In a perfect smarthome, all of your devices would work with the same hub. This prevents you from having to use multiple apps to control your home. Just open one app, and voila – every smart device in your house shows up.
It’s no secret that the Samsung SmartThings hub is the king of smarthome hubs in 2021. As such, most smarthome product manufacturers try to integrate their devices with SmartThings in one way or another. Which is great! All you need to look for are the three little words on the package that say “Works with SmartThings“.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
Security cameras, for example, don’t really NEED to integrate with SmartThings.
Is it useful if they do? Of course. Obviously it’s best to keep all devices in the SmartThings ecosystem from a device management perspective. Unfortunately, much like SmartThings smoke detectors, you’re going to find that there aren’t very many compatible models. But, there are still enough high-quality models available to help you make an informed decision about the best SmartThings camera.
Keep reading to find all cameras that work with SmartThings.
In a Hurry? Here’s our Best Overall Pick…
Samsung SmartThings Indoor Camera
- CLEAR SIGHT & SOUND Full 1080p HD 145° diagonal video with built in IR LED night vision and two way audio helps to clearly hear activity and speak to visitors
- TELL WHO FROM WHAT Differentiates between a person and object with intelligent motion sensors
- TWO WAY PROTECTION Enhanced encryption ensures that your data can only be accessed by your device
The SmartThings Camera is our #1 pick for the best SmartThings compatible camera in 2021. It is meant for indoor use only. The main features include offers 2-way audio, sounds detection, person detection, and records everything in full 1080p resolution.
It has an easy-to-view timeline so you don’t need to scroll through your recording feed to find a specific event. The advanced object detection capability works really well. This feature allows your camera to differentiate between pets, bugs, or any other false alerts. If you do notice any false alerts, you can setup “zones” that exclude certain areas of the house (like ceiling fans, pet’s water bowl, TV, etc)
It’s incredibly easy to setup and use. In less than 60 seconds, you can your camera online and recording. Just launch the app and follow the instructions to add the decide to SmartThings.
Speaking of the app – it only works with the new SmartThings app (sorry Classic users!) If you have notifications turned on in the app, you can get helpful motion alerts in the zones you have setup.
Something we did not realize is that it doesn’t record continuously, but instead records in 1 minute clips (I presume this makes it easier to upload small bits of data to the cloud). So, if you record something for 10 minutes – you will see ten 1-minute clips in the timeline. This shouldn’t be a problem for most users once you tweak the sensitivity settings.
One of the most useful features is the fact that it integrates directly with SmartThings. This means you can configure automation rules such as “If I enter the home, turn off the camera.” or “Turn on camera at 10:00pm every night.”
One of the downsides is that you cannot store data locally on an SD memory card. You’ll have to use the SmartThings Cam Cloud Video service. The free plan supports 4 cameras and stores event history for 24 hours. The Premium plan supports 8 cameras, has a 30-day storage retention, and costs $7.99/month.
Things We Like:
- Direct integration with SmartThings
- No additional hub required (other than your current SmartThings hub of course)
- Free cloud recording for 24 hours for up to 4 cameras
- Receives notifications via SmartThings hub that includes screenshots of intrusion or motion detection.
- Powered by power cord, not batteries.
Things We Don’t Like:
- Records in 1-minute segments
- No local storage
- Indoor only
Arlo Pro 2 Indoor/Outdoor Camera
- Works with Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately).
- 100% Wire-free - Free of power cords and wiring hassles
- 1080p HD - High quality video with sharper and brighter details
The Arlo 2 Camera is also compatible with SmartThings. This camera features 2 way audio, night vision, customized alerts, people detection, and has the ability to be voice controlled via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
The camera quality is pretty good, both during the day and at night. It can also be used indoors or outdoors and connects via wifi to your smarthome.
The Arlo camera includes 2 rechargeable -fast-charging batteries, but we recommend using it with an external power source so you don’t need to replace the batteries all the time.
Note: You will need an Arlo Base Station for the Arlo 2 camera to work.
For those of you looking to control the Arlo 2 via SmartThings:
- Turn on “Armed Mode” in the Arlo app.
- Add Arlo device to SmartThings Smart Home Monitor
- Configure conditions to turn cameras on or off depending on if your STHM monitor is set to Arm Away, Arm Stay, or Disarmed.
Keep in mind – as of 6/1/2020 – the Arlo 3 is NOT compatible with SmartThings. The reason we list the Arlo 2 is because that one still works with SmartThings. I also read that the CEO is ending support for legacy products which offer the free 5 camera/30 day retention limit. As of April 2020, the cloud recording compression dropped from 1080 to around 400 for users in the free plan, which makes them virtually useless for catching small details when used as security cameras.
Verdict: If you only need 1-2 cameras, and the location in which you will be placing them has a power source, then the Arlo 2 base station+Arlo 2 camera might be a good option for you. I recommend planning on upgrading to their paid subscription in order to view the highest quality footage.
Things We Like:
- Easy to setup
- Lots of Arlo products that can be paired with the Arlo 2 camera
- Great features, decent recording quality
Things We Don’t Like:
- Poor customer service
- Newer versions aren’t SmartThings compatible
- New business model indicates free pricing will be going away in favor of monthly subscription.
- Live Stream from Anywhere in 1080p -1080p Full HD live streaming lets you see inside your home from anywhere in real time using your mobile device. While live streaming, use two-way audio to speak with your friends and family through the Wyze app.
- Motion/Sound Recording with Free Cloud Storage - Wyze Cam can automatically record a 12-second video clip when motion or sound is detected and saves that video to the cloud for 14-days, for free. Mobile push notifications can be enabled so you’re only alerted when something is detected letting you stay on top of things without having to constantly monitor the app. Or, record continuously to a MicroSD card (sold separately) regardless of motion and sound. Compatible with 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB FAT32 MicroSD cards.
- See in the dark - Night vision lets you see up to 30’ in absolute darkness using 4 infrared (IR) LEDs. Note: IR does not work through glass windows.
The Wyze Camera is one of the most budget-friendly cameras that work with SmartThings. One of the questions I get asked frequently is “Does the Wyze cam work with SmartThings?” The answer is yes.
Although, I did want to point out that you can’t view the camera feed inside the SmartThings app. The integration allows you to use the Wyze cam as a virtual switch or motion detector.
This allows you to setup things like “If Wyze cam detects motion, turn on patio lights”
I will warn you that there is some setup involved, but if you follow the steps below you can definitely integrate the Wyze Camera with SmartThings. It’s a very inexpensive way to add some security to your house and keep things all in the same ecosystem.
What We Like:
- Very inexpensive
- Works with SmartThings to a limited degree
What We Don’t Like:
- Can’t view recordings in SmartThings app
- Can be difficult/time-consuming to create virtual switches and IFTTT applets
How To Configure Wyze Cam With SmartThings App
Required: You will need to download the SmartThings Classic app, have an IFTTT account that is signed into the IFTTT SmartApp.
- Log into the SmartThings Classic app.
- Go to Automation > Virtual Device Creator.
- If you don’t have this installed already, scroll to the bottom and click Add a SmartApp > Virtual Device Creator.
- Create a new Virtual Switch with the following:
- What type of virtual device? Virtual Switch
- Select the hub: Home Hub (or whatever your home hub is called)
- Device Name: Wyze Switch 1
- Go back to Automations > IFTTT. Under “What Switches?” Make sure there is a checkbox next to Wyze Switch 1.
- Log into IFTTT.com. Create a new applet.
- Click This and search for SmartThings.
- Select trigger Switched On > choose Wyze Switch 1.
- Choose That and search for Wyze.
- There is a bunch of Actions you can choose. Turn On Device, Turn Off Device, Enable Motion Detection, Record a short clip, turn bulb odd, etc.
Note: To get the most our of the Wyze cam Smartthings integration, you will need to create several virtual switches – one to turn on, one to turn off, etc. I also recommend picking up a few cheap Wyze Sensors. This will allow you to create even more custom automations, such as “If Wyze Door Sensor is Open, then Notify Members/turn on the lights”
Ring Video Doorbell
- 1080p HD video doorbell with enhanced features that let you see, hear, and speak to anyone from your phone, tablet, or PC.
- An upgrade from the original Ring Video Doorbell 2, enjoy improved motion detection, privacy zones and audio privacy, and dual-band (2.4 or 5.0 GHz) wifi connectivity.
- Receive mobile notifications when anyone presses your doorbell or triggers your built-in motion sensors.
The Ring Video Doorbell works directly with SmartThings. I personally use this at my house and it works really, really well. You can view live video feeds, take screenshots, talk to someone at the front door, or quickly view Recent Activity such as motion detection – all without having to go in the Ring app.
Once you have your Ring cam setup on your wifi, you can simply add it as a new device in the SmartThings app just like you would any other device.
You can also create SmartThings automations using the Ring doorbell. For example, one of my automations is “If Ring Doorbell is pressed, Notify Me. You can set up more customized notifications and create “motion zones” inside the Ring app itself, but sometimes I’ll be in the backyard and may not hear the doorbell, so a quick notification can be very useful.
There are some really useful IFTTT/Ring/SmartThings recipes available on the Smartthings community website as well.
Buyer Beware: Not all other Ring products (namely the floodlight or indoor cameras) work with SmartThings even though they show a “Works with SmartThings” logo on the Samsung website. By “works with”, they mean you can turn the floodlight camera on and off and that’s it; you can’t actually view video feeds or take screenshots like you can with the Ring doorbell.
Things We Like:
- Can view live camera feed inside SmartThings app
- Can take screenshots
- Can create SmartThings automations with the Ring Doorbell, such as Motion Detected or Button Pressed.
Things We Don’t Like:
- Only a video doorbell, not a standalone camera
Best SmartThings Camera Accessories 2020
If you’re going to be using your Wyze cam as an outdoor security camera, we recommend getting a weather-resistant mount like this one:
- [KEEP YOUR WYZE CAM PROTECTED] - Use this Wyze Cam mounting kit to protect your camera from outdoor impacts such as scratches, dust and smudges. This Wyze Camera housing can keep your Wyze camera version 2 looking new even after long use.
- [LOW PROFILE AND CONCEALMENT FILMING] - Disguise and camoflauge your Wyze cam to the background setting with this wyze v2 case! This wyze mounting is perfect for special ops and low profile filming!
- [PERFECT FITTING WITH HIGH QUALITY Material] - This wyze camera mount is perfectly molded cut with premium solid plastic, protecting your Wyze camera from weathering, rainsplashs, and scretches. The patent-pending shock-absorpion technology of this wyze camera case minimized shocks during impact.
Sometimes cameras need to be manually turned off or rebooted. Have you ever heard of Switchbot? Switchbot acts as a virtual finger press – allow you to physically press the reset button, or turn on a power switch.
- Universal - Works with just about any rocker switch and button of any appliance. Smart button pusher for your smart home.
- Timers - Use the SwitchBot App to schedule built-in timers, run without phone or Hub. Turn lights or home appliances on/off automatically even when you’re away.
- Extended battery life - Extreme power saving Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). 600 days of use powered by a replaceable battery.
Should you buy a SmartThings compatible camera?
This is a question you should really ask yourself when researching the top SmartThings cameras. Do you really need it to integrate? Or can you achieve everything you are after in a standalone app?
A lot of us already have window sensors, smart doorbells, or other smart devices that alert us when something happens. Some of the bigger security camera manufacturers like Ring or Nest have highly polished apps that can record when motion is detected already.
If you’re not storing anything else in the cloud already and don’t want any additional monthly subscriptions, then maybe direct SmartThings integration isn’t necessary.
Why you SHOULDN’T integrate Cameras with SmartThings
There’s a lot of reasons why someone wouldn’t want to integrate a camera with SmartThings.
What functionality do you really need?
Videos typically take up a lot of space. Cloud storage can be expensive, especially when some manufacturers charge on a per device/month basis. There are very few options to choose from, and the ones that are available do have limitations.
So when you ask yourself if you really need to add cameras into SmartThings, you might first do some research into NVR’s and PoE cameras (We’ve recommended some below). These records 24/7 locally, are powered over an ethernet cord(PoE) which means you don’t need to charge batteries or worry about wifi speeds.
You can also keep a retention as long as you want (only limited to how much harddrive space you are dedicating to the NVR).
Why you SHOULD integrate Cameras with SmartThings
If you like to keep things simple and all in one app, then you should consider one of the compatible cameras in our review. You get to use the built in SmartThings custom automations and view it in your list of all other smarthome devices.
If you only need 1 or two cameras, then a compatible camera makes perfect sense. That gives you flexibility of purchasing a great all around camera like the Samsung SmartThings camera, or a very inexpensive option like the Wyze Cam V2.
Alternative SmartThings Camera Options
An alternative option is to purchase an NVR and a few IP security cameras.
An NVR (network video recorder) records the video footage taken from your IP cameras and then stores it locally on your home network. These cameras are usually PoE powered, meaning they get power over ethernet from a PoE switch or PoE injector. That means you don’t need to set it up near a power outlet or somewhere with decent wifi access.
The biggest advantages are cost, speed, and length of data retention. At the end of the day, it’s much cheaper in the long run to setup an NVR system.
You can use open source security cam software or highly-rated software like Blue Iris to view up to 64 cameras. They have great mobile apps which allow you to customize alerts, detect motion, listen and talk, and much more.
NVR’s can be configured to run and record continuously forever, with no freeing up space on your end of things. With flash drives, once you fill up the drive, you can’t add anything else to them. With NVR’s, they fill up the drive and simply overwrite the oldest days worth of data, so it’s important to plan howq much data per day will be used when determining how large of a harddrive to choose.
I use an NVR and DVR Hard Drive Calculator to make that estimate: https://www.lorextechnology.com/articles/NVR-DVR-Hard-Drive-Storage-Calculator
Best NVR Security System in 2020
I won’t go into too much detail in this post about NVR and DVRs, but if you’re quickly looking for the best NVR in 2020 or best security cameras – we’ve included some links down below.
- Amcrest’s NV4108E-HS 8CH POE NVR supports hard drives up to 6 Terabytes, while Featuring 8CH Recording, Playback & Live View in Up to 8MP/4K Resolution @ Real-Time 30fps.
- Advanced H.265 compression technology lets you save on storage space which allows for longer recording times. H.265 technology compresses your video without sacrificing any of the UltraHD video quality. Intelligent search, playback, and backup functions provide enhanced ease of use and security (for example, motion detection event and exact search functions that are accurate to one second).
- Plug & Play setup, Easy to configure, access and control. Scan QR Code on POE NVR from "Amcrest View" app to instantly access live viewing and playback. Connects to and manages all the POE IP cameras on your network directly through their ethernet cables for ultimate ease and convenience in a home security system.
- 【2.0MP HD 1080P 4-IN-1 Security Camera】-- This is 4-in-1 TVI/CVI/AHD/CVBS Bullet Camera. compatible with 960H,720P,1080P,3MP,5MP,8MP,4K HD-TVI, AHD, CVI, and CVBS/960H analog DVRs.
- 【Bulit in OSD Menu】-- It comes with OSD Menu which can change 4 different video output. 1080P AHD, 1080P CVI, 1080P TVI and 960H CVBS .Default Video mode is 960H mode, compatible with all analog DVRs. 1080P video mode must be switched according to your 1080P DVR type. Widely Usage: With OSD Menu, you can change signal mode freely and quickly in 5 seconds.
- 【120ft Night Vision】 Built in 36pcs IR LEDs, Get a sharp and crisp image day or night with the camera's automatic IR-CUT filter. Up to 120ft night vision in total darkness and 160ft Night vision in ambient light. More than 3.0Lux the night vision is color.
Overall, there are some really great options if you’re looking to incorporate a security camera into your SmartThings ecosystem. Depending on your use case, budget, technical knowledge, or willingness to tinker will all determine whether or not you should get a compatible camera.
Hopefully our in-depth review helps you make a decision on what’s best for you!