Review Of The Best Spy Watch
Using a spy watch to covertly record some incriminating evidence of dirty deeds at work, or of a cheating spouse, can help build your case. Just slip the spy camera watch over your wrist and off you go. Record what you need at a touch of a button without arousing suspicion.
Spy watches are used in undercover work by private investigators, journalists, legal professionals, and surveillance operatives, as well as the public, and have been known to record some very extreme evidence. But is there such a thing as the best spy watch in the world? That’s impossible to say but we’ve got some great tips and a great review of what we consider is the best spy camera watch we’ve found so far. Check it out below.
Quick Guide: How To Choose The Best Spy Watch
Here is a quick buying guide with some important aspects you should consider when buying a spy watch. We cover these technical specifications later on in our in-depth buying guide but for starters here's what to look for:
- Covert and looks like a normal wrist watch.
- Durability of the watch strap.
- Position of the built-in watch camera
- Simple to operate on/off and record buttons.
- Good audio and video quality.
- Adequate internal data storage for your images and video.
- Long battery life.
- Date and time stamp on your images / video recordings.
As we said, this is a brief look at the specifications you will want in a quality spy watch and you will find out more later on. In the mean-time check out our top spy watch below:
A Complete Review Of The Best Spy Watch We Like
by a former security specialist and private investigator
This spy watch review have been conducted by a former security specialist and private investigator that has many years experience and understanding of real spy gadgets and what is needed to meet a professional spy watch. The following watch was chosen among many based on stealth and covert look, ease of use, technical functions and value for money. In all honesty there were some spy watches for sale that are just plain rubbish and some were very expensive for the quality. So, among the worst spy watches we came across we managed to find this watch that we would more than likely invest in.
The Mliyam: Our Best Choice of Spy Watch
Covert Look: the Mliyam is more of a man's spy watch than a lady's. This watch's covert ability is good and looks similar to the typical G-SHOCK type watch which is quite common among male watch wearers. What we liked was although the watch face seems to have a lot going on with it and would appear too attractive in a surveillance situation; the busyness of it disguises the spy watch's camera which certainly makes it one of the best spy watches for looks.
Watch Strap Durability: the strap on the Mliyam spy watch is one that can be replaced easily if broken so there is no worry about the watch becoming obsolete if the strap snaps.
Camera Position: the camera lens position on the Mliyam is at the 6 o'clock position on the watch dial and points out at a 90 degree angle from the face. So you will need to point the face of this spy watch at your target.
Ease of Use: it's very easy to use Mliyam spy watch in the field with the push of only one on/off button to record video footage or to take still photographs. It also has a night setting button to turn on the watch's 5 in-built infra-red night vision lights to record during dark or low-light periods.
Quality of Recording: the video resolution is HD 1920x1080P so you have the options of taking still photos of your target or recording surveillance video that is recorded in High Definition - producing quality evidence. With its built-in mic, the audio recording playback is also high quality.
Recording Time: the Mliyam camera watch has a built-in 16GB memory and will support up to 32GB micro SD card which gives plenty of recording space to play with.
Battery Power: for a one-charge battery power you will get about 70 minutes of usage before you need to recharge it.
Date and Time Stamp: Yes. The video is also date and time stamped which is always a plus point.
Our Final Thoughts: FLAW: we discovered that this spy watch, although it does a good job and ticks the right boxes, does have a flaw that is a little annoying. The displayed day "SUN" on the watch face is actually printed on and does not change. It would have been more sensible for the manufacturer to not include the display at all. The cost is actually quite reasonable for what you get in a spy watch and it's not perfect but overall, yes, we like it.
List of Spy Watch Models To Consider
Buying Guide: How To Choose A Good Spy Watch
Having seen an increased interest in buying spy watches we thought it appropriate to give out some sound guidelines and tips for choosing the best quality spy camera watch to buy. We cover the most fundamental technical aspects that make a covert spy watch a good choice. Here they are:
- Covert Look
As with any great spy camera, the best spy watch will always be the one that actually looks and works like a normal wrist watch and not one that looks like something from out of an old spy movie. The watch will be one that goes unnoticed on the wrist and just appears to be a normal watch. When buying a spy watch, be mindful of anything that looks odd such as an overly visible camera lens or blinking lights when recording.
- Durability of The Watch Strap
When choosing to buy a good quality covert watch make sure the watch strap is strong and can be replaced easily. Not all spy watches have removable straps and if not robust enough can break over time. If the watch strap or buckle breaks you will be left with a spy watch camera you can't use as it was intended - to be placed on your wrist.
- Position of The Watch's Built-in Spy Camera
Spy watches have a built-in spy camera positioned usually in one of two places - on the face (built into the clock dial or digital display) or on the uppermost side. Neither position is wrong but you will want to choose which camera position you think would suit you best.
- Ease of Use
This is by far one of the most important aspects of a good spy watch. The best spy camera watch (once sitting on your wrist) needs to be simple to operate in order to avoid any suspicious behavior. The record on-off switch needs to be a simple one-touch on-off function to avoid mistakes and failing to get that covert recording needed for evidence.
- Quality of Recording
No spy watch is of any use if the video and audio recording is of poor quality. The watch's secret recording should playback in good quality with the function to download onto other media such as computer or SD card. Ideally, recordings will be in HD (High Definition), but remember the higher the quality as in HD the bigger the file and storage space needed.
A warning on analogue spy watches: if your watch has audio or sound record (not all do) you may get a recorded ticking sound in the background of the audio recording. Check with the manufacturer or seller to find out if this is the case.
- Recording Time
The amount of recording time boils down to the hidden camera watch's internal storage. A good quality spy watch will have plenty of storage space for longer recordings; but remember, this is a watch and space is limited. Some watches will have built-in storage and some can be fitted with SD card. Preferably choose a watch that has an SD card (rather than built-in) storage function as you can always keep spare SD cards in your pocket. This way, if on long surveillance tasks, you can make excuses to go to the toilet and swap SD cards over. You can't do that with in-built storage.
- Battery Power
Battery power is vitally important as you don’t want the watch to stop recording at that crucial moment. Obviously a spy watch is a body worn piece of spy gear so you can't connect your spy watch to the mains while you're spying on someone, so it is important to buy a spy watch that has long battery life.
- Date and Time Stamp
Having the date and time recorded on the video, or image - taken by your watch - is important when considering using it as evidence in court. Having date and time not only corroborates when an incident has taken place but allows you to pinpoint specific moments on the covert recordings very easily.
Instructional Tips: How To Use A Spy Watch Camera
Knowing how to use a spy watch camera will not only help you with its practical application in the field but will also help you to choose the best for you. We will go over some useful tips in using a spy watch so you can get the most out of it.
- Spy Watch Package Contents
Whatever spy watch you buy they will always come with instructions. Some instruction will be easier to understand than others especially if you buy a spy watch that's made in a foreign language. They do however use diagrams which are usually better. Depending on what watch you buy you will generally get the following parts in the package:
- Spy Watch
- USB Cable (for charging and connecting to computer)
- Mains Adapter
- Software (not always)
- SD Card (not always)
- Testing Your Spy Watch Camera's Capabilities
When buying any kind of spy gear always test its capabilities first before taking it out into the field. The reason for this is that you want to know its capabilities and its limitations so you don't get caught out with a low battery, bad imagery, or poor sound, etc. Here are some things you can do to test your spy watch:
- Fully charge your watch's battery and press record to see exactly how much video footage it will give you for a complete charge. You can then determine how much time you have for recording when using it for live surveillance.
- Once you have tested the length of time of battery power check how much video / audio recording you get for that time. Knowing this can help you decide on size of SD cards to buy and simply how much recording space is available.
- Check the spy watch's video and audio quality by taking it out on a test run. See what the angles or fields of view (left and right) the spy watch has. See how shaky the footage is so you know how still you need to be.
- Test the video and audio ranges by placing the watch in a room and standing and talking at various distances. This will give you a good understanding of how well your spy watch will record conversations as well as video.
- Test the spy watch's video quality in low light situations by recording in dimly lit rooms or outside in the dark. By doing this you will know whether or not to use it in a dark night club or a setting that doesn't have good artificial light.
Methods of Using a Spy Watch Camera
As we have mentioned the best thing you can do is to become very familiar with your spy watch. Going out and testing it - playing with the buttons and getting used to it - is crucial in becoming adept at using it in the field, whether as a private investigator or member of the general public. Once you feel comfortable with using it you can further your spy watch techniques. Here are some methods to help you use a spy watch when on assignment.
- Point and record technique: unlike an ordinary camera, a spy watch camera doesn't have a viewfinder (something to look though when taking pictures) so you need to become very practiced at the point and record technique. This technique is simply pointing a camera at someone without aiming it directly by using the eye but using judgment - a little like shooting a gun from the hip. Practice using your spy watch from the hip to shoot recordings of things around you so you can accurately judge the camera view's sight alignment to a target.
- Use props: as a spy watch is worn on the wrist you will need excuses to point the watch camera at your target. You can try various methods such as holding a newspaper to keep the watch at the correct angle. You can also use a backpack by holding the strap to naturally keep your wrist and spy watch in the correct position. If you are sitting at a table you can easily rest your arm on the table, pointing the watch's secret camera at your target.
- Static placement: if you are watching someone in a restaurant for example you can easily remove your watch and place it on the table pointing at them. This method can be used at home or in an office. You can also fold your arms keeping the camera parallel to the floor and pointing at your target.
- Following on foot: if you are following someone on foot it's best to keep your spy watch turned off until you need to record an important aspect of your surveillance. Once you turn the spy watch camera on you will need to be mindful of camera shake if walking and recording at the same time. If this is the case, try and keep the arm that your spy watch is on away from and not touching your body, as this will reduce camera shake from the larger body movements of your torso. You will want to keep your arm free-floating but not in an obvious unnatural way. Carrying a backpack and holding onto the backpack strap is a good way of employing this technique.
We hope you have gained some knowledge and confidence about spy watches and how useful they can be in undercover surveillance operations. If you are interested and want to buy a quality spy watch then check out our best spy watch review here.