Hello, in this article I look at six top battery powered security cameras and I focus specifically on their smartphone apps.
I have ranked the cameras in this comparison so that the security cameras that appear at the top of the list have the best rated apps whilst those at the bottom have the worst!
This ranking is a combination of a user rating (out of 5) and the number of ratings that the app has received from users.
To my mind, the more ratings that an app has received, the more the ratings of the app can be trusted.
In my comparison which I start below, I have identified 11 features that a good smartphone app should have, and they are:
Let me quickly explain what each of these features mean.
iOS | Android
Is the app available for your Apple devices and your Android devices?
Technology is constantly moving forward and a good quality app needs to be regularly updated in order to make the app as secure as possible, to fix any bugs and to add new features to it every so often.
No matter how much a manufacturer raves about their apps, the ultimate test of quality is user feedback which is available for any iOS or Android app.
Using the app, can a user connect to a single camera or multiple cameras and view live footage of what is happening?
Does the app allow an owner to view recorded footage that is either stored on an SD card or in a cloud account?
Enable/ Disable Motion
Using the app, can the motion detection setting be turned on or off?
Edit Motion Alerts
Can a user make changes to the motion detection settings? For instance by changing the “sensitivity” of the settings?
Two Way Talk
Can you talk to someone who is next to the camera using the app?
Enable/ Disable Audio
If the camera has a two way talk function, can it be turned on and off?
Add/ Delete Cameras
Does the app allow cameras to be added or deleted from the system?
And so I look at six most popular battery powered security cameras one by one.
This feature is for people who own multiple cameras. Does the app allow multiple cameras to be viewed?
And finally on my charts, if a feature is colored black, it means that the feature is available.
If a feature is colored red it means that the feature is unavailable or poorly rated.
Now that I have finished explaining about all of the must have features for an app, let’s take a look at our first security camera, the Arlo Pro.
Called “Arlo” we can see that the app has all of the features.
It is available for both iOS (version 10 or later) and Android (version 5) phones and it is highly rated.
As well as accessing your Arlo cameras via apps, you can also access them via your web browser, such as Firefox or Chrome.
You just need to sign up for a free account to do this.
Strengths of the app include:
- Easy set up
- Good picture quality
- App easy to use
Areas of improvement for the app, include:
- Create settings for individual cameras
The app unfortunately is not highly rated on either the iOS or Android systems but it has every other feature that you would want from a smartphone app.
Called simply “Reolink” the app is available on both the iOS (version 8 and above) and Android (4.0.3) smartphone systems.
And although you cannot access your Reolink camera from a browser, you can download free software to use on your Windows or Mac computer.
Some strengths of the app include:
- high quality images
- strength of connections
Some weaknesses of the app, include:
- much better on iOS than Android
This Blink Home Monitor is more highly rated on Android phones than iPhones.
If you want to install it on an Android device, you will need to be running at least version 5 of Android.
If you want to use it on an iOS device, you will need to be running at least iOS 10.3.
A slight disadvantage to most other cameras in this comparison is that you can only access your Blink XT via an app- you cannot access it from a browser or from desktop software.
Strengths of the app, include:
- Easy to use
- Responsive customer service
- Green tint seen on some camera footage.
Ring Spotlight Battery
The Ring app has all the functions that a great security camera app should have and more.
You can access it on your iPhone or iPad (as long as you are running iOS 9.3 or later.)
On your Android phone you will need to running Android 5.0 or up.
As well as this, you can download software to control and access your Ring camera for your Windows 10 phone, tablet or laptop or for your Mac.
However, users don’t generally rate the app very highly. Although Android users think it is better than iPhone and iPad users.
Some strengths of the app, include;
- motion alerts
- picture quality
Some weaknesses of the app, include:
- no low battery indicator
- notifications aren’t reliable
Wansview Indoor/Outdoor Camera
The Wansview app can be downloaded and used on an iPhone, Android phone or on a Windows or Mac computer.
However, this app is limited in two important ways.
Firstly, the ratings from both iPhone users and Android users are shockingly bad.
On both platforms the app is rated lower than three stars out of five.
And secondly, the app is not very stable.
Although it is updated regularly, many users complain that it crashes frequently.
Strengths of the app
- Easy to set up and add a camera
- Accessible on phones and computers
Weaknesses of the app
- Frequently crashes
- Audio unreliable
- Loss of connection
Video: Wansview App in Action
This is a brief walkthrough of the app because it only shows you how to configure the SD card and it doesn’t show you a complete overview unfortunately.
SDeter Battery Camera
A first in my comparison is that the SDeter camera uses an app made by a third party.
Yes, you’ve guessed it- this camera uses an app that wasn’t specifically created for it.
Another area of confusion seems to be that the app that is advertised on the website is not the app that is recommended in the user manual.
As you can see in my chart above, the app is designed to have many features, including lots of settings related to motion detection and it has two way talk.
However, your camera can only be accessed via your iPhone or Android handset.
iPhones need to be running at least iOS 8 and the oldest software for an Android user is version 4.1.
You cannot access the app via your Windows or Mac laptop.
Looking at what different users think, let’s explore some pros and cons.
- Feature packed app
- Intermittent connection
- App keeps crashing
Video: Cloud Edge App in Action
This is a video of a Cloud Edge camera and app.
The video isn’t great to be honest but it is the only video of this app that I could find!
This video deliberately starts at 2 minutes 20 seconds because the first two minutes provides an overview of a camera that you won’t be using.
The rest of the video demonstrates how to connect a camera to the Cloud Edge App.
The app for the Butterfleye is made by the same company that designed the camera and in fact the app has recently been upgraded so that it controls a range of home security devices not just cameras.
And this updated app is very highly rated by its users.
As you can see by glancing at the chart above, the Ooma app has all the main features that you would want from an app.
And it has an advanced feature that can be unlocked with a subscription starting from $4.99 per month.
And that feature is facial recognition.
If you want to use the app on your iPhone then it needs to be running iOS 9 +.
Want it on your Samsung Galaxy or other Android phone?
Then you will need version 4.4 or up.
So, just what are the pros and cons of the Ooma app?
Pros and Cons
First things first, let’s think about the app’s strengths
- Feature rich
- Strong customer support
- Easy setup, simple to use
Now let’s think about some of the apps weaknesses
- Difficult to find any complaints
Video: Ooma Home Security App in Action
This is a very thorough walkthrough of the app.
It allows you to;
- Add new cameras
- Connect live to them
- Configure and receive notifications
- View a log of events
The app for the Snap is made in house by Zmodo.
As you can see from the chart above, the Zmodo app has most of the features that any security camera user could possibly want.
Although in the chart I have marked the app as being poorly rated, the reviews from Android users are much better than those that use the app on their iPhone.
In terms of compatibility, if you want to use this app on your Google phone, make sure that it is running version 4.0.3.
And if you are an Apple user, your iPhone needs to be iOS 8 or later.
- Great layout
- Good customer support
- Live stream stops
- Playback intermittent
Video: Zmodo App in Action
This is a very thorough walk through of the Zmodo app by an owner of a Zmodo camera.
Different features of the app are clearly explained and shown on the video.