The Ring Stick Up Cam, now in its third generation, can be deployed indoors or out

It operates on battery power, which means you can deploy it just about anywhere your Wi-Fi network can reach, and it can be connected to an optional but inexpensive solar panel. It’s virtually identical to the Ring Indoor Cam I reviewed a little more than a week ago, both in form factor and specs, but the Stick Up Cam’s battery and weatherized enclosure adds $40 to the price.

There are higher-quality indoor/outdoor, battery-powered, Wi-Fi security cameras on the market, but the Ring Stick Up Cam costs half as much as the Arlo Pro 3 that tops our list, and you’ll need to buy that camera in a $500 two-pack that includes a smart hub (add-on Arlo cameras cost $200 each). There are major upsides to Arlo’s product for sure, but they don’t matter if you can’t afford the product in the first place.

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On the other hand, you’ll need to sign up for a subscription to access the Ring Stick Up Cam’s motion-triggered video recordings ($3 per month/$30 per year for one Ring camera, or $10 per month/$100 per year for an unlimited number). Without a subscription, you can only stream live video from the camera, and only to the Ring app. The Arlo Pro 3 records video to its 2TB of local storage. Arlo offers subscription plans to unlock additional features, but you don’t need one just to view recorded video clips.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best home security cameras, where you’ll find reviews of competing products, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping.

I discussed Ring’s new privacy protections and the manner in which Ring cameras tie into the broader Ring home security ecosystem in my review of the Ring Indoor Cam, so I won’t repeat myself here other than to say few competitors can beat it—especially at these prices (click here if you want to read more about that).

Michael Brown / IDG
The socket at the top of the Ring Stick Up Cam is for connecting the optional solar panel. The socket below that is for mounting the camera to a wall. (The battery compartment is open in this shot.)

Ring Stick Up Cam Battery features

The Stick Up Cam is very slightly bigger than its indoor cousin, measuring 3.82 inches tall and 2.36 inches in diameter without its stand (compared to 2.95 inches and 1.81 inches respectively for the indoor model). It can operate on any flat surface, like a tabletop, or you can detach its swivel base and re-attach it to the back so you can mount it on a wall. You will need a $20 accessory to mount the camera on a ceiling—that’s pricey, even if it does come with all the screws and tools you’ll need.

Twisting a bayonet-style base provides access to the camera’s removable battery, and Ring provides a set screw that will prevent a thief from casually nicking it. A second set screw can be used to make it more difficult to remove the camera from its mount when it’s attached to a wall. Unlike Ring’s Video Doorbell 2, however, both screws have a Philips head. The company’s doorbell uses a Torx-head screw, requiring a tool that thieves are less likely to have in their pockets.

Michael Brown / IDG
The Ring Stick Up Cam has crude motion detection zones compared to other Ring camera models.

The indoor/outdoor model delivers the same 1080p resolution as the cheaper indoor model, but it has a slightly narrower field of view: 110 degrees horizontal and 57 degrees vertical, compared to 115 and 60 degrees respectively for the Indoor Cam. But its motion-detection zones are more crude: You can toggle three wedge-shaped detection zones on or off, and you can adjust the sensitivity of the active zones as a whole, but you can’t adjust the width or depth of the wedges.

The Stick Up Cam Battery has the same single-band (2.4GHz) Wi-Fi adapter onboard, but that frequency band generally delivers longer range. That’s important if you’re installing the camera outdoors, so I won’t complain about it. As you might have guessed, there is no option for hardwired ethernet (or power, either).

Ring says the Stick Up Cam Battery “can go months between recharging with normal use,” but let’s be real; even if it does, Murphy’s Law dictates that the battery will fail at the worst possible moment—right before an intruder steps foot on your property, for instance. And the more time that passes between recharges, the more likely you are to forget to monitor it.

Fortunately, Ring sells an inexpensive solar panel ($50) that you can mount near the camera that will keep its battery perpetually topped off, and that’s how I tested it. Ring’s solar panel measures 7.75 high and 5.5 wide and is 0.5 inches thick. It connects to the camera with a weatherproof barrel connector at the end of a 13-foot cable. (If you’re comparing the Stick Up Cam to the more sophisticated Arlo Pro 3 security camera, it’s worth noting here that Arlo’s solar panel costs $80.)

Michael Brown / IDG
Ring’s $50 solar panel will keep the Ring Stick Up Cam’s battery charged, so you can deploy the camera almost anywhere.

Being part of the Amazon family, it goes without saying that Ring’s cameras are compatible with Amazon’s Echo smart displays, so you can stream video from the camera just by asking Alexa. If you’re a Google Home user, Ring’’s cameras are also compatible with Google Assistant.

Bottom line

I was able to deploy the Stick Up Cam Battery on the private road in front of my house, which is 125 feet from my mesh Wi-Fi router’s closest node. That’s probably the hairy edge of what the camera can deliver—the Ring app’s Device Health reported RSSI (Received Signal Strength) of -67, compared to -30 for the Indoor Cam mounted in my garage, which is less than 10 feet from my router (lower numbers are better on this scale).

Michael Brown / IDG
Resolution takes a hit when the Ring Stick Up Cam is installed as far from home network as it is here, but I’ll know when deliveries arrive.

The Stick Up Cam didn’t deliver perfect resolution at that distance, and its two-way audio was a bit garbled, but colors were vivid, its night vision was impressive, and the camera had no problem sending me motion alerts and recording motion-triggered events. Ring recommends having 2Mbps of upload bandwidth for optimal performance, which should be an easy bar for users with cable or fiber broadband to clear. DSL subscribers will find that requirement much more challenging to meet.

If you don’t need the high-end sophistication of the absolute best security cameras that can be deployed outdoors (the Arlo Pro 3, Arlo Ultra, Deep Sentinel, or Nest Cam IQ), or if you just can’t afford that pricey hardware, the Ring Stick Up Cam is an unbeatable value—and I highly recommend picking up Ring’s solar panel to go with it. You won’t get the super-high resolution or flashy AI features, but you will get a very good product—and that goes double if you already have other Ring devices deployed around your home.


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