What We Like
Easy to use
Motion detection (with optional alerts)
Upgraded night vision
What We Don't Like
Short battery life
A quality hidden camera can help provide peace of mind whether you’re home or away. The Jayol 1080p Mini Spy Camera packs a ton of features into a tiny package, including long-range motion detection, upgraded night vision, continuous recording options, and real-time viewing from your smartphone. We put this hidden camera to the test, monitoring our home over the course of a week. Read on to see how it performed.
Setup Process: Easy
The Jayol proved simple enough to set up. Although the grammar is flawed, the instructions are clear enough to follow and it took us only five minutes to get the camera connected. All you have to do is download the free app and connect the camera to either your smartphone or router. You can then watch live video right from your phone. The range of the camera’s Wi-Fi signal is about 32 feet. If the camera is connected via a smartphone and your phone exceeds that distance, the camera will disconnect. If you plan on accessing the camera when you’re out of the house, it’s best to connect the camera to your router.
If you want all-day surveillance, you’ll have to keep the camera plugged into an outlet.
Keep in mind that the camera needs to be fully charged before you use it and this takes seven to eight hours. Initially, we made the mistake of assuming that such a tiny device would only take an hour or two to charge. Then, the camera died about 45 minutes after we left the house. At first, we thought the camera wasn’t connected properly, but then we realized it simply hadn’t charged enough.
Performance: Excellent overall—but not foolproof
We used this camera in a vacation home that our family rented for a week. Considering that it’s such a small device, we were really impressed with its scope. The picture quality is surprisingly clear, too. The camera has a 140-degree wide-angle lens, which captured most of the 36 x 20-foot room we placed it in. We perched the camera on a corner shelf in the living room and were able to see the front door and the two back doors leading to the yard—a perfect angle for surveillance.
This camera came in handy for a few purposes. We own two dogs and they sometimes get separation anxiety when we go out. It was nice to be able to pull up the live feed and watch them on our phone. The dogs slept most of the time we were gone, and we felt reassured knowing they were relaxed and not barking at the door. We also used the camera to check in on the younger kids while everyone was at home. If we were in another room of the house, we’d view the live feed to see what they were up to. We liked being able to monitor the doors leading to the backyard and pool area—just to make sure they didn’t go out there unsupervised.
The camera certainly provides greater peace of mind, but we wouldn’t use it in lieu of a professional security system.
Since the house doesn’t have a security system, we used the camera to check on it periodically while we were out. The camera certainly provides greater peace of mind, but we wouldn’t use it in lieu of a professional security system. We were able to focus the camera on three entrances to the house (the front door and two back doors). However, we also have a garage door that can be accessed from outside and many windows that were out of the camera’s range. Someone could easily break in from another point of entry without appearing on camera or setting off the motion detector. If we wanted to monitor the entire house, we would need multiple cameras, which would be expensive and inefficient.
The camera went offline several times, according to the app, and we were unable to access the live feed. It came back online after a minute or two each time, though. We’re not sure if this was due to the Wi-Fi signal in the house or a drop in cell phone reception. Either way, the connectivity is not always reliable. The camera also has a relatively short battery life; it died on us after about five hours of use. If you want all-day surveillance, you’ll have to keep the camera plugged into an outlet. Just keep in mind that this may defeat the “hidden” factor as the cord will make it more difficult to conceal.
Design: Versatile with convenient features
The Jayol Mini Spy Camera is incredibly small (about the size of a GoPro) so you can put it almost anywhere in your home. It’s compatible with both Windows and Mac and you can choose to connect it either to your smartphone or router. We recommend using the router if you want to view the camera in real-time while you’re out of the house.
For a tiny spy camera, we thought the features were superb.
If you plan to use the camera for constant surveillance, you can install a micro SD card that will record on a continuous loop. According to the manufacturer, a 64GB SD card will record continuously for about 11 days (approximately 266 hours). If you don’t need to monitor what’s happening 24/7, you can view the live camera as often as you wish. You also have the option to take photos and videos (via the app) and save them to your phone.
For a tiny spy camera, we thought the features were superb. The camera is equipped with a motion detector that can sense movement from up to 30 feet away. There’s an option to receive alerts on your phone when the motion detector is triggered, as well. We will note that the motion detector is extremely sensitive. We received a notification every time one of the dogs made any movement, so we ended up turning off the alerts. The camera also has automatic night vision, providing a fairly clear picture even when placed in a dark room.
Price: A stellar spy cam for a reasonable price
Retailing for roughly $55, the Jayol 1080p Mini Spy Camera comes with a reasonable price tag. Considering its ease of use and exceptional features, this camera is well worth the money. Before purchasing one, we would just suggest that you assess your monitoring needs. If you’re using the Jayol to periodically check in on your pets while you’re at work, it’ll do just the trick. If you’re looking for a hidden camera specifically designed for outdoor surveillance or you live in a large home and want to watch multiple entry points, you’d be better served by a 360-degree camera.
Jayol 1080p Mini Spy Cam vs. Maximus Video Security Camera & Outdoor Light
As we mentioned, the Jayol 1080p Mini Spy Cam is best for periodic check-ins and must be plugged into an outlet for all-day use. If you’re looking to surveil your front or back doors or keep an eye out from your garage, the Maximus Video Security Camera & Outdoor Light is a great option. The $160 camera is designed to look like an outdoor light fixture for extra discreet surveillance. It is on the pricier side, but it’s jam-packed with features like a wide-angle lens, real-time viewing, a two-way intercom, and an outdoor siren to scare off intruders.
- Product Name 1080p Mini Spy Camera
- Product Brand Jayol
- MPN S1
- Price $53.98
- Weight 1.28 oz.
- Product Dimensions 1.18 x 1.18 x 1.18 in.
- Warranty 1-year no-risk guarantee