A few days ago, I talked about the Petcube Play 2, a smart surveillance camera used to not only monitor your pets but to also interact with them via voice and a laser toy. I thought it was really innovative and a great way to keep tabs on your pets, but not everyone needs the interactive laser toy. That’s why Petcube also now makes the Petcube Cam which features much of what the Petcube Play 2 has, just in a smaller package without the laser and more versatile mounting.
Like the Petcube Play 2, the Petcube Cam is a cube design but is attached to a base that can angle the camera in a variety of different positions. The base has a rubber pad at the bottom to aid in grip when placed on a flat surface, but there’s also a magnet hidden underneath it. The magnet is used in conjunction with an included metal disk that can be mounted for example under a cabinet top or table. This way, you can mount the Petcube Cam upside down if need be.
Aside from the mounting, the Petcube Cam is all white, except for the face that is black. On the rear, you’ll find the USB-C power port which means that this product too must be powered by an outlet. You’ll need to place this close to an outlet in order to use it. On the plus side, it is much smaller than the Petcube Play 2 and it seems like you’ll have more versatility in where and how you can mount the camera.
Setup is pretty much exactly like the Petcube Play 2. You’ll need to download the Petcube app if you don’t already have it and set up a profile. If you already have a profile, just go ahead and add the new camera to your list of devices. It’s pretty straightforward and simple. The camera relies on a 2.4GHz signal so make sure you have that available as well.
The Petcube Cam itself should be facing an open space with a clear view of where your pet would normally be hanging out. The optimal setup would be to have multiple cams in different rooms. Like stated above, you’ll need to install these close to a power outlet and either on a table or possibly under a shelf using the magnetic plate.
Now you just go back into the app and enable what features you want turned on when you connect to the camera. I have it set up where I can hear my pet, but I leave my mic off. I only turn the mic on when I want to talk to my pet. You can also set up whether night vision comes on automatically or not as well as notifications for when the camera picks up motion or audio. I suggest only doing this if you are out of the house. The notifications are basic here but you’ll get more control if you subscribe to the Petcube Care plan.
You can also choose to subscribe to Petcube Care which adds several premium features. You get automatic video recording when a sound or motion is detected and up to 3 months’ worth of video history stored in the cloud. You also get smart alerts, activity tracking, and smart filters. You can subscribe, starting at $41.99 for the year, or about $5.99/month. There’s also a super premium service for $14.99/month or $119.88/year. Regardless, the Petcube Play 2 is fully functional without the premium account and will still allow for recording video and photos, you just have to do it manually.
Lastly, Petcube Cam also works with Alexa.
The Petcube Cam is so simple to set up and use that I haven’t had any issues yet with it. Once you have it where you want it, you only need to connect to it using the Petcube app. From there you can view live video from your Petcube Cam and enable 2-way talk and listen if need be.
The video quality is also quite good and in my opinion, even better than whats on the Petcube Play 2. The video looks very clear and sharp and the colors look much better too. The camera also seems to handle exposure better as well. There is an 8x digital zoom, but obviously the picture degrades when you zoom in a lot.
Lastly, because of its size, the Petcam Cube is much easier to place. It doesn’t take up a whole bunch of space and can be discreetly placed anywhere like on a table, shelf, etc. The only negative is that these cameras aren’t rechargeable and require an actual power source. But I guess that’s a small price to pay for something that is quite affordable.
The Petcube Cam is the perfect smart cam for pet parents. It’s simple to use and setup, and it does everything it says it does. While not much different from a regular smart camera used to monitor your home, the defining feature here is the services Petcube provides for pet owners. Vet Chat is unique in that if you have any medical questions or need advice from a qualified vet, you can get it straight from the app. There’s also a social networking aspect to the app as well that allows you to connect with other pet owners and share photos and videos captured from your Petcube Cam.
If you opt for the paid subscription, you get even more features such as automatic video recording, live notifications, smart alerts, and better smart filters. You even get cloud storage for videos captured.
Aside from the software and services aspect, the hardware is very good. It’s an attractive piece of kit that will look good anywhere you place it.