Swann Xtreem review

The Swann Xtreem can record to a built-in microSD and installs without cables. Is it the ultimate security camera?

Swann Xtreem review
(Image: © Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Designed to work as a ‘set-and-forget’ camera, with a long battery life, the Swann Xtreem has all the features you’d want in a security camera made accessible by a good, but not great, accompanying app. When so many other cameras force you to pay top dollar for the device and a cloud subscription, Swann’s approach is surprisingly even handed, and feels entirely preferable. We can’t recommend it without reservation because the app just needs a little more refinement, and microUSB seems a little retro, but the device and philosophy represent great value.


  • +

    Keeps recording in power failures

  • +

    Cloud subscription non-essential

  • +

    Person / Pet / Motion distinction available

  • +

    Adjustable sensitivity

  • +

    Accessible MicroSD recordings


  • -

    MicroUSB charging fiddly compared to magnetic connectors

  • -

    Swann App frequently laggy

  • -

    Software flipping slow in playback

  • -

    Doesn’t always get good signal

  • -

    No 5GHz wi-fi

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

Digital security cameras are everywhere, but established security brands like Swann have ceded a lot of ground to internet monoliths like Google (branded as Nest) and Amazon (Ring & Blink). Inevitably these newer entrants nudge their customers heavily toward cloud storage, for which they charge a subscription. At the same time they’ve trained customers to expect features like app control, two-way-talk and wireless installation.

Swann haven’t sat back on the mat though, they’re offering an outdoor security camera which competes with the app-based features modern users expect, while adding on-camera recording which makes a cloud subscription optional rather than compulsory.

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Adam Juniper
Managing Editor

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 

Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 

He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot's Handbook