Reviews You Can Rely On

SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor Review

An ok camera, but you need the base station and a subscription for it to work
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SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor Review
Credit: SimpliSafe
Price:  $190 List
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Manufacturer:   SimpliSafe
By Matt Spencer and Benjamin Hickok  ⋅  Nov 13, 2023
59
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 12
  • Recorded Video Quality - 35% 5.3
  • Monitoring Performance - 35% 7.1
  • Ease of Use - 30% 5.3

Our Verdict

The SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor is a fairly average outdoor security camera with a higher price tag and requires both a base station and a subscription to function, as most security cameras do. This camera also produced choppy videos, and while the daytime colors are very accurate, the night vision recordings are relatively grainy and not very usable. A wider 140-degree field of view (FOV) allows more space in the video frame but doesn't justify purchasing this camera over many other more capable and affordable cameras. See which models we rated highest in our full best security camera review.
REASONS TO BUY
Alerts emergency services
24/7 professional monitoring by real people
Has a spotlight
REASONS TO AVOID
Requires a base station and keypad
Requires a subscription to record
Short range

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $190 List
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$180 List
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$36 List
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Bottom Line This camera is expensive and requires a base station and subscription to work. Much cheaper cameras offer greater performanceAn exceptional and affordable camera that builds on the success of the previous modelThis very affordable security camera offers exceptional performanceA well-designed security camera is packed with useful features that will have a strong appeal to those already using the Google Smart Home platformA top-performing camera at a below-average price that doesn't require a subscription to unlock most of its features
Rating Categories SimpliSafe Wireless... Wyze Cam Pan v3 Wyze Cam OG Google Nest Cam Wyze Cam v3
Recorded Video Quality (35%)
5.3
8.9
8.4
7.5
7.5
Monitoring Performance (35%)
7.1
7.8
7.8
9.1
7.8
Ease of Use (30%)
5.3
8.7
8.7
7.4
8.7
Specs SimpliSafe Wireless... Wyze Cam Pan v3 Wyze Cam OG Google Nest Cam Wyze Cam v3
Camera Type (Indoor or Outdoor) Indoor Only Indoor and Outdoor Indoor and Outdoor Indoor and Outdoor Indoor Only
WiFi Type 2.4 GHz
802.11b/g/n
2.4 GHz
802.11b/g/n
2.4 GHz
802.11b/g/n
Dual-band
802.11a/b/g/n
2.4 GHz
802.11b/g/n
Encryption Types Yes, type N/A H.263 256-bit encryption
and SSL
AES 128-bit, SSL/TLS AES 128-bit
Resolutions Available 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p
Video FPS 20 FPS 20 FPS Day
15 FPS Night
N/A 30 FPS 20 FPS Day
15 FPS Night
Wired or Battery Wired Wired Battery Battery and Wired Wired
Smart Device Compatability Amazon Alexa Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
IFTTT
Not Supported Google Assistant Amazon Alexa
Google Assistant
IFTTT
Siren Volume (dB) N/A 67.6 dB 70.2 dB N/A 67.8 dB

Our Analysis and Test Results

Across the spectrum of the top home security cameras our team has tested over the years, the SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor security camera came up short. It proved to be a rather average offering in the world of security cameras.

Performance Comparison


simplisafe wireless outdoor - the simplisafe wireless outdoor is easy to set up.
The SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor is easy to set up.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Recorded Video Quality


When it came down to the Video Quality testing of the SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor camera, its performance was far behind the best products we tested.

White and glossy materials end up overexposed by the spotlight while recording in night vision, making details hard to identify.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The 1080p video we recorded and evaluated was very choppy, likely due to a lower frame rate than other security cameras, and the details were softened and blurred. Manual recordings are also limited to a minute and five seconds. Bright lights don't wash out the camera's lens as much as other cameras we tested, and we found the colors to be accurate in daytime recordings.

The video quality of the SimpliSafe has a similar grainy quality in dark rooms.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor did not perform very well in our night vision testing. Nighttime recordings were grainy, with little detail, and bright and reflective materials were overexposed. The overexposure resulted in recordings of a vehicle license plate where the license plate numbers were indiscernible.

The SimpliSafe offers a decent amount of range for a security camera.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Outside of decent daytime color accuracy, a wider 140 degree field of view provides just a little extra coverage and is one of the few accolades we could give the SimpliSafe for our recorded video quality tests.

simplisafe wireless outdoor - the simplisafe is wireless and can be used indoors or outdoors.
The SimpliSafe is wireless and can be used indoors or outdoors.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Monitoring Performance


While this model may have been a little bit behind with regards to recorded video quality compared to its peers, it proved to be above-average in our tests and evaluations for “monitoring performance”.

The live video is smooth and without a noticeable delay, although sounds are slightly delayed. Live video also has noticeable background noise, and while it isn't too loud, it is a little distracting. On a more positive note, sounds are picked up well by the camera microphone, even at a distance. Overall, the SimpliSafe could be better when it comes to monitoring performance, but it certainly isn't bad.

Ease of Use


Unfortunately, in our third test metric, Ease of Use, the SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor camera trailed behind the competition. The application is easy enough to use, although not quite as easy or intuitive as the apps offered by other brands we tested.

SimpliSafe offers several modes with customizable settings.
SimpliSafe offers several modes with customizable settings.
You can add multiple SimpliSafe cameras to the app for different...
You can add multiple SimpliSafe cameras to the app for different monitoring locations. Best of all, you can monitor all areas of your home from the convenience of your phone.
The SimpliSafe will alert you if it finds motion in its field of...
The SimpliSafe will alert you if it finds motion in its field of view. You also have the option to turn these alerts on and off.

Each camera does have its own settings that can be accessed either from the top of the 'Cameras' tab or from a slide-out menu under 'My System'. All other settings are located within the 'My System' tab on the slide-out. Unfortunately, the options for motion alerts are a little lacking and are limited to motion alerts for 'People only' or 'All motion'.

You can customize a number of features through general settings in...
You can customize a number of features through general settings in the app.
You can customize a number of camera features through the camera...
You can customize a number of camera features through the camera settings.
With the SimpliSafe app, you have the option to turn on and off...
With the SimpliSafe app, you have the option to turn on and off several different notifications.

The SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor also lacks a local storage option, and a subscription service is needed to make recordings. A subscription does provide cloud storage of recordings for 30 days. In addition to the lack of options, and the need for a subscription to make recordings, our testers experienced slow loading times within the app and occasional glitches.

simplisafe wireless outdoor - a magnetic mount makes this model easy pull off when you need to...
A magnetic mount makes this model easy pull off when you need to replace the battery.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Should You Buy the SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor?


Simply put, the SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor camera did not perform as well as other cameras overall and was easily outperformed by models that cost significantly less. Because of the high price, and underwhelming performance compared to its peers, we can't recommend the SimpliSafe over many other much better options.

What Other Security Cameras Should You Consider?


We tested a dozen security cameras, and the SimpliSafe was outperformed by almost all of them all-around. At about a tenth of the price of the SimpliSafe, the Wyze Cam OG easily outperformed it overall, offering better quality video, better monitoring performance, an easy-to-use app, and more robust notifications and settings.

For less than a third of the cost of the SimpliSafe, the Wyze Cam Pan v3 offers great performance, very similar to the Wyze Cam OG, but also adds the ability to pan and tilt and has become one of our favorite cameras and a top recommendation here at the lab.

simplisafe wireless outdoor - an okay camera, but better options exist that are cheaper and don't...
An okay camera, but better options exist that are cheaper and don't require subscriptions to function.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Matt Spencer and Benjamin Hickok