Ring 2 struggles with motion detection, video calling is a gimmick, and it’s useless without a monthly subscription plan. Here are my other thoughts.

Setup (A+):

  • Ring and Ring 2 are your only two options if you don’t have an existing doorbell setup and don’t want to hook up wires.
  • Setup couldn’t be easier. You charge the battery, then watch the walkthrough video to sync it to your WiFi and the app. Everything can be done while sitting on the couch.
  • Once it’s synced, you can install it outside, which can be done in a few minutes.
  • It’s waterproof and works from –5°F to 120°F temperatures.
  • If you already have the proper wire voltage from an existing doorbell, you can wire it, rather than have it run off of the battery. But if you have the wire setup, don’t buy Ring 2 because it does strange things while wired. For instance, it can only record events once every five minutes, so you could potentially miss a lot of action. This has to be a bug, but I couldn’t figure out a workaround. Ring Pro is a much better product. Find a way to get wires to your door or buy an adapter like I did.
  • After two weeks, my Ring 2 battery was at 75%. This means you’ll get a couple of months of battery life. Ring claims at least six months or 1,000 notifications. But even with the shorter lifespan, you can buy an extra battery for $20 and have no downtime.
  • Both Ring products seem to have better range than Nest because they stay connected to WiFi.

Reliability (D):

  • It missed a couple of package deliveries, which should’ve been easy to pick up. Most people buy video doorbells specifically to monitor deliveries.
  • The detection is almost useless if you live near a street. I had the sensitivity set to five feet, and the road is 40 feet away from my house, but I’d get 40 false alerts per day.
  • When it does record, it’s always late. Usually, you’ll see the last few seconds of the action. If recording movement and people at your door is important, you want Ring Pro.
  • For the most part, calls went well with a few glitches here and there.

App & Smarts (C+):

  • Previously, for the motion events, it didn’t show you a thumbnail of what happened. You have to tap the video, let it load, then watch it. Like stated above, this has been fixed!
  • Ring has a cool community with a “Neighbors Feed” that keeps you posted on noteworthy things that other Ring users have reported in your neighborhood. It’s a cool idea, but useless in a tiny town like mine.
  • You can’t set schedules or block out times to skip recording, which would help reduce the number of false alerts.
  • If your Ring loses power or connection, there’s no alert and the app doesn’t tell you when it happens.
  • There’s a web interface and desktop apps.
  • Ring works with Kevo Smart Lock, Lockitron, Kisi, ADT Pulse, LockState, Smartlink, WeMo smart switches. and Wink smart hubs. You can do cool integrations with IFTTT, too.

Hardware (D):

  • Ring 2 is bulky (5.05″ x 2.5″ x 1.08″), ugly and feels like a toy from the dollar store.
  • Ring 2 comes with two different faceplates (black and silver). These are made out cheesy, thin plastic. I’d rather have the faceplate built on and made with nice materials.
  • You can buy Ring Chime to take the place of a traditional chime for $30. This is an awesome idea for people without a doorbell setup already. There’s a $50 version that works as a WiFi range extender too.
  • The default ring noise from the outside is obnoxious, loud, and doesn’t sound good due to the speaker’s limitations. Luckily, you can and should turn this down.

Video Quality (D):

  • It has a field of view of 160 degrees horizontally and 90 degrees vertically.
  • It looks terrible at night. You can barely see anything. It’s way too quick to switch to the infrared lights. It regularly switches to the hard-to-see black and white while the sun is still up, while the others are still shooting in color.
  • Motion detection doesn’t work at night.
  • To make things worse, at night, you can’t see the button because it’s not lit up.
  • The motion detection works during the day, but it still misses events or records too late.

Price (B):

  • The entry-level Ring is $100 and Ring 2 is $200. Both are similar, but Ring 2 has better video quality and easily-accessible batteries.
  • To save your recordings, you’ll need the Ring Protect plan for $3/month or $30/year. This will let you store your calls, live views and events for 60 days. Because Ring 1 and Ring 2’s detection is poor, I don’t recommend paying for the cloud plan.

Quick Review (TL;DR)

  • Setup: It’s easy because it’s battery powered.
  • Reliability: Calling is dependable, but the motion detection is unacceptable.
  • App & Smarts: It’s highly compatible with smart products and has desktop apps.
  • Hardware: It’s the least attractive. It’s broad, thick, bulky, and cheesy.
  • Price: Ring 2 is $200. Cloud is $30/year.

Who is this for?

Ring 2 is best for you if don’t have doorbell wires and your primary use is for calls or live checks. The motion detection misses too many events and triggers too easily due to cars to be relied on.