Within the smart home space, there are several options for connecting devices. One of the simplest and most popular is Samsung SmartThings. All that's required is a hub and compatible devices. For home theatre PC (HTPC) buffs there's even a Samsung SmartThings USB hub for the Nvidia Shield TV streaming set-top box. Video cameras are among the first, easiest, and favorable retrofits to make. SmartThings compatible devices range from smart light bulbs to sensors outlets and switches, hubs, and more. I have a set of Sengled dimmable smart LED lights, as well as color-changing OSRAM SmartThings compatible lights. These are integrated with Google Assistant and my Amazon Echo Dot for voice control. When searching for a SmartThings security camera, there are loads of options. Learn more about the SmartThings camera market, from what hardware to purchase, to benefits of buying a security camera, and more!
Table of Contents
- Camera for SmartThings: Why buy a video camera
- What can I do with a SmartThings camera?
- Best SmartThings security camera options in 2018
- SmartThings compatible camera options: Final thoughts
Camera for SmartThings: Why buy a video camera
While a video camera might be most associated with security, plenty of motivations outside of monitoring for break-ins exist. Maybe you'd like the capability to check in on family members. Alternatively, there's additional peace of mind that comes with the ability to remotely check in on a residence from anywhere with a video surveillance system. Moreover, video surveillance systems might increase the value of a home. [Read: How to set up Blink wireless indoor security camera]
Benefits of a video surveillance system:
- Peace of mind
- Checking in on family members
What can I do with a SmartThings camera?
Ok, so a video camera array in your home yields several advantages. However, what can you do with a SmartThings camera specifically? Because SmartThings offers tons of integration with existing smart home products, from sensors to cameras and hubs, you can create automation. For instance, I have my bedroom smart lights configured to automatically turn off when I leave my apartment, and then turn back on when I return. Additionally, I have my motion sensor synched up for further automation. Therefore, you may create various “routines” with SmartThings camera hardware. Essentially, a scene is a user-created “if-this-then-that” sequence. This gets kicked into motion with a specific tigger. [Read: 5 best wireless outdoor security cameras 2017 – Wireless outdoor security cameras to monitor your home]
Additionally, a SmartThings camera affords the ability to sync with voice assistants for voice control. A few example automations you could implement might be turning on lights when motion is detected, automatically arming the video cameras when motion is detected, or blaring a siren when motion is picked up. The options are near limitless.
Best SmartThings security camera options in 2018
These are the top Samsung SmartThings camera units you can buy.
The Netgear Arlo Pro delivers fantastic video performance in a sleek package. It's an indoor/outdoor SmartThings compatible camera. With the Netgear Arlo Pro, you'll find a rechargeable battery capable of lasting six months, night-vision, and two-way audio. CNET praised the Arlo Pro HD for its ease of use, if this then that (IFTTT) compatibility, and integration with Samsung SmartThings. Additionally, the Arlo Pro HD boasts geofencing capabilities, sound and motion triggered recording, and is weatherproof. Installation is a breeze.
Unfortunately, the Arlo Pro HD does require a hub. As wireless home security systems go, it's also pretty pricey. Compare the just shy of $300 Arlo Pro HD to the ultra-affordable Blink home security system. Though it rocks a night mode, Arlo Pro HD footage isn't easy to view in this mode. Still, the Arlo Pro HD is admittedly a step up from the Blink offering and moreover provides SmartThings integration.
- Easy to set up
- IFTTT compatible
- Video and motion triggering
- Two-way audio
- Free cloud storage
- Long battery life
- Average night-vision mode
Best SmartThings Devices for Home Automation in 2019:
Tom's Guide raves that the Netgear Arlo Q Plus is the smart home camera to beat. This camera for Samsung SmartThings is packed with features including 1080p video, night-vision, Ethernet, a microSD port, motion plus sound sensors, and two-way audio. There's a 130-degree field of vision for tons of video footage coverage. There's a robust cloud storage plan, phenomenal picture quality, and excellent user control for tweaking aspects like scheduling and motion detection. Moreover, set up is a breeze.
Yet the Netgear Arlo Q Plus HD SmartThings motion camera is hindered by a single-user mobile app. While you'll find activity zones, these are not included in the motion detection controls section. The timeline feature requires a pricey subscription. Nevertheless, with its excellent video quality, ease of use, and tons of user control, the Netgear Arlo Q Plus HD is a top pick as a SmartTHings security camera.
- 130-degree FoV
- Motion and audio sensors
- Two-way audio
- Custom zones not intuitive
- Single-user mobile app
For a combo SmartThings compatible camera and doorbell, check out the Ring Video Doorbell Pro. With an impressive 8/10 from Tom's Guide, the RIng Video Doorbell Pro offers crisp 1080p HD video, loads of customizations, and a bevy of community features. Plus, it's got a modern aesthetic that's not intrusive. Though it's a small device, you'll need the Pro Power Kit for installation. As such, installing the Ring Video Doorbell Pro SmartThings camera isn't as simple as other options. Furthermore, there's no addon camera option for indoor/outdoor cameras in conjunction with the Ring Video Doorbell Pro. As such, a completely different SmartThings motion camera array must be purchased. But for a gorgeous, solid doorbell and video camera unit, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro delivers.
- 1080p video
- Lots of customization options
- Tons of community features
- Pro Power Kit required
- Complex installation
Because of its affordability and app accessibility, the Samsung SmartCam HD Pro earns praise from CNET. Since this SmartThings security camera provides loads of options, little to no lag, and SD card compatibility, it's a top choice for a smart surveillance video system.
Although, CNET notes that the build quality is lacking. Moreover, despite its 1080p resolution, video quality appears lacking. Overall, the SmartCam HD Pro with a modest price and solid specs, the SmartCam HD Pro is a best-pick as a SmartThings motion camera.
- SD card compatible
- Cheap build quality
- Average video quality
Again, Samsung scores a hit with its SmartCam HD Plus. Like the SmartCam HD Pro it's an inexpensive yet robust SmartThings security camera. Although TechHive dubs the SmartCam HD Plus a Nest Cam clone, their review reveals that it's no knock-off. Rather, it packs in great specs at a low price. Because of its 1080p video, 130-degree FoV, night-vision, and two-way communication, the SmartCam HD Plus is a fantastic video camera.
However, this SmartThings camera requires a power outlet. Therefore, it's not conducive to set up in any space. Since it eschews battery power, the SmartCam HD Plus fails if the power goes out. Unfortunately, you won't find a backup battery either. Nevertheless, it's a great SmartThings compatible camera.
- 130-degree Field of view
- Two-way communication
- No battery
SmartThings compatible camera options: Final thoughts
There are also other 3rd party cameras compatible with Samsung smartthings such as DLink 2630L and Armcrest Cameras (HD, ProHD, UltraHD, etc.). We are not recommending these cameras as in some brands (eg. Foscam) security vulnerabilities have been identified. These cameras are typically cheaper and require no monthly subscriptions for video storage. But these are not officially supported by smartthings.
Ultimately, there are plenty of SmartThings cameras available. Merely figure out where you plan to mount your cameras, your budget, and priorities. The Ring Video Doorbell is a good pick, though it lacks addon indoor/outdoor camera units. However, most of the other options provide similar feature sets. Since it's ultra-affordable the Samsung SmartCam HD Plus is a good entry-level choice that's similar to the Nest Cam though different enough for distinction. Additionally, the Arlo Pro is an awesome wireless SmartThings security camera.
Your turn: which Samsung SmartThings camera setups do you suggest?