Zmodo is a surveillance camera company that offers a variety of cameras for both home and business security. The company has a wide array of products to choose from, so finding the right one can be a bit daunting. This Zmodo camera review will help you sort through the options and decide which camera is right for you.
- 1 Zmodo WiFi Camera Overview
- 2 Zmodo Camera Review
- 3 FAQs
- 4 Should You Buy It?
Zmodo WiFi Camera Overview
- Low-Cost Cameras
- Simple and discrete design
- There is no subscription fee
- Clear 1080p Video Quality
- Numerous Indoor Camera Options
- Uses Alexa and Google Assistant
- 30-day Money-Back Guarantee
- 1-year warranty
- Limiting Features
- Only 1 Outdoor Camera is available
- Some delays in the app’s wake time
- Outdoor Cam does not have a built-in siren or two-way talk.
- No local storage and limited free cloud storage.
Just under $14, the Zmodo Mini Pro indoor security camera is tiny enough to fit in a pint-size. It allows you to monitor activity on your smartphone or intelligent display with Amazon Alexa/Google Assistant.
The Zmodo Mini Pro is easy to set up and has valuable features such as AI motion detection and time-lapse videos. However, you will need to sign up for a cloud storage plan to use these helpful features.
It’s the most affordable security camera we tested at less than $15. However, Wyze Cam V3 offers even more value and is our Editors’ Choice winner for budget-friendly models.
Zmodo Camera Review
Zmodo’s cameras have been among the most simple to install. This is a common experience with cameras in this price range. There are no complicated or technical steps, and the setup takes less than 10 minutes. This is not too different from our experience with Blink’s outdoor and indoor cameras.
We just had to find a good spot and line up the camera in the exact position we wanted. Then, we could get on with our lives.
However, we do need to warn you. We noticed the camera’s top weight while installing it outdoors. We knew that we needed to make sure it didn’t fall or break.
To be safe, we double- and triple-checked the security of our camera before going back inside. We recommend you do the same.
We then moved on to the Sight 180C camera. Its long and flat design instantly reminded us of a Lorex doorbell camera. This camera is versatile.
The attached support stand can be adjusted, and the size and weight make it easy to mount to a wall. You can also move your camera around the house by simply placing it on the support stand.
Once both cameras were in place, we used Zmodo’s app for the rest of the setup process.
What You Get With Any Zmodo Camera
Zmodo cameras are very different, but all share some key elements.
Do you want to capture the minor details, like a person’s face? We zoomed in digitally four times on all Zmodo cameras. This allowed us to really focus on our friends and family’s faces.
Although we could test our cameras without any intrusions, we know that the footage would be helpful as evidence in court.
The camera records video and sends push alerts when it detects motion. This was fine for our indoor cameras as there’s not much happening at our apartment due to being pet-less. Outdoor cams were alerted frequently throughout the day. We live in New York City, so there is always motion outside. From construction to traffic to pigeons on our front porch, the notifications were not always necessary.
We would like at least some cameras to have person detection, such as the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor. This would allow us only to be notified when an actual human is detected. This may not be a problem if you live in a more peaceful environment.
The Zmodo App
The Zmodo app is available for both iOS and Android. The Android app works better than the iPhone app, but we did notice a significant lag between motion and notifications on our iPhone. It was also challenging to view old footage in this app. We hope Zmodo will improve this.
We live in NYC, which is known for its never-ending nightlife. It can be a tedious task to remember to arm and disable your cameras each morning and evening after a long day of running to catch the subway to get to work.
We set our Zmodo cameras so that they are when we go to work (8:30 am) and disarm when home at 7:30 pm. We did make some adjustments to the Zmodo app on those days when we were at the gym longer. However, most days, our schedules made it simple to keep our apartment safe and secure with minimal effort.
How Zmodo’s Cameras Different
Let’s now look at the differences between Zmodo cameras. They were pretty extensive in our testing.
We found motion zones to help reduce false notifications from motion, especially when using our outdoor cameras. The Zmodo mobile app allowed us to draw a line that separated our property from the street and sidewalk.
After that, we were only notified about movement within our “front yard”, if you can call our concrete patch that. Motion zones let us be notified only when our mail is delivered, or our dog walker arrives.
This was a much better option than being bombarded with notifications all day. Although not all Zmodo cameras have this feature, the Snap PT and Torch 360 didn’t, but most do.
Smart Home Integrations
An intelligent security camera is nothing without a voice assistant. We tested both Alexa and Google Assistant on all Zmodo cameras, except for the Torch 360 and the dome camera.
Although the Alexa skill was limited, we were able to tell Alexa to show our footage on our Echo Show. This was quite cool. We asked Alexa to stop streaming when we needed it and Alexa again when we wanted our cams to be turned off completely. It wasn’t enjoyable that Alexa couldn’t arm or disarm the cameras.
We had precisely the same capabilities with Google Assistant, but instead of the Echo Show, our Nest Hub showed us our Zmodo footage and a few more commands. We asked Google Assistant which cameras were active and could turn them off and on like Alexa.
Two-way audio is a feature that most security cameras these days offer. Microphones and speakers enable this feature. Zmodo’s cameras are no exception. The exceptions were the 1080p HD Indoor/Outdoor WiFi Camera, the Torch 360, and the 720p Indoor Dome Camera.
We could communicate with all cameras remotely via the Zmodo app. This was especially useful for those who were away from home and were using house sitters.
We get tons of packages throughout the day. It was convenient to know exactly when they stopped by since who has the time to shop in person? We could then speak with them about where to put our goods, and they could return our calls!
Except for the Torch 360, which has color night vision, all Zmodo cameras have infrared night vision. Zmodo’s infrared night vision meant that most of our night footage was captured in black and white, but it was still apparent.
The night vision can capture footage from up to 65 feet away, thanks to 20 IR LEDs surrounding the camera lens.
The bright bulb on the Torch 360 made it possible to see full color at night. Although it is a great idea to have both a camera AND a torchlight inside one, it made it less likely that the camera would be stolen or broken. Infrared LED sensors are much more noticeable in darkness, so we prefer them.
These are cameras, but this isn’t a 1980s video game. We want clear footage, not super-pixelated. Our Zmodo cams captured clear footage at 1080p HD. This is the standard we expect from 2020 security cameras.
We noticed that the Torch 360 and the dome camera footage were not as clear at 720p HD. We could still see the main event, but the 1080p HD cameras had better detail.
Field of View
Our Zmodo cameras could capture video at a similar quality, but their field of view was very different. This is how wide the shot is. We prefer 120-degree areas of view or higher. Otherwise, the footage becomes too narrow and doesn’t cover all the space.
The Zmodo Sight 180 cams have a 180-degree field of view. They were our favorite. This is despite cameras that can rotate all the time. We were happy with the Zmodo SnapPT, Torch 360 and Pivot Cloud’s field of view at 151, 132, and 120 degrees.
Only the HD Indoor/Outdoor WiFi 1080p camera at 90 degrees and the Indoor Dome 720p camera at 114 degrees showed us a small portion of what we needed. We found it challenging to afford the first camera, so we added multiple cameras to each room.
We plugged in half of our Zmodo cameras and powered them with batteries. In particular, the 1080p HD Indoor/Outdoor Zmodo WiFi camera and the Sight 180 and Torch 360 cameras. All the rest were wireless. We had to replace or recharge batteries periodically, but there was no mess in our minimalist-chic apartment. This also made installation more accessible, but that’s another story.
Zmodo’s cameras are not intended for outdoor use. The 1080p HD Indoor/Outdoor WiFi camera is the exception. Even the Torch 360 must be covered when used outdoors.
The rest of the cameras can be placed indoors. Zmodo sells most of its outdoor cameras only in extensive packages. This makes it not the best place to purchase outdoor cams.
Ring offers a few options at a fraction of the cost, such as the Ring Stick Up Cam Battery and the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery. We recommend Ring over Zmodo’s vast systems unless you have significant properties to monitor.
Zmodo’s super-low prices are a great thing. Our cheapest camera was just under $40, and the Snap PT was above $199. Although it’s pretty expensive for indoor cams, the camera comes with window/door sensors making the price seem even more reasonable. Zmodo is a smart and affordable security option. We were just as happy with the low price.
We have tested a lot of security cameras. Some Zmodo’s have features that we have never seen before. Let’s go into specifics.
Do you want the best coverage? The Torch 360 and Sight 180 can rotate 360 degrees. This made installation easier. We weren’t tied to their viewing fields, so we could choose where they were installed.
The Snap PT tilted slightly, but it was only about 15 degrees, which was negligible. The Pivot Cloud rotates 360 degrees, giving almost complete coverage. This was especially important for the Torch 360. We used it outside with a torchlight. It also meant that we could control where our camera was pointed.
We could see the street but not our front door. The Zmodo app made us feel like the FBI as we carefully monitored everything around us.
Sensors for Doors and Windows
Some Zmodo cams, such as the Snap PT and Pivot Cloud, had door/window sensors. We used these to check if our doors or windows were open or closed. These sensors were wireless and connected to Zmodo’s app so that we could get alerts.
The Zmodo Pivot Cloud was more than a monitor for our central hallway. The Pivot Cloud also gave us information about the humidity and temperature, entirely unexpected. Indoor Canary Pro is the only camera that offers environmental monitoring. It monitors the temperature, humidity, and air quality.
These features are unnecessary because the cameras are indoor. It would have been better to see outside conditions than inside. We can control our own climate with our Nest Learning Thermostat. This may still be an advantage for those who want to learn more about their indoor climate.
Both the Snap PT and Pivot Cloud have Bluetooth speakers built-in, something we don’t often see with smart security cameras. This meant that we could play podcasts while cooking and blast the Fiona Apple album through our primary hallway camera.
We already have a few intelligent speakers, such as the Echo Dot with Clock and the Nest Mini, but now, with the Zmodo cams, we have smart speakers in nearly every room in our apartment.
We’re finally back to the Torch 360. It is the unique Zmodo camera offering. The camera comes with a bulb attached to it so that we can place it in our torchlight. However, special occasions such as Valentine’s Day or Halloween allow us to change the color of the bulb’s bulb to make it more festive.
We could use the Zmodo app’s premade themes to create our own themes. The bulb can also be set up on schedules to save power during the day if we don’t want it to. This was the only security camera that could fit inside a torchlight. We haven’t seen any other cameras like this.
Our Zmodo cameras were installed by us, which was good news for our wallets as we didn’t need to spend a dime to have our home security system installed. The installation process for each camera was pretty straightforward. Once we downloaded the Zmodo app and created an account, we connected them to our WiFi system.
This required us to do so in the same place as our router. The plug-in cameras required that they be plugged in, even though they were not in the exact location we desired. The best thing about Zink was its in-app setup tutorials. We could add multiple devices at once, which was very convenient.
After all, cameras had been set up in our app and connected to WiFi; they were named. Then we proceeded to place the cameras wherever we wanted them. For indoor cameras, this meant putting them on shelves high enough.
The Torch 360 torchlight, which was required to be plugged into the existing torchlight, was more complicated. Overall, the process took less than 10 minutes for each camera. Zmodo also provided helpful Youtube videos3 whenever we had trouble.
Watch this video to deeply understand the product:
How Much Does Zmodo’s Monthly Cost?
To keep recordings for seven days costs $4.99 per camera. Keeping recordings for 30 consecutive days costs $9.99 per camera. Although you don’t need to pay a monthly subscription, you will lose access to continuous recording features if you choose to go with the free option.
Does Zmodo Charge Per Camera?
Yes. Each Zmodo camera you wish to connect to the app must be paid a monthly fee. If you have four cameras and want the 30-day plan for $40 per month, you will pay $40.
Do Zmodo Cameras Work Without WiFi?
Zmodo cameras are not compatible with WiFi less than 2.4 GHz.
Is Zmodo Safe to Use?
Yes. The Zmodo device and apps are connected to the Zmodo servers using bank-level AES 256-bit encryption and Transport Layer Security (TLS). At the same time, videos and photos are secured using 256-bit symmetric-key encryption. When you log into the Zmodo app with your unique username and password, you can only see your photos and videos.
Should You Buy It?
The Zmodo Mini Pro is an excellent option if you want to monitor your home’s activity on a tight budget. It costs just $14 and delivers a sharp 1080p video. To access time-lapse and object detection and videos older than 12 hours, you will need to sign up for the Zmodo cloud service.
The Wyze Cam V3 costs above $6 and is much better. It can be used indoors and outdoors, provides color night vision and local storage, and has a siren that works with many third-party smart devices. It is our Editors’ Choice winner in affordable security cameras.