We purchased Petcube (Check latest price on Amazon) so our expert reviewer could thoroughly test and assess it. Keep reading for our full product review.
Although Petcube has created some fun products for pets, the Petcube Cam was created for people—or at least for their wallets. The Cam is inexpensive and small enough to be used as a home security camera. There are some advantages to being a part of the Petcube ecosystem, even if it lacks the interactive features that people associate with pet cams. With the help of two fluffy companions, I put it to the test for a few weeks.
Design: Minimalist design for low-key pet lovers
The Petcube Cam is about the size of an apple, measuring 2.4 x 2.1 x 3.2 inches. It can sit on a flat surface, but due to its light weight, dog tails are a serious hazard. The other option is to use a small metallic plate to mount it. The camera can be mounted in any orientation, including upside down, because it can flip within its plastic housing.
Mounting the Cam is the best option if its purpose is for security.
The USB cable is 2 meters long, which limits where the Cam can be placed. If the Cam’s purpose is security, including the security of being able to check in on pet sitters, mounting it is the best option, but I chose to test it on a table so I could get some close-ups of my pets’ noses.
Related: Canon VIXIA HF R800 Camcorder Review
Setup Process: Ready to go in under a minute
I had to first download the Petcube app in order to use the Cam. The Petcube Cam took even less time to set up than previous Petcube products. My phone recognized the Cam right away, and pairing the two was as simple as showing the Cam the app’s QR code.
The setup was completed once I entered my Wi-Fi password. It took less than a minute to complete the process. Following that, a firmware update took a few minutes, but not long enough for me to miss my pets.
Performance: A pet cam with no frills
The Petcube Cam records in 1080p and has a field of vision of 110 degrees, which allows it to cover an entire room. An infrared sensor activates the automatic night vision mode in low light. Because the Cam only supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, the recording quality was occasionally choppy and buffered.
The Petcube Cam records in 1080p and has a field of vision of 110 degrees, which allows it to cover an entire room.
When my pets were just lying around, the picture quality was clear and detailed. My pets were rarely doing anything in front of the camera that I would want to share anyway, because the Cam lacks the interactive features found in other Petcube products.
Related: Nikon COOLPIX P1000 Review
The Cam has a two-way audio system that can be set to push-to-talk via the app. My voice was tinny and lacked depth because the speaker was a little underpowered. The volume is sufficient to fill a whole house.
Every time I called my dog to the camera, he came running from wherever he was in the house.
Every time I called my dog to the camera, he came running from wherever he was in the house. I get some peace of mind as an occasional pet sitter knowing that pet parents can check in at any time and that I can answer any questions that aren’t worth a phone call.
Support and Software: Pass on the subscriptions
Petcube teamed up with Fuzzy Pet Health to offer live vet chat in the Petcube app. It costs $5 per month to use Fuzzy Pet Health. This could be useful for people whose pets have frequent health issues that require monitoring. However, I don’t think this is a good idea for people who have young, healthy pets. In my opinion, $60 per year is a lot to pay for the ability to consult with a veterinarian whenever my cat eats something she finds on the floor.
However, speaking with a veterinarian may be beneficial for confirming symptoms, determining whether something is an emergency, or receiving first-aid instructions. All of those things are possible with my veterinarian, and they even answer the phone for free.
Membership in Petcube Care is a different story. This subscription, which starts at $4 per month, is required to save video history in Petcube’s cloud storage. Subscribers can also receive notifications when the Cam detects people rather than pets.
Because the Cam doesn’t fling treats or use a laser to tease pets, it’s unlikely that I’ll get a video of my pets doing something cute or funny to share. That’s why, if the Cam were my only Petcube product, I’d skip the subscription. The clips and video history, on the other hand, would be useful.
Related: Petcube Bites 2 Review
Price: Petcube’s most affordable pet cam
The Cam is a more affordable version of Petcube’s (Check latest price on Amazon) other products, which are typically more expensive. It is, however, more expensive than other pet cams with comparable specs, at $40. The Cam is a good addition to homes with other Petcube products because of its low price. Cheaper options make more sense for shoppers who just want the security of being able to keep an eye on their pets.
Petcube Cam vs. Petcube Bites 2
The Petcube Cam fits just about anywhere and draws no more attention than a home security camera thanks to its small size and magnetic mounting option. Its performance is also comparable to that of other low-cost security cameras. The Cam is a good supplement for people who already own other Petcube products and subscribe to Petcube Care, but it doesn’t scream “pet cam.” It was clearly created to fill the gap between low-cost security and their high-priced pet-centric devices.
The Petcube Bites 2 is a lot more fun as a dedicated pet cam. The Bites 2 is well-suited to both cat and dog owners, unlike the Play 2, which has a built-in laser to entice cats to play. The Bites 2 dispenses—or rather, flings—treats across the room to great effect: once pets figure out that the chime means they’ll get a snack, they won’t need to be called to the camera again. The Bites 2 was created with dogs and cats in mind.
Related: Petcube Play 2 Review
The Final Word
The Petcube Cam bridges the gap between home security cameras and pet-related luxuries. It’s a low-cost pet camera that lacks many of the features found in higher-end models.