Camera technology really has come a long way, especially in regards to security cameras. Those obvious, huge, corner-mounted cameras are now a thing of the past, and now we can fit tiny cameras into more than just smartphones. (Source)
One of the newer spy cameras on the scene are fake smoke detectors with a tiny camera hidden inside. While these look entirely like regular fire detectors, they don’t detect smoke at all, but they are capable of recording video, or even transmitting it live to other devices so you can watch in real time.
Spy camera smoke detectors have come a long way in a short amount of time, and now it seems like there are dozens of companies trying to cash in on the new technology. AS you might have guessed, this has led to a watered down market that has more than its fair share of mediocre products.
We’ve spent the last few months testing out a number of smoke detectors with spy camera, devoting several hours to each one. This enabled us to weed out some of the worst models, while determining the 10 best as well.
So, with that said here are the 10 top rated smoke detector spy cameras for 2018, listed further below.
Before we get to that however, let’s first go over what exactly these cameras are, and what they can and can’t do.
How it Works
Smoke detectors with hidden cameras are made to look exactly like your basic smoke detector, and almost always have the same markings and holes in them as well. In terms of spy cameras these are among the most effective, not only because of how they look, but because where they are located. (Source)
While there are some spy cameras that are a little easier to notice, smoke detectors rarely attract attention as is, and they are located up high. This makes them not only more inconspicuous, but gives them a wider range of vision in the room as well. They’re also simple and easy to install most of the time. (Source)
Even if you were to stop and stare at one of these cameras in a home or business, you wouldn’t see anything out of the ordinary. There’ s nothing that would give away what the “smoke detector” actually is. The holes that would be used to sense smoke and CO2 are instead used to house the tiny camera lens and microphone.
Not all smoke detector cameras are the same, but all of them will have the ability to capture video in some fashion, whether that’s directly to a data storage card, streamed to a mobile device, or both.
What to Look For in a Smoke Detector with inbuilt Spy Camera ?
As we said, not all of these cameras are the same. There are some aspects and characteristics you need to keep in mind when shopping around.
Image Quality - Obviously the most important when using any kind of spy or security camera. The better the resolution, the better you’ll be able to see everything, which is crucial when trying to view small details. 1080 HD is becoming the norm, but make sure you use a product with at least a 720.
Audio - The majority of brands manufacture smoke detector camera with audio, but not all. Always double check to make sure the model you’re viewing has a microphone -- at least if you care about capturing sound.
Mobile App Compatibility - One of the best improvements to these cameras has been their integration with mobile apps. The better models available allow you to control the camera with an app, and even do things like switch to other cameras, zoom in, stop or start recording, and more.
Storage - Storage capacity is a critical aspect to a security camera. The higher the capacity, the longer you can record and store footage. Nearly every camera now uses some form of a micro SD card that will allow you to keep at least 2-3 hours of footage at once. Look for models that accommodate larger SD card sizes, and also providing looping that restarts over the older footage when capacity is reached.
Power Source - Depending on the model, it will either have a lithium battery power source, or a cord you can wire directly into your wiring in the wall or ceiling. There is a lot of variance here, with some models offering only 3-4 hours of use at once, while others last up to 16 hours of being on and active without needing a recharge.
Wiring directly into your home’s electrical setup isn’t for everyone, so look for models that have large battery sizes instead.
Extras - Most fire alarm cameras all offer about the same number of core features, but there are some extras you can find as well. This includers things like night vision, motion detection, push notifications, etc.
10 Top Rated Smoke Detector Cameras of 2018
The following smoke detector with camera meet our standards when it comes to quality, features, and overall usability. They’ve all been tested to ensure that they offer their actual intended functionality, and don’t require a learning curve to use either.
You’ll find these picks to span a wide range of budgets as well.
|Product Name||Video Quality||App ?||Buy|
DareTang Fire Detection Cameras
SCS Enterprises WF-402HAC
KAMRE Wifi Hidden Smoke Detector
MEAUOTOU Hidden Camera Detector
Tangmi WiFi Smoke Detector Cam
UMANOR Hidden Security Camera
Conbrov Wireless Hidden Camera
Wanlelei HD Smoke Alarm Camera
Smoke Detector Camera Reviews
Littleadd : Motion Activated Smoke Detector Camera
Littleadd’s smoke detector spy Cam is a best-seller for many reasons. Easily one of the most discreet you'll find, this camera is incredibly affordable, and offers a great deal of value when considering its overall quality, and the features it offers.
This camera can do both 720 and 1080 HD modes, offering stunning visual sharpness that makes it very easy to see what’s going on from any part of the room. Little add is a motion activated smoke detector camera that means, it can be put on a motion detection mode that is set off when sensing movement within 5 meters. You can record video, or set it to capture photos to conserve battery life.
Speaking of battery life, you can get up to 10-14 hours of video off of a single charge, which makes it one of the better power options on this list. If you can figure out a way to hide the charging cord, it will never run out of power when plugged in.
The camera comes with an 8Gb SD card that will hold around 3 hours of recording, but you can always upgrade up to a 32GB size if you’d like, which will triple the amount of time you can record. There is no looping when full, so keep that in mind.
The camera does include a remote so you can easily turn it on and off when home, but there is no app available to control or view footage from a distance.
For under $50, it’s hard to find a better value. While the Littleadd camera may be lacking in a few areas, its core functions are impressive, especially for those who prioritize battery life and recording time.
DareTang – Best Smoke Detector Spy Camera of 2018
DareTang’s spy Cam is a feature-rich and modern fire detector with camera that provides users with everything they need to capture hours of quality footage, and view it from remote locations when needed.
The camera records in 1080 HD, and can also take pictures remotely as well. You can choose between motion activated mode, or simply turn the recording on from anywhere that has wifi. Motion detection is activated when something moves within 5-7 meters of the camera.
A lithium battery is included which can be recharged in around 3-4 hours. When fully charged, the battery pack offers 4-5 hours of continuous recording, or longer when used intermittently. Running a power source to to the battery charging cord is recommended if possible, but not required.
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One of the big advantages offered with DareTang’s camera is ts giant memory capacity, accommodating up to 64GB SD cards. This lets you store a massive amount of footage when needed. If you do go over capacity, the camera will loop back to older footage and record over it automatically.
This camera also comes with one of the better smartphone apps, that lets you do everything from view footage and turn the camera on and off, to switching to other cameras as well.
For under $70, this DareTang camera offers as may features and conveniences possible. The app’s ability to connect with other DareTang cameras makes this an affordable way to set up and streamline multiple cameras in your home or business.
SCS Enterprises WF-402HAC
This camera from SCS Enterprises is on the higher end of things, and offers some of the best visuals and compatibility you’ll find with smoke detector cameras. Although it does cost more than most models, it has a professional level of performance.
With a pixel quality of 720, you can easily view details from any part of the room. This is enhanced with a double layer pinhole lens and enlarged camera sensor that lets the camera see more than other models, and with more detail and perception coming from a full 90-degree angle.
As noted earlier, this camera does not use a battery pack, but rather 110 ~ 220VAC direct wiring into your existing electrical wire setup in your wall or ceiling. Yes, this is a little harder to install, but it gives the camera 24/7 operating ability, and is worth the effort.
An 8GB SD card is included, which can offer up to 30 hours of video. The camera can accommodate card sized up to 32 GB. When connected, the camera is on a secure network, so nobody that is searching for wifi networks within range will detect it.
This camera can be controlled with the popular Lizvie app, giving you full control over all of its features when connected to any wifi network on your mobile device.
Although you’re going to pay more, this camera is great for those who want 24/7 camera access and control. The direct wiring, wide angle, and large storage space make this a superiorcamera in every way.
KAMRE Hidden Smoke Detector Camera with Built-in Wifi
KAMRE’s hidden smoke detector camera provides easy installation and HD video files for a very fair price. Its combination of image quality and smartphone app integration makes it a solid buy for someone who wants to get up and running quickly.
Video is captured in 1080 HD, offering fluid movement and detail with each video. This allows the user to screenshot video clips and zoom in without sacrificing any image quality, which can often come in very handy
The camera operates off of a battery pack, which can record continuously for 2-3 hours at a time, and needs around 4 hours to completely recharge. Like other battery-powered security cameras, this can be circumvented by running a power source to the charging cord.
A micro SD card is not included with this camera, but it can accommodate up to a 32GB size, which gives it a total video capacity of around 10 hours.
A mobile app gives you full control over the camera, anywhere you can connect to wifi. It will also support up to 4 KAMRE devices at once, so most buyers can cover all of the main areas in their home and still view it all with the same app.
This KAMRE camera may not offer peak battery capacity or include an SD card, but its image quality and ability to work with 3 other cameras on the same network and app makes it a logical choice for installing 4 cameras in your home for under $275.
AES SecureGuard – Smoke Detector Hidden Camera with Recording (DVR)
AES’s smoke detector camera is easily one of the longest lasting in terms of battery life, making it easy to use, and able to provide hours and hours of recording and monitoring.
The camera records in 720 HD, and has a playback speed of the files around 30 frames per second. This gives it one of the better video qualities, which makes things a lot easier to view and discern -- something not always possible with lower quality cameras.
The battery pack is this camera’s biggest advantage by far. One charge allows the camera to operate for up to 36 hours at one time, which is exponentially better than some other models that look and function similar.
The included SD card is better than the typical 8GB version you get with other models as well, as AES provides a 16GB version, with the ability to support as high as 32GB for even more recording room. The camera’s network is hidden as well, making it more discreet.
A mobile app comes with this camera, which can let you do everything from viewing footage in real time (or saving it to your phone,) to getting push alerts if the motion detector is set off.
The AES SecureGuard is expensive, but if you prioritize battery life and mobile app features, it is a wise investment.
MEAUOTOU Hidden Camera Detector
MEAUOTOU’s hidden camera smoke detector is one of the best models that provides live viewing over a mobile app from remote locations, while also being one of the most discreet in terms of looks.
This camera records and streams in 1080 HD, providing stunning visual quality whether you’re viewing a played back video, or watching as the action happens. The camera can also snap photos on demand, and you can zoom in on video as it plays as well.
The battery life is the only real drawback. When using just the battery, you can only expect around 1-2 hours of recording, so it’s also required that you use a power cord connected to the charger.
This camera does not come with an SD card, but it does accommodate up to 64GB giving it one of the highest recording capacities you’ll find. In the event that you fill the card with too much footage, the camera will loop back and begin to record from where the oldest footage started.
The camera’s app is extremely easy to use, and has all the right features to give it a good amount of versatility. The pinch and zoom options and live video modes are very helpful.
MEAUOTOU’s camera may be lacking in the battery area, but it’s great in every other aspect, making it well worth the price if you have a way to hide the power cord.
Tangmi’s Smoke Detector Camera WIFI Enabled
This smoke detector camera from Tangmi offers great value and all of the modern features one could want. It combines high image quality, a wide range of view, and helpful mobile app features to make it an easy choice for your home or business, especially if you need to buy multiple.
This camera can record up to 1080 HD, but you do have the option of several different lower quality modes to both extend battery life, and save space on your SD card. Most will opt for the 1080, but the 720 works well too, and ensures more card and battery space. A 90-degree viewing field can capture an entire room from the corner.
The battery is a little low, offering around 2 hours of total time when on full 1080 HD. This can be worked around by using available alarm, motion detection, or scheduled modes, or you can just plug it in directly to let it run 24/7.
An SD card is not included, but this camera will operate with up to 32 GBs, which gives it a solid amount of space to store around 10-12 hours of video, depending on the quality you’ve selected. The camera’s iMiniCam app gives you full control over all its features and functions when connected to any wifi network.
While this camera suffers from the typical small battery pitfall as similar cameras, its image quality, versatile operation modes, and wide viewing angle all make it an excellent buying choice, especially for under $65.
UMANOR Hidden Security Camera
UMANOR’s hidden security camera is an affordable fake fire detector that has a very realistic and discreet look, and provides hours of high quality video with stunning detail. It’s simple and lacks an app, which some users won’t mind.
This camera operates using 1080 HD quality, so you can capture all of the needed details without missing anything. The camera also has a wide range of view, allowing it to record most of a room when placed in a corner.
When fully charged, the camera’s battery pack can offer up to 16 hours of continuous recording time, which is easily among the best. This lets you leave the camera running for hours on end without worrying about missing anything.
An 8GB SD card is included, which will hold around 3-4 hours of footage. For those that need to hold more, the camera can accommodate up to 32 GBs. The AC adapter charged can be left plugged in for endless operation, which can be controlled by a remote from up to 20 feet away.
It’s important to note that this camera does not function with an app, so any footage captured must be viewed by connecting the camera portion to a computer to transfer or view the file.
Anyone in need of a simple spy camera with a long battery life can appreciate the value found with this one from UMANOR.
Conbrov : One of the Best Motion Detector Spy Cameras in 2018
The Conbrov wireless hidden camera takes a different approach to the fake smoke detector look, offering a more modern design that may also confuse some who assume it’s a motion detector for an alarm system, thus feeling at ease around it.
Although not 1080 HD, this camera still captures sharp images and video in 720 HD format instead, which should be enough for most. The camera can be activated remotely, or you can use the motion detector setting instead, which gets triggered when anything moves within 5-7 meters.
There is no battery pack with this camera, so it needs to be plugged in at all times in order to work. This can be worked around similarly to hiding your power cords for a wall-mounted TV -- simple run the cord inside the wall.
Video footage is saved on a 32B SD card, which can hold around 10 hours of footage at one time. The included app is very impressive, giving you an array of options for both viewing and saving the video, including viewing video in real time after receiving push notifications.
One of the better features of this camera is the night vision option. This makes it fully functional without lighting present, which isn’t something you find often with other best smoke alarms with camera.
Despite the lack of a battery option, this camera is a great choice for anyone that prefers a wall-mount option, and doesn't mind hiding the power cord. The night vision and 24/7 running power only add to its versatility and overall quality.
Wanlelei Fire Alarm Camera
One of the lowest prices cameras on this list, Wanlelei’s HD spy camera has the classic fire detector look, and cleverly hides the camera lens as well, so there’s no reason for anyone to suspect it of being anything other than a smoke detector.
Despite being priced low, this camera still offers full 1080 HD pixel quality, and ensures a high level of detail with every video or image that it captures. It can be powered on by using the included remote, or you can set it to motion detector mode.
This also has an impressive battery capacity, letting the camera run and record for up to 16 hours off of one full charge. Combine that with a 32B max SD card, and you have all you need to record hours of video on end, especially when using the motion detector mode.
An 8 GB SD card is included, which provides around 3-4 hours of recording. Looping capability is included as well, so the camera will go back and record over the oldest footage if you run out of space.
There isn’t an app with this camera, so the device has to be connected to a computer to view the footage.
Even though this camera doesn’t have an app to control it, For under $50, it manages to offer great video quality and an extended battery life, which is a lot more than some other cameras can provide. If real time viewing isn’t a need for you, this is a good option.
Our Top Pick
While all of these are great choices for a variety of reasons, we determined that DareTang's smoke detector camera had the greatest combination of functionality and price. It offers 1080 HD recording, remote streaming on an app with wifi connection, a solid battery life, and the ability to use multiple cameras on one app, all for under $70.
While this camera can do plenty on its own, using it in conjunction with additional cameras is an easy and highly affordable way to provide camera coverage to the majority of your property for a fair price.