If you had asked us a few years ago if we would now be writing a review on a door bell we would have thought you were mad! Fast forward to now and here is a We Own It review of Ring the Video Doorbell 🙂
This is a review of the standard Ring video doorbell and the Ring Chime, not the pro version – more later as to why that matters.
The box comes with everything you could possibly need to install it, from a spirit level to a drill bit! This is a very nice touch and helps enforce the premium feel and price point of the product.
What does the Ring Video Doorbell do?
Ring is a Wi-Fi doorbell with integrated video and app functionality, allowing you to ‘answer your door’ from wherever you are – as well as being alerted to motion.
The distance and area for motion can be configured within the app. This is very useful as before we configured it cars driving past were setting it off, a small tweak within the app and that was resolved.
It has two way audio, working like a phone call where you ‘answer’ and ‘hang up’. It also has pretty impressive night mode – allowing you to see regardless if its dark.
Ring can be installed on multiple phones, although this does then create odd functionality as if both users answer it becomes like a conference call with the person at the door.
This hasn’t happened to us yet but can only imagine how confused the poor delivery man will be when it does!
They offer optional cloud recording for £2.50 a month, this then saves your recordings for 6 months and allows you to export them as well as review all actions on a timeline.
This price is very good value!! Google should take note as they charge just under ten times this for their cloud recording.
The door bell is larger than standard doorbells.
Ring Chime is purchased separately from the door bell button. Ring Chime makes a sound if the door bell is pressed. Basic functionality but without it you only get an alert on your phone and a noise from the doorbell button itself. It does not have a built in plug, instead has a selection of attachments to make it suitable for different markets. One bad design point is the UK attachment covers the MAC ID sticker.
You can select from 14 in built sounds, choosing one for motion and one for a press.
We think they have missed a trick now allowing you to use your own MP3, although this is probably due to the potential headache of licensing and piracy.
How does it work and What is the tech?
Ring is powered by a built in chargeable battery and charged via a standard USB cable, supplied.
Your probably wondering how long does the ring doorbell battery last? We use it a lot and have lots of motion, the more motion the lower the batter life, and ours last just under a month between charges.
It connects to 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi. The unit is totally wireless although if required can be wired into existing wiring, if you prefer not to have to charge the battery for example.
We chose this version of Ring because the Pro version annoyingly is wired only, therefore requiring drilling and installation of wire – not something you want to do with a new aluminium front door.
The camera is 720p HD however does have a slight fish eye effect due to the lens design.
The Ring Chime plugs into a standard power plug, also connecting to your Wi-Fi and subsequently your Ring Doorbell.
You are probably wondering what is preventing someone from stealing the doorbell, if it is outside your house and totally wireless?
This is prevented by proprietary screws that lock it in place, also if anyone did steal it their face would be saved in the cloud.
If someone did steal your doorbell Ring has a ‘Lifetime Theft Protection’ guarantee that if you provide a police report they will replace it for free – pretty impressive!
How easy is it to set up?
Supposedly very easy however we ran into a problem – Ring and Chime could not see our Wi-Fi network.
After much researching, we discovered this was due to Ring not seeing channel 12 or 13. Here is a full write up on how we fixed it.
What’s the connectivity?
When Ring first started this was their only product however now they have branched out into home security, the idea being you can connect additional cameras and now even lights to the doorbell. Obviously, their entire range of products work together.
It also has full IFTTT and Stringify integration meaning you can connect it to an entire world of tech. We have ours connected to our Philips Hue light and also a Google Sheet to track motion via Stringify.
How much does it cost?
Ring Video Door Bell – £159
Ring Chime £29
We do think its excessive charging for the Chime separately that should be included.
What’s it like living with it?
After only having it installed for one day we answered the door to a delivery driver and asked him to wait as we were 2 minutes away. The delivery driver was surprised and very impressed.
We have also set it up to connect to our Philips Hue lights via Stringify so if we are not in and its after dark and the doorbell is pressed turn on an upstairs light. Brilliant to confuse potential unwanted visitors.
One very annoying bug with Ring Chime is that if your internet goes down Chime falls off the network and doesn’t come back online when the internet resumes. This is very frustrating as you need to manually connect to it again and input wifi password and reconnect it to Ring. Hopefully this is something they will fix in later software updates as no reason why it can’t remember settings and reconnect just like all our other tech.
Ring got in touch and told us that if the internet loss or power loss is ‘short’ then this will not happen. It happened to us as the internet went overnight. We explained this is still an issue and raised it as a bug.
Finally if you get one DO NOT loose the screwdriver that comes with it as you need it every time you need to remove ring and charge it. This is a special screw driver and as we found nothing else fits it.
What are our final thoughts?
Great for peace of mind and preventing having to go collect parcels from depots however cheeky to charge separately for the Chime and the forgetting settings bug is annoying!