Skip to main content

Ring Video Doorbell 2 review: Simple, effective smart home done right

The smart home begins at the front door with the Ring Video Doorbell 2.

I just moved into a new house, which gave me the perfect opportunity to check out a product I'd lusted after from afar: the Ring Video Doorbell. We've looked at it a few times on Windows Central, initially as part of our Hidden Gems campaign in 2016, and then earlier in 2017 with a review of the range-topping consumer model, Ring's Video Doorbell Pro.

There are now three products in Ring's consumer doorbell lineup, and the one I've got is the middle of the pack. The imaginatively named Video Doorbell 2 sits above the original model and below the Pro in both features and price.

For most people, it's probably the one to go for.

See at Amazon (opens in new tab)

More: Ring Video Doorbell Pro review

Secure your home with Ring

The Ring Video Doorbell may have started out as a novelty item, like many early smart home products, but the company quickly forged its own path. The Doorbell is the original Ring product (and the reason for the company name), but now there is a portfolio of additional products as part of its ecosystem.

There's the Stick Up Cam we recently reviewed, which is a basic, yet appealing connected security camera. This has since been joined by a floodlight camera and a number of spotlight cameras.

The Ring products all work together through a single app which is available on Windows 10, as well as iOS and Android, and you don't need to be a DIY whizz to install them. Most of the products can be run on battery or in some cases, solar power, so anyone can use them to help secure their home.

Ring Video Doorbell spec comparison

Video Doorbell vs. Video Doorbell 2 vs. Video Doorbell Pro

CategoryDoorbellDoorbell 2Doorbell Pro
Wi-Fi2.4GHz2.4GHz2.4GHz + 5GHz
Video quality720p1080p1080p
Motion detectionBasicBasicAdvanced
IR MethodInfrared heatInfrared heatPixel mappings (faster)
Human trackingNoNoYes
Two-way TalkYesYes
Noise cancellation
Yes
Echo cancellation
EncryptionYesYesYes
Night Vision IRYesYesYes
Included face platesNoYesYes
Power SourceBattery or hardwiredBattery or hardwired
Removable battery pack
Hardwired-only
Field of view130 degrees160 degrees160 degrees

The Video Doorbell 2 is about $50 cheaper than the Pro while offering many of the same features. Compared to the original model you get the increased field of view and higher resolution video, as well as a second faceplate in the box if you prefer a darker look.

It's larger than the Pro and doesn't have the more advanced IR and motion tracking either, but where it has the edge is the removable battery pack. If you don't have an existing mechanical doorbell or you just plain don't want to hardwire one, the Doorbell 2 has a removable battery pack. This means you can have a second charged up to swap in when the first runs out, and they charge over a regular micro-USB connection.

Ring Video Doorbell 2 setup

Ring Video Doorbell 2

Much of the setup process is the same as other Ring doorbells, and you get everything you could possibly need inside the box:

  • Ring Video Doorbell 2.
  • Removable battery and micro-USB charging cable.
  • Two interchangeable faceplates.
  • Screws, screwdriver, drill bit, and instructions.
  • A tiny spirit level.
  • Corner and wedge mounting kits to angle the doorbell.
  • Ring security window sticker.

I was surprised to find the right drill bit to make the necessary holes inside the box. Ring thought of everything.

Personally, I went battery power because my house didn't have an existing mechanical doorbell. Of course, this means power will run out eventually, but since you can't yet use live view without being hardwired, it's only active when someone is at the door. Because the battery is replaceable, that's of less consequence since I'll have a second one ready to go.

If you're using the Doorbell 2 without hardwiring, installation is as simple as screwing it to the outside of your house. If you need to angle it vertically or horizontally to account for your layout, you just have to mount the relevant wedge to the house first. The Doorbell 2 then screws into this for a neat finish all around.

The battery pack simply pops in the front, the faceplate goes over the top, and then you secure it through the base with a single screw. Ring describes it as "quick release" but I'd argue against that a little. Besides having to remove a screw from the bottom, the faceplate doesn't pop off as easily as I'd like.

The Doorbell 2 is also a pretty nice-looking product. It's not quite as attractive as the Pro, but the design has been refined a little from the original model.

Ring Video Doorbell 2 and Windows 10

Ring Video Doorbell 2

Once installed the setup process is very easy. It's a case of creating an account in the app, and hooking up your Doorbell to your home Wi-Fi network and you're good to go. The Doorbell 2 only has 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, so while you lose some performance it'll still work well if your router is some distance away.

I'm not going to go too much into the app, because our Executive Editor, Daniel Rubino, already provided excellent coverage in both our Doorbell Pro review and in an early look at the version 2.0 update for Windows 10, which adds some great new features and performance.

In my experience, Ring works great on both my Windows 10 PC and my HP Elite x3. One of the things we love the most about Ring as a product is its support for Windows 10, and it's not a half-assed approach either. The Doorbell 2 isn't actually listed in the app on mobile right now, but selecting the option for the original model worked just fine.

There are things you don't currently get on Windows 10, but the core feature set is intact and works well. Ring also supports Amazon Alexa, so if you're using a Fire TV or Echo Show in your home, you can ask Alexa to show you who's at the front door.

Ring can catch all kinds of shady characters outside your front door.

Video quality from the 1080p camera is pretty good, as is the performance when it gets dark outside. The video is clear and bright, and it's very easy to make out what's going on. The 160-degree field of view is great, too, a 30-degree improvement on the original model.

Ring Video Doorbell 2 accessories

Ring Chime

The fun doesn't stop with what you get in the box with your Ring Video Doorbell 2.

You can't utilize one of the company's solar panels to power the doorbell, but you can accessorize it with an indoor chime. The cheapest is a simple box that plugs directly into a wall outlet and will sound when someone presses the doorbell.

Alternatively, there's a chime that has an integrated Wi-Fi extender if you need to boost the connection between your router and your doorbell. The basic Ring Chime is $27.99 while the Chime Pro with Wi-Fi Extender is $45.99.

Specific to the Doorbell 2, you can also purchase additional battery packs for around $25. If you're not hardwiring this is an essential purchase.

See at Ring

Ring Video Doorbell 2 review bottom line

Ring Video Doorbell 2

Smart home technology still isn't for everyone, but when a product is as high quality and easy to use as the Ring Video Doorbell 2 it makes for an easy recommendation.

Ring's whole existence is about making home security accessible, easy to use and ultimately, smart. You're not just attaching a doorbell to your home here, you're sticking a small, motion-triggered, IR-capable security camera to your front door. The Doorbell 2 is just one piece of the puzzle, and joined with any of Ring's other security cameras you can easily monitor your entire home through a single app. It's still fairly pricey, though, at $199 or £179 in the UK. And you need to fork out for a recording plan on top to get the best from it.

Pros:

  • Excellent 1080p video quality.
  • Easy setup and support.
  • Works with Windows 10, iOS, and Android.
  • Replaceable battery pack.
  • Solid, well-built hardware.

Cons:

  • Pricey.
  • "Quick release" battery is fiddly to get out.

More: Ring Stick Up Cam review

Ring's support for Windows 10 isn't only admirable, it's high quality. For now, it's a big thumbs-up, but with Windows Mobile out to pasture we hope at the very least to keep getting new features and support for future devices on the PC. Only time will tell on that front, but if you also have an iOS or Android phone then it's less of a worry.

See at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

43 Comments
  • Gone in 60 seconds.
  • It's like gone in 2 seconds...it's not a car!
  • Has anyone hooked these Ring products up to a Vivint home security/automation system?
  • I know Ring has some partners within the app that you can make work with its products, not sure if that's one of them or not. Doesn't ring any bells, I know there's ADT and a few other companies whose products work with it.
  • LOL...I see what you did there!
  • WoW Thanks. Good News to know that have Windows 10 app for Mobile. I am glad to see it.
  • After this week's announcements, the app won't be around for long.
  • I tend to be pessimistic, but I know for certain that nobody in my country could use one of these. It would end up stolen or vandalized. So the tech is nice but maybe (some less-idyllic parts of) the world is not ready.
  • You'd have a video of the person stealing it. TBF it's actually pretty tough to remove. There's a security screw that isn't just something you can take a regular screwdriver to that you have to remove to get inside it. Then it's pretty well anchored to the wall. Even if a buffoon like me screwed to the brickwork.
  • That's why I will disassemble it, and stick on the old rusty ring bell plate, use the old switch and drill a hole for the camera.
  • That's solves part of the problem, but it doesn't do anything for the case where someone tries to break the camera lens poking at it until it breaks. Or someone who spraypaints it, or sticks something over it.
  • If this is your concern, you have bigger problems in your life than a $200 doorbell, I agree. I wouldn't even have children or a PC if that were the case, probably end up dead or stolen too.
  • Lol
  • Well, it would be a problem if I kept my PC (or my kids) 24/7 outside my house. I've had a regular, cheap doorbell broken or vandalized in the past.
    But I get it, it's funny and joking is easier than trying to understand someone with a different reality.
  • Your problems are far from normal though - I would be shocked if someone stole a flower, let alone vandalised something on my property.
  • Good for you, we clearly have different problems, which are probably related to living in entirely different continents and living in a different socioeconomic context.
  • Good for you, don't buy a $200 doorbell then. Also don't make bold claims (i.e. "the world is not ready") if you're not prepared to have people challenge that claim. Shooting down every valid suggestion around your issue just makes it sound like you're whining. No system is going to be 100% foolproof so inventing unlikely reasons why it will fail is pointless and unhelpful. If you live in a hellhole then take extra precauctions or don't have expensive things.
  • I'm not shooting down anything, I'm explaining why this product is not for me, and other users here have expressed similar concerns. Also, it's not like a laptop or phone which you can better take care of and protect your investment, this ends up exposed to everyone by design.
    Also, I don't need everyone to agree, all I say is that snarky answers are uncalled for. This is a good product and might work perfectly for some people, I have nothing against that.
  • I mean, you're not really paying attention to what people with this product are saying. If it gets stolen, they replace it, FOR FREE. You will have a video in the cloud of the person stealing your property. It's screwed to your house from the inside of the unit, then sealed with a security screw. If you're worried about someone being strong enough to pull this out of your house (in my case a brick wall) I'd be more worried about what else they're strong enough to do. Because they're clearly The Hulk.
  • I doubt that warranty applies outside US, and that's would be the first problem, besides even being able to get one of these as an import, paying at least 3 times it's original price. 200 dollars is one thing, would you install a 600, 800 dollar gadget exposed to the outside world?
  • My $25k car sits in the driveway or street every day of the year (sun, rain, wind and snow).
  • Can I wire the Ring doorbell to my existing doorbell wiring and will it then ring my inside doorbell when the button is pressed?
  • I'm not sure on whether it would ring your existing internal bell but you can absolutely wire any of the Ring doorbells into existing wiring. They provide you all the necessary bits in the box.
  • You need to replace the existing switch on your doorbell with an double contact switch. Then one contact switch goes for original wiring, and the wiring from other contact goes to the Ring Doorbell switch
  • Short answer is yes. Head to Ring's website for the longer answer.
  • Yankable device made for hooded thiefs in heaven
  • Not yankable at all. It's screwed into the brickwork pretty well and you have to remove a security screw to even get inside it. That and you'd have a notification someone was at your door and you could watch them try and pull it off while yelling at them through your phone.
  • Not only will you be recording them stealing your Ring doorbell, but I believe that Ring still replaces stolen devices at no cost to the owner, so it's not the end of the world if someone swipes your doorbell.  I've been using the Ring Doorbell 2 for a couple of months now and I have to say that this thing is awesome for the most part.  Sure, the motion detection could use a little improvement to avoid false positives and, for some reason, one of the four mail carriers that comes to my house is somehow completely invisible to the motion detection and it never records him.  The only other thing that bothers me is that the app is somewhat slow to launch when someone rings the doorbell or when you want to check out a motion alert live, but it has improved greatly with the recent app updates.  Overall, I love my Ring 2 and am looking forward to their security system and solar cameras coming out soon.
  • Yeah! Good point Netmann! Why risk a doorbell in a really bad neighborhood. I say, ignorance is bliss. Just let thieves wander around your property with no deterrence....your home be vandalized/broken into, but at least you still have your ding-dong doorbell and no video of it. Pfffft, Ring is dumb. I don't even lock my car door because what if someone sees the doors are locked? Then they KNOW I have something valuable to hide. I'm smart.
  • I like your sarcasm Dan... :-)
    I do have IP security cameras for my home but they are mounted 8 feet above ground... I can see people walking to my front door from my driveway...I don't have anything against this door bell. It's only just an expensive piece of tech within the reach of a potential robber/intruder! Heck, the thief may only be satisfied with stealing your door bell versus take a larger risk, breaking inside your home for a larger reward!
    You definitely don't want to use this in a bad neighborhood. It was meant for good ones to keep your ownership last long!
    Having said the above I would probably use this product if it could be mounted behind the front door with its cam, ring, speaker and mic through couple of peepholes...
  • If you want to hate something enough then you will. But guess what? Ring has a lot of happy, satisfied customers. Just because you live in an area where someone might try and cut this out of your wall doesn't mean it's a bad product. It's a good product. Just admit you don't like it and move on!
  • I absolutely Love this Technology, I have the Pro and since we've put it up, we actually did catch someone trying to break in, and of course the incident was recorded and we gave it to the police, its also really helpful if you get a package or someone comes to your front door, and your not in or in the garden, you can tell them to give you 5 minutes, we used to miss packages or people, but not anymore. We also got a flood light camera (eventually, because these took a very long time to become available in stock) and this is also very good because you have flood lights and it covers a much larger area, like my whole drive way and vehicles, also if your not home, you can set off the lights to come on or an audible siren alarm if you want to deter any potential thieves or unwanted guests!!! We also have a stick up camera because we have a side entrance to our house, unfortunately this isn't as good or as new as the door bell or flood light Technology, so you don't get the best reliability with this one, but we use a solar panel for this and it works just fine, I can't prase this technology enough!!!
    (Make sure you put up the sign that tells people they are being recorded because it can only be used as evidence against them if they were informed, this is what the police told us! I think the signs are supplied with the pro bell)
  • Interesting advice about making sure to put up the signage.  I have the sticker that came with my Ring Doorbell 2 on my door right near my doorbell.  I assume that the sticker is sufficent and I wouldn't actually need the sign that they sell... ?
  • Oh yes definitely, I think its because it creates a entrapment situation where you are recording someone without their permission, which doesn't make sense to me because it's my property, but it's also good just in case you record something on the side walk, I keep mine at my front window, mine came with the bell, its really good as it lights up and is solar charged, but its not too reliable so we put it at the front window, as long as anything happens and the police can clearly see it, then that should be fine, especially if the sticker came with the bell!
  • Yeah now you mention it I recall from a previous life we had to warn people they were being recorded. Not necessarily make it super obvious, but there has to be something there.
  • Its a little counter productive since you have to warn the intruder, but as you said it doesn't have to be too obvious, the guy who tried to break into my house did not see the sign, until he walked right up to the door, he then saw the sign and covered his face, but by this time it was too late, so as long as its there and somewhat visible, that should be sufficient!!
  • How does it handle the case when a thief destroyed the camera on this unit?
  • You still have a video of the little scumbag. And a notification on your phone so you can happily swear at them while they're doing it. I think some of you people are looking for excuses to not like a product like this. I mean, if a thief smashes a window I'm more concerned than if they nick my doorbell. Meanwhile I've a good, fairly inexpensive security camera system catching what's going on outside.
  • Yeah, probably best to let a thief who smashes security cameras to not be recorded and just let him have at your house lol. I mean, hell, you don't want your house broken into and vandalized AND lose a doorbell. Let's get our priorities straight.
  • Ring is great and if you do need customer service, that is topnotch too. I've had my original Ring for a year now and I've noticed a big increase in the number of people coming to the door who recognize it and then act in one of three ways: they perform a dance or funny faces or other acts; they acknowledge it and then just drop off the package or push the button to call us to the door; or (and this is my favorite) they suddenly turn and go the other direction as if they had forgotten something or realized they had the wrong address.
  • Are you a paid shill? Customer serice is horrible and incompetant.  As for the device WAY to sensetive, even when zone sensitivity is set to the bare minimum. A plant blowing in the wind or car on the street will set it off, but a person walking right up to it won't. Constatly looses connection to wifi. I have to pull mine off the wall an manually reconnect it at least twice a month. Extremely slow to connect. usually by the time I walk to the door and answer, it it still hasn't connected. Takes even longer to connect if i'm not at home. Usually by the time it connects who ever was there leaves. If you arent at home 2 way audio is a waste of time. 
  • A superior product to this Ring Doorbell 2 seems to be Eques Veiu ( https://equeshome.com/ ).... Just review its FAQs and you will find out...BTW- no subscription to view its recordings!
  • As you started the name calling: Are you a paid troll? I suspect the problems you are having are either related to a defective device (it does happen) or you haven't got it hooked up correctly. My one experience with customer service was shortly after I hooked up the doorbell a year ago.. It started as email but they called me to understand the problem I was having better, escalated it once they did and had it resolved in 24 hours. That was pretty great service. Perhaps service has declined since then, but I doubt it from the majority of comments I read.