Review of Portocam HD Mini Security Camera
The Portocam HD Security Camera
Portocam's 1080P HD WiFi Security Camera ($49.99) is a hidden mini cam crafted for at home security monitoring.
The 120° wide angle lens is perfect for 24/7 live monitoring whenever you're away. Its small size makes it a great nanny cam, and it can double as a baby monitor as well.
Other features include night vision, motion detection, loop and sound recording, and more (see "Best Features" section).
Quick Installation Guide
The camera can be used in AP or P2P (live video) mode depending on whether or not you have a WiFi connection.
Setup is relatively easy; just follow these quick steps and you'll be set.
- Download the HDMiniCam app from the Google Play or App Store
- Turn on the camera by holding down the power button for one second
- Input and format your micro SD card (can be done on PC or in-app)
- Go to your phone's WiFi settings and locate camera (it should start with CM)
- Go back into app and locate or add new camera (+ button)
- Your camera should now be online (AP mode)
- For P2P mode, tap the gear button next to your camera, click device settings, select WiFi config, and enter your router information
- The device will reboot by shutting down, you'll have to restart the camera manually be holding down the power button (camera should connect to your WiFi within 2-3 minutes)
There's much more in-depth setup information in the user manual, so please read it carefully prior to using your security camera.
Camera Angle: 120 degree wide angle
SD Card Support: 8 to 128GB (not included)
Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 3 (cm)
Night Vision Range: 17 feet
Motion Detection Range: 20 feet
Sound Recording Range: 15 feet
Recording Times: 2 hours for day, 90 minutes with night vision
Charging Times: 1.5 to 2 hrs with 5V/1A charger
Frame Rate: 25 FPS
Output: 240 mAH/3.7V
Play Software: VLC Player - SM Player
Phone Support: Android + iOS
Camera App: HDMiniCam
What's included: Portocam WiFi Spy Camera - Magnetic Bracket - USB Cable - User Manual w/Pin - 3M Adhesive Tape - Lifetime and professional support from Portocam
If you're a fan of security cameras, then the Portocam should have a lot of features that you'll be familiar with including ones you may have never considered.
5 Best Features
- Motion Detection
- Loop Recording
- 24/7 Live Monitoring With 120° Wide Angle
- Added Accessories
The 17 foot night vision range is perfect for pitch black settings, and it significantly enhances the camera's total spectrum.
That range is perfect for smaller home environments, and it's a great fit for larger spaces like your bedroom or living room.
Night vision will automatically activate once it gets very dark, however, this mode will drain your camera's battery faster than normal.
Portocam's HD security cam can detect motion up to 20 feet away, and it will take three snapshots whenever it spots something. You can configure the app to have it send you email and alarm notifications straight to your phone.
This is excellent if you're at work, school, or on-the-go and are worried about your home's safety.
The camera supports class 10 micro SD cards of up to 128 GB, but that may not be enough if you're planning on recording hours of video.
Luckily the loop recording feature means you'll never miss a thing as new recordings will simply override older ones. This means you won't have to manually delete your SD card's data or worry that you didn't catch something.
The only problem is that older recordings will get overwritten, which means you may miss something that the cam recorded earlier.
24/7 Live Monitoring With 120° Wide Angle
I really liked the wider angle as it can record more area than a typical cam might. The P2P live monitoring is also fantastic when I need to check up on younger relatives.
Just make sure your WiFi connection is very strong and that your camera is stable. Too much movement can create a lot of lag, and it you may even have to decrease your resolution settings to eliminate choppy viewing.
One of my favorite things about the Portocam is the accessories that came with it. I particularly loved the magnetic bracket, and I thought it was the perfect fit for this mini cam.
The bracket can be placed on any metal surface or desk, and it can tilt your cam 180° when it's on top of it.
Other accessories included circular adhesives and sticky tape that you can use for non-magnetic surfaces. They work really well for office settings where metal surfaces are less common.
Unfortunately there were several issues that I found with this product, and it saddens me to list them due to how positive some of its features were.
5 Worst Features
- No 2 Way Audio
- Motion Detection Goes Off Frequently
- Poor App Design
- Terrible Lag With P2P Recording
I'll begin with the least offensive con because this mini camera is no GoPro.
Portocam was made for dry, interior settings so the lack of waterproofing is not a big deal. However if you're someone who is looking for an added layer of protection, then perhaps you should look toward action cams instead.
No 2 Way Audio
The item does contain audio recording, but you have to contact customer service at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the software update.
Amazon and eBay have restrictions that do not allow cameras to be sold to record audio, so if that's a feature you want, then you'll have to take care of it yourself.
I do wish they had two-way audio though, it would've really enhanced the capabilities of this mini cam.
Motion Detection Goes Off Frequently
Although you can adjust the motion detection settings in the app, I still found that it went off way too frequently with even the slightest motion.
After looking at some reviews, it seems that other customers were also concerned about this issue. Hopefully it'll be addressed and fixed in the future.
Poor App Design
I hate to say this but I really don't like the app that goes with the Portocam product. It's very clunky, non-intuitive, and takes a long time to get used to.
It's not a great app for non-techies, and there's a significant learning curve to it. Setting up the camera is easy enough, but navigating the app can be a hassle.
Terrible Lag With P2P Recording
My biggest complaint by far is the terrible lag with P2P recording. The AP recording through my phone worked very well, but not when I connected the camera to my router.
The live monitoring kept freezing, there was a constant loading screen, and the lag was awful. I have a high speed WiFi connection, so there's no way that was the problem. Maybe a software update could fix this huge concern.
I have a lot of thoughts about this security camera, and not all of them are positive.
I would give the Portocam 1080P HD Security Mini Cam 3 out of 5 stars.
The accessories were terrific, I liked the night vision, the wide angle lens was great, and the loop recording is very user friendly. I was especially fond of the camera's design and it could have been a really great product.
However, I've had major issues with the frequent lag and on-and-off connection with the P2P mode. That alone was enough to take this product from 5 to 3 stars for me, and the app wasn't great either. Both cons significantly hampered my enjoyment of this item.
I've tried to reset the camera and I did everything the manual instructed me to do to solve this issue, but nothing has worked thus far. Even lowering the resolution from 1080P to 480P didn't help. If the camera performed as well on P2P as AP, then I would've given it a higher rating.
Overall I would only recommend this camera if you have a very high speed internet connection though even then I'm not sure if the lag would be solved. However if you're still willing to give it a try or you don't plan on using P2P mode, then I guess there's no harm in testing it out.
The company has a generous return policy with several warranties in case things go wrong. This product wasn't for me, but maybe you'll have better luck with the Portocam HD Mini WiFi Security Camera.