TP-Link ​Kasa Spot (KC105) review: Budget security cam really hits the spot

Local storage, night vision, activity zones and more at a bargain price

TP-Link ​Kasa Spot 2nd-gen review
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In a crowded smart security camera market, the biggest selling point of the revamped TP-Link Kasa Spot (KC105) is the affordable price.

It may not have all the bells and whistles provided by its rivals, but it does roughly the same job while setting you back significantly less cash.

A follow up to popular KC100 Spot, the KC105 takes the impressive feature set of its older sibling and adds a few tricks into the mix; most notably local recording on a microSD memory card.

The Spot is part of a growing number of solid, affordable smart home devices from TP-Link's Kasa range. The Chinese company isn't the most well-known in the US and UK, but it's been churning out quality gadgets for years now. In short, this isn't one that's suddenly going to disappear.

With the 2nd-gen Spot, you're getting all the basics you would expect from a home security camera: it lets you view a live feed of the camera at any time, from anywhere, using your phone.

It'll also alert you if motion is detected. All of that for an incredibly low price - you can get the KC105 for less than $35.

As we've said, it's a crowded market - with the likes of the Aqara G2H, Wyze Cam, Blink Mini and Eufy Indoor Cam also around the same price-point - so does the TP-Link Kasa Spot do enough to stand out?

Here's what we found from our testing.

TP-Link Kasa Spot (KC105)

Kasa Spot: Design

The design of the Kasa Spot isn't bad, exactly, but it's certainly not going to win any awards.

A curved, square camera sits atop a little white stalk, which clips into a stand that allows a certain degree of flexibility when it comes to positioning and pointing the camera.

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It's fine, really, but no more than that (and white and black is your own colour choice, by the way). It doesn't have the premium feel of something like, say, the Nest Cam IQ Indoor, or the Arlo Ultra.

It's also, as we mentioned up top, cheaper than those two competitors, so you'll have to weigh up just how much you care about build quality.

The device is powered via a Micro USB cable and a mains adapter, which are both supplied in the box.

The port placement is a little awkward on the Kasa Spot, but it's hardly a deal breaker.

TP-Link Kasa Spot (KC105) back ports

Kasa Spot: Features

You have to give credit to TP-Link for cramming so many features into such a small and cheap camera. It works with Alexa and Google Assistant, for a start, so you can view the footage from your security camera up on a smart speaker with a screen, or onto a Fire TV or Echo Show.

Fortunately for our home, which is heaving under the weight of smart home kit to review, the Kasa Spot doesn't need a central hub or anything else plugged into your router – it just connects straight to the web.

Setup is a breeze, too, and only takes a couple of minutes using the accompanying app for Android or iOS.

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The 130-degree field of view is generous for a device of this price, and you get night vision (which, as you can see below, works fine), as well as two-way audio, should you want to calm a pet or talk down a would-be burglar through your phone.

Those apps for Android and iOS we mentioned are slick and smart, so you don't have to put up with substandard software with the Kasa Spot. The same can't be said for all affordable cameras, either - here's looking at you, D-Link.

The apps let you set up activity zones (so you can watch for movement near the door, but not on the television, say), and adjust the motion detection sensitivity. It's refreshing to see these sorts of features on something at an entry-level price.

TP-Link Kasa Spot (KC105) activity zones

Speaking of price, many a home security camera tries to get you to sign up for a cloud storage subscription after buying the hardware.

The Kasa Spot does have one, but it's hardly essential. You can keep up to two days of recordings (or up to 1GB of footage) for free, which should be enough for most people.

Spend $4 a month or $40 , and you can keep your recordings archived for 14 days and up to a limit of 14GB of storage space.

However, and a major selling point of the new Spot is that it offers local storage courtesy of an microSD slot on the side.

TP-Link Kasa Spot microSD

Simply pop your microSD card into the camera and your clips will be saved directly onto it. You can still use the Kasa cam to view and download these clips if you wish.

You can choose to record just clips where motion or sound is detected, or enable 24/7 video recording if you want to be able to scroll back through a timeline. The camera will overwrite the oldest video clips when the microSD card memory is full.

Kasa Spot: Video quality

We were impressed with the monitoring capabilities of the Kasa Spot. Video quality tops out at 1080p HD – some other cameras go up to 4K, which is obviously great to have, but 1080p HD, in our view, is fine for most users.

In the example video embedded here, you can see how the Spot switches from night vision to regular daylight recording as my blinds come up at the start of my working day.

The camera was adept at spotting major movements in front of the camera, while ignoring minor ones, and you can always adjust the sensitivity in the app, if you need.

The app is clean and responsive, giving you access to as many Kasa Spots as you've got, plus whatever else from the Kasa brand you've invested in (like a smart plug, for example).

Sifting through recordings was both quick and easy, and the camera was able to grab plenty of detail – a little less at night, but still good enough.

You get a few useful customization options, too: you can opt to set do not disturb hours when you don't get alerts, for instance.

While other cameras might have more high-tier features, like the face recognition that the Nest cameras offer, the Kasa Spot just covers the essentials.

TP-Link Kasa Spot KC105
TP-Link Kasa Spot KC105


TP-Link Kasa Spot KC105
TP-Link's Kasa Spot covers all the basics and covers them well, performing flawlessly during our testing. Considering the ultra-low price, this should absolutely be on the shortlist for your next home security camera. It's not quite in the elite tier in terms of video quality, hardware design or software options and extra features, but it comes close in every category. And, for most, it should be enough. Throw in the microSD local storage option and you're easily looking at one of, if not, the best smart security cameras on sale now.
PROS
  • No hub required
  • Good quality video
  • Slick apps
  • Alexa and GA streaming
  • Local storage with microSD
CONS
  • No 4K recording
  • Cheap-ish design
  • No HomeKit option

TAGGED    security cameras

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