Ring Stick Up Cam Pro review

Suitable for use both outdoors and indoors, does the wire-free Ring Stick Up Cam Pro offer the flexibility that mains-powered alternatives can’t match?

Ring Stick Up Cam Pro in a hand
(Image: © Gavin Stoker / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

We’ll need to fully charge the Ring Stick Up Cam Pro’s removable battery before we can use it for the first time as well as navigate the usual tedious setup process. While image quality is quite good and the audio is loud – operation is a little bare bones for our liking, as we generally prefer a camera that can track any motion it’s detected rather than just presenting us with a static visual. We’re not sure what justifies the ‘Pro’ moniker this time around either as we don’t get 4K visuals, other than it’s priced at a bit of a premium compared with competitors that do slightly more. Sure enough, this device does the job, which will satisfy some, but it’s not exactly a ‘ring’-ing endorsement from us this time around.

Pros

  • +

    Weather-resistant construction allows this one to be placed outdoors, as well as indoors

  • +

    Battery rather than mains operation ensures it can be used cable-free / wirelessly

Cons

  • -

    Setup guide is so bare bones as to be wholly inadequate

  • -

    A separately sold Ring Protect Plan subscription is required for cloud storage (no microSD slot for recording provided)

  • -

    While it detects motion it does not automatically track any action

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Security cameras come in all shapes and sizes and Ring is one of the leading brands in the field. Whereas most home security cameras we’ve looked at recently are resolutely intended for indoor use, the Ring Stick Up Cam Pro is weather resistant, so can be positioned outdoors. In addition, it can also be operated wirelessly, so it doesn’t need to be used in close vicinity to a mains plug.

The pitch is that the Ring Stick Up Cam Pro therefore allows us to put pro-grade home security exactly where we need it. A case in point: an included camera mount provides the possibility of fixing this one to a wall or even ceiling. Alternatively, it can simply be placed on a flat surface as desired, and manually angled to cover whatever area we want it to cover.

Price-wise, while not overly expensive, the Ring Stick Up Cam Pro is nevertheless towards the higher end of what we’d expect to be paying for a consumer-level home security device. So do both its features and its performance justify the necessary spend?

(Image credit: Gavin Stoker / Digital Camera World)

Ring Stick Up Cam Pro: Specifications

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Video 1080p HDR, Live View, Colour Night Vision
Motion Detection3D Motion Detection with Bird's Eye Zones and Bird's Eye View, Custom Motion Zones up to 9 metres
Field of View 155° diagonal, 139° horizontal, 80° vertical
SirenRemote-activated 85db siren (level measured at 1 m distance)
AudioTwo-Way Talk with Audio+ and advanced noise cancellation
PowerRechargeable Battery Pack (included), optional solar panel, plug-in adapter.
Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n wifi connection @2.4GHz and 5.0GHz
ColorWhite, Black
Dimensions15.39 cm x 7 cm x 7 cm (6.06 in x 2.76 in x 2.76 in)

Ring Stick Up Cam Pro: Key Features

As with any security camera, the key purpose of the Ring Stick Up Cam Pro is to be able to watch over our property and possessions and monitor any unexpected movement or activity in the vicinity. 

To achieve this, this device offers 3D Motion Detection and Colour Night Vision alongside so-so 1080P resolution video and, like the majority of competing products, the ability to conduct a two-way conversation from afar with whoever is in front of the camera at the time. Typically the user’s mobile phone handset is used as both an audio communication tool and a means of remotely controlling and viewing the camera’s output, and it’s the same here, with Ring offering complete control via a free downloadable Ring app.

(Image credit: Gavin Stoker / Digital Camera World)

Likewise shared with competing devices is the ability to customize the zones within the camera’s wider field of view, and thereby only receive notifications relating to those particular spots; so far, so as expected. 

One potential stumbling block here, however, is that, unlike some competing devices, there’s no slot provided on this Ring option for the insertion of an optional microSD card via which to record footage or still images from the camera. While we can download or share the odd clip directly from the live view on our phone’s handset, if we want to be able to record or review footage at any other time, we need to take out a subscription to Ring’s ‘Ring Protect’ cloud storage. 

It is however optional, meaning that we’re not forced into it, although a 30-day free trial is offered to try and hook us in. Included upon purchase is a one-year warranty, which somewhat ironically includes theft protection.

Ring Stick Up Cam Pro: Design & Handling

The Ring Stick Up Cam Pro is physically large compared to competing devices from Eufy and NetVue – being approximately the size of a bottle of shampoo. Build quality is good however and the device feels solid with some real weight to it when handled. There’s a large lens visible on the front panel of the unit, with a built-in speaker visible below. A deep blue light glows when the unit’s active.

In our book, the device has failed at the first hurdle however as the out-of-the-box paper ‘Set Up’ guide includes only guidance on wall-mounting the device – as here – not on how to get up and running from scratch. 

Yes, we’ve assumed we’ll need to go onto the app store and download a Ring app of some description, while the included micro USB cable is presumably for charging the internal battery. Yet, mystifyingly this isn’t mentioned at all on the box, or in the small printed setup guide itself. So, it’s on to YouTube to discover how to set up the device. That means it’s a double fail for Ring in our book. 

(Image credit: Gavin Stoker / Digital Camera World)

It transpires that the internal battery pack needs to be removed from the product in order for it to be charged via the mains. A simple twist of the bodywork unscrews the base and allows us to get at the battery to charge it. There’s no USB port on the exterior of the unit itself for this to happen – the USB slot is, unusually, built into the battery itself. While we get a USB cable in the box, we’ll need to provide our own USB-equipped mains plug. Fortunately, most of us will be able to use the one that came with our smartphone.

The base of the unit allows for the camera to be manually tilted forward or back or to a very limited degree left or right. This is not one of those security cameras that will automatically track any detected motion or action for us, unfortunately. Once we’ve fixed the camera in position, its view is of that position, and that position only.

Obviously, we’ll need to download and install the Ring app on our phone and then get it to pair with our camera before we can use it as it’s intended; the tiny QR code on the rear of the Ring camera proved too small for our smartphone’s camera to scan, so we had to enter a numerical code manually. The battery, which we’ve had to remove to charge, also needs to be fully juiced before we can set it up in position. 

So, from initially opening the box, there’s a bit of a wait necessary before we can begin even rudimental testing. As we’ve noted, at no point are any instructions or prompts provided, other than via the Ring app once we’ve installed it, so it’s a case of feeling our way through the process that involves providing our email address, phone number, and even postal address/location before we can get up and running. As we say, a bit of initial patience and time is required before we get everything communicating and working as it should.

Ring Stick Up Cam Pro: Performance

Thankfully once we’re up and running, picture quality is good and colours are on the vivid side. There is a very slight delay on the live view regarding the relay of audio and image, albeit of no more than a second or so, if that. Operating our phone within a couple of rooms of where the camera was positioned, however, resulted in audible howl-round and feedback between the devices. 

The built-in speaker is noticeably loud when compared with others of its ilk, too. And, inevitably in terms of the wide-angle lens provided, we get a noticeable fisheye-type effect, with converging verticals and a visible curvature to the edges of the frame. Thankfully this is not too off-putting or distracting, however.

While the picture quality is good and the audio – complete with a siren feature if you want to scare the neighbors’ cat – is loud, so at least the Ring Stick Up Cam Pro gets the basics right, we were disappointed there is not the option to alter our angle of view remotely, other than to pinch and flick the screen of our smartphone to mimic zooming in. We can’t automatically pan and tilt the camera from afar and there is no optical zoom built-in, as on some competing models. Nor does it track and follow action independently. So there is more that we would have liked this device to offer if we’re being picky.

Yes, it might be cool to specify areas within our visual frame that prompt the camera to send us a text notification if it detects movement, and even enjoy a bird’s eye view if mounting the camera up high, but for all its solid looks and build it feels like the Ring Stick Up Cam Pro is about doing the basics well and leaving it at that. It feels a bit like it lacks ambition.

Ring Stick Up Cam Pro: Final Verdict

OK, so the Ring Stick Up Cam Pro does not tilt and swivel independently to track detected movement as on some cheaper devices, which is a bit disappointing, as is the fact that we can’t insert a microSD card to independently record visuals, though we can download short clips to our handset or share them with others – for example via Whatsapp. While this camera can be used outdoors, which is commendable compared with alternatives that need to be positioned near a mains plug, there is no spotlight feature on this model, which may have boosted its outdoor potential further.

Other than that, as a proper belt and braces approach we’ll need to weather the optional yet ongoing cost of a subscription to Ring’s cloud-based storage. Whether that’s worth it to you will depend on your specific security requirements and whether you’ll want video regularly recorded and backed up to the Cloud as a further safeguard.

This then is a device that has the basics covered off, while not quite offering all the functionality – namely the ability for its built-in camera to track motion – that some competing products offer at almost a third of the price. We’re presented with a static image that, while it may do the job intended of surveying a chosen area, doesn’t do anything other than that. However, in fairness, for most of us that may well be enough.

(Image credit: Gavin Stoker / Digital Camera World)

Alternatives

There is plenty of competition in the home surveillance market. We’ve recently reviewed three options from the Eufy brand. If you’re seeking affordability, a more basic option than the one here is its Eufy C120 model, which offers 2K resolution and many AI-powered features, while offering an articulated stand that, like this Ring example, needs to be manually adjusted if we want to alter our angle on proceedings. 

An alternative step-up model to the Eufy C120 is the Eufy S350, which introduces 4K resolution visuals and two built-in cameras – one which provides a wide-angle view and the other a telephoto / close-up view (effectively zooming in) on whatever’s going on. This can track motion and stay with the activity, which we feel is a useful extra.

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Gavin Stoker

Gavin has over 30 years’ experience of writing about photography and television. He is currently the editor of British Photographic Industry News, and previously served as editor of Which Digital Camera and deputy editor of Total Digital Photography


He has also written for a wide range of publications including T3, BBC Focus, Empire, NME, Radio Times, MacWorld, Computer Active, What Digital Camera and the Rough Guide books.


With his wealth of knowledge, Gavin is well placed to recognize great camera deals and recommend the best products in Digital Camera World’s buying guides. He also writes on a number of specialist subjects including binoculars and monoculars, spotting scopes, microscopes, trail cameras, action cameras, body cameras, filters and cameras straps.