For the most part, Cove’s security cameras share the same DNA:
- 1080p video resolution with day and night vision options
- Remote access through the Cove app
- Motion-activated recording
- Local video storage when you insert a microSD card
- Cloud video storage
- Two-way audio (Cove calls it Call Mode)
The Cove app is your portal to using the cameras and allows you to change settings, receive notifications, and watch live and recorded videos from your cameras. Still, most of these features are pretty standard among security cameras. For our review, let’s focus on the things that make Cove most useful: motion detection and video storage.
Cove’s recording settings come in various flavors to help you sort videos and manage notifications:
- Motion sensitivity: By adjusting the sensitivity of your camera’s motion sensor, you can train it to ignore small movements from pets.
- Activity zones: Activity zones allow you to exclude portions of the camera’s view from triggering recordings or alerts (like a busy sidewalk). It’s common to most security cameras but is one of our favorite features to use.
- Alert frequency: This helps solve one of the biggest problems with Wi-Fi security cameras—notification overload. We love that you can set how often the camera will alert you so it won’t send multiple notifications in less than a minute. This setting is helpful if you want to keep a higher level of motion sensitivity, which usually results in a pile of notifications every time your dog walks by.
We appreciate that Cove Cloud includes 24 hours of cloud storage with every security camera, but that might not be enough for most people. You have so little time to download videos before they disappear forever.
Although you can upgrade your storage plan to Cove Cloud+ for around $3 per month per camera, the costs add up quickly if you have more than three cameras. Compared to brands with affordable multi-camera storage plans—like Ring and Google Nest*—Cove’s per-camera pricing isn’t a great deal.
Still, Cove has a big advantage over those brands, thanks to its microSD card slot. This gives you local video storage that’s easier to manage than cloud storage and doesn’t require a monthly subscription. Of course, you need to buy the microSD card upfront—the cameras support cards up to 32 GB. But considering you can buy a compatible card for less than $10, we think it’s the best alternative to paying for a Cove Cloud+ plan.
There are just five differences between Cove security camera models, and all relate directly to the places you use them.
The Cove Indoor Camera has a couple of extra motion detection tricks:
- Human detection: As the name suggests, this AI-driven feature looks for motion from human-shaped objects, so your camera ignores everything that isn’t human.
- Baby crying: The cameras can record video when there’s a loud sound—hence its namesake. It’s not limited to babies crying (it also works for alarms and other loud sounds) but is very helpful for capturing video without motion detection.
The Cove Outdoor Camera’s (140º) field of view is wider than that of the Cove Indoor Camera (110º). It can see more area, which makes a lot of sense when its outdoor setting doesn’t have to deal with walls that naturally restrict a camera’s view.
The Outdoor Camera comes with a starlight sensor that gives it better visibility at night and access to color night vision. Starlight sensors are popular these days because many newer security cameras have them—like Wyze and Reolink. Although the Indoor Camera has night vision, it lacks the low-light color imaging of the Outdoor Camera.
The Cove Outdoor Camera can handle adverse weather conditions like rain, dust, and snow, while the Indoor Camera doesn’t need weatherproofing.
The Cove Outdoor Camera uses batteries to allow you to install it where there’s a good view without having to think about a power cord like on the Indoor Camera. This means you need to recharge the batteries occasionally, but it’s worth the extra portability. Just remember to keep the camera in range of your Wi-Fi network.