A smart home consists of all sorts of exciting gadgets from app-controlled lighting and heating to robotic vacuum cleaners, but there is one gadget that is likely to be picked first for the smart home cool team - the camera.

Smart home cameras will not only keep an eye on your house while you aren't home, but with many you can use your smartphone to check in on things, as well as get notifications when something isn't quite how it should be.

They are a great place to start if you are just hopping on the smart home bandwagon and there are plenty of options out there.

Whether you are after a nice and simple model to watch the cats while you are at work, or you want something a little more substantial, such as one with a siren or one that can sing a lullaby, here are a few of the best smart cameras available to bring a bit of Bond to your home. 

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Hive Camera

Buy the Hive Camera for £119 from Amazon.co.uk | Read the full Hive camera review

  • Measurements: 97.9mm x 65mm, 137g
  • Features: Night vision, two-way talk, compatibility with other Hive products, zoom, noises for scaring off intruders
  • Camera: 1080p video recording, 130-degree wide angle
  • Power: Plugged in
  • Recording access: SD card support up to 128GB (16GB card included), live stream and access to recordings with no subscription
  • Subscription cost: No subscription

British Gas-owned Hive is one of the latest companies to offer a smart home camera. It is the cheapest on this list and it requires no subscription, like the Netatmo Welcome, with an SD card storing your recordings locally rather than on the cloud.

Although it doesn't offer as many of the fancy features of some of the others on this list, such as facial recognition, it does have two-way audio, as well as zooming and the ability to trigger noises like a police siren or alarm noise to deter intruders.

One of the best things about the Hive camera is that it joins the company's other smart home products, which now includes lighting, motion detectors and smart plugs, making creating a smart home far simpler.

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Netatmo Welcome

Buy the Netatmo Welcome for around £145 from Amazon.co.uk or around $135 from Amazon.com | Read the full Netatmo Welcome review

  • Measurements: 155 x 45mm, 399g
  • Features: Night vision, person alerts, facial recognition for up to 16 faces, customisable privacy settings
  • Camera: 4MP sensor, 1080p video recording, 130-degree wide angle
  • Power: Plugged in
  • Recording access: MicroSD storage up to 32GB (8GB card included for up to 100 videos), no cloud recording
  • Subscription cost: No subscription

The Netatmo Welcome camera features facial recognition technology and it is one of the only smart home cameras to do so, aside from the Nest Cam IQ a little further down this list, though that requires a subscription for the privilege. Welcome will capture images of people and allow you to create profiles, after which the camera will send the names of the people it recognises, whilst also notifying you when it detects an unknown face.

It's possible to customise profiles so if you don't want it to record your partner at any time for example, you can set it to make sure it doesn't and you can stop notifications coming through when you are at home too.

Unlike some smart home cameras, Welcome doesn't offer a speaker for two-way talk, or a siren, night-light or music capabilities, but there are no subscription charges so the price you pay for the camera is all you pay to access your videos. The included 8GB SD card will store up to 100 videos and once storage runs out, the oldest videos will be replaced.

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Piper NV

 Buy the Piper NV for around £229 from Amazon.co.uk | Read the full Piper NV preview

  • Measurements: 222 x 178 x 14mm, 327g
  • Features: Night vision, two-way talk, 105dB siren, temperature and humidity sensors, customisable security modes, 10x zoom
  • Camera: 3.4MP sensor, 1080p video recording, 180-degree wide angle
  • Power: Plugged in
  • Recording access: Live or recorded anytime, anyplace
  • Subscription cost: No subscription

The Piper NV succeeds the original Piper, building on the all-in-one home security and video monitoring system by introducing night vision and a improved camera performance. It comes with a 3.4-megapixel sensor and a 180-degree fisheye lens and it will allow you to electronically pan and tilt.

Just like the first model, there are a range of Z-Wave accessories available that can be integrated with the Piper NV so you'll be able to control reading lights or flood lights from the same app. You'll also find two-way audio, a motion detector with a siren and environmental sensors on board.

One of the great things about the Piper NV is its two-minute internal memory that it uses to pull in five seconds prior to an event happening to add to the 35-second recording so it will show you a person coming up to the front door, as well as it opening.

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Netgear Arlo

Buy the Netgear Arlo for around £169 at Amazon.co.uk or around $145 at Amazon.com | Read the full Netgear Arlo review

  • Measurements: 72 x 44 x 66mm, 123g (camera), 55 x 215 x 165 mm, 320g (base station)
  • Features: Night vision, IFTTT compatibility, custom modes, smart scheduling, weatherproof
  • Camera: 720p video recording, 110-degree wide angle
  • Power: Wire-free, battery-powered
  • Recording access: Seven days viewing, downloading and sharing (without subscription)
  • Subscription cost: Premier £6.49/month or £64/year for 30 days of cloud recordings or Elite £9.99/month or £99/year for up to 60 days cloud recordings

Netgear offers numerous smart home camera options, including its standard Arlo, which it claims is the first 100 per cent wire-free camera that is also weatherproof.

It offers night vision and motion alerts like the rest of the cameras on this list, but its camera resolution is a little lower than others with 720p video recording instead of 1080p. It also has a slightly narrower field of vision than others.

One of the great things about the Arlo though is it provides seven days of viewing, downloading and sharing without a subscription. Most other smart home cameras, aside from the Netatmo Welcome and the Piper NV require a monthly subscription to access video recordings over 48-hours old, whereas with Arlo it's only a requirement for videos over seven days old.

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Logitech Circle 2

Buy the Logitech Circle 2 from around £130 on Amazon.co.uk or around $180 on Amazon.com | Read the full Logitech Circle 2 review

  • Measurements: 86.4 x 71.1 x 66mm, 207g (wired), 96.5 x 81.2 x 94mm, 340g (wire-free)
  • Features: Auto night vision up to 5-metres, two-way talk, 8x digital zoom, adjustable pan and tilt, weatherproofing, person detection with subscription, Alexa and Apple HomeKit compatibility
  • Camera: 1080p video recording, 180-degree wide angle
  • Power: Choice of plugged in or battery operated models
  • Recording access: 24 hours unlimited streaming and downloads (without subscription)
  • Subscription cost: Basic £2.99/month for 14 days, or Premium £7.99/month or £79.99/year for 31 days

The Logitech Circle 2 replaces the Circle smart home camera, bringing the choice of wired or wire-free, weatherproofing and a wider field of view over its predecessor.

It is compatible with Amazon's Alexa and there are a range of mounts and accessories available for it, allowing you to mount it where you want. The Circle 2 has a 180-degree field of view, it records video in 1080p and it offers night vision up to five-metres.

Additionally, the Circle 2 has a two-way talk and listen function and for those that opt for the Circle Safe Premium subscription, you'll have access to person detection, motion zones and advanced event and alert filter options. 

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Canary All-In-One

 Buy the Canary for around £109 from Amazon.co.uk or around $130 from Amazon.com | Read the full Canary All-In-One review

  • Measurements: 152.4 x 76.2mm, 396g
  • Features: Night vision, air quality monitoring, 90-decibel siren
  • Camera: 1080p video recording, 147-degree wide angle
  • Power: Plugged in
  • Recording access: 24 hours with unlimited downloads and social sharing (without subscription)
  • Subscription cost: £7.99/month or £79/year for 30 days history

The Canary all-in-one security camera can be set up in a matter of minutes and it will learn over time to deliver you smarter notifications. It is capable of Full HD video recording, HD audio recording and you will get instant alerts when activity is detected, along with the ability to view the recorded video.

Like Piper NV, there is a siren on board to scare off any unwanted visitors. The siren is 90-decibels and it can be controlled remotely, while Canary also monitors air quality, temperature and humidity to give you a better idea of your home.

For those after a weatherproof option, Canary also offers the Canary Flex, which can be installed wire-free or plugged in, inside or outside of your home. It's a smaller device than the standard Canary and it doesn't have a siren, but it does have a built-in speaker. Bear in mind that the 24 hours of free recording access is shared between all the Canary devices you have.

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Withings Nokia Home

 Buy the Withings Nokia Home for around £170 on Amazon.co.uk or around $85 on Amazon.com | Read the full Withings Nokia Home review

  • Measurements: 87 x 75mm, 226g
  • Features: Night vision, 12x zoom, two-way talk, LED light and music, air quality monitoring
  • Camera: 5MP sensor, 1080p video recording, 135-degree wide angle
  • Power: Plugged in
  • Recording access: 48-hours timelapse (subscription-free)
  • Subscription cost: €7.95/month for 7 days history or €19.95/month for 30 days

Nokia, which now owns French company Withings, offers the Home camera (previously called Withings Home). The camera records what is happening in your house, monitors air quality and it will also play a lullaby when the night light is turned on.

The bottom of the stylish-looking camera doubles up as the night light, while the top features environmental sensors to measure temperature, humidity and levels of volatile organic compound (VOC). There is a 5-megapixel CMOS sensor, two digital microphones, a HQ speaker, 135-degree wide angle zoom and night vision on the Home camera.

Any note-worthy thing that happens will be recorded to a cloud-stored video and sent to your smartphone in notification form, while any of the images and videos will then be put into an interactive timeline that turns into a home diary. You get 48-hours free access to your timeline, while anything beyond that requires a subscription.

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Nest Cam IQ

 Buy the Nest Cam IQ for around £299 from Nest UK or around $299 from Nest US | Read the full Nest Cam IQ review

  • Measurements: 125 x 73.7mm, 357g
  • Features: Night vision, 12x digital zoom and enhance, close up tracking, two-way talk, person alerts, familiar faces recognition with subscription
  • Camera: 4K 8MP sensor, 1080p video recording, HDR, 130-degree wide angle
  • Power: Plugged in
  • Recording access: 3 hours (without subscription)
  • Subscription cost: £8/month or £80/year for 10 days history or £24/month or £240/year for 30 days history

The Nest Cam IQ is the latest smart home indoor camera from Nest, offering advancements over the Nest Cam Indoor. Featuring a similar design to the Nest Cam Outdoor with a white polycarbonate body, the Nest Cam IQ has a main body on a hinge that connects it to a stem hiding the cables and a base with a USB Type-C connector.

It is one of the more expensive cameras on this list but thanks to its 4K HDR sensor, it will offer a close up tracking view of a person or persons and it is able to distinguish between a person and a thing. 

Users will also be able to have a two-way conversation through the camera, night vision has been improved over the Nest Cam Indoor and those who sign up to the Nest Aware subscription will also benefit from facial recognition features. For a cheaper option, Nest still offers its Nest Cam Indoor for around £160.

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Panasonic Nubo

Buy the Panasonic Nubo for €349 from Nubocam.com | Read the full Panasonic Nubo preview

  • Measurements: 80 x 60 x 40mm, 150g
  • Features: Night vision up to 10-metres, two-way talk, IFTTT compatibility, IP64 rated, smart detection technology
  • Camera: 2.43MP sensor, 1080p video recording (Wi-Fi), 720p video recording (3G or 4G) 138-degree wide angle
  • Power: Plugged in
  • Recording access: SD card support up to 128GB (not included), live stream with no subscription
  • Subscription cost: Basic €5.99/month for 30 days cloud history or Premium €12.99/month for 30-days cloud history plus Vodafone SIM and mobile data included 

Panasonic's Nubo is capable of using 4G connectivity as well as Wi-Fi to allow you to find out what is happening in your home when you aren't there. Using 4G means it can be taken with you on a boat or a caravan for example, so it isn't restricted to your home.

On-board resolution is 1080p when on Wi-Fi, while 720p is used for transmittal via 4G or 3G. If connectivity lulls to 2G then no video data is transferred, only relevant alerts.

Nubo can detect movement and audio during the day or night and it has detection algorithms on board that can identify distinct shapes so it should be able to tell the difference between a human and a cat for example.

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Somfy One

Buy the Somfy One for from Amazon.co.uk | Read the full Somfy One review

  • Measurements: 110 x 90 x 90mm, 260g
  • Features: Infrared night vision mode, two-way talk, motorised privacy shutter, built-in 90+ dB speaker/alarm/siren system
  • Camera: 1080p 30fps video capture, 130-degree wide angle lens, 8 x digital zoom, 5m motion detection
  • Power: Plugged in
  • Recording access: live stream with no subscription, 24-hour playback with subscription
  • Subscription cost: £3.99 a month

The Somfy One is an interesting smart home camera. This device offers some impressive features including a capable camera that works well in all lighting conditions, a physical privacy shutter and motion-based siren alarm system that will scare burglars out of their skin. 

It's compatible with Nest thermostats, Alexa, Google Home and IFTTT too, making it highly flexible and adaptable to your smart home needs. Its free plan isn't quite as good as others - it will only notify and capture footage when the alarm is set, but the subscription costs are much cheaper than others too. 

As far as smart home cameras go, the Somfy One certainly features high on our list and is well worth considering. 

Now why not check out Amazon Echo vs Echo Plus vs Echo Tap vs Echo Dot vs Echo Show vs Echo Spot: What's the difference?