Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2
“Ring took his best doorbell and added a bump to the key glasses. Then it gave it radar! ”
High quality video day and night
User friendly installation
Ring’s latest video Doorbell builds on past successes and adds a new dimension to its bag of tricks: radar, which seems to be all the rage right now in the smart home industry. Ring is hoping that the addition of radar can make motion tracking even more accurate and more fun. This definitely makes for a good performance, but how useful is it? That is what I wanted to know.
When you compare Ring Video Doorbell Pro to Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2, there are some physical differences. They basically look exactly alike. But when the horizontal field of view becomes slightly narrower (160 to 150 degrees below) on this new generation, you get a much wider vertical field of view (150 degrees, above 90). Also, you call the ring “3D motion detection”, which I’ll touch on a bit. Ring increased the resolution of his camera to 1536p HD video. In short, Ring already performed excellently and enhanced it with some new technology, so let’s take a look and see how “enhanced” is.
But first, we should look at the doorbell overall. On the face of things, most of the upgrades you get on the previous generation Ring Video Doorbell Pro are minor. You get to see more resolution and more fields, but beyond that, not too much. This is because the Ring Doorbell Pro already sets a very high bar. It is not surprising that Ring produced radar in this generation, as everything else would be tough.
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 still gives you the feel of its awesome installation, as well as voice prompts as opposed to cryptics beeps or messages displayed on your phone. You get great ring software experience, including a neighbor’s app, cameras provide great clarity during the day and night, and the low horizontal field of view is not so low, so you’ll still be able to see everything in front of your door.
As for video quality, it is still fairly obvious. This generation took the resolution to 1536p, the highest ever. Videos are crisp during the day, with barely a hint of fish-eye impact on the edges. Color reproduction is good, if a touch on the cool side. The picture is very well balanced even in bright sunlight. At night, the camera is capable of low light color, which switches to IR as needed. In short, the camera is very good.
Alexa as a concierge
One feature that is not new to the Ring Video Doorbell Pro line (but was new to me) was using Alexa to answer the door. If someone rings your doorbell, Alexa can greet your visitor after a specified period of time. Alexa is very limited in this capacity; You can select from several selected messages. For example, Alexa can instruct a package handler where it wants to deliver or he can ask your neighbor to leave a message.
I would have liked to see a little more artificial intelligence (AI) here. Stir in some facial recognition and package detection, and you can have a nice virtual butler at your front door. As much as Amazon wants to shoe Alexa on every kind of device under the sun, I expect Alexa to be a bit more clever.
You don’t even need Alexa to say: “Please leave the package by the door.” This is just an earlier message. In fact, I would argue that allowing people to record the message, “I can’t go door to door, but can you leave the package by the garage,” would actually provide more security than a normal Alexa message. I think after this time, I just want Alexa to be a lot smarter.
Your front door in 3d
One of the highlights of Amazon’s latest generation of doors is what it calls “3D motion detection”. It uses the built-in doorbell radar to tell you exactly where the action you’ve seen on your video feed is happening. When you’re watching a live feed, or playback of a previous event, you’ll see a bird-eye view of your home (read: satellite view), with dots placed on the map to show you where the action took place. Amazon claims that it can detect speeds up to about 30 feet. I saw it near 20, but it is still very impressive. In some cases, the radar detected my dog before he would jump on the back deck, and you could see him clearly. Ring’s radar knew that something had returned.
It works like this: As your subject moves in the frame, a trail of dots appears on the small map in the corner of the picture. The map is movable, but not resizable. This does not really need to happen because the map is really just to provide context to the moving image on the screen. The dots disappear as your subject moves, so you get a sense of movement and direction. It is very clever indeed.
The main value here is clearly lost on me because I have a fairly good sense of direction and depth. If I watch a video of someone walking in my front yard, I can tell where they are. It is not just about everyone. Not everyone is wired to look at a 2D image and actually pull out from where something is going on. A series of bird-eye-views and dots in which motion is visible gives the viewer more context where the action is taking place.
This is one of the top three doors you can buy now.
How useful it is ultimately depends on the user. This is a good addition to be sure. But is it worth the extra $ 100? I’m not so sure. I know what the ring is driving here, and it has the potential to be interesting. But I don’t consider it a major feature, nor any reason to upgrade from the previous generation of doorbells.
Overall, this is the best video doorbell ring ever made. At $ 250, it’s a bit expensive and, as I said in my review of the Arlo Essential Wireless Video Doorbell, video doorbell prices have come down recently. This doorbell flies on his face. The main reason for purchasing this doorbell over the original Ring Video Doorbell Pro is due to the radar capability. While it provides some functionality and context for your video, it’s hard to say that it definitely adds value, let alone more than $ 100 worth of doorstep value.
Fortunately, it is not all new doorbells. You also get bump in video resolution and field of view. Combining all this, it is easy to see where your money is going. The Ring already had one of the best video doors, and adding it makes it even better. This is not enough to upgrade from the original Pro to the new one, but if you are in the market for a new video doorbell, this is the one you should consider.
Is there a better option?
There is not a better doorbell that uses radar technology, as no other bells do. You’ll find a better field than something like the Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro, and if radar isn’t exciting to you, you’ll get better value than the previous generation Ring Video Doorbell Pro. Arlo Essential Doorbell gives you a comparable software experience, but lacks a neighboring app. Put it all together and it is one of the top three doors you can buy right now in the context of the full package.
How long will this last?
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is very sturdy in construction. It is similar to previous generations and has the same operating temperature range and limited warranty. I wouldn’t worry about how this doorbell would ring. This will last for some time to be sure.
Should i buy it
Yes. This is one of the best video doors that you can buy today. It is expensive, but the cheaper option cuts corners you may or may not be okay with. If you already have a ring doorbell, you probably don’t need to upgrade it. If you want to save a few bucks, go with the original Ring Video Doorbell Pro. But otherwise, it should be at the top of your list.