- You can power your Ring Video Doorbell 2 via a wired connection or with the rechargeable battery pack
- Records at 1080p with a wide angle lens + has night vision + two-way audio
- Easy to install + weather-proof design
- Instant alerts when someone rings the doorbell
- Affordable subscription plans
- 1080p footage is slightly underwhelming compared to what you’re used to from other full HD cameras
- Requires strong Wi-Fi connection and relatively fast internet speeds
- Larger and thicker than the original Ring Video Doorbell
The Ring Doorbell 2 adds an extra layer of security to your home. This is a very neat video doorbell and it is indeed better than the original, but not by much.
The Video Doorbell 2 is the latest camera from Ring. It basically makes three improvements over the original camera and aside from that, everything else is the same. If you’re interested in reading about all three consumer-level video doorbells that Ring offers, you can check out our Ring vs Ring Pro vs Ring 2 Doorbell Comparison. For now, however, let’s discuss the Video Doorbell 2 in more detail.
What is the Purpose of a Video Doorbell?
The idea here is that a robber may ring your doorbell to see if you’re home before he or she robs you. With a video doorbell, in theory, you’ll capture them on video. That’s the main reason you get a video/doorbell combo. It’s supposed to be more covert, less invasive in terms of the installation process, and service dual purposes (IP security camera and doorbell). It also happens to be a fantastic way to see when exactly a package is delivered to your home.
Ring Video Doorbell 2 Design
The Doorbell has dimensions of 5″ x 2.5″ x 1”, which is actually slightly larger and thicker than the original Ring Doorbell [see on Amazon]. The Doorbell 2 is, however, fully weather-resistant and can be in climates from -5°F to 120°F. We have put it in the blistering heat here in Sacramento (between 95°F and 105°F for weeks on end) and have not had issues with the integrity of the camera.
The Ring 2 is designed much like the original in that it has a wide angle lens towards the top half of the body and the bottom half has the doorbell button. The original doorbell featured a 180° lens whereas the Ring 2 only has a 160° lens—which is more than sufficient—but it is interesting to note that the new doorbell camera captures slightly less of your front yard (or backyard or wherever you put the doorbell). The Ring 2 comes with two different options for faceplates—a silver and brown one—so that you can better match the color with your house. Both look nice if you ask me, but no matter what you do, the camera will look techy and futuristic and doesn’t really blend in well with the front of a house. It’s not an eyesore…it just looks different than most doorbells.
Ring Doorbell 2 Installation
The great thing about the Doorbell 2 (like the original) is that you have two options for powering it. You can either hardwire it using your existing doorbell wires (8-24 VAC) or with the included battery pack. The Doorbell 2, in contrast to the original, however, has a removable battery pack whereby you can charge it via MicroUSB and then return it to the doorbell. With the original, it had a non-removable, built-in battery pack. Regardless, you should expect about 1-3 months of battery life, depending on usage. If you livestream a lot and access your camera frequently, however, you may only get a week or two of battery life, so be mindful of how much you’re accessing the camera when you power it off of batteries. Luckily, Ring gives you two options for live streaming. You can connect quickly, which drains battery quickly, or optimize your connection, which conserve battery.
If you choose to hardwire the Ring Doorbell 2, for most homes it should be as simple as swapping out doorbells and utilizing your existing power source. We didn’t have issues here whatsoever, but if you do encounter issues, you may contact Ring customer support or a professional contractor. In any case, if you have a digital doorbell, as opposed to a mechanical one, you may require a diode on the back of the Ring 2. This essentially extends the doorbell chime. Ring includes a diode in the box and it’s simple to attach to the camera. We did not need to use this. Once you’ve successfully hooked up the camera and mounted it to the wall, you’re basically done. You should try to have it about 48” off of the ground for best video results.
Ring Doorbell 2 Wi-Fi Strength + Ring Chime Pro
On major thing you need to keep in mind with Ring is that all the cameras utilize Wi-Fi in order to transmit the video. That means your camera must be within range of your Wi-Fi router and have a strong connection—after all, it is attempting to upload and stream 1080p footage. In the event that you don’t have a strong Wi-Fi signal where you’re attempting to put the doorbell, you should consider getting the Ring Chime Pro [see on Amazon], which serves two purposes. Firstly, it will extend the range of your Wi-Fi signal to where (hopefully) you can use the doorbell. Since the doorbell is outside, there are a lot people that just cannot get the requisite Wi-Fi signal for things to work—the Chime Pro helps out big time here. It also happens to act as the audible doorbell chime within your house, although you can enable/disable this depending on whether you want the extra chime. If you’ve already got it working with your existing doorbell chime, there’s no reason to have the Ring Chime also make a sound. You can just use it as a Wi-Fi range extender in this case.
At the house where we installed the Ring Doorbell 2, the home owner (whom we call Lord Bensen) wanted the doorbell at the back entrance of his house since visitors are funneled first past the back entrance on their way to the front door. The only issue that we had was that his Wi-Fi router was located near his front door, which was quite aways away from the back entrance such that the Wi-Fi signal was dismal where we intended to put the camera. The Ring Chime Pro came in handy and made it so we could indeed put Ring 2 at the back entrance. Also, in case you’re wondering, he is powering the camera off of its battery pack since there is no wiring for a doorbell at the back entrance of the home.
Ring Video Quality
The Ring 2 features 1080p video while the original camera only had 720p. To be honest, however, the 1080p isn’t all that impressive. Yes, it looks better than 720p, but not by much. You can make out facial features, but barely. The camera also has night vision, but clarity drops so precipitously that it is rather hard to get a clear image of a person’s face. You can see that a person is in front of the doorbell, but it’s not as clear as we’ve seen from the Nest Cam IQ, for example. The one really neat thing about Ring is that when someone rings the doorbell, you will receive an instant notification on your smartphone.
You can ‘answer the call’ and actually engage in a FaceTime-like call with the person in front of your camera since Ring has two-way audio. It’s really neat, actually. You can scare off intruders and tell the UPS guy precisely where to put your package. If nothing else, Ring is great for messing with delivery people!
Ring Doorbell App
Ring has a very simple to use app, which is where you manage all of your Ring devices. If you weren’t aware, Ring also makes several more traditional security cameras [see on Amazon] if you’d like to add on more security, but remain with the same brand. In any event, the app (iOS and Android) allows you to view live footage 24×7 whenever you’d like as well as see previously recorded clips based on when someone rings the doorbell, when you actually viewed the livestream, and when the camera detected motion. You can also check up on the health of the camera, turn on and off motion or ring alerts, add family members, change settings, etc. The app is wonderful, but the one request I do have is for Ring to incorporate a preview window in the dashboard screen so that you do not need to press to see the live view. This may hurt battery life, but it would make viewing your footage simpler from a glance.
Ring Monthly Memberships
In order to get then most out of your Ring 2 Doorbell, you should considering getting a monthly plan with Ring. But, if you decide not to, you can still view the livestream at any point and you still receive instant alerts when someone rings the doorbell. If you want more out of the system, you can pay $3 per month per camera (or $30 per year per camera) for the Basic Plan. This also gives you access to video clips based on when someone rang the doorbell, when you viewed the livestream, and when camera detected motion. The cloud storage does not record 24×7 since that’s unnecessary and takes up a lot of bandwidth. Rather, it is event-based and Ring will save these clips for up to 60 days for you. They will also make it easier for you to share the clips with friends and the authorities. Additionally, you’ll get a 1-year warranty whereby if in the first year if your camera is damaged or stolen, Ring will replace it for free. For comparison, Nest Aware for Nest Cameras is $10 per month (or $100 per year) to view a 30-day video history. The only difference is that Nest records constantly and you can access 100% of the footage (i.e. it is not event-based). If you think you’d like the full video history, you should consider getting the Nest Cam Outdoor.
For business owners and people with multiple homes, Ring has an Unlimited Plan, which is $10 per month (or $100 per year). You can use unlimited cameras with this plan and it gives you a lifetime warranty on all of your Ring cameras so if they are damaged or stolen, Ring will replace them.
Final thoughts on Ring Video Doorbell 2
We think most home owners will opt for the Basic plan, however, the free option still provides more security than you probably have currently…at least from your doorbell. The camera is easy to use, relatively easy to install, offers sensible features, and is moderately priced. The question here is: is the Doorbell 2 worth it when the original is $20 less with an MSRP for $180 [check price on Amazon]? We aren’t completely convinced that it is actually. To be fair, $200 doesn’t seem egregious for the Doorbell 2, but considering the fact that the footage is still decent on the original and a lot of the features are the same, it might make more sense to save the $20 and get the original. Of course, you might just be inclined to get the newer camera since it is, well…newer. Up to you. If, however, you already have an outdoor security camera, Ring may be unnecessary entirely.