Here we are folks with another cheaply made pump and dump spy camera pen iteration from Encore, a distributor of which we could find little info online (always a bad sign).
We ordered two of their 4GB spy camera pens to review for $43.02 each. The spy pens arrived (we ordered through amazon) in plain white cardboard boxing. The pen cams theselves were sealed in bubble wrap alongside a single piece of paper clearly written by either a drunk and dyslexic westerner, or more likely, was quickly put together by a non-english speaker in Shenzen Province, China. The writing was essentially useless.
Going forward, the build quality of the spy gadgets were noticeably ’cheap’ in feel, with one pen having what appeared to be residual plastic moulding near the tip, which was easily sheared off with a knife. This is a perfect illustration of the sellers pride if sourcing their manufacturer (i.e they simply want to move volume).
Video and Still Images
Again this device does not surprise with it’s utter lack of performance. These are junk pens, and frustrated both investigators given the Encore pen cameras to test. One device would only capture images, while the other only video. Repeated attempts at resetting the spy pens failed to make a difference and the the one page ‘manual’ did not assist in clarifying what, if any, recourse we had in reformatting the device. Of the pencam that was capable of recording video, the 640×480 resolution was mediocre at best, and any situations or environments with continuous fast movement completely befuddled the sensor and DVR and evidenced during playback. The still images obtained by the one working device with a 2MP sensor were equivalent in quality to some of the very first cell phone camera images. Just useless for any capacity.
Folks, please stay away from this pen camera. We tested the two we ordered on no less then TWELVE different computers, and had success only on an older model Windows XP machine, and only after manual detection at that. Utter junk. There really is not much more to say, this is a dollar store spy camera being sold for 40x’s its value .
Touching on memory briefly, the included 4GB is rather standard, and capable of recording for upwards of 3 hours, however be warned the battery will shut off by then. Also worth mentioning it does come equipped with an auto shut off feature, however as one of our pen cams did not even record video, we were limited in our testing.
None and none. This is a pump and dump product that will fall apart in your hand.
Word of Caution
We feel it is important our readers and the buying public is made aware that spy pens of this quality abound, and are a cash cow for certain sellers. Don’t be fooled by the low prices, check the warranty, look for other reviews, and do some research on the seller. The spy pen industry is chock full of crooks looking to make a fast buck. Buyer beware. Check out our BLACKLIST for more information on this subject.