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Smart Home

Ring Indoor Cam vs. Wyze Cam

Startups like Wyze kicked off the cheap security camera trend. Now larger companies like Ring are catching on.

When Amazon's smart home company, Ring, introduced its $60 Indoor Cam at its September press event, I was pleasantly surprised by its low price. Ring announced a $100 Stick Up Cam the same day -- a significant price drop compared to the last-gen $180 Stick Up Cam Wired I tested one year ago. Ring even has a $200 Ring Retrofit Alarm Kit in the works, due out later this year. The Retrofit Kit is supposed to use the hardware from an existing wired alarm system like ADT or another, older professional system -- and make it like new again, sending you phone alerts and sounding a siren as needed, just like any other modern security system.

The one thing all three of Ring's new products have in common is the promise of value (assuming they work well and aren't just, you know, cheap). This shift toward better prices is a clear sign that larger brands are paying attention to their startup competition like Wyze. The $20 Wyze Cam and $30 Wyze Cam Pan work remarkably well considering their ridiculously low costs. 

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The $60 Ring Indoor Cam is the Amazon company's cheapest security camera -- by far.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Ring is closing in on Wyze's still-unbeatable value with cameras like the Indoor Cam -- and even more affordable smart home products are likely heading our way as other big companies pay attention to this trend. Ring isn't quite there yet, for reasons I'll get into below, but it's making definite progress.

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First, a comparison

How does the Ring Indoor Cam stack up against the Wyze Cam? Yes, the Indoor Cam costs $60 and the Wyze Cam costs $20, but the features and performance of each security camera will tell us even more about their comparative value.

Before all that, let's discuss privacy briefly. Here's Wyze's privacy statement and here's Ring's. Both companies use cloud platform Amazon Web Services (AWS) for cloud storage. Wyze uses Xnor.ai for person detection. Ring has been in the news lately for its relationship with law enforcement where customers can share saved video clips of recorded footage with police departments, sparking privacy concerns, including questions about who else could be looking at your camera's footage

Now let's dive into the comparison.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET
  • Design

Both cameras have white finishes, stands with optional mounting hardware and are for indoor use only. The Ring Indoor Cam has a sturdier build than the Wyze Cam and, in my opinion, looks nicer too. 

The Ring app is also more polished than Wyze's, but Wyze's app is decent enough.

Ring wins the design round.

  • Performance

Both cameras deliver quick alerts and have solid live video feeds. I found Ring's feed to look better overall -- crisper mainly -- even though both cameras have 1080p resolution. Part of that could be due to Ring's app. 

Of course, the Wyze Cam does more overall. Its person alerts feature, for instance, worked pretty well for me (with a few exceptions) when I tested the camera. But in terms of the things both cameras offer -- motion alerts and live video feeds -- Ring's camera is better.

Ring wins again.  Read the CNET article

Tyler Lizenby/CNET
  • Features

Wyze offers more features for free. Here's an overview, which I stole from my post about the Wyze Cam. Everything in the list below is free, but the stuff in bold is marked because it's rarely free. 

  • 1080p HD resolution
  • Alexa and Google Assistant voice support
  • IFTTT integration
  • Motion alerts
  • Sound detection with smoke and carbon monoxide alarm detection
  • Person alerts (but no facial recognition)
  • Motion detection zone
  • 14-day cloud storage (motion- and sound-alert based)
  • MicroSD card slot (microSD card sold separately)
  • 110-degree field of view
  • Adjustable, magnetic base
  • Night vision
  • Two-way audio via a built-in speaker and microphone
  • Time-lapse

Ring has a lot of the same features, but many of them require a subscription to Ring Protect, Ring's cloud storage service. Here's the rundown. You have to pay for the stuff in bold.

  • 1080p HD resolution
  • Alexa voice support 
  • IFTTT integration
  • Motion alerts 
  • Motion detection zone
  • 60-day cloud storage (motion-based)
  • 140-degree field of view
  • Adjustable base
  • Night vision
  • Two-way audio via a built-in speaker and microphone

This round goes to Wyze.

  • Value

Because of Wyze's lower overall price, free cloud storage, free person alerts, custom sound alerts and built-in microSD card slot, Wyze offers the best value of the two.

Wyze wins this round.  Read the CNET article

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The Wyze Cam costs just 20 bucks. 

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Ring is closing in

If you already have a Ring doorbell, or other Ring devices and want to stick with the same company, the Ring Indoor Cam is a solid choice. It's affordable at just $60 and performs well. That said, Ring is holding firm to its minimum $3 per month charge if you want to save motion-activated video clips and Wyze doesn't require that. Wyze even offers a local storage route via its microSD card slot. While Ring puts up a good fight here, I weigh features and value more heavily than the other categories in this case, especially because the Wyze Cam's performance was also good (just not quite as good as Ring's Indoor Cam). 

Wyze wins this time, but that might not always be the case.