Ring Stick Up Cam Battery review: An all around security camera, inside and out – ZDNet

Pros

  • Portable
  • Designed for indoor or outdoor use
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • The app can be slow to connect to the camera

Ring got its start with a doorbell that integrated a video camera, motion alerts, and two-way audio. The Ring Video Doorbell was a means for users to monitor and interact with who was at their door, from anywhere in the world. Since then, the product line has evolved to include more capable doorbells, floodlight cameras, spotlight cameras, and alarm systems. Ring has always had the outside of the home or business covered when it comes to its camera products, leaving the inside to its competitors.

In early 2018, Ring first announced the second-generation Stick Up Cam, and began shipping it near the end of the year. The revamped camera is designed for outdoor use, in a wired, battery, or solar power configuration — but more importantly, it’s also designed for indoor use. For the past few weeks, I’ve used the $180 Stick Up Cam outside, replacing the first-generation Stick Up Cam I’d had for the past few years.

Design and setup

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

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The body of the Stick Up Cam looks more like one of those small cans of soda, with a tall cylindrical body, that features a foldable stand on the bottom. The camera measures 3.82 x 2.36 x 2.36-inches, without the stand included. There’s a lid on the stand that, when removed, reveals a mounting bracket with holes for the included mounting screws. Once you’ve mounted the camera, you snap the lid back into place on the stand.

Of course, if you’re using the Stick Up Cam inside, you can simply place it on a shelf or counter (or mount it, that’s up to you) and not have to mess with drilling holes into your wall. If you do decide to mount it somewhere, Ring includes all the necessary hardware you’d need save for an electric drill inside the box.

The camera is available in black or white. I have the black model and like that the entire unit is one color, whereas the white model is white on the areas surrounding the front of the camera.

Initial setup for the Stick Up Cam Battery consisted of charging the camera’s battery and then following the prompts within the Ring mobile app. The entire process took me less than 10 minutes, not including a couple of hours worth of charging.

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Installation was only a few more minutes, with the majority of that taken up by deciding where to place the camera, and then going back and forth between live view in the Ring app and the camera to adjust the viewing angle.

Performance

The Stick Up Cam Battery can record video in high-definition at 1080p, and has a field of view of 115-degrees (horizontal) and 65-degrees (vertical). Two-way audio through the Ring mobile app is also possible.

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For the first three weeks of testing, I moved the Stick Up Cam Battery around my back yard as we attempted to trap a skunk that had decided to move in underneath our shed. I used the camera as a way to monitor the traps to see if the skunk was still coming around at night. Two weeks later, the skunk was trapped and gone, and I was able to move the Stick Up Cam Battery to a more permanent spot. But I think the portability of the Stick Up Cam Battery is a side effect — and an appealing one at that — of being designed for indoor use. The rest of Ring’s line lacks any sort of stand that makes it easy to move and position the camera without having to prop it up somehow.

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I placed the camera on the side of my home, where an entry gate is located. In the past, FedEx and UPS delivery drivers used this gate to leave packages on my porch. Occasionally, they still come through the gate, and unfortunately, that means the gate is often left open. It’s an old gate, so I don’t blame the drivers. I do, however, appreciate being able to look at the gate before letting my dog out.

I spent the first couple of days trying to fine-tune the camera’s motion detection, which kept getting triggered by cars passing the front of my home. Eventually, I turned off motion detection for the zone that overlapped with the street. There are a total of three zones you can control.

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Along with the Ring Stick Up Cam Battery, I received the $49 Solar Panel to keep the Stick Up Cam Battery charged. I have yet to set up the panel. Instead, I decided to see how long the battery would last in a location that’s what I would consider medium traffic. Mostly, its motion detection is triggered by a bird a few times in the morning and the occasional use of the gate later in the day. After five weeks of use, the battery is at 61%. At this rate, it’d last almost three months between charges. The battery pack itself has a microUSB port, so you don’t have to worry about any sort of charging adapter or added accessory. When the battery dies, remove the pack, charge it, and then slide it back into the camera without having to take it down.

Rounding out your Ring system

I didn’t use the Ring Stick Up Cam Battery indoors for a couple of reasons. First, I think that a wired version of the camera is better suited for indoor use. A battery-only version in any area of my home would frequently detect motion, and in turn, drain the battery. Second, I liked the portability and ease of being able to move the Stick Up Cam Battery around my back yard — especially when monitoring a live animal trap.

Even though I have the camera currently mounted to a fence post, I’m going to have to take it down in a week or two when that fence, and the old gate, get replaced. But I don’t have to take it down and not use it while the work is being done, and that’s incredibly appealing to me.

At $180, the Ring Stick Up Cam Battery provides versatility and peace of mind, be it for your home, warehouse, or business. There’s a monthly fee of $10, if you want access to any recordings captured by every Ring camera at your home. Or, if own only a single Ring camera, you can pay $3 a month for the same features.

The Stick Up Cam lineup offers something for everyone, and for me, it’s best used as an outdoor camera that I can put where I need it. It’s a solid addition to anyone’s current Ring system, or an excellent entry device into Ring’s ecosystem of products. 

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