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Ring Pan-Tilt Indoor Cam vs. Ring Indoor Cam (2nd Gen): Which is the better security camera?

The Ring Pan-Tilt Indoor Cam on a wooden shelf.
Ring

One of the newest members of the Ring family is the Pan-Tilt Indoor Cam, offering a 360-degree view of your home. It’s certainly a nifty indoor security camera, but since it’s a bit more expensive than the existing Indoor Cam (2nd Gen), you might be wondering which is best for your smart home.

Thankfully, it’s hard to go wrong with either. Both products are great at protecting your home, and both are likely to last for years before running into issues. But if you’re trying to get the most out of your purchase, here’s a complete look at the Ring Pan-Tilt Indoor Cam and Ring Indoor Cam (2nd Gen) to help you decide which is better for your needs.

Pricing and monthly fees

Ring Indoor Cam 2nd Gen installed on a wall.
Ring

The Pan-Tilt Indoor Cam costs $80 and is available in white, black, charcoal, starlight, and blush colors. The Ring Indoor Cam (2nd Gen) costs just $60 and is available in the same five colors as the Pan-Tilt Indoor Cam. And, as you’d expect, both are powered by a Ring Protect Plan. Three different tiers are available, along with a free plan, though you’ll likely want to spring for at least the Basic Plan. This costs $5 per month and unlocks a 180-day video history, smart notifications, and more.

Winner: Ring Indoor Cam (2nd Gen)

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Design and installation

The Ring Pan-Tilt Indoor Camera mounted on a wall.
Ring

The top half of the Ring Pan-Tilt Indoor Cam is virtually identical to the Ring Indoor Cam (2nd Gen). Both feature a manual privacy shutter, a rectangular black section that houses the camera unit, and a perforated section at the bottom of the device for the speakers and microphone.

That’s all you’re getting with the Indoor Cam (2nd Gen), and it’s a solid-looking gadget. But for the Pan-Tilt Indoor Cam, the camera is mounted on a circular device that allows it to swivel and pivot. This makes it look a bit strange — it’s essentially a cylindrical tube attached by a thin stick to a circular base — though it does give it heaps of added functionality.

Installation is similar for both products, as they’re standard plug-in security cameras. After plugging them in, you’ll just need to sync them with your Ring mobile app. From there, you’ll be guided through the entire process.

Winner: Tie

Resolution and night vision

A smartphone using the Ring app to view a live stream.
Ring

The Ring Pan-Tilt Indoor Cam captures 1080p footage and supports color night vision, as does the Ring Indoor Cam (2nd Gen). Many cameras on the market today can capture 2K or even 4K footage, though the 1080p resolution produced by both these Ring products looks perfectly fine when viewed on your phone.

Winner: Tie

Features and spec list

The Ring Pan-Tilt Indoor Cam next to a smartphone.
Ring

While the two cameras both capture 1080p footage, the Pan-Tilt Indoor Cam has the distinct advantage of being able to capture all corners of a room. Unlike the Indoor Cam (2nd Gen), which carries a fixed viewing angle of 143 degrees, the Pan-Tilt can be remotely controlled, allowing you to pan or tilt it to capture 360 degrees. That’s a big selling point, as you might need to buy multiple Indoor Cams to capture as much of your home as a single Pan-Tilt Cam.

Aside from that, these security cameras are evenly matched. Notable specs include a built-in siren, two-way audio, the option to mount on a wall or ceiling, and a privacy cover that can be manually manipulated to block the camera.

Winner: Ring Pan-Tilt Indoor Cam

Which is the better security camera?

The Ring Pan-Tilt Indoor Cam is the better camera of the two, as it lets you cover more of your home without needing to purchase additional products. When placed in a central location, it’s easy to view all corners of a room — and if your house features an open floor plan, it’s even more enticing.

The Indoor Cam (2nd Gen) is a bit more affordable than the Pan-Tilt Indoor Cam, but most shoppers will find the Pan-Tilt is worth the extra $20. However, if you’re on a budget or don’t have a layout that would benefit from the maneuverability of the Pan-Tilt, the older Indoor Cam (2nd Gen) is a solid alternative. It’s essentially the same camera as the Pan-Tilt, minus the ability to pivot.

Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a writer covering consumer electronics, technology, and gaming. His work has been published on various websites…
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