Ring Versus Zmodo: Pound for Pound Video Doorbell Comparison and Guide

Consumers have never before had so many options for home automation, and smart home products are growing increasingly sophisticated. Large companies, such as Google and Amazon, are expanding their product line in this area, but there are plenty of other brands that are putting out products of equal quality. In terms of video doorbells, Zmodo and the Amazon-controlled Ring stand out, so whether you have narrowed it down to these two brands or are simply looking for some more information, the following guide should be a big help.

What Is a Video Doorbell?

Video doorbells are just one of the many smart home products on the market right now. They attach to your front door (or other entrance) such as any normal doorbell, but they have a built-in video camera that records what’s going on outside your door. To conserve power and memory, most of these doorbells record selectively, and they have built-in motion sensors that activate the video camera whenever there is movement. This way you only capture the important moments.

Video doorbells connect to your WiFi, and most brands have a smartphone app that you will sync the device to. On the app, you’ll be able to watch a live feed of your entrance and customize various settings to your liking.

The primary function of a video doorbell is, of course, video, but they also function as intercom systems. From your smartphone, you’ll be able to speak to visitors remotely, and they can talk back to you through the doorbell’s built-in microphone. As long as you have an internet connection, you’ll be able to do this, so you can watch and interact with visitors from the other room or from a totally different country.

Why Compare These Two Brands?

There are a handful of video doorbell brands out there that put out some great products, but we’re comparing these two, in particular, because of their status in the industry and their product offerings.

Ring and Zmodo are two of the most popular, if not the most popular, doorbell cameras out there, and while most brands have one or two different doorbells to offer, Ring and Zmodo both have four different doorbell devices in their product line. With both brands, there is a clear progression in terms of the quality and sophistication of each of their products.

With Ring, you’ve got the Ring 1, the Ring 2, the Ring Pro, and the Ring Elite, and Zmodo offers the Greet 1.0, the Greet Select, the Greet HD Smart, and the Greet Pro. Since the Ring Elite is kind of in a league of its own, we’ve compared the other three devices with Zmodo’s top three products.

Product Comparison

Ring Video Doorbell 1 Versus Zmodo Greet HD

For $99, you could get yourself a Ring Video Doorbell, and for $50 more, you could purchase an HD Zmodo Greet, but how do these two products compare? Is the Zmodo worth the price increase?

Shared Features: These products are actually very similar, and they share a lot of features that are essential to a good video doorbell. Live viewing, two-way talk, remote access, motion detection, and instant alerts are all featured on both of these devices, and they each have their own smartphone app, so you’ll never have to miss another moment.

Unique Features: While these two products are very similar, they also have their differences, and there are some features that you won’t find on both.

  • Ring’s dual power options: The Ring doorbell not only has a battery pack, but it also enables you to connect to an existing doorbell wire. So, if you have a doorbell connection already, you can simply connect your Ring for constant power, but if you don’t have an existing doorbell, you can still use Ring’s product. The Greet HD, on the other hand, requires a hardwired connection.
  • Zmodo’s custom messages: With the Greet HD, you can record messages that will play when you have a visitor, but aren’t able to greet them yourself in person or remotely.After all, you can’t always be on your phone, so the prerecorded messages ensure that your visitors get the info you need them to.
  • Ring’s motion detection settings: Ring is known for having more sophisticated motion detection settings. You can set the camera to ignore certain things, you can customize the area that uses the motion detection, and you can adjust the sensitivity of the sensors. With Ring, this is a free feature, and if you wanted similar abilities with Zmodo, you’d have to pay.
  • Zmodo’s free cloud storage: With Ring, you have to pay for video recording and cloud storage, but Zmodo offers somestorage for free. Zmodo’s devices will save motion-based clips for a certain amount of time so that you can review them without needing to pay.

Installation Process: If you have existing doorbell wires, the installation process for both products is virtually the same. However, if you don’t have an existing doorbell, you would have to run wires to use the Zmodo doorbell, and that can be time-consuming.

Usability: Both devices are easy to use, though Ring seems to have a more intuitive application. If you are using Ring’s battery, there will be a little more maintenance involved since you have to charge it, but Zmodo is good to go once it’s hooked up. While the WiFi extender minimizes connection issues, some people claim that the initial setup of Zmodo is less straightforward.

Design: Design is a little more subjective, but each doorbell camera is generally considered attractive. The Ring device is slightly larger than the Zmodo device and perhaps a little bulkier. People also say that the Ring’s casing is cheap. However, you can purchase the Ring in, at least, two different colors, whereas the Zmodo just has one.

AV Quality: Both 720p and 1080p are HD, and while video quality also depends on your Internet strength, you can safely expect the Zmodo HD to have higher quality video. The Ring doorbells commonly experience lag and blurriness, but for the Zmodo to work, you will need WiFi. As the least advanced Ring model, you could almost expect it to lack in this area. As far as audio, Ring advertises noise cancellation technology, and there don’t appear to be any drastic differences between the two audio qualities.

Product Specs

Ring Specs
  • 720p HD video
  • Infrared night vision
  • 4.98 x 2.43 x .87 in
  • 180-degree field of view
  • 16 ft night vision
  • Two-way audio
  • 2.4GHz WiFi
Zmodo Specs:
  • 1080p HD video
  • Infrared LED night vision
  • 4.92 x 2.36 x .98 in
  • 120-degree field of view
  • Two-way audio
  • 2.4GHz WiFi

Product Strengths

Ring Strengths:
  • You can buy the device for under $100
  • Offers a full 180-degree field of view
  • Ability to customize motion detection (area and sensitivity)
  • Comes with dual power options (hardwired and battery)
  • You can purchase it in different colors
  • Comes with lifetime theft protection
  • Compatible with ADT
Zmodo Strengths:
  • Has a higher video resolution than the Ring
  • Zmodo has free cloud storage options
  • Ability to move the camera from side to side
  • Claims to be certified weatherproof
  • You’ll be able to record messages for visitors

Product Weaknesses

Ring Weaknesses:
  • While still HD, 720p video is lower quality
  • Many say that the Ring doorbell has a short battery life
  • Motion detector might be sensitive, even after adjustments
  • Latency in response time
  • False alerts
Zmodo Weaknesses:
  • Even though Zmodo offers digital panning, the camera angle is small
  • More expensive than the Ring product
  • Must be connected to existing wires

Winner (Which One Should I Choose?)

While your decision will depend on which features are most important to you, we are going to recommend going with the Ring Video Doorbell here. Even though you will be sacrificing in video resolution, you are gaining the ability to customize your motion detection settings, and the camera angle on the Ring is significantly wider. With the Ring 1, you’ll get a functional doorbell that’s under $100, and even though you’ll have to pay to access all of the features, you could add a year’s subscription to the cost of the unit, and you’d still spend less than you would if you bought the Zmodo HD.

Ring Video Doorbell 2 Versus Zmodo Greet Select

The Zmodo Greet Select is very similar to the Greet HD but features a tougher design and a few more features. The Ring Video Doorbell 2 has a few upgrades as well. However, the Ring 2 costs twice as much as its predecessor, whereas the price of the Greet HD and the Greet Select are exactly the same.

Shared Features: These are some of the best video doorbells that you can buy, and with both devices, you’re again getting all of the essentials. Two-way audio, 1080p HD video, motion detection, instant motion alerts, and on-demand access are all here. You’re also getting the ability to zoom and pan the camera and infrared night vision. However, with both doorbells, you’ll need to pay for the monthly plan to access every feature.

Unique Features: There are a couple of new features between these two products, and they both retain some of the unique features from the other versions.

  • Ring’s dual power options: The Ring 2 features a removable/ exchangeable battery. The Zmodo Greet Select is hardwired only, which means you’ll need an existing set of wires. Otherwise, you’ll have to run new wires, and this can be a huge hassle.
  • Zmodo’s call button: The main button on the Zmodo Greet Select functions as a doorbell, and it also calls your smartphone. So, visitors can actually call your phone from the doorbell and talk to you as if it were a regular phone call.
  • Zmodo’s custom messages: If you want to leave a message for a package delivery driver or just a general message to visitors, you can record them with your Zmodo device. Prerecorded messages still aren’t available with the Ring 2.
  • Ring’s PC compatibility: Ring has a desktop app in addition to the mobile app, so if you wanted to monitor your door while you are on your computer, you could. To do that with Zmodo, you’d have to do it through the web browser, which is slightly less convenient.
  • Zmodo’s free cloud plan: Once again, the Zmodo device offers some cloud storage for free, but you’re going to have to pay for any storage with the Ring device.

Installation Process: The installation process for these video doorbells hasn’t changed, but if you don’t have an existing doorbell, the Zmodo will be much more difficult to install. With the Ring’s dual power options, you can simply rely on the battery without running wires to your doorbell, but you don’t have this luxury with the Zmodo Greet Select.

Usability: These two devices function the same way as the others, and they use the same smartphone app. Both brands make it easy to share the device with multiple users, but if you want to be able to share to social media, you are probably better off doing so with Ring.

Design: The Ring 2 looks almost identical to the original ring, but the Zmodo looks a little tougher than the Greet HD. Again, it’s subjective, but people like the design of the Zmodo Greet Select, and people still complain about the quality of Ring’s casing.

AV Quality: Even though the Ring 2 has 1080p video, you still might be dealing with lag issues, delays, or even blurriness. The same goes for Zmodo. The camera quality is likely to be very similar, although it still depends on your Internet connection. The Zmodo Greet Select has a slightly more robust speaker, and the audio should be as loud as your smartphone on speaker.

Product Specs

Ring Specs:
  • 1080p HD video
  • 160-degree video of view
  • Two-way audio
  • Rechargeable battery + hardwired connection
  • Live view and night vision
  • 5.05 x 2.50 x 1.08 in
  • Infrared night vision
Zmodo Specs:
  • 1080p HD video
  • 120-degree field of view
  • 4x digital zoom
  • Two-way audio
  • 16 ft night vision with IR
  • 10-36VAC power
  • 4.92 x 2.36 x 0.98 in

Product Strengths

Ring Strengths:
  • Battery powered
  • Adjustable motion detection
  • Available in different colors
  • Comes with theft protection
  • Enhanced video resolution
  • Quick-release battery
  • App has lots of settings and customization
Zmodo Strengths:
  • Digitally pan to see a wider area
  • Security screw for anti-theft
  • Speakers are loud with crisp audio
  • A main button calls your phone
  • Free cloud storage available
  • Prerecorded messages

Product Weaknesses

Ring Weaknesses:
  • More expensive than the Zmodo
  • Security screw isn’t very effective
  • Some say that the casing is cheap
  • Live view and recorded video quality don’t match
Zmodo Weaknesses:
  • Video and audio may lag slightly
  • Low field of view angle without panning

Winner (Which One Should I Choose?)

Between these two doorbell cameras, we are going to go with the Zmodo Greet Select. This model has a tight-looking design and a strong speaker system, and even though it’s a little less expensive in cost, it doesn’t seem like you will be losing anything. You’re still getting 1080p video at 20fps, and you also get to take advantage of the prerecorded messages. When visitors come to your door, you can speak to them as if you were on a phone call, and since Zmodo offers some cloud storage for free, you might even get away with not purchasing the subscription.

Ring Doorbell Pro Versus Zmodo Greet Pro

Both brands have a “pro” version of their doorbells, and the Pro versions have updated designs, better hardware, and more sophisticated capabilities. For $179, you can get the Zmodo Greet Pro, but the Ring Doorbell Pro will cost you $250. So, which is better?

Shared Features: Each video doorbell provides crisp, 1080p video and two-way communication. You’ll be able to zoom and adjust your field of view, but most importantly, you’ll be able to see and speak to visitors remotely no matter where you are, and with the Pro versions, you’re getting the best audio and video quality that the brands can offer. This is the first Ring product not to feature dual power options, so both devices need to be hardwired.

Unique Features: However, these two devices are far from identical, and they each have something special to offer.

  • Ring’s interchangeable faceplates: Ring is one of the few brands to offer interchangeable faceplates. The Ring Pro can be satin nickel, pearl, Venetian, or black, and all of the colors are included with your doorbell. This way, you can rotate the colors, choose the one that best matches your home, or switch faceplates once one becomes too worn.
  • Zmodo’s pre-recorded messages: With Zmodo, you can still prerecord messages to play for certain people or all of your visitors, but the Ring still doesn’t offer this feature.
  • Zmodo’s wide field of view: The Zmodo Pro offers the widest field of view that you can get at a full 180 degrees. That, and you’ll be able to pan the camera to each side. While the Ring Pro allows for digital panning as well, the original field of view is at 160 degrees.
  • Ring’s community features: Ring offers more sharing capabilities than Zmodo, and in addition to being able to share with your friends and family, you can share clips to social media and with other people in the area who have Ring doorbells. This way, if there is criminal activity, you can inform the community.
  • Ring’s customizable motion sensors: Again, Ring makes it easier to customize your motion detection settings so that you get fewer false alerts.
  • Zmodo’s WiFi extender: You can purchase the Zmodo Pro with a WiFi extender, which will help you maintain a strong Internet connection to your doorbell. Among the problems people have with smart doorbells, connection issues are some of the most common, so this is pretty valuable. More importantly, you could purchase the Zmodo Pro with the WiFi extender and still spend less than you would if you bought the Ring Pro.

Installation Process: The installation process for each doorbell camera is very similar, and this is one Ring product that doesn’t also have a battery pack. So, regardless of which product you choose, you will have to hook up the wires, which means running the wires if they aren’t there already. You’ll also have to install a power kit in the chime box that is inside your home (for the Ring at least). While this isn’t necessarily difficult, it is an extra step.

Usability: Since both devices are hardwired into your home, they are both low maintenance. You don’t have to worry about changing the battery or losing power, and both apps function pretty smoothly. The Ring device seems to be more compatible with third-party devices, including IFTTT and other smart home devices.

Design: The Zmodo Greet Pro has an updated design that’s sleek and slim, and the design of the Ring Pro is also different from the previous two versions. However, The Zmodo Pro has a continuous outer casing. Since the Ring Pro allows you to change the faceplate, the removable piece is very obvious, so depending on how you feel about that, this could hurt the appearance.

AV Quality: As Pro versions, both devices should have the sharpest audio and video quality that you’re going to find anywhere, and as long as you maintain a strong Internet connection, you’ll always have crisp video. At 25fps, the Zmodo Pro is slightly faster than previous versions, which are at 20fps. The Ring Pro, however, streams at just 15fps.

Product Specs

Ring Specs:
  • 4.50 x 1.85 x 0.8 in
  • 1080p HD video
  • Live view and night vision
  • 160-degree field of view
  • Two-way audio
  • 16-24 VAC power
  • 2.4GHz or 5GHz WiFi
Zmodo Specs:
  • 4.4 x 1.9 x 0.9 in
  • 1080p HD video
  • Live and night vision
  • 180-degree field of view, with panning
  • Two-way audio
  • 10-36 VAC power
  • 2.4GHz or 5GHz WiFi
  • 256-bit encryption

Product Strengths

Ring Strengths:
  • Advanced motion detection system with customizations in the app
  • Interchangeable faceplates
  • Smaller and smarter than the first two Ring products
  • You can see and speak to visitors on your PC, as well as your smartphone
  • You can get different colors
  • Comes with advanced security features
Zmodo Strengths:
  • Free and paid cloud storage options
  • Provides a wider angle than others while allowing you to pan the camera
  • Enhanced motion detection system
  • Works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Ability to record custom messages
  • More affordable than the Ring Pro

Product Weaknesses

Ring Weaknesses:
  • Unlike the other products, this version requires doorbell wiring
  • More expensive than other Ring products and the Zmodo Pro
  • Still requires a subscription to access certain features
  • Some people don’t like the fisheye effect
Zmodo Weaknesses:
  • Not compatible with PCs or iOS devices
  • Also requires a hardwired connection
  • Some people report barrel distortion

Winner (Which One Should I Choose?)

These are two of the best video doorbells out there, so you couldn’t go wrong with either one. However, we are going to recommend the Zmodo device over the Ring Pro. There’s a $70 price difference between the two Pro versions, but the Ring doesn’t really have anything that justifies that big of a jump. While the Ring Pros offers more customization opportunities and better video sharing capabilities, there’s not much else it can do that the Zmodo can’t. With the Zmodo, you have a full 180-field of view with panning capabilities, full HD with 25fps, and the ability to prerecord messages for your visitors.

Zmodo will save recorded clips for 12 hours so that you can review them for free, and you still get all of the best features of a video doorbell for less than what you will pay for the Ring Pro.

Conclusion

The first two Ring products are battery powered, so if you don’t have an existing doorbell, this might be the way to go. Otherwise, you’ll have to run wires and drill holes, and this could be a lot of work.

Of course, only you will know what’s best for you, and it might help to prioritize the different features so that you can narrow things down. For example, if you really love the idea of being able to customize your motion detection system, you should choose one of the Ring products, but if you want to be able to record messages that will play when you are unavailable, you should go with Zmodo.

Given their status in the video doorbell industry, you can generally expect Ring and Zmodo to come through with a product that does what it’s supposed to do. Both companies are always trying to improve their products, and you can expect more upgrades in the future.

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