They are small, inconspicuous and cheap – and they will record everything without being noticed. These are the best spy pens money can buy.
Whether you like to play James Bond, or simply want to record your college lectures without anyone noticing, you will need an inconspicuous recording device. Smartphones and tablets are out of the equation for the simple reason of being too obvious for recording – you have to, after all, point a huge square device at someone, and follow him around for a good video. After turning to James Bond and Jason Bourne movies for inspiration, besides the jacket-button-camera, there’s the pen camera.
However, this is one pencil you will not want to borrow to a friend during the lecture. Besides being expensive as hell, compared to regular pens, these babies come with a uninstalled USB or MicroSD slots, batteries, microphones and cameras capable of recording high-definition video.
All of these pens look just like a regular pen, but still they do a lot more work. Here are some of the best spy pens out there:
This classy looking pen is our first choice for the most obvious reason – pricing. At 49,99 USD it is the cheapest of the bunch, and worth every penny. It comes with a pinhole camera that records video at M-JPEG encoding, with a resolution of 720×480, while still images can be captured at 1280×1024. However, it has a few issues, such as blurry indoor pictures or annoying crashes if you insert a MicroSD card higher than 8GB. Still, by using a smaller SD card and having some spy practice to get less shaky images, this pen will prove a worthy investment.
If the HD Spy Pen doesn’t quite cut it for you, there are better, but fairly more expensive options. The Mini Camera Pen comes equipped with a 2GB MicroSD card, records video at 1280×960 pixels, takes photos at 3840×2880, and requires no special battery because it charges over the USB 2.0 port. It looks like an ordinary pen, and has a replaceable standard cartridge in case you need to actually use it for writing. With a price of 55 USD, it’s a bit more expensive than the HD Spy Pen, but it makes up for it with a video recording time of six hours.
The Limtech pen is similar to the HD Spy Pen, given that it creates videos and photos in the same format. However, the fact that it was 70 USD – but bought on sale for 19,98 – it’s easy to see why this pen made it to the top of the list. With features such as automatic saving every 10 minutes, or autosave just before the battery runs out, you can record video without the fear of losing the material. This pen is handy and portable, reliable and easy to use.
At 100 USD, this is the most expensive pen, but also the most complete product. The package contains the spy pen, USB cable, an 8GB MicroSD card, an ink cartridge and the operations manual. It records video of 1280×960 pixes at 30 FPS. Videos are recorded with sound, and it can also take snapshots. On a full battery it can record up to 90 minutes of video, making it one of the longest enduring cameras on the market. And being the most complete package, for us it’s the number one spy pen out there.