If you want to avoid monthly fees, you can self-monitor your Ring products through the Ring— Always Home app. However, if you want additional features like 24/7 professional monitoring, cellular backup, 60 days of cloud storage, an extended warranty, or a discount on the Ring website, you can invest in a Ring Protect Plan. The Protect Basic Plan costs $3 a month or $30 a year and adds on cloud storage and the ability to download footage to your device, while the Protect Plug Plan adds the rest of the features for $10 a month or $100 a year.
Ring Video Doorbell 2 Review
Alexa, who's at the front door? Our experts tested out this $199 video doorbell from the Amazon-owned Ring.
Formerly Doorbot, the company now known as Ring came on the home security scene in 2012. After being featured on Shark Tank a year later, it was purchased by Amazon in 2018. Today, Ring boasts home security systems, cameras, and video doorbells.
As most intruders will ring your doorbell to see if you’re home before deciding to rob you, having a video doorbell with two-way audio is a huge advantage for the homeowner. Even if you’re not home, you can receive a notification the second the front door camera detects motion, and then speak to the person through the doorbell’s speaker.
Want proof of the Ring 2’s efficacy? In 2016, Ring installed video doorbells on 10% of the doorbells in a California neighborhood. The Los Angeles Police Department found that these homes were 55% less likely to have a break-in within the first six months of the doorbell being installed. Even when break-ins did happen, footage from the video doorbell came in handy for identifying criminals. That’s a pretty big deal!
Today I’ll review the Ring Video Doorbell 2- its design, features, functionality, convenience, and mobile app. Let’s start the Ring Video Doorbell 2 review now!
Ring Video Doorbell 2 Pros and Cons
What are the best and worst things about the Ring Video Doorbell 2, you ask?
I love that you can choose to hardwire it into your home or operate it by battery. It also has 1080p HD video display, a 160-degree field of view, two-way audio, infrared night vision, and an Amazon Alexa integration.
Unfortunately, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 lacks person detection, an integration with Google Assistant, and free cloud and local storage, although it’s available for an affordable price.
Ring Video Doorbell 2 Design
A slim silver rectangle under a black camera, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is simple, sleek, and pretty cute for a doorbell. I like that the button is outlined in blue, and the minimalism definitely appeals to me.
Aesthetics aside, the doorbell operates in temperatures from five to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You can either hard-wire it into your house or use batteries. While using batteries will inevitably make installation easier, keep in mind that you’ll have to replace them about twice a year.
The doorbell’s camera records either when the button is pushed or when it senses motion. And I hope your Wi-Fi connection is strong, as the Ring Video Doorbell 2 connects to your phone using Wi-Fi.
Ring Video Doorbell 2 Features
Let’s talk about the Ring Video Doorbell 2’s camera. After all, that’s what turns a doorbell into a video doorbell, so it’s essential that it be of the utmost quality.
I’m impressed with the Ring 2’s video, although it can’t zoom. It has 1080p HD video display, the industry standard, plus a wide field of view of 160 degrees. I feel pretty confident that I’ll be able to identify a potential thief if necessary.
The doorbell camera comes equipped with two-way audio, which enables you to speak to whoever’s at your front door. This comes in handy when greeting visitors, directing delivery people, or giving intruders the heebie-jeebies.
To receive any cloud or local storage, you’ll need to invest in a monthly subscription plan- either Ring Protect Plus or Ring Protect Basic. Both will give you 60 days of cloud storage and the ability to download your footage locally. As you can see, the Protect Plus Plan also gives you an extended warranty, a discount at Ring.com, and professional monitoring for the Ring Alarm security system, if you have it.
While I’m glad that Ring provides both local and cloud storage, I wish it offered at least one free storage option. Don’t they know that the best things in life are free?
Smart Platform Integration
As Amazon owns Ring, it’s no surprise that the doorbell integrates with Amazon Alexa. For example, you can ask Alexa to show you the front door camera on your Fire TV. In addition, your Echo devices will show you when the doorbell has been pushed or when it has detected motion, and then allow you to see and speak to your visitors.
Unfortunately, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 does not come with any artificial intelligence features like person detection. While the camera can sense movement, it can’t tell you what is moving- a person, an animal, a car, etc. While some cameras can even learn your friends and family’s faces over time, the Ring 2 can tell you simply when it detects motion.
If you’re familiar with security cameras, you may be wondering about your notifications. Obviously, constantly being bombarded with irrelevant notifications is not making you any safer. Ring’s solution is to give you customizable motion zones, which tell the camera to focus on some areas over others. You can have the camera ignore the street and sidewalk and only tell you when someone is on your property, for example. This will lead to less irrelevant notifications, although you can still expect some notifications that aren’t about people.
Installing the Ring Video Doorbell 2
There are no pre-requisites to installing the Ring 2, and you can do it yourself. I installed the Ring Video Doorbell 2 in two different places, a house in Texas and my apartment in Brooklyn. Let’s start with Texas, which was a hardwiring situation. Using the video tutorials from Ring, I easily installed the Ring Video Doorbell 2 using the house’s existing chime and doorbell setup. When I realized that my router was too far away from the front door for the Ring Video Doorbell 2 to work, I simply added a Ring Wi-Fi Range Extender and it worked perfectly.
In Brooklyn, I set the Ring Video Doorbell 2 up via battery, as I don’t have an existing doorbell setup. This also meant that I had to plug in the Chime Pro, both a range extender and a chime so that I know when someone’s at the door. Both methods were really straightforward, and installation took no more than half an hour at each location.
The Ring-Always Home App
If you’re not near an Echo device or even out of your house, you’ll be able to control and monitor your Ring Video Doorbell 2 through the Ring Always Home app. I want to know exactly what you can do on the app and how customers like it.
From the Ring app, you can livestream your doorbell camera’s footage, speak to visitors, get real-time crime and safety alerts from your neighborhood network, and set customizable motion zones.
In a rare occurrence, the Ring app has a 3.3 on both the Apple and Google Play stores. While this isn’t the worst app rating I’ve ever seen, it’s a bit low. Many people said the notifications were delayed, which is a huge problem, and that the app constantly crashed and drained phones’ batteries. It seems like Ring could benefit from an update.
Recap of the Ring Video Doorbell 2
For $169, you want to make sure you’re making the right decision as to whether or not you should purchase the Ring Video Doorbell 2. Let’s recap its best and worst features.
What We Like
- Cute design
- Operates from five to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
- Can be powered either through batteries or hard-wired into your home
- 1080p HD video
- Field of view of 160 degrees
- Two-way audio
- Easy installation whether hardwired or battery-operated
- Cloud and local storage available with paid monthly subscriptions
- Integrates with Amazon Alexa
- Customizable motion zones
What We Don’t Like
- Only connects to your phone through Wi-Fi
- Camera can’t zoom
- No storage included with doorbell
- Does not integrate with Google Assistant, IFTTT, or Stringify
- No artificial intelligence features like person detection
- Poor app ratings
Ring Video Doorbell 2 FAQs
Is there a monthly charge for Ring?
What's the difference between the Ring Video Doorbell 2 and the Ring Video Doorbell Pro?
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 can be battery-operated or hardwired, while the Pro is only hardwired. Additionally, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro has activity zones, which the 2 lacks. Finally, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro costs $80 more than the Ring Video Doorbell 2.
How much is a Ring Video Doorbell 2?
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 costs $169.