Ring Video Door Bell 2 Review
For around the last 5 years I’ve used a number of different video cameras around my house. Not being flush with money, I have tended to go for budget cameras; and the most I have previously paid is £113.98 for 2 Victure IP66s. At the time, I thought they were good value: solidly built, good picture quality and simple to use with my old iPhone 8. In fact I still have them up.
But then I saw adverts for the new Ring Video Doorbell range and, being ever more security conscious, thought I’d give one a go.
From the start
The one I plumped for was the Ring Video Doorbell 1080p 2nd Generation which I got from Amazon for £89.00.
What I love about Ring products (I’ve since bought other Ring security products for my parents) is not just the build quality of the products, which you can tell when you pick them up, but the thought that has gone into making the installation as simple as possible.
What I mean by this is that you literally get everything you need in the box. This includes:
- Doorbell. Mine is satin nickel but you can also get venetian bronze
- Quick start guide. Very simple to use and with pictures, which is good for someone like me
- Security window stickers. I only got one in English and several more in different languages. But I still used them in my windows as I think it’s the Ring logo that’s important to show to would-be burglars, not the small type language underneath!
- Installation tools. This is another area where Ring stands out compared to other CCTV / security products. Because you get their branded screwdriver with a T6 Torx bit which removes the doorbell from the fixing plate. I keep mine on my kitchen drawer and as it’s bright orange, it’s easy to find!
One word of warning here, try not to lose this screwdriver as replacements are £10 on Amazon, which I think is expensive. But if you do lose it, you can buy whole Torx screwdriver kits from places like Screwfix for about £5.
For fixing to the wall you get screws, wall plugs and the correct sized drill bit. As an amateur DIYer I found this very useful. I’ve literally wasted hours rummaging around my shed trying to find wall plug and drill correct drill bits to install a whole manner of things.
Oh, and you even get a mini spirit level that clips on to the fixing plate to help up get the doorbell straight.
Moving from the physical installation, you also get a bright orange Micro USB 2.0 cable. Again, this is really useful as I use it for charging the doorbell (more about that later).
Installation – battery or hardwired:
The first choice you need to make is if you are going to get your Ring doorbell hardwired or simply use the rechargeable battery that is concealed within the unit.
As I am not an electrician and am too tight to pay for one, I opted for the battery route.
So the first thing you need to do is remove the Ring doorbell from the fixing plate, then use the supplied Micro USB 2.0 cable to charge it. As it is a USB, I plugged it into my laptop, but you can charge it using any plug that has a USB connector.
And here is my one-and-only criticism of this doorbell. It was really difficult to get the Ring doorbell off the fixing plate. In fact, after about 20 minutes of trying, I Googled it and found 1000s of people with the same problem. After watching a couple of online videos, I came to the conclusion that it basically takes a lot of cajoling to get the back off, which I did manage to do. And to be fair, once you get it off the first time, it seems to be much easier the second time around.
Once you’re charging the doorbell you’ll see a handy blue circle on the front which indicates how charged the battery is. Mine took around 4 hours to fully charge.
I’m really pleased that I went with the battery option as there were no wires or fuss installing the doorbell. And the battery seems to be lasting really well. It is used a lot (my wife never stops ordering from Amazon) and I’ve only had to chare the doorbell twice in 8 months.
The Ring phone app that is needed to use the device alerts you when the battery is running low (30%) which is really helpful.
Setting up with mobile phones and general usage.
As stated earlier, I use my Ring doorbell with a fairly old iPhone 8. This works really well but I’m not sure how old you can go with iPhones. And I’ve no idea about Android phones, either.
Like the rest of the installation, it was really simple to set up the app with my iPhone.
There is a step-by-step guide on the app once you download it. This includes scanning the QR code on the back of the Ring Video Doorbell and adding your wi-fi details.
Using the Ring Video Doorbell
When we are in the house, or at the top of the garden, there seems to be almost no delay from when someone rings the doorbell to the time it takes to alert me on my phone. It’s the same when the doorbell alerts me when it detects motion. Obviously when we are out, I can’t tell how long it takes.
My Ring Video Doorbell is 1080p. I don’t really know what that means but the video quality is very high (just like watching my TV) and I really like the way you can rewind and forward the date / time stamped footage.
I’ve only used the two way audio a handful of times. On all occasions the audio was a little laggy, but it didn’t stop me understanding what the visitor wanted / having a conversation. And to be fair, I was never closer than 5 miles to my house and using 4g on my iPhone.
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is a really solid device. I found both the set up / installation easy thanks to Ring supplying everything you need. Plus the app is very simple to use. The only slight irritation being the initial removal of the doorbell from the fixing plate, but that is no longer an issue.
The day-to-day use of the doorbell is great and I’ve no issues at all with lag times and picture / audio quality.