Best Ring Doorbells Android Central 2020
Ring makes some of the most popular video doorbells on the market. Most of them can operate off of a battery or low voltage wiring, and they all allow you to keep an eye on your home, even when you're not there. You get motion alerts when someone is near your door, and you can talk to them with two-way audio. The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is the best choice for most people, but your options largely depend on your home and particular security needs.
- Best Overall: Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen)
- Upgrade Pick: Ring Video Doorbell Pro
- Best Battery-Powered: Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus
- Best for Businesses: Ring Video Doorbell Elite
- Quick Installation: Ring Peephole Cam
Best Overall: Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen)
After the Ring Video Doorbell 3 series launched, Ring did something unexpected: it refreshed its original Ring Video Doorbell. That product, known as the Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen), is Ring's most affordable video doorbell, and the upgrades Ring made to it make it the best overall video doorbell you can get from the company. The low price tag makes it an almost impulse-buy when considering the cost of home security at large, and the new capabilities make it feel less like a value buy and more of a featured tech product.
The Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen) features 1080p video, up from 720p video on the original Ring Video Doorbell, and it even sports the new Near Zone motion detection from the Ring Video Doorbell 3 series. Near Zone will only detect motion between 5-15 feet away from the camera, which helps reduce erroneous detections caused by far-away traffic, or bugs flying close to the camera. It even has customizable motion zones and privacy filters.
Just like the original Ring Video Doorbell, the 2nd-gen model is designed to run with the internal rechargeable battery. While that battery isn't removable, it can be easily plugged into a USB charger for a quick top-up. If you don't want to deal with batteries, you can always hardwire it to existing doorbell power, too. All the other expected features are here too, like two-way audio and night vision.
- Cheapest Ring Doorbell available
- Integrated battery is rechargeable
- Two-way audio
- Motion detection and night vision
- Customizable motion and privacy zones
- Alexa support
- Non-removable battery
- Bulky design
A truly impressive value.
Ring's 2nd-gen model is a big upgrade, including higher-resolution video, customizable motion zones, and privacy filters.
Upgrade Pick: Ring Video Doorbell Pro
If you're adding a Ring Doorbell to your existing home, it's hard to go wrong with the Video Doorbell Pro. As Ring's most expensive consumer-grade camera, the Doorbell Pro has a small, sleek design compared to other Ring Video Doorbells, along with a sharp 1080p video feed. In most cases, you should be able to power it with your home's existing doorbell wiring, provided it reaches at least 16 watts.
The Video Doorbell Pro is full of customizable and security-focused features. You can view your camera feed from anywhere with a free Ring account, or set up a Ring Protect subscription to automatically store up to 60 days of video history in the cloud.
There's excellent two-way audio for talking to people near the camera from your phone, and you can customize the Doorbell Pro's motion zones to prevent notifications from certain portions of the camera's view — helpful if your camera is facing a busy street. The Doorbell Pro also has infrared night vision, keeping you protected even in pitch darkness. The infrared light will be invisible to the naked eye but shine like a spotlight in the camera's night vision feed.
The Doorbell Pro offers a unique full-color pre-roll feature that no other Ring Video Doorbell ghas. Since the Doorbell Pro is hardwired and powered all the time, it can record your feed constanty and provide you with greater context whenever motion is detected or the doorbell button is pressed. That means you can scrub back in time as far as you want when you get a notification, allowing you to see, in full color and resolution, if someone's been snooping around your home for a while before they were caught by the motion detection.
There's also a bit of customizability with the Doorbell Pro. It comes with four interchangeable faceplates in different colors, and there are wedge and corner kits that allow you to adjust the precise angle of the camera. Like other Ring Video Doorbells, the Doorbell Pro is also compatible with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant, meaning you can quickly pull up your camera feed with a simple voice command if you have a smart display like the Echo Show.
- Tack-sharp 1080p video
- Night vision
- Custom motion alert zones
- Small, attractive design
- Amazon Alexa compatible
- Full-color, full-length Pre-roll video
- Pricier than the Doorbell 3
- Can't run off of a battery
Ring's best consumer-oriented camera.
The Video Doorbell Pro has 1080p video, interchangeable color faceplates, pre-roll video, and customizable motion alert zones.
Best Battery-Powered: Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus
The Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus has most of the same features as the Ring Video Doorbell Pro — night vision, 1080p video, customizable motion zones, pre-roll video, and two-way audio — along with a unique feature of its own. For older houses that don't have doorbell wiring, the Video Doorbell 3 Plus can run off of an easily removable, rechargeable battery.
The Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus is the first battery-powered video doorbell from Ring that features pre-roll video, a feature once exclusive to the hardwired Ring Video Doorbell Pro. Since it's on a battery, however, the feature is a bit more limited than on the Doorbell Pro. Instead of full-color video, the Doorbell 3 Plus only shows a black-and-white video clip of what happened before motion was detected or the doorbell button was pressed. That clip is also limited to four seconds in length, while the Doorbell Pro doesn't have that limitation.
It also isn't quite as sleek as the Doorbell Pro, but the Video Doorbell 3 Plus is still a relatively small and modern-looking product for a bit cheaper. If recharging the battery every month or two isn't your thing, you can pick up a solar charger that tops up the battery gradually throughout the day. You can also make the doorbell more audible by putting a Ring Chime in a central location in your home.
- More affordable
- Night vision
- Two-way audio
- Includes rechargeable battery
- Pre-roll footage
- Alexa support
- Larger design
- Using battery power reduces pre-roll footage quality
The best Ring Doorbell that runs on battery power.
The Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus carries over most of the Doorbell Pro's features, a removable battery, and a lower cost.
Best for Businesses: Ring Video Doorbell Elite
If you're serious about security, own a business, or if you're dealing with new construction, the Video Doorbell Elite is as good as it gets. It's got a higher price tag but offers a much broader, flatter design that sits mostly flush against your house or business, along with instant alerts.
The Video Doorbell Elite is much faster than Ring's other cameras because it uses Ethernet for both power and data transfers. This means that you'll almost certainly need to shell out for professional installation. Still, in exchange, you're getting a rapid and responsive experience that opens the live feed and notifications nearly instantaneously.
- Wide, flat design
- Uses Ethernet for consistent power/data
- Fantastic image quality
- Interchangeable faceplates
- Alexa support
- By far Ring's most expensive product
- Likely requires professional installation
Best for Businesses
Professional installation is required.
The Ring Video Doorbell Elite has incredible image quality and responsiveness, but it may require professional installation.
Quick Installation: Ring Peephole Cam
The Peephole Cam is Ring's most unique video doorbell. That's because it's meant to replace your existing door's peephole rather than fit on a wall next to your door. Don't worry though, because it's still got all the features you'd expect from a Ring Video Doorbell, yet still allows you to see through it like a normal door peephole. It's also the easiest and quickest to install, with no need for wires or drilling.
As well as visitors being able to press on the buzzer, the Peephole Cam also reacts to knocking on the door. That is something unique to this product. The Peephole Cam comes in two pieces, one piece that attaches to the outside of the door, and the other portion is placed on the inside of the door. This piece houses the battery, which means it is protected from the outside elements. It doesn't have customizable zones, but it does have a privacy zones option. That means if it's placed somewhere with your neighbor's property is in view, you can block out that zone from motion detection.
- Small and compact
- Quick and easy installation
- Works with Alexa
- Knock detection
- Limited downward field of view
- Does not have custom zones
- Battery life can sometimes be an issue
Upgrade your peephole
This doorbell can serve as a handy peephole replacement. It responds to knocking and gives you video views of your front stoop.
The newly upgraded Ring Doorbell (2nd Gen) is the easiest recommendation because of its low price, quality 1080p video, customizable motion zones, and a non-removable rechargeable battery. This price makes it easy for anyone to get a great video doorbell, and it even makes it easy to order multiple doorbells if you have more than one entrance.
Remember that you'll need to subscribe to one of Ring's Protect Plans in order to view any historical video that was taken on any Ring Video Doorbell. These affordable plans will store your videos in the cloud for 60 days and make it easy to share them with others. If you have multiple devices, the more expensive Ring plan will cover every Ring device you own, as well as unlocking a host of additional features.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Nick Sutrich Nick is a news writer and contributor to Android Central. He's been writing about tech since 2011 and loves robot vacuums, home automation, virtual reality, and any kind of gadget that's connected to the Internet. Find him on Twitter at @Gwanatu.
Jeramy Johnson is proud to help to Keep Austin Weird and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he's not writing about Amazon products and services, he's defending his relationship with his side-chick Alexa to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.
DJ Reyes and Hayato Huseman contributed to previous versions of this article.
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