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Ring Doorbell Showdown: Ring vs. Ring 2

Best Wireless Video Doorbell
Ring Video Doorbell 2
  • 1080p HD video
  • Quick-release battery
  • Slightly larger than original Ring

Ring Video Doorbell 2

$199.00

Best for Budgets
Ring Video Doorbell
  • 720p HD video
  • Wired and wireless power options
  • Non-replaceable battery

Ring Video Doorbell

$99.00*

*Data effective 9/24/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.

Overview
Video doorbells embody the best attributes of a functional smart home. They can make everyday interactions on your doorstep feel more convenient, secure, and entertaining.

Ring is one of the most prominent players among video doorbell companies. Its solid lineup meets the needs of most homeowners, regardless of the budget. Of Ring’s products, the outstanding Ring Video Doorbell 2 and its predecessor, the budget-friendly Ring Video Doorbell, are excellent choices if you’re not sure what you need in a video doorbell.

Compare Ring vs. Ring 2

Ring Video Doorbell 2Ring Video Doorbell
What it looks likeRing Video Doorbell 2Ring Video Doorbell
Price*$199.00$99.00
Resolution1080p HD720p HD
Field of view160°180°
Power sourceWired or wirelessWired or wireless
Removable battery
Yes

No
Learn moreView DoorbellView Doorbell
What it looks like
Price*
Resolution
Field of view
Power source
Removable battery
Learn more
Ring Video Doorbell 2 Ring Video Doorbell
Ring Video Doorbell 2 Ring Video Doorbell
$199.00 $99.00
1080p HD 720p HD
160° 180°
Wired or wireless Wired or wireless

Yes

No
View Doorbell View Doorbell

*Data effective 9/24/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.

Price

If you’re on a budget and still want a Ring smart doorbell, the original Ring doorbell gives you the best price: $99. Ring 1 costs half as much as the Ring Video Doorbell 2 and offers nearly all of the same features and benefits. Ring 2’s price of $199 is average for a video doorbell, so you’re not overpaying if you decide to get the newer model.

Features

In most cases, comparing the best doorbell cameras means looking at both the software and hardware behind each product. But to compare Ring doorbell models with identical features on the software side, we’ll focus on the physical differences between the two. We’ll touch on the shared features later on.

Video quality

Ring 2 streams and records sharp 1080p HD video quality, more than double the pixels in the 720p HD video of the original Ring Video Doorbell. That makes the Ring 2 better for capturing detailed video, which is useful if you plan to share video with other people beyond simply recording security footage.

If you don’t care as much about video resolution, then 720p HD video is good enough most of the time. You can save a little money with the Ring Video Doorbell’s lower video quality and not feel like you’re skimping too much.

Ring 2 App Screenshot

Ring 2 app screenshot

Ring Original

Ring original app screenshot

Field of view

Although the video quality is the most significant difference between these Ring smart doorbells, each also has a different field of view. At 160°, the Ring 2 has a narrower field of view compared to the Ring 1’s 180°. While the Ring 1 can technically see more, you likely wouldn’t notice the difference between the two under normal circumstances.

ASL Take Note

Customize your Ring 2

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 comes with two interchangeable faceplates to match your home’s decor: satin nickel and Venetian bronze. Ring also sells black and white faceplate colors separately.

Size

The most visible physical difference between the Ring Video Doorbell and the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is that the Ring 2 is slightly larger than the original Ring. This difference in size is because Ring 2 has a modular design that lets you swap out both the battery and faceplate, something you can’t do with the original Ring.

Ring 2 vs Ring 1 Side by Side Comparison From Side

The Ring 2 (left) is slightly thicker than the Ring 1 (right)

Besides the few differences we listed, the other features of these doorbell cams—such as motion sensors, a Wi-Fi connection, infrared night vision, and live video streaming—are the same and don’t factor into our Ring versus Ring 2 comparison.

Installation

Installing a Ring video doorbell is easy. Ring includes all of the necessary mounting hardware, tools, and wiring adapters with both the Ring Doorbell 2 and Ring Video Doorbell. You don’t even need to bring your screwdriver since there’s one in the box. Installation should take anywhere between five and 30 minutes, depending on your skill level.

ASL Insider Tip

Get more mounting options

Although the Ring Video Doorbell 2 installs in much the same way as the original Ring Video Doorbell, it also comes with angled mounting plates. These help you point the doorbell down a flight of stairs or mount it in a corner.

Installing for battery-powered use

  1. Attach the mounting plate to your wall with the included screws.
  2. Secure the fully-charged doorbell with some security screws on the bottom.
  3. Use the Ring app to connect the doorbell to your Wi-Fi network, and you’re ready to go.

To recharge the unit, take it off the wall (or remove the doorbell’s battery pack on the Ring 2) and hook it up to the included charging cable, which connects to standard USB chargers. According to Ring’s support website, the battery life on both Ring doorbell models is around six to 12 months, though we found it lasts about a month if you live on a busy street.

If you want to skip the hassle of hauling your Ring doorbell inside to charge, both models also connect to your existing doorbell wires. This setup keeps your doorbell charged and rings the existing doorbell chime inside your home. You should always follow the installation manual and turn off the doorbell’s electricity before attempting a wired doorbell install.

Smart home compatibility

As an Amazon-owned company, Ring’s video doorbells naturally work with Amazon Alexa by sending you alerts about your doorbell. The best part of this integration is that you can see and speak to guests on your porch using an Echo Show or Echo Spot.

Ring also connects to a variety of other smart home platforms such as Google Home, Nest, If This Then That (IFTTT), Wink, and many others. By linking your doorbell to other smart home devices, you can usually control both in the same app. This is especially helpful if have a smart lock and want to let a visitor in when they come to the door.

If you decide to get a Ring Alarm security system, this opens up a few more possibilities for connecting to your favorite smart home devices such as smart locks, security cameras, thermostats, and smartbulbs.

Ring app

The Ring mobile app allows you to control every version of the Ring Video Doorbell and lets you speak with visitors using two-way audio from your smartphone. You can also check old recordings from your Ring doorbell products and customize the sensitivity of your devices through preset motion detection zones. The best reason for changing Ring’s motion detection settings is to keep cars from triggering notifications as they pass by your home, especially on a busy street.

Ring also has another mobile app called Ring Neighbors, which is neighborhood watch gone digital; you don’t even need to own a Ring product to use the app. This social media app sends you safety notifications with video from the Ring doorbells in your neighborhood. There’s also alerts from local law enforcement if they participate in your area.

Ring monitoring plans

You don’t need to pay any fees to get alerts or speak to visitors using your Ring wireless doorbell, but we recommend paying for monitoring if you want to record and save videos for later. Those clips will come in handy when you need to report porch pirates and suspicious activities to the police.

Compared to the competition, which usually offers between one and 30 days of video recording storage, Ring has the longest video history available: a full 60 days. Better yet, Ring Protect Basic, the company’s cheapest plan, does this for $3 a month, though it limits you to a single Ring doorbell or security camera product.

Compared to the competition, which usually offers between one and 30 days of video recording storage, Ring has the longest video history available: a full 60 days of video.

Some competitors, such as August and SkyBell, have free video storage plans, but they’re extremely limited in how much they record. Ring’s ability to record much more video makes it an excellent budget video storage option, despite the monthly subscription fee.

Ring monitoring plansRing Protect BasicRing Protect Plus
Price*$3/mo.$10/mo.
Video history60 days60 days
Number of devices allowed1Unlimited
Extended warranty
No

Yes
Monitoring for Ring Alarm
No

Yes
Ring monitoring plans
Price*
Video history
Number of devices allowed
Extended warranty
Monitoring for Ring Alarm
Ring Protect Basic Ring Protect Plus
$3/mo. $10/mo.
60 days 60 days
1 Unlimited

No

Yes

No

Yes

*Data effective 9/24/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.

If you upgrade to Ring’s more expensive plan, Ring Protect Plus for $10 a month, you can have as many Ring doorbells and cameras as you want in your home. The best feature of Ring Protect Plus is the extended warranty that covers your equipment while you’re a subscriber, so you can get help if your Ring devices break from normal wear and tear.

The final benefit of Ring Protect Plus is that you don’t need a separate plan to use it with your Ring Alarm security system. You get all the benefits of a professionally monitored security system in addition to video recording capabilities. You wouldn’t usually get the same value for $10 a month with other security systems.

To learn more about the Ring Alarm home security system, read our Ring review.

Ring Chime

Ring Chime

One of the drawbacks of the battery-powered Ring doorbell models is that they don’t connect to the doorbell in your home, which requires a wired connection. Because you rely entirely on your phone, it’s hard to know if there’s a visitor on your doorstep when it’s in the other room.

Fortunately, Ring created the Ring Chime, which is a simple speaker that plugs into any outlet and works with any Ring doorbell. The Ring Chime has adjustable volume, Do Not Disturb, and a selection of alert tones. If you want these features as well as a Wi-Fi repeater, you can upgrade to the Ring Chime Pro.

If you have an Amazon Echo with the Ring skill enabled, you won’t need the Ring Chime since Alexa devices can send you similar notifications.

ASL Take Note

Solar charger

Did you know that the Ring Video Doorbell 2 and Ring Video Doorbell each have a solar charger accessory? Your battery will be feeling fine as long as it gets its sunshine.

Our recommendation

If you want better video quality and a swappable battery, go with Ring Video Doorbell 2.

Ring Video Doorbell 2 improves on the design of its older sibling by capturing better video quality in 1080p HD. It’s also easier to use in a battery-only mode because you can pop the battery out for recharging and don’t have to remove the whole unit from the wall.

>>Get the Ring Video Doorbell 2

If you want to save money, we recommend the original Ring Video Doorbell.

Ring Video Doorbell might not have the latest technology like the Ring 2, but it’s not outdated by any means. Also, you can buy it for half the price. Better yet, you can get a second one for the back door if you need something to spend another $100 on.

>>Get the Ring Video Doorbell

To learn more about these and Ring’s other doorbells, check out our Ring Doorbells Review.

If you want to see how Ring Pro compares with Nest Hello, take a look at Ring vs. Nest.

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