Technology has made it increasingly more difficult to secure one’s privacy. However, there are also a number of spy gadgets that are available to help you keep your eyes on virtually anything. If you’re the busy parent wanting to keep a constant eye on their nanny or just someone who wants to secure their home from intruders, getting the best spy camera may be crucial to maintaining your sanity. However, with so many cameras available, it can be difficult to pick which would work best for your home. Based on our analysis we recommend the AHD 1080P Mini Camera because of its fullrange of features and flexibility.
Our professional editors pick and rate these products specifically for each category and recommend the best product we can. We may receive a commission from affiliated links
Best Overall: AHD 1080P WIFI FHD Mini Button Camera
"Memory card slot (up to 128gb), motion detection, audio recording and Wi-FI enabled"
Best Clock: STS Mini Camera Clock
"Full HD fully functional clock that not only tells time but works as a video recorder"
Best Watch: Spy Watch
"16gb built-in memory, waterproof, audio recording and night vision"
Best Hidden: Facamword Wireless Camera Photo Frame
"6-7 Hours battery life, motion detection, audio recording, night vision and Wi-Fi"
Best Home: Oltec Spy Bulb Security Camera
"Built-in 64gb memory, 2-way audio, motion detection and WiFi enabled"
Best Pen: Facamword Spy Pen Camera
"Built-in 16gb memory card, motion detection, audio recording and has night vision"
Best Features: Sunggo Spy Camera
"Waterproof, motion detection, night vision and Wi-Fi enabled"
Best Smartwatch: LKcare Fitness Tracker Bracelet with Hidden Camera
"Audio recording and Bluetooth connectivity"
Best Ceiling Device: FUVISION Smoke Detector Camera
"Motion detection, night vision and Wi-Fi enabled"
Best Clock: Spyman Hidden Camera Clock
"Memory Card (8Gb memory card included), motion detection, night vision and has Wi-Fi"
Best Unsuspecting: WNAT Hidden Camera Speakers
"Memory Card (up to 128 gb), motion detection, audio recording, night vision and Wi-Fi enabled"
Best for recording
HD Video recording. Small and flexible design.
As cute as a button and just as small, this mini camera can be hidden in even the most difficult areas. It was initially designed to be placed as a jacket button but its flexible form enables it to be used in various other places. The camera can record several video files because of its 3 main features: long battery life, large storage capacity, and motion detection capability. On a full charge, it can record up to 3 hours of continuous videos. The memory card slot is also capable of supporting memory cards that hold up to 128 GB; that’s a lot of videos. Lastly, the motion detection on the device dictates when it starts recording so you won’t find any video recordings where nothing is happening.
The videos on this device are recorded in 1080p. The lens captures a sufficient amount of detail for the size and cost of this camera. Unfortunately, videos taken in low light or night setting are not that clear. One surprise from this camera is the audio recording capability. However, you should be careful when setting it up so as not to block out the mic.
“What’s amazing about this camera is that it gives you the flexible head and the ability to put it anywhere you want…. can be fit in a number of places. The video quality was good enough for recording and decent enough for evidence purposes”
“I love this thing, the install was much easier than I thought and the camera is great and easy to turn on and use.“
The multiple functions that you can get from this digital clock include the main purpose of telling the time, setting alarms, and a full HD video recording.
The multiple functions that you can get from this digital clock include the main purpose of telling the time, setting alarms, and a full HD video recording. When plugged in, the clock is able to function 24/7 but, in the case of a power outage, it has a built-in battery that can last up to 5 days when you set it on motion detection mode. The advantage of the motion detection mode on this device is that you no longer have to sift through multiple large video files when looking for a specific piece of footage. Instead, the camera is smart enough to turn itself on when motion is detected in the area; and it only records those times when someone is moving around your home.
You don’t always have to rely on the motion sensors to record since the device is also Wifi-capable. With the use of an app on your smartphone or tablet, you can sync the device and view real time videos by turning the spy camera on through the app features. It’s a great feature that allows you to check your home from time to time. This spy camera is cleverly designed as a digital clock which is sure to give it a good vantage point - clocks have to be put in a position where the people around can get a good view of the time and, in turn, the clock also has a good view of the people in the room.
Stylish and multi-functional wrist accessory
Serves 3 main purposes; first, as a wrist watch; second, as a stylish accessory; and lastly, as a hidden spy camera capable of recording high quality videos.
This stylish and multi-functional wrist accessory serves 3 main purposes; first, as a wrist watch; second, as a stylish accessory; and lastly, as a hidden spy camera capable of recording high quality videos. The strap of the watch is made of a soft rubberized material that is rather comfortable to wear. The watch dial is made mostly of a stainless steel material and is plated with a matted white silver. The face of the watch carries a simple and classic design that suits both casual and formal wear. Overall, the watch looks great.
The video recording capabilities of the watch are also as good as the design. Details of the videos are clear and crisp. However, audio can be quite muted at times when the watch slips too low on your wrist. When recording videos with this hidden watch camera, you can also easily control it with the phone app, Which is actually quite easy to set up. The videos are stored directly in the watch, which has a 16 GB built-in memory. Suffice to say, the storage capacity is decent and can carry multiple video files. With the built-in battery, the camera can last up to an hour and a half of continuous recording. When using it repeatedly, be sure to transfer your files to avoid deleting previous video files automatically.
Hidden camera disguises itself as a lovely picture frame that you can easily place on top of a table, shelf, or mounted on the wall.
This hidden camera disguises itself as a lovely picture frame that you can easily place on top of a table, shelf, or mounted on the wall. It is very easy to find a strategic place to set this device without making it seem obvious that you are recording the area. At the bottom of the frame, a digital clock also shows the time. Even without the video recording feature, it is already able to function as a nice addition to your household. The spy camera on this device captures HD video but, unfortunately, has a limited 110 degree view. The battery life is also rather limited - only lasting up to 7 hours on a full charge. You can, however, set it on motion detection mode in order to conserve the battery and make it last longer. With motion detection mode, the camera only records following any movement in the area. Since the device is also capable of connecting to your home’s WiFi, you can access the live video feedback through an app on your phone. It is a bit difficult to sync it up with the device at the onset but after a successful connection, you’ll be able to access the videos from the screen of your smartphone or tablet. The videos are also stored on a memory card that you put into the device.
Gives both light and surveillance to your home
Its placement gives it a great bird’s eye view of an entire room; that is an entire 360 view.
This light bulb gives both light and surveillance to your home. Its placement gives it a great bird’s eye view of an entire room; that is an entire 360 view. The hidden camera on the device also captures good quality videos. With the WiFi connectivity feature on this device, you can view the current camera recordings live on the ICSee App which is available on both the Playstore and the App store on iOS. Setting up the light bulb is almost as easy as installing the app on your phone. The app software, unfortunately, takes a while to get used to and is a bit difficult to navigate.
When you get it connected, the live stream feature works seamlessly and you have 24/7 surveillance on your property, The motion sensors on the device also allow you to set a motion detection alarm to keep you updated whenever anybody is in the room. The only downside to this item is that it doesn’t have a night vision mode function. But, since it emits a light directly from the bulb, all recordings when the light is on are great.
It also has a built-in speaker which allows for 2-way audio recording. You can communicate to the people in the room even when you are away. The audio quality is decent. Lastly, the video quality is clear and you can actually zoom in and still find a sufficient amount of detail. When not connected to the Wi-Fi, the videos are stored directly on the built-in memory card.
Gives both light and surveillance to your home
Its placement gives it a great bird’s eye view of an entire room; that is an entire 360 view.
This classy metallic pen is a 3-in-1 device. It’s a hidden spy camera that takes high quality 1080p videos and HD images; it’s a USB flash drive device that stores the recorded videos and images, along with other important files; lastly, it’s a nice pen. You can easily use it to record class lectures, business meetings, and conferences. Despite its small size, it also has a built-in mic to record audio. However, while the audio quality is decent, it is not great. The device does make up for it with the great images and videos it takes. But you should probably avoid using the pen to write if you decide to record, this might have seemed obvious to you, but I ended up getting really shaky videos on my first try.
For best quality recordings, you can place it on your shirt pocket or place it on a pen holder on your desk where you can leave it to record all the important things while you just lean back. A full charge can support up to an hour of full video recording. Unfortunately, it does take a while to charge and, unlike the other mini cameras, it doesn’t work while charging. In terms of build, the pen feels great in hand but it definitely feels a bit bulky and heavier than regular pens. It does feel very durable because of the metallic finish. Not to mention, it looks great too.
“It takes both pictures and video using a switch inside the pen. The quality of the photos and videos are very clear.”
“This spy pen recorder works good…. It is like an ordinary pen. It is easy to use.”
Great outdoor and sports spy camera
This miniature camera can fit snugly in your pocket. It’s a great outdoor and sports spy camera because it is made of a durable and waterproof material.
This miniature camera can fit snugly in your pocket. It’s a great outdoor and sports spy camera because it is made of a durable and waterproof material. You can even take it out swimming. Although, it probably won’t give as good quality video recordings underwater. The downside to using this on the go is the short battery life; the camera can only last up to an hour of video recording. However, when used at home or somewhere you can connect it to a power source, the camera can stay on 24/7 - or until you plug it out.
This Sunggo spy camera can integrate with a mobile app that you can download for free on both Playstore and the Apple store. All you need to do is download the app and connect the spy camera to your router or hotspot. This allows you to see live video streaming from your home wherever. This small camera even has motion sensors that set off a motion detection alarm on the app. This is great for home surveillance purposes. The night vision on this camera is decent and gives detailed images but the 1080p video resolution is a lot better appreciated in the daylight. Lastly, the device comes together with a magnetic bracket that is rotatable and a lifetime warranty from Sunggo.
“This tiny camera works great so far. The actual camera is small and comes in a sealed waterproof case.”
“Nice Portable mini Spy/Activity camera. I like how small it is and when it is recording it does not flash at all, so no one will ever know if found/noticed that it is actually recording (for spying).”
You can use this watch as a regular fitness tracker
The hidden camera lens is able to capture 1080p video recording while recording decent audio quality.
You can use this watch as a regular fitness tracker to record steps, calories, and other things you could normally use a fitness bracelet for. However, this bracelet also has a hidden camera embedded on the front screen of the device. It also shows the time so it works as a digital watch as well.
The hidden camera lens is able to capture 1080p video recording while recording decent audio quality. It is easy to take pictures with the device since there are buttons that allow you to control it. Like most fitness trackers, it can also sync to your phone via Bluetooth, allowing you to check your health stats and your recorded videos on your phone. You also get to use the app to take pictures. When using the hidden camera function, the battery life is rather limited - lasting only up to 2 hours of full usage. This, however, can get you quite a lot of video playback time, which is saved directly on a memory card that you need to insert into the device before you stray using it for espionage.
“The amazing part about this one is it have all the function I need for an fitness watch with moreover the spy cam function”
”The main feature, the camera, exceeded my expectations. The sound quality is decent”
Best secret camera and battery
Cleverly hidden as a smoke detector, you can get a top view 140 degree angle coverage of a full room
Cleverly hidden as a smoke detector, you can get a top view 140 degree angle coverage of a full room. The videos recorded on this hidden camera are recorded in 1080p HD and are easily accessible through an app that you can install on your smartphone. This smoke detector alarm also has built-in motion sensors. You are sure to be notified when movement in the monitored area is detected. However, you’ll be able to receive these alerts only after you sync up the app to the smoke detector camera. Added features that you get after syncing your devices through a WiFi connection include live video streaming.
Unfortunately, this hidden camera is unable to record audio. But it does have one of the longest battery lifes, lasting up to 180 days on standby mode. In order to maximize battery life, you’ll have to set the camera to motion detection mode. And, it’s important to note that this is a dummy smoke detector that isn’t actually able to detect any smoke, so you’ll have to get an actual smoke detector alarm for your home.
“This dummy smoke detector camera is good to install in places where you want avoid especially theft or others to be known that camera were present so recording will not incurred suspection or awareness of the subjects on the camera”.
This is one of the best hidden spy cameras
It is best for home surveillance because of its design, mobile app, and high quality night vision mode.
This is one of the best hidden spy cameras. By hiding in plain sight, this digital clock with a hidden camera lens has a great view of your home. It is best for home surveillance because of its design, mobile app, and high quality night vision mode. While most would have this device connected to an outlet, the battery life should still be able to sustain recording for another 3-4 hours. Videos are stored on a memory card but you can also view them live with the Mu Cam app, which is compatible for both Android and iOS devices.
The camera has a wide 140 view and you can even enable a motion detection alarm on your app so it can alert you whenever someone is snooping around your area. Connecting the device to your phone can be done either through simply connecting the device to your home’s WiFi or setting up a hotspot connection directly to your phone.
Video and image quality look great when you view the files. Unfortunately, the spy camera doesn’t record any sounds. Also, you probably won’t be able to bring this around without raising suspicions. As an at-home spy camera, this is probably one of the best ones on the market. However, if you’re planning to do a bit of outdoor espionage, this probably isn’t the device you’d want.
“This clock hidden camera has 1080p excellent quality picture. The instructions were easy to follow. You can record the video to memory card as well. Great quality for the price, sharp clear image from a good product.”
“Camera is hidden so isn't noticeable. Easy to setup and use. You can connect it to your phone. Reasonable price. I do recommend it.”
One of the best hidden spy cameras
It is best for home surveillance because of its design, mobile app, and high quality night vision mode.
This device functions great as both a set of wireless Bluetooth speakers and as a great home surveillance camera. It records great quality video in 1080p HD while allowing you to set the hidden camera to record in different modes. Motion detection mode relies on the motion sensors and starts recording when movement is sensed. A time-lapse and continuous recording mode are the other options available. The speakers also offer good audio quality.
Recorded videos also include audio but if recording while playing music from the speakers, you’ll only end up hearing the music being played. Luckily, you can use the hidden camera without having to use the speakers.
Since the device is capable of connecting to your home Wi-Fi, you can install the camera app on your phone and sync it with the hidden camera. This will give you the ability to check video recordings through the app and even check out live video feed.
“The angle of view covers the entire room, which is much better than some of the other products I tried. It can also play music. I like that I can get an alarm notice (motion activated) on my phone, then "see" what is happening before deciding to record it or not. Or, the recording can be automatic, my choice.”
Why not just buy a regular video or home security camera?
Everyone tends to be a little camera shy. There are many who won’t be comfortable around your home when a security camera has all eyes on them. While this is one way to also secure your home, some people will find ways around your camera. Just as they would if you were there, they could easily act great when in view but behave differently when out of your camera’s periphery.
With a spy camera, you’ll easily catch them in the act, whether it’s the bad nanny, a snooping friend, or a cheating spouse, the truth will set them free. Here are some of the best spy cameras in the market. If you’re still undecided after this list, keep reading to find our buyer’s guide on what to look for in a spy camera.
The best spy cameras may not always be the same for everyone. Depending on your needs, and the main reason why you are looking to get a spy camera in the first place, what you’re looking for might not be in our list of top spy cameras. However, no matter what the purpose, we can give you a few key things to look for in a spy camera.
Before purchasing a spy camera, knowing just how many videos and images it is capable of storing is a necessary bit of information. A reliable spy camera should be able to store a few hours worth of videos. Most gadgets have a built-in ability to delete the oldest files to make room for newer videos. While this might be a good function since you no longer need to manually delete old files, it can be frustrating when you need a specific video recording from a few days back and then find that it has been deleted. If you’re looking for something that you need to only use from time to time and have no problems with manually uploading files to your computer or phone, storage capacity may not be a large factor to look at. However, if you need a spy camera that should be able to monitor your home throughout the day and night, then this feature is one to look into. Luckily, most spy cameras have expandable storage. Better yet, newer gadgets have Wi-Fi or Phone connectivity features that allow the device to automatically store the video records on your phone or computer. You have a near unlimited storage capacity in this case. Plus, the ease of being able to view the videos without having to take out the spy camera.
There are other formats that manufacturers utilize to optimize storage space and the video quality, however, these formats may require certain video software or apps to play on your device. This can be quite a hassle when you need to easily view files. However, most spy cameras that do this usually have an integrated software that you can easily download or install when you first get the device set up.
A spy camera that is unable to give you clear videos would be unable to fulfill its main purpose of surveillance. But, again, depending on your purpose, the level of video quality can vary. You might only be looking to see how many people come and go in your business and don’t need clear and crisp video resolution. Or you might want something that could give you HD - the kind of videos you could zoom in 10 times to spot the car’s plate number. While crime shows have been setting quite unrealistic standards in terms of camera resolution, there are many options that give you great video quality.
There are actually different ways spy cameras record videos. First is through continuous video recording. A continuous stream of short clips that are time stamped and organized on file is recorded the moment you turn the device on and it stops only when you turn it off. If you’re looking for something to give you 24/7 surveillance, your spy camera should be able to record continuously. The second type of recording is when the camera has motion sensors that activate video recording only when there is motion detected. This can actually be great for your storage and it saves you time from having to browse through multiple files where literally nothing is happening.
It’s important to note that not all mini spy cameras come with audio recording capability. Most of the newer gadgets have this feature but you should always check and never assume that the piece of spy tech you are looking at does have it. After confirming that the spy camera does record audio, the next thing to look at - or in this case, listen to - is the audio quality. Most spy cameras have a decent level of audio quality. However, this is usually nowhere close to the type of audio that you would get with regular video cameras.
Most mini spy cameras also have a limited amount of space to put in a mic, so it’s quite common for these devices to only have a single mic for recording. This makes it quite easy for the mic to be muted out when items accidentally block it. An easy way to circumvent problems with audio recording if it is an absolute necessity for your surveillance is to install additional hidden mics to capture audio.
A large storage capacity will be fruitless if the camera can’t stay on long enough to capture videos. The tricky thing with spy cameras is hiding it into the background. Some cameras have a power cable that you can plug in but this would make it easy to find. People would find it suspicious when they see a random wire plugged in. Most cameras, however, depend on a built-in battery.
When you get a spy camera, you’ll have to set it up and get it in place. There can be a few devices that are difficult to use, even with the instructions. On the other hand, there are some that are extremely easy to get ready. If you’re not that good with handling complicated tech, you’ll probably have a hard time setting up and getting your spy camera working if you opt for one that isn’t user friendly. You can always get a professional or a friend to help set it up for you, but you’ll have to share the secret with them. However, most cameras come with detailed instructions and a user’s manual that, although most people don’t really bother reading, should have all the details you need to get your device working.
Mini spy cameras are relatively easy to set up. Their small size and design usually allow you to just stick them in a corner. Other spy cameras have a specific “camouflage” that makes it appear as another object. Most common spy “items” are sunglasses, pens, and clocks. But you can even find other spy cameras that are disguised as water bottles, light bulbs, and many other objects you’d usually find around the house. The important takeaway from this is that you’ll have to consider where you are planning to put your spy camera before deciding on a final purchase.
Most of the recent spy cameras offer a waterproof feature or some level of water resistance. While you may not have any plans to bring the device out for a swim anytime soon, there can be many things that can happen in your home. A few drops from a spilled glass of water could easily cause your spy gadget to short circuit if it lacks this feature. However, knowing where you’ll be placing the spy camera and what the main purpose is should also help to determine whether water resistance is a key feature that you need.
The last main characteristic that you need to evaluate is the product’s durability. While most users have no direct way of testing this out until they actually use the spy camera, browsing through reviews and past customer experiences can give you some clue to how well the camera lasts. The materials that make up the device also factor in on its longevity. Flimsy plastic materials are unlikely to hold up with more durable polymers or metal components. Also, while there are still several spy cameras from less known brands that offer great quality and durability, popular brands often let out higher quality products that are trusted to last.
Aside from the main things to consider, there are also a few other specialized features that can bring a spy camera to the next level. These features may not always be necessary but these are a few great things to have on a spy camera.
Spy device developers have started creating apps and software that easily connects with the actual device. This means that you can connect your spy camera directly to your phone, laptop, or desktop PC; enabling you to view the recorded videos directly or even LIVE. Added functionalities include changing views or moving the lenses of the camera to get a different perspective of the scene and basically using your phone as a remote control for the spy camera. This makes it extremely convenient. Great if you want to have more control over your surveillance.
In order to connect, most cameras rely on a Wi-Fi connection. Others, however, use Bluetooth or other methods for connectivity. The most convenient connectivity mode is definitely when the device is able to connect to the internet. For one, it saves storage since the camera can directly upload new videos into a virtual storage space which you can easily access with other devices. Plus, with a Wi-Fi connection, you are also likely to have the option to view the camera recording live.
In order to connect, most cameras rely on a Wi-Fi connection. Others, however, use Bluetooth or other methods for connectivity. The most convenient connectivity mode is definitely when the device is able to connect to the internet. For one, it
This feature is especially useful for a spy camera that you are planning to use for home surveillance. With motion sensors embedded in the device, you’ll only limit recording to when there is movement or activity in an area. In this case, you are able to avoid recording several hours of footage where there is nothing noteworthy occurring. It lessens the hassle of going through recordings when you are looking for a specific event.
Also another feature that you should look for if you need a mini spy camera for home surveillance is the night vision mode. A handy spy gadget is one that is able to record videos even in the dark. Whether you are looking for a gadget that you can use indoors or outdoors, night vision capability is a cool thing to have. I would actually consider this a must-have feature for any spy gadget.
You’ll often find spy cameras disguised as random gadgets that you can normally find around the house. There are many different styles that are available, each fitting a variety of situations and purposes. Overall, spy cameras are a great device to have. They provide protection, surveillance, and give you a sense of safety in your home as long as you use the spy camera for your own safety, and not as a gadget to harm or infiltrate the safety and privacy of others.
Angela Otera is a spy camera professional that has been in the industry as a advisor for security and camera installations all around the Los Angeles Area. Over the years she has developed a unique technical expertise in the sector that allows he to write and give suggestions on services and security related issues. She enjoys hiking and spends her free time with her 2 children.