Welcome to Skimm Tested, where we put products to the test and then give 'em a report card. (Check out all of our tried and tested faves here.)
To see if the Furbo 360º Dog Camera ($210), the brand’s newest model, is worth investing in as your go-to pet camera.
Straight A’s in…
Video quality. The Furbo camera’s video quality is, in short, top-notch. It streams in color, and you can choose from 360p, 720p, and 1080p resolutions — though higher ones may affect streaming quality depending on your Wi-Fi. We consistently kept the camera at 720p and found it to be quite crisp, but if you’ve got a stronger connection, the 1080p resolution is impressive. And when you’re using the app, you can zoom in 4x as well as take photos or videos in real time. The camera also has an automatic night-vision feature, which provides a clear view of the room in low lighting; the device will determine whether color or black and white will give you the crispest image.
A 360-degree view. Unlike the previous Furbo model, this device rotates on its base to provide a 360-degree view (hence its name), which you can control via arrows on the app to scan the room in either direction. We found this function to work smoothly and quickly, allowing us a full view of the room.
Interactive features. One of the best features of this camera, in our humble opinions, is the ability to toss treats to your pet via the app. Bonus: You can choose from either a default squeaky-toy sound to activate when a treat is tossed, or you can record your own sound if you want to personalize it. You can also talk to your pets in real time by pressing a microphone icon on the app. We tested that feature while we were in the room with the camera and found the sound to be crisp and come through with almost no lag.
Real-time alerts. The app sends push notifications if it senses your dog is barking, or any significant sounds in the room (like people talking loudly).
App quality. During our testing period, we encountered no issues with the app and found it to consistently work smoothly.
Setup. As long as you have a solid Wi-Fi connection, setting up the camera is quick and easy. It took us less than 10 minutes to have it up and running.
Room for growth…
Price. At $210 (currently on sale for $189), the Furbo 360º Dog Camera isn’t exactly cheap — though we have noticed that Furbo cameras are frequently on sale, as this one is now. And if you want additional alerts beyond the push notifications indicating barking/noise, you’ll have to sign up for the “Furbo Dog Nanny” at $6.99/month. This subscription provides additional alerts for things like dog activity, a person coming into view, a carbon monoxide/smoke alarm alert, and more. You do get a free 30-day trial of this with the purchase of a camera, but we wish all these alerts came standard with the device.
Treat capacity. While the treat-tossing function is an incredibly cool one, treats must be less than 0.75 inches in diameter, and should be dry, firm, and round for best toss results. This shouldn’t typically be a problem, unless perhaps you have a pet with dental issues that can only chew soft treats, but we think it’s worth noting.
Plays well with…
Anyone who has dogs, cats, or any other pets whose activity they want to keep an eye on when they’re away from home.
Those with a smartphone that can download the Furbo app.
Gets extra credit for…
Sponsoring a rescue dog with each Furbo purchase via the Furbo for Good program. The brand has partnered with nonprofit Wags and Walks this year to provide meals, training, healthcare, and more for dogs in need.
Being compatible with Amazon Alexa (i.e., you can schedule treat-tossing).
Having a sleek, minimal design — a white body with a wood cover — that inconspicuously fits into any home.
How we did our homework…
One HQ’r — who has also had experience using the original Furbo Dog Camera with her dog — used this newer model for several months, placing it in her living room so she could view her cats when she wasn’t at home. Even when she went on vacation abroad, the app continued to work seamlessly and she was able to toss treats and talk to her pets from a hotel room in Europe. (Aka the future is now.) She also observed the treat-tossing and voice functionalities while using the app in the same room as the camera to see how efficiently both features worked.
360-degree view, night-vision feature, crisp video quality
Lets you toss treats and talk to your pet
30-day money-back guarantee
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