Smartfeeder 2.0

Photo of Smartfeeder 2.0
Company
Released
2 years ago
Price
$179
Rating

About

Automate your cat or dog's daily meals with Petnet's smartfeeder, which provides recommendations for your pet's food portions based on their age, weight and activity. 

Our review

If your cat, like ours, is booping you in the face for food in the mornings, you might be considering a pet feeder. If you're reading this, you're likely interested in a smart version, too.

Pet feeders can make life easier, but after owning the Petnet Smartfeeder 2.0 for a few months, it's unclear if it's worth buying a smart feeder over the traditional, clock-based kind–it's just too much extra risk that something will go wrong, for little gain.

Why we got this thing

Here's the honest truth: we all want to feed our pets when we're away, or try to get them to stop begging us for food. That's why I ended up considering the SmartFeeder, and probably why you're here too.

The SmartFeeder caught our attention in the first place because it's one of the few pet feeders that doesn't look like a medical device. It looks nice! It blends in with a kitchen! It does the feeding for you! At first glance, the SmartFeeder does the job... except when it doesn't (more on that later).

The details

This feeder provides an app both for iOS and Android, and requires WiFi to function. You can set up schedules for your pet's eating habits and get notifications about food being dispensed...and that's about it.

When you're using the feeder, you'll need to tell it the type of food you're adding, and it'll warn you about the 'rating' of the food with the feeder–a lower score means it might get stuck and block the feeder. Not only is this a strange workflow, it's a real hassle after the first time we set up the device: fishing out the food bag and entering the specific flavor as well as the brand seemed tedious and complicated.

After you've set up the food type and a schedule, hopefully your pet will be fed on the regular without much extra work–when the SmartFeeder 2.0 worked, it's pretty much 'set and forget'... but that's the problem: it doesn't always work.

In our testing over the last few months, we found that about 10 percent of the time it didn't dispense food because it was too large, or a random blockage was caused–when this happened, it was unclear how to fix it or what exactly the problem was. The app simply throws vague errors, saying that dispensing was missed.

The verdict

While it's nice to configure this device on your phone, the extra complexity of getting the Smartfeeder on your WiFi, along with the risk that it may cease to function if the servers are turned off, are probably not worth it.

If you absolutely want a pet feeder with an app, this is your best choice. But ask yourself: do you really need it to be app-enabled? Probably not. 

Last updated 9 months ago

Device basics

These 8 points help you understand how a device's basic functionality compares.

  • Privacy
  • Data Ownership 💩
  • Lifespan 🚨
  • Security
  • Standards support
  • Works offline 🚨
  • Subscription-free
  • Software updates 🚨

Privacy

Our score: ✅
Petnet's endpoints use encryption to communicate according to Mozilla. It collects information about feeding usage, including the time, food type and state of the feeder, as well as the weight of the food in the bowl and feeder.

It does not detail what this data is used for, but the company says it's deleted after 13 months, and users can request deletion after 3 months at any time.

Data Ownership

Our score: 💩
Without internet, the Smartfeeder 2.0 can't be set up or configured, as the app requires an account to be paired with the device to function. There is no data export feature, nor is there a process for requesting data deletion as far as we can tell.

Lifespan

Our score: 🚨
Petnet has supported the SmartFeeder since it was debuted two years ago, however it's unclear what the company's update and support policies are for continued updates and functionality.

Security

Our score: ✅
Petnet has not publicly reported any security breaches to date.

Standards support

Our score: ✅
The SmartFeeder 2.0 does not support any smart home standards, however, smart home standards also don't technically support pet feeders, so this time they're off the hook.

Works offline

Our score: 🚨
The feeder generally appears to feed based on schedules without WiFi, after initial setup, however it would not be possible to update food schedules if the company shut down its servers.

A previous generation of the SmartFeeder left pets hungry when the company's servers were down for an extended period of time. It's unclear if this would affect the current generation of feeder, however.

Subscription-free

Our score: ✅
Petnet doesn't require a subscription to use the smart feeder, and there are no additional purchases required beyond the initial purchase of the device.

Software updates

Our score: 🚨
While Petnet has supported the device since its inception, it's unclear if updates are released, on what schedule, and what is contained in these updates. The device does not prompt for updates, and there is no public update log. 

User reviews

Coming soon.

Related products

Coming soon.