A small and easy-to-place camera, the Petcube Cam is a simple and quick way to keep an eye on your pets. It's quick to connect to, making it easy to see what's happening in your home while you're away. Features are lacking and this camera has basic motion detection if you sign up for the relatively expensive cloud package, but you miss out on fine control, such as activity zones. With so-so image quality, there are better regular security cameras that cost less.
- Simple to set up
- Quick connection to video feed
- Expensive cloud storage
- Basic motion detection settings
- So-so image quality
- Review Price: £39.99
- Indoor security camera
- 82 x 60 x 54mm
- 120-degrees field of view
- Cloud recording
- Night vision (IR)
- Mains powered
- Amazon Alexa support
Previous Petcube products have been squarely aimed at those that want to entertain or treat their pets, as well as keeping an eye on them. The Petcube Cam is different, as it skips the extras to give you a basic camera for watching your pets only.
Although cheaper than previous models, you can buy cheaper security cameras that will do a better job and protect your home, too.
Petcube Cam – What you need to know
- Installation – Very quick to get set up and connected to the app, this small camera is also easy to place where you want it.
- Detection performance – You get basic motion detection if you pay for the subscription service but there are few controls and no activity zones.
- Image quality – There’s a 1080p sensor but my camera defaulted to 720p and shot basic but relatively clear footage.
Related: Best indoor security camera
Design and installation – Quick to set up
A small cube mounted on a stand, the Petcube cam is a tiny security camera (82 x 60 x 54mm). It’s designed to sit on a shelf, with the swivel stand letting you point the camera up or down to capture the area that you want. It’s a neat and unobtrusive design.
There’s a USB-C power input at the back of the camera, with a 2m cable provided in the box, giving you plenty of scope to position the Cam where you want it.
Once plugged into power, you can follow the simple instructions in the app to get the camera connected and ready.
Features – Very basic with some expensive subscription offers
At its most basic, the Petcube Cam lets you join the video feed and see what’s going on in your home. Connections are made quickly, with the camera sounding an alert to let people or your pets know that somebody has connected.
At this point, you can use the two-way talk to have a conversation with your pets, with the basic speaker loud and clear enough to make you understood. You can also choose to grab a screenshot or record a video to your phone.
Video is not captured automatically and saved to the cloud unless you upgrade to one of the subscription plans. With the Optimal subscription ($5.99 a month or $47.88 a year) you get 3-days of video history and 10 video downloads per month. Upgrade to Premium ($14.99 a month or $99 a year) and you get 90-days of video history and unlimited downloads, plus coverage for all of your cameras.
Both net your smart alerts, which lets the camera tell the difference between people and animals in video, and can tell if there’s a dark barking or cat meowing. There are some petcare extras included, too, although these are for the US only.
As far as cloud video goes, these subscriptions are massively expensive, especially considering you don’t get traditional security camera features, such as activity zones to choose where you want to monitor. As such, the Petcube Cam can’t really compete with a traditional security camera.
One unique feature is the built-in vet chat, which lets you ask a vet for advice. The first chat is free, after which a charge applies, but vets are located in the US, so don’t come online until the afternoon in the UK, limiting how useful this service is.
Image quality – Basic at best
There’s a 1080p sensor inside with a 120-degree lens, which just about gets most of a room if you place the camera carefully. However, I found that my camera kept defaulting back to 720p, despite a fast router and internet connection, and there’s no option to force a higher resolution.
Video quality is distinctly average, with daylight footage well exposed but a bit soft around the edges. You can see what’s going on, but lack the full detail that other security cameras provide.
At night the camera turns on its IR LED, switching to black and white night vision. This makes the image even softer and, at times, I had to really stare at the screen to spot one of my cats sleeping on the sofa. Again, a regular security camera will do a better job.
Should you buy the Petcube Cam?
While other Petcube cameras had extra features to keep your pets entertained, the Petcube Cam is a rather basic security camera. While the bark and meow detection are potentially nice features for some people, the cost to add these is very high. Given the basic features on this camera, you might as well buy the cheaper Neos Smartcam, which gives you free cloud storage, and better image quality for less. If you want more detailed video, then look elsewhere for a dedicated security camera instead.