The most powerful video doorbell from Ring to date launches today and we’ve spent the last few weeks with it. Yes, the $ 249.99 Video Doorbell Pro 2 comes with just about all the bells and whistles.
With the addition of 3D motion sensors, the Pro 2 can see more and even record ways a person takes to reach your doorbell. Why is that important? You get a deeper understanding of who or what is approaching your home, coupled with more accurate warnings. In terms of view, it provides crisp video showing the ground in fisheye alignment with the sky.
After a long period of testing, we found that, while the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 has a lot to like, it has some problems with the new integration with Amazon Alexa that allows the virtual assistant to open the door. And at more than four times the cost of the entry-level wired video doorbell, this isn’t for the budget conscious consumer. However, if you are looking for the ultimate doorbell the Pro 2 makes a lot of sense, especially when introducing features that tell you a lot more.
For whom is that: The Ring Video Doorbell 2 Pro is a top option for anyone who wants to add security to their home and doesn’t mind paying for the best. The 1536p camera with additional sensors captures the entire scene and makes it easy to see who or what is walking by your door.
What you need to know: At $ 249, the Pro 2 isn’t cheap, but it also has plenty of features that arguably justify its price. The video quality is clear and shows more thanks to a larger field of view. This way you can see where a package might be dropping off and get a full view of the deliverer. 3D motion detection and bird’s eye view provide more detailed warnings and give you more context about who or what is approaching your doorbell.
How it compares: The Pro 2’s 3D motion and bird’s eye view features are not found in any other doorbell, which gives the Pro 2 a huge advantage. The ability to map a person’s path to your doorbell is not only convenient, but can also be reassuring. The fisheye view makes it easy to see anything and everyone near your door and, again, is something that other ring doorbells along with competing doorbells like the Nest Hello cannot because they don’t have the wider lens. Much of the core functionality of the Pro 2 is made possible by new hardware not found on other doorbells.
Jason Cipriani / CNN
In contrast to the video doorbell 3 or 3 Plus, the video doorbell Pro 2 is only hard-wired. And you don’t have to buy a new doorbell module – it works with your existing chime. The most important part of the installation requirements is that you have a doorbell transformer that can deliver anywhere from 16 to 24 volts. This is a metal box, generally located near your electrical panel, that converts your home’s normal electricity to a lower voltage that powers the doorbell. You can check your voltage with a multimeter or contact a licensed electrician.
Once you’ve verified that Pro 2 is working in your home, the Ring app (for Android or iOS) will walk you through the entire installation. You first scan a small QR code to add the bell to your Ring account. After that, the app describes each step required to complete the installation. You must be familiar with the electrical wiring for parts of the installation, namely removing your old doorbell and installing the Pro 2. If you have a chime, you will also need to install the included Pro Power Kit from Ring.
In total, it took us about 15 minutes to install the Pro 2 doorbell, and even if you are unfamiliar with wiring the doorbell, it should take about as long. Everything you need to install the doorbell is in the box, except for a drill or screwdriver. If you are uncomfortable, we recommend that you contact a licensed electrician who can complete the installation.
After installing the doorbell and turning the power back on, you can use the app to connect it to your Wi-Fi network and install pending firmware updates.
Once it’s up and running, the app will help you set up motion detection and choose where to get the alerts from. We recommend not including the street when standing in front of a street so that you don’t get a ping every time a car goes by.
Ring equipped the Pro 2 with a wide-angle lens that records clear, razor-sharp video, meets the bar set by previous Ring doorbells, and increases the quality a little. The Pro 2 records high definition 1536p video, which is an odd resolution. Instead of capturing standard 1080p or even 4K, the Pro 2 has a field of view of 150 x 150 degrees. This results in video that captures not only a wide horizontal view, but also a large vertical view.
This way, you can see everything that is directly below or above the camera, e.g. For example, a package that a delivery driver left on your porch. Other video doorbells have similar display capabilities, but usually only one way. For example, the Logitech Circle video doorbell has a 160-degree diagonal field of view for a head-to-toe view.
The Pro 2’s videos look like a fisheye lens with some distortion around the edges, but it doesn’t affect the overall quality. We’d rather have a wider field of vision, so it’s a fair trade in our book.
Jason Cipriani / CNN
In addition to a larger field of view, the Pro 2 has Color Night Vision, so you can see more details more easily in poor lighting conditions. We prefer this approach over the night vision look that ring video doorbells and competing doorbells have had in the past. It’s much easier to see who or what is near your door, and for nightly package deliveries, you can easily see the size, shape and color.
The two exclusive features of the Video Doorbell Pro 2 work together to give you more detailed and precise motion alarms. 3D Motion provides more accurate measurements of how far someone is, and Bird’s Eye View uses this information to overlay the route a person took as they walked to your door.
At the moment these are only available for the Pro 2, but we really want them to be standard on all Ring outdoor cameras and doorbells.
On some tests, while testing, random strangers approached our door – something that we don’t see very often – and it was fascinating, if not comforting, when we could open the Ring app and see exactly where they were approaching Door. Sure, we could watch the recorded video clip to see where they were going, but the dots were already mapped on the video so we knew if there was something to be aware of or not.
Orange dots will appear as the person walks to indicate their last location. The more time has passed, the redder the orange dots become and eventually disappear.
Our only complaint about Bird’s Eye View (ignoring the fact that it isn’t available on all Ring devices) is that the setup process isn’t very precise. After installing Pro 2 and connecting it to your Ring account, you will see a satellite image of your home. You will then be asked to put a pen on the picture where the doorbell is installed. Ring then uses the same satellite image as the basis for the orange and gray dots.
Because the images are not precise and our placement may be a little different, the dots were not placed exactly where the person was walking. The dots on our overlay often go through part of our yard or right next to the sidewalk rather than showing the path of the person following the sidewalk.
Again it’s nitpicking. We admit that. But it would be nice to see Ring use the camera to identify common objects like a sidewalk or path and combine that information with the satellite image to more accurately represent where the person was going.
Jason Cipriani / CNN
Ring recently added the ability for Amazon Alexa to answer a ringing ring and allow the person to leave a message for you. You can also have Alexa submit an automated response. Both answer a ringtone after a set time (up to 20 seconds) of your choice. It’s a good feature on paper, but there is a problem here. You have to open the door in the Ring app so that Alexa cannot intervene. If you’re home and you open the door, you won’t answer the door and the Ring app either.
Once during the test we answered the door for a pizza delivery and when we signed the credit card receipt Alexa started talking to the person. She announced that she would interact with them and take a message. It was awkward and frankly a little embarrassing. There was no clear way to silence her so we just tried to crack a joke (it fell flat) and rushed back inside for dinner. (Yes, the pizza was still good.)
We encountered similar situations with quick responses on the door long after taking a delivery, which confused the driver as he walked back to his vehicle. Suffice it to say, quick replies and Alexa greetings have been disabled on our Pro 2.
There’s a clear purpose for a digital assistant that opens your door, but it would be nice if it automatically turned off when you were at home and then turned back on when you weren’t there. We are eagerly awaiting further customization options for this range of functions.
There’s a lot to like about the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2. It’s full of features old and new that are useful and comforting. Greetings and quick replies would benefit from some changes, especially with so many people now working from home.
At $ 250, the Pro 2 isn’t the cheapest video doorbell ring, but it’s the most powerful and deserves its high price tag. If you want the best Ring has to offer, it’s clear the Pro 2 is.
Ring’s Video Doorbell Pro 2 is available now for $ 249.99 on Amazon.
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