The Ring Video Doorbell 2 adds the convenience of an intercom on the front door to almost any home, and with a minimum of DIY skills, which means that it has never been easier to get rid of installers.
A long time ago there are timbres connected by wifi, for those who envy the friends who live on the floor with video intercoms and add that additional barrier between them and the outside world, but most require some type of wiring to install.
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 has a rechargeable battery, which means there is no need to connect it to the mains or to a low-voltage circuit. But is a rechargeable video ring really useful?
What is it?
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is essentially a large battery-operated doorbell with a camera on the top, which calls your phone or tablet when someone presses the button. It means that you can answer from almost anywhere you have a phone and an Internet connection.
There is also an optional Chime or Chime Pro, the latter of which extends your wifi network to the buzzer, if you want something that makes noise in your room, and even a solar charger to help the battery last longer.
Setting it up is quite simple: charge the removable and rechargeable battery with a microUSB cable, screw it to the wall and push it into the battery. In the box there is a masonry bit, screws and wall plugs. There are also two different mounting plates, which can tilt the bell up, down, left, right or a combination of two to give you a better view of the door. I did not need them, so after a bit of drilling, they screwed into place.
Using the Ring application, you connect the ringer to your Wi-Fi network, or the bell of the chime and the chime to the router, and in a few minutes you have the buzzer working.
You can choose between the fully black or black and silver design on the buzzer with a removable faceplate and a security screw to hold the battery in place, protecting access to the mounting screws.
If you wish, you can connect the buzzer and you can also connect it to an existing buzzer if you have one. I did not have either.
The buzzer monitors movement within a predefined area that alerts you when someone walks near your door but does not press the buzzer. I was surprised by the number of people walking near my door, so in the end I turned off the alerts.
When someone calls, a circle is lit around the button, the buzzer sounds a ring tone and an alert appears on your phone. If you have the optional ringer connected, it also sounds at the same time.
There is no delay between pressing the button and the buzzer and the alert goes off. By tapping the alert, a view is accessed from the camera with the option to reject or respond. Answering allows you to speak by ringing the caller, which works surprisingly well. You have to talk a little to be heard, but you can hear them as clear as day, even on a noisy street.
Doorbell access can be shared with several people, with their own separate ringer accounts, which means that everyone can receive alerts when someone is at the door.
Smart without being trash
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is one of those rare Internet of Things devices that really only works and it’s not garbage because it’s not the intelligent thing that it replaces. It works very well as a regular wireless doorbell, particularly if it has a buzzer installed. But being able to see through the camera and talk to the callers is brilliant.
Reject cold calls from the comfort of your sofa is satisfactory, since it eliminates that uncomfortable moment in which you have to close the door to someone to leave.
It is also useful to maintain control of your house. At any time you can see through the camera, and if you have the optional subscription to the call cloud, review the video from any movement or ringing alert. I was surprised by the number of people who came to the door, and I appreciated the peace of mind that anyone who wants to enter my house will be automatically trapped in the camera.
It even works very well in the dark, with IR lighting on the door of your house as daylight in black and white.
There are disadvantages to being constantly contactable through the front door. When he has a particularly persistent cold call, that apparently thinks that his house contains something he wants, and does not accept a no answer, he calls several times while he is at work and utters what seem like secret phrases that clearly mean nothing to him. You, it’s hard to ignore the door. At least you can disable call notification, like I did.
When you see the feed live, the button turns on to show people who are in video
The buzzer sounds good with other IoT devices, such as Samsung’s SmartThings hub, so you can include it in routines
It works very well with Amazon Echo Show, just say “Alexa, show me the front door” to see the feed live in a few seconds
The videos are saved for 60 days with a ring video recording plan and can be downloaded
The battery lasts approximately one month with an average of 25 movement alerts per day and regular use of live view, and it takes approximately four hours to charge from almost flat, it is best to do it overnight.
Solar charging support extended the battery life by about five to 10 days during the British winter and should do more during the summer.
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 costs £ 179, the optional Chime costs £ 29 and the Chime Pro costs £ 49. The solar charger costs $ 49 (£ 40). The ring video recording subscription costs £ 2.50 a month or £ 24.99 a year.
For comparison, Google’s Nest Hello video stamp costs $ 229 in the United States, but is not yet available in the United Kingdom.
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is one of those rare smart home devices that simply works and works at least as well as the “dumb” equivalent, but with much more capacity.
It acts as another barrier between you and the outside world, and works perfectly well just like a video doorbell and an improvised live streaming camera without a monthly subscription to the cloud. With the subscription to the ring video recording cloud, it also provides the peace of mind that anyone who calls or skips through the front door will be trapped in the camera. I find it particularly reassuring to be attentive during vacations and at work, and that it acts as a deterrent to those who cover the entrance door.
The power of the battery means that it is also easy to install on almost any door with very little DIY effort: no wiring is needed, just a bit of drilling for which the bit, wall studs and screws are included.
Ring does not make any facial or similar recognition, so those looking for more advanced features will have to look elsewhere, but like an easy-to-use video doorbell that can fit in minutes, the Video Doorbell 2 meets all the requirements.
Pros: easy to install and configure, solid application, excellent as basic doorbell, excellent as a camera from your door, attractive, no need for wiring, many accessories and options
Cons: the battery needs to be charged once a month, you can not use the local storage for video, quite large for some door frames, it’s expensive for a doorbell