Ring, which rose to fame with its line of video camera doorbells, has started expanding its line of smart security products. The latest additions to the product catalog come in the form of wireless stick-up cameras. We took a look at the Stick Up Cam Battery to see if it would be a useful addition to your smart home.
- ✓Easy to setup
- ✓Excellent Ring app
- ✓Lots of settings to tweak
- ✕Quite expensive
- ✕Additional Protect Plans
Ring Stick Up Cam release date and price
There are three security cameras in the Stick Up Cam range, with the main differential between them being how they are powered. If you are planning to use the camera in a single place, the Wired version is probably the best option. The version tested here is the battery-powered variant, which is more portable. Both will cost you 199 euros in Europe. There is also a more expensive, solar-powered version, which cost 239 euros. In the US, a single Ring Stick Up Cam Battery costs $179.99, and bundles of multiple devices are available.
There are some slightly hidden costs if you want to get the most out of your Ring camera, in the form of the company’s Protect Plans. The Basic plan is free, but you won’t be able to store, review, share or download videos. For that, you’ll need one of Ring’s paid plans. The Protect Basic Plan is 3 euros a month or 30 euros annually and offers access to recorded videos of every Ring, motion and live view event for up to 30 days. A Protect Plus Plan, which costs 10 euros per month or 100 euros annually, allows you to also connect an unlimited number of Ring devices at one home. There is a 30-day free trial available, which I activated for the purpose of this review.
The Ring Stick Up Cam Battery is available now and can be bought directly from Ring’s website.
Quick and easy to set up
I like the design of the Ring Stick up Cams, which don’t go down the whole rounded eye-like design that we see all over the market. In my opinion, a security camera is never going to be a stylish addition to the decoration of your home, particularly if you use it indoors, but the Ring security devices are a little less garish than most other on the smart home scene, and that can only be a good thing.
The Ring Stick Up Cam Battery captures security footage in 1080p HD and packs a microphone and speaker for two-way communication. There’s also adjustable motion detection and the camera itself has a field of view of 115 degrees horizontal and 65 degrees vertical. It’s enough to capture most of a reasonable size room if you position it well enough.
All of the tools for mounting the camera come in the box, including a drill bit, a set of screws and plastic screw plugs, a corresponding screwdriver and a microUSB cable for charging the removable battery. It connects via Wi-Fi, so you’ll need to have a decent connection at home. If you are using this in your garden, make sure it is in range when you set it up.
Speaking about setup, this is one of the strengths of Ring over its rivals such as Reolink. Setup is all automated and done via your smartphone in the Ring app, which you can get from the Play Store. You scan a QR code under the battery cap and the Ring app will recognize your device. Your phone and camera connect to the same Wi-Fi connection, and the magic just happens. Once you are up and running, you can monitor your Stick up Cam from your smartphone. I used it at the office and at home, and setting it up was a breeze when switching between locations.
The Ring app is the star of the show
One of the biggest reasons consumers buy these security cameras is to monitor their property when they are not there. This where the motion detection comes in really handy. It doesn’t take much to trigger the motion sensor with the slider at 50%. There is a lot of scope for tweaking here though, not just in terms of sensitivity but also in terms of how wide in the field of view motion can make the camera start recording.
You can set it up with a live view of the camera active too, which is really nice. It’s particularly useful when using the camera in an area where you have high foot traffic at the edge of your field of view that would cause non-stop motion alerts. The picture quality is about what you would expect from 1080p HD, and more than enough for security purposes.
The Ring app is probably the best thing about this security camera. It’s quick, easy to use and feature rich. There are loads of settings in there to tweak the timeline it creates when motion is triggered and recorded make it’s really easy to scroll through footage. I never felt the need to watch full minutes of footage trying to find what I was looking for. I imagine it would be a really useful hub if you had several Ring devices connected at one time. Full marks dished out here.
The power in the Stick Up Cam is provided by a lithium-ion battery. There’s no information given about the actual size of the battery in mAh, but it's rechargeable a microUSB port. You’ll have to remove it to do so - it pops out with a quick release clip - and Ring suggests that if you want don’t want to have any gaps in your security feed, to get a second one that you can use while the other is charging.
Since Amazon’s acquisition of Ring for $1 billion in 2018, it’s unsurprising to find Alexa built into this camera. It means you can link it to an Echo Show device and get a live feed to your smart display. Kind of cool, but not exactly essential.
Finally, the biggest downside of this camera is that there no way to record video footage locally on a microSD card. You are relying totally on Ring’s servers and those premium Protect plans to take ownership of your own security footage.
Rechargeable battery that's impossible to quantify
As always with these products, battery life is almost impossible to accurately measure. It depends on how much action your cameras witnesses. I left this one up in our editorial office for a week and drained the battery from 100% to 45%, but that is with almost constant motion and recording for 8 to 10 hours a day.
I really like the Ring Stick Up Cam Battery. It’s probably the easiest Wi-Fi camera I have used in terms of setup, and the Ring app is easily one of the (if not the single) best security camera app on the market today. The only real downside of this smart home product is the cost - not only the initial cost but the fact that you really need an additional plan to really get the most of out what it can do.
For those with the spare cash, this is one of the best portable home security cameras you can buy today.