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A recent addition to TP-Link’s Kasa Smart smart home ecosystem, the Kasa Spot (model KC400) is one of the most affordable security cameras to deliver 2K video. For just $40, it delivers tack-sharp video along with such coveted features as person detection and round-the-clock recording.
The camera hews to the Kasa Smart design ethos with a simple cube shape in a black-and-white finish. Its stem attaches to a flat base through a ball-and-socket joint that lets you manually adjust the camera angle whether it’s sitting on a shelf or mounted to a wall. Screws and a mounting template are included for the latter.
This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best home security cameras, where you’ll find reviews of the competition’s offerings, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping for this type of product.
As mentioned, the camera captures video in 2K resolution, and it has a 130-degree field of view for comprehensive room coverage. Five infrared LEDs provide up to 30 feet of black-and-white night vision, and a built-in speaker enables two-way talk. When the camera detects sound or motion, it records the triggering event and pushes a notification to your phone.
Video can be recorded locally to a microSD card (up to 256GB capacity, although no card is included) or to the cloud via a Kasa Care Plan subscription. You can get 30 days of video history per camera, plus the ability to share and manually record for $3 per month or $30 per year. A premium plan offers the same for up to 10 cameras for $10 per month or $100 per year.
To set up the camera, you’ll need to download the Kasa app and create an account. Once you add the camera from the Devices screen, the app guides you through the process of connecting to your Wi-Fi network and installing the camera, including step-by-step mounting instructions for those who choose to install the camera on a wall. There weren’t any hiccups in the process when I set up the camera, and it took just a few minutes to complete.
The camera delivered excellent video quality in my testing, with vibrant, accurate colors and sharp detail. Night-vision video was evenly lit with strong contrast.
The camera can push three types of detection notifications: motion, sound, and person. Tapping on these alert massages opens the captured video clip triggered by the event, with options to view, download, or share the video clip or to switch to the live video feed. Detection worked well and notifications were delivered immediately. Person detection accuracy was hit and miss, though, and my cat was misidentified as a person on several separate occasions.
The Kasa app is the same used by all Kasa Smart products, so the main screen lists all connected Kasa devices along with controls for selecting scenes and adding smart actions, which you’ll use to have the camera interact with any other Kasa devices you have. When you select the KC400 from the list of devices or the Camera tab, it opens a separate screen of camera controls. The camera’s live feed is displayed at the top of this screen, with a microphone button for initiating two-way talk and a record button for manually recording video.
If you have a Kasa Care subscription, thumbnails of event-triggered video clips will appear under the live feed pane. If you use a microSD card to record video locally, you can tap the 24/7 Recording button at the bottom of the screen to view a timeline of recorded events. A separate scheduling button opens a new screen where you can set the time blocks when you want the camera active.
A gear icon opens the camera’s settings options. You’ll need to enable sound detection here when you first set up the camera as it’s disabled by default. This is also where you adjust detection sensitivity, enable notification, create motion activity zones, and configure other camera capabilities.
In addition to its ability to work with other Kasa devices, the KC400 can be connected to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to stream live video to those service’s smart displays. Apple HomeKit, unfortunately, is not supported.
The Kasa Spot is a capable indoor security camera that offers good value for the price. However, it’s not the only camera that can be said about—our current favorite budget camera, the EZVIZ C1C, has similar features and can be had for just $20. The Kasa Spot will mainly appeal to shoppers already invested in the Kasa Smart ecosystem who can take advantage of its interoperability with other Kasa Smart devices and get affordable 2K video capture to boot. For everyone else, the 1080p Wyze Cam v3 might be a better option. You can use Wyze’s camera indoors or outdoors, and it offers features such as color night vision and CO2 and smoke-alarm recognition that the Kasa Spot doesn’t have while keeping the price at about $30.