Review written on August 22, 2016
- Huge security potential
- 180 degree field of view (fisheye lens)
- 720p HD video
- Motion detection notifications
- Cloud recording
- Easy to install
- Connect to existing house doorbell wiring or use battery power
- If you have slow internet, the video feed may be spotty
- No on-demand, watch now, video
The Ring Doorbell Device
The ring video doorbell is the first and only battery operated, Wi-Fi enabled, cloud video streaming, HD video door bell. Once installed, you can get live video feed to your smart phone or tablet, even if you aren’t at home.
When you first open the box, you will receive everything you need to install it on any surface (stucco, cement, brick, wood, vinyl, etc.). It includes a handy installation booklet, with step by step instructions and drawings. It comes with a tool pouch of tools to help you to do your installation. Of course it doesn’t include the drill. It also comes with a USB cable to charge your device. Battery charging is optional if you already have a doorbell with power to it. More on that later. Finally there is a mounting plate that includes a built in level.
The faceplate has four different finishes. These are Satin Nickel, Antique Brass, Polished Brass and Venetian Bronze. In our opinion, the Satin Nickel is the nicest one, as seen below.
When you install your Ring, you can let it run off battery power alone. It will take 10 hours to charge and the company claims it will be usable for up to a year. At that point you simply take the device off of the mounting plate and charge it again. However, if your existing doorbell already has power to it, you can connect this power to the mounting plate and never have to bother with charging the device again. This is as simple as connecting the existing wire to the screws on the mounting plate. The battery will charge to 100% and stay there. Therefore we highly recommend you connect to the existing doorbell, if that’s an option.
The doorbell attaches to the mounting plate using two torx screws and the included screw driver. This is to discourage anyone from tampering with your Ring Doorbell, since these screws aren’t very common. Even if it is taken, Ring has a policy where if it is ever stolen, they will replace it for free! Plus, if you have the motion detection turned on, you would actually see the person taking it off your house! The video would also be stored on the cloud.
Using the Ring Video Doorbell
When someone presses the button on the front, the bell in your house will ring and you will receive a notification on your phone. You have the option of answering the call or denying it. The person pressing the button on the front of the Ring device will also hear a ring chime played from the device. Even if you are away from your home, you can answer it and receive a live, HD video feed with two-way audio. You can then talk to the person, at your door, through your phone or tablet. Ring also has night vision, which can be really handy if you have a night time visitor.
The Ring cloud option allows you to go back and review any activity for the last 6 months. You can also download these videos. When you first receive your doorbell, you will have free access to this service for 30 days. After the 30 days has expired, you can continue to receive this service at a cost of $3 a month or $30 a year.
Ring’s Wi-Fi Enabled Chime
If you don’t have an existing door bell (for example, if you often work in a detached garage and leave that door locked), Ring has a Wi-Fi Enabled Chime. The chime can be plugged into any standard outlet. Once plugged in, it can link to your Ring video doorbell through your Wi-Fi network and the free Ring app. You can also control the volume to set it to Do Not Disturb if you don’t want to be bothered. Chime isn’t just limited to one device either. You can pair it with unlimited Ring Doorbells, so you won’t miss someone at the front door either.
Advanced Motion Detection
Ring allows you specify how far you want your motion detection to look. This is especially useful if you live close to a busy street with pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Once you have the motion detection set up. You can receive notifications, when there is motion near your doorbell. Ring really raises the bar on its motion detection feature. The device uses IR technology. This means that it detects the heat of a moving object. This means it can tell the difference between a person and a tree branch, blowing in the wind. When ring detects someone approaching your door, it triggers a motion event. It sends a notification to your phone and turns on the Ring for viewing. For those with cloud recording enabled, you can also watch this event later.
More About the App
On the app, the device icon takes you to a page with a map showing your doorbell or doorbells, if you have more than one. After selecting the appropriate device, you can view its Device and Motion Settings, Recent Activity and shared Users pages. The Recent Activity page lists the date and time of all accepted and missed calls. It also lists the motion events.
You can change intensity of how many motion events are shown. It can be set to “Light”, “Standard” or “Frequent”. If your kids are playing football in the front yard, a setting of “Light” would give you one, “Standard” would give two and “Frequent” would create a lot of notifications. It is recommended that you start out with a setting of Standard and change it if necessary.
Tapping the event will give you a video of the event with audio. These events are stored on the cloud (for up to six months), but you have the option of downloading them.
To just say “added” is an understatement. If you are at the corner store, at the office or on the other side of the country, you can answer your door. Even if it’s a door to door salesman, you can tell them you aren’t interested and send them on their way.
If someone approaches with bad intentions, Ring has you covered. Not only does it warn you if there is motion within its range, the range is adjustable! This is a welcome relief as other devices would alert us if someone drove past or even is someone was walking their dog on the sidewalk. However, if someone is 10 feet from my front door, I want to know about it.
Finally if someone decides to try to get into your house at night time, Ring still has your back. First of all, Ring’s motion sensor uses heat detection, so it doesn’t matter if it’s day or night. Second, the device will show your guest, by using inferred lights to give you a clear view of who’s at your door. The inferred view is kind of like what you see on reality TV night shots.
Features and Benefits of Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
- See and speak with visitors to your door
- Adjustable distance, motion detection
- Simple Wi-Fi connection
- Works with iOS and Android
- Lifetime purchase protection (1 year on parts)
- View videos in 720p resolution
- 180 degree field of view
- Two-way audio with noise cancellation
- Infrared LED night vision
My wife has rheumatoid arthritis and my original intention was to just use the doorbell so she wouldn’t have to walk up and down the stairs needlessly. If it was a salesperson, they could be sent on their way without walking to the door. I’m happy to report that the Ring Doorbell went far and beyond my expectations. The 780p resolution and 180 degree views are a nice touch. However the motion detection was a real nice surprise. Not only can you define how far it should be on the lookout, it doesn’t send a notification when a tree branch is bouncing in front of it, on a windy day. A big thumbs up to Ring and its creative team.
That’s why we are giving Ring Video Doorbell 5 stars out of 5!