TP-Link’s latest entry into the smart security camera market is a high-spec camera that undercuts the competition on price – even if it matches or beats them in many features. The new Tapo Wire-Free MagCam is a versatile indoor/outdoor Wi-Fi security cam that brings a more stylish look than previous Tapo cameras for $120.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
I’ve tested several outdoor cameras from TP-Link, and some have a slightly odd design, even adopting the ridiculously technical antennas found on the company’s Wi-Fi routers. In comparison, these new Tapo MagCam ($119.99 for one at Amazon or $299.99 for a three-pack at Best Buy) have a little style, which I think is important for a device you can keep outside your home. Are.
The new Tapo camera has a double-sided magnetic mount. Image: Tapo
The new design of the Tapo MagCam looks like a mix of the best-looking security cameras on the market today: Arlo cameras and Google Nest Cams. Small and rectangular like the Arlos, with the Nest Cam’s smooth matte plastic and an identical magnetic mount for both, the camera is about half the price of either of those competitors’ comparable offerings. (The Arlo Pro 4 costs $200 with 2K, and the Nest Cam (indoor/outdoor) costs $180 with 1080p resolution.)
I really like magnetic mounts for security cameras. They’re easy to pop off to recharge and a cinch to adjust the viewing angle if needed. The Tapo is also double-sided, so you don’t even need screws to mount the camera to anything metal like a fence or fridge. (They’re small enough to use indoors, too.)
The Tapo MagCam has impressive features that rival the more expensive Arlo and Nest cams. For $120, you get 2K QHD resolution, a 150-degree wide field of view, IP66 weatherproofing, and free smart alerts for people, pets, and vehicles. Arlo charges for smart alerts, and the Google Nest Cam’s field of view is small at 130 degrees; The battery life of both is much lower than Tapo’s claimed 10 months with its 10,000mAh battery.
A solar power accessory can keep the Tapo MagCam charged throughout the year. Image: TP-Link
Other specs include local storage on a microSD card (up to 512GB, or you can go with the cloud storage plan for $35 per year), full-duplex two-way voice, built-in dual spotlights, and color night vision. Uniquely, you can record your own customizable alarms.
A $40 solar panel accessory is available to keep the camera charged; Otherwise, you’ll have to charge it indoors with a microUSB cable. The cameras work with the Tapo app for Android and iOS and connect with Google Home and Amazon Alexa for smart home integration.
However, Tapo MagCams only work on 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. Arlo and Nest both offer 2.4 and 5GHz. With cameras, 5GHz connectivity can help with faster alerts and instant access to livestreams, which is important for a security camera. I’ll be testing the new Tapo Cams soon to see how far ahead of Arlo and Nest they are in terms of speed and quality.