Ring Indoor Cam full review

Ring may be best known for the Ring Video Doorbell Range, but the smart camera manufacturer has been steadily branching out; first with outdoor cameras of all shapes and sizes, and now with the Ring Indoor Cam, the first indoor-only camera from the Amazon-owned company.

With a budget-friendly price tag and features usually exclusive to premium smart security cameras, can the Ring Indoor Cam disrupt the smart camera industry? We think it certainly has potential – carry on reading to find out why.

Pricing and availability

At £49/$59.99, the Ring Indoor Cam is the cheapest camera in the Ring range and is noticeably cheaper than most other smart security cameras available in 2020 while offering a similar level of functionality. It’s available to buy via Ring, along with the likes of Amazon and other third-party retailers in the UK, US and other countries.

The Indoor Cam offers great value for money, no doubt about it, but you should take the £2.50/$2.50 monthly fee into consideration as key functionality – like being able to access recordings from the past 30 days – is inaccessible without the subscription. It is a lot cheaper than other smart security cameras, some of which charge as much as £10/$10 a month, but it’s still a monthly fee on top of the initial cost of the camera itself.

As small as a mini can of coke

The Ring Indoor Camera is impressively compact without sacrifice to functionality, offering many of the features of high-end smart security cameras at a much cheaper price point. In fact, the camera is small enough to fit into the palm of the hand, sporting a shape similar to that of a small 200ml can of coke, allowing it to sit pretty much anywhere in the home without drawing too much attention to itself.

Of course, that’ll depend on whether the bright white of the body clashes with the colour scheme of the room it’s placed in, because unlike the Ring Doorbell 2, the Indoor Cam is currently only available in one finish. The Amazon-owned company has confirmed that a black variant will be available soon, but don’t expect to pick one up at launch.

On the front of the camera you’ll find a black panel housing the camera, microphone, speaker and indicator LED. It’s a similar aesthetic to other recent Ring products including the Ring Door View Cam, Video Doorbell Pro and Video Doorbell Elite, giving an element of synchronicity across your smart home if you fully invest in the Ring ecosystem – or the “Ring of Security” as the company calls it.

It’s the aforementioned LED indicator that we’ve got a bit of an issue with. The bright LED indicator lights up whenever the Indoor Cam detects motion and begins recording, and it also lets you know when somebody is watching live. Those are very handy privacy-focused features, especially for an indoor security camera, but we can’t look past the fact that it can be very distracting if placed in a busy area of the home like the living room.

Other security cameras, like the Logitech Circle 2, feature similar functionality, but also offer the ability to disable the LED if need be – something not currently possible via the Ring app. It’s admittedly a minor point overall, but it’s one of the little details that Ring needs to consider when making the move from smart doorbells and outdoor cameras to indoor cameras.

Being an indoor camera, the Indoor Cam is microUSB powered with no on-board battery. That’s pretty standard for a smart camera, but what’s not standard is the sub-par length of the cable. At 1.97m, it’s not long enough to place high up on a cabinet, for example, without being directly beneath a plug socket. You could always invest in a longer microUSB cable and plug, but it’s certainly a bit of an inconvenience.

You’ve also got the option to attach it to walls and even ceilings, as the swivel stand the camera sits on doubles up as a wall bracket, but the issue with cable length may impede most users.

Great camera quality on a budget

The Ring app for iOS and Android is the hub not only for your Ring doorbell, but Ring Indoor Cam too. It’s where you’re able to access not only your camera’s live feed, but cloud-stored recordings too.

The quality of the 1080p, 140-degree wide-angle, night-vision-touting camera offers impressive quality with sharp, detailed video that’s certainly clear enough to identify anybody that might get caught on camera, day or night. And like other products in the Ring range, you’ve got access to two-way talk, allowing you to check up on a loved one when you’re away or tell a burglar to get the hell out of the house before triggering the built-in 110db siren.  

You’ve also got the option to pinch-to-zoom, both on recordings and on the live feed, but this is where the camera quality begins to deteriorate – especially at night. For that reason, we’d recommend putting the camera closer to the area you want to monitor rather than trying to cover a large open area.

A unique feature of the Ring Indoor Cam offers colour night vision, using a combination of ambient light and built-in tech to improve the overall image quality in dark environments. The example showcased in the app looks great, but we couldn’t get this to work during our review, as it seems to require enough ambient light to detect colour but not too much to deactivate the night vision mode entirely.

We can’t imagine there are many situations where this is the case, as most lamps are bright enough to trigger the daytime camera and most homes are dark at night, but it’ll largely depend on the layout of your home.

A different Ring experience

As you should expect from an established security camera company, there’s much more to the Ring app than simply accessing your camera. You’ll also find a wealth of security options tailored to the indoor nature of Ring’s latest camera – you’ve just got to go into the Settings menu to enable them.

You see, being an indoor camera, Ring’s latest camera had to be tailored to privacy – it’s probably the reason why you can’t disable the LED notification light we mentioned earlier. The key feature here is the ability to record video with no audio, helping avoid the accidental capture of sensitive conversations in the home. After all, it’s easy to forget the cameras are there after a while and you don’t want to get caught discussing your partner’s birthday present on camera!

The Ring Indoor Cam can be used in high-traffic areas of the home, but we wish Ring offered a more convenient solution to motion alerts. Other security cameras use your phone’s location data to automatically enable motion detection when you leave and disable it when you return, adding a level of autonomy to the experience that’s just not on offer here.

You can, however, mute motion alerts during pre-determined timeframes. It’s not quite as glamorous as an automated system, but it’ll help reduce incoming notifications during times when you know people are at home.  

While the Indoor Cam doesn’t offer location-based motion alerts, you will find a vastly improved custom motion detection mode when compared to the radius-esque option provided by most of the current Ring range.

Accessible via the app, you can draw a specific motion detection area to help false activations. This helps avoid events like trees by a window blowing in the wind or pets wandering around the living room from triggering the camera.

Though your main port of call is the Ring app for iOS and Android, the Ring Indoor Cam also offers support for Amazon Alexa on video-enabled devices, allowing you to access your video feed via voice command. There’s also a Ring app for Windows 10 and a web app, providing basic access to your feed and previous recordings via PC or Mac.  

Verdict

The Ring Indoor Cam offers incredible value for money, boasting impressive features like 1080p video capture, full night vision with optional colour support, a built-in 110db siren, two-way talk and more that align it with premium smart security cameras like the Logitech Circle 2. The video quality is crisp and clear, both day and night, although we must admit that we couldn’t get the colour night vision mode to work during testing.

The Ring app offers additional functionality compared to other Ring products, offering a tailored camera experience with privacy-focused features ideal for an indoor camera. The key feature is the ability to record video but not audio, avoiding situations where sensitive conversations are recorded and accessed by other members of the family.

It’s not perfect; the cable is too short to mount the camera far away from a plug, and the lack of location-based motion alerts can get a little annoying, but that doesn’t detract from the fact the Ring Indoor Camera is one of the best value options on the market right now.

Specs

Ring Indoor Cam: Specs

  • 1080p video capture
  • 140-degree wide-angle
  • Night Vision with Colour support
  • 110db siren
  • Customisable motion detection
  • Accessible via Ring app
  • 1.81 in. x 1.81 in. x 2.95 in. (without stand)
  • 1.98m microUSB cable