Samsung SmartCam HD Pro Security Camera Review

Samsung SmartCam HD ProThe Samsung SmartCam HD Pro is a nice entry in a long SmartCam lineup.

I had previously reviewed the Samsung SNH-6413BN SmartCam Security Camera and this is definitely an improved piece of hardware which uses the same app as all SmartCam cameras.  The Samsung SmartCam HD Pro competes well with the Nest Cam and I think that’s a good thing.  Like most Samsung cameras, the Samsung SmartCam HD Pro provides on-board storage and, unlike the Nest Cam, you don’t need to pay for a cloud subscription to see past history.  Nice.

Software

The Samsung SmartCam HD Pro uses the Samsung SmartCam app.  The Samsung SmartCam app may not have as much refinement as other home security camera apps such as what I have seen from Nest or Logitech but it has all the functionality that I need.  I haven’t seen any improvements in the app speed as it takes a few seconds to be able to see the live video.  However, once connected it’s uninterrupted and very crisp.

Samsung actively maintains their app coming out with new releases and maintenance on a periodic basis.  The app supports practically all Samsung SmartCam cameras and that’s a good thing for those that have multiple Samsung SmartCam devices.  I have several and it’s nice to be able to quickly toggle between the cameras.  Ideally, I would like to see a small view of each camera on the startup.  This is what Nest does.

The Samsung SmartCam HD Pro coupled with the SmartCam app provides the high end functionality that is necessary in any good home security camera.  Motion and sound detection are provided as are sensitivity settings for each.  There is a micro SD slot and you will need to add a card if you would like to retain history.  The Samsung SmartCam HD Pro can utilize up to a 64GB card.

When motion is detected, it writes a video onto the card so that you go and check it later.  A notice is sent via phone notification or email.

The Samsung SmartCam HD Pro supports up to three motion zones.  Use these to minimize false motion alerts.  Setting up motion is a bit of an art, so be sure to read our article on that topic called How to Eliminate False Motion Alerts on a Samsung SmartCam.

The Samsung SmartCam HD Pro is the only Samsung camera to integrate with Samsung SmartThings Home Automation.  This means you can do event based video clips.  So, for example, the smoke alarm goes off, record the video.

Like other cameras, there are options within the app to turn night vision on or off, change the brightness level, display the date (or not) on the video and turn the status light on or off.  You can selectively save a video clip to the included micro SD card.  You can also take a snapshot and save that directly to your phone.

The camera runs on the Linux operating system for those keeping track.

Connectivity

This is a wireless camera supporting 802.11 1/b/g/n at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.  A dual band camera is hard to find but I suspect won’t be so in the future.  If your camera will be located somewhat close to the wireless router, use 5 GhZ.  I would say within 30 feet.  Otherwise use the more dependable 2.4 GHz band.  The Samsung SmartCam HD Plus connects using WiFi Direct which means that it can connect to most modern wireless routers by pushing a button and entering some information into the app.  There is also an RJ45 jack on the back for those that prefer to skip a wireless connection.

Hardware

The Samsung SmartCam HD Pro has a bazaar shape to it.  It’s like a bright white shiny lollipop.  Not sure how else to explain it.  But you can see what I mean in the photo.

The Samsung SmartCam HD Plus is made to use indoors.  The case isn’t waterproof and it’s not made to withstand extremely cold temperatures.

The power cable is an 8-foot mini USB connection into the bottom of the camera.  Typically long enough for any indoor implementation.

The Samsung SmartCam HD Pro provides a 4x zoom option on the mobile app and 10x on the web app.  The app allows selection of different resolution levels including 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720, 640 x 360.  I had no problems using the highest setting.  Use of the lower resolutions are what you would use when accessing over a cellular network to save on your data plan.

A feature called Wide Dynamic Range Imaging (WDR) is used to brighten up video where the lighting isn’t optimal.  I found that it makes a big difference in low light environments.  This is kind of half way between daylight and night environments.  I like this feature a lot and it’s activated within the Samsung SmartCam app.

There is a 128 degree wide angle lens on the Samsung SmartCam HD Pro.  This camera doesn’t swivel but with this wide angle lens, it doesn’t matter.  I am able to get an extremely clear view thanks to the 130 degree coverage.

The night vision works real well.  Sporting a 1/2.8-inch CMOS sensor, I experienced very clear night video.  This is standard for the latest Samsung cameras.

There is a microphone and speaker on this camera.  Like most Samsung cameras, the microphone works well, the speakers are lacking.  If using this as a security camera, you probably don’t care that much about the speaker quality since you’re always listening and not speaking through it.  That’s what a cell phone is for, right?

Mounts

The Samsung SmartCam HD Pro comes with a folding table mount that is attached to the body of the camera.  There  aren’t any other mounts for these that I am aware of.

Fun and Different

The Samsung SmartCam HD Pro comes with pre-recorded lullaby songs and the ability to record your own voice.  I guess the intent is to use these as a baby cam.  Most baby cams have a dedicated viewer because when you wake up at night, the last thing you have the ability to do is fumble with a smartphone app.  But, I suppose it’s doable.

Summary

The Samsung SmartCam HD Pro is a good camera.  It offers a true HD experience and is the only camera that currently integrates with the Samsug SmartThings Home Automation hub.

Personally, at around the same price I prefer the Samsung SNH-V6414BN SmartCam HD Plus.  The hardware is a little better, the camera build seems sturdier to me, and if you want to use Samsung’s new cloud service, you can only do that with the Samsung SmartCam HD Plus.

Quick Specs:

Video QualityField of ViewCloud SupportSD SupportNight VisionMobile/Web AppAlertsOutdoor
1920x1080128 DegreesNoYesYesYes/YesYesNo

Manufacturer Link:  Samsung

All of these articles are written by someone (me) that figured out how to do this stuff the hard way.  I have owned and tested dozens of cameras.  Manufacturer support varies.  There are a few good companies that provide timely answers when you have questions.  There are several that sell you the camera and seem to have little interest in post sales support (which leads me to finding out stuff the hard way).