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HOME / Smart Home / Ring Doorbell Review Comparison – Ring vs Ring Pro vs Ring Video Doorbell 2
Ring Doorbell Review Comparison – Ring vs Ring Pro vs Ring Video Doorbell 2
Looking for the best video doorbell? Here’s what Ring has to offer...
Ring is a pioneer in the video doorbell industry and widely regarded as the top brand. They’ve since gone on to create multiple other products, including Ring-branded security cameras [see on Amazon], but the original Video Doorbell is still hugely popular. If you aren’t familiar with the original Ring Doorbell, here’s the basics. Most of this will apply to the Video Doorbell 2 and Video Doorbell Pro so in their respective sections I’m only going to highlight points of differentiation, etc.
Ring Doorbell Video Quality
The original Ring records at 720p through a 180° wide-angle lens, which has great coverage, and it also has night vision, along with two-way audio. Essentially, the premise here is that someone rings your doorbell before they rob you. Ring gives you a chance to see them and speak to them first—it’s almost as if you’re on a FaceTime call. The night vision and 720p footage aren’t all that impressive, but they get the job done. Actually, the newer doorbell cameras shoot at 1080p, but the difference in clarity is somewhat marginal.
Recorded from Ring Pro in 1080p. Barely better than 720p.
Design and Setup
The original doorbell comes in a number of different color options, but you do not get multiple face plates in the box. It’s dimensions are 5″ x 2.4″ x 0.9”, which translates into “much larger than your original doorbell,” not that it really matters, unless you don’t have enough space in your entryway. Installing the doorbell is very simple, as it can be hardwired using your existing doorbell wires (8-24 VAC) or you can just use the rechargeable batteries, which will go 2-3 months on a single charge, depending on usage.
Since the doorbell uses Wi-Fi for its internet connection, you should make certain that you have a solid connection whenever you put the camera. If you don’t then you should consider getting a Wi-Fi range extender or the Ring Chime Pro [see on Amazon], which will help give your doorbell the requisite Wi-Fi coverage. Also, the Doorbell is weather-proof with operating conditions between -5°F and 120°F, so they should be find for your house, especially if it’s protected from constant direct sunlight.
Once you’ve installed the doorbell, you’re halfway through the setup process. You need to download the Ring app (iOS and Android, but you can also access footage via the web), create a profile, and sync the camera to your account…all very easy to do. Once the camera is setup in your account, you’re done.
Ring Doorbell App
The app allows you to view a livestream of your camera anytime you’d like. It also allows you to see when the doorbell was rung and the footage from that event. Same thing for the instances when you happen to view the livestream, it will retain those clips.
Creating a zone for motion alerts.
Also, any motion that the camera detects, it will save those clips for you to review later. Further, when someone rings your doorbell, the app will immediately alert you such that you can view exactly who is at your house…it’s a really neat system. If you had other Ring products, you could also see and manage all of those within the Ring app.
Doorbell Pro shown, but same app for all cameras
Ring Cloud Storage Plans
When you purchase a Ring Doorbell you get a free 30-day trial of their cloud storage plan. After those 30-days expire, regardless of which doorbell camera you have, there are three options available to you. First, you could continue to use your camera as is. Without a plan, you will still get instant alerts when someone rings the door and you will still be able to live stream audio and video.
If you choose to sign up for a plan, however, the Basic option is $3 per month per camera (or $30 per year per camera). In addition to live streaming and instant alerts, you also get cloud storage where Ring will store clips of your footage for up to 60 days. Essentially, Ring will store only the clips that you care about, with those being video triggered by motion, by someone ringing the doorbell, or by you peering into the live stream. Further, in the Basic plan you get the ability to easily share videos and a 1-year warranty whereby if your Ring camera is damaged or stolen in the first year, they’ll replace it for free.
The Protect plan is $10 per month (or $100 per year) and gets you all of the aforementioned features, except this time you can have unlimited cameras on the plan at no extra cost. That means, if you have more than three Ring cameras then it makes sense to get the Protect plan. This is mostly for people with multiple homes and business owners. This plan also brings you a lifetime warranty on the cameras, so if one is damaged or stolen, Ring will replace it.
Interestingly enough, the original Video Doorbell is actually thinner and smaller (marginally) than the second generation unit…and cheaper. The original Video Doorbell has an MSRP of $180 [see on Amazon] and the Video Doorbell 2 has an MSRP of $200 [see on Amazon].
The Video Doorbell 2 really makes three improvements over the original unit. First, it shoots at 1080p (still has night vision), which is slightly more clear than the 720p of the original. To be honest, however, I wasn’t impressed with the 1080p footage—I thought it would be more clear and crisp. I’m not sure this is a major advantage for the new camera. Additionally, the Doorbell 2 comes with multiple face plates so you can try out different color options if you’d like.
And lastly, the Doorbell 2 has a removable battery pack that makes it really easy to charge your Doorbell, while the original one had a built-in battery pack. This might be a big enough issue for people to spend the extra $20. Also, both can still be hardwired. That’s it for the new model. You can check out our full Ring Video Doorbell 2 Review for more minor details, but for the most part it is that simple.
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is notably smaller and thinner than both of the other doorbell cameras….plus, it looks much nicer. Also, like the Video Doorbell 2, it comes with several different face plates so that you can choose whichever matches your house best and it records at 1080p. Further, it supports both 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz Wi-Fi so it can potentially be a faster camera overall.
Beyond that, it’s $50 more than the Doorbell 2 at a MSRP of $250 and can only be hardwired (i.e. no reachable battery option). If you’re not concerned about price and you’re fine with hardwiring (which in most cases is very simple) the Video Doorbell Pro is the way to go.