Update March 2017: get $50 off – until March 19, using coupon SPRINGFWD
Unboxing the Petcube Play was a delight. It is packaged in the now famous “Apple Style”, and contains everything you need to get started with your Petcube:
When looking at the Petcube Play, the similarity to the original Petcube is very obvious. And that is a good thing because we loved the original cube design.
Aside from the conceptual similarities, the Petcube Play is a lot smaller and looks a lot sleeker because of the rounded edges. It’s a great looking Pet camera by all means. It’s pretty amazing that they managed to decrease the size and increase the performance at the same time.
The small cube can be placed anywhere you like. The best places are usually a bit higher and have a clear field of view of the floor space. Petcube Play has a standard tripod mounting on the bottom, so you can use that to create a lot more mounting options. We like to use it with a Gorilla Pod for almost unlimited placement options.
Setting up the Petcube Play was very fast. The most difficult thing we had to do was remember the Wifi password. Once setup, we could configure our preferences through the app.
But to understand the settings better, we chose to play with the Petcube a bit first.
Features: Video Quality
Petcube Play has a much better camera than the original Petcube. With a resolution of 1080P and strong night vision, it creates a very clear and colorful picture of our room.
The infrared LED that creates the night vision is very bright and gives a clear picture in even a pitch black room. It’s great to be able to spy on your cat or dog when they are walking around in the dark.
This is the biggest improvement over the older model, as far as we are concerned. Being able to see our pets in the dark is essential for using Petcube during winter.
Features: Sound Quality
The microphone and speaker on the Petcube Play are excellent. The original Petcube already did great in this respect, so no real change there.
The microphone is so sensitive that you can hear everything in the room. The speaker is loud enough to correct a dog that is destroying something.
Features: Smartphone App and interface
The smartphone app is the same as the one used for the Petcube Camera. This is no problem as they both have virtually the same features. This app has been continuously improved since it’s introduction and we never experienced any problems with the app on iPhone or Android.
One thing that is nice is the ability to see public cameras. This will only get better as Petcube sets more cameras in pet shelters and such. It allows more people to find a great pet and save some poor animal from the shelter.
One limitation of the Petcube system at this moment is that only one device can be connected to the account. If you’d like to have multiple cameras set throughout your house, this is a problem. It might be added soon, as other people have been mentioning this in fora and social media. But currently, it’s not possible.
It is, however, possible to add people to the account so that you can have your friends or relatives check up on your pet.
Features: Laser pointer
The laser pointer is still one of the most eye-catching features of the Petcube. It works by just tapping the smartphone screen and moving a finger across it. We had a lot of fun with this during our commutes and work-breaks. (And also outside of the breaks:)
The laser has a little bit of a lag behind the video image. It is noticeable but doesn’t interfere with the game at all. Currently, all pet cameras with laser pointer have at least some lag. There are simply too many connections between the smartphone and the device. The responsiveness of the Petcube Play is the best in the business.
Features: Petcube Care Cloud Service.
Petcube offers a cloud storage service to store the streamed video from a Petcube. To be able to check on pets without constantly logging in, it’s necessary to record the entire day. Storing all that data on a smartphone is not possible.
For $10 per month, Petcube stores ten full days of video. Then it’s always possible to look back ten days in time.
Another feature that can help to keep track of things is the alerts and auto-recording. There are three modes to respond to activity near the camera:
-Record clip and send notification
-Record clip and don’t send notification
-Don’t record clips or send notification
- Night vision
- 1080P HD camera
- Very effective Night vision
- User friendly app and interface
- Cloud storage service
- Laser sometimes jerky
- Cost of Cloud storage service