Should you buy a Swann standalone security camera?

Best answer: Yes! While you may find its more limited features off-putting in comparison to other security cameras, it's low price and what you get for it is very appealing.

Amazon: Swann Smart Security Camera ($119)

Why should you get the Swann Smart Security Camera?

The Swann Smart Security Camera boasts that it is security made smarter, and we can see why. While so many cameras out there will have you tangled in a mountain of wires to run around your house, the Swann doesn't have any wires to speak of and runs on rechargeable batteries.

The Swann's compact white shell is designed to be weatherproof, so you'll feel reassured knowing that whether inside or out, this hardy camera can withstand even the harshest conditions, including heavy snow, rain, dust, or hot, dry days. That being said, you'll still need to be aware of your property so you can position the camera in a place that doesn't risk it being stolen or disconnected.

The Swann Camera only records when heat is detected.

Which moves onto my next point: the setup. As mentioned above, the Swann is completely wireless, and the camera has a magnet that attaches to a stand, allowing you to place it on a flat surface or attach it to a wall with adhesive strips. This may not seem the safest course of action if you want to secure your camera, so we do suggest purchasing an outdoor mounting stand to go with your camera.

As for the battery life, the Swann Camera claims to only record when objects that generate heat (such as people, cars, and animals) are 25 feet away. Since the camera is battery operated, and you'll only receive push notifications on your app when heat is detected, you'll save battery life and energy in the process.

Connecting your camera to your phone doesn't take long at all. You'll be asked to download the SAFE app and then connect your phone through Pair Mode. With that done, you'll be able to access what your camera sees, whether that's in real time or from a past recording. You can also download and share footage on social media.

Unfortunately, storage can only last so long. For free you'll be able to save up to seven days' worth of 10- to 60-second clips with internal storage. If you need to secure that footage, you can do so in the provided cloud storage for two days. Luckily, you have other options since it's recommended that you upgrade to Swann's ExtraSafe plan.

Swann's ExtraSafe plan offers up to 30 days of cloud storage for videos and images, and ongoing premium support. Instead of only having up to nine days max to save your clips, you'll be able to keep it for much longer, and — depending on whether you decide to take the monthly or annual plan — you'll be able to cancel the Swann's ExtraSafe plan whenever you want. As for the price? How does $5 sound (per camera) for a month's use? Or if you want to go all in, $50 (per camera) for an entire 12 months?

What makes it stand out against other cameras?

The price of the Swann Smart security camera cannot be overlooked. It's one of the best aspects of the camera! At $119, you get a lot of features that really benefit you, and makes it much cheaper than its competitors. For example, the Ring Stick-up Camera is not only more expensive at $180, but lacks features such as the infrared night vision or heat sensors. It's also a wired camera, making it vulnerable to power outages, as well as limiting where you can place the camera.

On the other hand, the Arlo Security System has a lot of the same features as the Swann Smart security camera system, but charges nearly $20 more. Why pay that price, when you can get the same for cheaper?

Are there drawbacks to the Swann Smart Security Camera?

Swann's camera boasts 1080p full HD video that'll let you see people's faces, cars, and other disturbances with crystal-clear clarity. However, the sound isn't perfect. That isn't a deal breaker, as you'll most likely be more concerned with visuals, but watch out for that if you're thinking of getting the Swann camera for yourself and are expecting sublime audio.

The camera's features are also pretty limited, but what you do get is useful. You get infrared night vision, heat-sensing alerts that ping your phone, and it's completely wireless. Sure, it may not have continuous recording, but it's nearly $60 less than its competitors and works just as well. This makes it a much more practical choice for those who want to save money, without losing quality in the process.

Aimee Hart