Looking for a comprehensive Ring Doorbell 2 review? Well, you've come to the right place. Here at RH.com we're dedicated to cutting through the jargon and gimmicky features that (can) cloud our vision when shopping for smart home tech. Instead, we're offering you an honest and unabridged review so you can decide whether the Ring Doorbell 2 is really worth the investment.
You might already have looked at our pick of the best video doorbells and know what this particular model claims to offer. But, just in case that isn't so, here's a quick recap: Ring are probably one of the best known brands of smart doorbell. With enhanced home security at the core of their company aims and objectives, Ring pride themselves on offering customers easy access to devices that enhance their ability to protect their home from intruders.
But, do these claims stand up to our rigorous testing? Covering everything from ease of use and efficiency day-to-day to the competency of the Ring app, the installation process and overall appearance, we've covered all you need to know and more in our complete review of the Ring Doorbell 2. So, have a read and see for yourself...
Then, head over to The Hub, our homepage for all things smart home tech advice, information and unbiased reviews.
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Ring Doorbell 2 specifications
- System requirements: An iOS (version 8.1 or newer), Android (version 4.1 or newer), or Windows 10 device with the Ring app installed.
- Installation: Non-wired, does not require professional installation or hard wiring.
- Power: Rechargeable battery.
- Connection requirements: Wi-Fi, no Bluetooth.
- Video quality: 1080p Full HD.
- Field of vision: 160 degrees.
Who will the Ring Doorbell 2 suit?
Easy to use and install, the Ring Doorbell 2 is suitable for users with varying levels of smart tech experience. While it's definitely most beneficial to those with a smart phone – connecting the two opens up a whole host of new features and functions – it could also be used as a conventional doorbell, too.
Obviously most people invest in a video doorbell for its smart capabilities, but there may be instances in which these are not always required. For example, you may choose to install a video doorbell in the home of an elderly, or vulnerable, relative to allow you to keep an eye on who's coming and going, without removing their requirement for a conventional doorbell.
For those installing a video doorbell in their own home, perks include being able to communicate with a delivery man with your voice via the doorbell – this is perfect if you regularly miss parcels while at work – as well as checking whether the kids make it home from school okay and keeping a watchful on on your home while on holiday.
Fitting the Ring Doorbell 2
So, we've told you that the Ring Doorbell 2 is easy to install, but how easy is easy? Here's everything you need to know:
- In the box you'll find an orange tool and a few screws to fit the doorbell in place;
- There's also two wedge and corner kits to pop the doorbell on depending on the direction you'd like it to point in;
- Simply follow the paper instructions, or download the Ring app for video instructions;
- We'd say in total, the Ring Doorbell 2 takes 15 to 20 minutes to set up and install.
How easy is the Ring Doorbell 2 to use?
We were extremely impressed with just how easy the Ring Doorbell 2 is to use, irrespective of previous smart home tech experience. Everything from live footage to old footage, motion alerts and rings can be controlled with ease using the handy Ring app – we've provided a screen shot from inside the app below, which demonstrates just how simple it is to use.
In terms of maintenance, all you'll need to do is to give it a charge every six months, or so.
Using the Ring app
Free to download on both the App Store and Google Play, the Ring app lets you control all the features your Ring Doorbell 2 has to offer from one central location.
Here's everything it has to offer:
- View the outside of your home, live, at any time;
- Talk through the device to interact with the postman or whoever else may be at your door;
- View your event history with ease. This can be anything from a ring alert to a missed motion alert from a few hours ago. It's worth noting that after 90 days of having the doorbell, you will not be able to enjoy this feature unless you opt into the Ring Protect Plan and pay monthly. More on that below;
- You can also check on your device's health from the app. This includes ensuring it's up to date with the latest software and checking its signal strength to your Wi-Fi;
- Link any Ring chimes you have to your doorbell and, if you have more than one doorbell and chime, choose which one you'd like to make a noise in conjunction with particular devices;
- Change the motion sensitivity of the doorbell depending on whether you live on a busy road or on a quiet street. Ours was set to minimal so that we don't get notified every time someone walks past the house, but if someone walked up to our doorstep, we would be alerted;
- Snooze the motion feature for up to two hours if you're having a party and are expecting several guests but don't want to receive a notification every time someone comes to your door;
- Adjust notification tones depending on the size of your home;
- Other app features include sharing use of your Ring Doorbell 2 with others who live in your home so they can see who is coming and going, and answer (not open) the door remotely if you can't.
Using the Ring Doorbell 2 with Alexa
Once you've linked your Ring Doorbell 2 with an Alexa-enabled device that has a screen – this can be done using the Amazon Alexa app – it's possible to view your doorbell camera live. Examples of Alexa devices with a screen include: Echo Show, Echo Show 5 or the Echo Spot.
If your Amazon device doesn't feature a screen, this isn't a problem as you can still receive doorbell alerts through your device. When someone rings your doorbell, Alexa will say 'someone is at the front door'.
Ring Doorbell 2 - how does it look?
Ultimately, whether you like the look of the Ring Doorbell 2 is entirely down to personal preference. But, we think the Ring Doorbell 2 is pretty stylish.
It comes with two different faceplates, which allows you to choose a design that will fit in seamlessly with the rest of your outside decor. Options include Satin Nickel and Venetian Bronze.
One of our favourite parts is the manner in which the button lights up once pressed, spinning until the door is answered. This lets guests know you've been alerted and are on your way.
Is the Ring Doorbell 2 worth it?
In short, yes, we think the Ring Doorbell 2 is definitely worth the money, particularly for those who live in a busy household and tend to be out of the house for the majority of the day.
It's ideal for avoiding missed parcels and interacting with whoever is knocking on your door while you're not home. You can also use it if you've just got in the bath and don't want to get out to answer the door, or if you're mid-way through changing a baby's nappy and want to tell your food delivery man you'll be a few minutes. The possibilities really are endless.
As well as being easy to use and set up, the device is easy to maintain. You can use the app to troubleshoot with ease and software updates are automatic. Battery life is also pretty impressive – lasting 1,000 notifications on average – and you will be notified in plenty of time, when the charge gets low.
Ultimately, we think the Ring Doorbell 2 is the best video doorbell you can buy thanks to its ease of use and the manner in which it makes daily life easier and more efficient.
While we appreciate that the high price tag isn't accessible for all, you can be sure that you'll only purchase this video doorbell once, as opposed to buying several simple doorbells over the space of a few years. Also, after owning one for a few weeks, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it. Mostly for peace of mind!
What we like about the Ring Doorbell 2
There are a lot of things we like about the Ring Doorbell 2, but some of our favourite features include:
- The fact it's available in a wireless option;
- It's super easy to set up and install. Ring provide comprehensive instruction videos to avoid confusion and, after it's installed, you'll be more than satisfied that thieves won't be able to take it;
- We also love its impressive field of vision, though obviously this depends on where you place it. From our camera we could see our front garden, pathway and a walkway for others to get to their houses;
- The customisable face plates are another impressive addition. We actually prefer the darker version as opposed to the well-known silver one;
- Probably the best feature of all (in our opinion) is that it comes with Theft Protection. This means that if someone does happen to steal your doorbell, Ring will give you a new one for free.
What we don't like about the Ring Doorbell 2
While there are many positives of the Ring Doorbell 2, we did promise a balanced review. Some of the features we were less impressed with include the following:
- The Ring Doorbell 2 is a brilliant purchase if you own a smart phone, or smart devices. If you don't, this isn't the doorbell for you, as you won't be able to take advantage of all its features;
- Eventually, you will need to charge your Ring Doorbell 2. That said, charging the battery is super easy and will only be required every six to 12 months (according to Ring).
- After initially paying for the doorbell (RRP £179), you only benefit from 90 days of access to old footage. After this you will be asked to pay into Ring's Protection Plan if you'd like to continue storing footage. If you opt not to renew, you'll only be able to use the doorbell for live viewings and talking through the device.