Ring has been on the forefront of home security since 2015 when the first video doorbell launched. Now in 2020, the company, now owned by Amazon, unleashes a refresh of the base model video doorbell. Costing $124.99, this is a great starting point for any smart home setup, and has just enough features to keep even the most tech-minded people happy—even with Ring finding ways to upsell recording on such a competitive product.
The 2020 Ring Video Doorbell has all the major features you would want to see from a modern smart device, especially one owned by Amazon. Now working with Alexa voice commands, able to be connected to IFTTT applets, a full 1080p camera, and all the other features people have come to expect from Ring; this iteration of the base model video doorbell feels like a worthy upgrade, especially for someone who may already own the first generation offering.
Look & Design
Little has changed from the Ring lineup. The Video Doorbell has all the design cues we have come to expect from the company, opting for a simple silver and black look (Also available in Venetian Bronze) it stays in line with the range of Ring products already on the market. It is a modern looking device that has enough classic flair to fit most home setups. Size wise it is in line with what we have seen in the past and with other Video Doorbells in the range, with it measuring 4.9 X 2.4 X 1.1 inches.
At the top of the Video Doorbell you will find the iconic camera, that watches the walkway for approaching people, along with being used for video confirmation of packages or deliveries; and a microphone for any person to describe why they are at the door. On the body of the device you will find the main button that will light up during setup, and when someone rings the doorbell. Looking at the bottom of the device the speaker that is used for the chime, and for two-way communication should that be needed.
Under the hook of the Ring Video Doorbell you will find a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi radio, and a built-in rechargeable battery, rated for around 6-12 months on a single charge based on use. This is one area that we found a bit frustrating while testing; with most of the lineup having easy to remove batteries, this iteration requires you to take the full unit off the wall when a charge is needed. While Ring has made this process as easy as possible, requiring only a few screws to get things off and charging, and you can hard-wire the device should the wires still remain from a previous doorbell to keep the Video Doorbell changed continuously.
Video Doorbell Features
The 2020 Video Doorbell has bumped up the camera compared to the 720p of the original, and now offers a full 1080p camera with a 155-degree field-of-view that also uses infrared for black and white video at night. The doorbell will record video the minute the button is pressed, along with when the Doorbell detects motion in front of the camera (although this can be adjusted based on needs and sensitivity).
With Ring now being an Amazon company, it is no wonder that Alexa connectivity is now baked into the Video Doorbell experience. It is easy to setup—with Alexa or any Echo speaker alerting you of someone at the door, or other settings that can be adjusted to fit your needs. This year’s model, as outlined above; features IFTTT applets, to adjust it based on your smart home setup, and now features connectivity with select smart locks, making the smart home process far less frustrating as you try and connect all the divergent elements.
The 2020 Ring Video Doorbell uses the same app that all other devices in the Ring ecosystem use. It has become a feature filled app, that makes setting up and installing devices as easy and painless as possible. The features you know and love are all hear, from how the doorbell functions, what the sensitivity is for the camera and alerts, along with live feed of your front porch should you ever require it.
As with all Ring products, the company does not skip a beat on offering a premium upgrade to your service with the Ring Protect Plan that costs $3 per month or $30 a year. This plan will offer 60 days’ worth of storage for video including snapshots and video sharing for a single device. Should you have more than one Ring product, the Plus plan would be a better option, costing $10 or 100 a year, with this including professional monitoring should you own the Ring Alarm.
Video Doorbell Install
If you have ever installed a Ring device before, the 2020 Video Doorbell is an easy proposition to add to your current setup. If not, download the app, and the process is outlined with prompts that make the installation. simple and straightforward. It is about placement and ensuring it works on your particular housel, but even with some minor adjustments, the full process should take most people less than 30 minutes.
From finding Wi-Fi to connecting to Alexa, Ring has made the installation process as easy as possible. There are now more direct settings to ensure it works with your particular setup. As the Doorbell can alert you based on needs, this is one area that could take some adjustment, if is it too sensitive, you will have constant alerts of movement, too lax, and you won’t know until someone rings the bell, it is about balance, and even with some experimentation, things should be up and running in no time.
In testing, once setup correctly, the doorbell did a good job of sorting out when to alert the phone, and video from the Video Doorbell was clear and sharp, giving a great window into what happened outside the testing house. Should you have more Echo products at home, such as the Echo Show, you can use it as a view finding for the Camera, giving a much more connected smart home, one that integrates all aspects and devices you own. While this may be too much for some people, it was fun feeling like I was in a house from the future.
For the price, the Ring Video Doorbell (2020) feels like a great option for anyone looking to expand, or start on their smart home journey. It has all the features we would want from a video doorbell, and while it is obvious where Ring cut corners to hit the price point, it manages to maintain a slick modern look that we have come to expect from the company. While lacking some of the more advanced features, if you want a video doorbell, few options can compare on features and price to what Ring brings to the table, even if I am not a fan of the upsells for recording.