SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor Camera Review 2022

You may find more features from other cameras, but the SimpliSafe outdoor camera’s crystal clear footage lets you see what’s going on outside.

Quick-and-Easy Outdoor Security
SimpliSafe outdoor camera
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
  • pro
    Simple setup and installation
  • pro
    Crystal clear video and audio
  • con
    Missing some key safety features for the price
Catherine McNally
Editorial Lead, Internet & Gaming
Read More
September 13, 2022
9 min read

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Is the SimpliSafe outdoor camera right for you?

The SimpliSafe wireless outdoor camera is a much-anticipated addition to the SimpliSafe home security family. We finally got our mitts on it and put it to the test to see if it stood up to our expectations.

In terms of features, the SimpliSafe outdoor camera is well-rounded—you’ve now got activity zones and motion sensitivity settings that make using the camera a whole lot easier. Its footage is crisp and clear, so you’ll never second-guess whether your neighbor is paying you a visit or a mysterious figure is lurking around your front porch.

Not to mention that this is one of the easiest outdoor cameras we’ve ever had to install.

But the SimpliSafe outdoor camera isn’t the cheapest camera on the block. And it’s still missing some home automation and storage (without a monitoring plan) features that we’d love to see.

Let’s dig into the details and find out if the SimpliSafe outdoor camera is ready to be your eyes in the sky.

SimpliSafe outdoor camera
pro
Pros
pro Easy peasy installation
pro Clear day and night video footage
con
Cons
con No home automation features
con SimpliSafe hub required
SimpliSafe outdoor camera price and specs
Product
Price
Video quality
Night vision
Learn more
SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera$179.991080p
Icon Yes  DarkYes

Data effective 9/13/2022. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

What’s in the box?

Pop the lid on your SimpliSafe outdoor camera kit and you’ll find the following goodies inside:

  • A white outdoor camera
  • A magnetic base that fits into the bottom of the camera and secures into the wall mount
  • A wall mount and screws
  • A rechargeable battery
  • A USB cable

Your SimpliSafe outdoor camera box comes packed with a camera, mounts, screws, a USB cable, and a rechargeable battery. Source: Reviews.org

One important thing to note is that the outdoor camera does not come with a SimpliSafe base station, but you do need one for it to function.

Is a SimpliSafe security system worth it?
Light Bulb

If you don’t already have a SimpliSafe system, our main takeaway is that it’s a major bargain and one of our favorite home security systems. Take a peek at our SimpliSafe review to see why we love ours.

Also missing—but optional—is a SimpliSafe solar panel. You don’t necessarily need this, since the camera comes with a USB cable and rechargeable battery. But the solar panel is nice to have if you’re ever worried about your camera running out of juice or prefer a more environmentally friendly solution.

SimpliSafe outdoor camera price

As far as outdoor cameras go, SimpliSafe’s price is smack dab in the middle of the pack. You’ll find cheaper alternatives, like the Blink Outdoor camera, and you’ll also find more expensive options, like the Arlo Pro 4.

SimpliSafe outdoor camera comparison
Product
Price
Field of vision
Hub required?
Learn more
$179.99140°
Icon Yes  DarkYes
$168.00*160°
Icon No  DarkNo
$99.99*110°
Icon Yes  DarkYes

Data effective 9/13/2022. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

*Amazon list price as of 9/13/2022 at 3:44 PM MST. See full disclaimer.

But sometimes paying more is worth it if you get extra features. One of our complaints while testing the SimpliSafe outdoor camera was that it felt barebones when it came to features.

Specifically, the lack of motion zones, privacy zones, and options to adjust the motion sensitivity left us feeling a little short-changed considering the cost of the camera.

The SimpliSafe outdoor camera now has activity zones
Info Box

We’re pleased as punch to see that the SimpliSafe outdoor camera now offers activity zones. You can set these up in the SimpliSafe app to tell the camera which areas in its field of view it should focus on versus which areas it can ignore.

By comparison, the Arlo Pro 4 outdoor camera costs about $10 less, comes with a wider field of view, and doesn’t require a hub to work. And if you grab the Arlo Secure plan with the Pro 4, you can set up motion zones so your camera focuses on a specific area in its view, like your front door or mailbox.

The Arlo Pro 4 also doubles as an indoor camera and comes with smoke and carbon monoxide alarm detectors.

On the budget end of the spectrum, the Blink Outdoor camera has a much smaller field of vision than the SimpliSafe outdoor camera. But it comes with adjustable motion zones and up to two privacy zones, which means you can focus on your Halloween candy bucket in case someone decides to get a little greedy. (Hey, it happened to us.)

On the other hand, we found SimpliSafe’s outdoor camera video quality blew the Blink Outdoor’s video quality out of the water.

SimpliSafe’s motion detection levels up with a monitoring plan
Light Bulb
SimpliSafe says its camera uses an “intelligent motion detection algorithm” to tell whether motion is caused by a car, your neighbor’s cat, or the UPS delivery person. But you’ll need its Interactive or Self Monitoring with Camera plan to get this feature.

SimpliSafe monitoring prices

SimpliSafe offers two types of monitoring plans to go with its outdoor camera, and we think they’re worth the cost based on the additional features you get.

SimpliSafe monitoring plans
PlanSelf-Monitoring + Camera RecordingsStandardInteractive
Price$9.99/mo.$17.99/mo.$27.99/mo.
Camera recordingUnlimited (up to 5 cameras)NoUnlimited (up to 10 cameras)
HD live view
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
24/7 police, fire, and ambulance dispatch
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Video-verified alarms
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Cellular connection
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Water and temperature monitoring
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Lifetime equipment warranty
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon Yes  DarkYes
10% off additional equipment
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon No  DarkNo
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Learn more

Data effective 9/13/2022. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Our favorite is the Interactive plan. Despite its higher price, it comes with a slew of extras that make it well worth the cost.

Video-verified alarms reduce the chance of false alarms (and the annoyance of clearing up the misunderstanding with police). If an alarm sounds, representatives at SimpliSafe’s monitoring center will look at up to 30 seconds of live footage from your camera. If they spot an intruder, they’ll alert the police on your behalf and provide video evidence.

The 24/7 police, fire, and ambulance dispatch is a reassuring feature in case you can’t dial 911 yourself.

A built-in cellular connection means your security system is still on the prowl even if your Wi-Fi or phone service goes down.

But if those features don’t sound like must-haves to you, you can still go with the Self-Monitoring plan to view live HD footage with smarter motion detection with your outdoor camera.

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SimpliSafe outdoor camera features

The SimpliSafe outdoor camera won’t blow your mind with features, but it does offer some necessary functions. Here’s what you can expect from it:

  • HD (1080p) video
  • 140-degree field of vision and motion detection up to 30 feet
  • Motion-activated spotlight
  • 80-decibel siren
  • Color night vision
  • Two-way audio
  • Motion alerts
  • SimpliSafe’s “intelligent motion detection algorithm” (with a monitoring plan only)
  • Magnetic base and wall mount
  • Rechargeable battery that lasts 3–6 months (5-hour recharge time)
  • SimpliSafe solar panel compatibility
  • Android or iPhone app controls
  • IP65 water and dust resistance rating

While we weren’t hyped about the lack of features, the SimpliSafe outdoor camera does exceed our expectations when it comes to video quality and ease of installation.

What about home automation?]
Pin

Sad news, friends: The SimpliSafe outdoor camera doesn’t sync with other smart home devices. So if you’re looking for something to pair with your Alexa or set up in your IFTTT routine, you may want to look elsewhere.

Crystal clear video

Have you ever squinted your eyes at your camera’s video footage, trying to figure out if that’s your neighbor’s dog or a cougar lurking in your backyard? No thank you.

This is one feature the SimpliSafe outdoor camera gets right. Its video quality is exceptionally clear. Just check out this view from our test where a visitor approaches our front door:

SimpliSafe-Outdoor-Camera-Review_Video-Quality

The SimpliSafe outdoor camera sports clear video footage, so there’s no need to guess who’s at your front door. Source: Reviews.org

High-definition night vision

Speaking of clear video footage, the SimpliSafe outdoor camera’s night vision could be used on the next Navy SEAL operation.

Okay, maybe you won’t see it used for national security purposes, but as far as home security purposes go, its night vision is superb.

SimpliSafe-frontdoor

SimpliSafe’s night vision won’t leave you guessing at details—and you can choose to have the spotlight turn on if motion is detected. Source: Reviews.org

You can also choose to turn the camera’s spotlight on if it detects motion. When the spotlight is on, you can view all those night-time antics in color. But it does make your battery life drain faster, so keep tabs on your power levels.

Easy peasy installation

The magnetic base and mount means installing your new SimpliSafe outdoor camera is a walk in the park. Plus, it’s truly wireless, so there’s no need to drill holes so it can connect to the hub.

SimpliSafe outdoor camera user experience

Our experience with the SimpliSafe camera itself wasn’t too bad. A lack of customizable motion detection areas and privacy zones aside, the camera is easy to install and the app is user-friendly.

But the number of notifications we received was off the charts.

Thanks to its extremely sensitive motion detection, the camera’s app pinged us more than a jealous ex who might’ve had too much to drink. The camera sent us a notification nudge every time it picked up leaves and bugs flying across its field of vision.

Annoying. Not to mention that, despite picking up leaves and insects, it somehow missed a few humans skipping across its line of sight.

One workaround we found that might quiet those notifications is to adjust the Motion Detection settings for the camera in the SimpliSafe app. You can change the motion detection sensitivity from low to medium to high and also ask it to detect “All motion” or “People-only” motion.

SimpliSafe-Outdoor-Camera-Review_Motion-Detection-Settings

If your notifications are getting out of hand or if your camera isn’t detecting every movement it should, try adjusting the Motion Detection settings in the SimpliSafe app. Source: SimpliSafe.com

Installation

We mentioned before, but we’ll say it again—Installing the SimpliSafe outdoor camera was a dream. Even getting the technical side of things set up through the app was simple. It was, by far, one of the easiest outdoor cameras we’ve ever set up.

SimpliSafe-Outdoor-Camera-Review_Installation

You can literally slap the wall mount on a metal surface and install your SimpliSafe outdoor camera in less than five minutes. Source: Reviews.org

SimpliSafe outdoor camera installation steps:

  • First, make sure your battery is fully charged (all three lights on the battery should light up)
  • Place your battery in the camera so the three metal dots line up with the three lines—your camera will chime and flash its light when the battery is in the right spot
  • Follow the steps for setting up a camera in the SimpliSafe app
  • Install the mounting plate by sticking it to a magnetic surface or by screwing it into a non-magnetic surface
  • Take the magnetic camera base and twist it into the mounting plate
  • Attach the camera to the magnetic base and you’re ready to go
Magnetic mounting isn’t necessarily burglar-proof
Heads Up

It’s easy to slap the magnetic wall mount up outside, connect your SimpliSafe camera, and go. But just like it’s easy to install, it could be easy for burglars to pull it off the wall and therefore get rid of your eyes in the sky.

SimpliSafe outdoor camera home automation

The SimpliSafe outdoor camera works with Alexa and Google Home. So you can change settings or turn the camera off and on with your voice. That’s a great option if your hands are full pulling dinner out of the oven.

But if you’re hoping for IFTTT integrations, you might want to check out the Canary Pro (All-in-One) or Arlo Pro 4.

Recap: Is the SimpliSafe outdoor camera good?

The SimpliSafe wireless outdoor camera is a great addition if you already have a SimpliSafe home security system. We’d like to see more features added to the camera, but as it stands it’s a good middle-of-the-road choice as far as outdoor cameras go.

  • Price: The SimpliSafe outdoor camera isn’t the cheapest option on the block, but it isn’t the most expensive either. The cost for the features you get is all right—you might find more features, like home automation, if you chip in for a more expensive model.
  • Features: We love the camera’s crisp and clear daytime and nighttime video footage. It’s also a breeze to install, both physically and through the SimpliSafe app. Considering the high-ish price, we do wish it had a few more features, like smoke detection and recording storage without a monitoring plan.
  • User experience: Using the SimpliSafe outdoor camera is incredibly easy. We did get swarmed by numerous notifications, but you can adjust the motion detection settings to reduce the number of alerts.
  • Home automation: Alexa? Check. Google Home? Check. All that the SimpliSafe outdoor camera’s missing on the home automation front is IFTTT, Z-Wave, and Zigby.
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
pro 5-minute installation
pro Crisp video footage
con Not a lot of features for the price
con Monitoring plan required for video storage
Price:
$179.99

Data effective 9/13/2022. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Methodology

To test the SimpliSafe wireless outdoor camera, we got hands on with our testing and paid attention to the following details:

  1. Installation: Was it easy-breezy or frustrating?
  2. Video quality during the day and at night
  3. Motion detection: Did it detect people, animals, leaves—or all three?
  4. App settings and notifications

We also looked at how customizable the settings are in the app, how long the battery lasts, whether the camera needs a hub or wired connection to work, and how well it integrates with smart home assistants like Alexa.

FAQ

Do you have more questions about the SimpliSafe outdoor camera kit? We can help.

Are SimpliSafe cameras any good?

If you already have a SimpliSafe home security system, its cameras will work like a charm. But if you’re not fully invested in the SimpliSafe home security family yet, there are other indoor, outdoor, and doorbell cameras that offer more features than SimpliSafe’s cameras.

Is SimpliSafe good for outdoors?

The SimpliSafe outdoor security camera is the only SimpliSafe accessory (aside from the solar panel) that’s meant to be used outdoors. It has a high dust- and water-resistance rating, plus it doesn’t melt or freeze under temperatures ranging from -4 degrees Fahrenheit to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is the range of the SimpliSafe outdoor camera?

The SimpliSafe outdoor camera can detect motion up to 30 feet away.

Does the SimpliSafe outdoor camera need to be plugged in?

No, your SimpliSafe outdoor camera’s battery lasts for 3 to 6 months after recharging—or you can grab a SimpliSafe solar panel to recharge your battery on the daily.

Do SimpliSafe cameras record all the time?

SimpliSafe cameras record for 10 seconds if motion is detected, and if movement keeps happening, the cameras will continue to record after 10 seconds.

But keep in mind, your SimpliSafe camera only stores video footage if you’ve signed up for the Self Monitoring with Camera Recordings or Interactive monitoring plan.

Does the SimpliSafe outdoor camera work in the dark?

Yes, the SimpliSafe outdoor camera has night vision, so you can see what’s happening outside in the dark. And if you set the spotlight to turn on when it detects motion, you can get nighttime footage in color.

Related articles

Certain Content that appears on this site comes from Amazon.com. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Reviews.org utilizes paid Amazon links.

Catherine McNally
Written by
Catherine McNally
Catherine has a degree in journalism and an MBA, and has spent the last 10+ years writing everything from Okinawa travel guides to stories on Medium. She’s been online since AOL CDs were a thing and is an unapologetic PC gamer. She believes the internet is a necessity, not a luxury, and writes reviews and guides to help everyone stay connected. You can also find her on Twitter: @CMReviewsIt.

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