Furbo 360° Dog Camera review
Is this rotating dog camera the next best thing to a pet sitter?
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Furbo is one of the better-known brands that makes smart pet cameras, and this year, it released the new Furbo 360° Dog Camera (available at Amazon) . This new model offers one major upgrade over the previous Furbo dog camera: Its 360-degree rotation abilities, which allow you to monitor your pet more readily, no matter where they are in the room.
However, there are a few features on this smart camera that don’t quite live up to expectations, so you’ll want to make sure they’re not deal breakers before you buy.
About the Furbo 360° Dog Camera
- Size: 8.77 x 4.92 x 4.92 inches
- Weight: 1.7 pounds
- Resolution: 1080p FHD
- Field of View: 132 degree wide-angle lens
- Zoom: 4x digital zoom
- Treat Capacity: 100 pieces
- Power: 5.2V
- Connectivity: 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi or Bluetooth 4.2
The Furbo 360° Dog Camera is a smart pet camera and treat dispenser, all in one. There’s a lift-off bamboo lid that offers access to the treat dispenser, which can hold up to 100 treats at once, and the whole unit rotates on its base to give you a 360-degree view of the room.
Through the Furbo app, you’re able to view the camera’s high-definition video feed, and it also has two-way audio abilities, allowing you to hear what’s going on in your home and talk to your pets. You can also toss treats to your pets right from the app.
To test this smart camera, I used it to monitor my two Golden Retrievers over the course of several weeks. The camera was extremely simple to set up—it’s essentially plug-and-play—and it offers a variety of features, such as barking alerts, motion tracking, and even night vision.
What we like
Good video quality
I’ve used other smart pet cameras in the past, and the video quality was often quite blurry, especially when I connected over cellular data. This wasn’t a problem at all with the Furbo 360° Dog Camera.
No matter whether I connected via Wi-Fi or cellular data, the 1080p full high-definition video feed was clear and detailed with very little lag, letting me see exactly what my dogs were doing.
I was able to check in on them during a hair appointment, tossing them treats and talking to them over the two-way audio. (I also tested the audio separately with the help of my partner, and he said the quality was surprisingly good!)
The 132-degree angle lens provided a full view of our living room, which is where our dogs most frequently hang out, and the picture was even extremely clear at night.
The camera also offers 4x digital zoom, but the image quality does suffer when you zoom in all the way.
360-degree rotation and motion tracking
As its name suggests, the Furbo 360° Dog Camera is able to rotate 360 degrees on its base, allowing you to see what’s happening all around your home. This is one of the biggest improvements from the previous version of the Furbo camera, and in my experience, it lives up to the hype.
When you open the Furbo app, there are little arrows on each side of the video feed, and when you press them, the camera turns quickly and seamlessly. There’s no stuttering or delay, and it can truly rotate all the way around on its base, making it ideal for surveying large rooms.
Additionally, the camera offers automatic motion tracking. When you’re viewing the video feed, the camera automatically follows your dog as they move around the room, saving you from having to move the camera manually.
This feature worked extremely well in my testing, helping to keep my dogs in the frame as they ran around. It did sometimes get confused because there were two dogs to track, but generally it just opted to focus on whichever one was closer to the camera.
If you asked my dogs, they’d likely tell you that the best thing about the Furbo Camera is the treat dispenser. When you set up the camera, the app explains that it works best with dry, round treats that are up to 0.5-inches in diameter, and I ended up using the kibble my dogs eat, which fit the bill pretty well and saved me from having to buy special treats.
To toss treats to your dog, you simply swipe up on the little treat icon in the app. The camera makes a “squeaky toy” noise to let your pups know a treat is coming, but you can also record a custom sound, such as you calling their name.
My dogs quickly learned to recognize the sound and will come running at full speed from anywhere in the house. The camera then drops a treat (or two) into the launcher and flings them across the room.
My dogs absolutely loved this feature and would stand in front of the camera adorably waiting for more kibble to come flying their way.
Most features available without subscription
If you’ve ever owned a smart camera before—whether for pets or just security in general—you likely know that many products have a monthly subscription fee to access certain features.
However, I was happy to find that the free Furbo plan gives you access to most of the camera’s biggest features. You get barking alerts, two-way audio, motion tracking, treat tossing and night vision.
The only major feature that isn’t available with the free plan is motion-triggered video recordings—if you want the camera to capture clips of your dog throughout the day for you to watch later, you have to upgrade to a Furbo Dog Nanny subscription, which costs $6.99 per month.
Other features that come with the subscription include person alerts—a.k.a. when a human walks into the frame—activity alerts, on/off scheduling and a daily highlight reel.
Personally, these are all features I can live without.
What we don’t like
Poor Alexa connectivity
The Furbo Dog Camera is supposed to work with Alexa, but I wasn’t able to connect the two devices, despite several attempts.
Most smart cameras allow you to initiate the syncing process right from the app, but with Furbo, you’re supposed to do it through the Alexa app. After I turned on the Furbo skill, Alexa wasn’t able to locate the camera to connect. I tried several times with no luck.
I’m not the only one who’s had problems with the camera’s Alexa integration, either. The Furbo skill has just a 2.7-star rating on Amazon, and many users say it disconnects frequently, forcing you to set it up again.
Any noise triggers barking alerts
One of the selling points of the Furbo 360° Dog Camera is that it sends “barking alerts” to your phone (and in my case, my Apple Watch) if it hears your dog making a commotion. When this happens, you’ll receive a notification that says, “Your dog is barking. Tap to see what’s going on.” If you click into the notification, it will pull up the Furbo live feed for you.
However, I quickly realized that any loud noise will trigger an alert. The first time this happened, I yelled something to my partner on the other side of the house and immediately got a notification on my phone.
Over the few weeks, I also got notifications from the camera when there was a loud scene on TV, the front door slammed, the vacuum was on, or pans were banged in the kitchen.
I even got a bark alert when one of my dogs was playing with a squeaky toy.
Basically, the camera isn’t listening for barking specifically—it’s merely triggered by any louder-than-average noise, which can lead to a lot of false alarms.
You’re able to decrease the sensitivity of this feature in the app (or turn it off completely), but you’ll likely still get false notifications from time to time, especially if the camera is located in a busy area of your home.
With any internet-connected device, privacy and security are always a concern, and we’d describe Furbo’s security policies as good, but not great. The app allows you to use very basic passwords—it doesn’t require capital letters or special characters—but it does give you the option to turn on two-factor authentication for an added level of security.
If you upgrade to the paid subscription plan, you also get the option to schedule designated off times for the camera—for instance, you can prevent it from being turned on during the night.
In particular, I didn’t like that the brand collects photos and videos, as well as audio recordings from your device: “When you set up the Furbo Dog Camera, we collect any audio, video or pictures you create, upload, save or share through our Services (the “Content”). We process Content data according to your configurations and settings. We may also collect video and audit information of individuals when they pass in front of the camera or speak when the Furbo Dog Camera is on.”
I wasn’t able to find any option to turn off or limit data collection within the Furbo app—just something to keep in mind if you decide to use this device.
Should you buy the Furbo 360° Dog Camera?
Maybe, depending on the features that are most important to you.
If you’re looking for a way to monitor your dog (or other pets) while away from home, the Furbo 360° Dog Camera is a worthwhile option. It delivers crisp high-definition video and clear two-way audio, and it even works extremely well when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi, allowing you to check in on your pup from virtually anywhere.
Plus, we love that the majority of its features are available without a monthly subscription, allowing you to take advantage of its barking alerts, motion tracking and treat tossing.
However, this might not be the best smart pet camera for everyone. We found that it doesn’t work very well with Alexa (if you can get it to connect at all), and the barking alerts result in quite a few false alarms.
Additionally, if you want the camera to record and save video clips automatically, you will have to upgrade to a paid subscription for $6.99 per month.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.