I’ve made no secret that I like Ring cameras; I’ve found the consistency of hardware, performance and user experience excellent. I like the look of it and, in particular, the ease of sharing individual cameras or a whole system with others. In your home or with family members. So when the opportunity to check out the new Sick Up Cam Pro came about, I only briefly hesitated…
One of the things that intrigued me with this particular camera is the fact it’s a plug-in camera. In some ways, this reduces its flexibility, but it also improves the reliability of it in others. We’ve reviewed a couple of the older stick up cam models in the past, this is certainly bigger and “badder” than those.
Literally nothing has changed regarding the setup process for Ring cameras in some time. It’s quick, easy and if you can read basic english, you’ll have no issue with this. So, I’ll skim past the setup of the camera and get straight into looking at the camera and its features.
A look at the hardware and features
From a functionality perspective, this is effectively the same as the Spotlight Cam Pro (battery) that we reviewed in March except for two key differences, this one plus in and doesn’t have a spotlight. The hardware stays true to previous generations of Ring camera with two-way talk able to be utilised to converse with, or ward off any visitors to your premises.
The biggest point here is the power supply, and thankfully Ring has included a functionally lengthy power cable. We’ve reviewed cameras in the past with cables, that weren’t long enough to get the camera away from a power plug so they’re very easy to disable; the length of this means you can get it a significant distance away or even (appropriately cable managed) into your roof space or powered inside. But this can also (simply add a battery) be used as a battery version of the device.
It is worth noting that there is a battery version that can be powered purely by interchangeable batteries, or a solar panel to keep the battery charged. The connector on the camera is USB-C, where the battery has a MicroUSB connection; an interesting choice given it results in slower charging, but that’s undoubtedly to keep the existing customers who just change batteries happy.
In keeping with previous versions of the Ring Stick Up camera, it can be mounted just about anywhere: ceiling, wall (interior or exterior), on a benchtop or atop a shelf in your home. One thing I’ve been complementary of with Ring in the past, and has continued, is the fact that everything needed to install it (including the correct sized drill bit) is included in the box; although if you’ve got particularly hard bricks, you may need a higher quality one to complete the job.
Upgrades from the previous generation
The first, and most obvious change from the previous generation of Stick up cam is the physical size; it’s noticeably larger. There’s good reason for this, with a number of new and improved features included in the camera.
If you take a quick look at our Ring Spotlight Pro Cam (battery) review, you’ll see a number of the key features that are across the entire “Pro” range from Ring including Bird’s Eye, package detection (tied into Ring Protect too) and improved motion detection.
Motion detection has been improved through the use of radar sensors in the device, which are said to provide significantly more accurate detection. This is through distance detection vs frame checks that other cameras do, to see if anything has moved or altered between frame captures. This means that your motion detection zones are far more accurate, further reducing the false positive notifications from the previous generation.
I like the changes to the physical layout of the device, while subtle, make the camera a little easier to position in some spaces. While it’s a relatively minor change, the audio plus feature also means that both parties will get far clearer audio through the use of upgraded microphones and better noise cancelling capabilities on the mic and increased volume on the speaker.
There’s still a couple of issues…
Look, I get it…
Ring sell good cameras at a — in the grand scheme of things — pretty cheap price, so they’re not making much off the hardware. It’s the rolling revenue from Ring Protect that is the money spinner for them. But what about those of us who have the knowledge and means to do our own onsite video recording?
I’d really, quite genuinely love for Ring to (in a future firmware upgrade) support ONVIF, where you can record to any local device that can read it, say… A Synology NAS. Even a less sophisticated option like an onboard SD card — which, for reference, Arlo does have — to record locally in the event of Internet failure. Ring is one of the leaders in the DIY security market, but there is a downside to some hardware options.
For now, if you’re after more than just the real time alerts and streaming; then you’re up for the Ring Protect subscription at $15 per month, or $150 per year for the “unlimited cameras” version.
The other issue I have with Ring cameras is that they’re sticking with a general level of video performance that is acceptable, but is clearly done to meet a budget. It’s easy enough to upgrade from 1080p to 2K, or even 4K quality, to improve the visibility and quality of video from your devices. With a camera like this one, there isn’t even the argument that higher quality capture costs battery.
I’d genuinely love to see Ring offering 2K PoE cameras that support ONVIF for onsite recording and privacy-conscious users.
The wrap-up – is the Ring Stick up Cam Pro worth purchasing
The Ring Stick up Cam Pro is a great piece of hardware that, in my eyes, belongs at a gateway entry point to your property. The improved motion detection can be easily targeted at a gate to provide accurate and timely notification that someone has entered your property; of course it can be used indoors also if you wish as the mounting base is highly adjustable.
That’s not the only improvement though, and when coupled with the subscription, great performance of the camera in day or night conditions as well as the in-app features such as scheduling, motion detection zones, package detection and the improved mounting base; it’s a great investment.
The Ring Stick Up Cam Pro Plug-in can be purchased directly from Ring online for $299.00, or through the usual retail channels if you prefer to visit a bricks and mortar store.
The cameras are permanently attached to the house, Fleishman have not requested its return.