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Ring Spotlight Cam Battery Review

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery Review

Ring's spotlight makes for color night vision, with a battery for wireless setup.

By Aliza Vigderman, Senior Editor, Industry Analyst & Gabe Turner, Chief Editor
Ring-Spotlight-Cam-Battery
Editors Rating:
9.5 /10

What We Like

What We Don't Like

  • No storage included: Although the prices are reasonable, you will have to pay a subscription to get cloud and local storage.
  • No person detection: Unfortunately, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery lacks any artificial intelligence capabilities.

Bottom Line

If you want a wireless, outdoor camera, look no further than the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery. While Ring doesn't require monthly fees, we got notifications whenever our camera detected motion, completely on the house.

We’ve seen a number of spotlight-equipped security cameras over the years, but not all of them come from a brand as reputable as Ring. The Ring Spotlight Cam Battery stands as one of the best security cameras equipped with spotlights, and its ability to run on batteries is a welcome addition. That said, it has its own share of drawbacks, which we’ll discuss in this review.

We’ll tell you everything there is to know about the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery; its video, audio, and night vision qualities, its storage options, smart platform integrations, and artificial intelligence capabilities, but also its overall convenience and value. By the end of this review, you’ll have a great idea of whether the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery is the security camera for your home or not. Let’s go!

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery features

Video resolution 1080p HD
Field of zoom n/a
Field of view 140 degrees horizontally
Night vision Infrared and color
Audio Two-way
Editor's Rating
Overall Rating
9.5
  • Weather-resistant and can work in temperatures from -5 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Color and infrared night vision available
  • 1080p HD video

Video Review

Promised Features

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery on Table
Ring Spotlight Cam Battery on Table

The Ring Spotlight cam promises a lot of great features, including:

  • Rechargeable battery: Rather than having to buy a new battery every so often, you can simply quick-release the battery pack and charge it up. You can also add a second pack for backup, or charge it continuously with their solar panel.
  • Lifetime Theft Protection: If your Ring Spotlight Cam Battery gets stolen, Ring will replace it for free. Pretty good deal!
  • 1080p HD video: Not surprisingly, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery has the industry standard of 1080p HD video.

Now that I’m all fired up, let’s open up this box.

Editor's Rating:
8.8 /10
Editor's Rating:
8.4 /10
Editor's Rating:
8.2 /10

First Impressions

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery
Ring Spotlight Cam Battery

Honestly? The Ring Spotlight Cam is not the best-looking outdoor camera. It’s a bit bulky and oddly-shaped, with a rounded rectangular prism at the top and a dome-shaped PIR sensor on the bottom. The different shapes make it a bit clunky looking but hey, this is no beauty contest. Let’s talk about what’s on the inside.

As this is an indoor/outdoor camera, it will work in temperatures from negative five to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Ring claims that the camera is “weather-resistant,” which is, mind you, not exactly the same as “weatherproof.” The Ring Spotlight Cam Battery has an IP55 rating, which is a bit lower than the industry standard IP65. The IP rating stands for “ingress protection,” and the first digit refers to its protection from small solids like dust. Having a “5” rating means it’s somewhat protected from dust, and even if dust does get inside the unit, it won’t be enough to cause any harm.

The camera is just one rating point under being completely dustproof, but unless a sandstorm hits, the camera should be fine. On the other hand, the second digit refers to ingress protection against liquids. In the Ring camera’s case, the “5” rating means it can handle water projected by a 6.3 mm nozzle. But keep it away from water jets and don’t immerse it in water. Basically, unless you have really out-of-control weather, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery should perform as normal.

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery With Light On
Ring Spotlight Cam Battery With Light On

The camera is available in black and white, plus it has built-in LED light strips. It also has a built-in 110-decibel siren, about as loud as a rock band or jackhammer. That’ll certainly scare intruders away!

Necessary Features

Now it’s time for our Necessary Features Test! This is a rubric that we apply to all of our home security cameras to make sure they’re up to snuff in terms of video, audio, night vision, and more. Let’s dive in.

Video

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery Video Display
Ring Spotlight Cam Battery Video Display

The Ring Spotlight Cam Battery has 1080p HD, standard in the security camera industry, plus a wide field of view of 140 degrees. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to zoom in optically with this camera, but that’s definitely not a dealbreaker as the footage is clear in general. Plus, you can zoom in digitally in the Ring— Always Home app. Full marks for video!

Night Vision

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery Outdoor Night Vision
Ring Spotlight Cam Battery Outdoor Night Vision

The Ring Spotlight Cam Battery has color night vision if the spotlight is on plus infrared night vision from LED sensors. Security experts debate on which is better between color night vision with bright lights and black-and-white infrared night vision. On one hand, the obvious presence of a camera with bright lights could scare away intruders. On the other hand, giving away your camera’s location might make them look for alternative entry points that are not as heavily monitored. Whichever side you’re on in the debate, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery will work for you.

Audio Quality

Two-way audio allows you to speak to whoever you’re recording through the Ring app. This can be useful just for chatting with someone in another room or scaring away intruders, so it’s fortunate that the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery comes with two-way audio.

Storage

ring-protect-plans
Ring Protect Plans

While the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery doesn’t come with any cloud or local storage, you can buy it for as little as $3 a month. For 60 days of cloud storage, that’s an incredibly generous offer. I’ve seen half as much storage cost 10 times as much!

There’s one caveat, though. That $3 month plan, called Ring Protect Basic, only covers one camera. So if you have two cameras, you’ll pay $6 per month and so on. The cost can add up quickly. If you have multiple cameras, we recommend the Ring Protect Plus plan. At $10 per month, it provides 60 days of cloud storage to an unlimited number of Ring cameras, provided that they are installed in the same address. You can get a discount, too, if you pay one year in advance for $100, basically saving you $20.

We’re impressed by the low cloud storage fees, but at the same time, it’s unfortunate that the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery has no local storage or free cloud storage at all.

Smart Platform Integration

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery Footage on Amazon Echo Show
Ring Spotlight Cam Battery Footage on Amazon Echo Show

Amazon owns Ring, so it doesn’t come as a shock that the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery integrates with Amazon Alexa, allowing for voice commands. However, I’m glad that after a recent update, the camera also works with Google Assistant.

Those integrations mean that you can control the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery with your voice. For instance, you can tell it to arm or disarm its motion sensors. If you have a smart display, like the Echo Show 5 or the Google Nest Hub Max, you’ll be able to ask Alexa or Google Assistant to stream to those devices with just your voice. And of course, both Alexa and Google Assistant are smart platforms, so it’s possible to integrate Ring with smart home automations made through either voice assistants. For example, you can set up your Ring Spotlight Cam to arm its motion sensors whenever you say “Alexa, good night.”

Artificial Intelligence

what-is-person-detection
Person Detection

When it comes to home security cameras, artificial intelligence is typically used for person detection and facial recognition. This creates more specific and smarter notifications, as you’ll only be notified when people move in front of your camera, not pets or inanimate objects. While Ring does allow you to adjust the motion sensitivity of the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery, unfortunately, there’s no person detection or facial recognition which is a real bummer.

Convenience

Installing the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery
Installing the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery

The Ring Spotlight Cam Battery is very easy to install. First, download the Ring Always Home app and make sure that you’re on your home’s Wi-Fi. The app will walk you through the entire installation process, even providing helpful videos. As far as power goes, you can have one or two rechargeable batteries in the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery, each lasting six to 12 months. Mounting the camera requires drilling in the mounting plate and from there, you can move the camera around with your hand. Overall, the process only took a few minutes, so I’m giving the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery two thumbs up for convenience.

Value

The Ring Spotlight Cam Battery and Reader
The Ring Spotlight Cam Battery and Reader

The Ring Spotlight Cam Battery is a little more expensive than a typical outdoor camera at $199, but nothing about the camera is typical. It has almost all the necessary features we’re looking for in a camera, plus it has extra security features like that 110dB siren and built-in spotlights.

Those features alone put it in the same level as high-end outdoor cameras, and for a high-end camera, $199 is a reasonable price tag. In fact, there are high-end outdoor cameras that cost more than $300 each, like the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro we reviewed. If you look at it like that, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery is a good value outdoor camera.

The Ring— Always Home App

The Ring— Always Home App
The Ring— Always Home App

Now let’s talk about the Ring— Always Home app. It’s where you’ll livestream footage, speak through two-way audio, access cloud, and local storage, change your camera’s settings, and receive notifications. Ring also has neighborhood crime and safety alerts so you can easily stay on top of what’s going on in your area.

The app has stellar ratings: four stars on Google Play and 4.6 stars on the App Store. That wasn’t always the case, though. There’s a time when Ring’s app only averaged three stars, which is not bad but also not great. It just shows that the app is improving, and with every update, its features only get better.

Comparisons

A smart security camera is only worth it if it’s the best value out there, which is why I’m comparing the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery to the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired as well as the Nest Cam Outdoor, two similar indoor/ outdoor cameras at the exact same price of $199. Let’s see who comes out on top!

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery vs. Ring Spotlight Cam Wired

ring-spotlight-cam-battery-review
Ring Spotlight Cam Wired. Photo provided by Ring Alarm.

The Ring Spotlight Cam Battery and its sister the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired are exactly the same except for one thing: their power source. Hence the name, the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired requires an outdoor power source. The advantage? You’ll never have to worry about charging the battery, although installation will become a bit more difficult.

Overall, it all comes down to your preference. If you want a battery-powered camera, go with the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery. If you want one that doesn’t require charging, go with the wired version. There’s actually another version, the Spotlight Cam Solar, which is exactly the same hardware as the battery version but comes with an extra charging cable and a solar panel. It has the best of both worlds, but it’s also slightly more expensive at $229.

To learn more, read our full review of the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired.

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery vs. Nest Cam Outdoor

nest-cam-outdoor-review
Nest Cam Outdoor

Amazon and Google are arguably the biggest tech companies around, so comparing Google’s Nest Cam Outdoor with Amazon’s Ring Spotlight Cam Battery is pretty monumental. Let’s talk about what they have in common first. Both cameras have 1080p HD video display, infrared night vision, two-way audio, and integrations with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. But the Nest Cam Outdoor, unlike the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery, has the ability to zoom in eight times, compared to zero, an integration with Philips Hue lightbulbs, and, if you purchase Nest Aware, person detection.

In the end, the Nest Cam Outdoor comes out on top. Cloud storage is cheaper at $6 per month for unlimited cameras. Plus, with a cloud plan, Nest Cam Outdoor actually gains artificial intelligence that makes person detection possible. The Ring Spotlight Cam simply cannot match those features. However, Ring does have a few advantages, namely, that it has a spotlight and that it can run on batteries. That means even during power outages, Ring can work, and you don’t need to place it near a power outlet, giving you more freedom and flexibility.

Another advantage of Ring is that it’s still being offered, unlike the Nest Cam Outdoor that has been scrubbed off of Nest’s lineup as of 2021. Of course, newer and better cameras replaced it, like the Nest Cam Battery and the Nest Cam with Floodlight. Interestingly, the Nest Cam with Floodlight also has built-in lights, but it’s more expensive at $279. When it comes to features, though, the new Nest Cams are just as good if not better than the now-discontinued Nest Cam Outdoor, so they’re also better than the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery.

nest-aware-storage
Nest Aware Storage

Of course, Nest Aware includes person detection and even facial recognition, so you do get some more value than just storage. Still, storage is a definite drawback of the Nest Cam Outdoor. Despite this, I’d recommend the Nest Cam Outdoor over the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery, given that you do Nest Aware. Person detection is really such an advantage in a security camera!

For more information, read our full review of the Nest Cam Outdoor.

Recap of the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery

At $199, we think the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery is definitely worth the money, but it makes more sense for some people as opposed to others. Let’s break it down for you.

Get the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery if you’d like…
  • Good video, audio and night vision: Aside from the lack of zoom, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery definitely met my standards for these categories.
  • Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant integration: If you’re already part of the Amazon or Google ecosystems, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery will integrate nicely.
  • Affordable cloud storage: Only $3 a month for 60 days of cloud storage is by far the best deal we’ve seen from a home security camera.
But stay away if the following are dealbreakers…
  • No storage included: Although the prices are reasonable, you will have to pay a subscription to get cloud and local storage.
  • No person detection: Unfortunately, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery lacks any artificial intelligence capabilities.
Editors Rating:
9.5 /10