This camcorder is often marketed as an alternative sports camera, but it can also be used elsewhere. For example, thanks to the size of its body, it can be used as a security camera. It is easily mountable on most surfaces and hidden out of view, which means it is also perfect to use as a spy camera.
After some initial testing, we found the SQ11 has a lot of features that make it stand out among its competitors. Here we will talk about them more and tell you what makes us recommend this camcorder for you. Now let’s dive in.
What we Liked
What We Didn’t
Before Purchasing a Mini Video Recorder
Before continuing with this review, we should mention a couple of things. Depending on what you are planning to use this mini camera for, you should be careful not to make the purchase prematurely and do some research and gather information beforehand.
As we have already mentioned, this mini camera is great if you are in need of a camcorder hidden in plain sight. With its small, cube-shaped body, it is extremely easy to conceal. And thanks to the decent 720p or 1080p quality of video and the ability to capture photos, it provides you with an extra layer of security at your home or work.
Even if you only plan on using it as a cheaper sports camera alternative, you will not be disappointed in the quality of the videos you capture. But still, if that is your main purpose and you have some more leniency with your budget, then maybe consider buying a more expensive one.
Features & Benefits
Now we are going to cover all the features this mini camera had during testing, highlight the best ones and tell you more about them.
Out of the Box
First things first, when this camcorder arrives you need to know what comes with it. Alongside the main body, you will receive a back clip and a stent. Next, is the USB cable you will need for charging it and lastly a user manual. The only thing missing here is the SD card, which you will need to buy separately.
With its mini size and cube shape, measuring 2.20 x 2.20 x 2.20cm, it could easily fit over your finger. That is also possible because it is as light as a feather, weighing only 20 grams. But don’t be fooled by its size, this mini camera/recorder still packs a punch.
Video & Storage
Setting up the mini camera, you can choose between three modes of operation, 720p video, 1080p video, or photo mode. The video is good quality and you can review it later on your computer because it is saved on the SD card.
The SD card you will be using needs to be between 4GB and 32GB. But, you needn’t worry about storage because thanks to the Loop Recording feature, older video footage will automatically be deleted to make room for the new ones.
Another one of the great features implemented in this mini camcorder is Motion Detection. This means that when this feature is enabled, the SQ11 will start capturing video whenever it senses motion. It only does so for short, 1-minute intervals, and the video is automatically saved. This helps preserve the battery so it can shoot a video for longer periods between charging.
Equipped with six infrared night vision LEDs at the front, this camcorder also provides night assisting light for video capture, which can be toggled on or off at any time. But even with that, you shouldn’t expect much from them at night time. The lights will only brighten up your field of view if it is closer to the lens, no more than half a meter. They won’t provide much illumination if the target is further away from the mini camera. (1)
The 1080p Mini DV camcorder comes with 1 Lithium battery that needs to be fully charged by USB cable before its first use. The battery capacity is at 200mAh and can provide 1-2 hours of continuous video shooting on a full charge. It takes about 2-3 hours to fully charge, but according to user experience, it can also continue shooting while charging. In the end, it still has a rather short battery life, which is not surprising considering its small size. (2)
While connected to your computer via USB cable, the SQ11 can also serve as a webcam just by a simple button press. While it is in this mode, it will only take photos or record video in 720p.
What Other Users Had To Say
While testing, we’ve also looked around online and did some research, and to be honest we found mixed reviews about this mini camera. Most people were pleased with the functionality of the mini DV camcorder considering the amount of money they invested in it. But, a lot of them were not, because they were expecting much more. So again, as we said before, be careful before making the purchase and think about what you would be using the SQ11 for.
A Couple Of Alternate Options
Even if you aren’t satisfied with everything that we have covered here so far, or you simply are still unsure, then don’t worry. We still have you covered.
Below we will also mention a couple of alternatives you could look into. They will mostly be in the same price range, but will all come with their benefits and faults.
To start things off, we have the MHDYT 1080p cam which is around the same price as this one but comes with extra functionality. It also has motion sensing, loop recording, and infrared lights. It has detachable magnets on its back, which make it easy to also place the camera on any metal surface. It records good video at 1080p and 30FPS. Make sure to also check this one out.
Next up, we have the YIUAEVL mini spy camera. It is a bit pricier, but that is only because it offers better functions than this one. It provides a wider shooting angle and a longer battery life, up to 5 hours of continuous video shooting. Another plus side is that this one can be connected to your devices via WiFi, so you can view video footage directly from your phone. Everything else is pretty much the same, motion sensing, loop recording, etc.
And third, we have the CASEMPIRE tiny camera. This one’s design is a bit different from the others, mostly because of its round button shape. But it still is small and easy to hide. Just like the one before, it offers WiFi capabilities, so you can live-stream the video footage it records. It also records at 1080p full HD and has a 150-degree lens angle. Lastly, this mini spy cam has an upgraded version of smart motion detection. This means that every time it detects motion, besides capturing it on video, it will also send an alert to your phone.
These are the best ones we could find out there right now for that price, so make sure to check them out if you are interested.
Is The SQ11 Worth It?
To conclude, we wouldn’t say that this is the best mini camera on the market, but it is a great deal for the price. This 1080p mini DV camera has a lot of benefits, considering the mini package.
The video quality is decent and the photos it captures are okay at 12MP. It is small, discreet, and lightweight so you could carry it on you or tuck it away in some corner. It has motion sensing, loop recording, and some other cool features, that are better explained in this article. However, it still comes with its own flaws. Any video recorded at night time is extremely unclear and the night assisting infrared lights are practically useless. Another downside is the short battery life, which limits its usefulness while unplugged.
Otherwise, if you are looking for a cheap mini camcorder that still packs a lot of utility, then look no further. Compared to some of the others at this price range, this one is better suited for your needs. We urge you to strongly consider everything that we covered here, and if you are looking to buy one, check the SQ11 out. We can promise that it will work wonders for you, and that, time and time again, you will not be disappointed.
(1) infrared – https://www.livescience.com/50260-infrared-radiation.html
(2) Lithium – https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1065/lithium