Abode Cam 2 Review

Good things come in small packages, but let’s see if the tiny Abode Cam 2 makes sense for your home.

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Abode Cam 2

Abode Cam 2

We usually take “abode” to mean “home.” But it can also mean “security” when you’re talking about cameras. Itty-bitty minimalist cameras, in fact.

As a security company, abode was founded in 2014. They’ve since grown to significant popularity due to their affordable prices, simple-to-use equipment, and effective security protocols that fit the needs of almost any home.

Are they right for you, though?

That’s what I aim to find out. Today I’m looking at the abode Cam 2 — a small, simple security camera built to integrate with a larger abode security system or as a standalone piece of equipment. Indeed, all you really need to get an abode cam up and running is a good Wi-Fi connection.

This is one of several advantages I found to using an Abode cam. However, keep in mind that with a camera that normally retails around $59.99, you’re going to run into some limitations you might not find with a camera that offers more robust features like the trio of Arlo cameras I tested for our Arlo review and ratings page, which can run north of $200.

Pro Tip: Right now the Abode Cam 2 is on sale. Originally $59.99, you can pick one up right now for $29.99. You’ll want to act fast, though. There’s no indication from Abode how long this deal is going to last.

With that said, let’s dig deeper into the Abode Cam 2 and its features.

FYI:Abode is known for their affordability, but they’re also known to slash prices even further during retail holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Our abode pricing and equipment guide has more information.

Abode Cam 2 Pros and Cons

  • Priced affordably so you can buy multiple devices for one home
  • Camera is small in size, lightweight, and simple in build
  • Camera syncs with Wi-Fi without an Abode security system
  • Records up to 1080p HD resolution video
  • Abode app is intuitive and easy to navigate
  • Suitable for the outdoors (IP65-rated for water and dust protection)

  • No battery backup; camera must be plugged into an outlet
  • No micro-SD card access for local storage
  • Smart-home integrations are limited
  • Video recordings are grainy at best
  • No built-in siren
  • Subscription plans are pricier than most ‘cheap’ cameras

Installing and Setting Up Abode Cam 2

Abode Cam 2 Packaging

Abode Cam 2 Packaging

Without even opening the box I figured this installation was going to be pretty simple. The package itself is too small to hold much more than the camera and maybe some drywall anchors.

And I wasn’t wrong.

The Abode Cam 2 setup and installation was pretty simple. All you need to do is plug the camera into the wall, download the app, and sync the camera. There’s not a whole lot more to it than that, but I do want to point out that the status light is located on the back of the camera, and it can sometimes be a little dim. Just something to keep in mind.

From there, the process was just like the majority of cameras I’ve tested: press the power/reset button on the camera, scan the QR code1 on the app with the camera, and follow the rest of the prompts on the app to finish setup. A few minutes and a firmware update later, and the camera was ready to record.

The Full Experience With Abode Cam 2

The Abode Cam 2 records in full HD resolution and has motion detection, IP65 weather protection, and infrared night vision, which are a few of the most essential features we look for in any security camera. From the moment I had it set up and placed in my desired location – my home’s entryway, in this case – the cam began recording motion-activated clips and sending me alerts to the home screen on my phone, like so:

Abode App Notifications

Abode App Notification

That’s when I turned to the app, and I learned even more about what this camera can do – and what it can’t. For instance, without a subscription, I can still record my own clips and save them to the dashboard in the Abode app. Here’s how that looked for me:

Abode App

Abode App

So even without a subscription, this was a handy and sufficient device for a penny-pincher like me.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, I’d like to share some of my biggest takeaways of testing and living with the Abode Cam 2:

Video Quality: Usable, Not Beautiful

Unfortunately, I wasn’t really impressed with the Abode 2’s image quality. It will get the job done, but not a whole lot more than that. When there’s not a whole lot going on in the room and the connection is really stable the video quality is pretty good. Other times, though, the live stream can be a little grainy. Sure, it will capture important events, but don’t count on it capturing fine detail.

Two-Way Audio

Abode’s handy two-way audio feature allows you to communicate with whoever is on the other side of the camera. It’s great functionality to have, but in my expert opinion, the quality was just… OK. The latency and audio quality make it a little difficult to have a full-fledged conversation with someone, so out of the box, the two way audio is really best used for saying “thanks” to the delivery guy.

Of course, there are ways to improve this, and one of them is making sure you haven’t placed the camera too far from your Wi-Fi router to get a clear signal. It’s always good to test out different locations until you find a place where the camera can do its best work. Sometimes that takes a little trial and error, but with a camera this basic and simple, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding that sweet spot.

Abode Cam 2

Abode Cam 2

Effective Motion Capture

Without signing up for either subscription, I still had access to the Abode Cam’s livestream anytime I wanted. From there, I could record my own clips and store them in the dashboard. When I had to run errands and leave my two dogs home alone, it was easy and convenient to open my app and check in on how the two were getting along.

Well, it was clear from the above video that at least one of the pups was missing his human. Don’t worry, little dude, I’ll be home soon!

Alexa and Google Integrations

Abode has built-in integrations for Alexa and Google Assistant. Whether you own a Nest Hub, a Google Home Hub, an Amazon Echo Show, or even a Fire TV, you can use voice commands to control the Abode Cam 2. You can use your voice to pull up the livestream and a few other actions, but when it comes to integrating with other smart devices, it’s somewhat limited. Again, we’re talking about a pretty bare-bones camera.

Did You Know? This Abode Cam doesn’t play well with every third-party platform, since it’s a pretty basic camera. But look deeper into Abode’s inventory, and you’ll find lots more equipment, like motion sensors, smoke alarm monitors, and glass-break sensors that work seamlessly together, either as a kit or a build-your-own system. Learn more in our full abode security system review.

No Free Video Storage Option

Unfortunately, if you choose an Abode Cam 2, you’re not going to have a way to save your video clips to the cloud without paying for it, which is something we really loved when we reviewed Wyze Cameras, which are sort of Abode doppelgangers. To be fair, most camera companies will make you purchase a storage package to have access to your equipment’s advanced features, and some are more expensive than others. Ring, for example, costs $3.99 per month.

But on the plus side, you can get continuous video recording on the Abode Cam 2 for only $15 per month, which is pretty reasonable for folks who need (or want) eyes on their property 24/7. Either way, though, if you want the camera to automatically save video clips to a timeline, you’ll have to pay at least $6 per month.

Abode Outdoor Smart Cam

After years of anticipation, Abode finally released an outdoor camera in November 2021. The Abode Outdoor Smart Cam, with person detection and a 152-degree field of view, looks similar to the Abode Cam 2. It also claims to be compatible with Alexa and the Google Assistant, just like its sibling. The outdoor camera was priced at $159 initially. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet been able to get my hands on this camera, as COVID-related supply chain issues have put a pause on production and shipping. But once those issues are resolved, stay tuned for a hands-on review and lots more information about the new outdoor camera.

Pricing on Abode Cam 2

Retailing for $59.99, the Abode Cam 2 is just a tad pricier than other cameras in its category. There are lots of cheap cameras out there – and more and more are flooding the market each day, it seems. But it’s still nice to know that Abode’s camera is still one of the most affordable cameras out there.

If you’re comparing the Abode Cam 2 to a more robust camera, like the new $180 Google Nest Cam, it’s good to remember that you tend to get what you pay for with gadgets like these. Sure, if you want a camera that can learn every last detail about your home and everything in it (and you don’t mind paying almost $200 for one camera), I wholeheartedly suggest looking into a Nest Cam.2 But I also appreciate frugality, and more than that, simplicity. So by comparing Nest Cams’ costs to Abode’s, I know I can buy multiple Abode Cams for the same price as one Nest Cam. And that’s a nice advantage in my book.

Here’s a quick snapshot of features and costs for Abode Cam 2:

Camera What You Get Sale Price Retail Price
Abode Cam 2 1080p HD, indoor/outdoor, two-way talk, infrared night vision, plug-in $29.99 $59.00

Subscriptions and Storage With Abode

I’ve tested dozens of cameras that offer at least a limited amount of free video storage. It means I don’t have to sign up for a subscription and commit to a monthly fee, which, personally, I’d like to avoid as much as possible. In other words: I already have enough monthly expenses to contend with, don’t you? Why add another one?

Now, there is a sort of trade-off here. If you want a camera that can store video without fees, my best recommendation is to find a camera with local storage. That means there’s a slot somewhere in the camera where you can input a micro SD card. You might have to buy the SD card separately, but some camera companies provide their own.

Abode Cam 2 on the Mantel

Abode Cam 2 on the Mantel

Still not sure which camera is best? Lorex, for instance, has a bountiful lineup of cameras that don’t require monthly fees. It helps that Lorex’s camera prices are pretty reasonable, too. Then there’s Canary’s All-in-One set of cameras, which allow local video storage, though each of those cameras is quite a bit pricier than Abode’s camera. How much pricier? Consider that Canary’s camera costs start at $99 for one camera, compared to $38 for the Abode Cam 2.

So here, you have a choice: Pay more upfront for a full-featured camera and enjoy all its luxuries and perks, or stick with a basic, low-priced device that you can monitor easily and skip the hassle of learning complex technology. Both options are great; it just depends on what you’re really looking for in a camera.

Which brings us back to Abode. Sure, monthly fees are a pain, but in Abode’s case, the subscription can be canceled or changed at any time. You’re not locked into a contract, so if you’d prefer to casually self-monitor your camera using manual video clips and periodic check-ins, and you’re a penny-pincher like myself, you might really enjoy an Abode Cam 2.

Abode Cam 2 on the Bookshelf

Abode Cam 2 on the Bookshelf

That said, here’s a look at Abode’s subscription offerings. You’ll see that a couple of the plans offer some form of professional monitoring, which is rarely necessary if you’re just looking for basic video surveillance. But if you’re using the camera as part of a whole-home Abode security system, you might find that professional monitoring will add a layer of peace of mind you can’t really get from doing all the monitoring yourself.

Here’s a snapshot of Abode’s plans:

Abode Subscriptions: How They Compare

Features No Plan Standard Plan Pro Plan
Cameras Supported Individual Unlimited Unlimited
Live and Recorded Video Yes Yes Yes
Motion Detection Yes Yes Yes
Image Capture Yes Yes Yes
Notifications Yes Yes Yes
Video Storage No Yes Yes
Timeline No Yes Yes
Home Automation No Yes Yes
In-App Panic Alarm No Yes Yes
Premium Support No Yes Yes
Person Detection No Yes Yes
Exclusive Deals No No Yes
Cellular Backup No No Yes
24/7 Professional Monitoring No No Yes
Monthly Price Free $6.99 $21.99
Annual Price Free $65.99 $219.99

Recap: Can Abode Protect Your … Abode?

Now that I’ve put the Abode Cam 2 through our series of testing protocols and explored everything this pocket-sized gadget can do, there’s only one question left to cover.

Is this the camera for you?

That answer, I think you’ll find, depends on whether you’re interested in inexpensive, no-frills video surveillance, or something more full-featured that can give you more insight into your home and potentially protect it from intruders. After all, that’s what this is all about, right? Protecting your home, your loved ones, and your own feeling of peace and security. It’s hard to put a price on that.

All that said, the Abode Cam 2 handles the basics pretty well. I wasn’t too thrilled that the only way I could enable automatic motion recording on this camera was to sign up for a subscription, but the low upfront cost for the camera — just $30 for the time being —  pretty much balanced that out. I might even go out and pick up a few more Abode Cams, just to be safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

SafeHome.org only uses high-quality sources to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Trend Micro. (2021, Aug 25). What Are QR Codes & Are They Safe?

  2. Isaacs, Rebecca. (2021, Aug 6). Google unveils new 2021 Google Nest doorbell, cam and more. NBCNews.

Written By
Jaime Fraze
Security Camera Expert

Jaime Fraze has 16 years of writing and editing experience, with seven years spent writing about emerging technologies. As our home security camera expert, she has hand-tested and reviewed every major security camera brand and has written more than 300 articles on the topic. Previously, Jaime has contributed to award-winning media outlets such as the Rocky Mount Telegram and the Daytona Beach News-Journal. As a homeowner and mother of two, Jaime is constantly looking for ways to keep her home and family safe. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English/Journalism from the University of Delaware.