Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell

Gearflogger reviews the Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell

I so wanted to like this product: a nice-looking doorbell that can run on batteries, detect motion, record video, enable two-way audio, and send alerts to an app so you can manage all this on your phone. Sounds great for someone who is away from home, say playing in the outdoors. In practice, not so much.

The Ring installed easily enough, although the screws included are cheap and I twisted the head off two of the four. In short you charge the device for a few hours, install the app, use the app to walk you through network connection adn physical installation, which itself is pretty simple: screw the backplate to a surface, clip the main body on, tighten two security screws, and you're off and running. With the exception of the broken screw, all this went fairly smoothly, and you can clearly see they've put some effort into making the process as painless as possible.

Using the device was not so great. Lag was a few seconds, the traffic kills your network, video is only saved if you pay them $3/month or $30/year, and the motion detection was so buggy I finally switched it off. I also wish the Ring had a way to gauge the wi-fi signal strength at the device through the app. I had to hold my iPhone next to it to see that it had adequate signal while troubleshooting. I didn't leave it up long enough to test the battery life, but when they run out you do have to remove the unit and bring it inside for a recharge via USB. There is an option to connect it to a hardwired doorbell connection, but we didn't have that option. Battery life also sucked, declining to 70 percent after just three days, although temperatures were cold, ranging from zero to 10F.

I can see where if you have a great signal, a speedy network and a perfect IR background for the motion detector to work against it might be worthwhile. On Amazon it has thousands of reviews, and it seems to work great for maybe 2 out of every 3 people. For me, $200 is too much to pay for what feels like a 1.0 product release, especially when I had to shell out an additional $30 for a chime so I could hear the doorbell like a normal one, without the phone handy. Oh well, we'll try again next year.

$199.00 at Amazon


Note to readers: As of November 1, 2022, Gearflogger no longer participates in affiliate programs or accepts commissions on links to products. We’ll find some other way to make money. Maybe get a real job. Maybe not.

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