Top critical review
Easy setup, but costs money to maintain full functionality
20 August 2018
I've got 2 of these units. One of them has subscription expired, the other still does. Been using it for the past 2 weeks. Here's my review:
Very easy to install, you'll need the app, you'll need your own drill but other bits like anchors, screws, screwdrivers, star screwdriver, spirit level, are all included.
I installed the non-wired method.
1. Answer Anywhere
- I can see what's going on anywhere as long as I have my phone
- It can notify upon motion, or, when pressed, it will initiate a call where you can speak to your visitor, and get video too
2. Infra Red Vision
- It also can see in the dark, through IR cameras.
3. Clear Audio
- Good quality Audio. This is probably important, since the video is average if not poor for an ADSL2 user like myself.
4. Very quick setup.
5. Theft Guarantee
- If someone steals your doorbell, you will get a free replacement.
- RING will probably record your existing doorbell hardware and deactivated, rendering it useless to whoever stole it.
6. Live Video option
- I previously listed that this did not have a 'peep' function, however I was mistaken. There is the option to have Live video, at the expense of battery life. This allows you to check in on your camera any time to see any activity in front of your door.
1. No Swapping Batteries
- Have to recharge the unit when battery low.
- Can't swap batteries out, meaning the bell has to be removed, unavailable, and then restored later.
- This is addressed in the new version, which has swappable batteries.
2. Poor Live Video
- Video quality is poor for live viewings with ADSL2+ (don't forget this is 720p, not even FHD yet).
- Remember that 2 points of connection are important - the network your RING is connected to, and the network that your phone is connected to.
- NOTE: THIS IS THE MODEL TO GET if you have poor broadband - do NOT get the 1080p, that would be even worse video.
- During the day, when the visitor is near the camera, and the day is bright, there is strong backlight.
- The camera is not able to adjust to his by sliding the exposure so that more detail is captured in the silhouette/visitor.
4. Ongoing payments
- If you want it to have a 'safety feature' of recording activity in front of your door, you'll have to subscribe to their service.
5. No Chime
- No problems if you have your phone with you.
- BUT if you are looking for an audible chime, you'll have to purchase the separate chime module.
6. Limited ALEXA linking
- You can connect it to any echo that has video (only the Echo Spot in Australia at this time).
- The Alexa App is severely limited to video. It can do a LOT better - imagine the doorbell chiming at every echo device when rung. Shame.
I may have written more dislikes than likes, but with that said, I'm still happy with the function that the RING doorbell has introduced to my life. I installed one at my AirBNB, and this has allowed me to better verify incoming guests, especially international ones that have no means of contacting me. Also, on the home delivery front, it's been good to inform couriers where to leave packages etc.
A lot of room for improvement, it can be so much more, especially on the Alexa front. Hopefully with Amazon owning both Echo/Alexa and the Ring, we can see some brilliant integration happening soon (GIVE US A CHIME PLEASE!!!).
There are other options out there, such as the Arlo, which does NOT have video, but does have a 7 day buffer of recordings. Just do your homework and pick what suits your needs.
Thanks for reading. If my review has helped you please click the 'Helpful' button below! Thank you!