Reviews

Ring Indoor Cam review: Great value and full of features

Ring has been synonymous with the Video Doorbell category since their original. Ring has been growing their range of security cameras alongside the Ring Video Doorbell, and launched the affordable Ring Indoor Cam earlier this year.

Hardware

Priced at $99, the Indoor Cam includes 1080p HD video capture with Night Vision, and supports motion sensing with zones. There’s also two way audio to speak through the camera, and it has a super-wide 140° wide field of view so it can pick up everything from a convenient corner, or just sitting on a shelf.

Unlike the popular Ring Stick Up cams, the Indoor Cam has no Weather Resistance rating. The mounting is still just as versatile as the Stick Up Cam with a handy wall plate included in the box. Using the plate you can mount the camera to a wall or the ceiling – or you can just sit it on a shelf. 

The camera itself is compact – just 7.5cm tall – and comes in either black or white colour options. The aesthetic choice is of course up to you and your home decor, but I find the white tends to emphasise the panel with the camera assembly, sensors and notification LED, but this is a personal choice for your household.

The Ring Indoor Cam includes a microUSB plug with an almost 2m long cable attached to the AU powerplug. The 2m cable sounds a lot, but it won’t reach from one side of my TV to the other from the powerpoint.

The power cable attaches in the rear with the customised microUSB connector filling the hole in the rear of the camera.

Setup is easy once it’s plugged in. You’ll need the Ring mobile app to both setup your new camera, and view the feed when you’re done. Ring will sense your device type by going to ring.com/app. There’s also Windows and Mac clients available from the same URL to get notifications and view your camera feeds on your desktop once it’s setup.

The setup process is fairly simple, with a follow the bouncing ball type arrangement. Ring includes a small QR code on each device which you scan allowing for very convenient and easy setup.

Ring offers some great features like HD video streaming, 2-way chat and motion alerts for free in the app, but if you want more like storage of your video in the cloud you’ll have to pay.

For a single device you’ll pay $4/month or $40/year for cloud video storage and more, or if you have multiple Ring cameras you may want to look at Ring Plus for $15/month or $150/year and also includes ‘24/7 professional monitoring for your Ring Alarm’.

There’s a tipping point at which you own enough cameras that the $150 becomes a good option, but to start with you can try the free option and see how you go.

User Experience

In terms of setup, the experience is pretty smooth. The Indoor Cam only supports the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi band which can be a bit of an issue if you have a lot of wireless networks setup around you. The Ring setup process does help a lot in this instance with the QR code identifying the individual camera on your network. 

In terms of quality, as I’ve found with previous Ring cameras the video stream from the Ring Indoor Cam is excellent. It has an excellent 115° horizontal field of view slightly improving on the Ring Stick Up Cam (110°), with not a lot of warping at the sides of the image.

The Ring Indoor Cam also supports night mode as well which is handy. There’s an option for ‘colour’ which is nice, though it doesn’t tend to show up most of the time.

The two-way audio works, although the speaker on the camera can be a little distorted and hard to hear. 

Ring App

The app is very easy to use, with the camera feeds showing up on the main dashboard. There’s a slide-out menu on the right giving you access to your devices, history, settings, and loads more. There’s also a handy ‘New Features’ section which shows up to highlight new features on your Ring cameras.

I like the layout of the app, you tap on the feed for each camera to jump in, or you can quickly jump to settings from the ‘…’ menu above each one.

The settings menu offers a lot of options for each camera, including motion detection and notifications – handy for an internal camera.

Ring has made the options for dealing with notification fatigue fairly easy, especially when living with a family. This of course brings into question privacy.

Privacy

Being an indoor camera you are of course a little more aware of having an active, cloud connected camera in the house. In order to maintain privacy Ring gives you control in the form of options to configure the camera to not record, or send motion alerts. You can set each camera up individually, then set the mode and you’re away.

Modes allow you to quickly set the security between Disarmed, Home or Away for all your cameras in one tap. You can set what happens for each camera in the Mode settings very easily so you’re in full control of what’s happening at any time.

Once you’ve setup modes, they appear at the top of your Ring Dashboard, making it super simple to set when you leave/arrive home. 

It would be nice to have some sort of geo-fencing available to automatically set the home and away mode, and it’s apparently on the Ring developer teams radar, but there’s nothing announced as to whether the feature is being worked on as yet.

Overall, the layout of the Ring app, as well as the simple installation process make for a good experience. Ring has been doing this for a fair while now and

Should you buy one?

Well, I was so sold on the Ring Indoor Cam, I bought one three for home. I’m pretty deep into the Ring eco-system having imported the first one from the US before it went on-sale here, and I’ve been steadily adding more since.

For the Indoor Cam, Ring has delivered great features in a great value – and compact – package. They’ve also successfully navigated the tricky privacy hurdles thrown up when adding a cloud connected camera into your home with their Home and Away Modes.

There are of course features we’d love to see – longer power cable for a start and geo-fencing for modes – but these aren’t deal breakers.

The Ring Indoor Cam is definitely worth a look if you’re in the market for a security camera. You can find the Ring Indoor Cam on-sale at a range of Australian retailers, or on the Ring website.

Ring Indoor Cam review: Great value and full of features
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