EVALUATION

Petcube Bites 2 Lite Review: Don’t Buy a Pet Camera Until You’ve Read This

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Bites 2 Lite

9.80 / 10

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For a treat-dispensing camera, the Bite 2 Lites is fantastic. It’s got a cavernous hopper, the camera footage is high quality, and the ability to talk to your pets from anywhere is excellent. If you’re someone who wants to keep your pets from feeling lonely or understimulated while you’re at the office, this camera has you covered.

Key Features

  • 1080p HD camera with 160-degree viewing angle and night vision
  • Built-in treat dispenser
  • Works with Amazon Alexa
  • 2.4 GHz Wi-FI support
  • Two-way audio
  • Sound and motion alerts
  • On-demand veterinarian service
  • 8x zoom
Specifications

  • Brand: Petcube
  • Resolution: 1080p HD
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi
  • App Compatibility: Petcube app
  • Night Vision: Yes
  • Internal or External: Internal
  • Power Source: USB-C
  • Axis Control: 8x zoom only
Pros

  • Large treat hopper
  • Excellent connectivity
  • Easy to set up
  • Petcube app works well
  • Two-way communication feature
Cons

  • Night vision isn't the best
  • Subscription service required to unlock extra features
  • Potential for tipping due to shape
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When it comes to pets, many of us wish we could take them everywhere. Unfortunately, there are times when we’re forced to leave our furry friends at home. For those times, having a way to check up on our companions to make sure they’re staying out of trouble is essential. Many pet owners have turned to indoor cameras for this task.

If you are in the market for one of these cameras, you’ll undoubtedly come across Petcube. Its new Bites 2 Lite is a treat-dispensing indoor camera with night vision, HD video, and two-way audio features. But is it any good?

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What Is the Petcube Bites 2 Lite?

The Bites 2 Lite is the newest version of Petcube’s popular Bites 2 treat-dispensing smart pet camera. Like its older sibling, the Bites 2 Lite offers many of the same features as the original, only at a substantially lower cost. The usual retail price for the Bites 2 Lite on Amazon is $124.99, but currently, the product is on sale for $99 over at both Amazon and Petcube’s websites.

The roving (rover-ing?) eye of the Bites 2 Lite comes in the form of a 160-degree full-HD camera. The wide-angle on this camera lets you see your pet, even when they’re not directly in front of the lens. The camera also offers night-vision to keep watch for potential accidents and late-night zoomies.

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Petcube In Window

In addition, Bites 2 Lite has two-way audio. Owners can listen to their pet snoring on the couch, or they can offer some encouraging words, so their pet doesn’t feel lonely.

With the Petcube app, the Bites 2 Lite can also detect barking and motion. So, whether your pet likes to harrumph at the neighbors or is having a meltdown, you’ll know about it.

The crowning feature, however, is the treat dispensing function. Situated on top of the unit is a hopper that the user can fill with Fido’s favorite treats to dole out via the Petcube app. This hopper is gigantic compared to some of Petcube’s competitors. It also comes in several colors, and the Bites 2 Lite accommodates small, medium, and large-sized treats.

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What’s in the Box?

In the box, you’ll get:

  • The Bites 2 Lite unit, including the attached hopper
  • 3 adapters for changing treat size
  • The USB-C cable and plug
  • A screw kit for wall-mounting the unit
  • The instruction manual

Setup and Configuration

Out of the box, the Petcube is a relatively simple device. The hopper is already attached, and all the user has to do is find a spot to plug in the unit.

From there, users will download the Petcube app, hold down the tiny button above the USB-C cable, and configure their wireless network. Bites 2 Lite only supports 2.4 GHz networks, so you will want to ensure that you’re not trying to use 5 GHz.

The Petcube app is a standout feature here and compared to other security camera apps I’ve used, it is surprisingly well put together. We’re going to talk a bit more about the app in just a moment.

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Download: Petcube for iOS | Android (Free)

Petcube Bites 2 Lite Build Quality and Design

Petcube logo detail

Let’s get this out of the way right up front: the Petcube Bites 2 Lite is made primarily of plastic. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and at less than a hundred bucks, you’ll get no complaints from us.

The unit’s base contains the camera, motion sensor, and two lights that indicate connectivity and night-vision. Below the camera is a speaker grille.

The bottom of the Petcube Bites 2 Lite is rubberized to provide a bit of traction when you place the item on a table or countertop.

On the side of the device are a USB-C port and another speaker grille. Finally, on the back of the device are two mounting holes that you can use to wall-mount the unit.

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The hopper is translucent plastic. If you’d like to remove it, there are two plastic tabs on the sides. Press those tabs and it lifts off the unit. An airtight cover tops the Bites 2 Lite, ensuring that treats stay fresh.

If you remove the hopper, you’ll find the rotating treat dispenser component. Next to this dispenser is a yellow piece of plastic that functions as a gate for treats of different sizes. The Bites 2 Lite comes with the medium “gate” installed, but Petcube also includes a large and small version. You can swap these pieces out by simply lifting them out of the device. In addition, a sensor on the opposite side of the gate will alert you when your treats are getting low.

Petcube Bites 2 Lite Camera

Petcube Video Footage Stationary Shot

When you buy this unit, the main reason will be for the camera. It’s 1080p, full HD, and it offers 160-degrees of view. That means you can almost always find a placement that lets you see the whole room.

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The wide view is excellent for active pets, especially if you’ve got a little rascal who likes to hide out in the corners. For a budget camera, it works well, and I don’t have any complaints about the quality.

Petcube Bites 2 Lite Night

As for night vision, things do get a little grainy when the lights go out. So, if you’re looking for a camera that will “wow” you with stunning high-definition night vision, the Bites 2 Lite isn’t going to cut it. But, on the other hand, if you’re working late and just want to check in with your pets, then the camera does a super job.

Sound Quality

Petcube claims that the sound from the Bites 2 Lite is “crystal clear.” While I wouldn’t describe it as such, I will say that it is clear enough for most situations. To me, it’s almost like talking to your pet via speakerphone. From my perspective, sound quality is decent for a budget unit, and it gets the job done without drop-outs.

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A notable feature here is sound detection. If your pet starts barking, for example, the camera will let you know via the Petcube app. I have two dogs and two cats, and whenever someone walks down our street, my oldest dog tends to raise a raucous. So, it’s fantastic to know that just by tapping on the app notification, I can calm her down. And when she’s nice and calm, I can reward her for her good behavior.

Treat Tossing

Frieda looking at the Petcube Bites 2 Lite

One of the best Bites 2 Lite features is the treat-tossing capability. Once you open the Petcube app to view your camera feed, you’ll see a small bone graphic on the left of the screen. Tap it and a bone will appear in the middle of the screen. By dragging this bone to different heights, you can control the flinging distance of your treats.

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If you have skittish pets, the operating whir will probably scare them at first. But once your companion realizes that the noise precedes a delicious snack, they’ll probably start to warm up to it. Just make sure you introduce the device slowly so that they can get comfortable.

Positive reinforcement with the Petcube Bites 2 Lite is also a great way to train your pet. When you catch them doing something right, sitting calmly, for example, toss them a reward. Let them know that calm behavior is the best way to get something they want.

Compatible With Alexa

If you want an even more convenient way to treat your pet, you can use Alexa. By setting up the Petcube skill in the Alexa app, you can tell Alexa, “Fling a treat with Petcube,” and the device will chuck delicious morsels in the direction of your favorite four-legged friend.

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I found Alexa support to work well after I got it configured. However, I will say that if using Alexa is essential to you, then it’s best to set up your Petcube account without using Facebook, Gmail, or an Apple ID. The reason being that these accessibility options are not presented when you try to connect the Petcube skill to Alexa.

Petcube App and Petcube Care

Image Gallery (3 Images)

As I said before, one of the best things about the Petcube Bites 2 Lite is the app. It’s simple to use, and you can add multiple Petcube cameras if you’d like. When you’d like to view your camera feed, tap on your pet’s picture, and the camera view loads. There’s no fuss, no fanfare, just an easy-to-understand interface that lets you watch your special buddy.

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There’s also an Explore section of the app that lets you watch shared Petcube cameras across the globe. This feature might be alluring, but for me, watching other people’s pets is a little creepy. I like the idea in theory, but I don’t think I’ll be using the Explore section of the app in practice.

Image Gallery (3 Images)

In the main section of the app, you can also initiate a “Vet Chat” that will give you up-to-the-minute advice if you have a pet concern. For example, if you notice Mr. Meow Meow doesn’t seem his spry self, then you can use this feature to determine whether you need to rush home. In a pinch or over a holiday weekend, this service might prove useful.

One of the additional features of the Petcube app is a subscription-based service dubbed Petcube Care. Petcube Care offers upgrades like automatic video recording, up to 90 days of video history, smart alerts, and a web interface. There are two tiers, Optimal, which gives you three days of video recording at $5.99/month, and Premium, which offers a 90-day video history at $14.99/month. And discounts are available when paying annually.

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If you have more than one pet, a pet with special needs, or you just want to keep an extended video history, then these plans may make sense. On the other hand, I’ve been using the free tier and haven’t had a problem.

Can You Repair the Bites 2 Lite?

No. Though, if you needed to replace a broken hopper or a misbehaving power cable, I’m confident that it wouldn’t be difficult. As for the camera and treat dispenser portions, you’re better off leaving those alone unless you know what you’re doing.

The warranty on the Bites 2 Lite is one year, but that's upgraded to two if you subscribe to the Petcube Care program. That doesn't seem worth the extra cost for us, but if you were going to subscribe to Petcube Care anyway, it’s a nice additional benefit.

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What Do We Love About the Petcube Bites 2 Lite

Frieda Sniffing the Petcube Bites 2 Lite

For a treat-dispensing camera, the Bites 2 Lite is fantastic. It’s got a cavernous hopper, the camera footage is high quality, and the ability to talk to your pets from anywhere is excellent. So if you’re someone who wants to keep your furry roommates from feeling lonely or understimulated while you’re away at the office, this camera has you covered.

Alexa support is also an unexpected bonus. The Alexa support is also great if you’re feeling lazy and just want to dole out some extra snacks without opening the app or getting up off the couch. These are all features that make the Petcube unit stand out over its competitors.

What’s Not to Love?

Backside of Petcube Bites 2 Lite

There are only a couple of minor concerns with the Bites 2 Lite. The height of the unit, and the narrow base, make it easy to tip over. If you have rambunctious pets, then they’re liable to knock this unit from its perch and reap a hearty reward. There’s also the possibility that it will break if it falls.

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The unit is also a little noisy when dispensing treats. It’s not terrible, but the noise level may frighten more skittish creatures. If you have fearful pets, you might want to slowly introduce the device or find a quieter pet camera.

Our Verdict: Should You Buy the Bites 2 Lite?

For pet owners looking to keep tabs on their furry roommates, the Petcube Bites 2 Lite is a must-buy. It’s inexpensive, high-quality, and it's easy to see why Petcube is such a prominent brand in the smart pet accessory space. Additionally, this device offers security and peace of mind for owners who have pets with special needs.

Most of all, the Petcube Bites 2 Lite is fun. It makes you feel good to know that even when your pets are stuck at home, they’re only a couple of taps away.

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