Have you ever wished to know what your dog got up to when you’re not around? Have you ever wished to play and talk with your dog even if you’re away? Have you ever wished to get rid of your worries about your pet’s well-being when they’re alone at home? With the impressive Petcube Play 2 Review I bought; fortunately, I can. Let me provide the review.
Making the most of time away from our pets is a big concern for pet owners. Even leaving for work has its own requirements, such as checking for Dog food, water, and your pet’s well-being. The Petcube Play 2 is made for those pet owners who just can’t look away for a whole day. Improved field of view and newly added Alexa functionality make an amazing quality pet camera even better.
Petcube Play 2 – What you need to know
- Installation – Simple to get connected to your home network via the Petcube Play app. The camera can sit on a shelf or on the floor.
- Detection performance – If you buy a subscription, the camera can tell the difference between pets and people but there are no activity zones or motion sensitivity settings.
- Image quality – My camera defaulted to 720p resolution with slightly soft video: good enough to see what’s going on but dedicated security cameras do better.
Design: Tiny device blends in anywhere
A relatively small cuboid (90 X 81 X 90mm), the Petcube Play 2 looks a little like a mini projector, rather than a pet camera. It’s designed to sit on the floor or a shelf, both giving you a way of keeping an eye on your pets, as well as having a laser pointer to give your pets a game of chase.
Once plugged in via USB-C (there’s a 2m cable in the box), you can join the camera to your wireless network using the Petcube app, and you’re ready to go. The Play 2 has a subtle design that blends in with other home electronics. The reflective black plastic on the front face hides fingerprints fairly well, but the matte black plastic on the top is easily smudged. Unless someone got close enough to read the word “Petcube,” they would never know that this little camera marks you as pet-obsessed. The wide field of view and small size of the Play 2 means it can fit just about anywhere without being intrusive.
Setup Process: App-guided setup takes minutes
The Petcube Play 2 is so easy to set up it doesn’t even include a manual. The Petcube app prompts you through creating an account and profiles for your pets, which can include their names, pictures, and birth dates if you know them. The app guides you through the process of pairing the Play 2 to your phone and connecting it to Wi-Fi. The laser requires no setup, but it can be recalibrated if necessary. Mine worked just fine with the default calibration.
Video Quality: Beautifully clear picture quality
I tested the Play 2 in my house lit by the unrelenting Texas sun. The Petcube Play 2, like its predecessor, records in 1080p. In daylight, the picture quality is so good that I can make out every whisker on my cat’s face. It’s a bit grainy at times, but there isn’t a pet cam on the market that performs better. Even the wealthiest pet owners aren’t going to pay for a cam that records in 4K. Pets don’t do much at night, but with the laser, I was able to entice my pets to cooperate for testing the automatic night vision. The recording quality at night is still very good, but grainier than during the day.
There’s a 1080p sensor built-in with a wide-angle 160-degree lens that captures most of a room. Although there’s Full HD support, my camera defaulted to 720p video and wouldn’t switch back to the higher-resolution video, which is a shame.
Video quality is alright, but a bit soft with detailed missing from the image during the day, while night vision in black and white made the image even softer. There’s enough detail to see what your pets are up to but a regular security camera will likely give you better results overall.
In daylight, the picture quality is so good that I can make out every whisker on my cat’s face.
Performance: Excellent performance in every area
Ultimately, no one is picking a pet cam for the video quality alone. Cute videos are nice, but without something to encourage them, you’re not likely to find your pets doing anything more interesting than sleeping or barking at neighbors.
Petcube’s Play 2 has an interactive laser for just this purpose. When I tested this, I was lucky to find my cat already sleeping on the couch. I made a bit of noise to catch her attention, then activated the laser. The laser tracks across the floor in a jumpy line, not a smooth transition, but that didn’t seem to bother her at all. The Petcube Play 2 can automatically start the laser to play with your pets so they’re entertained while you’re away. Trying various locations in my house, the only problem I ever had with the laser was when I tested it near a very large window. The Class 2 laser isn’t as strong as a handheld laser pointer, so it can’t compete with bright daylight. This is an important safety consideration to keep the laser from potentially injuring your eyes or your pet’s eyes when being used automatically. As long as the laser was shining into an area around 5 feet away from a window, my pets were able to see it with no trouble.
The Petcube Play 2 can automatically start the laser to play with your pets so they’re entertained while you’re away.
The Play 2 added Alexa compatibility to its list of features, making this the first Alexa device I ever had. I immediately started trying to figure out how to use Alexa specifically for pets, and at last, I found it. I told Alexa to read an audiobook while I shut myself in the spare room to get some work done. Typically my dog, an overprotective German Shepherd, spends half the day barking at every car door shutting, neighbor dog, and stranger as they walk past the house.
With the white noise of an audiobook, all those unexpected sounds bothered him less and he napped peacefully for hours. While the audio quality was a little tinny when I used two-way audio to talk to my pets, that was an issue of latency. Music was beautifully clear on the Play 2. It’s definitely good enough to remain the sole Alexa device in my house, and the Petcube skill on the Alexa app gives you access to new commands like “play with my pet” that will make using the Play 2 even more convenient.
Rather than relying on the chance that your pet will be in the same room as the device, the Play 2 chimes when you look in on your pets with the app. If that’s not enough to get their attention, the two-way audio should be. Whether or not they recognized my voice, both animals were curious enough to come check out the Play 2 when I called them. After a few play sessions, my pets came to the device every time it chimed.
When purchasing a fairly expensive pet cam, no one wants to feel like they were forced to pay an additional monthly cost. Petcube offers subscribers a lot of extras to make the cost worth it. Subscriptions start at $3.99/month and have bonuses like notifications, video history, clips that save automatically, and video downloads. At the $8.25/month level, the subscription covers an unlimited number of cameras and extends the warranty on each device to two years. Various services like pet DNA kits, Wag! and the Ollie box offers discounts to subscribers as well. Giving free users the basic functions of their pet cam but reserving so many extras for subscribers is a great way of balancing the needs of both.
Subscriptions start at $3.99/month and have bonuses like notifications, video history, clips that save automatically, and video downloads.
Price: A splurge you won’t regret
Any way I look at it, the Petcube Play 2 is a serious splurge. There are more expensive pet cams on the market, but not many. If you just want a camera to be able to look in on your pets and ensure that no one has broken in, a security camera can do that for much less money. You could add an automatic laser toy and still not come close to spending $200. Pricey or not, the Play 2 is good enough to justify the price if you feel like getting a gift for your pet and for yourself.
Pricey or not, the Play 2 is good enough to justify the price if you feel like getting a gift for your pet and for yourself.
A great combination of features and price.
The Petcube Play 2 is at the sweet spot of features and price. The crisp, clear recording quality will allow you to enjoy your pet’s playtime even if you can’t always be there with them.
Should you buy the Petcube Play 2?
There’s a great amount of fun to be had playing with your cats from anywhere else in the world, as well as checking in to see if they’re doing alright. The main issue is that the camera costs $199 (it’s only currently available in the US) and the cloud subscription to add more features is relatively expensive.
Throw in the so-so video quality, and the Petcube Play 2 is only for those really dedicated to their pets. If you want a camera to keep an eye on your home and give you proper security, I’d look for a dedicated model instead, which will be far cheaper.