6 Best Motion Sensor Cameras for Your Home
No matter what your needs, there's a motion sensor camera for you. Here are our top picks.
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About Motion Sensor Cameras
Motion sensor cameras are just what they sound like — devices with sensors that detect movement. When movement is detected, the camera sends a notification to your phone, starts recording video, or both.
Some cameras are better for specific situations than others. Some are only meant to be used indoors, while others are outdoor security cameras. We’ve picked the best for various situations so you can determine the one that’s right for you.
While making your choice, note the camera’s power source; be sure that will work with your situation. Motion sensor cameras can be hard-wired into your home’s electrical system or plugged into wall outlet. They can also run on rechargeable or disposable batteries, or even solar power.
Best for Pets
The PetChatz HD ($400) offers the most pet-friendly features, including two-way video chat, games for your pet (with the optional accessory), a treat dispenser, aromatherapy and more.
When the camera senses motion or your pet making noise, it sends a notification to your phone. You can then video chat with your pet. The smart pet monitor can be mounted to the wall and plugged into a wall socket, or mounted to a PetChatz stand that can be purchased separately.
The Arlo Ultra ($332) is the best indoor/outdoor motion sensor camera for two reasons. First, it has the best video quality. It includes an extra-wide field of view (180 degrees), 4K ultra HD video and color night vision. Second, Arlo’s home security camera includes helpful features such as a siren, noise-canceling technology with the two-way talk option and a spotlight.
Not only does it detect motion, it can tell the difference between humans, pets and vehicles, so you can customize your motion alerts and recording preferences. Plus, it’s wire-free and runs on a rechargeable battery.
Best Facial Recognition
Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoors ($399) is the best facial recognition camera on the market. The camera can detect and alert you to a human up to 50 feet away, and it can even tell if that person is a friend or a stranger.
Every time your camera sees a face, its artificial intelligence memorizes it; eventually it will learn the faces of people who regularly come to your home. That helps it notify you when strangers are detected. It can also zoom in on a person for clearer video identification. Because this camera is corded, you’ll need a waterproof adapter to plug it in outside, or drill a hole to feed the cord through the wall for an inside connection.
Best Doorbell Camera
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 ($199) is the smartest motion-detecting doorbell camera on the market because it combines clear 1080p HD video with options you’d find on much larger motion cameras. Options include two-way talk, customizable alerts and Alexa compatibility. It’s wondrously user-friendly.
You can also customize motion areas so that the Ring doorbell only detects movement in certain areas of your yard, reducing false alerts. Plus, the app has a bevy of fantastic features, including a neighborhood watch. Power comes from a rechargeable battery pack, or you can connect to existing doorbell wiring.
Best on a Budget
The Zmodo ($80) is the best budget pick. It doubles as a home hub, streaming music and more. Our favorite feature: This little camera swivels almost completely around (350 degrees), allowing it to record more than a regular camera and follow what caused the motion around the room. It’s powered by four lithium batteries.
The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera ($235) packs the smarts of a motion sensor camera with the brightest light on the market, enough to illuminate your whole yard. This floodlight camera can be set to come on only when it detects motion, or manually using the app. You can also set the camera to record and/or notify you when motion is detected. The Arlo Pro 3 comes with a battery that must be removed to recharge, or you can purchase a solar charger or permanent charging cable.
All prices and links were current as of publication.