Topics

Ring doorbell Video 2 impressions

Dane Trethowan
 

Hi Everyone,
I’ve had the Ring Video Doorbell 2 for a week now so thought I’d write down my impressions of the product.
Before that I had a Doorbell which I built around a Raspberry Pi machine however the machine packed up so I had to get something quickly.
I looked for Raspberry Pi Doorbell projects to build and boy has the landscape changed since I built mine back in 2013, if you go to Youtube and look for Raspberry Pi Doorbell you’ll soon see what I mean so plenty for me to choose from and to think about.
The Raspberry Pi I was using was of a considerable age and there have been several generations of Raspberry Pi since, I think we’re now up to the Third Generation? Anyway the newer Pi machines are far more powerful than the one I was using and offer far more flexible connectivity options but one thing at a time and back to the Ring Doorbell Video 2
The idea of the Ring Doorbell is to have the unit installed at a location while you use your Smart Phone to interact with the doorbell. My Ring Doorbell is installed at the front door.
If you have the old trusty electro mechanical type doorbell already installed then you can choose to have it work in parallel with the Ring Doorbell.
In my case I needed a sparky to come and give me a hand with my installation but if its just a case of sticking the Ring Doorbell on a wall then you should be able to perform the whole installation job yourself.
Depending on the type of\The Ring Doorbell has several power options and the one you choose will depend on your installation requirements. I already have a mains supply installed for my doorbell requirements so the ring Doorbell can take advantage of that.
If you’re just going to stick the doorbell on a wall then you can use the supplied rechargeable battery which clips into the bottom of the Doorbell unit.
Connecting the Ring Doorbell to your network may take a little time and can be a little tricky so be sure to follow the prompts in the Ring App and be sure to create your account at http://www.ring.com <http://www.ring.com/> which I suggest you do before you stat the setup process.
Its during the setup process that I started encountering disappointments with the Ring product.
Firstly the Ring Doorbell Video 2 will only connect to 2.4GHZ networks and the unit doesn’t have a LAN port which is odd given the Doorbell will be mounted most likely in most homes in a fixed position.
The Setup procedure in the Ring App was quite easy to follow and I have everything connected in around 10 minutes along with having completed tests to ensure that the doorbell was functioning as required.
Ring sends you a couple of optional eMails containing tips and so on which are worth reading.
The settings panels in the Ring App seem perfectly accessible.
So now to actually trying the Ring Doorbell out with my mobile phones and here I started to get annoyed.
When the Ring Doorbell detects motion or the button is pushed to ring the Doorbell a notification is sent to your phone.
In order to interact with the person at your door you have to interact with the notification on your phone so that means that you not only have to unlock your phone - if it is locked - but enter your Fingerprint or facial ID before you can even interact then with the Ring Screen.
The Screen contains several buttons including an “Accept” button which you can double-tap to start viewing video form your doorbell or speak to the person at your front door.
And here’s another thing to be wary of, the orientation of your phone is changed to landscape regardless of your orientation preference so you may need to change your method when you try to navigate the Ring App screen whilst interacting with the Doorbell.
The interactivity can be ended by double-tapping on the “End” button in the Ring App.
There is an easier way with which to interact with the Ring Doorbell by the use of an Echo Show or Echo Spot device and your voice.
You Suppose the Doorbell rings you can say to Echo Show, “Alexa View Front Door” where upon the Doorbell will be activated and you can start interacting with the person at your Front door.
The video is displayed on the Echo Show or Spot screen and you can talk to the person at your front door using hands free on the Echo Show or Spot device.
Note that the Ring Doorbell Video 2 cannot work with an Echo or Echo dot device which is a shame. Okay the Dot etc aren’t capable of receiving video but they do receive audio and the quality of audio the Echo Dot 3rd Generation and Echo put out is very reasonable.
As for the audio quality of the Ring Doorbell itself? Well I can describe it best as very average but certainly not too bad. I would have liked to see a control for volume of audio on the Doorbell itself. In most situations this should be loud enough for the person at the front door to hear but certainly not in reasonably noisy environments, say near a road with a lot of traffic running up and down.
Extra chime and camera units can be installed and I intend to experiment with a couple of extra chimes around the house.