Abode Cam 2 review: compact camera, compact price
RRP $ 35.00
“The Abode Cam 2 leaves you pleasantly surprised with all of its functions. ”
Low price point
Higher frame rate than comparable cameras
Option to record 24/7 videos
Audio quality is not the best
Abode is a company similar to Wyze known for offering low prices without sacrificing quality. The newest product, the Abode Cam, 2 is no exception to this rule. For only 35 US dollars, this intelligent surveillance camera packs many functions into a (very) small housing and, thanks to its weatherproof rating of IP65, can be set up indoors or outdoors.
While the Abode Cam 2 may not be as fully featured as high-end models, it’s affordable enough that almost anyone can buy one, and versatile enough to be used as a stand-alone camera system in a studio apartment, or as part of a much larger security system which is distributed over a house and a yard.
Setup and installation
The Abode Cam 2 uses a 10 step setup process that isn’t all that different from the type of setup you would see with similar cameras, but it’s not seamless. I’ve encountered a couple of issues with the setup. In one step, you need to show the camera a QR code that will be displayed on your phone. It took several tries (and a restart) for the camera to recognize the code.
The camera also provides continuous, audible prompts to display the code, which doesn’t make the process any less of a chore. However, once it got past that one step, the rest of the setup went smoothly.
After I completed the setup, the Abode Cam 2 immediately started working. I was able to stream and control the camera easily. By default, it can sit flat on its base, but it comes with a mounting kit that allows you to simply screw the camera to the wall if you want to place it high above the floor.
The power cord is six feet long – more than enough to be placed near the ceiling in most homes.
Features and Specifications
The Abode Cam 2 streams and records videos at 1080p and 30 frames per second. It has a 121 degree field of view that allows you to see a large chunk of the room, which makes mounting this camera in a corner the perfect place to keep an eye on everything. You can speak through the camera with two-way audio, and Starlight-based night vision provides clear images even in almost pitch black conditions.
You can also set up the Abode Cam 2 to record video 24/7.
The really standout feature of this camera is how compact it is. Measuring less than 5 inches per side, the Abode Cam 2 is tiny – and perfect for tucking away in a corner for unobtrusive surveillance. If someone is up to no good and is on the lookout for cameras, it can be particularly difficult to spot, especially if it blends in with the background.
The camera automatically places a frame around anything it identifies as a person, and you can take pictures from within the app. You can also record video clips with just one touch of a button. All recorded videos are displayed in the timeline under the video feed in the app.
It’s worth noting that the camera’s speaker is almost mute by default. It is difficult to hear what is being said through the speaker unless the volume is turned up to almost maximum and the sound comes through slightly distorted. There’s no siren either, but I imagine one could be included with an update. If the video feed is mirrored, you can rotate it 180 degrees within the app.
You can also set up the Abode Cam 2 to record video 24/7. It uses a rolling storage system that deletes the oldest videos first. The camera can be configured to record a short video clip when it detects motion, and you can adjust the detection area for more accurate results and fewer false positives. This feature costs $ 9 per month, but it covers every camera on the network.
The camera is integrated with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can view live video from both applications. Alexa also lets you set up routines that the Google Assistant doesn’t offer.
Is it private?
All security cameras have been intensified, especially those without physical privacy screens. Although the Abode Cam 2 does not have a physical data protection lock, you can deactivate the camera within the app under a special sub-heading Data protection. It’s not immediately obvious, but you can also delete videos from your timeline by going online to Abode’s online portal. This seems like the only way to delete footage. There is also no local recording function.
Although the privacy features could be a bit more robust (and every camera should have a physical privacy lens), the Abode Cam 2 is roughly on par with other cameras in terms of security. The app allows you to lock it when you leave and requires FaceID or a PIN to access it again.
The Abode Cam 2 is a pretty simple device. The box doesn’t contain much – just the camera itself, the power supply unit, the cable and the mounting kit. But it’s so affordable and budget-friendly that you don’t expect much, and the Abode Cam 2 will leave you pleasantly surprised with all of its features.
Is there a better alternative?
The Wyze Cam v3 offers many of the same features, but also offers 14 days of free cloud storage as well as local storage via a microSD card. It also includes a siren and works with IFTTT via Alexa and Google Assistant. The Wyze Cam v3 fits the Abode Cam 2 for the same price. The Abode Cam 2 is characterized above all by the fact that it offers more images per second for a smoother video feed.
The Blink Mini is also aimed at a similar audience. This camera is also $ 35, is easy to set up, and has clear audio, but it comes at the expense of less than razor-sharp video. It’s not the best option, but it’s nowhere near the worst either.
How long it will take?
The construction quality is not the very best, which is one of the reasons for the low costs. Even so, the Abode Cam 2 doesn’t feel cheap and its weather resistance rating suggests longevity. If cared for, the camera should continue to work for years, though I wouldn’t expect it to survive a hard fall. It comes with a one-year warranty that protects it from defects.
Should you buy it?
Yes. At $ 35, the camera is affordable for almost every budget and has a wide variety of features. Although it lags a bit behind the Wyze Cam v3 in terms of functionality, its small size and higher frame rate reduce to what is really important in a security camera: better surveillance and security at home.