First off, I'm a Google product homer, I admit it. I was super stoked with the announcement of the Clips. I thought it would be a great idea to have a camera that could take spontaneous pictures that you could actually be in (rather than being the person taking the photos). All in all, I say Google achieved their stated purpose, but it's not without limitations.
The idea is simple, place the Clips somewhere in a room (or clip it to your clothing) go about your business and it will automatically snap great photos of your family smiling and laughing. But in reality, it still requires a little planning. The Clips is supposed to be 3-8 feet from its subject, which is pretty darn close. I find myself needing to move the camera in front of my kids (and then moving it again) in order to achieve the best picture. I've gotten some great photos, but it's not quite the "set it and forget it" camera it purports to be. Don't get me wrong, it's great, it's still convenient, and it's probably the best solution to the problem of not being in the pictures you take, but I still found myself looking at the camera (rather than forgetting it's there) to see if it's in the best placement.
As far as hardware/software goes, the camera itself is compact and durable. The setup is simple, although you are required to download another app. This is a negative in my opinion. We're a dozen or so years after the intiation of the app craze, and there are literally apps for everything. In a time where I try to limit the apps on my phones to ones I actually use, I was bummed to see I needed another. Luckily, however, the Clips app isn't too invasive and it's so minimalist, it takes zero thought to learn how to navigate it. It's primary purpose is to view the photos taken by the Clips so you can save the ones you want to your phone (which is then automatically synced to the best app ever Google Photos). So it ends up being an extra step, in a perfect world, the Clips just saves the pictures you like without an additional app, but that does feel like you're getting into mind reading territory.
Anyways, back to the hardware. It's simple to use, it has a USB-C charging port and one shutter button. To turn on you simply turn the lens a quarter turn. That simple. Setting up on your phone was a breeze. Charge it, turn the lens so that the camera is on, and your phone should find it in seconds.
As far as photo quality, I thought it was pretty good. It's not going to blow you away, especially in low light, but if used with adequate lighting you'll be more than satisfied. Plus, these are supposed to be spontaneous photos, not necessarily nature landscape photos that will turn into computer desktop backgrounds.
Also re photos, it creates what are essentially GIFs. There's no sound, but it does record about 10 seconds of "footage," which I assume is so that it captures the best part of the image. Problem is, I have only figured out to capture the initial image. So if you turn "motion off" in google Photos when looking at a Clips photo/motion photo, you can only use the first frame as a photo. Maybe there's a way to capture a different frame in that 10 second window, but I haven't figured out how. Which then limits your ability to print the photo. You are then essentially stuck with essentially handing your phone (or sharing digitally) to someone to look at the great photo.
Battery life isn't bad, but isn't good. I haven't ran into any issues because I haven't been stuck without battery life when I needed to use it. But if you were to travel with it, I would keep an eye on the battery level. The only way to check battery life are the three LEDs on the front of the camera, or opening up the app to double-check. I simply drop it on the charger from time to time to keep it ready for when I need it.
All in all, this is a great, fun little device that is tailored for kids/pets/families. It's great to have around and makes for great photos when you least suspect it (it is great to go back through the app and see that it took a great photo you didn't think about taking). But it still requires some planning and staging, just less so than a typical camera. For those in the Google Ecosystem, I highly recommend it (I just can't speak for Apple users).