I have quite a few smart home devices, including a house full of Hue bulbs, smart switches, garage door controller, smart lock, Google Home and Alexa devices. I use SmartThings as my h.a. hub, and also use Stringify for some of my automations. The Ring Doorbell 2 is a nice addition to my set up.
The Ring Doorbell 2 was nicely packaged and included all the tools and hardware necessary to install, including the little extras like additional wire for hardwired installations where the existing wiring is a bit short. The two included faceplate options are attractive, and it is nice to be able to change these out as desired. The unit feels well made and looks good.
Set up and install:
The set up and install couldn’t have been easier. Connecting to the network was very straightforward. I have not experienced any connection problems. The Ring easily integrated with the SmartThings hub. Tip: for the best SmartThings integration, change your Device Handler Type to “Ring Doorbell Pro.” This will allow viewing of video within the SmartThings app.
We installed the Ring to our existing doorbell wiring. This was extremely easy. Ring provides all the tools you’ll need to do this, including a wedge kit if you need to angle the device. We used the wedge for two reasons. Firstly, it was being installed on a wall adjacent to the door, and the door is inset in a shallow alcove. Secondly, our home’s finish is a rough stucco pattern. This would not have allowed for an flat, even installation surface. The wedge came in handy to rectify potential issues that may have arisen from either of these factors. I was concerned the wedge might not look nice, but it blended well.
Motion Detection Functionality:
Notifications have been adequately fast and consistent to my iPhone, iPad and Samsung Galaxy S8, with very little lag. I have an automation set up to turn on my Hue porch light at night when motion is detected. There is very little lag here, as well. We took into consideration the physical installation tips to optimize motion detection. As well, we’ve used the app to reel in the distance of the detection. I am not picking up too much undesired activity. The first day, I was picking up a lot of people walking on the sidewalk, but I reeled it in a little more, and that has been greatly improved. And, the device is doing a good job of detecting motion when it should.
The camera shows a nice, clear picture. I have a lot of bright afternoon sun on door side of the house, and the camera needs a moment to adjust, but once it does, the quality is nicer than I expected. I like that I can have Alexa show me the doorbell camera, as well. I’m using Live View mode, so I can invoke a view from Alexa at any time, whether there is motion/ button press or not. There is lag when opening the video view in the Ring app or with Alexa. While it is faster than the 30 seconds before it becomes a past event, sometimes the activity is gone before video opens, and I have to wait for the saved video in order to see the first few seconds. I don’t know the cause of the lag. Is it the app? The WiFi hardware? Physical interference between the router and the Ring device? A combo of factors? While I don’t know the answer, I hope Ring will address, as it seems to be the weak point of the device.
App and cloud storage:
The app is adequate. I think it would be nice to be able to easily create stills and edit within the app. It would also be nice if more of the account options could be handled directly in the app rather than having to go to the website.
The cloud storage of 60 days for only 3.00 per month seems very fair. Honestly, I am shocked at the number of people complaining about a rather nominal fee for a service that requires Ring to maintain the required infrastructure that allows them to provide that service. There is no “scam” or “bait and switch” going on here. Ring is up front about the terms and the fact that not using the service is limiting. However, I do think a complaint is valid for people who are experiencing enough lag issue that it keeps them from being able to view the video before it becomes a past event. While I can always catch most of my video before that happens, I often miss the first few seconds. Apparently, the lag is bad enough for some people that they miss the whole video.
All in all, the Ring Doorbell 2 is an easy to set up and install device that seems to respond well to motion, provide timely notifications, and take good video. While there is room for improvement, I am overall happy with my purchase, and enjoying the device.