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*Valid until 31 July 2021, and is exclusively for Mumsnet users.
Tested by: Gemma, mum of two.
An update on the original Cubo Ai, our parent tester, Gemma, took a first look to find out what’s on offer this time around and to see if the monitor’s smart technology could give her and her family complete peace of mind.
Who's it for?
For many parents, particularly first-timers, a baby monitor is a must-have item right from the get-go.
The original Cubo Ai was developed in 2019 by Joanna Lin after she found her baby’s face accidentally covered. She wanted a device that would warn parents of dangerous situations using A.I. technology.
The new Cubo Ai Plus can be used during the early months of a baby’s life to alert parents to hazards, whether that be their child rolling over onto their tummy while sleeping, temperature or humidity changes in the room or accidental face coverings.
As your child grows, the monitor can let you know if they climb out of their cot. The camera can also be set up to alert you whenever your child enters a ‘danger zone’ in your home, such as the kitchen or balcony.
Ideal for families who want complete peace of mind at all times, parents can carry on using the Cubo Ai Plus even until their child is five years or older. Gemma found it especially useful for checking in on her four-year-old who has a particular penchant for messing around at bedtime.
At first glance
With a bird feature that tweets or plays a sweet tune when you turn it on and off, this monitor has been designed to compliment any nursery. The camera is white and just 4.3 inches high, with a fun exterior that looks more like part of the nursery decor than a traditional baby monitor.
Gemma received three mount options with the monitor – a small mobile base for putting it on a shelf and moving it around the home, a tall white curved stand and a cot attachment for placing the camera over a cot or bed. She found all equipment to be well made and sturdy, and her two children loved the little bird design.
The Cubo Ai Plus is fuss-free to set up. The box comes with a parts list and guide, with all three mounts quick and easy to assemble thanks to clear diagrams and simple instructions.
Designed to give an overhead view and with a circular base to keep it stable, Gemma built the floor stand first, which took just 10 minutes to assemble.
“I felt the base could become a trip hazard if not tucked under a cot or bed (which it’s designed to be), but there’s no risk of it toppling thanks to a bag of water inside to weigh it down. The crib attachment is sturdy enough too, but may need to be swapped when your child reaches toddler age and becomes a bit more inquisitive like mine.”
Next, she downloaded the app. Compatible with iOS and Android devices (must be iOS 10/Android 5.0 or newer), all she needed to do was set up an account and connect it to her wifi. She then set her preferences and personalised it with her child’s name. “I found the app easy to use, with clear temperature and humidity levels plus tips to help me get the most out of the monitor – really handy,” she reports.
As with any wifi monitor, there’s always a chance you could lose connection so it’s suggested that your download/upload speed should be at least 5mbps. Gemma experienced no connectivity issues during testing, but occasionally relied on the manual for general use.
“The light on the on/off button changes colour depending on the status of the camera so you know when it’s set up and streaming (it turns blue when ready to go), but it might not be easy to remember what all the colours mean so do keep your instruction leaflet close by,” she advises.
The light has a variety of brightness settings, so you can adjust it to your preference. There’s also a handy nightlight option for dark rooms.
If you do need help during set-up, the booklet provides a QR code to a video tutorial.
The biggest selling point of the Cubo Ai Plus is that it doesn’t just let you know when your baby is asleep or awake, it alerts you to any dangers that could be happening while they rest.
Safety notifications include turning on covered face and rollover alerts, and a message will flash up on your phone with a chirping bird sound.
The Cubo Ai Plus uses face detection to let you know if either of these things happen and you can even watch a video clip of the moment that sets off the alarm, which Gemma found very useful. Note that the camera will need to be set up to give a birds-eye view over your baby for these alerts to work effectively.
The cry alert responds to your baby’s cry and the sensitivity can be adjusted from low to high. If you select the area where your baby sleeps on the app, it will also notify you if your child isn’t in their bed – a must if your toddler later learns to climb out of their cot.
During the day, the monitor can be used to watch over a danger zone. Draw a box on the screen, such as around the oven in your kitchen and, whenever your child steps into that area, the monitor will send you an alert.
After setting the monitor up, be sure to test it out a few times first to ensure correct positioning and to make sure the app alerts you correctly. There were a couple of occasions during testing when Gemma didn’t receive a notification.
One of the things we particularly like about the Cubo Ai Plus is how versatile it is. Where other monitors may only have one base, there’s an option to purchase the three-stand format which comes with three bases – so you could use the tall stand in the bedroom and the mobile base around your home during the day.
Gemma lives in a three-bed house and loved that the monitor came with two wires so she could set up two stands at the same time.
Gemma found the 1080p HD Sony camera on the baby monitor really impressive, providing excellent views of her sleeping children – the screen is wide with a 135-degree field of view and a clear picture, even in night mode.“My preschooler enjoys climbing out of his bed regularly, so this was a big help!” she enthuses. “I could tilt the camera up and down to get the best angle, but I did have to do this manually.”
Photos and videos
The app automatically captures photos day and night so she could look back at up to 18 hours of footage to see what her children had got up to. Parents can also take videos or photos of any sweet moments and share them with family and friends. The app also allows you to grant access and set different viewing permissions for up to eight users – ideal for grandparents or other family members who live far away.
“I think this is a nice touch, especially at the moment when lots of families can’t see one another as often as they’d like,” says Gemma.
Smart Home Integration
The Ai Plus has been updated to include Smart Home Integration so you can view a live feed of your baby sleeping on a Google Nest Hub or Amazon Alexa Show.
You’ll also get a free one-year premium subscription to the Cubo Ai app. Alongside other premium features, for sleep analysis this includes a 30-day sleep report, displaying information about the time your baby went to bed, their longest sleep period and any caregiver visits.
When it comes to the safety of your account, the livestream is secure and all videos and photos are encrypted so it’s only accessible by you and any authorised users. It’s also advised that you set up two-factor authentication to give even more protection.
What about the audio?
The monitor comes with nine built-in sounds – including lullabies, bird sounds and white noise – with the option of setting a 30- or 60-minute timer. “The sounds can easily be selected through the app and my children enjoyed listening to the lullabies,” she says. Be aware that the cry alert won’t work when the lullabies are playing.
The audio on the Plus has been updated so that any high noise levels or screaming can be heard clearly, but Gemma found that it didn’t always pick up low-level noise and occasionally experienced a delay.
The two-way audio allowed her to chat to her children and she found this easy to use (simply hold down the microphone on the live feed screen and speak into it). It's worth noting that as the monitor relies on internet signal, so having a high-speed connection will help prevent the audio from being delayed or cutting out.
- Covered face and rollover detection alert
- Auto photo capture
- Danger zone detection
- Cry detection alert
- Built-in lullabies and white noise
- Capture milestone moments
- 135° wide-angle Sony lens
- Rotatable camera
- 18-hour video playback
- 1080p HD night vision
- Option to record or take photos
- Compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa
- Daily sleep analytics
- Temperature and humidity sensor
- Two-way audio
- Multiple stand options
- No visible red light
Let's talk money
With a retail price of £289 for the monitor and all three stands (or £189 for just a wall mount), the Cubo Ai Plus sits at the higher end of the market.
But while the initial outlay may not be affordable for all families, the monitor’s versatility and focus on safety means that it can be used all the way up to the early school years – a particular highlight for Gemma – and for other siblings too.
The monitor also comes with a two-year warranty for added peace of mind.
Verdict (for now)
The Cubo Ai Plus stands out as a genuine safety option designed so that parents can watch over their children throughout the day and night. Its adaptability and selection of stands allows it to be easily moved around the home for watching over a danger zone, a nursery or a playroom.
But, while the picture is impressive, both during the day and at night the audio can struggle to pick up lower noises and the two-way audio may be a bit hit and miss. As with any wifi monitor, there’s always a risk of the live stream cutting out if the app crashes or you lose signal.
Yet, the Cubo Ai Plus’s design is fun and comes with sweet touches like bird sounds and lullabies that were a big hit with our parent tester and her children. We also like that parents can capture photos and videos to share milestone moments with family and friends.
All in all, if you’re looking for a good wifi monitor that combines safety, fun and versatility, the Cubo Ai Plus could be the one to help you rest more peacefully at night.
Use code MUMSNET to get an extra £15 off the 3-Stand Set or Wall Mount Set.*
*Valid until 31 July 2021, and is exclusively for Mumsnet users.
What is a First Look?
First Look pages are sponsored content. They provide an early glimpse of new products, showcasing releases from both exciting new startups and well-loved brands.
We give all new products a thorough once-over, checking that the features are as good as they say and that the product functions as it's supposed to.
This isn't an exhaustive test of the product or how well it performs – look to our Best winners for extensive testing in real life situations. Rather, our First Look features are informed previews, providing a basic overview and getting a feel for the product's most exciting features.
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