We ordered 2 devices from spypen.net, a nondescript online retailer selling a variety of pen cameras. We actually discovered the site via a Google search as it had not been brought to our attention by any of our readers or other investigators.
Firstly and before we go any further with this review, please not the website now seems to be somewhat defunct and is not offering any more spy pens for sale. In addition we have noticed that some of the coding on the site is erroneaous and it looks as if the entire page has perhaps been abandoned to cyberspace. We have seen this before, and despite the fact that a banner on the top of the page reads “shipped from the USA” our pen camera arrived from China. We suspect the vendors Paypal has been disabled due to too many disputes, and rightly so as you will see:
Contrary to their claim, these spy pen cameras arrived from China, taking 3 weeks to arrive. They each came in grey boxes with images of similar devices on the outside, with the manufactures name (View-Tecz) on the side and included on the single page instruction manual. The two models we ordered were the 8 GB model with an absolutely rediculous 325×288 resolution. Had I know this prior to purchase (I actually had an assistant order the product) I would not have bothered reviewing this device. A spy pen with this low resolution belongs in 2001, not 2012.
Recording was relatively simple to operate, and both devices were built of decent quality, however even for $39 the product seems vastly over priced. This is ancient cell-phone technology here. One thing we would note, the actual spy pens differ in appearance in comparison with the photos supplied on the website. Another indicator to would be buyers is to see how generic the pictures look. We see a lot of the same images recycled all over the internet.
Playback was successful via direct USB 2.0 connection to both our Windows and Mac machines. VLC player was used both times. Again it boggles our mind how this product was being sold given the atrocious resolution the pen camera recorded in. In terms of audio, the mic was pretty standard, and more inline with current models on the market. Thusly, if audio is a priority, this is somewhat less of a horrible deal.
For private investigators, this device is an utter waste of money and aggravation. As we have repeated here the video quality is so dismal it is near useless. Added to this fact the low level or replay ability and you are left with a 40 dollar piece of plastic. We would advise anyone to stay clear of this device (Editor: Seems like the site is no longer in operation). Again we would recommend a much more capable spy pen such as this one or this one. Remember, reliability is the most important factor with any spy pen camera. Without it, too much is at risk. Any device that does not function properly or well at the precise moment you need it will cause far more frustration than the few dollars saved.