The Ring Stick Up Cam Wired is a great camera, and Ring, in general, is one of the most viable Nest competitors. That being said, for most people that are buying their first camera, we think investing in the Nest ecosystem is a better choice overall. There is one major exception, however, and that is if you have an active Ring "neighborhood" in your area. A Ring neighborhood is essentially a local social media network where people can quickly warn their neighbors of any suspicious activity their Ring camera sees. If there is a large community near you using this service, it could make the Ring a bit more useful than a Nest Cam. Additionally, if you already have a Ring doorbell or Ring security system the Ring Stick Up Cam is a worthwhile addition.
Ring Stick Up Cam Wired Review
Pros: Great video quality and real time viewing, user friendly app, inexpensive subscription
Cons: Very few services offered without a subscription
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Ring Stick Up Cam Wired is a great camera that, in our opinion, falls just short of the performance of Nest's cameras. However, if you plan to take advantage of Ring's social network, or use one of their doorbells or security systems, the Stick Up Cam is a great addition.
The Ring Stick Up Cam Wired is one of the best all-around cameras we tested, slipping behind only the Nest cameras in our testing.
Similar to the Nest products, Ring provides very little in the way of monitoring services without a subscription, but offers a bevy of services if you do pay for a subscription.
Monitoring Services Without a Subscription
Ring's non-subscription services are some of the most basic of all the security cameras we tested. You get general motion alerts, live viewing, and no video history at all. Even Nest's stingy non-subscription services offer a 3-hour video history. Basically, outside of live viewing and basic activity alerts, the Ring Cam is not useful unless you want to pay for a subscription.
Monitoring Services With a Subscription
With a $3/month subscription, the Ring Stick Up Cam Wired saves video clips of all of the motion it sees to the cloud and stores it there for 60 days. This is more generous than Nest's basic $5/month subscription, which gives you a 5-day 24/7 video history. Ring also offers motion zones that are very similar to those provided with a Nest subscription. These zones let you tell the camera to specifically look for motion in one area and ignore it in another, ideally limiting the number of times a squirrel running outside the window sends an alert to your phone. Overall we feel that Ring's subscription services are a better value than those provided by Nest, but you can't beat the 24/7 video storage offered with Nest's subscriptions if you want to be sure you catch someone in the act.
This is an app that connects nearby users of Ring cameras into a social media-style feed. This makes it very easy to alert your neighbors if your camera sees someone doing something nefarious. In our testing, we were able to track some bears that were raiding trashcans throughout the town via people's postings in the app. This could come in handy and alert you to something before you may otherwise have heard about it. Sharing clips on this app requires that you have a subscription, but you can sign up and view your local feed for free.
Ring Security Systems
Ring does offer home security systems (with the most basic package starting at $200). If you have a Ring camera you can get a 60-day video history and professional monitoring of the security system for just $10 a month, which is much less expensive than many traditional home security systems. For comparison, the equivalent service from Nest is $20/month if you sign a 3-year contract, and $30/month if you don't sign a long-term commitment.
Siren and 2-Way Audio
The Ring allows you to both listen to what the camera is hearing and to talk through a speaker on the camera to scare intruders or annoy your housemates. You can also sound a very loud alarm.
The Ring Stick Up Cam's video quality is superb, bested only by the 4K Nest Cam IQ.
The Ring's 1080p footage looks great, with sharp definition, good color, and solid contrast. In an age where high definition screens are everywhere, the Ring's video looks how a modern human would expect a video feed to look. The 150˚ field of view also captures a bit more area around the periphery than other models (like the Nest's 130˚ field of view), but that area does look noticeably warped. Nighttime images generally look quite clear, though very bright areas (like a very white wall) can wash out some of those details. Overall we found the nighttime images to be useful enough for reviewing past-dark events and even for identifying faces (when the camera got a good look).
App Ease of Use
We found the Ring app to be incredibly easy to use. Setting schedules, adjusting motion sensitivity, reviewing and saving clips, and creating motion zones is very intuitive and requires little fuss. We especially like that you can create motion zones right in the app. Nest requires that you log into your account on a computer to create a motion zone, something that almost feels archaic in this age of mobile devices.
Real Time Viewing
The Ring Stick Up Cam Wired was amongst the best models in our real time viewing test. We measured a latency of only 3 seconds, making the feed about as close to instant as you can get. We also experienced only very occasional moments of pixelation in the feed, with the image generally looking crisp and high-definition.
If you're willing to spend a bit extra for a good image and don't mind the idea of paying for subscription services, the Ring Stick Up Cam Wired is a fairly good value. The camera itself sells for about the same as what most Nest cameras go for, but the $3/month subscription service is a bit less expensive.
As long as you're ok with a video history only of moments when your camera sees motion (as opposed to a 24/7 history), the Ring Stick Up Cam Wired is a great camera and a worthy Nest alternative.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata