Vivint Cameras Review 2020

Vivint is light on cameras, but it offers some impressive features
  • Indoor Camera
    Pro:
    One-touch calls
    Con:
    Indoor only
  • Outdoor Camera
    Pro:
    Lurker detection
    Con:
    Expensive
  • Doorbell Camera
    Pro:
    Package detection
    Con:
    No zoom
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Vivint is one of the smartypants-iest systems we’ve reviewed. Along with its other smart home equipment, this security company offers three cameras: indoor, outdoor, and video doorbell.

Vivint’s security cameras have some fancy features, but they aren’t the smartest on the market. Plus, you have to have an existing Vivint system to make these suckers work. Because of this, we mainly recommend Vivint cameras to current customers or folks already interested in the Vivint system.

Vivint camera comparison
ModelPriceVideo resolutionStorage typeLearn more
Ping Indoor Camera$199.991080pLocal and cloudView Plans
Outdoor Camera Pro$299.991080pLocal and cloudView Plans
Doorbell Camera Pro$249.991080pLocal and cloudView Plans

Data effective as of 10/28/20. Offers subject to change.

As you can see, Vivint’s camera specs are consistent across the board. All three cameras record in 1080p HD. And you have your choice of 14 days of cloud storage or 30 days of local storage with the Vivint Smart Drive (more on that in a minute).

How Vivint cameras work

Vivint cameras have a lot of hidden costs because of the purchase and subscription models

Not all security cameras are the same. Here’s what you need to know about Vivint cameras in general.

Vivint cameras aren’t standalone devices

We’ve mentioned this before, and we’ll keep saying it because we don’t want any confusion: you can’t use Vivint cameras without a Vivint smart security system. A basic Vivint package costs around $600, so you’ll spend a ton just to get started.

And you don’t just need the security system to make Vivint cameras work. You also need a Smart Home Video monitoring plan. That’s Vivint’s most expensive offering.

Money icon
Vivint plans
If you pay the $600+ in equipment fees up front, Vivint won’t require a contract. You can end your business relationship at any time. But if you’re not keen to drop that much money at once, there’s another option. You can enter a 60-month contract while you slowly repay the company for the equipment (on top of the monthly subscription fee).
Vivint Smart Home Video subscription plan
# of camerasPriceCloud storageMotion-activated alertsLearn more
1 camera$44.99/mo.14 daysYesView Plans

Data effective as of 10/28/20. Offers subject to change.

To use more than one Vivint camera, you must pay $5 more per month for each additional camera. (Six cameras is the limit.)

Vivint cameras use local and cloud storage

As we already mentioned, Vivint offers both local (physical) and cloud storage options.

With most camera brands, the local storage is free, while the cloud storage costs extra. Vivint turns that on its head. Fourteen days of cloud storage are automatically included with your camera-ready monitoring plan. But to get local storage, you must add the Vivint Smart Drive to your equipment roster.

Once you have the Smart Drive, you’ll get 30 days of continuous recording, which is pretty neat. Just know that the drive will cost you $$ on top of what you’re already paying for equipment and subscriptions.

Vivint cameras use event-based recording

If you choose not to get continuous recording through the smart drive, your video clips will be motion-triggered. Vivint calls this “Smart Clips.”

Vivint Ping Indoor Camera features

This camera does make a pinging noise when you use it

As far as indoor cameras go, Ping’s good. It’s not the fanciest camera we’ve seen, but it has all the necessary features, and the video calls are a nice touch.

Ping Indoor Camera features:

  • 1080p
  • 155° field of view
  • Two-way talk
  • Night vision
  • Motion detection
  • Person detection
  • One-touch calls
  • Smart Clips

Two-way talk

All Vivint cameras have two-way audio.

When you have an outdoor camera, you usually use this feature to tell people you can’t come to the door right now or ask them to get off your lawn. But with an indoor camera, you typically use the audio to check in with your pets or kids. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the basement or a thousand miles away—thanks to the Vivint Smart Home app, the two-way audio works just as well regardless.

One-touch calls

Speaking of checking in, your loved ones can video call you directly from the Ping camera. It’s a one-touch button, making it easy for kids to use. (The button’s pre-programmed, so they’ll be able to call only you.)

Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro features

Your camera can scare off unwanted visitors

Smart Sentry is the standout feature of the Outdoor Camera Pro. We haven’t seen a camera with lurker detection quite like this before.

Outdoor Camera Pro features:

  • 1080p
  • 140° field of view
  • IP65 weatherproof rating
  • Two-way talk
  • Night vision
  • Motion detection
  • Person detection
  • Zoom
  • Siren extender
  • Smart Clips
  • Smart Sentry

Smart Sentry

The Outdoor Camera Pro tracks visitors’ movements.

The Outdoor Camera Pro tracks the movement of visitors and how long they stay on your property. If someone is loitering in the camera’s view, Smart Sentry will light up and make a noise.

This camera doesn’t have facial recognition, so it doesn’t have a way to differentiate between unwanted and wanted individuals. That means Super Sentry is quite useful if someone shows up at your house with ill intent. But it can be annoying if you’re pottering about the yard and the camera keeps trying to scare you off.

Siren extender

If someone sets off your Vivint security system, the camera’s siren extender will funnel the sound outside. That way, everyone in the neighborhood will be alerted, not just you.

Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro features

Never lose a package to porch pirates again

Doorbell Camera Pro is all about protecting your packages. Plus it has the Smart Sentry feature you’ll also find with the Outdoor Camera Pro.

Doorbell Camera Pro features:

  • 1080p
  • 180° field of view
  • Two-way talk
  • Night vision
  • Motion detection
  • Person detection
  • Package detection
  • Package delivery notifications
  • Smart Clips
  • Smart Sentry

Person detection

One of the number-one complaints we see about doorbell cameras is their inability to distinguish between people and not-people.

Like the other Vivint cameras, your video doorbell will differentiate between a person and another object. So if a cat is hanging out on your patio, the Video Doorbell Pro won’t think it’s a porch pirate.

Package theft deterrence

Vivint has its finger on the pulse of video doorbell buyers. Many users are concerned about package theft, and Vivint is working hard to respond to those concerns. Enter the Video Doorbell Pro.

This doorbell has just about every conceivable package detection measure. It has people and package detection, and it sends you notifications when packages are delivered. It even scares off package thieves who try to nab your goods.

Once again, Smart Sentry helps this Vivint camera protect your property. The video doorbell lights up and makes a sound when someone attempts to take a package.

Bullhorn icon
Vivint plans
We’ve seen videos of potential package thieves dropping packages and running when the doorbell alerts. But since Vivint handpicked those videos to show off, we suspect results may vary. The default tone is a whistle that’s startling but far from a siren.

How to install Vivint cameras

Vivint cameras are professionally installed

As you’ve probably gathered, you can’t just go to the Vivint Store and say, “Ah yes, I’d like to buy a Vivint camera and install it myself, please and thank you.”

Instead, you have to schedule a consultation, pick out a home security package, the works. Then you need to get the whole kit and caboodle professionally installed.

To initiate that process, we suggest visiting Vivint’s website.

Recap: Are Vivint cameras good?

A whole Vivint system may not be worth it if you just want some cameras

Vivint’s cameras aren’t bad, but Vivint isn’t the first place we’d go for a solid camera unless you already have or want its security system. Vivint’s camera selection is much smaller than what you’d get with a more video-oriented brand (such as Ring).

As a reminder, here’s the skinny on Vivint’s three cameras.

Indoor Ping Camera: Talk to your family back at home with the Ping camera two-way talk.

Outdoor Camera Pro: Smart Sentry will identify lurkers and scare them off with lights and sound.

Doorbell Camera Pro: Never succumb to package theft again with package detection, delivery notifications, and Smart Sentry.

However, though the cameras are a bit simple, we highly recommend the Vivint security system itself. If you’re looking for full-fledged security, the Vivint system’s smarts could make up for the lackluster camera selection. For more information, check out our Vivint review.

If the Vivint system doesn’t interest you, here are some others that might. Finding a security system can be a good first step in choosing a security camera.

Is your house ready for Vivint cameras?

You’ll need a full Vivint system to enjoy Vivint cameras. You’ll also need outstanding internet to run all your super-smart devices.

Remember, the more devices you have, the faster your internet should be. Otherwise, it won’t have the bandwidth to manage everything.

ServicePlanPriceDownload speedDetails
Verizon Internet - Fios GigInternet 400/400$59.99/mo.*400 MbpsView Plans
AT&T FiberInternet 1000$60/mo.940 MbpsView Plan
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* w/ Auto Pay + taxes & equip charges
for 12 mos, plus taxes & equip. fee. $10/mo equip. fee applies

Vivint cameras FAQ

Are Vivint cameras worth the price?

With Vivint, you get some of the latest and greatest in smart home and security.

Vivint smart home equipment includes the following:

  • Door sensor
  • Motion sensor
  • Glass break sensor
  • Smoke detector
  • Carbon monoxide detector
  • Water sensor
  • Smart light
  • Smart lock
  • Smart outlet
  • Smart thermostat
  • Smart garage door opener

All of this is controlled by the Vivint Smart Hub (previously known as the Vivint Sky control panel).

What does Vivint work with?

In terms of home automation, Vivint is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Z-Wave.

The Z-Wave compatibility is especially nice because it means you may be able to connect with other products that Vivint doesn’t sell themselves. So if you’d like to directly connect your Vivint security system to a particular Z-Wave door lock or doorbell cam, you might be able to do it.