Skip to main content

Review: Can The Swann CoreCam Top Arlo, Google Nest, or Ring as One of the Best Security Cameras?

The holiday season is a time of cheer and joy for many of us — including porch pirates. In fact, personal larceny and robbery rise 20% during the last month of the year. There’s no reason why you should let some thieving grinch spoil your holiday this year. The mere presence of an outdoor camera, like the Swann CoreCam, can drastically reduce your home from being burglarized or having packages stolen off of your porch. 

I received the Swann CoreCam and installed it on my back door. Considering I have a video doorbell taking care of my front door security, and an indoor cam that I use in my garage (that’s a hack to increase your garage door security), I figured installing a security cam in the back door would sure-up my home’s DIY security system. But would I keep it as my back door security camera? Read on to get the deets on this outdoor cam review.


Swann CoreCam Review: At a Glance

Lazy loaded image
Courtesy of Amazon
Quick Facts:
  • Video Quality: 1080p Full HD
  • Viewing Angle: 100 degrees Wide View
  • Motion Sensitivity: True Detect Thermal 
  • Memory: Local 32GB Micro SD Card (included)
  • Power Source: Rechargeable 6000mAh Lithium Battery
  • Audio: Two-Way Audio – Microphone & Speaker + Siren 
  • IP Rating: IP65 Certified

Swann CoreCam Review: Easy Enough to Set Up

Lazy loaded image
Jonathan Knoder | SPY

I downloaded the Swann App, registered the camera, and connected it to my WiFi. Of course, there was email verification that was a little pain in the butt, but necessary. Yet, connecting the camera to my WiFi was as simple as scanning the QR code on the back of the camera and following the prompts on the app. In about five minutes total, the camera was connected to my WiFi and ready to rock and roll. 

There wasn’t much that goes into the physical installation. Out of the box, the camera kit comes with three screws for the camera base, which screws into the bottom of the camera with a twisting-screw mechanism. With a drill, I connected the base to the wall, then put the camera on the base, which is where the twist mechanism was handy and which made simple work out of attaching the camera to the base connected to the wall. The physical installation only took a few minutes as well. Then I flipped the power switch to “on” and the camera was ready to use.


Swann CoreCam Features: Par For The Course 

Lazy loaded image
Jonathan Knoder | SPY

The Swann CoreCam has what we have come to expect from most outdoor cameras: 1080p live stream and video, adjustable motion detection sensitivity and activity zones which Swann labels “motion detection mask.” With the motion detection mask, you can mark where activity such as a passing car or waving tree branch might trigger a recording and block that motion from triggering a recording (as seen above). For me, this helped eliminate unwanted clips of my neighbors walking their dogs and cars driving by. 

You can also adjust the live view quality between low, medium, and high. Low quality does make the live view look pretty bad, but it does help conserve battery life. Even if the live view is set to low quality, recorded clips are still captured in high-quality 1080p. 

If you must install the camera on an overhang, where the camera is upside-down, you can flip the image so the picture is right-side-up when you’re looking at the app. There’s also an option to mirror the image as well. 

One standout feature was the siren. You can choose to have a siren go off when motion is detected and how long the siren goes off for (between 30 and 300 seconds). The siren is an additional layer of security that could potentially scare intruders that come in close quarters of the camera. 


 Swann CoreCam Performance: Scene Missing

My biggest gripe with the CoreCam is the delay between motion detection and triggering a recording. For instance, I walked out of my garage door into the backyard through the entire field of view of the camera. When I viewed the clip, all that was recorded was my last step before I was out of view (as seen above). Many of the recorded clips looked like that, where the majority of what triggered the event was missed in the recording. Even with the “sleep period” set to zero, (after motion is recorded the camera will sleep for a short period to conserve energy), I still experienced this lag.

Speaking of lag, when I go to look at the live stream or want to check on the camera’s settings it takes quite a while for the camera to connect. For example, connecting to the Blink Mini Pan and Tilt Mount takes about three seconds, while the Swann CoreCam takes closer to 10 seconds. That delay could be all it takes for a potential intruder to get away before you ever get eyes on them. 

I liked that the camera can store footage locally, and includes a 32GB SD card. You can pay for additional cloud storage plans, but this camera falls under the security cameras that don’t require a subscription category. 


The Verdict: Should You Buy The Swann CoreCam

There are better deals out there for outdoor cameras. It largely missed events that triggered the motion sensor to start recording and for $129.00 we feel that’s too big of a blunder to overlook.

Swann CoreCam

Lazy loaded image
Courtesy of Best Buy, SPY

Outdoor Camera Alternatives 

The outdoor camera space is lush with numerous options. Here are some other choices you should consider when searching to improve your home security. 


Google Nest Cam

You get three hours of free event-based video history and a camera that works even through power outages.


Lazy loaded image
Courtesy of Amazon


Wyze Cam Outdoor

It records in 1080p, records footage locally, and can even record without the internet. Plus the battery life is fantastic.

Lazy loaded image
Courtesy of Amazon

Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight 

It has a wide 160-degree field of view and can auto-track and zoom in to stay focused on the content of the video. Additionally, you also get colored night vision.

Lazy loaded image
Courtesy of Amazon
review: can the $90 wyze video doorbell pro compete with amazon ring and google nest?