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Ring Stick Up Cam 2019 Gen 2 indoor/outdoor security camera
3.3Overall Score
Name: Ring Stick Up Cam 2019 Gen 2 indoor/outdoor security camera
Price (RRP): $from $319
Manufacturer: Ring

The Ring Stick Up Cam 2019 is a 1080p (1K) capable, indoor/outdoor security camera. It is part of the Ring family of doorbells, security cameras, smart lighting, and ultimately part of the Ring “Works With’ ecosystem or as Amazon may call it the ‘Echo System”.

Ring Stick Up Cam 2019 follows the Ring design cues – it is a little while cylinder with a desk stand that becomes a wall or ceiling mount – quite clever.

Ring, the company came to life in 2013 after found Jamie Siminoff took the idea for a video doorbell to USA “Shark Tank” and it tanked! Five years later Amazon bought Ring for more than $1 billion. Look who is laughing now!

GadgetGuy has not had much exposure to Ring products – we reviewed the Ring Floodlight cam in March 2018 and the Ring Solar Panel in February 2019 (see Solar segment later). At the time the Floodlight cam scored 3.8-out-of-5, but in hindsight, it deserves a higher rating as we all convert to NBN and get adequate internet upload speeds.

You see the issue was (with it and any cloud-based security cameras) that video needs to go to the cloud for storage and viewing. Pre-NBN that could be a tall order. As we said, “Any recommendations rely on good upload speed. Also, remember if your internet is down Ring cannot do anything because it does not have onboard storage.”

So, apologies to Ring – its Floodlight Cam will perform better if you have NBN although it, and the Ring Stick Up Cam 2019 still lack onboard micro-SD storage.

Review – Ring Stick Up Cam 2019 (battery version)

Ring AU site here and Amazon Website here

The Ring Stick Up Cam 2019 is available in

  • Wired version (comes with Power Over Ethernet – POE – injector) $319. URL
  • Solar (comes with a 5V/2W solar charging panel) $399. URL
  • Battery (USB-A to micro-USB charge cable – no charger). $319. You can also buy the solar panel separately for $79. URL

 As with all things Amazon there are offers to induce you to buy multiple packs.

Out of the Box

  • Camera with base
  • Ring V4 battery 3.65V, 6040mAh, 22Wh
  • USB-A to micro-USB short charge cable
  • Installation screwdriver, drill bit, screws and plugs

First impression

I like the Ring design cues – clean lines and a little cute! It looks well-made and works indoors or out. It is 97 x 60 mm round (without stand) and comes in black or white.

The package includes a screwdriver and drill bit, making it easy to wall or ceiling mount.

Ring Stick Up Cam 2019 types

Setup

You need the Android or iOS Ring Always Home app.

Setup should be easy – perfect – but it was not.

  • You create a Ring account and verify email address – check
  • Scan the 3D barcode on the paperwork inside the pack – check
  • Insert a charged battery (see battery section) and get a flashing blue light – check
  • Connect your smartphone to Ring’s Wi-Fi SSID – check
  • It is then supposed to ask for the home 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi network and password – fail

No matter what I tried or how close I placed the camera to the router it would not work. Just as I was about to give up, I recalled seeing a little orange button inside the case. I surmised that in the absence of a suitable pinhole reset this must do the same thing. Press the button and voila, Wi-Fi connection – check!

RSSI signal quality

From there, I placed it outside approx. 15 metres from the router and tested the signal strength. The app said was that it had a ‘solid’ Wi-Fi connection. Later I found connection quality and other information buried in the App under ‘Device Health’.

Signal quality was RSSI -57. RSSI is Received Signal Strength Indicator, and it measures the relative quality (not a logarithmic value like dBm) of the signal on a scale from 0-99 – lower is better.

At this quality the camera defaults to 720p although you can apparently force it to 1K in the app – I could not find that. There is the option to test the Wi-Fi Internet speed and set the camera upload and download at either above or below 1Mbps, but it does not appear to change 720p to 1K.

As a comparative test, I placed it within 2 metres of the router and got an RSSI reading of -30 (again ‘solid’), but still, the camera still defaulted to 720p. More on that later.

The App

Basically, it has three screens – with an orange nag screen to take out Ring Protect Plan if you want to save video recordings.

The first is ‘Dashboard’ (right). It has live view that can open as a full screen on your smartphone.

Next is ‘Setting’s (middle) that offers

  • Event history (a timeline of events set off by motion)
  • Snooze Motion Notifications (delay notifications by 15 minutes to two hours)
  • Linked Chimes (presumably to a Ring Chime)
  • Device Health (battery life and RSSI Wi-Fi indicator) (left image above)
  • Shared users (allows nominated others to access the camera if you have a paid Ring Protect Plan)
  • Motion settings (define zones, schedule and frequency – how often it should send notifications)
  • App alert tones
  • Video settings – enables ‘live view’ that decreases battery life
  • Ring Partners – connects Ring products with partner products
  • General Settings allows for the removal of the device.

The app is basic compared to other brands that allow far more customisation. It would have been nice to see things like actual video speeds and file sizes, text overlay and placement on an image etc.

Placement

The multipurpose stand allows for desktop, wall or ceiling mount. There is a trick to the latter. There are no app commands to invert, mirror or flip the image (as with most other brands), so you must pivot the camera around on the mount – that is not very intuitive.

Battery (version) life

Ring claims the battery will last three to six months (based on 1,000 events) depending on motion triggered events and setup. In two weeks of testing with about seven/ten events and three/four live views a day (up to a minute) it shows 41% remaining. On that basis, my typical use time will be around a month.

I suspect that I need to do a lot more with motion detection, sensitivity and cut down live view time to get more life. But other reviews confirm about one month’s typical use. Fact: you will not get anywhere near the claimed battery life.

Battery recharge from 0-100% with a 5V/2A charger is between 8-10 hours. This is painfully slow but using Ohms law to figure out the battery wattage/amperage and you realise that this is the best you can get from micro-USB 5V/2A charger. I did not try a 5V/3A charger (the maximum allowable amperage using a micro-USB connector) – I suspect it would have reduced the charge time to 6-8 hours.

A replacement battery is $49 and works with the Doorbell, Spotlight Cam and more. Given the awfully slow charge time a spare battery is a wise purchase.

Solar version

The Ring Solar panel is part of our Solar Panel Charger shootout here. It uses a proprietary DC power plug, so you can only use this panel with Ring cameras.

Ring Stick Up Cam 2019 solar
Note: You cannot mount a solar panel vertically – it does not work. Marketing people has obviously never used it.

We are more than a little overwhelmed by the Amazon marketing hype, “A few hours of sunlight every day will keep your Spotlight Cam Battery or Stick Up Cam Battery charged around the clock, so you’ll never run out of power.” So, what are the facts?

The camera is the same as the Battery version supplied with a 5.2V/2.2A (11.44W) solar panel. Remember that solar requires good direct sunlight – and given a perfect placement (not as illustrated above) will charge for about eight hours a day.

We estimate the camera (based on other cameras of similar specs) uses about 4Wh. So, if it is a true 11.4W charger, it should have no issues in topping the battery up each day to get the camera through the night to start the cycle again. The Catch 22 is that if you have extended periods of rain or clouds, the solar panel will not keep up and the battery will need a manual recharge.

One ‘verified’ reader comment sums it up, “With regular motion events, this panel cannot keep up with Ring’s charging demands. Its claims of ‘just a few hours of sun’ are grossly exaggerated.”

POE Version

We understand the wired version of the camera using Power-Over-Ethernet (POE) defaults to 1080p recording and has a very much faster app connection time. If that is so, then Ring should clarify that the battery and solar versions are HD (which means 720p) and the POE version is FHD (1080p).

POE is a box where you plug the Ethernet Cable from your router (or access point) and plug in the Ethernet cable from your camera. The third part is to plug the box into the POE charger/240V power so it can inject power. Ring requires a POE injector compatible with IEEE 802.3af or 802.3at standards which deliver around 40-57V DC at up to 600mA max 34W – hence the POE version does not have a battery in it. Ethernet cables can run up to 100m without active amplification.

IP Rating

Ring uses the terms ‘For indoors or outdoors’. The camera is IPX5 rated. X means there is no certification on dust and environmental incursion. The second number 5 means water projected by a nozzle does not harm it, e.g. it should be called rain resistant, not weatherproof.

Looking at the construction it should withstand normal rain, but it may be best under the roof eaves. Remember that battery needs to be easily accessible (do you need a ladder?) for recharges.

Image quality

It has an FHD 1080p sensor. As far as we can test the Ring Stick Up Cam 2109 Battery and Solar models default to HD 720p to save bandwidth and battery. We can only assert this by comparing known 1K (1080p) video from another brand of camera. Neither could we force it to use 1080p.

Like any Wi-Fi connected security camera, you need bandwidth to get 1K (1080p) recording. Ring recommends 2Mbps (.25MBps). As Ring records events in 40-second slices, that is about 10MB for an event.

If you ‘live view’, then one minute is 15MB, so you need to be a little sparing – an hour of live view would be close to 1GB.

The shots below are not meant to denigrate Ring so much as to show the difference between 720p, 1080p and 4K. If detail and colour are a prime requirement the Ring Stickup Cam Battery is lacking.

Image quality in daylight is adequate

Colours are little muted and digital zoom induces distortion. Field of view is 115° (W) x 65° (V) which means a curved keystone effect.

Ring Stick Up Cam 2019 outdoors
Ring 720p – note keystone effect, muted colours, muddy contrast and limited detail compared to Arlo Pro and 4K Ultra below
Ring Stick Up Cam 2019 AP
Arlo Pro 2 1080p has far more natural colours, better keystone reduction, and more detail.
Ring Stick Up Cam 2019
Arlo 4K Ultra has a huge 180° FOV but eliminates keystone via post-processing. Colours are a little faded in 180° FOV mode.

Detail is all important for a security camera. Below are the same shots on maximum zoom showing clarity and detail.

Ring Stick Up Cam 2019 ring zom
Ring 720p
Ring Stick Up Cam 2019 AP zoom
Arlo Pro 2 1080p
Ring Stick Up Cam 2019
Arlo 4K Ultra

Night vision is mono using infrared LEDs. We understand that the wired version may allow for colour.

Ring Stick Up Cam 2019 night
Ring night vision is almost useless at more than a few metres
Arlo 4K
Arlo 4K Ultra (same shot at the same time)

Video is stored in the Ring Cloud, and we understand it is encrypted from the camera to the cloud.

Motion sensitivity

Motion detection uses three PIR (passive infrared) detectors. These are heat sensors that detects motion by monitoring heat within the detection area. Since people, dogs, cats, birds and cars etc., are hotter than the surrounding areas, as a ‘hot bod’ enters the detection area, the heat measurements change. The motion sensor registers this change as a movement and sends out an alert.

There is a slider to adjust motion sensitivity from min to max as well as radio buttons to record motion and send notifications. Three fixed motion zones (Left, Centre and Right) allowing some customisation of motion detection areas but they are not as flexible as some other brands.

Ring’s claim is 10metres motion alert distance – our tests indicate about 4 metres before it is unreliable. Admittedly, our test was in the middle of Winter at 9°.

Siren

The app does not allow for default siren settings, e.g. to activate at every event – or not and to adjust volume settings. Instead, there is an exclamation mark on the notification image that you can tap to activate the alarm. It is not nearly loud enough at 70dB nor very useful to manually activate it.

Live two-way talk

Every brand claims it has this function. To date, I have not been able to have a lag-free conversation despite using the latest uber-powerful NETGEAR Wi-Fi 6 AX router.

Ring Stick Up Cam 2019 speak

What sound you do get is unintelligible, full of echo and low volume.

It records sound well – you will hear the neighbour’s dogs and the errant seagull squark but don’t think for one moment you can have a full-duplex, two-way conversation.

Ring Protect Plan

All devices have a free plan that allows live view and 60-day storage of events. You cannot review, share and save videos to a smartphone or PC.

A bright orange nag screen reminds you that you need a paid plan to save videos. It comes with a free Protect Plan Basic for the first 30 days so you can get hooked.

Protect Basic – For $4 per month ($40 per year) per camera, you get 60 days rolling storage of every Ring, Motion and Live view events.

Protect Plus – For $15 per month ($180 annually) you can cover all Ring devices at one location and tie into local alarm monitoring services (extra cost and not in all countries)

Ring Stick Up Cam 2019 plan

As long as you are aware that you probably will need the $15 per month plan, especially if you have more than one Ring device, then we have done our job. The alternative to use a camera brand that has microSD storage on the camera or base station.

Voice control, Wi-Fi or Base station? The ecosystems

The majority of security camera’s use Wi-Fi N 2.4Ghz (some use the shorter-range, higher speed 5Ghz as well) to connect to a router and then over the internet to a cloud and then to your smartphone app.

Base station options include Arlo or D-Link. There are advantages in that it keeps the camera traffic (that can be considerable, especially for 2 or 4K recording) off the home Wi-Fi network.

Whatever you do, you should not mix ecosystems because each camera brand has its own app, and multiple apps with different cameras are not practical!

The possible exception now is basic voice control via Apple Home Kit (Siri), Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. Here some disparate brands can have low levels of control by the Assistant, e.g. Hey XXX, show Door Cam on Sony TV.

Ring, being an Amazon company, naturally supports Amazon Alexa. It can arm and disarm and cast the image to a screen that Alexa supports (it does not support Google Chromecast).

Google Assistant also supports most Ring tasks like start a new recording, turn on and off motion alerts, get a device health update and review last Ring notification. It cannot cast video to Google Assistant compatible devices. Play Store users rates this particular integration at 1.9-out-of-5, so it is not there yet.

GadgetGuy take – Ring Stick Up Cam 2019 is for the Amazon Ring ecosystem

If you want to enter the Amazon Ring ecosystem and get doorbell cameras, etc., then the Ring Stick Up Cam 2019 is fit for purpose and as good as you will get from Amazon/Ring. Remember that it has no local storage and requires a Ring Protect paid account for most functionality.

If you want one or a few Wi-Fi security cameras with local storage and no mandatory plans then Ring is not for you. Look at Reolink, Swann, or Uniden.

Or if you want the best quality image and operational reliability, then a base station version is best. Arlo Ultra 4K is our pick, but the D-Link Omna also shows promise.

Ring Stick Up Cam 2019 ecosystem
The Amazon Echo system – only it forget Alexa speakers!

Throughout this review, you will note that we also test against manufacturer claims. In every case, the Ring Stick Up Cam 2019 (Battery) did not specifically meet these claims, but it was no worse than most other brands making similar claims. For example, motion detection to 10 metres may be the theoretical capability of the PIR sensor but it does not consider environmental issues.

Our biggest gripe is the 1080p sensor (technically correct) defaults to 720p – and the image quality is markedly worse at the lower resolution. Our review would have had an entirely different rating outcome (it is 3.3-out-of-5) if it did 1080p as marketed. By comparison, we awarded 3.6-out-of-5 to the Arlo Pro 2 and 4.4-out-of-5 to the Arlo 4K – resolution makes a huge difference.

If there is one message for Ring, it is tone down the marketing hype and freely provide specifications (sensor MP, f-stop, resolution, proper battery life, recharge times…) that will help people decide. The competition does!

Ring Stick Up Cam 2019 Gen 2 indoor/outdoor security camera
Name: Ring Stick Up Cam 2019 Gen 2 indoor/outdoor security camera Price (RRP): $from $319 Manufacturer: Ring
Nice industrial designIndoor or outdoor (IPX5 light rain resistant - not weatherproof)
Poor two-way voicePatchy setup to identify Wi-Fi routerApp lacks many 'standard' features like face/animal/vehicle detection/geofencing$150 a year to access Protect Plus – no local storageDoes not meet marketing claims
Features
Value for money
Performance
Ease of Use
Design
3.3Overall Score
Reader Rating 0 Votes