Ring Spotlight Cam Battery Review
Ring's spotlight makes for color night vision, with a battery for wireless setup.
After reviewing multiple products from Ring, I’m really curious to see how the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery will stack up. It’s the latest indoor/ outdoor camera from Ring, and it has some features that I haven’t seen on any other security camera that I’ve reviewed, namely the rechargeable battery pack. You can also have the camera powered by a solar panel! Owned by Amazon, Ring is a company that thinks outside of the box, so naturally, I’m expecting the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery to live up to my high expectations.
In this review, I’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 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!
Looking at the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery on the Amazon website, I’m seeing a lot of promised features that I’m very excited about, 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.
Honestly? I’m not loving the look of the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery. It’s a bit bulky and oddly-shaped, with a rounded rectangular prism at the top and a dome shape 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. While Ring claims the camera is “weather-resistant,” its IP rating is a bit lower than I’d like at 55. What does that mean, exactly? Well, the first number means that it’s dust protected, although not completely dust-tight, which I prefer. Liquid-wise, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery can handle water projected by a 6.3 mm nozzle, but keep it away from more powerful 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.
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! As I said, it’s battery-operated, but you won’t have to buy a new battery ever, as its rechargeable. I love that because I have better things to spend my time and money on than a new battery for my security camera!
Alright ladies and gentlemen, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for.
It’s our Necessary Features Test! This is a rubric that I apply to all of my home security cameras to make sure they’re up to snuff in terms of video, audio, night vision, and more. Let’s dive in.
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!
The Ring Spotlight Cam Battery has color night vision if the spotlight is on plus infrared night vision from LED sensors, which I much prefer. Why? Because I don’t want people to know they’re being recorded, so I can stay one step ahead of possible intruders. Just call me Bond; James, Bond. Full marks for night vision!
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.
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!
If you want even more features than cloud and local storage, I’d recommend the Protect Plus Plan. For only $10 a month, you’ll get professional monitoring for your Ring Alarm system, a discount on the Ring website, plus an extended warranty. If you’re not super familiar with home security in general, you might not know what professional monitoring is. It means that 24/7, you’ll have a team of people ready to handle any emergencies that come up. Say your system is armed and your camera detects motion. The monitoring team will check in to verify an emergency, then can contact the police if necessary. Of course, this plan only makes sense if you have the larger Ring Alarm security system.
Although I’m pleased with the storage prices and the fact that both cloud and local storage are available, I’m a bit disappointed that the camera comes with absolutely no storage, so I’m going to give it half marks for this category.
Smart Platform Integration
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. Still, I’m giving the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery full marks for its smart platform integration.
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.
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.
With the majority of the Necessary Features that I’m looking for, a siren plus a spotlight, I think the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery has a great value at only $199. Plus, you’ll save money if you order two or more!
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 okay ratings, a 3.3 from the Apple store and a 3.4 from the Google Play store. While I wish these were a bit higher, neither one is a dealbreaker for iPhone or Android users.
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 (as of writing). Let’s see who comes out on top!
Ring Spotlight Cam Battery vs. Ring Spotlight Cam Wired
The Ring Spotlight Cam Battery and its sister the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired are exactly the same except for two things: their power source and artificial intelligence capabilities. 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. Its real advantage over the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery is its person detection, which the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery lacks completely. Overall, I’d go with the wired version, unless you’re passionate about your camera being wireless.
To learn more, read our full review of the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired.
Ring Spotlight Cam Battery vs. 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.
But the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery does have some advantages over the Nest Cam Outdoor. While it offers cloud storage and local storage for as little as three dollars a month, Nest’s storage options are outrageously expensive, with no local storage available.
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 my full review of the Nest Cam Outdoor.
Recap of the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery
At $199, I think the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery is definitely worth the money, but it makes more sense for some people as opposed to others. Let me break it down for you.
I’d 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, local storage, and 24/7 professional monitoring: Only $3 a month for 60 days of cloud storage is by far the best deal I’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.