Ring's Indoor Cam is a simple and affordable home camera

Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored
Fri October 25, 2019

The Ring Indoor Cam shouldn't be a challenging purchase. At $59.99, it's meant to be a simple solution for home monitoring that integrates with Amazon's Alexa. It gives you a 1080p HD lens inside your home and works within the existing Ring ecosystem. And if you want a pint-size design, Ring delivers on that also.

I've spent a little over a week with one, and it's time for me to share my full thoughts. So let's skip the long intro — it's a tiny Ring camera — and dive right into the full review of the Ring Indoor Cam.

It's really palm-size

At just shy of 3 inches tall, it can easily fit in the palm of your hand. Ring is only offering one color option, a bright white. It looks a little odd, especially with the camera portion being black. There's a black version coming soon, but for now, it's not ugly, just not the prettiest. The cute overall build, though, wins it some extra points.

The cam out of the box has a little stand set on the bottom. This way you can prop it up and get to using it right away. It lets you made some tiny adjustments, like tilting it forward or back. You can also easily unscrew it and pop it on the rear side, and this allows for easy mounting. Screws, anchors and detailed instructions are included in the box.

You really get two core ways to use it: either sitting on the stand or mounted against a wall. Ring provides a 6.5-foot power cable in the box, which should let you easily integrate it into your home. There is only a power port on the Indoor Cam, so internet connectivity will need to be wireless. It shouldn't take up too much bandwidth, as it utilizes the 2.4GHz standard.

The front portion is basically all the camera hardware. Front and center is the core 1080p HD lens that offers a wide 140-degree diagonal field of view. This should be plenty to capture a whole room, especially if you place it in a corner. It also supports live view, so you can open the Ring app and instantly see what is going on. Night vision is also on board and made possible via the sensors under the camera, also housed in the black portion of the front.

Underneath the camera, in the white front grille, you'll find the speaker and microphones. This allows you to have audio accompanying the video you receive and to talk with those in the room. It's a good way to check in a pet or to even play a prank, if you hide it (perfect timing for Halloween).

And this is not outdoor-rated whatsoever, so don't expose it to water. As the name suggests, this is an Indoor Cam.

Setup is quick and quality is good

The overall setup took less than five minutes, once I decided where to place the Indoor Cam. That will likely take you more time than the actual setup, since you just open the Ring app on iOS or Android, select "add a new device" and select the Indoor Cam. You can also easily scan the setup QR code on the back of the device, which will connect it to Wi-Fi, and you'll be underway.

During the setup is when you'll first be presented with notification and privacy settings — both crucial items. First off, you can really customize it to a high degree, so you can turn off live view, define who has access to it, or ensure that an LED light goes on when someone is using the camera.

And since the room might be a high-traffic area, with people or pets coming and going, you can set a Motion Zone to specify regions where you want to be notified when the camera picks up activity. This is a great way to ensure you won't get a notification every time your dog jumps on the couch. You can also set up a motion snooze, so you won't get notifications in the middle of the night.

It's easy to use the app, and if you opt for the Ring Protect plan, you can have it save and record moments when it picks up activity as well. It doesn't change the Ring control experience at all, and if you've used Ring before, you'll be in good shape.

When it comes that 1080p HD lens, at $59.99 you're getting a view you'd expect. Without zooming in at all, I didn't experience much graininess, and it did a good job of presenting accurate colors. Most importantly, you can easily tell if something is askew and can pick out people and animals in front of furniture or walls. Zooming in produces some graininess, but by no means does it become unintelligible.

Sure, for an indoor cam, I might prefer something that has HDR functionality for sunny days when a lot of light comes in, but for the most part, this is a good value for $59.99. I think you get a nicer design, with better microphones and a sharper image, than the $20 Wyze Cam. And it complements your system if you already use Ring.

Bottom Line

The biggest thing going for the Ring Indoor Cam is the pint-size build, along with the price. Many security and home monitoring solutions come in a larger size with a much bigger price tag. So props to Ring on this front.

At $59.99, the Ring Indoor Cam gets the job done and is an easy way to check in on your home from afar. Sure, it's not the sharpest or best video quality out there and lacks HDR, but it's simple to set up and provides a clear view.

It also gives you motion detection and some pretty detailed controls even without getting a Protect plan — that's really only needed if you want to save videos. Point is, you get full access to basically all the features at the $59.99 price point.

Note: The price above reflects the retailer's listed price at the time of publication.