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Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen) review: Great feature set, priced right

Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen) review: Great feature set, priced right


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Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen) review: Great feature set, priced right

The Ring Video Doorbell (Second Generation) is a refreshed version of Ring’s entry-level product that integrates features from some of the company’s more expensive doorbells while keeping the same $100 price tag (substantially less when it’s on sale, as it was at the time of this review).

Compared to the original Ring Video Doorbell, first offered for sale in late 2014, the second-generation model offers video at 1080p resolution compared to the original’s 720p. Higher resolution is better with any type of camera, and in the doorbell, it will mean a sharper image with a better chance of discerning fine detail, should you need that.

The second-gen product also has improved night vision and new motion zone settings, but if you want a battery that you can remove for recharging—or if you want to keep a spare battery on hand that you can swap out when the one in the camera inevitably dies—then you should look at the Ring Video Doorbell 3 or 3 Plus.

The latter doorbells can also connect to less-crowded 5GHz Wi-Fi networks where this less-expensive model has only a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi adapter onboard. The second band might be useful in an area with a large number of Wi-Fi devices that interfere with each other.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best video doorbells, where you’ll find reviews of competing products, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping for this type of product.

In addition to the cost of the device, you will probably end up with a Ring Protect subscription to get the most from the doorbell. Without a subscription, it works fine and you’ll get motion-activated notifications and real-time video with two-way talk, but nothing the camera captures will be saved.

The Ring Protect subscription costs $3 per month or $30 per year and adds 60 days of cloud video storage, the ability to download and share video and Ring’s snapshot feature. The more expensive Protect Plus subscription at $10 per month or $100 per year covers an unlimited number of Ring products and professional monitoring for its Ring Alarm product.

ring video doorbell 2nd gen image 3 Martyn Williams / IDG

The new mounting bracket makes the Ring Video Doorbell (Second Generation) easier to install, and you can connect it to low-voltage wiring if that option is available.

Installing the Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen)

The camera snaps onto a plastic bracket that is mounted on the side of your house. The second-generation install is slightly more polished than the first, where the camera slotted into the bracket. The new model clips at the top and then snaps in at the bottom, aided by a magnet.

There are two security screws at the base of the doorbell to prevent it being surreptiously removed. During the review period, we received an email from Ring advising customers to make sure they used the correct screw to secure the doorbell. Apparently, some users had mistakenly used the longer wood screw, which subsequently pierced the internal Lithium Ion battery.

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