Top 10 Best Motion Activated Spy Cameras in 2018

Motion activated spy cameras are tiny, handy tools if you are struggling with vandals, thieves or something as simple as a questionable nanny. This camera stays hidden in plain sight and activates on a few seconds of continuous motion near it.

The Spy Cameras record videos and store them on external SD cards. There is a multitude of Spy cameras out there with tons of fancy features. So, it might be a good old hassle to find the Best Motion Activated Spy Camera for yourself.

Hence why we have carefully created a list of Motion Activated Spy Cameras. We have included only the ones we found to have the best performance all around.

Best Pick

Spy Tec Z12 Motion Activated Intelligent Security Camcorder

Spy Tec Z12 Motion Activated Intelligent Security Camcorder records for more than any other spy cameras. The video quality is HD and is sufficiently good to monitor your house or office. It records both audio and video and it has the best performance among all the cameras. One of its best features is that it is both mountable and portable.

​Budget Pick

Hidden Mini Camera by Luckmall

Hidden Mini Camera by Luckmall is one of the smallest spy cameras. It has a recording option for multiple resolutions. The night vision works great along with the videos in daylight. The photo mode is one great feature of this camera.

We have picked and listed some of the Best Motion Activated Spy Camera. All of these have the best features that a spy camera should have. You will also find detailed reviews complete with pros and cons of the Spy Cameras down below.

1. Spy Tec Z12 Motion Activated Intelligent Security Camcorder 

Highlighted Features

  • Activation by vibration, motion and voice detection
  • Small in size (fits on top of a card)
  • Records on low light conditions
  • Supports 32/64 gigabyte micro SD card
  • Records video for 8 hours

Spy Tec Z12 spy cam is small enough to fit on top the palm of your hand. It has a rechargeable battery that can record eight hours of videos continuously. The only issue is that you can’t set the time to be less than that.

We would have much preferred if the video would stop after half an hour or so. Then start recording again if there is movement again. The three triggers – motion, vibration, and sound give this camcorder extra points since most spy cameras don’t have such sensitivity.

The camera records videos on HD quality. They are not the sharpest of videos. Here we would like to add that for if you record videos in higher resolution, the size would also increase. So, the quality this camera provides is acceptable for both day and night.

This spy cam looks discreet enough to hide from your curious pets. It's also a really good option if you want to keep a lookout on your garage. The packaging includes an in-car power supply so you can use it on the go. To set it up for the first time you need to download software on your computer. It has all the control options – once you set it up it’s fairly easy to use. keep in mind that the led lights need to be turned off.

The camera supports up to 64GB of micro SD card. It would take three to four uses to fill the card. That is if it gets activated each time and records the video to its maximum capacity. The motion sensor works great. It will not activate as soon as there’s any motion in its vicinity. It takes about thirty seconds of continuous movement or vibration to activate.

PROS

  • Prolonged video recording time
  • Records audio along with video
  • Runs on battery and also work while charging
  • Easily concealable

CONS

  • Night-time videos are not the best quality
  • Not very intuitive
  • The storage unit is not included
  • Does not have any option to record videos in shorter timestamps

2. Hidden Mini Camera by Luckmall

Highlighted Features

  • Captures HD video and pictures
  • Portable and clips on anything
  • Records HD videos in the night
  • Supports recording in multiple resolutions
  • Motion detection sensor
  • Shoots 12MP pictures
  • Supports up to a 32GB card
  • Connects to TV
  • Records for about an hour

Hidden Mini Camera by Luckmall is one of the smallest spy cameras to come into our hands. It is literally smaller than the pad of your finger. It has a clip that you can attach with anything. Which makes it a portable camera. It is mountable as well.

It shoots videos on 720p or 1080p resolution.  It also has a photo mode. The photos are much sharper than the videos since they are taken in 12MP. It also records smooth videos at night. You will have to turn on the IR or night vision to capture videos at night.

You can watch videos live on your computer with this camera.  This also plugs into TV, if you want you can also watch it in there. If you want to clean space from external storage, you will need to connect it to your laptop.

The external storage is not included in the package. You will have to connect a micro SD card with the camera. The maximum capacity of the storage you can add is 32GB. Which we think could have been better. But we can’t really complain for the price.

The motion detective sensor works perfectly. It turns on if there is continuous motion near it for a few seconds. Once the camera turns on it records for about an hour.

This mini camera is perfect for use as a nanny cam – to keep an eye on your toddlers. But that’s only one use you can use it as a security camera for your house or office. It will also be great for checking in on your pets. You don't have to worry about your cats finding it since it is so small.

PROS

  • Supports loop recording
  • Night vision feature
  • Records audio and video both
  • Easily mountable on walls
  • Sleek and discreet design

CONS

  • Warms up while recording
  • Video length is shorter
  • Have to use a card reader to extract the videos

3. Mini nanny cam spy hidden Remote control Camera by XJW 

Highlighted Features

  • Small and sleek design
  • HD video recording
  • Records in low-light condition
  • Records in AVI format
  • Takes up to 32GB SD card
  • Rechargeable Lithium battery included
  • Operates on a remote control

This camera looks like a clothes-hook and records videos when there is motion near it. The camera films videos through a tiny hole in the hook. What we did not like is the big LED light in the front of the hook. The light might give the camera away.

On the videos – they look good enough in daylight. The videos recorded at night are a little questionable. In a word, the videos are not of the best quality. Which we are not saying anything against because the hook recorder is one of the cheapest spy cameras you will find.

The hidden camera records in AVI format. Since there is no live viewing feature in this one, you will need to connect it to your laptop. You can use the included USB cable to do that. You might need to install a software to play the videos since not all players can play this format.

You can Connect it to a laptop or use an adapter to charge it. It should flash the LED when it is charging. One side note, don't put much weight on it since it's not built to use as normal clothes hook.

One feature we really liked is the remote-controlled operation. You can turn the recorder on an off with the remote after mounting it in a wall. Another great thing about the recorder is that it picks up clear audio.

This one will work for you if you are looking for a spy camera on a budget. It has most of the features we would expect from a spy camera.

PROS

  • Date and time of recording can be specified
  • The lens of the camera is almost invisible
  • Records only as long as motion are detected

CONS

  • Needs more than 12 hours of charging for first 3 times
  • Might look too big for a clothes hook
  • No live viewing options

4. Mini Spy Camera by VOUO 

Highlighted Features

  • Full HD 1080P video recording
  • The design is compact and portable
  • HD video recording in low-light conditions
  • Records in AVI format
  • Videos are stored in M-JPEG format
  • Video proportion is 4:3
  • Charges in DC-5V
  • Supports up to 32GB Micro SD card

VUVO has created a very compact and effective little spy camera. It is rectangular in shape – it will not roll around. Which we highly appreciate. We also appreciate the small size of the spy camera. You can easily conceal it beside a potted plant.

The camera records videos in two modes. You can record in 720P or 1080P. The quality of the recorded videos is very clear. The low-light videos are also much better than some other spy cams. This is perfect for using as a nanny cam as well.

The videos are stored in an external SD card. Which you have to buy separately. You can insert the card in the camera. It will freeze or will not operate properly if you insert a larger SD card than that. The camera records wide-angle videos.

The camera gets extremely warm while recording. We would suggest keeping that in mind while you keep the camera on. Another problem we had was the synchronization of video and audio. Sometimes the video can get behind the audio by a second or two. If you are having issues like this we suggest talking to the customer service immediately.

It records for about an hour which isn't much. It will only record as long as there is continuous motion near it. So, this is not usable as an overnight monitoring camera. You can use this one is you are looking for recording videos for a shorter amount of time.

We had no issues with the video itself since the videos are very clear and smooth. For the price, we would say this is an excellent motion activated spy camera.

PROS

  • Records 720P videos as well
  • Includes a waterproof shell
  • Sleek rectangular design
  • Very small and unnoticeable
  • Has a wide-angle lens

CONS

  • Gets very warm while recording
  • Might have issues syncing at first
  • Recording time is only one hour

5. Lilexo Mini Hidden Spy Camera

Highlighted Features

  • Compact and designed to use easily
  • No flashes of LED light
  • Records 1080P full HD videos
  • Night-vision feature
  • Wide angle lens with 120 degrees
  • Equipped with a motion detector sensor

Lilexo Mini Hidden Spy camera is a little camera that can be concealed easily. It has a magnetic back so you can attach it on your fridge. It is perfect to catch people with questionable motives or just keep your home secure. We really liked its compact design. You can attach it to any metal object or tape it to keep an eye on things. It takes a few seconds of time to activate after there is any motion near it. The camera will record for five minutes at a time.

The videos are saved in an external storage. This, unfortunately, is not included with the camera. Use a high-quality micro USB card with it.  The camera does not record properly if cheap or lower grade USB card is used. Every time you want to watch the videos you have to take the card out. Connect the card to your laptop to watch them. The videos only play by VLC player. Also, we had to format the card before inserting it in the camera unit to get it to work.

The spy camera needs to be charged for a few hours before it can record to its fullest capacity. The battery would hold the charge for about one hour and a half. The quality of recorded videos is really great. The quality does not deteriorate in the videos filmed at night. It covers a wide area since it has 120 degrees wide lens. There is no flashy LED light that might give the camera away.

Overall, this is a perfectly discreet motion activated spy camera. You can use it as a nanny camera or just place it anywhere to keep surveillance.

PROS

  • Records in five-minute increments
  • Has a magnetic finish
  • Good quality image and videos
  • Works well in day and night

CONS

  • Needs at least 5 seconds of motion to turn on
  • Battery life is not great
  • Only plays the recording on VLC player
  • Requires high-quality Micro SD card to operate

6. WIFI Hidden Camera by TOQI 

Highlighted Features

  • Records HD color video
  • 90° wide-angle camera lens
  • Looks exactly like a charger adapter
  • Live video watching option
  • Motion detective sensor
  • Loop recording

TOQI’s Wi-Fi hidden spy camera is a curious fusion of tech. It is both a spy camera and a charger. It looks exactly as an adapter that’s connected to charger cables. It stays that way unless you know it has a spy camera between its two charging ports.

The best feature of this camera is that it has a remote Wi-Fi view. That means you can just connect it to Wi-Fi and watch the videos live from distance. If you want to record the videos, you can insert a memory card into the device.

This is what sets this spy cam apart from all its competitors. You don’t have to insert a memory card to get it to work. This nanny cam supports loop recording. That is, when the memory card is full, the device will delete the older files. That way it can make space for newer videos.

It supports up to 128GB memory cards. The card will store only fifteen hours of video. We would suggest cleaning the storage up after every fifteen hours of recording. It will reduce the chances of accidental overwriting of important files.

The camera does not have night vision. You can only use it in the day. But the videos taken in the day is acceptable. Although it does need a lot of light to produce the best quality videos. It starts recording when the motion detector senses any motion nearby.

You have to download an app in your phone to set it up. The remote viewing also works through that app. Its interface is easy to use. Overall, in our opinion, it is worth the investment.

PROS

  • Card reader included
  • Completely inconspicuous
  • The downloadable app is user-friendly
  • Can be used as a charger

CONS

  • Does not have night-vision
  • Needs to be connected to Wi-Fi
  • Needs a lot of light to record quality videos

7. ​Phreilend Hidden Camera 

Highlighted Features

  • 1080P HD video recording
  • Completely controllable with APP
  • Has a motion detection sensor
  • Made with durable materials
  • The camera is very small
  • Works as a charger too

Phreilend Hidden Spy Camera is one of the most discreet spy cameras out there. It looks and works like a USB charger along with a camera. The unit has a tiny lens in front that records videos. You can keep the camera recording at all time or activate the motion sensor.

It is set up and activated using an APP. The APP works for both android phone and iPhone. After connecting the device to Wi-Fi you can change the settings from the APP. The unit requires a very speedy internet connection to work. The unit is completely wireless. You can plug it in a wall and it will record while charging.

You can connect eight Phreilend spy cams with your phone at a time, which we thought should be enough for the whole house. You can view the videos live remotely if your camera unit is connected to Wi-Fi. The motion detector sensor will send alerts straight to your phone if any movement is detected.

PROS

  • Has two years of warranty
  • Includes SD card adapter
  • Completely wireless
  • Charges and records at the same time

CONS

  • Needs high-speed Wi-Fi connection
  • Takes 10-15 seconds to start functioning
  • Does not have night vision

8. Fuvision Electrical Outlet Hidden Spy Camera 

Highlighted Features

  • Records FHD color videos
  • The recording is triggered by PIR motion
  • Battery holds the charge for up to 15 days in standby
  • A removable 16GB memory card is included
  • All videos have timestamps
  • Resolution – 1920x1080P
  • Records up to five and a half hours
  • LED indicators

This spy camera has one of the most innovative shapes of all. It looks like an electrical outlet. Which does not function. But, it has a hidden camera in it that can be used for surveillance of your home or office. The quality of the videos is one of the best. The camera records color videos in FHD. They can be stored in a memory card. This is the only brand that includes a 16GB memory card with the package.

You can easily clean up or change the memory card. We recommend inserting a larger storage with the unit. The video fills up a lot of storage space very quickly since they are very high quality. The videos are sharp and clear. They also look very realistic – there is no change of color or any issues like that.

All the recorded videos show date and time by default. Which is extremely helpful to figure out exactly when something happened. Another nifty tool called reset pin is included with the unit. The unit has a motion sensor too. It activates when the sensor detects motion nearby. The camera will stay off and hold the charge for about fifteen days is any movement is not detected. While recording the battery will hold the charge for about five and a half hours.

The unit should be mounted a foot above the ground. You should not attach it above that since it records videos at an angle. Which adds to the discretion factor.

PROS

  • Does not look anything like a camera
  • Records videos in 15 degrees upwards angle
  • Three meters mounting tape included

CONS

  • Not completely flush with walls
  • Might come off if someone tries to use it
  • Does not connect to Wi-Fi

9. Hidden Spy Camera by Amerigle 

Highlighted Features

  • Streams and records 1080P videos
  • Supports remote viewing
  • Directly sends alerts if motioned detected
  • Works on both battery and AC power
  • Battery life is up to 10 hours
  • Connects to both Android and iPhone
  • Up to 128GB memory card supported

Amerigle’s spy cam is a powerful camera unit that captures high-quality videos and images. The camera has night vision option too. So, you can use it as a security camera for both day and night. The camera is perfect to use as a nanny cam.

You can stream the videos live or choose to record them. The videos will be accessible later through the inserted memory card. The camera takes up to 128GB tf card. You might need to install a software (i.e. VLC player) to play the videos.

The rechargeable battery will record videos for up to ten hours. You can place it somewhere on the porch to monitor the house at night. This can also be used to monitor your nanny or elderly relatives. Those are just a few suggestions. The possibilities are endless. Along with recording videos, the camera takes stunning pictures.

PROS

  • Takes 4032x3024 photos
  • Compatible with Wi-Fi
  • Notification and email alerts
  • Loop recording
  • Can be used on the go

CONS

  • Memory card is not included
  • Bigger than most spy cams

10. Mini Hidden Spy Camera by Facamword 

Highlighted Features

  • Films HD 1080P videos
  • Portable and usable on the move
  • Hold charge for four hours
  • Invisible infrared LED
  • 140 degrees wide angle view
  • Continuous two hours of recording
  • Photo mode

Mini Hidden Spy Camera by Facamword is a small square nanny cam. It can be placed on a flat surface or used on the go. It records high-quality clear videos at a wide angle. The camera holds a charge for about four to five hours.

If it is being used continuously, it will record for about two hours. The camera unit takes an SD card – which can be maximum 128GB. You can use a smaller storage unit. An 8GB memory card will be filled with one or two hours of videos.

If you don't feel like cleaning up the storage space after every single use, we would suggest inserting a larger memory card. This camera, unfortunately, does not have any night vision option. That means it will not record videos in low light conditions.

The small size and the tiny stand make it perfect to use as a nanny camera. It is great to use for surveillance for your home, office, car or any other place that you want to keep secure.

PROS

  • Smaller than the pad of fingers
  • Has a stand to place it at an angle
  • Motion detection

CONS

  • No night-vision
  • No loop recording
  • Lights flash when the card is full

Things to Consider Before Buying Motion Activated Spy Cameras

Motion Activated Spy Cameras are tiny little devices that are easily concealable. Some other names for this camera are surveillance camera, nanny cam or security camera. It is basically a very small camera that supports SD cards for storing videos it records.

You can place them anywhere at your home, office or car and keep an eye on things even when you are not there. The cameras various sets of features to suit everyone’s needs. Some cameras can record videos at night while some are waterproof. They are sometimes built in unusual shapes to make them more inconspicuous. For example – phone chargers, electric outlets etc.

Having to choose the Motion Activated Spy Camera that will work for you might be overwhelming. Especially since there are so many out there. Below is the list of everything you need to think about before buying your spy camera:

Video Quality

The first thing you should consider is the resolution the camera records videos in. Some cameras have only one setting and others can record in multiple resolutions. Please keep in mind that these cameras will not give you a hundred percent crisp videos. Because their main purpose is security and surveillance.

If you really need HD videos then you might like WI-FI hidden spy camera by TOQI. This one gives you 1080p HD videos.

Video Length

Just like quality, the motion activated spy cameras record different lengths of videos. Some cameras might record for eight hours straight and some record for one or two hours. You can also change the settings so that the camera will record for about five or ten minutes at a time for some of the cameras.

Spy Tec Z12 Motion Activated Security Camera films for eight hours. So, if you need your camera to keep recording for an extended amount of time, this might be the one for you.

Camera Angles

One of the most important features of the Motion Activated Spy Cameras you should check is if it is wide angle or not. The reason to check this is if you place the camera facing one side of your room you will not get the view of the other side if it is not a wide-angle camera or has 360 degrees view.

Mountable spy cameras have more advantage than the portable ones. You can mount them in a corner or somewhere in the room that can cover the whole room. But if that is not an issue you may consider the movable ones.

Range (Area, distance) of the Video

Not all the nanny cams can record the same space-area wise. You might want to check this option before buying your Motion Activated Spy Camera. Especially if your space is a little bigger. The spy cameras will record from sixteen feet to above twenty feet.

We certainly don't want a camera that will only record our rooms partially. So, please check exactly how much the camera covers.

Mountable or portable

According to what you will use the spy camera for this is an important feature to check. If you want to carry the camera with you everywhere you go then portable ones would be best for you. There are some spy cameras that you can just plug in to charge and it will record and charge at the same time.

The latter is if you want to use to use the spy camera as you go. Some of the spy cameras are magnetic so you can attach them to your fridge or any household item.

Noticeability

This is one of the most important features of the Motion Activated Spy Cameras. Most spy cameras are very small and easily concealable. Be sure to check that you have turned off the LED lights that blink for charging and recording.

We would say that the Clothes Hook Recorder by XJW looked a little obvious to us. Other than that, the camera works great. We would advise you to check if you can properly hide the camera if you want to keep it absolutely discreet.

Night Vision

Some of the Motion Activated Spy Cameras record videos at night as well as daytime. Videos that are recorded at night are definitely not as clear as they the ones from daylight. But, some brands offer night vision that gives you better videos in low light conditions.

Hidden Mini Camera by Luckmall, for example, has the night vision feature. To us, the low light videos are not too grainy and completely acceptable.

Controls

Almost every Motion Activated Spy Camera has a different control system. They can be attached to your computer with USB cable to set up. Some need to be connected to an electrical outlet to work. Some have built-in controls in them.

The controls are not always intuitive. So, if you want easy to use Spy Cameras we would recommend checking the control panel before buying one.

Storage

One crucial feature you need to check is the supported storage of the Spy Camera. The SD card storage the cameras support start from as small as 4gb and go up to 128gb. You will notice the higher the resolution of videos the sooner the storage will fill up.

We suggest getting a camera that will support a larger storage unit. It will not require frequent cleaning up.

Audio recording

Last but not the least, some of the Spy Cameras record audio as well as video. There is one option called ‘two-way audio’ recording – it allows you to watch and listen to the recording live.

If you are looking for this feature in your Motion Activated Spy Camera then Hidden Mini Camera by Luckmall might interest you.

Final Verdict

Spy cameras assure your security and keep surveillance of your space. They are incredibly helpful to keep an eye on your pets or children or the elderly. We have chosen all the Motion Activated spy cameras based on their features.

You should now be able to choose the one that suits you best. We would highly suggest you invest in a good spy cam to reduce any amount of stress over security.


Top 10 Best Motion Activated Spy Cameras in 2018
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