Home » Reviews » REVIEW: Kasa Spot Pan Tilt (EC70) – Motorized 360 Panning Camera from TP-Link

REVIEW: Kasa Spot Pan Tilt (EC70) – Motorized 360 Panning Camera from TP-Link

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.

A nifty 360 panning security camera from TP-Link’s ‘Kasa’ namesake that’s smart home savvy and packed with polished features—all for a decent price.

Main Features

  • 1080p Full HD
  • 360 horizontal panning
  • Vertical tilting
  • 3.2 in x 3.2 in x 4.4 in
  • 195 grams
  • Two-way audio
  • Motion detection and motion tracking
  • Continuous recording via 8gb -128gb microSD (not included)
The Kasa Spot Pan Tilt packaging
ProsCons
🟢 Excellent image quality
🟢 Motorized 360 panning with motion tracking
🟢 Well-designed app that functions flawlessly
🟢 Easy and useful automation
🟢 microSD slot for continuous recording
🟢 Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and Samsung SmartThings
🔴 Free trial isn’t actually a free trial
🔴 Panning and tilting isn’t smooth
🔴 No built-in siren
🔴 Some noise when rotating means it isn’t appropriate for more covert surveillance
🔴 Works best at a distance from a ceiling mounted position, limiting the range of positions it can be mounted in

Packaging & What’s in the Box

The Kasa Spot Pan Tilt comes in a medium sized cardboard box. It’s quite a bit larger than that of other similarly-priced cameras, but it makes sense given that the camera itself is larger than average. That being said, Reolink’s E1 Pro, a virtually identical-looking camera, came in a smaller package.

The Kasa Spot Pan Tilt packaging unboxed

Inside you’ll find the Kasa Spot Tilt Cam, a power adaptor, a 10 foot USB cable, mounting screws and wall brackets, a mounting plate, and a quick start guide.

The contents included with Kasa Spot Pan Tilt: the camera, micro USB cable, charger, Quick Start guide, screws with wall mounts, and alignment/mounting stickers
The contents included with Kasa Spot Pan Tilt: the camera, micro USB cable, charger, Quick Start guide, screws with wall mounts, and alignment/mounting stickers.

The quick start guide is a small double-sided piece of paper with simplified instructions written in English. It essentially opts to direct you straight to the Kasa Smart app rather than providing detailed step-by-step instructions. Once the app is installed, you’ll quickly realize that plenty of detailed guides are to be found inside the app, whether you need help mounting the camera or setting up automations.

Installation & Onboarding

Setting up the unit requires downloading the Kasa Smart app, an excellent and well-designed app that controls a whole host of Kasa branded products, from doorbells to smart lights (see below for more on the app).

You’ll immediately be prompted to sign up or login to a Kasa account and encouraged to provide your location ‘to determine sunrise and sunset times’, though you don’t have to provide this should you choose not to. I imagine that if you have a home filled with other Kasa products and are looking to incorporate your security devices into an already automated home, this would be pretty beneficial.

You can opt in or out of promotions, anonymous analytics, and bug reports, and you can also choose to set up two-step verification. You also have the option to start a free trial for the premium version of the service, Kasa Care which, as far as I can tell, doesn’t appear to actually be ‘free’, since you have to attach a payment option that gets charged immediately.

It’s more accurate to say that the first month is free should you decide to sign up for it. After specifying your choices, you’ll be greeted with the sleek and minimal interface of the app. Tapping the plus sign in the corner allows you to add a device.

Credit: Official Camera World

Interestingly, Kasa allows for individual devices to be added as well as ‘group’ devices, in other words, multiple products added at once for a faster install. This is really useful not just for those attempting to make their homes more automated with Kasa’s other products, but for those looking to install multiple surveillance cameras at once.

Plugging in the camera via the USB cable will power it on. The status light on the front will blink orange and green, and the camera will also perform a test pan and tilt. The blinking light indicates that it is ready to pair.

Connecting the camera was a little troublesome at first, and took multiple attempts before I realized what the app’s instructions were omitting. In your phone’s settings, location services must be enabled for the Kasa app, which the app clearly instructs. 

But this alone does not allow the camera to pair to your device, and unlike other cameras on the market, there is no scanning of a QR code to achieve this. Instead, you have to connect to the camera as if it were a Wi-Fi hub, i.e. through your phone’s Wi-Fi settings menu. The instructions weren’t especially clear on this.

Mounting is a simple process involving two screws, a mounting plate, and matching sticker, made even easier thanks to the thorough instructions provided in the app. 

These specify details like what type of screwdriver you need, making mounting the camera a breeze even for those of us that are a little daunted by the prospect of a mini DIY job.

In most circumstances, mounting the camera on the side of a wall would be ill-advised because of its shape and movement. It is much better suited to being mounted upside down on a ceiling, where it can capture much more by freely panning 360 degrees and tilting minimally up and down.

Hardware – Durability, Aesthetics, Size, Weight

Kasa Spot Pan Tilt is made of a durable white plastic. It measures 3.2 in x 3.2 in x 4.4 in, which is moderately larger than the average budget security camera. Presumably, the size owes to the fact that it can pan horizontally in a 360 motion via a motor.

The front of Kasa Spot Pan Tilt

It is also able to pan 113 degrees vertically. The tilting lens area is black, meaning that the camera as a whole is not likely to ‘disappear’ into the background of a room and go unnoticed. The design of the camera is nothing unusual—it resembles an oversized webcam, which does what it needs to do with neither game-changing design features nor setbacks. 

Panning is controlled through the app. Panning causes some noise. It isn’t especially loud, but it’s worth being aware of, particularly since this is an indoor camera. 

See Kasa in motion (panning and tilting!)
AlfredCam next to Wyze Cam V3
AlfredCam next to Wyze Cam V3

The 10 foot USB cable is greatly appreciated since the length of power cables is oddly overlooked by a lot of IP cameras. This allows you to place your camera quite far from its power source. 

Out of the box, you won’t be able to see the unit’s microSD card slot or reset button that sits next to it. These are located on the black-colored tilting part of the camera, but are tucked away beneath the white-colored outer casing when the camera is in its default position. 

The back of Kasa Spot Pan Tilt

To access these, you’ll need to use the app to tilt the camera’s lens upwards, revealing them. This is a nice touch that keeps the aesthetics of the camera unfussy, and while it isn’t quite as convenient as being able to eject the memory card if it were on the outer casing, tilting the lens via the app isn’t exactly rocket science, and doesn’t require dismounting.

SizeWeightWeatherproof?CasingTilt/Pan?Local Storage?
3.2 in x 3.2 in x 4.4 in195 gramsWhite matte plastic outer shell.✅ Motorized 360 degree panning. 113 degree tilting✅ 8gb – 128gb microSD

Software – App Usability, Third Party Compatibility

The Kasa Smart app is required for use of the camera, just as it is for the rest of the TP-Link’s Kasa product line. The app is sophisticated and cleanly designed, and functioned flawlessly on my iPhone XR.

Since Kasa produces a range of products, the app serves as a kind of automation hub for your home, seamlessly combining all of the products under the brand name into a Cloud-based calendar that gathers ‘event’ information: motion detected events from your camera, for example, alongside activity gathered from the doorbell. 

Filters allow you to easily search through everything collected here. It means that everything is in one handy place, making effective automation across the home quite accessible and uncomplicated for even the least tech-savvy of users. Naturally, you’ll have to enable cloud-based storage to access this feature.

Naturally, this has no purpose if you’re just here for the security camera, but it’s certainly a nice touch that those interested in easy automation will appreciate, since it keeps everything in one place and allows you to get more out of your products.

Speaking of automation, Kasa works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and Samsung SmartThings, allowing you to easily configure voice commands to control the camera and any other Kasa devices you have linked to your account.

Patrol Mode is one of the greatest features for security purposes, really making the most of the camera’s selling point—its ability to move—and it will be appreciated by those looking to survey larger spaces with multiple rooms. 

When enabled, you can set four different viewpoints that the camera will pan to, either when action is spotted or at set intervals, allowing you to effectively ‘patrol’ larger areas. Again, I can imagine small businesses making great use out of this.  

Wi-Fi?LTE Data (3G, 4G, 5G)?Bluetooth?Wired?
✅ 2.4 GHz✅ Micro USB cable

Camera

The camera comes with three quality options—360p, 720p, and 1080p. 360p consumes the lowest amount of data, and it shows, but both 720p and 1080p have a smooth and impressively clear image. 

Kasa Spot Pan Tilt Quality Test with 1080p livestream.
1080p livestream
Kasa Spot Pan Tilt Quality Test with 720p livestream.
720p livestream
Kasa Spot Pan Tilt Quality Test with 360p livestream.
360p livestream

There isn’t much between them, so I stuck to 720p since it was marginally more responsive and, presumably, consumed less data. Latency delays are present when viewing the livestream, but aren’t so significant as to make the product unusable. At worst, there’s a solid second or so of delay.

Likewise, panning the camera has a delay that was marginally worse, which I didn’t find to be surprising. Again, this wasn’t a make-or-break issue, but it does impact the utility of the motion tracking feature. 

If the camera is only a few feet from the moving object, and said object is moving quickly, the motion tracking feature will occasionally fail to track it accurately. 

I found this to be indicative of the camera being more useful at a distance rather than some inherent failure in its software, and, again, further evidence that the optimum way to use the camera is on the ceiling rather than a desktop or wall. 

The underside of the Kasa Spot Pan Tily camera

Although the same can be said of all IP cameras, the Kasa Spot Pan Tilt cannot be placed in view of a direct source of light—in its case especially because the motion tracking becomes confused by harsh or shifting light.

Adjusting the sensitivity levels, which is done on a sliding scale, helps eliminate false triggers from motion detection, which are also caused by shifting light sources.

Kasa Spot Pan Tilt’s motion tracking basically follows whatever is moving in the frame regardless of whether person detection is on or not. This means that if a subject were close to the lens and moving their hands but keeping their face still, the camera doesn’t distinguish between the two and chooses to follow the moving hands and ignore the static face. 

Kasa Camera Motion tracking - the camera sits in its default position.
The camera sits in its default position.
Kasa Camera Motion tracking - the camera in mid-motion as it moves to track a subject.
Motion tracking moves the camera from its default position to follow a subject.

Motion detection notifications were reasonably fast, occurring about three seconds after motion. The app defaults to limiting notifications to once every five minutes, which will likely have no real use for most people, since five minutes is actually a pretty long period of time in all kinds of scenarios, from break-ins to pet and baby care. 

You can turn this off in the settings. It’s a shame that the limit period couldn’t be adjusted, because I think I would be more inclined to use it if it could be made shorter.

Audio 

The camera’s two-way audio isn’t all that impressive, but works well enough depending on where you decide to mount it. Two-way talk is activated via the app, with the user holding down a microphone icon as they speak.

I felt that the volume of the audio coming out of the camera’s speaker would have benefitted from being louder. Though it won’t necessarily be inaudible, mounting the camera to a high ceiling will make it much harder to hear for the person on the other side. 

Contrary to most budget IP cameras, there is no voice assistant in the camera itself, nor is there a built-in siren.

Cost

Even the most budget-friendly of rotating cameras tend to cost about double the price of their static counterparts as a result of the additional manufacturing costs. At $29.99, Kasa Spot Pan Tilt is highly affordable, and is surely one of the highest quality cameras at this price point.

Final Thoughts

TP-Link’s Kasa Spot Pan Tilt is a polished budget security camera designed for long-term indoor use alongside other smart devices. It isn’t mobile, but instead works best installed at a distance from its subjects to monitor larger spaces (i.e. from the ceiling). 

That being said, it’s also particularly apt for baby monitoring, with strong night vision, decent two-way audio, and the ability to detect and notify baby cries. The beautifully designed app used to control the camera is  a high point of the user experience. Of course, its selling point is its motorized 360 panning, which is a solid (if a little noisy) addition to an already stellar budget security camera.