Ring have been making smart doorbells for a while but they haven’t been without their fair share of problems. A dive into Amazon reviews shows all kinds of frustrations and so whilst I was slightly hesitant about picking one up a month or so ago I wouldn’t look back.
The Ring door view cam is slightly different from Ring’s other devices because it fits where the peephole on your door would be. This is handy because it means no new holes and puts half of the device on the inside of your door allowing for closer proximity to your wifi…this is probably why this device seems to work better than their other ones!
In the box you get the outside part of the device, the inside part, a battery, microUSB cable for charging, some stickers, manual, tools for fitting and a spare ribbon cable just in case you break one.
Fitting has a number of stages but is pretty easy to do when you follow the instructions Ring provide. You then set it up using the Ring smartphone app and you’re away (more on the app later). The battery slots into the inside part making it nice and easy to remove when you need to charge. The inside also keeps the peephole allowing you to have both low-tech and high-tech eyes to the outside world.
In terms of spec, the Ring Door View cam packs a 1080p HD camera with a 155 degree horizontal range and 90 degree vertical range (which is great), it has night mode and supports 2 way audio.
It also detects motion and knocks…meaning those delivery drivers who don’t know how to press a button still come through to your smart doorbell.
The door view cam connects to your wifi and supports 2.4ghz networks and then you get alerts to your smartphone or Alexa device (you can also purchase additional Chimes too). It also has a speaker and microphone built in.
Ring make no claims about battery life because it depends whether you have motion detection, HDR, night mode and other more draining features on but with everything switched on I got 1 month out of it. When the battery is getting low you get an email and notification.
The design looks sleek and modern and really doesn’t look out of place on my door (see image at the top of the review). The black front has a button with a blue light-up ring for when you press it and there’s silver edges. The inside is simple a white box with grey flap…which isn’t the prettiest but it’s ok!
So…does it work well?
Once you’ve set up the doorbell it works like a doorbell!
If someone knocks on your door or presses the button the blue ring light on their side lights up letting them know that it’s connecting. You can then open the app and see what’s going on (and talk to them), use Alexa devices to view the video or speak (depending on the Alexa device you have) or…open your door!
Notifications come through quickly and it’s nice and clear to speak through to visitors. It’s great if you’ve got a parcel coming and you want to tell them to leave it somewhere safe.
If you want a real doorbell noise you can buy a Ring Chime device or use IFTTT to do something like play a sound through a smart speaker when the doorbell is pressed (there’s a few seconds delay with the latter).
The main complaint from others using Ring devices seems to be around reliability which I’ve had no issues with at all…but…my router is in the same room as my front door and I have fast fibre internet so this probably makes a difference (you can check connection health of the device in the Ring app).
The other feature is the motion detection which adds a security side to the device. This feature can have its sensitivity adjusted and schedules set and notifies you when it detects motion.
If you live on a house backing onto a street then even low sensitivity picks up a lot but you can mute motion notifications and still have it record the video…this is a great security feature.
This is where a Ring subscription is essential. For £2.50 a month Ring will record, upload and archive footage recorded allowing you to check back later in the day. If you just want an instant access video doorbell then this doesn’t matter but if you really want the security features to be usable you need this plan.
The Ring app is really well thought out and works well. The initial screen let’s you quickly view footage or snooze notifications.
Diving into the settings let’s you…
- Adjust motion settings including sensitivity, set zones, turn it off and set schedules.
- Video settings let you turn on HDR, turn on live view, restrict video and audio coverage and turn on night mode.
- Notification settings let you play with alert tones
- Knock detection lets you set sensitivity.
- Then the other settings let you share your device with others in your house, change volume, location and device name.
The rest of the app let’s you check back on footage (if you have a Ring plan), view your camera in real-time and check device health.
So…is the Ring Door View Cam any use and who should be buying it?
I was a little hesitant about buying one especially after reading negative reviews of other Ring products but actually, whilst it’s pretty expensive, it actually does the job really well. It’s easy to fit, provides good quality video and is nice and easy to tweak and adjust settings.
If you want a video doorbell which works well and provides good quality video then certainly check it out…just make sure the wifi signal near your door is strong enough or be prepared to pick up a booster.