06 September 2015

Product Review: Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell

We purchased the Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell about six months ago, which seems like enough time to provide a brief product review:

  • Installation: Installation was easy enough; the kit provided the necessary drill bits, wood screws and concrete screws or anchors, depending upon where you want to install it. The doorbell connects to your wifi network and you interact with it from Ring's app (both iOS or Android; we have alerts going to both phones).
  • Battery: I chose to use the internal battery. Battery life is advertised as one year; but this almost certainly is only possible if you have motion-detection and notification alerts turned off. In practice, the battery lasts about two months which means you have to recharge it more often.
  • Alerts: The alert notifications that are sent to my phone have a little bit of lag, but it's manageable. What's more frustrating is that the motion detection itself takes too long; so that you get video of a person walking away from your door and not when they walk up to it. Most of the video clips I have are just that. A number of Amazon reviews have pointed out this problem so it's definitely something that happens a lot and needs to be addressed.
  • On-demand video: Currently there is no ability to simply turn on the doorbell from your phone to view a live stream of what's going on outside. It seems like this would be a simple firmware fix. And it would really increase the utility of the product.
  • Cloud storage: What's not included in the upfront price is the cloud storage capability (you only get a 30-day trial). It's $3/month, which isn't the end of the world. But it's not immediately obvious that you need this capability to view older videos.
  • USB cord: The USB cord to charge the doorbell is only about 21 inches in length, which is pretty short to plug in and sit the device somewhere to charge.
  • Overall: I'd be willing to give the Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell 4+ stars with the on-demand video capability. Between that and the motion detection problems, it's worth a bit less.

Questions: If you have questions about this product, don't hesitate to ask and I'll be happy to try to answer them for you.
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