The Zmodo Mini Pro is a pint-sized indoor security camera that lets you monitor activity on your phone or on an Amazon Alexa/Google Assistant smart display for just $14. It’s easy to install and offers other useful features including AI motion detection and time-lapse video, but you have to subscribe to a cloud storage plan to take advantage of them. At under $15, it’s the most affordable security camera we’ve tested, but the $20 Wyze Cam V3 is an even better value and our Editors’ Choice award winner for budget-friendly models.
Small and Simple
The Mini Pro is a small rectangular camera designed for indoor use. It has a white enclosure with a black camera face, measures 1.6 by 2.3 by 1.1 inches (HWD), and is supported by a folding stand that provides forward and backward tilt, but no swivel adjustments. It comes with a mounting disc and screws that allow you to attach it to a wall.
The camera captures 1080p video at 25fps and has a 130-degree field of view. It uses an infrared LED to provide up to 26 feet of black-and-white night vision, and has a microphone and speaker for two-way audio. A built-in 2.4GHz Wi-Fi radio connects the camera to your home network and allows it to be controlled from your phone using a mobile app. It also allows you to access video streams using Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands. However, it doesn’t work with Apple HomeKit, nor does it support IFTTT integrations that allow it to integrate with third-party smart home devices such as locks and plugs.
The camera records video and sends push alerts when it detects motion, but it doesn’t offer sound detection or local storage options like the Wyze Cam V3 and the Lorex 1080p Full HD Smart Indoor Wi-Fi Pan-Tilt W261AQC-E. You get free access to the last 12 hours of video history, which is stored in the cloud, but if you require a longer history you’ll have to pay $4.99 per month or $49.90 per year for 7 days of rolling storage (per camera), or $9.99 per month/$99.90 per year for 30 days of storage. You also need the subscription to take advantage of certain features including AI motion detection, time-lapse video, and an in-app video editor
The Zmodo mobile app (for Android and iOS) opens to a welcome screen with a plus icon in the upper right corner for adding new devices. Below that is a notification panel with on and off buttons for enabling and disabling the camera, notifications, and sharing. Here you can create custom buttons to change the camera’s behavior. For example, you can create a button to have the camera turned on, but notifications and sharing turned off.
Below the notifications area are panels for all installed Zmodo cameras that contain the name of the camera, the current alert status, and Live and Playback buttons. When you tap the Live button, it opens a screen with a live stream that you can view in full-screen mode by turning your phone sideways. Along the bottom of the screen are manual record, snapshot, two-way audio, speaker mute, and playback buttons. Tap the playback button to view a scrolling timeline of alert event video and to use the video editing tool to create custom clips (tapping the Playback button in the device panel opens the same screen).
To access the camera’s settings, tap the gear icon in the upper right corner of the Live screen. Here you can enable/disable the microphone, flip the screen orientation, share the camera and video with other users, subscribe to the cloud service, and create motion detection zones.
The Most Affordable Security Camera, But Not Quite the Best
If you want to monitor activity inside your home on a budget, the Zmodo Mini Pro is definitely appealing. For just $14, it delivers sharp 1080p video and offers intelligent motion detection, 12 hours of free cloud storage, and voice control. That said, you have to subscribe to Zmodo’s cloud service to take advantage of object detection and time-lapse video, and to access video older than 12 hours. For $6 more, the Wyze Cam V3 is a much better deal: It can be used indoors or outside, offers color night vision and local storage, has a built-in siren, and works with a wealth of third-party smart devices. As such it remains our Editors’ Choice winner for affordable security cameras.