Ring Video Doorbell 2 Review

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You may have heard of Ring before, they are known for bringing out one of the first domestic video doorbells. They offer a number of doorbell solutions, as well as security cameras like their new Stick Up Cam but I digress. Today we’re looking at the Ring Video Doorbell 2, the second gen of their popular doorbell.

Features

  • 1080P HD video with 160deg angle lens & night vision
  • Instant mobile alerts for motion & button press
  • Microphone & speakers for two way audio
  • Hardwired or battery powered
  • Connectivity via 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connection @ 2.4GHz (2Mbps recommended speed)
  • Weather resistant
  • Warranty: 2 years on parts, theft protection

Look & Feel

The contents of the box blew me away, I was surprised at how much was included. Starting at the top, you get the doorbell itself, with both a silver & black button plate, plus the battery & two different angled wall mounts (wedged & corner). Next, you get the installation kit, which includes absolutely everything you need to install the doorbell, including an interchangeable screwdriver & a masonry drill bit for drilling holes in brickwork. Have the original doorbell and upgrading? No problem, a mounting adapter is provided so you don’t need to re-drill any holes. Lastly, you get a USB cable for charging the battery and a set of instructions.

The doorbell itself is very lightweight but far bigger than the typical doorbell you may already have on the outside of your home. That being said, it’s quite a smart looking piece of kit, and you can choose between a black or silver plate. There is a single camera located at the top of the doorbell, with a single button located below it. There is perforated sections either side of the doorbell, for the siren/two-way audio.

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Installation

Installation was fairly straight forward, but it did require me using my drill. With the doorbell, you get two angled backplates, wedge or corner. I went for the corner option, which allowed the doorbell to be angled slightly towards the door, for better coverage. The backplate needs to be fixed in a location near your door, but not on your door. The recommended mounting height is 4ft from the floor. Once you have your location, you can measure up from the floor and drill the required holes. I drilled straight into my brick work, with the supplied masonry bit. It’s then a case of installing raw plugs, screwing the backplate in and fixing the doorbell in place.

While the above is happening, you need to adequately charge the battery, via the provided USB cable and before you final fix the doorbell in place. Once the battery is fully charged, it needs to be inserted into the doorbell.

You are then able to set up the doorbell via the Ring app, and you will need to create a free account with them. Follow the on-screen instructions and the doorbell will then be set up. It will also identify the WiFi signal strength for the doorbell, so it’s important to set it up within proximity to your door. Fortunately for me, my router is located near my front door, as that’s where the incoming BT line is. If your doorbell is struggling for signal, the app will make recommendations for improving signal strength.

After set up is complete, fix the doorbell to the bracket and secure the cover plate via the security screw. The security screw has a different head to it and can only be screwed using the provided screwdriver.

Performance

Overall performance is very good. When someone gets within proximity of the doorbell, I will get an alert saying someone is at my door and likewise if someone actually rings the doorbell, I will recieve a notification. These notifications are sent to your smart device via the app and can be set up with different alert tones, so you know which is which. With a standard kit there is no door bell in included, this is an additional product available for £30, so the only way of knowing if someone is at the door, is to have your smart device on & nearby. As expected, the sound alerts do not sound when your smart device is on silent, so you also need to have your device on loud, unless a vibration/screen pop up is enough for you.

The time taken between the doorbell sensing presence or being pressed, to notification on your smart device is minimal, but does depend on your internet speed. As long as you’re with your smart device or its on loud, you will not miss the delivery man with your pizza.

Video quality is decent, with good colours and relatively smooth footage. It’s good enough to see who’s at your door but when you zoom into the footage, that quality begins to diminish. Although I have a light in my porch, the night vision works well, offering vision of up to about 5 meters. The lens is incredibly wide and the fisheye effect is very much present, but this does allow for a good field of view. Audio quality is better than I expected, the two-way audio is loud at the doorbell end and doesn’t turn your voice into a robot. Audio on your smart device is good enough to hear what’s happening at your door.

Video footage is stored under your account, on the cloud, but only for an initial 30 day period. After that, you will need to purchase the Ring Protection Plan, if you want to continue having your footage stored. It’s a shame they charge for this, when others offer it for free and it’s an absolute must in my mind. If for example someone was acting suspicous, you will only get that initial notification stream to view the footage, when you very much may want it at a later date as evidence. Basic plan for a single camera is £2.50 per month or £25 per year.

Lastly, there a number of settings and options to choose from, including its ability to live stream, motion zones & schedules, changing tones and adding users. Battery life is superb and over a week I lost just 5%.

Verdict

The Ring Doorbell 2 is a great bit of tech, it’s easy to install & set up, the video & audio quality is very good and it just works. This is an ideal home security camera for those first starting out and for those who just want to know who’s at the door, both at home or at a workplace.

The doorbell retails at £179, which I’m fine with, but I was disappointed I needed to purchase a separate doorbell, as there are many times when I’m no where near my phone and it’s never on loud (damn Whattsapp notifications!), so there could be a chance I’d miss someone. The protection plan is an additional service, and the additional monthly cost is minimal & a must in my mind.

For more information and to purchase, check out the official Ring webpage.


Rating
Price 80%
80% Complete
Features 80%
80% Complete
Set Up 90%
90% Complete
Peformance 80%
80% Complete
Total Score

Would we recommend this? Yes.

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