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Lifewire / Emily Isaacs
Swivel camera with 80-degree vertical rotation and 350-degree horizontal rotation
Infrared night vision
Multiple setup options
Motion-based mobile notifications
Low-quality video feed
HapSee App doesn’t support Mac devices
The Tooge is a good pet camera, despite lackluster video quality. The budget-friendly price makes it an excellent alternative to more expensive competitors.
While it may not have all the bells and whistles competitor models boast, the Tooge Pet Camera is an excellent budget-friendly device. It will appeal to casual pet owners who aren’t looking for laser games or treat dispensers, but just want a basic way to check in on furry friends while away.
The Tooge pet camera is designed specifically with functionality in mind. Unlike competitor models such as the Furbo Dog Camera or the Petcube Play, Tooge doesn’t feature any lasers for games or treat dispensers. The main highlight of this pet camera is the swivel head. It can tilt 80 degrees vertically and 350 degrees horizontally. It can’t quite spin all the way around, but it sure gets close. While the lens itself is a 112-degree wide-angle lens—smaller than competitor models who offer upwards of 160 degrees and provide more of a fisheye view—the Tooge can turn and capture moments other pet cameras may otherwise miss if their camera angle is fixed.
The Tooge pet camera is a budget-friendly alternative to higher-end pet camera products.
Another perk of the design is the wall mount, which simply screws into the Tooge’s base. It enables pet owners to find the absolute best location in their home to set up the pet camera. Placement is important, because while the camera lens isn’t fixed and can turn, it’s slow. Pet owners should consider which space in their home they’d like to center the picture on for maximum coverage. This makes the Tooge a great option for renters, who may be less inclined to add permanent fixtures to walls.
The Tooge arrives with several extras in its box. There’s a Smart HD Wi-Fi Camera user guide, a quick-start instruction pamphlet to guide new owner’s through its various setup options, a wall mount with screws to fasten it safely and securely, a manual reset tool, the Tooge itself, a power adapter, and an Ethernet cable.
Tooge can be set up in several different ways. Our first step was to download the HapSee app from the Google Play Store onto our Samsung Galaxy S8 and plug in the Tooge with its provided power cord. iOS mobile devices are also supported, although Mac devices are not.
From here, users need to determine which setup option is best for them. The sound-pairing option is easy, with users selecting their local Wi-Fi network within HapSee followed by the app emitting a sound wave which the Tooge searches for and connects to. It’s a unique way to connect, but it was incredibly shrill and a little rough on our ears. It doesn’t last long, only a minute or two, before the connection is made and the Tooge is ready for use.
The Tooge can also be paired via a QR code scanning feature. To take advantage of this setup option, simply scan the QR code on the bottom of the Tooge into the Hapsee app and it does the rest of the work for you.
For pet owners who may have difficulty with the previous setup options, here’s where the provided Ethernet cord comes in handy. The Ethernet cord can be connected to a router and then to the Tooge, allowing it to hard-line into the network. From here, mobile devices are able to locate it by searching the network for the pet camera and selecting it once it’s visible.
The HapSee app itself is okay. It doesn’t feel like it was translated to English particularly well. It also seems to have some trouble reconnecting unless you close and reopen the app. It has several built-in features for notifications, alarms and recording options, but the highlight of the device is clearly the livestream video feed with its two-way talk and swivel camera. One drawback of the app and the swivel camera is that it’s a little clunky to move, swiveling incrementally so that a user needs to continue swiping their finger across their mobile device several times to make significant changes to the Tooge’s field of view.
Two-way talk is an important feature in many pet cameras, helping pet owners communicate back and forth with their beloved pets despite distance. The two-way talk audio quality for Tooge is decent. While the sounds coming from the pet’s end can be somewhat soft, it does project human voices clearly and fairly loudly through the camera’s built-in speaker. One annoyance is that sometimes the motor sounds come through the HapSee app when the camera is in the process of turning.
Motion-based notifications are a highlight of the app, which is capable of storing pictures or video in purchasable cloud storage. Plans range from $1.80 for a month of service, which includes pictures of the activity that triggered the mobile notification, and up to $60 for a year for cloud video recordings. Cloud records are stored for up to 30 days. This helps pet lovers stay up-to-speed with their pets if movement is detected.
Motion-based notifications are a highlight of the app, which is capable of storing pictures or video in purchasable cloud storage.
One drawback of the notifications is that they did seem to be especially sensitive, so turning the sensitivity option down from its default is a necessity to prevent spamming notifications in a short time period. It also feels like a limitation of the device to have the microSD slot available for only specific recording types, such as alarms and scheduled recordings, but not motion-based notifications.
The HapSee app also features the ability to set alarms, which play siren noises if motion activity is detected. Pet owners simply enable the buzzer setting within the app’s motion alarms, and then tap the lock symbol when they’re ready to turn it on in the app’s home screen.
These alarms also trigger a notification to a mobile device which, depending on a user’s subscription or microSD setup, can record video clips of the offending act. We triggered this feature to test it and found it to be loud and jarring. While you could set it up to discourage naughty pet behavior such as digging through the garbage, for instance, we feel like it would be too traumatizing. If a user is looking to use this camera as a general security camera, however, there’s definitely crossover appeal.
The video quality itself isn’t fantastic, able to stream in 720p HD video. There’s blur when pets move and the image quality can be grainy and noisy at times. This is especially true in low-light conditions before the camera’s infrared night vision kicks online. The night vision itself is of good quality, able to clearly show pets once the sun goes down, which is another feature that not all pet cameras support—including more expensive competitor models. It’s great quality for the price point plus it comes with the ability to support up to five users inside the HapSee app at one time.
Pet cameras tend to range from $100-$400. Considering the Tooge’s features, such as the 720p swivel camera, motion-based notifications, and two-way talk, the Tooge pet camera has a surprising amount of functionality for a low price point. This makes it the best budget-friendly pet camera in our books. After all, $39.99 ( on Amazon) is hard to beat. The tradeoff is that the features it does have are less targeted and developed than competitor devices. Regardless, the pet owner just looking to check in on what their dog or cat is up to during the day will find this more than meets their needs.
There are many excellent pet cameras choices out there, with varying options based on every pet owner’s needs. Tooge’s main competitors include, but aren’t limited to, the Petcube Play (MSRP $199) and the Furbo Dog Camera (MSRP $249).
The Petcube Play, in contrast to the Tooge, is designed specifically with play in mind. It’s so important to the device, the word “play” is even highlighted in its name, and it features the ability to engage with pets thanks to its handy built-in laser games. These games can be set up to use both automatic and manual controls.
The camera quality on the Petcube Play is also a significant improvement, allowing it to stream and record 1080p video. While it too features a subscription model, it has free functionality which the Tooge is missing, such as the ability to capture 10-second video clips for a four-hour window within the app. It also can send mobile notifications based on sound and motion. If playing games with your pets is a must, the Petcube Play is the clear winner.
The Furbo Dog Camera is a high-end pet camera, featuring the unique ability to physically toss treats to hungry pups. It’s designed specifically with dogs in mind, from the blue light that turns on when the camera is in use (blue being one of the few colors dogs can see) to the spill-resistant bamboo lid which prevents excited pups from knocking it over and clearing out its well of treats.
Its camera quality is great, able to stream in 360p up to 1080p. In low-light or no-light conditions, pet owners are treated with a clear, sharp view of the room and their pet. It features a subscription model, but free users are still able to use it to view the livestream, toss treats, and for mobile alerts when dogs bark. If rewarding pets with treats is a must, pet owners should consider the Furbo.
For those on a tight budget, the Tooge Pet Camera is hard to beat.
The Tooge pet camera is a budget-friendly alternative to high-end pet camera products. For the casual pet owner just looking to check in periodically during the day, it’s a great fit. While its features aren’t perfect, it’s surprisingly well-developed product considering the affordable price.