PROS / The clock camera has a generic, nonintrusive design that doesn’t attract attention.
CONS / There's no time-scheduled recording option.
VERDICT / This is the go-to nanny cam if you're interested in covertly observing your home while you're away.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
Nanny cams come in all shapes and sizes, but they are most notable when they are cleverly masked as common household objects. These devices allow you to monitor activity in your home when you're away. The best nanny cams are disguised as clocks, electrical outlets and other appliances to ensure that people don't notice and disable or disarm them. Our top-ranked nanny cam is an operational clock camera that covertly records video through a tiny pinhole lens.
This covert clock camera comes with most of the features you expect to find on a top-rated nanny cam. Primarily, the camera has a built-in DVR, so it can function without an external recording device. In addition, a motion detector activates recording only when there is activity or movement in the room, saving both battery life and memory. The camera can also timestamp recordings and has dual functionality as a working digital clock. While many nanny cams are also disguised as fully operational clocks, this model's aesthetics are particularly simple, conservative and nonintrusive. As a result, the iShot 2.0 fits in just as well on a countertop or shelf as it does on a nightstand.
This hidden nanny cam does not have an overwrite selector that automatically deletes the oldest recordings to free up space on the memory card. However, it does have remote-control operation, a feature that is not found on most of the nanny cams we reviewed. Using the included remote control, you can subtly turn on recording from a distance. This clock camera doesn’t support time-scheduled recording. Without this option, you are limited to continuous manual recording or using the motion-detection mode. Video resolution is an excellent 1280 x 960 pixels, which is above average when compared to many of the other nanny cams in our review.
Despite its lack of modifiable recording options, the clock camera offers a handful of other useful functionalities not found on many other nanny cams. For instance, the camera can operate as a basic webcam and take still images with 2048 x 1536 resolution using either the remote control or the buttons on the camera.
The iShot 2.0 Mini Alarm Clock Hidden Camera has a flawless design. The camera boasts color video and a maximum viewing angle of 72 degrees. This nanny cam also comes equipped with a powerful built-in lithium-ion battery that is convenient and long lasting. This battery lasts about 10 days before needing to be recharged when the unit operates in motion-detection mode. Even when it's not in this energy-saving mode, the iShot 2.0 Mini Alarm Clock Hidden Camera’s battery life is adequate. By taking advantage of the clock camera's best design assets – its built-in battery and motion detector – you can use it for days without running out of memory. Moreover, you can choose to power the device with the built-in battery or included power adapter, whichever is most convenient.
This nanny cam’s performance could be improved in low-light situations. When a room is dark, images captured by the iShot 2.0 Mini Alarm Clock Hidden Camera are slightly fuzzy and distorted. However, this isn't indicative of a flaw in the camera; it's a symptom of a room being dark. You can combat this problem by purchasing an infrared LED spotlight to illuminate dark rooms more effectively. Most nanny cams offer similar nighttime performance. This hidden nanny camera has excellent video output. The default resolution is 1280 x 960 pixels and the frame rate is 29 frames per second, which provides clear video without any perceptible distortions or jumps. Connecting the unit to your computer with a USB cable allows you to review your video. The clock camera's storage capacity is likewise very good.
It can support a memory card up to 32GB in size, which is average compared to other nanny cams, but you must purchase this microSD card separately. This memory card provides the necessary storage for the captured footage. This omission is one of the few aspects that detract from the overall quality of this nanny cam. Fortunately, reliable microSD cards are fairly inexpensive.
The iShot 2.0 Mini Alarm Clock Hidden Camera’s main selling point is value. This camera has many excellent features that allow it to compete with more advanced nanny cams. The unit lacks some features, such as time-scheduled recording and an included memory card, but it boasts beneficial features, including a built-in, lithium-ion battery and substantial storage capacity. Couple those features with a discreet design and its dual functionality as an alarm clock, and you get an affordable and feature-filled nanny cam that seamlessly blends into any room.