SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera Review

We tried the SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera. It’s reliable with clear video, but it’s a little too simple.
Best for outdoor use
Simplisafe Wireless
SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera
Monitoring starts at
$9.99
/mo
  • pro
    Color night vision
  • pro
    80 dB Siren
  • con
    Limited app features
Alina Bradford
Editorial Lead, Safety & Security
July 18, 2022

The SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera has clear video and great sound. And it comes with a siren, zoom, and spotlight. Other than that, this home security camera lacks features that other wireless outdoor security camera brands offer at a similar price point.

For our SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera review, we tried it in a real yard to see how well it works compared to other security cameras.

pro
Pros
pro Clear video
pro Outstanding sound
pro Easy installation
con
Cons
con No motion sensitivity settings
con No privacy zones
con Overactive sensitivity

Compare SimpliSafe monthly monitoring plans

Price
Video verificationIcon Tooltip  Dark
Timeline access
Video recording
Smart home integration
Learn more
Interactive Monitoring
Icon Yes  LightYes
Unlimited
Icon Yes  LightUp to 10 cameras
Icon Yes  LightYes
Standard Monitoring
Icon No  LightNo
7 days
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Self Monitoring w/ Camera Recording
Icon No  LightNo
Unlimited
Icon Yes  LightUp to 5 cameras
Icon Yes  LightYes

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

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What's in the box

  • SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera
  • Charging cable
  • Battery
  • Mounting bracket and screws
SimpliSafe Outdoor camera with charging cable, mounting screws, and battery

Image: SafeWise

Cost adds up with accessories

The camera itself sells for nearly $180, but you might spend close to $100 extra just to get the power supply and mounting hardware you need. That puts the total cost above similar (or better) outdoor security cameras.

It's unusual for SimpliSafe's costs to be higher than average, but you're between a rock and a hard place here—no third-party cameras work with the SimpliSafe security system, so if you want an outdoor camera with pro monitoring from SimpliSafe, this is it.

There are three ways to power the SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera: battery pack, 25-foot power cord (about $30), or solar panel (about $80). This camera automatically comes with one battery pack, but you can buy an extra for around $30 so the camera isn't offline during charging.

Finally, SimpliSafe also sells a permanent camera mount for about $10. Without it, the Outdoor Camera relies on a magnet to stay in place. 

Quick installation

To install this grapefruit-sized camera with your SimpliSafe home security system, all you need to do is tap on Add New Camera the SimpliSafe app, and it will guide you through the rest. It took about 10 minutes for us to install it from start to finish.

We used the magnetic mount to just stick it to a metal post. If you need to mount it with screws, it will take a little longer.

Hands down, this is one of the easiest cameras we’ve ever set up. (And we’ve set up a lot of cameras.)

Bell
Camera not connecting? Update the firmware

If your camera isn’t connecting to your system during installation, make sure the SimpliSafe base station is updated with the latest firmware. Once the updates are downloaded, the SimpliSafe camera should connect with no problems.

Check out more SimpliSafe troubleshooting tips or learn how to contact SimpliSafe customer service.

Clear video and audio

Footage from the SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera is clear and vivid during the day.
SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera has clear black and white footage during the night.

The quality of both the audio and the camera leave very little to complain about. The camera’s resolution of 1080p is clear with vivid colors. With the help of the camera’s light, the color night footage is clear too. We had no trouble identifying faces.

The SimpliSafe camera has 8x digital zoom, but we didn’t feel like that helped much when identifying objects that were further away. The image got fuzzier when we zoomed in. That’s common for security cameras, though.

The audio was impressive. It was understandable without much noise. The siren is plenty loud enough to scare off intruders at 80 dB. It’s probably not loud enough to wake you unless it’s near your bedroom window. It’s only about as loud as a vacuum cleaner.

Overly sensitive motion sensor

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We’ll be frank; the motion detection on this security camera is annoying. We were getting notifications every few seconds. It picked up leaves, bugs, and other random things. Ironically, it missed some humans. We wanted to turn down the sensitivity, but this SimpliSafe video camera doesn’t offer that option.

You can set up activity zones so the camera doesn’t sense activity from busy areas like sidewalks or roads. The problem is that it only lets you select one area to ignore. If your camera is pointed at several busy areas, you have to pick which one to ignore. Huge bummer. Other cameras, like the Arlo Pro 4, let you create multiple activity zones.

SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera vs. other outdoor cameras

The SimpliSafe Outdoor Cam is a little less expensive than its competitors, but it doesn’t offer smart home integration like Ring, Arlo, or Google Nest cameras. It also doesn’t offer simple features like privacy zones that prevent the camera from recording in certain areas (like over your neighbor’s fence). It needs motion sensitivity controls too.

We think the extra $30 other brands charge is worth it considering what you get. Ring Alarm does a better job of balancing camera quality with all the perks of a DIY security system. Learn more in our review of SimpliSafe vs. Ring.

Cameras
Best for
Price
Power source
Resolution
Night vision
Learn more
Read review
Best for SimpliSafeBattery, solar1080pSpotlight/infrared
Best overallBattery, wired, solar1080pColor/infrared
Best for smart homesWired1080pInfrared
Best for videoBattery, solar1440p (2K)Color/infrared

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Final word

If you’re looking to expand a SimpliSafe system into your yard or driveway, you’re kinda stuck with the SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera. You can’t use any other outdoor cameras with your system. But if you’re okay with a bare-bones security camera, you probably won’t be disappointed with the SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera. It’s dependable and has clear video and audio.

If you don’t mind using another app, you’ve got other outdoor security camera options. Go ahead and pay a little more and get a camera with advanced features like privacy zones, multiple motion zones, and motion sensitivity settings. You’ll be happy you did.

SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera FAQ

The SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera comes with a USB charging cable. It can take up to five hours to charge all the way. You can also purchase a solar accessory that keeps the camera charged so you don’t need to mess with it.

Nope. SimpliSafe security systems are only compatible with SimpliSafe cameras. You can use other brands of security cameras, but they just won’t work with your security system.

The SimpliSafe keypad and the camera pages and timeline on the app will all show alerts so you’re sure not to miss it. If your push notifications are on, you’ll get a message sent to you too.

Ten, but you have to have the Interactive Monitoring plan to use this many cameras.

No, it only works if you connect it to a SimpliSafe base station and keypad.

Technically, yes. It won’t record footage, but you can see live footage using the app.

To learn about more things you can do with the app, take a look at our SimpliSafe app guide.

No. Although SimpliSafe pairs with Amazon Alexa, there's no Echo Show video compatibility. 

Yes, SimpliSafe UK customers can buy the Outdoor Camera too. 

Read answers to more SimpliSafe FAQs.

How we reviewed the SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera

SimpliSafe Outdoor camera with charging cable, mounting screws, and battery

Image: SafeWise. 

For our SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera review, we tried the camera out with our SimpliSafe security system. We used it in a real home to figure out just how well it works in real life. We also scoured reviews from other users to see if our findings matched up.

Who are we? Our staff here at SafeWise has almost 100 years of combined experience in safety and security. You can trust our reviews and recommendations.

You can learn more about how we review products and services on our methodology page.

Related articles on SafeWise


Disclaimer

*Product prices and availability are accurate as of post date and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Google, Google Nest Secure, [any other related Google Products] and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

Alina Bradford
Written by
Alina Bradford
Alina is a safety and security expert that has contributed her insights to CNET, CBS, Digital Trends, MTV, Top Ten Reviews, and many others. Her goal is to make safety and security gadgets less mystifying one article at a time. In the early 2000s, Alina worked as a volunteer firefighter, earning her first responder certification and paving the way to her current career. Her activities aren’t nearly as dangerous today. Her hobbies include fixing up her 100-year-old house, doing artsy stuff, and going to the lake with her family.

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