Tenda CP7 review: cheap surveillance camera for the home

We’ve been testing connectivity solutions from Tenda, and those have pretty much established themselves in the market as cheap, high-performance models over the past few years. The Chinese company is also investing a lot in the smart home area lately, and recently launched a home surveillance camera: Tenda CP7. Sure, it’s not the most appealing name in the world, but for the price, this internet-connected camera with pan & tilt and night mode features has a lot to offer.

Tenda CP7 adopts ‘classic’ design for products in this category

The Tenda CP7 design is not out of the ordinary for products in this category. We are basically dealing with a “penguin” shaped camera with a compact white body and a top-mounted camera framed in a black ball. The bottom half, which includes an Ethernet port and power jack is static, while the top half can be rotated 360 degrees around the axis (panning). The ball in which the camera is embedded can tilt vertically and also includes a microSD slot as well as a reset button when you lift the camera up. The rest of the time, these elements are hidden.

Tenda CP7 back

Other things that aren’t quickly visible would be the microphone on the surface of the ball, which is very subtly integrated into the bottom, a status LED, which is only visible in operation, infrared LEDs for night mode and even a speaker, located on the back. Basically, hardware-wise, there’s nothing missing in this package, not even a wall mount system.

The camera comes with a disc that can be screwed onto any type of surface, whether we’re talking about a concrete wall, drywall or a wooden beam, and a bracket at the bottom for attaching to this disc.

Tent CP7 accessories

TDSEE app provides access to many advanced features

To install the Tenda CP7 camera you need to install the TDSEE app from the App Store or Google Play Store. This involves signing up for an account with a valid email address and allows remote connection to the camera. All the necessary settings are also made from the app, and for such an inexpensive camera, there are many.

First of all, the camera connects only to 2.4 GHz WiFi networks, not 5 GHz. You can control the camera so you can monitor the entire camera remotely, thanks to the built-in pan & tilt system. You can even set multiple points between which you can automatically move the camera. For example, if you put the camera in the middle of a room, you can point it towards the door, the window or anything else you want at the touch of a button. For manual control, there’s a kind of virtual joystick on the phone screen. When you’re in the same room, a brief ‘lag’ between the action on the phone and the action on the camera may be noticeable, but from a distance, the delay may not.

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Tenda CP7 card

The Tenda CP7 has an in-app privacy button that automatically points the camera down, there are options for capturing photos or video, as well as turning the captured sound on or off. You can view the live stream in both HD and lower resolution for low data consumption, or use the “intercom” function to send a message to someone around the camera.

TDSEE also integrates a cloud storage system for a fee, but the camera comes with several months of free storage. Personally, I used a microSD card, which is plenty for backup recordings. I used it in July, when I was away for almost two weeks on vacation, and was able to monitor the house remotely without interruption. In fact, I even tested the alert functions, which turned out to be a bit too sensitive. The camera can start recording when it detects motion, or when it detects people. The function is useful, but on the “High” level it is too sensitive to motion, including dust particles that could be seen with night mode activating the camera.

It is useful, however, that when the Tenda CP7 detects movement in any area of the frame, the camera immediately moves in that direction and starts shooting. Human detection works well, and is useful for those who have pets at home and don’t want to get alerts on their phone every time they move around the house. There’s also a mode called Sound & Light Alarm, which sets off an alert in the room to scare off potential burglars who might break in.

The app also allows you to set times in the room to turn on or off manually, such as during the day, or at night, or even at certain manually set intervals. And there’s even a “patrol” mode, to rotate at certain intervals to check the whole room.

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For the asking price, the Tenda CP7 offers good image quality

For a camera costing just 250 lei, the video quality is unexpectedly good. The Tenda CP7 comes with a 4-megapixel sensor, capable of shooting at QHD resolution, i.e. 2,560 x 1,440 pixels, and stills at 4 megapixels. Of course, post-processing techniques are used to enhance the images, such as image noise reduction algorithms and the addition of a sharpness filter, but for the purpose of remote monitoring and capturing security footage, these are more than enough. Certainly, the quality of this camera is better than most video captured by security cameras we see online or on TV.

Tenda CP7 detail

And the performance is not only good when there is natural light, in conditions where pretty much all cameras do decently. The images give good quality even when artificial light is used, or even in the dark using night mode. The only drawback is that only locally, on microSD and in the Tenda cloud the footage is recorded at 1440p. When recording from the mobile app manually, footage is recorded in SD or 720p, depending on the preview resolution of the live video stream. So you can only get maximum quality if you choose to record in a loop, or only when alerts appear and auto-recording starts.

All in all, the Tenda CP7 is a camera that does exactly what it says it does, comes with unexpectedly powerful software with multiple settings and features, and comes at a more than fair price for what it offers. The only downside for integrated smart home enthusiasts is that it offers neither Google Home and Google Assistant integration nor Siri/Apple Home integration. Thus, it’s a room always dependent on the manufacturer’s app.


If you need a surveillance camera for your home, or even for a small family business, the Tenda CP7 is an affordable and powerful product. The camera is part of Tenda’s family of smart home products, such as the Beli Smart Wi-Fi Plug, which I’ve already tested, and the Beli Wi-Fi Smart Dimmer Switch, which I received for testing but can’t test, unfortunately.

In the case of the Wi-Fi switch, a more modern, grounded electrical installation is required, allowing it to be installed in place of a regular one. The outlets as well as the switch, however, offer integration with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

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