Zmodo offers affordable and feature-rich cameras that are perfect for keeping an eye on the fam. We especially like how the Pivot Cloud and Torch 360 automatically pan toward motion. But if you want your Zmodo camera to record continuously or make super-cool time-lapse videos, you’ll need to pay an expensive monthly fee.
Zmodo camera reviews
- : Best overall
- : Best for budgets
- : Best for night vision
- : Best hidden outdoor cam
- : Not recommended
Zmodo cameras comparison
Indoor or outdoor
Zmodo Pivot Cloud
|Amazon Alexa||Indoor||View on Amazon|
|Best for budgets|
Zmodo Mini Pro
|Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant||Indoor||View on Amazon|
|Best for night vision|
Zmodo Outdoor Wireless Security Camera
|Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant||Indoor and outdoor||View on Amazon|
|Best hidden outdoor cam|
Zmodo Torch 360
|N/A||Indoor and outdoor||View on Amazon|
What to expect with Zmodo cameras
Zmodo’s cameras don’t connect to a professional monitoring center and aren’t the strongest choice for home security. Instead, these cameras are designed for checking in on your home or loved ones and for recording memories.
Zmodo cameras pros and cons
We really love the price of Zmodo cameras; they’re all under $90.
But take those prices with a grain of salt: if you want continuous recording—the main draw of these “capture-every-moment” cameras—you need to pay a monthly fee for each camera.
Yep, a fee for each camera. If you get too excited about the low price tags and buy a bunch of Zmodo cameras, the monthly fee will add up quickly.
Called “Zmodo Cloud,” this subscription also unlocks smart motion detection and motion activity zones. If you want clips to save for 7 days, you’ll need to pay $4.99 per month per camera. If you want clips to save for 30 days, it’s $9.99 per month per camera. The free version records only when motion is detected and stores clips for just 12 hours.
The Zmodo NVR, which saves footage to a hard drive, is no longer available.
Zmodo connectivity requirements
All Zmodo cameras connect to 2.4 GHz password-protected, non-hidden Wi-Fi signals. Zmodo recommends an upload speed of at least 2 Mbps for best results. Multiple cameras may need a faster upload speed for best performance.
To use the Zmodo app, you’ll need an Android device operating on version 4.0 or better—or an iOS device operating on version 9.0 or better.
Zmodo camera reviews
Zmodo Pivot Cloud: Best overall
Amazon.com price as of 08/02/2021 at 06:30 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.
As its name implies, the Zmodo Pivot Cloud pans around for 350° coverage and includes motion sensors. This camera automatically focuses on the action in the room, allowing you to capture footage of your kids or pets playing and being adorable—even when you can’t be there to witness it in person.
More than just a camera
We love that the Zmodo Pivot Cloud functions as a 4-in-1 camera, Bluetooth speaker, security hub, and environmental sensor.
To put this into perspective, consider that a Bluetooth smart speaker can easily cost $100—more than the price of the multifunctional Pivot Cloud.
- Records in 1080p at 25 fps
- Has a 120° viewing angle
- Has a 30-foot range in night-vision mode
- Pairs with Zmodo’s door and window sensors to serve as a basic DIY security system
- Works as a home security motion detector
- Features two-way talk
- Plays music through a Bluetooth connection
- Takes temperature and humidity readings
- Works with Amazon Alexa
Zmodo Mini Pro: Budget pick
The unobtrusive and versatile Zmodo Mini Pro costs less than $25. Its lens captures a 130° view and records in 1080p at 25 fps. The Mini Pro sits on a flat surface or hangs on a wall, plugs into a wall outlet using a USB adapter, and connects to a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi signal.
A small but mighty camera
The Zmodo Mini Pro has some smart features, including the ability to distinguish between people and pets to cut down on motion notifications. You can also set motion-activity zones to receive notifications about movement in a specific area of the room—maybe that’s a window, door, play area, or out-of-bounds location.
If there are times when you don’t want to receive notifications at all, you can create an on/off schedule on the app.
The Mini Pro also features two-way audio so you can chat with your family at any time. It’s a convenient alternative to a phone—and you don’t have to wait for anyone to answer the call. Just check the live stream via the Zmodo app, tap the microphone icon, and start talking.
Speaking of the app, you’ll need to purchase a subscription for most features, including motion notifications, two-way audio, continuous recording, and time-lapse videos. But you can use it for free to check real-time footage.
Zmodo Outdoor Wireless Security Camera: Best for night vision
The Zmodo Outdoor Wireless Security Camera is quite a bargain at around $34. But this is one deal you might want to pass up. With a limited viewing angle of just 90° and no audio, the Outdoor Wireless Camera lacks some pretty basic functionality.
We do like its night vision, however, which can capture footage from up to 65 feet away thanks to 20 IR LEDs that surround the camera lens. The Zmodo Outdoor Wireless Security Camera is water-resistant (IP66 rating) and withstands temperatures between 14°F and 122°F. That means you might need to bring it inside during the winter in cool climates.
This camera also has a motion sensor and can connect to a Wi-Fi signal up to 787 feet away thanks to its antennae.
Zmodo Torch 360: Best hidden outdoor cam
Setting up the Zmodo Torch 360 is super easy: screw it into an outdoor light bulb socket. No other power source is required. We love this unique design, but it also limits where you can place it. It’s a good camera if you have a light post in your yard and want to keep an eye on the driveway without running an extension cord.
Just make sure to measure the lamp housing before you buy: the Torch 360 is 6.46 inches high and 2.95 inches wide. (We think that means its diameter is 2.95 inches.)
Smart light bulb and 360° coverage
The Torch 360 also functions as a light source, so your lamppost will still serve its original purpose. Plus, you get to have some fun changing the light’s colors through the Zmodo app.
It has a 132° field of view and also pans left and right to capture movement in the area. But the Torch 360’s night vision is just so-so, and it’s not a great choice for winter surveillance due to a temperature tolerance of 14°F to 122°F.
No night vision or two-way talk
The Torch 360 records at a lower resolution (720p) compared to other Zmodo cameras. It also lacks night vision, which is odd for an outdoor camera. There’s no two-way talk either, and it doesn't work with smart home hubs.
Zmodo Sight 180 and 180 C: Not recommended
The Zmodo Sight 180 and Sight 180 C are older cameras that you can still find for sale on Amazon (about $70 for the Sight 180 and about $130 for the Sight 180 C). The main difference is that the Sight 180 can’t be mounted to a wall like the 180 C.
These older Zmodo models aren’t worth the price. You’ll get more value for your money by purchasing the Pivot Cloud in lieu of the Zmodo Sight 180 or the Mini Pro in lieu of the Sight 180C.
We found at least a dozen other Zmodo products—including a video doorbell camera—listed as unavailable. We only reviewed the cameras available for purchase.
We take this to mean Zmodo constantly upgrades its offerings, but it can also be frustrating if you want to buy the same kind of camera in the future.
Of all the Zmodo cameras, we like the Pivot Cloud the best because it packs the most features into an affordable camera, but we appreciate the diversity of Zmodo’s lineup:
- Pivot Cloud: automatically pans toward motion to record important moments
- Mini Pro: affordable indoor camera that mounts anywhere
- Outdoor Wireless Security Camera: excellent night vision but no two-way talk
- Torch 360: easy outdoor installation and automatically pans toward motion
- Sight 180 and 180 C: outdated compared to other Zmodo cameras
How we reviewed Zmodo cameras
We researched Zmodo’s product specs and used our knowledge of other cameras to determine what’s unique about Zmodo cameras, what could be better, and whether each camera offers a good value for the price. View our methodology page for more information.
It costs $4.99 per month per camera to keep recordings for 7 days. It costs $9.99 per month per camera to keep recordings for 30 days. You don’t have to pay a monthly fee, but you’ll lose access to features like continuous recording if you choose the free option.
Yes. You have to pay the monthly fee for each Zmodo camera you want to connect to the app. So if you have four cameras and want the 30-day plan, you’ll pay about $40 each month.
No, Zmodo cameras do not work without 2.4 Ghz Wi-Fi.
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