Years ago I had my first experience with Ring when I reviewed their original video doorbell. Since then, a lot has changed in the DIY home security space but what hasn’t changed is the fact that Ring continues to be a market leader. The product range continues to grow and evolve, as does the user experience which is a delight.
The Ring Stick up cam (battery) is one of those products which can stand alone, or be a part of a larger security system. Now it is worth noting that while this is sold as a battery powered device, there are multiple accessories to provide a more permanent power solution including:
- An Indoor/outdoor power adaptor – $69.00
- A solar panel for outdoor charging – $79.00
- Extra batteries and chargers
But if you’re not critically reliant on the camera, then taking it out and charging only takes a few hours and does save costs. Speaking of which, the purchase cost for a Ring Stick up cam (battery) is RRP $179.00 or if you want a few you save when you buy several at a time.
The box contents and setup
It’s a single package and you get everything you need to install, set up and use your new security camera. You’ll get the camera, the battery pack (also compatible with other Ring battery products), a Micro USB Charging cable, the necessary screws and wall anchors, the user manual and a sticker to warn would-be intruders of your camera setup.
Depending on where you choose to mount the camera you may need to purchase additional mounting options, but there are several included in the package. The included stand has the capability to be a stand within the home or a wall mount internally or external to your home. For users who prefer a more permanently fixed mounting the camera has the capacity to connect to a threaded mount as well.
When you’ve followed the connection process — we won’t go into that today, it hasn’t changed in some time — to add the camera into your system, the physical installation is very easy. You may require a ladder to get the camera exactly where you want it, but beyond that and appropriate drilling – everything you need is included in the package.
The batteries clip in easily, as they do with other Ring devices. The problem I have with this is that Ring has yet to catch up to the fact that USB-C is a thing. To change, or remove and charge the batteries: There’s a collar on the bottom of the device you twist then remove the battery. On the bright side though, the batteries last a long time, even in relatively high traffic areas.
Software and Integration
While it’s usually evolutionary vs revolutionary changes, the Ring app itself is constantly being improved. With additions like snoozing motion alerts, the control centre and new features like quick responses: Ring continues to focus on the user experience.
Changing settings is easily done and the menu system is extremely intuitive. There are increasingly smart options for motion detection, notifications and setting zones for both of these. It’s really impressive to see that you can now (through OS as well as Ring improvements) get the rich notifications with screen captures to show who and what is moving around your home.
Further to this, if your camera is near a roadway or footpath where you stand the chance of a lot of false notifications, you can not only set the zones for detection but sensitivity and frequency that the camera scans for changes to the environment. You can also (yes, there’s a lot of features you can enable or tweak) turn on scheduling only for times you want to be alerted.
To get more from your camera though is where those dreaded recurring subscriptions come into play.
Ring Protect: It really is worth the extra money!
As a default without a subscription, you only get a few basic features and no recording. You’ve got motion notifications, live viewing of the video stream, two-way talk and theft protection.
To have recording and person detection, 60 days of recording and the ability to share your captures with others: You’ll need to spend $4 per month/$40 per year on the basic subscription plan. A point of note, however, is that this is $4 for a single camera only.
To take that further for extended warranties, discounted purchase costs for other Ring products and coverage for all of your cameras: Then you’re up for $15 per month or $150 per year, which becomes pretty reasonable (and in line with Arlo Secure) and cost effective once you have 3 or more devices online.
Alexa – it works so well
Over the past 6 months or so, Alexa has been steadily winning me over. While I’m not yet ready to give up on Google, I happily accept that when it comes to certain pathways in the smart home: Alexa does some things far better than Assistant.
It really didn’t take any effort at all to get the Stick Up Cam connected to the Wi-Fi or integrated with my Alexa account. Now there are so many more Echo Show devices on the market, there isn’t anything that would realistically stop users from making Ring and Echo devices the centre of their smart home.
Camera use and video quality
Being a Ring device, as mentioned, it just integrates with Alexa. But for a lot of users, this is going to be a complementary device to a doorbell with greater home security the focus. The notifications come to your device pretty quickly when motion is detected, where you can view the live feed with a simple tap or at a later time view the motion event.
Personally, I feel like it’s probably time for Ring to enter into the 4K camera market. That would bring greater clarity of video feed as well as the ability to zoom — to a level at least — without that graininess of image creeping in. I do, however, accept that for this to happen there would be a reasonably sharp increase in pricing for cameras. For the majority of home users, 1080p video is more than acceptable quality.
Even without lights on, the vision you get from the Ring stick up cam is excellent. The IR capacity is very impressive providing clear vision, even in near pitch black lighting. Capturing clear details of what is happening.
Should you buy one?
DIY home security is becoming a pretty crowded market with Ring being one of the market leaders. There are a few variables to whether or not this particular camera is going to suit your needs:
- Is Wi-Fi connection suitable?
- Is charging the battery every few months going to be acceptable?
- Is cost an issue?
- Are you already invested in a particular platform (camera or smart home)
If the answers are coming up as yes, or favourable to the Ring ecosystem then this is an option you should seriously consider. The Ring stick up cam (battery) is a well rounded, versatile and very capable camera that will meet the needs of almost any home needs. The video quality is great, setup is easy and it’s compatible with Alexa devices.
If you want to add a touch more versatility you can get a solar panel for the camera to make it a more permanent solution, particularly useful in hard to reach areas of your home. If you’ve already got a Ring doorbell and/or other Ring cameras then adding the stick-up cam to your setup makes perfect sense.
The Ring stick up cam (battery) is available from the usual retail outlets. Keep your eyes out as Christmas approaches, because there are often specials on Ring hardware.
The camera is permanently mounted to the house and has not been requested for return.