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6 Small Security Cameras for More Subtle Surveillance

Read on to learn about small security cameras, including our favorites and how to use them appropriately.

Using Small Security Cameras Appropriately

Small security cameras are marketed under various guises. Mini camera, spy camera, and hidden security camera are the more common terms you’ll come across that essentially describe the same thing.

What is the smallest spy camera you can get?

The smallest surveillance cameras can measure less than 2 inches, making them very easy to conceal. Though the size might suggest poor quality, a lot of these tiny devices are capable of recording in HD, with some even claiming to support up to 4K.

Despite the marketing many of these cameras commit to, you should never use a small security camera to spy on somebody. 

Everyone occupying a property must know that they are being recorded, and there exists a reasonable right to privacy that protects everyone. 

So-called ‘spy cameras’ may be useful in monitoring around the front door and porch area, for example, where there is a reasonable expectation of being recorded. 

Our 6 Favorite Small Security Cameras

With those things in mind, we’ve handpicked some of our favorite small security cameras available on the market. 


Small security camera that connects to phone

Available on AlfredCamera. $29.99.

the front of AlfredCam


  • Can be used alongside any other Alfred devices
  • Infrared night vision is clear and well-balanced
  • microSD support allows for both local and cloud based storage


  • Indoor only
  • No voice assistant support

The first indoor security camera from AlfredCamera measures just 4.13 in x 2.36 in x 2.36 in. AlfredCam provides excellent infrared night vision and 1080p HD video resolution to the mix, allowing users to expand their DIY security camera systems already built using the AlfredCamera app.

Key specifications

  • 1080p HD
  • Motion detection
  • Continuous recording
  • microSD support
  • Infrared night vision
  • Two-way audio 
  • Built-in siren

Blink Mini

Available on Amazon. From $34.99.

blink mini
Image via Amazon


  • Inexpensive
  • Very small
  • USB charger


  • No MicroSD card slot
  • Motion detection, cloud storage, etc. requires a subscription

Key Specifications

  • 1080p HD video
  • 110-degree field of view
  • USB storage via add-on
  • Micro-USB charger
  • Infrared night vision
  • Motion detection

Arebi A10 Plus 1080p HD Mini Spy Camera

Smallest home security camera for apartments

Available on Amazon. From $39.98.

Arebi A10 Plus 1080p HD Mini Spy Camera
Image via Amazon


  • Tiny size, subtle design
  • Magnetic body for easy mounting
  • MicroSD up to 265GB (not included)


  • Very poor battery life when connected to Wi-Fi
  • Night recording will require moderate sources of light
  • Color saturation is poor

This nifty little camera from Arebi measures just 24 x 30 x 30 mm. Despite its size, it’s capable of 1080p recording with a 150-degree field of view, which rivals many regular-sized (and much more expensive) competitors.

Push notifications and motion detection are all here, as well as night vision, though it won’t suffice for pitch black environments. Battery is poor, clocking in at about an hour of use, so you’ll have to keep it plugged in via micro-USB.

Key Specifications

  • 1080p HD
  • 150-degree field of view
  • Infrared night vision
  • Dual Band Wi-Fi
  • Micro-USB charging
  • Motion detection

Arebi 8C Pro 4K

Best quality wireless hidden camera

Available on Amazon. From $59.95.

Image via Amazon


  • 4K Ultra HD, 160-degree wide-angle lens
  • MicroSD up to 256GB (not included)
  • ’Motion mode’ helps preserve battery life


  • Slightly bulkier body than the circular A10 Plus
  • Battery life not sufficient for 24/7 recording without being kept on charge
  • Night recording requires moderate sources of life

If you’ve got a couple extra bucks to spare, you might want to consider the high-achiever older brother of the A10 Plus. At 1.2 x 1.2 x 2.1 inches, it’s a touch larger and therefore somewhat less inconspicuous than the A10 Plus, but still fits in the palm of the hand and is magnetically mounted. 

The slightly larger body is perfectly understandable, though, given that this remarkable device can record in up to 4K Ultra HD with a 160-degree viewing field. Its battery is also better, clocking in at about 3 days per charge when in ‘motion mode’, which records only when the motion sensor is triggered.

Key Specifications

  • 4K HD
  • 160-degree field of view
  • Infrared night vision
  • Dual Band Wi-Fi
  • Micro-USB charging
  • Motion detection

Spy Camera Charger

Best small security cameras for outdoor

Available on Amazon. From $37.99.

Image via Amazon


  • Works as what it is disguised as, making it highly convincing
  • Easy to use on the go
  • MicroSD up to 32GB (not included)


  • Basic features, with no options for Wi-Fi, app support or live feed
  • 32GB MicroSD card will fill up fast with 24/7 use
  • Poor build quality

This cheap and cheerful gadget may look like a portable USB charger, and that’s because it actually is—as well as a camera.

It supposedly supports up to 1080p, but realistically you won’t be getting remotely close to HD. Likewise, don’t expect any kind of Wi-fi or app support. It supports up to 32GB MicroSD, which can be inserted into another device to view loop footage.

Key Specifications

  • 1080p HD
  • USB design
  • USB charging
  • Motion detection

Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2

Small security camera for car

Available on Amazon. From $109.99.


  • Car-key sized
  • Advanced features like voice control and live view
  • Easy mounting via adhesive


  • Must download corresponding app for setup
  • 140-degree field of view is unusually narrow for a dash cam
  • No true night vision

Almost all mini cameras share something in common—they’re cheap, and that can be reflected in the quality of the materials and the lack of more advanced features. For those more than happy to spend more, consider trying a dash cam, like the Garmin Mini 2. 

It measures about the same size as a car key, so it’ll make for an excellent, easily concealed camera wherever you decide to use it. 

There’s super crisp 1080p recording, but the advanced features like full voice control, automatic uploads over Wi-Fi, and live view monitoring are more likely to pique your interest. Still, it doesn’t require Wi-Fi to function beyond setup, since it supports up to 512GB MicroSD.

Key Specifications

  • 1080p HD
  • 140-degree field of view
  • Voice control
  • Parking Guard G sensor
  • microSD card required

Hidden Camera App? Using AlfredCamera Discreetly

Simply install AlfredCamera on it and your current phone, and your old device will be reborn as a feature-rich camera complete with two-way audio, low light mode, motion detection, and continuous recording.

Small Security Cameras: Things to Know Before Buying

Before buying a small security camera, consider some of the points below to make sure you’re getting what’s best for you. 

Forget aesthetics

If having a flashy security camera that draws attention to itself causes a degree of anxiety, try to forget about what looks best.

Black colored mini cameras may be more subtle depending on the colors in the home, while white ones may work better in lighter spaces.

Either way, try to keep colors consistent and avoid jarring colors that conflict with the surroundings.

Wires for power

The smaller the camera, the smaller the battery. You’ll likely want to make sure the product you buy has the option for wiring or wire charging.

The smallest of mini cameras will last several hours at best. Find one that can be powered with a wire if you want to record for extended periods.

Can hidden cameras work without wifi?

Many hidden cameras use MicroSD cards as storage devices, so you don’t need to have them connected to the Wi-Fi. For example, the Arebi A10 Plus supports up to 256GB MicroSD. Simply insert the memory card into another device to view recorded footage there.

Dash cams

Dash cams are a great option for those looking for feature-rich security cameras on the smaller scale, even if you have no intention to use it in a vehicle. They are designed to be subtle in a car, with long-term use in mind.

Forget Audio

If you are planning to keep your device in a less obvious spot, then it’s advised to turn audio recording off.

Know the Law

Hidden cameras aren’t illegal, but must abide by this expectation.

Small security cameras outdoors, hidden on your porch for example, are perfectly legal, because there is no reasonable expectation of privacy there.

But a camera hidden in a baby’s room or crib being used to observe a babysitter is illegal if the babysitter is not made explicitly aware that they are being recorded.

As with all laws, there may be differences on a state-by-state basis, so check with your local authority if you are concerned.


How do you hide a camera in plain sight?

With a small security camera around 2 inches or less in size, you can easily hide a camera among household objects, on bookshelves, or even just in the corners of rooms.

How small can spy cameras be?

If you’re the FBI or James Bond, presumably as small as you can imagine. But for all intents and purposes, a camera for worthwhile home security purposes shouldn’t be less than about 1.5 inches in diameter. Any smaller and the camera will likely be a gimmick and of no practical use for long term security surveillance.

What is a good mini spy camera?

Check out our list for our favorite picks of small security cameras.


Small security cameras make surveillance a little less attention-seeking and a little less expensive. 

Concealing a device is much easier when it is just an inch or two large, but it’s important to be aware of when you are potentially in breach of someone’s reasonable expectation of privacy. 

Always make the members of your household aware that they are being recorded, and do not record in private spaces.