This won’t be your typical comparison article with a one-winner takes-all prize. I’ve tried many security camera brands over the years and I’ve found that both Wyze and Ring security cameras have somewhat different pros and cons that make them ideal in different situations.
So, what I will be doing is listing some categories or scenarios and talking about which brand and camera are more suited for them.
In the pricing category, there’s no real comparison. Wyze came into the market years ago with a $20 security camera. They were fairly basic but they did the job. These days, the Wyze cams can range from $30-$60 and includes many great features, more than even the much more expensive Ring cameras that cost hundreds of dollars.
As alluded to in the pricing category, it can be surprising that the Wyze cameras at those low prices can have quite a few features. But let’s talk about the common features that both brands have among most of their security cameras first. They both have great video recording quality. They both have recording and playback features. They both have great 2-way communication quality.
That’s the basics needed for security cameras and where the similarities end. The Wyze cameras offer a few other features such as sound triggering recording and SD card slots.
However, motion detection seems to be a bit better with Ring cameras.
Pre-roll Recording Feature
Pre-roll recording is one of the most important features of any security camera and the most useful. This feature is called by different names from different brands and early on for Ring camera, they didn’t even call out this feature even though it had it for the wired cameras. One other name I’ve seen for this feature is called the 3-second look-back.
Have you seen recorded footage from a doorbell camera where the perpetrator was already at the door or even walking away from the door? What happened to the earlier footage of the perpetrator walking up to the door? Well, that’s recorded footage without the pre-roll recording.
Most battery-operated cameras will not have this feature. If you had read my last article on How To Choose the Right Smart Home Security Camera, you’ll know that I do not like battery-operated cameras, mainly for 2 reasons as discussed in that article. It’s an old article, but still applicable.
So, the way pre-roll works is that the camera is actually constantly recording in the background. When there is a movement that triggers a recording, then it creates a recording for the end-user starting from a point in the background recording up to several seconds before the trigger. This way, you do not miss anything that may have happened before the trigger point.
Both brands have this feature, but with Ring cameras you need to get the wired versions. Do not get the battery versions!
Recording & Playback Features
Both Wyze and Ring cameras offer subscription-based recording and playback. If you don’t subscribe, the cameras will still record as needed but you will not be able to play back the recorded footage. Wyze does give you free, rolling 14-day cloud storage. But, there are limits to the recording footage and more that don’t make it really useful.
However, most of the Wyze cameras also have an SD card slot that allows you to have 24/7 recording. Depending on the size of the SD card, you can probably retain up to a few days or more of 24/7 recordings. These recordings are accessible from the Wyze cam app even without a subscription so you do not need to remove the SD card to access the recordings.
All of these security cameras are triggered to record based on motion. But, how they detect motion is the key.
Battery-operated cameras use IR motion detectors (PIR as listed by some). These are the worse and even if the specs say it can detect motion up to 30ft, that’s under ideal conditions. There are times that someone can be within 10ft and doesn’t trigger a recording.
Wired cameras from both brands get the pre-roll features so you don’t miss a thing. Also, wired cameras use software motion detection in addition to PIR detection.
With software motion detection, I’ve had it detect motion to trigger recordings from over 50ft away on my front yard camera. I limited the field of motion to prevent my neighbors from setting it off all the time but by pointing it down the street without limiting the field of detection, I can probably have it trigger a recording from over 100ft away with a car. I’ve found the software detection in Ring Wired cameras is better than Wyze. I’ve had many false detections with the Wyze cameras.
A major difference between the two brands is that Wyze will also trigger a recording based on sound. When it notifies you of sound detection, it can even let you know if it’s a smoke or CO alarm. Ring currently does not have this feature.
Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) Camera
At this time, Ring does not have a PTZ security camera. As for Wyze, they are already on their 2nd generation PTZ camera called the Wyze Cam Pan v2 for less than $40! I personally use these security cameras for indoor areas and I love them.
Not only can you control the movement of the camera to look at all corners of the room remotely, but you also have a great zoom feature. To add to that, one of the recording options is auto-tracking so the camera will actually pan and tilt on its own to keep the subject within the recording frame.
What I Use
I hope from what I’ve written above, I’ve conveyed that both brands have their pros and cons for their security cameras. For me personally, I use both brands, but in different situations.
For exterior cameras, I use Ring Wired Cameras. It may be a nuisance to have to install an outlet to where you want the cameras, but the features you get from a wired camera versus a battery-operated version is a must-have.
For indoor cameras, I use Wyze Cam Pans. The PTZ feature is fun but the other features such as sound detection are a must-have. If someone breaks your window to get into your house, the camera will trigger based on the sound alone, for example.
Another great feature that’s not talked about above is that you can actually turn off the camera from the Wyze app. You can’t do that with Ring cameras. So, while I’m at home, I turn off the Wyze cam from the app. I only turn it on when we’re not at home. With Ring cameras, to turn them off, you have to physically unplug them.
I hope I’ve provided you with some good information. If not, let me know!