The 8 Best Outdoor Security Cameras (2023): Battery Operated, LTE, No Subscription

1 year ago

We have tested several other outdoor security cameras. These are the ones we like that just missed the place above.

Reolink Argus 3 Pro for $120: This security camera can appeal to many, not least the affordable price. It offers 2K video, local or cloud storage, two-way audio, siren and people recognition. The live stream loads quickly, and it’s inexpensive to buy a solar panel to power it. The app is a little confusing, but Reolink recently added 2FA. I have also tested Reolink Argus PT with solar panel ($160), which is a robust panoramic camera with a similar feature set. Both Reolink cameras also support dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5GHz).

Eve Outdoor Camera for $250A: This stylish spotlight camera needs to be wired, and the installation is complicated (you may need an electrician). It can replace street lighting, providing motion-activated light (up to 1500 lumens), 1080p video (157-degree field of view), and two-way audio. But for a Homekit camera, you’ll need an Apple Homekit hub (Apple TV, HomePod, or iPad) and an iCloud+ storage plan. Unfortunately, the video and sound quality is average, it only works with 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, and there is no Android support.

$120 Toucan Wireless Outdoor CameraA: The Toucan wireless camera resembles our top pick from Arlo with a smart magnetic mount and easy installation. 1080p video is good in ideal conditions, but performs poorly in mixed lighting (non-HDR). Two-way audio is acceptable. The app works well and downloads the live stream fairly quickly, but it’s only available on the cloud, which means you’ll need to subscribe (from $3/month) if you want tagged events to be recorded in more than the last 24 hours or to upload more than five videos per month.

Wyze Cam V3 Outdoor Camera for $35: This camera is IP65 rated making it suitable for outdoor use. It’s close to the Wyze Cam Outdoor in terms of video quality and features, but since it has to be plugged in, you could easily spend more on a long cable than on the camera itself. Local storage is also limited to the microSD card on the device.

$170 Toucan Security CameraA: You can simply plug this camera into an outlet, and it comes with an 8m waterproof cable. It has a motion-activated backlight (1200 lumens), records 1080p video, and supports two-way audio. I found the footage to be quite detailed, but it struggled with direct sunlight. You can record locally to a microSD card (sold separately) and get 24 hours of free cloud storage, but it has limitations. Plans start at $3 per month. Even at the lowest motion detection sensitivity, this camera triggered too often during testing and there was no way to filter out people, so I often got false positives (blowing leaves, moths and birds all triggered alerts).

Ezviz C3X for $90: The C3X does the basics right, offering crisp footage and reliable alerts. It features a dual camera for better night vision, offering full color video without a spotlight. It’s also easy to set up, accepts a microSD card, and supports convenient two-factor fingerprint authentication. Unfortunately, you have to run a power cable (there’s also an optional ethernet) and the cloud subscription is too expensive. I also checked the wireless Ezvis EB3 (£80)2K, battery powered outdoor security camera with on-device people detection and microSD card slot, but only available in the UK.

Blurams Outdoor Lite 3 for $65: This is an affordable multifunctional surveillance camera with pan/tilt/zoom, spotlights, siren, motion tracking, continuous recording and two-way audio. You can store your footage locally on a microSD card (sold separately) or subscribe to a cloud plan. The video quality is acceptable, but the app is very buggy and the live stream loading was inconsistent (sometimes it just buffered indefinitely).

$190 SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor Security CameraA solid feature set, crisp 1080p video, and HDR support sounds enticing, but you need a Simplisafe (9/10, recommends WIRED) security system and a monitoring plan to make this camera worth it, making it too expensive for what you’re getting. . (Arlo Pro 4 offers better video quality and more features.) However, this could be a welcome addition for existing SimpliSafe customers.

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