Ring Security Camera Product Line Review

As I’ve mentioned in a few different blog posts, I own two Ring Spotlight Camera Batteries, and one Ring Doorbell. In fact, the picture to the right is actually my doorbell. In addition to these three cameras, I also own four batteries, two solar panels, and one chime. 

I thought because I have so many of the Ring products, I should provide a review of all of there current products. In this blog post I will provide a brief description of each product, what I like about each, and what I don’t like about the product. Finally, I will make a recommendation on who should buy this camera. 

Click here to see which of these products I recommend. 

Video Doorbells

Doorbells, the Gateway Arch to your home, and the first Ring product I purchased. I started down the security camera path after a few events occurred around my house and the neighborhood. 

The first event, and the most annoying, was that my doorbell stopped working. The standard doorbell that comes with every house just stopped working after 3 years. The reason why this was so frustrating was because the house was only three years old. This by itself, is not a huge deal because we don’t usually have many visitors and people that are coming usually call when they are outside.

The second event that drove us to video doorbells was that someone keyed our peephole. It was strange to wake up one day, look out of the peephole and see a tiny “X” obstructing the view.

The third and final event that drove me to look into security cameras the talk of putting a casino near my neighborhood. This was a concern because a casino meant more traffic to the area, and more opportunities for something to wrong wrong.

So with these three events happening within a short period of time, I began looking into doorbells. 

Click here to check the current prices of Ring products on Amazon

Video Doorbell

The Ring Video Doorbell is Rings entry level doorbell. The doorbell records in 720P resolution has a field of view 180-degrees and is the least expensive of the doorbell options. 

In addition, this camera features two-way talk, motion activated alerts, and on demand video via their cloud service. This camera can use either the existing doorbell wiring, or the preinstalled rechargeable battery. 

What I like

This is my current doorbell. I like that you can see, hear, and speak to people from anywhere in the world. There has been a number of times in which I answered my doorbell while I was at work, or on why way home.

I also like the ability to use either the Battery or the existing wires to power the doorbell. I use the battery, because the current location of the old doorbell is too small for this doorbell, and I didn’t want to drill more holes into my new house. 

Ring Video Doorbell with solar panel next to my old doorbell

I also like the installation time. It takes less than 20 minutes to install the mounting bracket, camera to bracket, and connecting the camera to the Wi-Fi. It could have taken less time, but I wanted to make sure the camera was level (a tiny level is included with the camera).

What I don’t like

I feel like the Ring’s ring is too quiet. I am unable to hear the Ring’s ring if I am 50 feet away. It helps that when the doorbell is rung there is a push notification sent to your phone, but if you are not holding your phone or have your phones ringer off, you will miss motion alerts and guests to your home.

Also, the video resolution is only 720P. While that is still high definition, we are spoiled with 1080P and 4K resolutions. 720P is clear enough to make out faces that are standing still, license plates are a little difficult to capture when they are driving down the street. 

Another feature I realized I didn’t like recently is the way this doorbell recharges its internal battery. To recharge this battery, you have to unscrew the entire doorbell, and connect a USB cable to the back of it. This is an annoying and unnecessary process. Also, it lets people know that you are no longer watching the front of your house.

Who should buy this product?

I think this product is for anyone that is just starting out in home security. The fast and easy installation and the power source flexibility makes this a good option for many.  This could be an excellent gift idea, or you could install this at your parent’s house, just to make sure they are not victim of door-to-door scams 

Video Doorbell 2

The Ring Doorbell 2 is just like the first doorbell with a few exceptions. First, this doorbell records in 1080P. Second, this camera has a slightly less field of view of 160-degrees. The third difference is this doorbell has interchangeable faceplates. This doorbell comes with 2 faceplates that slide on and off at your leisure. The two colors are silver and maroon. 

The fourth difference is that this camera has a quick release for your rechargeable battery. Simply unscrew the security screw at the bottom of the camera, remove the face plates, and press the quick release button. Finally, connect the battery to the supplied USB cable. The rechargeable battery is the same battery used for all of Ring’s products. 

When the battery is fully charged (you should see only a green light on the battery) disconnect the battery from the USB cable, push the battery into the battery slot until you hear a click, and replace the face plate.

What I like

I like that this doorbell has an upgraded video resolution of 1080P. As I mentioned, there is a noticeable difference between 720 and 1080P. With 1080P you can see license plates and a person’s features mush easier. 

Also, I like the quick release for the rechargeable battery slot, as it resolves my frustration with the my current Ring doorbell. I like that you don’t have to take down the entire system to recharge the camera. 

I am indifferent about the interchangeable face plate. Honestly, I’d probably lose it before wanting to switch it.

What I don’t like

I don’t like that the camera has a slightly reduced field of view over the first doorbell. The reduction is because the battery slot takes up more size, and the doorbell footprint is larger. 

Also, I don’t like that this camera only uses 2.4 Wi-Fi connectivity. This limitation reduces router upgrades in the future and doesn’t seem necessary when the next two doorbells have both 2.4 and 5.0 GHz capability. 

Who should buy this product?

If I could go back, I would buy the Ring Doorbell 2. I think this camera is for people that are a little more series about their home security. Also, this camera is for someone that lives in a high traffic area that can’t afford any security camera downtime.

Video Doorbell Pro

The Video Doorbell Pro is a hardwired only, 1080P resolution camera that includes two-way talk, push alerts, and on-demand video. In addition, this camera also has advanced motion detection. 

Advanced motion detection takes the motion zones of the previous ring doorbells to the next level. You can configure your motion detection areas exactly as you need from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

What I like

I like that his camera also records in 1080P resolution. As I’ve mentioned a few times, this does make a difference when it comes to security cameras. I also like that this camera can use 2.4 GHz or 5.0 GHz WI-Fi connectivity.

Finally, I really like the advanced motion detection. The advanced motion detection dramatically reduces the number of false alerts sent to your smartphone. 

What I don’t like

In general, I’m not a huge fan of wires. I feel that wires reduce the flexibility of the camera and where you can put it. I also didn’t like the amount of installation required for this camera. While the manufacturer’s claim that it is only a 15-minute install, it could easily triple that length of time. 

Part of the installation calls for you to rewire the existing doorbell chime, and that is something that I am not comfortable with.

Who should buy this product?

You should buy this product if you are comfortable working with electrical wires. If you don’t mind a little longer installation or like having a continuous connection this camera is for you. Also, if you need to put a doorbell is a smaller space, this could be a good option for you.

Video Doorbell Elite

The Video Doorbell Elite is the premium doorbell in this product line. This camera records in 1080P, has a 160-degree field of view, and uses Power over Ethernet (PoE). PoE uses an Ethernet cord to send audio and video, in addition, it is how the camera receives electricity. To find out more about PoE click here.

What I like

I like that this camera uses PoE for power and to send audio/ video. In most cases, PoE is better than Wi-FI for a few reasons. First PoE is more secure than Wi-Fi. Second, One cord is doing all the work. Third, PoE is not as prone to dropouts and disconnects like wireless connections. 

What I don’t like

I don’t like that this camera’s footprint is bigger than the others. Also, wired installations reduce where you can place this camera. The Elite’s field of view is smaller than the entry level doorbell but the same as the other products.

Finally, this doorbell requires additional hardware to work. The more hardware, the higher opportunities for something to break.

Who should buy this product?

You should buy this product if your house is already wired with ethernet cables, or are planning to install ethernet cables throughout your home. Also, consider this product if you need the security of ethernet cables and not Wi-Fi connectivity. 

Security Cameras

Ring offers three main types of cameras: the Stick Up, Spotlight, and Floodlight cameras. In this section, I am going to take a closer look at all three types and their subtypes. 

Spotlight Camera

In this section I will discuss the Ring Spotlight Camera Battery and the Ring Spotlight Camera Wired. 

Spotlight Cam Battery

As I’ve mentioned, I have two of the Spotlight Camera Batteries. In fact, I completed a 10-month review on the cameras that can be found here. While I won’t rehash that review, I will briefly talk about why I chose this camera over others.

What I like

The main reason I purchased this camera instead of its competitors is the spotlight. The spotlight helps to scare away criminals, turns on automatically when you come home at night, and makes it easier for cameras to record at night. 

Most cameras that have night vision but no light record in black and white. Recording in black and white is challenging when attempting to see features on a person or license plates driving at a high rate of speed. 

The second reason I purchased this camera is that it can be placed anywhere around the home as long as it has a Wi-Fi connection. The places I wanted to put my cameras don’t have wall outlets nearby. Also, I feel like using wall outlets to power your outdoor security camera is less secure.

What I don’t like

Basically, you need to purchase a second battery, and the solar panel for this to be useful. If you live in a high traffic area (like the main entrance to a subdivision) you will need a second battery, solar panel, or both.

I also, don’t like that the spotlights on this camera are not as bright as the others. I understand that this is done to reduce battery consumption but I’d prefer a brighter light. 

Finally, I don’t know and have been able to find, how long these lights last. In addition, how do you replace these lights? I’d like a few backup lights for when these no longer work.

Who should buy this product?

You should buy this product if you need a camera in a location that does not have a wall outlet. Also, purchase this product if you are nervous about having visible wires running from your camera to your power source.

Spotlight Camera Wired

The Ring Spotlight Camera Wired is similar to the Battery with a few exceptions. First, the spotlights have a brightness of 375 Lumens, whereas the Battery camera only has 300. Second, this camera uses a standard wall outlet for power. Third, this camera uses advanced motion detection.

The advanced motion detection is the same detection used in the Pro and Elite Video Doorbells.

Also, according to Rings’ website, the Wired camera takes longer to install, but I cannot confirm that.

What I like

I like the higher brightness in this camera when compared to the Spotlight Battery. While it is only a 75 Lumen difference, it is a noticeable difference at night. Also, I like the advanced motion detection. I like the ability to configure motion zones by drawing them on my smartphone.

What I don’t like

I really don’t like the wired aspect of the camera. A wired camera reduces the flexibility of where you can place it. Also, I don’t recommend using an external wall outlet. If you can fish the wire through walls, that would be better than using an external wall outlet. 

Who should buy this product?

Buy this product if you are placing it close to a wall outlet, or if you’re going to fish the wires through the wall to a wall outlet. Finally, by this product if you do not want to spend additional money on batteries or a solar panel. 

Floodlight Camera

The Floodlight Camera is basically Ring Spotlight Cameras with an attached spotlight. This camera has the same 140-degree field of view and includes the same features as the Spotlight Camera Wired.

In addition, the Floodlight camera includes 1,800 Lumens and video zoom and panning. Finally, this camera is connected to power via an electrical box. 

What I like

I like the amount of Lumens included with this camera. The brightness included in this camera will make anyone stop in their tracks. I also like the ability to zoom and pan that is included with is camera. 

What I don’t like

The only thing I don’t like about this camera is I feel like the field of view could be larger. This is a minor gripe, but we can dream.

Who should buy this product?

This product is for anyone that needs an extreme amount of light, or has a free electrical box. 

Stickup Camera

The Ring Stickup Cameras are brand new to the market. While they are similar to the Spotlight cameras, there are a few differences. Those differences include: indoor or outdoor use, power differences, and field of view changes. Below I will discuss those differences. 

Stickup Camera Wired

The Ring Stickup Camera Wired connects to a power outlet or Power over Ethernet Adapter. This camera has a viewing angle of 150-degrees and it is designed for indoor or outdoor use. This camera has a slightly smaller footprint than the Spotlight cameras because there isn’t a light included.

What I like

I like that this camera has all of the features of the Spotlight Wired Camera (except the light). I also like that the viewing angle is wider than the Spotlight Camera and the faster install time.

What I don’t like

I see two possible drawbacks with this camera. First, wires, I don’t like wires because I feel it adds limitations. Also, it adds to the installation time. If you have to fish wires, you can add hours to the install time. 

Also, I prefer my outdoor cameras to have a light included.

Because this camera is so new, we will have to wait to see if there are any major issues with this camera.

Who should buy this product?

This camera seems like a quality indoor camera. You should buy this camera if you are looking to stay in the Ring family, and you want a camera for indoor use. While it is rated for outdoor use, I think the Spotlight cameras are better suited for outdoors.

Stickup Camera Battery

The Ring Stickup Camera Battery is similar to its wired brother with a few exceptions. First, the viewing angle is much smaller (155-degrees). Second, this camera does not include customizable motion detection. Third and finally, this camera does not have an attached spotlight.

What I like

I like that this camera has a battery that can be quickly removed for charging. Also, I like that this camera is rated for indoor and outdoor use.

What I don’t like

I don’t like that this camera’s field of view. Also, I don’t like that you are unable to customize the motion detection life the other stick up cameras.

Who should buy this product?

I would buy this product if there isn’t a wall outlet nearby and you needed a stickup camera. 

Stickup Camera Solar Power

There is also a Ring Stickup Camera Solar Power that is very similar to the battery version but includes solar power. In addition, this camera also has customizable motion detection. 

This version is set to be released in December of 2018.

Accessories

Accessories are add-ons that you can purchase to enhance your security camera. As I’ve mentioned, some of these are not Accessories, not necessities for your cameras. 

Battery Pack

This battery pack works for the Ring Doorbell and Spotlight Battery Cameras. Usually one battery is included with the camera or doorbell. 

When you purchase a camera that requires a battery, also purchase a few extra battery packs. The additional battery packs are just short of a necessity if you purchase the Spotlight Camera Battery.

I recommend buying a couple and keeping them charged. Suggestion: Ring should create a battery pack charging station. Create a station that holds 4 batteries that when connected, it automatically starts and stops charging. 

Ring Chime

Ring has two versions of the Chime: Chime and Chime Pro. The Chimes connect to wall outlets and ring when motion is detected or when the doorbell is pressed. Both the chime type and ring volume can be adjusted in the app. 

I will highlight the differences below. 

Ring Chime

I currently own this Chime and I would say it is a need. We have this Chime upstairs because you cannot hear the doorbell from the second floor. I like that the sounds can be configured and the volume adjusted. 

Ring Chime Pro

The Ring Chime Pro is a ring extender and Wi-Fi extender all in one. I haven’t considered this version because I haven’t had any issues with my cameras working with the Wi-FI. 

Of the two Chimes, I would recommend the standard Chime unless you have a lot of objects obstructing the path of the router and your cameras.  

Solar Panel

The Solar Panel connects to your outdoor cameras and recharges your batteries as needed. Direct sunlight is required for the Solar Panel to work.

I think the the solar panels are also a necessity. As I’ve mentioned, if you live in a high traffic area, you will either buy a solar panel, adjust the settings to hardly ring, or break out the ladder every two weeks. 

Save yourself some time and buy this when you by cameras that require a battery. 

Solar Charger

I have also purchased the Solar Charger for my doorbell with mixed results. Note that there are two different chargers based on your doorbell. The Doorbell 2 has a different configuration than the Doorbell 1.

Doorbell

I was disappointed with this solar charger. While it was easy to install, the charger only worked if I didn’t screw the video camera all the way into the panel. In fact, I think the solar charger was responsible for burning out a camera that I had to replace.

Solar Security Sign

This security sign is unique in that it lights up at night to let everyone see you are protected why Ring. I do not currently own one, and I don’t think I will spend money on a sign that lights up at night. 

Also, it doesn’t look like the sign is currently available. 

Payment plans

One of the most asked about questions when it comes to security cameras is the additional monthly cost. Like security systems, many security cameras have monthly fees for cloud storage or professional monitoring.

Ring had three tiers basket on the number of cameras you own. The tiers are called Free, Basic, and Plus. I am currently on the Plus plan because I have more than one camera.

While the monthly plans aren’t expensive, it is something to consider when purchasing security cameras. Also, you should be concerned that the price of these plans could change at any time. 

Mobile/ Desktop App

The Ring application used to be my biggest complaint with this system. It felt like the app was an after-thought and not a lot of time was put into it. The old interface was very poor when compared to the user interface of Arlo systems.

This has all changed with a recent update. It looks like they took a page out of Arlos’ playbook. The App looks modern and you can peak at your cameras without leaving the dashboard.

Also, I like the ability to share events with neighbors with a feature called “Neighbors Feed.” With this feed, you can see recent events, view crime reports for your area, and discuss recent events. 

Conclusion

To conclude, this is my complete review of every Ring product currently on the market. What do you think? Which of these cameras is your favorite? Do you own any of these cameras, or are you planning on buying any of these cameras? 

Comment below!

Additional questions

How long do Ring Security Camera Batteries last?

The length of time the Ring Security Camera Battery lasts depends on a few factors. Those factors include: configured settings, the amount of traffic in the field of view, and the camera type. In general, the more sentitive you set the camera, the shorter the battery life. 

Also, the amount of traffic plays a huge part in the battery life. I have two Ring Spotlight Battery Cameras, one facing a somewhat busy street, and the other facing my driveway. The camera that faces the driveway lasts way longer than the camera facing the street.

I’ve had Ring batteries last as few as 3 weeks, and as long as 3 months. If you are concerned about battery life, I suggest either hard wiring the camera, or upgrade to the solar panel.

How do I reset my Ring Camera?

The resetting of the camera depends on the camera. Below is how you can reset the Ring Doorbell and Ring Spotlight

Ring Doorbell: press and hold the orange button located on the back of the doorbell. Hold the button for 10 seconds or until the blue ring on the front of the camera changes to white.

Ring Spotlight Camera: Press and hold the button on the top of the camera for about 30 seconds. If you are using the Ring Spotlight Camera Battery try removing all of the batteries from the battery department.

If you are using the Ring Spotlight Camera Wired, unplug the camera, wait 30 seconds and plug back in.

Finally, remove the devices from the app, wait about one minute, then add the devices back.

How long does it take to charge the Ring?

My Ring batteries charge between 5 and 8 hours. If I remove the battery from the Ring Spotlight Camera, it takes about 5 hours to charge. 

However, it takes a little longer to charge my Video Doorbell. I’ve had situations where I have started the charge before I went to work, came home and the charge was not complete.

The length of charge depends on the power source. Usually, I use a Apple iPhone charger to charge my batteries. 

Is there a monthly fee for Ring Doorbell?

Ring has three tiers of service: free, Basic, and Plus. Below are the differences between the three tiers. 

The difference between free and basic is the following, free does not include:

  • Video recording
  • Review, share, and save Ring videos

In addition, the Basic plan includes one camera or doorbell

The difference between Basic and Plus is the following, Basic does not include:

  • Ring Alarm Professional monitoring
  • Discounts at ring.com

Also, the Plus Plan includes all Ring devices at one address.

How far does Ring Doorbell detect motion?

The maximum distance the Ring Doorbell can detect motion is 30 feet. The motion detection can be configured to include motion zones, motion frequency, and motion schedule. 

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