The spy pen is an interesting piece of tech. Over the years technology has been dynamic and widespread in its advancement. Its reach is deep and powerful enough to hold sway in almost every aspect of modern-day living on a global scale.
Around the world homes, workplaces, personal, spiritual, health and the environment, you name it, technology has aggressively muscled in its influence one way or another.
The lowly but mighty pen is one of its latest appropriations. This simple hand implement which only functions before are writing, drawing and signing edicts, messages, stories, and many other written materials, today is delegated one more function.
As a technology innovated spy tool. And thanks to technology advancement we now have a convenient way to spy on our peers as needed with the spy pen camera, which we can use to write, record videos, and capture photos when needed.
Best Spy Pens Comparison Table
Now, as technology has decided that this new spy pen camera function is critical in the modern world. And as we also found out there is a real need for spy pens. We decided to share with you how we break down our search for the best economical spy pen camera to help us decide on our choice for our own use with this article.
Spy Pen Cameras Reviewed
Amazon for us offers an extensive array of choices for spy pen camera, and we decided to buy 5 pen cameras to pick the best one closely and fully fulfilling the metrics we set as criteria. Here we share how we see each based on their best features.
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Spy Pen Instruction Guide
We have thoroughly exhausted our options to come up with the best spy pen camera closely relevant and provide full support to our intended use for it. But what really helped in our decision to buy the pen camera was the instruction on how convenient it is to use.
We share this with you here so you know it’s not really complicated to operate a spy pen camera and may boost your interest in buying one.
Step 1) Charging the spy pen camera
A charging USB cable is provided. Plug one end into the pen’s USB port, the other end you plug into your computer’s USB port. Note that charging the pen camera for the first time should be 4 hours straight.
When charging, the indicator light blinks and when fully charged, the indicator light goes steady. Disconnect the USB cable/port from your computer and disconnect the pen from the USB cable once charging is complete. When fully charged the pen will have about 1.5 hours of recording time.
Make sure to recharge your pen as needed, it only takes about 15 minutes to recharge your pen.
Step 2) Insert the Memory Card ( Micro SD)
See your pen manual for the illustration guide to locate the micro SD card slot. Firmly slide the micro SD card into the SD card slot (see illustration). At some point, when the SD card is fully inserted you should feel a solid resistance so you must be gentle when pushing the card in.
When inserted correctly, about 1/8” of the SD card will show. The camera pen is now ready to use.
Note: Follow instructions, this is important, the spy pen cam will not work without the micro SD memory card, this is where all recordings and/or photos will be stored.
- To ensure the micro SD card correctly collects data from the recording session make sure it is pushed in completely.
- When there is SD card error the indicator light will blink red. (Meaning the SD card is improperly inserted.)
- SD card’s (2GB ‐ 4GB ‐ 8GB ‐ 16GB) memory capacity will determine how much data can be recorded by the pen.
- Only about 1.5 hours of recording time for both videos and photos can be recorded by the pen’s rechargeable lithium battery.
Step 3) Powering the spy pen camera
- Press the On/Off Button to power up the pen (see illustration) for 2‐3 seconds. (Press On/Off Button for 6 seconds to power off.)
- An indicator light display will indicate that the pen has powered up properly. A solid green light means the pen is on and in Ready Mode.
- When in Ready Mode it means you can now start recording videos/photos.
Step 4) Recording Video
To check that the pen camera is now ready and you can start recording, press the On/Off button for 2‐3 seconds, from Ready Mode.
- Check that the indicator light blinks several times which indicates a recording is about to begin.
- When the indicator light dims and is steadily blinking it means the spy pen camera is recording. It should be dim enough so as not to attract attention while on a recording session.
- When recording make sure always that the camera lens remains unobstructed (see illustration).
- Hold the spy pen steady when recording to produce clear and clean recordings.
Step 5) Ending a Recording Session
You can stop recording by clicking the On/Off button once of your pen camera.
- If you need to record more than 1 video; you can do multiple recordings by simply navigating the toggle switch from recording to stop recording then to recording again.
- Don’t forget to power off the pen camera by pressing the On/Off button for 6 seconds.
Step 6) Taking a photo with a spy pen camera
One quick click to the On/Off button is all you need to take a photo.
When a photo is captured the green indicator light will blink once then it will return to Ready Mode.
Step 7) Viewing recordings and photos
- Expose the USB port on top of the pen camera by unscrewing the top. (see illustration).
- Connect the USB cable to the pen camera USB port. Connect the other end to the USB port of your computer.
- In your computer go to the removable computer drive. Look for your pen camera SD card icon in the removable drive.
- Double click on the icon or on the removable drive to open the SD card. Then you can copy the video footage or the photos to your computer’s hard drive. It will be convenient to create separate folders for each of your footages for easier viewing. Best viewing is through a computer not through the pen.
- Note: Some computers will display your SD card icon and a dialog box will pop up and ask you “What you want to do with this newly inserted device?”. Answer the question by clicking on the drop out choices. Then you can go to removable driver disk to open your SD card or it will directly open your SD card from the dialog box to let you view your files.
Step 8) Erasing files from the micro SD card to reuse
After copying all the video footages and photos to your computer you now need to clean your micro SD card. To reuse it for your next photo capture or video recording sessions.
- Click on each photo or video then press delete key on the keyboard of your computer. When you have removed all photos and videos from the SD card of the pen camera, it is now ready to capture more photos and record more videos.
- Before you start deleting or removing the videos and photos make sure you are viewing the files on your SD card in your removable disc folder and not those you saved on your computer.
Step 9) Changing the stamp date on your camera pen
- Connect the spy pen camera via the USB cable to your computer USB port.
- Open the removable disc folder only, you don’t need to open the SD card and find “time.txt”.
- Edit the time and date you will see when you open the “time.txt” then click save, don’t forget else your edits will not be saved. This will ensure you have the correct timestamp or your recorded videos and captured photos.
Reminder: Important notes to make sure you get the best performance out of your spy pen camera
- When the pen camera is not used for a long time make sure you recharge it once a week for 15 minutes. This will cover up the battery loss incurred by systemic battery discharges by a battery on standby. If you forget and your pen will become unresponsive, recharging the camera pen should solve the issue. It needs a freshly and fully recharged battery to be very responsive to video recording and photo capture functions.
- It best to copy recordings and photos to the computer before viewing. This is to have the best impression of your videos and photos. The spy pen camera cannot handle the data transfer speed to accommodate excellent real-time viewing; the footage will appear to be choppy when viewed directly on the spy pen camera.
- VLC player, the latest version can be downloaded to enable easy play of your recordings.
Video Instruction on How to use a Spy Pen Camera
Best Spy Pens FAQ
Here are some questions you still might have answered.
How long can a spy pen record?
Each of the spy pens has a different battery life as you can see in the descriptions. However, the average recording time on a spying pen is around an hour or two.
Can spy pen cameras work without WiFi?
Some cameras can. They have some sort of embedded memory, but those are generally more expensive than wifi-enabled spy pen cameras.
Is it legal to have hidden cameras in your house?
For the most part yes. That could vary from country to country. You would have to check up the laws for any specifics, but most countries allow having a spy pen camera to record.
Spy Pen Buying Guide
Compared and judged in real-time performance, the 5 spy pen cameras we tested have each proven their optimum functionality with regards to our requirements.
We tell you there are no two pen cameras with exactly the same features, from different brands and manufacturers but we did our best to examine each based on the number of basic pen camera functions each can excellently deliver, then one extra function to top up.
Best spy pen camera by features
The best spy pen, of course, is the one that doesn’t look like a spy pen. It has to look like an ordinary pen, not giving away any, even the tiniest hint that it is other than an ordinary writing implement.
The subtler does a spy pen presents its additional special functions the higher its chance to be picked out of the available options. Its main purpose is to spy, so it should not give away its covert characteristics.
The functionality of pen camera features
When it comes to features the best spy pen camera is the one that can be conveniently operated even at very risky positions and situations. It should feature a highly responsive on and off button and register very short getting ready time.
At the most, it must not emit the slightest sound or light when recording and can record and capture very clear videos and pictures even in the absence of any light. Many spy pens boast of their capacity to deliver these functions but as we found out only a few produce excellent results.
The spy pen camera with a worthy hardware
Well, this is admissibly one of the many technological conveniences that are highly disposable. The way it is constructed there is very little chance to revive it by a hardware overhaul when it decides to die on you.
The best we can do is get the ones with an excellently working warranty policy. So when we feel the time is not yet ripe for it to perish because the ROI we got from our investment is not yet sufficient, we can just claim the warranty and have it replaced or buy a new one at a discount.
The Best Spy Pen Camera We Picked
When it boils down to deciding which is the best spy pen camera to buy which can deliver all the support for our requirements we picked the spy pen camera which amongst the 6 we tested is the most pricey.
However, we were not a bit daunted by the price because we know just looking at it and at the price we know we are not going to have a lot of spoiler moments with it. With the price, we know the manufacturer has not even in the slightest sense pinched the budget for the hardware. It is packed with premium-grade materials and extra features and it carries a lifetime replacement warranty, which the last time we read on Reddit the company honors and are excellently responsive to complaints.
Our choice may not be good enough for you, you are the one who is the best judge for what may work best for you. You may decide on the least expensive because you know it can already deliver great results for your requirements. As I said at the start it is the ability of the spy pen camera to provide you with a convenience that you should consider when deciding to buy one.
SAY CHEESE! My name is Mike and I love technology, software, and crypto. I grew up around my ‘nerdy’ engineering parents who’ve worked for high tech start-ups and aerospace companies. They’ve taught me everything I know, from destructing the latest phones to playing around with drones, writing lines of code and investing in cryptocurrencies. I take things apart, put them back together and add some (code). I breathe and live tech and can’t wait to teach you more!