5 Smart Indoor Cameras Compared (Who Wins? Ring, eufy, SwitchBot, Tapo Or Blink?) – New Video

This in-depth video compares five well known smart indoor cameras, from Ring, Eufy, SwitchBot, Tapo and Blink:

The exact models that I compared are:

  • Ring Indoor Cam
  • Eufy IndoorCam C24 2K
  • Blink Mini Smart Indoor Camera
  • TP-Link Tapo Mini 3MP Indoor Camera
  • SwitchBot Pan & Tilt Indoor 1080P Camera

I do a range of image quality tests in this video, but I also do a deep-dive into each camera’s pros and cons. I also look at each camera’s sound quality.

The timestamps for each section of the video are:

  • 0:00 Intro
  • 1:00 General Camera Info
  • 1:48 Daytime Image Tests
  • 3:23 Nighttime Image Tests
  • 4:44 Sound Quality Tests
  • 6:42 Ring Pros & Cons
  • 8:10 Blink Pros & Cons
  • 9:50 Tapo Pros & Cons
  • 12:00 Eufy Pros & Cons
  • 13:56 SwitchBot Pros & Cons
  • 16:00 Wrapping Up

Video Transcript

Intro

Hello, I’m Tristan. In today’s video, I’m going to be comparing five smart indoor cameras: from Ring, eufy, SwitchBot, TP-Link Tapo and Blink. I’ll mainly focus on the image quality for each of these cameras, but I’ll also touch on their sound quality and each camera’s pros and cons.

Heck, here’s a preview of the sort of super scientific testing that I carried out:

[Ring] Testing testing 123

You also know that you can trust me, because I’m so competent that it only took me 5 minutes to insert an SD card into this really annoying and badly designed SD card slot. I’m so cool. But joking aside, this isn’t a sponsored video or paid review. I bought all these cameras myself, so I can be 100% honest in everything that I say.

General Camera Info

The five smart indoor cameras that I tested for a YouTube video 1
The five smart indoor cameras that I tested for a YouTube video

In terms of setting up each camera, they’re all fairly standard. These models are all plugged into a power outlet. They all use Wi-Fi so that you can manage your camera (and view recordings) from a phone app, but Eufy, Tapo and SwitchBot also offer local storage out the box (Blink also offers this, but you have to buy a separate device). Now I quite like having the option of local storage, because Wi-Fi can be buggy – so recording to a local SD card can bypass these Wi-Fi glitches, while still allowing you to view the recordings through the phone app. Assuming that a burglar doesn’t steal the camera (and hence the recordings), of course.

I’ll cover each camera’s pros and cons later on, but let’s dive straight into the comparisons. I started some image quality tests, and firstly here’s a few daytime tests.

Daytime Image Tests

So that’s me waving. Hello! And holding up a sign. Let’s stop and look at it. So the image quality in Tapo and Blink I don’t think are that good. SwitchBot, the quality on the sign’s pretty good, and then Ring and Eufy I think are just second place here. They’re decent but not great. So let’s unpause.

Now I’m moving around which is a bit harder for a camera, and let’s pause and see the detail. So Tapo and Blink again aren’t great. SwitchBot here, the detail on the sign’s not as good but on my face it’s come out quite well, I think. Ring have actually done a decent enough job, as have Eufy. So I think they’re better than Tapo and Blink in this case. Now let’s finish off. Let’s zoom in here and look at what’s happening.

So again, not great with SwitchBot in this case, actually. I noticed this a few times with very close up detail. I didn’t find SwitchBot to be the best and Blink wasn’t great either, but Tapo disappointed me the most ’cause they advertised full HD quality and they do record in more than 1080p. You can see in the height there, 1296. But the bit rate is really low and what that means is even though they record in the high resolution, the quality suffers quite a lot. Ring, I think, have actually done quite a good job here, as have Eufy. But Blink, there’s something I need to point out. By default it records in “Standard”, which is 720p quality, which isn’t very good. So you actually, before you get going, when you’re setting up Blink you need to select “Best”, which is the full HD quality they advertise, otherwise you’re just not gonna get a very good quality. You’re gonna get even worse than what you seeing now. But I think overall with these tests, I liked Ring and Eufy and sometimes SwitchBot were quite good too.

Nighttime Image Tests

Now let’s move onto nighttime tests, where the cameras will switch to infrared ‘night vision’ mode instead.

Okay, so that’s actually me putting the lights off. Now, Ring and Blink switch over quite quickly but Tapo, Eufy and SwitchBot actually struggle a bit. There’s a few seconds you can see where it goes on and off and you could lose crucial detail there. Let me zoom in.

So you can see Tapo and Blink haven’t done too good of a job. SwitchBot have done pretty good, I think, as have Eufy and Ring, but I think probably SwitchBot and Eufy are better than Ring here. And again, Tapo and Blink, not so much. They’re not too bad, but just not great. Then if I come a bit closer and pause again, they’ve all done quite well here. SwitchBot have redeemed themselves in these, you know, close up nighttime tests. Blink is a bit overexposed, it’s a bit too bright but you can still see the detail. But I think actually Ring, Eufy and SwitchBot or a three-way tie here.

One thing I did wanna call out. For some reason with Blink is that when you turn the lights back on after nighttime, Blink doesn’t go back into daytime vision like all the other cameras. You can see Tapo just did. Blink does not. It stays in this weird, like, no man’s land, where it’s still stuck in night vision mode even though it’s now daytime, and looking around online some people say that this seems to be a bug but it’s not one I could manage to fix. But overall I wasn’t too impressed with Blink and Tapo. I did prefer Ring and Eufy and SwitchBot.

Sound Quality Tests

In terms of testing sound quality, I didn’t want to be ultra-scientific. Visitors (and burglars) might be speaking right near your camera, or a few feet away. So that’s what I tested out.

[Ring] Testing testing 123, Testing testing 123
[SwitchBot] Testing testing 123, Testing testing 123
[Tapo] Testing testing 123, Testing testing 123
[Eufy] Testing testing 123, Testing testing 123
[Blink] Testing testing 123, Testing testing 123

Right, that was all quite quiet, so what I’m going to do is increase each sound by 15 decibels so you can just hear it in more detail, then I’ll sum up my thoughts.

[Ring] Testing testing 123, Testing testing 123
[SwitchBot] Testing testing 123, Testing testing 123
[Tapo] Testing testing 123, Testing testing 123
[Eufy] Testing testing 123, Testing testing 123
[Blink] Testing testing 123, Testing testing 123

Right, so I quite liked Ring, if I pause there. It was decent but a bit robotic. SwitchBot I found a bit too bassy and distorted as a result. Whereas Tapo was the opposite: it was a bit too tinny, but overall fairly good. But overall I think that Eufy and Blink were the best for sound quality. Eufy overall was my favorite because Blink, I think, was a bit too sensitive and so it picked up a bit too much noise.

Okay, so that wraps up image quality and sound quality. It’s clear at this point that I quite like the Eufy camera while I have concerns about Blink. But I wanted to drill into some camera-by-camera details.

Ring Pros & Cons

Front view of the Ring Indoor Cam in recording mode as shown by the blue light
Front view of the Ring Indoor Cam

Ring… is Ring. They don’t offer local storage in the traditional sense – your only option is to buy a $250 Ring Alarm Pro, and pay $20 a month for a Ring Protect Pro plan…. and you must live in North America. So, let’s just say that they don’t offer proper local storage.

Their recording quality is… fairly good. Or decent. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible. It is full HD, with a decent bit-rate and FPS level, but it’s nothing to write home about. Where Ring shines is that it all works fairly well. The device is easy enough to setup, and the Ring app works well. It’s the most polished app out of the five. There’s a fairly good amount of features, especially when it comes to adjusting motion sensitivity and configuring motion zones. But you can’t adjust the recording resolution or night vision performance with Ring.

Since I have a Ring Protect Plus plan, I find it easy to just buy another Ring camera and install it, without worrying about paying extra monthly fees (remember that the Plus plan is $10 or £8 per month, and covers you for an unlimited number of cameras – unlike Ring Protect Basic which is $4 or £3.50 per month per camera). I like Ring for simple, motion-activated recording. But it doesn’t offer 24/7 recording, nor does it offer real local storage. So look elsewhere if these two features are important to you.

Blink Pros & Cons

The Blink Mini smart camera plus box contents
The Blink Mini smart camera plus box contents

Blink… disappointed me, to be honest. I mean, the setup process was easy enough – it exposes a temporary Wi-Fi network, which you connect to on your phone and input your real Wi-Fi details. Then the camera just works. There’s a free trial included in their cloud plan too, or you can buy a Blink Sync module and get local storage.

The app looked fairly nice, but it’s a bit less polished (and more basic) than the Ring app. I was surprised that the Blink recordings were limited to 30 seconds though – all the other cameras recorded for much longer. It actually made shooting this video difficult, because the Blink camera kept cutting out in the middle of my multi-camera tests. I’d then have to wait for Blink to start recording again.

I was also surprised that the Blink cloud plan limits how much you can record – it has a storage capacity. In some ways this makes sense, but it’s not good if your Blink camera is mounted in a high-traffic location and you’re away for a few days.

What I did like, though, was that the Blink app offers various config options for night vision, infrared intensity and video quality. This helps if you have issues with bad nighttime recordings, or bandwidth issues. I just wish that Blink didn’t default to 720p resolution, and not make clear that you have to manually “opt-in” to full HD recording quality. One big benefit for Blink, though, is that they tell you when your camera goes offline. This is awesome. It takes 15 to 30 minutes before a notification is sent, but it’s still nice. If you were away, being told that you camera is no longer recording is a neat feature.

Tapo Pros & Cons

A TP Link Tapo smart indoor camera
A TP Link Tapo smart indoor camera

TP-Link Tapo’s setup process was fairly straightforward too – you can re-use your Kasa login (if you have any Kasa devices). You do need to enable GPS location on your phone as part of the setup process, but you can turn it off straight after.

Beyond that, Tapo offers cloud storage (with recordings kept for 30 days) or local storage. You can setup continuous 24/7 recording in local storage mode, too, which is awesome. You can also say to record continuously at certain times of the day, and then fallback to motion-activated recordings at other times. This is nice because if you know that troublemakers show up near your house at certain times of day, you can set it to record constantly at those times. But this will take up more storage space, so being able to then drop back to motion-based recordings at all other times is quite nice.

Tapo records at 1080p by default, but it also offers 720p and 2k recording quality. This seems like a sensible approach – 1080p might be ‘good enough’ for you, especially if you’re using the cloud plan, but being able to crank it up to 2k is useful too.

In terms of downsides: firstly, you don’t get rich notifications (where an image is included in the phone notification) with Tapo local storage, only with the paid-for cloud plans. I can sort of understand why they do this technically, and Ring also don’t allow rich notifications unless you pay, but it’s still a bit disappointing.

Secondly, if you use local recording, getting the recordings is a pain. You have to view them in the app, click the record button… sit there while it records what you’re watching, then end the recording. It’s… a bit odd and clunky. It also messed up a few times for me, meaning that I sat there waiting 1 minute, ended the recording… and then lost the recording. On YouTube, Tapo say that you can “bulk download” via the SD card – but that’s a bit of a mess. The SD card is not organized – you see loads of files that you probably don’t want to mess with, for fear of accidentally breaking things.

Eufy Pros & Cons

A 2k resolution Eufy smart camera
A 2k resolution Eufy smart camera

Now we come to Eufy. I’ve seen some people criticize Eufy because “they’re Chinese owned”, unlike Ring who are American. Eufy ARE owned by a Chinese company (Annke), and you’d have to decide whether that concerns you at all. But for me personally, I liked the Eufy camera. I think it’s better than the Ring Indoor Cam.

The setup process was simple, using Bluetooth to connect to the camera and setup the Wi-Fi details. You also get a warning if the Wi-Fi strength is too low, unlike most other cameras which blindly accept your Wi-Fi network details – and then give you rubbish recording quality because of the weak Wi-Fi signal! Eufy offers cloud recording plans, or SD card local recording which comes with “military-grade encryption”. Noice. I… don’t know what that actually means, but it sounds fancy! The app itself works fairly well, it offers options for 2K and 1080p recording, it has pet detection features – and it can even identify and speak to your pets. Like Tapo, you can also setup your Eufy camera to record 24/7, on a schedule, or motion-activated.

Two things that annoyed me were firstly that the SD card was hard to insert. It doesn’t just easily click in on the surface, it has to be indented into the camera a bit. It’s hard to describe, and maybe it’s just me, but it was harder to insert than with SwitchBot and Tapo. Secondly, I started off with local recording at 2K quality, but when I changed to a cloud-based plan, it automatically dropped me back to 1080p recording quality (since the cloud plan apparently doesn’t support 2K recordings). It never told me this though, which was frustrating.

Beyond that, I was impressed with Eufy. The app offers a bunch of nice features, and while the app isn’t as polished as Ring’s app (and it contains some minor broken English), I was happy with both the Eufy app and camera.

SwitchBot Pros & Cons

SwitchBot pan and tilt smart camera
SwitchBot pan and tilt smart camera

Finally, we have SwitchBot. I like SwitchBot as a company – their staff are friendly, and they have some good marketing. Loads of YouTubers review their products too, so SwitchBot are firmly on everyone’s radars now. But… I was left a bit disappointed with SwitchBot. Firstly the Android app has bad reviews, and I experienced various issues too.

The setup process uses Bluetooth to connect (just like Eufy’s setup process), but it kept failing to find the camera. You can then switch to a manual setup mode, but it waits for 2 minutes… before telling you it failed. It doesn’t give you a specific reason why it failed either – was it the WiFi password? Could it not find the camera? Who knows. Eventually I used the indented reset button that requires a pin (which isn’t included in the box), and it did work though. I also couldn’t find the SD card slot at first, but some Googling revealed that you have to setup the camera, then move the camera lens upwards to expose the SD card slot. This seems confusing because you usually want to insert the SD card BEFORE setting up the camera properly, but it works well enough.

The app itself feels a bit buggy and clunky, but overall it’s functional. You can choose to have cloud-recordings, or local storage. There’s no free trial for the cloud plans though, which I was surprised by. Even tight-fisted Ring give you a month’s free trial!

Unlike Blink, Eufy and Tapo, you can’t adjust the recording resolution. You can setup 24/7 recording, but you can’t set it on a schedule – you either have 24/7 recordings, or motion-based recordings. On the plus side, you also get a notification if your camera goes offline, which is nice. Blink was the only other camera to do this, and it’s quite a valuable feature. Finally, I liked the pan/tilt functionality, along with motion tracking – that worked well from my testing.

Wrapping Up

And that just about wraps up today’s video. I was impressed by Eufy… and Ring. I like to bash Ring at times on this channel, complaining that they don’t offer proper local storage – nor do they offer better than “full HD” recording quality. But Ring’s camera and app felt… decent. Not great, but more polished than the ones from Tapo and Blink. I wanted to like SwitchBot, but the app felt a bit clunky.

You can see my general ratings on-screen now, but I’d sum up by saying this: if I wanted a simple motion-activated camera, I would go with Ring. If I wanted a 24/7 camera, I would go with Eufy. I like that it supports local recording, RTSP, and also has cloud plans too. Even if it does change your resolution from 2k to 1080p without telling you. #notBitter. I also wouldn’t have any issues trying Tapo and SwitchBot out in the future, but right now I prefer Ring and Eufy.

I hope you liked this video. If you did, please click the thumbs up button – which will tell YouTube that more people should see this video. Please also consider subscribing to my channel, and clicking the little bell icon – which will notify you when I release new videos. Thank you!

About Tristan Perry

Tristan Perry is a software developer who is passionate about tech gadgets, DIY and housing. He has therefore loved seeing smart homes hit the mainstream. Tristan also has an academic background (in Math & Computer Science), and so he enjoys digging into the technical ways that smart home devices work.

Tristan owns close to a dozen Amazon Echo devices, way too many Philips Hue bulbs and lightstrips, a boat-load of Ring Cameras and Doorbells... and a bunch of other smart home devices too (from Reolink, Google Nest, GLEDOPTO and others).

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