Monday 28 November 2016

Ring Video Doorbell Review

As part of my Black Friday shopping I ordered the Ring Video Doorbell. I've been intrigued by the device for some time, and the claims of it helping to reduce break & enter instances had my attention.

I installed it last night and here is the experience:

Because I didn't have an existing wired doorbell I needed to charge the unit using a micro-USB cable. Even using the more powerful charger from my old Samsung phone it took about 5.5hrs to fully charge. Ring claims I'll need to do this 1-2 times per year, and the app will notify me when power is getting low.

At this point I used the app to join the Ring doorbell to my wifi.

Next was the physical installation. This part was a breeze, Ring includes almost everything you need right in the box including a screwdriver, drill bit, and level. The Ring app guides you through the install process with a well done and easy to follow video.

It took about 5 minutes to install the unit and then I was on to configuration.

From the app you can invite other people to have access, so I added my wife's email address and Ring sent her an email with instructions for getting set up on her phone.

Next I found you can adjust the motion sensor settings inside the app. By default it will trigger on movement up to 50 feet away.

That would likely have it chiming every time a car drove down the street, so I decreased the sensor to something a little more reasonable. The interface uses an intuitive drag line to adjust sensitivity, no complicated learning curve there.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn Ring will work with the Wink home automation hub. You can program robots to automatically do things when the motion sensor goes off, the doorbell is pressed, or both.

I've got it firing some actions now if the doorbell is pressed between sundown and sunrise, and the Wink automatically adjusts sunset/sunrise for the time of year so I'll never have to tweak those settings.

Literally as I was writing this review from my office I got my first real use out of the Ring doorbell and it was a great experience.

2 men rang the bell. The app on my phone chimed and as I opened it I had full audio and 720p quality video of the guys. I asked them who they were, they said they wanted to talk to me.

I asked who they were again and they claimed to be students, which I found odd as they appeared to be in their 40's.

They claimed they were doing a bible competition and wanted to talk. At this point I indicated I wasn't interested, and was able to watch them leave my property.

The entire exchange was immediately available on my phone to replay or email, which would be incredibly useful if I needed to forward it to the police.

After seeing the Ring doorbell in action I'm a fan. I love that I can see and talk to anyone at my door even if I'm not home, and that it captures audio and video automatically.

Is it a necessity? Absolutely not. But if you're in to home automation it's a very handy device that can also give you some extra peace of mind.

Happy surfing!

-The Home Geek

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