Tapo, one of TP-Link’s two smart home brands, is continuing to expand its footprint in the home security camera space with the announcement of the $39.99 Tapo C120. This pint-size smart home camera fits in the palm of your hand and can be used indoors or out, thanks to IP66 weatherproofing rating. It’s due to be released on November 13th.
Small smart security cameras aren’t new — Wyze and Blink both have offerings of a similar size for under $100 — but TP-Link’s new camera crams a lot of features into a small package for under $40. A wired camera, it has 2K video, local storage with an onboard microSD card, free AI-powered person detection, and an easy-to-use magnetic mount.
Blink’s outdoor cameras cost start at $99 for 1080p video, local storage requires additional hardware, and you have to pay for person detection; they are battery-powered. Wyze has battery and wired outdoor options with onboard storage (up to 512 GB), but anything with 2K is over $55, and unless you pay for a subscription, Wyze’s recording options are limited.
All of this makes the new Tapo camera an intriguing option for anyone looking for a versatile budget security camera that doesn’t rely on the cloud (although there is an option for cloud storage.)
Other features of the C120 include adjustable dual spotlights that can be triggered for different events and a starlight sensor for color night vision. Full duplex two-way audio lets you talk to and hear anything going on in your home, and an alarm system allows you to record your own audio.
An invisible IR night vision mode and baby crying and pet alerts make the C120 a good option for use indoors as a pet cam or baby monitor. Free AI-powered smart alerts for people and vehicles also translate to a useful outdoor camera for monitoring a front door or driveway.
As with Tapo’s other recent launch, the Tapo Wire-Free MagCam, this camera has an adjustable magnetic mount. This is something I find really handy for security cameras, as it makes mounting them — and moving them if you want to monitor somewhere else — much easier. A 9.8-foot power cord is also a useful addition, although the plug isn’t weatherproof.
The camera works with the Tapo smart home app and is compatible with Alexa and Google Home to live-stream footage to smart display. The Tapo C120 will be available starting November 13 at Amazon for $39.99.
Update: Friday, November 3rd, 5:30PM: TP-Link reached out after publication to say the launch has been delayed, and the camera won’t be available to buy until November 13th. we’ve updated the article to reflect this.