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SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera Review 2022: Pros, Cons, and Verdict

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SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor Security Camera

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

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SimpliSafe’s outdoor camera has been designed to offer top-level security to homeowners who wish to have a good night’s sleep without having to worry about someone breaking into their homes. And for those who want to spend the whole day at work, without worrying about burglars. It has a 1080p resolution and an ultra-wide field of view that ensure you get to see everything that goes on on your property.

This camera has zooming abilities that are powerful enough to detect faces from 15 feet away or crucial details like a vehicle’s number plate. Regardless of whether it’s pitch black or not, its motion-activated spotlight will show you who’s within close proximity, in color. The audio system is meant to facilitate communication between you and whoever’s outside.

Is SimpliSafe a trusted brand? Yes. This American home security company has been around the block for close to 16 years now. No brand can survive that long if it doesn’t have a supportive and loyal client base.

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SimpliSafe Outdoor Cam – A Quick Look

SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor Camera

Image Credit: SimpliSafe, Amazon

Pros
  • Offers several plans, including an “Unmonitored” plan
  • It’s pocket-friendly
  • Customizable
  • Uses more than one power source
  • Easy installation
  • High video and audio clarity
  • Ultra-wide field of view
  • 24/7 Live feeds
  • Color night vision
  • 60-day return policy
  • Trusted brand
Cons
  • Limited warranty
  • Too sensitive
  • One privacy zone

Specifications

Brand SimpliSafe
Indoor/Outdoor Outdoor
Connectivity Wireless
System Gen 3
Field of View 140 degrees
Wi-Fi Antennas 2
Audio 2 way
Batteries operational temperature 4°F to 122°F
Zoom 8X
Battery Rechargeable
SimpliSafe Wireless Security Camera

Image Credit: SimpliSafe Amazon

Total Cost of the SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera

Assuming you’ve been a client at SimpliSafe for a while, your outdoor camera will run you around $170. But as a first-timer, those costs have to go up. In addition to the camera, you’ll have to get a Keypad and what’s referred to as a Base Station. Depending on where you get them, the Base Station costs less than $150, while the keypad goes for $70.

Seeing as consumers have different preferences, there will be those who’ll want to go for all the bells and whistles. And that’s okay, as long as they understand that they have to reach deeper into their pockets. Should you feel the need to go for a more customized outdoor kit, you could opt for a $50 outdoor power cable. It offers live feeds 24/7, thereby eliminating any security downtime.

Or you could go with the most affordable option, which is ordering a few extra batteries. The batteries will cost you $30 or less and alleviate your security downtime concerns. Those who choose option three—the outdoor solar panel—are users who prefer going green.

To fully enjoy the benefits of installing such a system, you’re encouraged to subscribe to one of SimpliSafe’s service plans. The company offers four different plans, depending on your security needs and/or budget: Unmonitored Plan (Free), Self-Monitoring with Recording Plan ($10/month), Standard Monitoring Plan ($18/month), and the Interactive Monitoring Plan ($28).

The Unmonitored Plan has minimal and basic features, while the Interactive Monitoring Plan has all the advanced specs, and then some. That’s to say, if you want to feel 100% safe in your home, you’ll go for the latter. 

Installation

The responsible thing to do is to check if your Outdoor Camera is fully charged, before installation. Otherwise, you’ll have to uninstall it in a couple of days, and that’s just frustrating. Just so you know, you and anybody else can install these systems without the help of a technician. They are that easy to install, and the instructions are simple. Nonetheless, the company also has professionals on standby, in case you need help or if you don’t have time to work on it—their services will cost you around $100.

The process is simple. First off, go to your Google Play Store if you’re using an android phone, or the Apply Play Store if you have an iPhone. An app is a vital component to the overall functionality of the setup, but also the installation process. Once the download is complete, select the device you intend to connect it to, verify your location, and then check the batteries one more time. Again, it has to be fully charged.

After confirming that everything is A-okay, gently tap the button on the device, and voila! You’re done with the “hard” part. All that remains is following the instructions on the app, on how to mount a SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera on a magnetic mount.

Go ahead and mount it and then do a dry run.

Motion Sensor

Motion detection is only useful if it catches an intruder. It’s a feature that we have to have because without it the camera is basically useless. Nobody wants to be woken up in the middle of the night just because a sensor can’t tell who’s intruding, and who’s passing by. And with the SimpliSafe camera sensor, it can be frustrating.

You’ll be woken up with notifications every couple of seconds when bugs fly by or if the leaves fall. It’s that sensitive, and you can’t take it down a notch. The best you can do is to reconfigure the activity zones and set them to ignore any area that has heavy foot traffic.

Another downside is that it allows only one privacy zone.

Audio & Video Clarity

You’ll never complain about the quality of the feed’s audio or video. There’s nothing to complain about, since the camera works with a 1080p resolution, and the colors are vivid. Identifying faces under the cover of darkness won’t also be an issue, as the color night footage utilizes the device’s light to produce clear images.

The fuzzy images that are always produced when you try to zoom in on an object are still a problem, though. And this is something that affects nearly all security cameras in the market. The SimpliSafe Outdoor Cam digital zoom feature is 8X, and the audio is just as impressive.

The siren is 80 dB, meaning it can’t wake up your neighbors—unless you’ve installed it next to their bedroom window!

Warranty

All SimpliSafe products have a one-year warranty, regardless of what you’re purchasing. And the count starts on the day you made the purchase or the day the order was confirmed. But if you subscribe to the Interactive Monitoring Plan, you’ll get an additional benefit of a limited lifetime warranty.

We know using words like “limited” and “lifetime” in the same sentence is counterintuitive, but that’s their way of telling you that you’ll only be covered if you keep on subscribing to that specific plan. The minute you downgrade, that benefit goes out of the window.

A two-year warranty extension is usually offered to SimpliSafe users with the Standard Monitoring Plan.

Kindly take note of the fact that these warranties are only meant to cover the hardware and not the software. Should your camera get damaged within that period, they’ll sort you out. But if it’s something to do with the software, you’ll be left counting your losses.

SimpliSafe has a 60-day return policy. They want potential clients to feel comfortable while making the purchases, even if they aren’t certain that it will meet their home security needs. All dissatisfied customers get a full return, including shipping.

shutter camera divider 2Frequently Asked Questions

Can the SimpliSafe outdoor camera be charged?

Yes, it can be charged. If you look inside the box, you’ll find a USB charging cable with your typical plug design. You just need to plug it in and give it 5 to 6 hours. Alternatively, you could install a solar accessory that automatically charges it during the day.

What are the signs my SimpliSafe out camera is running low on charge?

As a brand, SimpliSafe’s number one priority is to ensure all its clients feel safe in their homes or wherever they are. Not to be dramatic, but they know instances like these could be the difference between life and death.

Therefore, to guarantee that you’re not left unprotected without your knowledge, they made sure the app’s timeline, keypad, and all camera pages show notifications that let users know what’s going on with the system. And if that’s not enough, you can activate your push notifications to send you messages from time to time.

Is the SimpliSafe outdoor camera compatible with other cameras?

If you’re wondering if you can connect it to other cameras, the answer is no. SimpliSafe security system designs have been set up in a fashion that makes it impossible for them to sync with other systems. Of course, you’re allowed to use other security brands if you’d like to, but they’ll have to operate separately.

Have many outdoor cameras does SimpliSafe provide?

You can have as many as 10 cameras if you want to. However, there’s a small catch—this level of protection comes at a cost. You’ll have to pay a small fee, to enjoy the concomitant perks of the Interactive Monitoring plan.

Can one use a SimpliSafe camera before installing its system?

Nope. That’s not a possibility because the camera needs the software to not only be effective but also efficient. You could try, but it won’t even turn on before being connected to the keypad and the base station.

Do SimpliSafe users need professional monitoring?

Professional monitoring is important if you’ll need recorded footage of the things that happened while you were away. If all you need is live footage, you can get that without subscribing to the monitoring service.

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Conclusion

A lot of people like what the SimpliSafe outdoor camera offers, but they feel the company should install motion sensitivity control into the device. The fact that the design doesn’t allow it to be integrated into other systems was also a concern among them. All in all, the camera is dependable, and that’s what’s most important.


Featured Image Credit: SimpliSafe, Amazon

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.

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