Review: Ring’s Entry-Level Video Doorbell Is Still One of the Best Options Around

entry-level ring doorbell review
Courtesy of Amazon

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To their credit, Amazon is pretty good about putting out budget-friendly options for some of its best-selling products. That goes for their video doorbells too, which come in various makes and models depending upon your needs. The entry-level Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen) is priced under $100 and looks just like its flagship models. But how does it compare? Ring sent SPY the latest model (the 2020 refresh) to test. Here’s what we thought.

  

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 4.98 in. x 2.44 in. x 1.10 in
  • Connectivity: WiFi
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Storage: Cloud

  

Setup and Installation

Like all Ring Video Doorbells, the Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen) is super easy to set up. First, you’ll use the Ring app to go through and install the device to your new or existing Ring suite of devices. From there, the included mount makes it even easier to affix to a surface. The whole process took about 30 minutes, much like the Ring Video Doorbell 4 did.

Ring Video Doorbell 2020 Featured Body Image 1 William Goodman | SPY.com

One thing to note: The battery on this Ring is not removable. So when installing it, if you can hard-wire it, we recommend doing so. The hard-wiring allows it to have constant power. Otherwise, you’ll have to remove the entire unit when it needs a recharge.

  

Design

The Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen) looks exactly like every other Ring Doorbell product, which is good! There are only minor differences here, as the unit doesn’t feature a removable cover in any capacity. There are two different colorways (Venetian Bronze and Satin Nickel) for your individual preference should you so desire. It is just a touch smaller than standard Ring Video Doorbells, but not overly so.

Ring Video Doorbell 2020 Featured Body Image 1 William Goodman

As per usual, the top contains the camera/microphone, while the bottom includes the actual bell portion and the two-way microphone. As we mentioned above, there’s no battery pack to remove, so it is just an all-in-one option. Amazon states the doorbell should last six to 12 months on a single charge, so we’ll have to test and see if that’s, in fact, true or not.

  

Camera

The Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen) model features an upgraded camera that outputs video at 1080p with a 155-degree field of view. The nighttime setting leverages infrared LEDs to capture black-and-white video. The device begins to record video either upon motion detection or when the button is pressed, much like other Ring devices.

Ring Video Doorbell 2020 Featured Body Image 3 William Goodman

The overall image quality is just as good as the Ring Video Doorbell 4. I could sharply and clearly see people when they approached the door, both day and night. People and things outside of about a 30-foot radius are a little more complicated but that’s not in any way, shape, or form a dealbreaker when it comes to the functionality of the device.

  

Features

Because this is a more stripped-down version of a full-service Ring device, some features in the Ring 4 are not included here. The motion customization alerts are a little more barebones than other versions, which meant the Ring was alerting me to motion a little more often than is typical because my rental is on a crowded street. I anticipate that won’t be an issue for many people, but something worth mentioning nonetheless. Additionally, there’s no pre-roll function, so you won’t get that nice little preview video snippet before the device actually senses motion. Not a deal-breaker by any stretch, but I do miss it after being used to it for so long.

As with other Ring devices, if you want to save, share or view any clips from the Ring, you’ll need to subscribe to the pay plan, which costs $3 a month and provides 60 days’ worth of backups. However, if you’re interested in the best security cameras that don’t have a subscription plan, be sure to check out some of our latest content.

  

The Verdict

As a budget-friendly device that gets you the Ring name and some of the device’s features, the Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen) is definitely worth its $99.99 price. We do wish it had some of the more premium functionality, but those aren’t dealbreakers by any stretch of the imagination.

So Should You Buy It?

If you’re looking for a brand name option at an affordable price, absolutely.

Pros

  • Simple to use and set up
  • Good video
  • Value price

Cons

  • Not ideal for super busy streets
  • No pre-roll
  • Battery hard to recharge

Score: 7/10

Ring Video Doorbell

Ring Video Doorbell Amazon

  

What Are Some Alternatives?

If you’re looking for other options when it comes to video doorbells, we’ve got you covered.

Blink Video Doorbell

Amazon’s budget Blink video doorbell is priced lower than the Ring Video Doorbell, making it an even budget-friendlier option to consider.

Blink Video Doorbell with Module Courtesy of Amazon

  

Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell

If you’re okay with a wired setup, Arlo’s Essential video doorbell gets a handful more features for just a bit more price.

Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell Courtesy of Amazon

  

Wyze Video Doorbell

As an Amazon’s Choice selection with over 2,500 five-star reviews, this Wyze Video doorbell is another great, budget-conscious option worth considering.

Wyze Video Doorbell Courtesy of Amazon

  

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