The editorial team at AlfredCamera has decided to give hands-on reviews of some of the best budget cameras on the market. After testing each camera for a period of two to three weeks, we’ll share the things that we love and the things we don’t. We strive to be as honest as possible during the process because we feel that this not only informs our readers about security products, but also helps us to make AlfredCamera a better product.
On the back of its namesake app’s continued success, AlfredCamera has taken its first steps into the world of hardware camera releases with AlfredCam, a remarkably affordable and thoughtfully designed security option that gets the basics just right.
- 1080p HD with color night vision
- 130° field of view
- 4.13 in x 2.36 in x 2.36 in
- Two-way audio
- Motion detection & continuous recording via MicroSD (not included)
|🟢 Extremely affordable|
🟢 Wide-angle lens for maximum observation
🟢 MicroSD slot for continuous recording
🟢 Loud built-in siren
🟢 Responsive livestream with no delay
🟢 Intelligent hardware design makes it easy to pose on a ballpoint joint
🟢 Two-way talk
🟢 Simple and seamless setup with AlfredCamera app
🟢 Strong color night vision that allows you to see color in low light conditions
|🔴 Sudden light shifts can falsely trigger motion detection without AI person detection enabled|
🔴 Unplugging the camera for multiple days at a time will require it to be paired again
🔴 Doesn’t support third party voice assistants
Packaging & What’s in the Box
AlfredCam comes packaged in a small recyclable box. The design, much like the camera itself, is understated and chic. Inside are two smaller rectangular pieces of cardboard. One contains the camera itself, while the other has the micro USB cable, charging adapter, alignment stickers, screws, and wall anchors.
Although it’s pretty self explanatory, you’ll also find a handy quick start guide that demonstrates how to set up the camera alongside the AlfredCamera app with simple illustrations. The guide for the US release is written in English and Spanish.
Installation & Onboarding
The camera’s setup is where it truly shines, successfully reiterating the essence of the aims of the original AlfredCamera app: to make security extremely simple and approachable for everyone.
An issue many ultra-affordable security camera options have is the unusually large amount of personal information they require during sign-ups, which, thankfully, isn’t the case here. Simply enter an email address and password and you’re good to go.
Plugging in the device will result in a small status LED beneath the lens to eventually blink green. A voice from the camera will let you know that it is ‘ready to pair’.
Once it does, it’s just a matter of tapping ‘Add a Camera’ from the app’s main menu. A QR code will appear on your device’s screen, which you need to hold up to the camera’s lens. It will then automatically pair, and the camera is ready for use.
Inside the box you’ll find everything necessary to install the camera on a wall if you’d prefer.
An alignment sticker makes it very simple to position with precision, and since it comes with wall anchors and screws, you’ll just need a drill. You can also mount the camera on a ceiling, since the app allows you to rotate the image captured by the camera.
Hardware – Durability, Aesthetics, Size, Weight
The camera itself is made from a lightweight yet durable matte plastic casing, and clocking in at just 4.13 in x 2.36 in x 2.36 in, it is also very petite. Though I haven’t dropped the camera at any point, the casing is noticeably sturdy and should be able to sustain some bumps without becoming unusable.
At about 68g, it’s also very lightweight. The base keeps the camera upright for desktop viewing. The front face itself is likely a little more susceptible to scratches than the body, since it’s made entirely of a black colored, smudge-prone glass.
Unlike the vast majority of affordable security cameras, it’s clearly been thoughtfully designed, and is far from being an eyesore. It’s discreet, modern, and actually rather chic looking. Owing to its size and plain color, it will merge with its surroundings without drawing attention to itself.
It supports up to 256GB MicroSD, which isn’t included. The camera head sits on a ball joint that, again, feels sturdy and smooth, allowing for 360 rotation. It maintains the weight of the camera very well, never falling out of place but allowing it to be tilted into an impressively large amount of positions to obtain the best angles.
The length of the neck of the camera means that wall mounted setups are just as ergonomic and maneuverable as desktop ones.
This is an indoor camera, so the casing isn’t weatherproof, though the camera has reportedly undergone exhaustive storage and operation testing to ensure it functions reliably in different interior temperatures.
Software – App Usability, Third Party Compatibility
The AlfredCamera app already boasts some 50 million downloads, and has positive ratings on both the App Store and Google Play. The existing user base is surely thanks to the app’s ease of use.
Though there is no integration with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, AlfredCamera happens to be a strong app in and of itself. Your linked devices, including phones you might already have synced as cameras, are displayed on the main tab. You can name the cameras, tap to view them live, trigger a siren, speak through the camera in real time, and activate motion detection.
The livestream is among the standout features thanks to its distinct lack of latency issues when compared to other brands at similar price points. I was pleasantly surprised by how responsive the camera was to my real time movements, with delays limited to an average of half a second or less.
As a result, conversing with whoever is on the other side of the camera is much easier and more seamless, and you’re unlikely to miss a beat assuming your wi-fi connection is reliable.
In the settings, you’ll find further options, including adjusting the sensitivity of the camera’s motion detection capability, enabling or disabling continuous recording, and monitoring what Alfred calls a ‘Trust Circle’—a group of contacts you can add via email addresses to view the camera. This is a great, streamlined feature that’ll come in handy for families and roommates alike.
I kept the motion detection sensitivity low, since I used the camera to view the doorway through a window and found that the higher options resulted in unnecessary notifications. Standard quality sufficed for the viewing angle, and didn’t impact internet usage elsewhere in the home, suggesting bandwidth upload was minimal.
Ads aren’t especially intrusive, and you won’t find yourself accidentally clicking on them. But upgrading to Premium will get rid of them, as well as granting you access to ‘Supreme’ quality (the highest of three quality options), AI person detection, and 14 days of cloud storage rather than the 7 days you get with the free version. Premium costs $5.99 / month.
Teething issues with software are to be expected, but are limited. The only major inconvenience was that unplugging the camera for an extended period (upwards of a week) disconnected it completely from the viewing device, so that when turning it on again, it required being reset (by pressing a reset button for five seconds) and paired from scratch.
This may be something to bear in mind if you intend to disconnect your camera for extended periods on a regular basis and move it around. Syncing the camera is very simple and fast (it takes less than a minute to set up), however, so it wasn’t particularly problematic.
Night vision is excellent, automatically turning itself on if you allow for this in the settings. Images are clear and detailed, with finely balanced contrast and tone to maintain legible video even in the darkest of spaces.
In fact, for existing AlfredCamera users, this’ll probably be the feature that really encourages incorporating an AlfredCam into your setup. For now, smartphone night vision (Low-Light Filters as opposed to actual infrared) simply can’t compete with what a dedicated camera can do.
|Wi-Fi?||LTE Data (3G, 4G, 5G)?||Bluetooth?||Wired?|
|✅ Recommended 1.5 Mbps for upload, 3 Mbps for cloud recording||❎ Camera must be connected to Wi-Fi, but the viewing device can be connected to mobile data||❎||✅ Micro USB cable|
The camera is capable of capturing up to 1080p HD. Images are clear and wide, thanks to the 130 degree field of view. This is an unusually wide lens for a camera at this price point, and the effect is a kind of fish eye image that’s capable of capturing entire rooms.
From the app, you can choose to capture and view footage in three different quality modes: standard, full HD, and supreme, which is the highest quality only available with a premium subscription. The difference between standard and full HD when using a strong internet connection isn’t significant, other than a subtle sharpening of the image, so standard will suffice if you’re looking to save on data.
There is minimal delay in movement captured on the livestream even on the highest quality setting. At worst, it was less than half a second of delay.
Motion detection is accurate, rarely triggering false recordings caused by moving trees or other stationary objects being blown in the wind. Sudden changes in lighting, however, did occasionally cause the camera to start recording.
Three different sensitivity levels help increase or decrease the likelihood of notifying you depending on your use needs. Lower sensitivity was more useful for front door usage, for example, stopping the camera from falsely triggering due to sudden light shifts.
Given this, higher sensitivity would only really benefit more niche uses, like bird watching. Premium allows for AI-based person detection, which, again, is accurate, and is tough not to recommend if you’re using the camera for security reasons, since it will completely avoid false recordings caused by sudden light shifts.
Detection zones are a premium feature, which I imagine will greatly benefit the overall functionality of the motion detection and pave over a noteworthy gap in the camera’s features compared to its competitors.
When walking past the camera, the LED on the camera instantly switched from green to red, signifying motion detection had been triggered. When the viewing device was connected to Wi-Fi, person detection reacted and sent a notification within 1 second of passing the camera.
I found there was occasionally a delay in the point at which notifications are received if the device is set to record motion detection events. Since it records in up to 30 second increments on the free version of the app, sometimes notifications only came immediately after the 30 second period ended.
There are two types of notification; one for viewing what’s happening live, and another for viewing a just recorded event. The delay in receiving the notification for viewing live footage is very minimal (around 2 seconds), and was noticeably shorter with person detection enabled. Naturally, your internet connection will have an impact on this.
The camera’s two-way audio works well. Though it’s not crystal clear (it could be compared to the quality of a loudspeaker on a phone), both parties will find it easy to hold a proper conversation through the device.
If you’ve used AlfredCamera on a high-end smartphone The app user can hear all audio from the other end, while the person on the other side of the camera can only hear the person talking to them while they tap a microphone icon on the livestream menu.
The camera’s built-in siren, which is triggered via the app, comes through the same speaker, and is more than loud enough to cause a sufficient shock to the person on the receiving end of it.
The MicroSD card slot is a more-than-welcome throwback for most of us, giving you the option to record purely to local storage either instead of or in addition to cloud storage, which you will get for free for 7 days and for 14 days with a Premium subscription.
Premium itself is affordable, at $5.99 a month or $29.99 a year (which works out at $2.49 a month, so definitely opt for this if you’re planning on long term use).
AlfredCam is a solid first entry into the world of hardware cameras by the popular and reputable app provider.
Simplicity and seamlessness are the words that jump to mind, making this a great option for those looking for their first indoor security camera that can manage all the basics with ease and finesse.
The camera itself is thoughtfully designed, and the price is pretty much unbeatable. It’s perfectly capable of fulfilling full-time basic home security needs and other niche uses, including child monitoring, pet monitoring and bird watching.