In an odd coincidence I was asked twice this past week to install a wireless audio/video doorbell system called Ring. Since I was not familiar with this specific product I had to do some research and looked up Ring.com for more info. After reading about it – I have to admit I was excited to install it and see how it is working!
So what is Ring? Ring is a simply a doorbell with a camera that allows you to see your visitors through your smart phone and even has the capability to open your door (with the right matching partner hardware). The camera is installed on your front door and the app is downloaded to your phone. When someone pushes the bell button on the camera – you get an “incoming call” notification on your phone, answering it will start a video/audio feed where you can see and talk with your visitor but they can’t see you, and it’s all wireless! Sounds awesome right? Well let’s see…
Installation and setup: 4 out of 5
The Ring box comes with everything you need for the installation. Almost. The Ring is easy to install since there are no wires. You have a bracket that would need 4 screws to be attached to your wall/door (comes in the box), the cameras goes directly on the bracket and is tightened with 2 screws on the bottom. You will need: a drill, anchors (the ones that come in the box are worthless), screwdriver. 5 minutes and you’re done. Downloading the app and setting up the camera takes another 5 minutes and is easy enough. The reason I gave it 4 stars is that the box doesn’t come with installation instructions and you need to figure it out by yourself!
Performance: 3 out of 5
The Ring camera has a good enough quality to see who is standing right in front of your door – which is usually what you would use it for, but not who’s passing in front of your house 15 feet away from your door like you would expect from reading throughout their website. We did not test it at night time but I’m not expecting high performance. Audio quality was good but with a slight delay. Since it is working on your Wi-Fi the device has to be within a close range to your router, that can cause issues… but once it’s within range it actually works quite well. The only thing I wasn’t so happy about is that it takes few seconds from the moment they press the bell button until you receive the incoming call on your phone. On the other hand a nice blue led light lets the visitor understand that the call is on its way. Not too bad.
Endurance: 2 out of 5
Plastic plastic and plastic. This device feels like it might break in your hand. Even the mounting bracket is plastic. I would be worried about accidently dropping it on the floor and about someone coming and ripping it off the wall. Most likely they will be successful. Weather might be an issue as well as the basic model doesn’t seem to be weather proof (the Pro model specifies its temperature capabilities but says nothing about rain…).
Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5
The Ring is a nice gadget that does what it supposed to do and does it well. An interesting functioning of the app is when you match is with a smart lock (make sure it’s on their partnering list) and then you can unlock the door from your Ring video call. Works pretty good. For $199 you get what you pay for. I don’t think I would use it for outdoors nor would I trust it for security footage but it can be a cheap solution for offices who don’t want to spend a lot of money on a proper intercom system. The Pro model that goes for $249 offers a better video quality (1080p HD comparing to 720p) and a faster Wi-Fi connection (5Ghz) – I would definitely recommend it if you decide to go for this system.