One of the first do-it-yourself (DIY) installed smart home security system we tested was Abode. Over the past few years, we have tested Abode's systems including their iota smart home security kit. All performed well and were reasonably priced. Recently, Abode sent over their new outdoor security camera, Abode Cam 2, for us to test with our Abode iota smart home security system. We were able to put it through our tests and here is what we uncovered when putting this new outdoor and indoor security camera through the ringer.
Abode Cam 2 unboxed.GearBrain
What is Abode Cam 2?
Abode Cam 2 is a weatherproof compact versatile smart home security camera. It works on a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection and comes with two-way communications, full color low-light night vision, 121-degree field of view (FOV), 1080p Full HD and 24/7 recorded video capabilities. And the camera can work either inside or out as well as with or without connected to an Abode home security system.
The Abode Cam 2 comes with Abode's Smart Detect which helps prevent false motion notifications and alerts. Smart Detect intelligently captures a clip when a person has entered your predetermined activity zones which are setup in the Abode app during installation.
A new feature to Abode's new camera is it's mounting options. The Abode Cam 2 provides flexible mounting choices. The base of the camera has a solid foundation for your camera and allows you to point the cam in a variety of directions. The entire casing is IP65-rated weatherproof, so no worries about the camera getting waterlogged during those rainy summer days or flurries during the winter months.
Smart Home Integrations
Abode has a robust smart home ecosystem. Their DIY smart home security systems work with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa enabled devices. You can set up your Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa smart displays to view live video from the Abode Cam 2 or use voice commands with Amazon Alexa smart speakers to schedule routines. If you are an Apple HomeKit user, good news. Your Abode system works with HomeKit. You can have Siri control your Abode system and devices including Apple HomePod and Apple Watch. Voice control can be done with Siri too. Just ask Siri or any of the voice assistants to have your Abode Cam 2 start recording and it will be done. (You can find the other smart devices that work with Abode by visiting The GearBrain, our smart home compatibility find engine. It's free and easy to use.)
How to Store Videos with Abode Cam 2
When it comes to security cameras, one feature you have to be aware of are recording charges. When your camera is activated and it records a clip, you need to know if there is going to be any charges to save the video or access it once stored. Some security cameras give you a 30-day free trial to test out video storage. And after the 30 days, you must pay to save your videos and access them after recorded. For Abode Cam 2 and all Abode security cameras, you don't need a plan to operate your security camera but you do need one to store your videos. They offer two plans for video storage and self-monitoring but do not require a contract.
One of the features that makes Abode unique from other DIY smart home security systems is their monitoring options for smart homeowners and the flexibility you have in choosing the right plan for your system and camera. Abode does offer a self-monitoring plan which allows you full access to your Abode system at no charge. But if you wanted to upgrade to a plan whenever you want, you can easily do it from the Abode app. No strings attached.
Abode has two plans if adding a camera to your system, Standard and Pro Plans. Standard plan comes with self-monitoring and home automation access for unlimited usage. It also offers access to live and recorded video, person detection and more. And there is no limit on the number of cameras for this plan. You can see a live stream and review captured clips at any time for up to 10 days. These videos can be viewed on your timeline along with history of events (i.e., doors opening and closing, or alarms triggered.). The Standard Plan does allow for compatible smart devices to automatically work together when a security event takes place. You also get in-app panic alarms, around the clock priority support from Abode customer service team and person detection in your camera. The cost of this plan is $6 per month (roughly $.20 per day.) or $60 per year if paid upfront.
The Pro Plan includes all the features in the Standard Plan plus 24/7 professional monitoring and cellular backup for your videos. Cellular backup is great to have since it allows your system to work with the loss of your internet connection. If this happens, your Abode Cam 2 can still record video in the case of an event. This plan offers free ground shipping on any Abode product purchases and access to exclusive deals and discounts.
What makes the Pro Plan unique are the discounts you can get on your homeowner's insurance. Abode will provide a Certificate of Monitored Security which many insurance companies will honor and provide discounts on your insurance premiums. (We recommend you check with your insurance company to see if they offer discounts with this certificate.) The Pro Plan costs $20 per month ($.66 per day) but if you pay the first year upfront, the first-year costs only $100. Every year thereafter, the plan costs $200.
If you don't want to pay for video storage or professional monitoring, no worries. Abode Cam 2 and Abode smart home security systems will operate without a plan. Abode does provide a planless option which allows you to control and self-monitor your system. You will be able to see live video and take advantage of Abode's push notifications and integrations with Apple HomeKit,Alexa,Google Assistant, Sonos and others available with Abode. However, you will not be able to capture video and review. And you will not be able to execute automations.
The Abode Cam 2 has an attractive price. It costs only $34.99 and is available on Abode's website and Amazon. This is a very attractive price for a smart home security with the features available from Abode Cam 2.
We mentioned we tested the Abode Cam 2 in our Abode test house which has the Abode iota smart home security system. Using the free Abode app, the setup and integration process was seamless. We had no issues pairing the camera to our system. However, we did run into some connectivity issues when installing the camera outside.
The Abode Cam 2 can be used as either an indoor or outdoor security camera. It does require power which you need to take into consideration when determining where you want to install it. As with all outdoor security cameras, we recommend you check the Wi-Fi signal at the location you plan to install your camera. For the Abode Cam 2, you need to check the signal and make sure you have a power outlet as well. We installed the new Abode outdoor camera outside our test home. We tested various locations and found once we went more than 25 feet from our home router, we had connectivity issues. If this happens to you, a Wi-Fi extender might be needed to help improve the wireless signal. Also, remember with security cameras, they need a good strong signal to record and transmit video over a wireless connection.
Videos are crisp and clear from Abode Cam 2 Security Camera.GearBrain
Besides the connectivity issue beyond 25 feet, the Abode Cam 2 performed extremely well. The clarity was excellent. It had great motion detection. We really liked the dimensions for this camera. It's small and can be hardly noticeable when installed on the side of your home. Intruders might not notice which is good for you to catch in the act. We also liked how the stand can provide multiple viewing angles. This is important and was helpful in allowing us to find the best viewing angles. And when we move the camera inside, it worked extremely well as we expected. Overall, it's a great addition to your Abode system.
Lastly, the Abode Cam 2 reminded us of Wyze Cam 3 Camera. They look identical, but their features vary. Wyze is battery powered and Abode is not. Wyze stores videos locally while Abode Cam stores video in the cloud. Both are priced below $35 but Abode Cam 2 works with a full smart home security system and ecosystem with smart locks and smart garage door openers.
The Abode Cam 2 is a good addition to the Abode Smart Home Security systems. It can also be a worthy outdoor security camera to help you start building your own DIY smart home system. You will see it is easy to install and works on a Wi-Fi connection. You also get Abode's Smart Detect motion detection which helps you capture video as soon as someone is detected. The Abode Cam 2 has night vision in color and uses ambient light to brighten up those low-light conditions outside your home. But the price and flexible mounting options are what make this security camera the perfect device to help you secure either the inside or outside of your smart home.
- Flexible mounting options
- Works in tandem with abode systems or as a standalone device
- 1080p HD video resolution with color night vision
- Field of View is average (121 degrees)
- Works only on 2.4 GHz Wi-fi connection
- Need an outlet nearby to plug in camera.
Abode Cam 2 | Plug-in Indoor/Outdoor WiFi-Connected Security Camera with Full Color Low-Light Video, Motion Detection, and Two-Way Voice
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