Pet owners are concerned about making the most of their time away from their pets. Even checking for food, water, and your pet’s well-being before leaving for work has its own set of requirements. The Play 2 is designed for pet owners who can’t take their eyes off their pets for an entire day. An improved field of view and the addition of Alexa functionality improve an already excellent pet camera.
Design: Tiny device blends in anywhere
The Play 2 is designed to blend in with other household electronics. The front face’s reflective black plastic hides fingerprints well, but the matte black plastic on top is easily smudged. Unless they got close enough to read the word “Petcube,” no one would know that this tiny camera labels you as a pet-obsessed person. The Play 2’s wide field of view and small size allow it to fit almost anywhere without being intrusive.
Setup Process: App-guided setup takes minutes
The Petcube Play 2 is so simple to set up that it comes without a manual. The Petcube app guides you through the process of setting up an account and creating profiles for your pets, which can include their names, photos, and birth dates if you know them. The app will walk you through pairing your Play 2 with your phone and connecting it to Wi-Fi. Although the laser does not require any setup, it can be recalibrated if necessary. With the default calibration, mine worked perfectly.
Video Quality: Beautifully clear picture quality
I put the Play 2 to the test in my home, which was bathed in the relentless Texas sun. The Petcube Play 2 records in 1080p, just like its predecessor. The picture quality is so good in daylight that I can see every whisker on my cat’s face. It’s a little grainy at times, but there isn’t a better pet cam on the market. Even the wealthiest pet owners are unlikely to invest in a 4K camera. Even though pets don’t do much at night, I was able to entice my pets to cooperate in testing the automatic night vision with the laser. The recording quality is still excellent at night, but it is grainier than during the day.
The picture quality is so good in daylight that I can see every whisker on my cat’s face.
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Performance: Excellent performance in every area
In the end, no one chooses a pet cam solely on the basis of video quality. Cute videos are nice, but without something to motivate them, your pets are unlikely to do anything more interesting than sleep or bark at neighbors.
The interactive laser in Petcube’s Play 2 is designed specifically for this purpose. I was fortunate that my cat was already sleeping on the couch when I tested this. I made a little noise to get her attention before turning on the laser. The laser moves in a jerky line across the floor, not in a smooth transition, but it didn’t seem to bother her. The Petcube Play 2 can start the laser to play with your pets automatically, keeping them entertained while you’re away. When I tested the laser in various locations around my house, the only issue I ever had with it was when I tested it near a large window. Because the Class 2 laser isn’t as powerful as a handheld laser pointer, it won’t be able to compete in bright daylight. When the laser is used automatically, this is an important safety consideration to keep the laser from potentially injuring your eyes or your pet’s eyes. My pets were able to see the laser as long as it was shining into an area around 5 feet away from a window.
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The Petcube Play 2 can start the laser to play with your pets automatically, keeping them entertained while you’re away.
The Play 2 added Alexa support to its feature set, making it the first Alexa device I’d ever used. I started looking for a way to use Alexa specifically for pets right away, and I finally found it. I told Alexa to listen to an audiobook while I went into the spare room to finish some work. Normally, my German Shepherd, who is overprotective, spends half of the day barking at every car door closing, neighbor dog, and stranger who walks past the house.
All those unexpected sounds bothered him less with the white noise of an audiobook, and he napped peacefully for hours. When I used two-way audio to talk to my pets, the audio quality was a little tinny, but that was due to latency. On the Play 2, the music was crystal clear. It’s good enough for me to keep it as my only Alexa device, and the Petcube skill on the Alexa app adds new commands like “play with my pet” that make using the Play 2 even more convenient.
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The Play 2 chimes when you look in on your pets with the app, rather than relying on the chance that your pet will be in the same room as the device. If that isn’t enough to pique their interest, the two-way audio should do the trick. Both animals were curious enough to come check out the Play 2 when I called them, whether or not they recognized my voice. My pets came to the device every time it chimed after a few play sessions.
App Support: Subscribers get some nice perks
No one wants to feel obligated to pay an additional monthly fee after purchasing a relatively expensive pet cam. Subscriptions to Petcube come with a slew of extras that make the price worthwhile. Subscriptions start at $3.99 per month and include features such as notifications, video history, auto-saving clips, and video downloads. At $8.25 per month, the subscription covers an unlimited number of cameras and gives each device a two-year warranty. Subscribers can also get discounts on services like pet DNA kits, Wag!, and the Ollie box. Giving free users the basic features of their pet cam while reserving so many extras for subscribers is a great way to strike a balance between their needs.
Subscriptions start at $3.99 per month and include features such as notifications, video history, auto-saving clips, and video downloads.
Price: A splurge you won’t regret
In any case, the Petcube Play 2 is a significant investment (). There are a few more expensive pet cams on the market, but they are few and far between. A security camera can do much more for much less money if you just want to keep an eye on your pets and make sure no one has broken in. Even if you add an automatic laser toy, you won’t spend more than $200. Whether it’s expensive or not, the Play 2 is good enough to justify the cost if you’re looking for a gift for your pet and yourself.
Whether it’s expensive or not, the Play 2 is good enough to justify the cost if you’re looking for a gift for your pet and yourself.
Petcube Play 2 vs. Pawbo Life Wi-Fi Camera
Although the Petcube Play 2 has a lot to offer, there is another option that will save you a lot of money. The Pawbo Life Wi-Fi Camera, which costs around $150 on Amazon, has the best features for pets, including a treat dispenser and a laser that cats adore. To keep this option affordable, quality had to be sacrificed somewhere, so clips are recorded in 720p and there is no night vision. Pets don’t care about picture quality, so the Pawbo is a good option if all you want to do is give them some treats and playtime while you’re at work. If you want to share the clips or need night vision, the Petcube Play 2 is worth the extra money.
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The Final Word
The Petcube Play 2 is a good compromise between features and price. Even if you can’t always be there with your pet, the crisp, clear recording quality will allow you to enjoy their playtime.