Thursday, January 8, 2015

Petcube Unboxing and Review!

Happy New Year!

Hope you and your family all had a wonderful holiday season!

We spent Christmas in California, which while not snowy and cozy was delightfully warm and sunny.  And while there were lots of presents for Paddy under the tree.... this year's big ticket item was our Petcube (see our pre-review here)! Yes, it finally arrived!

Here's a shot of the package - it's super sleek looking:

Setup was very easy. There is a quick start guide that will walk you through connecting your camera to your home wi-fi network and downloading the app on your phone. You do not need to be connected to wi-fi to access the camera through your smart phone - as long as you have data, you can load the camera.

Size-wise, the camera is not too big/not too small. We have it on a bookshelf across from Paddy's bed so we can keep an eye on her when we're not at home. (Excuse the weird screenshot... but wanted to have some human legs in there for scale! It's also a little dark because the room was dark, it's not the camera.) The sound quality is pretty solid, both from the perspective of what the camera picks up and what it broadcasts. It would be nice to be able to control the speaker volume on the cube though.

The laser pointer, while a cool feature, is not of much interest to Paddy, so we don't expect to use it. That said, it is cool how the laser is operated/guided by the touch screen on your smart phone. We played with it, and the laser is super responsive without much delay (at least when you're on the same wi-fi network).

This is the left hand menu that window-shades when you're dialed into your camera:

Ahh, a much better shot! As you can see the picture is nice and clear/crisp with good lighting. No zoom or pan, so you need to position it exactly where you want it to be.

One big piece of feedback: it would be great if you could setup permissions when sharing access to your Petcube to friends/family/others. For example, while we might want to let our friends turn on the camera, we don't want them to have the ability to play with the laser or the sound. This level of granular permissions may exist, but we are hesitant to share access to our camera without knowing this first.

There are some additional social network/content sharing features that we haven't checked out yet, but it looks like Petcube is trying to build a community for their users which sounds neat.

Overall, we are super in love and happy with our investment! This is a completely finished product that is easy to setup/use, and does exactly what we wanted it to! 

Features we love: 
- Ease of setup and app use
- Two way audio
- Taking photos from the video is really intuitive (literally just double tap the screen)

The Petcube ($199) is available for purchase from their website, and it looks like they'll be rolling out some new products this spring.

What are your thoughts? Do you have a pet camera?

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