fit it in your pocket and do some spying on the go. Or, it can be stationary on a shelf, in your bedroom, living room, nursery, garage, cottage, office, etc etc. – you can basically place it anywhere and it can be used to keep an eye on things. No matter where you put it, this camera will not draw attention to itself as it’s just a little stick thing (3.2 ounces, 3.7 x 2.6 x 2.2 inches). You can watch what’s going on on your phone, or save it for later to watch on your PC.
As with the other cameras, spy cams like the Tonut mini do serve a dual purpose, which is that you can either use the camera to keep an eye on your kids, pets, elderly family members, making sure your home is safe without having an actual camera set up. That’s not so much a spy purpose, it’s just a discreet version of a normal indoor camera that people use. Then there’s the intention to watch people where you want to see if your employee is stealing, spouse is cheating, burglar is burgling, dog is eating your cat’s food, and so forth. Because the Tonut cam is so covert, it has the most flexibility of actual purpose when it comes to how it can be used, so that’s a big plus.
Now, onward to the technical features of the Tonut spy camera. First, it comes with one USB cable, one user’s manual, the camera itself, as well as 8 specialized button lenses that you can use to customize your camera. These we think are of particular interest, as you can change the appearance of your camera to suit a given situation. This camera comes with motion detection, like the others on this list, which saves you time, and it also overwrites when the card is full
You can select between 3 different image qualities – 720P, 640P, and the lowest being 480p. As you can see, the quality of the image isn’t as high as some other cameras, but this is also the tiniest camera on our list so far. The camera runs off of an app called BVCAM which you can download for your smartphone, but the app isn’t supported by Macs or Windows phones, so you know. It supports a 2.4G WIFI router only. Another limitation for you to be aware of. Speaking of limitations, this camera has some naysayers. They say that is flimsy and crappy, and generally hard to use. This argument is countered by the majority, who think it’s a good camera. This camera is usually purchased for under $30, so there’s that to factor in as well. If you get it, do let us know what you think of it.
NexGadget Mini Pen Camera
In our opinion, this could be the most James Bond item on this list – the NexGadget Mini Pen Camera. Why do we like it? This pen is basically a discreet camera which takes great quality audio and video while looking and behaving exactly like a pen. Ther is nothing to make anyone suspicious that this might be anything other than a pen, and with no winking lights or things of that nature while the camera is on and recording. The video the camera takes through its tiny lens is time-stamped and very watchable. With 32 GB of space, this pen camera is definitely comparable space-wise to the other spy cams on this list.
This is not a WIFI camera, instead, you just turn it on and record, then turn it off. It can be used to take still pictures, or actual moving footage, depending on which mode you’re in (1 or 2). When recording video, you can get up to 90 minutes of video capture, so keep this in mind. The pen camera here comes with a USB extension cable for charging and data transfer, using a standard USB port.
Like the Tonut spy camera, you can carry this pen in your pocket or take it with you, or you can set it down where ever you want to get footage. We will say that in our opinion this camera is a little more preferential than the Tonut, just because it is such a convincing pen that no one would ever question why you have it, or notice it and wonder what it is. This is why it makes such an effective spy camera. For the price you pay, you do get a lot of value.
If there are any complaints, they include the USB being on the slower side when it comes to transferring footage to your PC. Also, there is no battery level indicator, and setting the date and time can be tricky, which some people have fussed over.
Overall, what you get here with the full package is the pen camera, as well as an instruction manual, USB cable, and a 32 GB Micro SD which some of the other spy cameras lack. We believe there is also a warranty that comes with this product so look out for that too.
Thanks for reading our article on the best hidden spy cameras for home use. Leave a comment below if you have anything to add!