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A low-cost intelligent mobile phone-based wireless video surveillance solution using moving object recognition technology is proposed in this paper. The proposed solution can be applied not only to various security systems, but also to environmental surveillance. Firstly, the basic principle of moving object detecting is given. Limited by the memory consuming and computing capacity of a mobile phone, a background subtraction algorithm is presented for adaptation. Then, a self-adaptive background model that can update automatically and timely to adapt to the slow and slight changes of natural environment is detailed. When the subtraction of the current captured image and the background reaches a certain threshold, a moving object is considered to be in the current view, and the mobile phone will automatically notify the central control unit or the user through phone call, SMS (Short Message System) or other means. The proposed algorithm can be implemented in an embedded system with little memory consumption and storage space, so it’s feasible for mobile phones and other embedded platforms, and the proposed solution can be used in constructing mobile security monitoring system with low-cost hardware and equipments. Based on J2ME (Java2 Micro Edition) technology, a prototype system was developed using JSR135 (Java Specification Requests 135: Mobile Media API) and JSR120 (Java Specification Requests 120: Wireless Messaging API) and the test results show the effectiveness of proposed solution.