Ring Video Doorbell 2 – What it’s like to have an IP doorbell

Advances in IoT technology have created a world of constant connectivity, and this has expanded into our homes and cars, making an IP doorbell connected to our smartphones an essential feature of home automation.

Now, no matter where you are, unsolicited visitors can ring your doorbell – and occasionally friends too – using the Ring Video Doorbell 2.

The device features 1080HD wide-angle video as well as a built-in microphone and speakers, and allows users to remotely answer the door from a smartphone, tablet, or PC.

It provides instant mobile alerts when anyone presses the doorbell or triggers the built-in motion sensors.

The Ring device can be installed in any home and includes a quick-release rechargeable battery, allowing users to charge the Video Doorbell 2 without removing the device. It can also be hardwired.

The accompanying Ring App is iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows 10 compatible.

Each new device will get 30 days of free cloud storage, available for $3 per device per month thereafter on the Ring Protect Basic Plan. On the Ring Protect Plus Plan, users can connect an unlimited number of devices for $10 per month.

The specifications of the Ring Video Doorbell 2 are detailed in the table below.

Ring Video Doorbell 2
Dimensions 12.83cm x 6.35cm x 2.74cm
Camera 1080p HD
Battery 6,100mAh
Network Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connection @ 2.4GHz
Field of View Hemispheric Lens 160° horizontal, 90° vertical, IR-capable
Night-vision Built-in Night Vision – 4-LEDs
Audio Two-way communication with noise cancellation
Motion Sensor Smart motion detection, using IR and camera motion
Weather Resistance -20.5 to 48.5 degrees Celsius
Network Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connection @ 2.4GHz
Warranty 1 year on parts, lifetime purchase protection

Build

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is made of a composite plastic, and is surprisingly solid and heavy in the hand. It has both an interchangeable silver and black cover to provide some customisation.

The device is issued with corner and wedge install mounts, which can be painted to the colour of your house, as well as some screws for mounting to the wall, a drill bit, and a hex screw to securely lock the plastic cover in place to avoid tampering and theft.

The overall quality of the doorbell is good. The device includes LEDs that are bright and rotate energetically when the button is pressed, along with a clear tone to confirm to a visitor that the doorbell has been rung.

Setup

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is extremely easy to set up, and the app directions are clear and include instructional videos. It took us about 10 minutes to have the device up and running on our Wi-Fi. Without wiring, it is fairly simple to mount the device onto a wall.

With wiring, on the other hand, a great deal more effort is required – much like installing a regular intercom system. Replacing a doorbell wiring is an extremely rare event, however. Without the wiring, the battery will need to be removed and charged periodically.

Usability

The Ring app is fairly stable, but the needs a stable Wi-Fi connection to work and needs to be situated near an access point for best results. Without a strong connection, the doorbell does not always trigger the notification of the guest at the door.

A stable Internet connection is also required for answering calls from your mobile device. A poor cellular or Wi-Fi internet connection can prevent your Ring app from functioning correctly, and result in an error.

The Ring app opens in widescreen format, with a bright, clear sound and video. The app is easy to navigate, and includes an activity log. Missed or answered calls can be revisited at any time, allowing you to replay the videos.

You can also add additional users, such as your spouse or roommate, who will be able to answer calls and view the saved footage as well.

The audio is very clear on both sides of the call. On the answering side, Ring makes use of the loudspeaker and microphone like a call on speaker phone, so you can answer the call and view the video at the same time.

We tested and answered via 4G and remote networks, and found a 1-2 second delay in the audio and a 5-8 second delay while you connect to the Ring for the call – but the system works quite well despite the delay.

Camera testing

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 boasts a high-res camera that performed well when we tested it.

The image below was taken as a screenshot in default mode from a Samsung S8. The Ring product box was used as a placeholder to demonstrate the image quality.

From a distance of about 30-45cm away, the quality of the high-resolution is clearly visible.

Is an IP doorbell worth it?

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 has several distinct advantages over older video intercoms, and as a starting point for a smart home, it’s a great choice.

It has a good entry price point, great design, solid software, and a decent camera – with a clear picture and sound. It is simple to install and use, with minimal hassle overall.

The Ring device also has a good roadmap and solid backing by Amazon going forward. Ring has recently been purchased by Amazon, so it might be integrated into the Alexa and other home automation systems in the Amazon stable in future.

Ring is building its own proprietary system, with options for remote monitoring, security integration, and notifications, and a full security system including alarms. In South Africa, the system will also be supported by security companies, such as ADT, which is a great local benefit.

Ring devices in South Africa

Axiz recently launched Ring video surveillance products in South Africa – smart security solutions that allow users to monitor their property using a smartphone.

The full range of Ring products is available from Incredible Connection, Dion Wired, Makro, Builder’s Warehouse, and premium security installers.

For more information on the Ring products available in South Africa, visit the Axiz website.

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Ring Video Doorbell 2 – What it’s like to have an IP doorbell