Powerful and easy to set up, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2’s new 3D Motion Detection accurately cuts down on pointless alerts and provides more information about what’s going on outside your door. Throw in better video quality and head-to-toe footage, and it’s the best smart video doorbell available right now, although it does work best if you have Amazon Echo smart speakers.
- Bird’s eye view is clever
- Excellent motion detection controls
- Improved video quality
- Doesn’t support wired chimes
- ConnectionThe doorbell connects to 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks, and it can be set to ring a Ring Chime or any Amazon Echo speakers you have.
Ring has had a range of doorbells for a while now, although they’ve largely offered the same Full HD recording resolution and similar features, with the main difference being between wired and wireless options. With the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2, the company ups its game, delivering a higher-resolution camera with some smart new features, such as the radar-based 3D Motion Detection.
Thanks to the wide support for the Ring ecosystem, and a huge range of partner products, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is the best smart doorbell available today – but it’s expensive, and loses the option to ring an internal chime.
Design and installation
- It’s small and can be easy to install
- Options for transformer or plug-in versions
- Very slim case
- No longer supports an internal chime
As with the original (and now quite old) Ring Video Doorbell Pro, the Pro 2 model is a hardwired model that doesn’t come with a battery pack. That’s good news in terms of size, since the doorbell is relatively compact (114 x 49 x 22mm), and will easily fit on most door frames.
Ring does provide a corner mount in the box, which can help you angle the doorbell to get the best view if you’re having trouble getting the right image.
This model ships in two versions: a regular unit that comes with a DIN-rail transformer for professional installation, or you can buy the doorbell with a plug-in adapter and install it yourself.
The former is the neater option, particularly if you already have a wired doorbell in place, and so have the necessary cables. You may well still need to replace your existing transformer, however, since the Video Doorbell Pro 2 requires a 16-24VAC power adapter.
Having the plug-in adapter option is neat for those who don’t have a wired doorbell and want a quick way to install one.
If you go for the first option, the main downside is that it will no longer be compatible with a traditional doorbell chime; you’ll have to bypass it completely. I’m not quite sure of the reasons that Ring has made this change, since a regular doorbell chime is a reliable way to receive notifications that don’t rely on your Wi-Fi working.
Aside from bypassing the chime, both doorbells are otherwise identical and install in the same way, running the power cables to the terminals on the back. Once in place, you just use the Ring app to connect your doorbell to your Wi-Fi network, with both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networking supported.
- The Night Sample IR has the best set of motion detection controls
- 3D Motion Detection is very powerful
- Smart pre-roll features
- Works best with Amazon Echo devices
Once in your account, the first thing you’ll have to do is set up the new 3D Motion Detection feature. This uses radar to measure how far away motion started. To begin, you first use a combination of the regular map and satellite imagery to place your doorbell.
It can be a little fiddly to get right, particularly since the satellite imagery is quite low resolution. In particular, trying to spot the pathway of narrow Victorian terraced houses is quite the art form.
Once the doorbell is placed, you can use the test feature to set the range of the motion detection, cutting it off at the point your property ends. The idea is that you can get the doorbell to ignore motion at the end of your front garden, such as people just walking past.
This new feature works in conjunction with activity zones, which let you set the parts of the image you want to monitor and ignore motion outside of these areas.
It’s a powerful combination, as motion has to take place both inside a motion zone and within the range you’ve set. It makes the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 the most powerful device to manage, and I’ve had far fewer notifications and recordings since installing this model.
Ring has other ways of cutting down notifications, too. First, you can set a schedule for when you want notifications (you still get recordings and doorbell presses); and you can temporarily snooze notifications, which is handy if you have workmen going in and out of your home, or you’re loading up a car to go on holiday.
Buy the Ring Alarm (2nd Generation) and the new Geofence option lets you snooze your doorbell as you get home, so you don’t get a pointless notification telling you that you’ve seen yourself arrive home.
With Linked Devices, you can make your camera work with other devices – say, turning on your Ring Floodlight Cam‘s light when motion is spotted – or getting another camera to start recording, too.
Ring has added its Privacy Zones, which let you block out part of the image to protect a neighbour’s privacy. Motion in these zones isn’t monitored or recorded, although a person who starts outside of a zone can move into a zone. How well this will work for you depends on the layout of your front yard.
As I mentioned, there’s now no support for regular chimes. If you want to hear your doorbell inside clearly, you need to go smart. You can either use a Ring Chime or Chime Pro, which plugs into a power socket, or you can turn on Alexa Announcements and have doorbell presses announced through your Echo smart speakers.
If you have a smart display, such as the Echo Show 10 (3rd Generation), a doorbell press will automatically load up the video feed, so you can see who’s at the door. You can answer with the touch control or use your voice to speak to the caller without touching your phone.
Now, you can use Quick Replies, choosing an automated message to go out after a set period (immediately to 20 seconds). The choices include, “Please leave the package outside”, “Hi! Please wait. It may take me a moment to answer” and “We can’t answer the door right now, but if you’d like to leave a message, you can do it now”.
After saying the message, the doorbell will continue to record, showing any message left as a new type of event in the recording history log: Quick Reply.
It’s a neat feature, but I’d also like the option to choose a response on the fly (with a default going out after the timeout), so I could target the reply to the person at the door.
Ring has started to add some special responses. In February 2022 (running until 21 March 2022), Ring signed up with The Batman movie to have some caped crusader-inspired responses, such as “Bat signal activated. We’ll be right there!”. Expect more of this kind of thing in the future.
With the Nest Doorbell (wired) you the option to send quick replies from a Google Nest Hub smart display and the app, although you can’t send a reply automatically after a set period of time..
You can also trigger Alexa Routines when motion is detected or the doorbell is pressed, adding to the power of the camera. Given how flexible Alexa routines are, you can really do a lot here – say, turning on a hall light when someone presses the doorbell.
There’s still no Google Assistant support, so if you run Google Home devices, then you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.
Samsung SmartThings support is available, both to let you view live footage and to create Automations from motion detected or from doorbell presses.
If you’re out and about, then calls also come through to your phone via a simple notification. It’s quite easy to miss, particularly if you have multiple apps sending notifications. I really like the way that the Arlo Video Doorbell actually causes your phone to ring, making it more difficult to miss.
When you answer on your phone, you notice that the Video Doorbell Pro 2 has a square 1536 x 1536 resolution, up from 1080p resolution on previous models. The main benefit, aside from more detail, is that you can see a person in full, head to toe.
If you upgrade to a Ring Protect Plan then you get cloud storage. Ring Protect costs £2.49 per camera (£24.99 a year) for 30 days of cloud storage, but Ring Protect Plus provides coverage for any number of cameras and costs just £8 a month (£80 a year). Plus, it’s a better option if you have multiple cameras and in particular if you have the Ring Alarm, as you get cellular backup and assisted monitoring, too.
With a Ring Protect plan, you get Advanced Pre-roll. Here, the camera records six seconds of video to internal memory constantly. When an event is triggered, you get the recording plus the first six seconds of video, so you can see what happened before a recording started.
You also get more information thanks to 3D Motion Detection’s bird’s-eye view. A pop-up window shows you the satellite view of your home, and a series of animated dots appear to show the path that the person who triggered an event took. Is it essential? No. Is it cool? Most definitely.
All video is recorded to your cloud account. You can scroll through the timeline on the live view screen, and filter by date and event type (motion, ring, person or live view). However, it’s still the clunkiest part of the app, and scrolling back through a day’s worth of events isn’t a lot of fun.
There’s still the older Event History section of the app, which simply provides a list of events sorted by time, but this lacks thumbnails. Ring just needs to tidy this up and have a simple screen of thumbnails, so it’s much easier to find an event.
All clips can be downloaded to your phone, so you can save any evidence you need.
- Excellent image quality and it responds fast
- Quickly sends notifications
- Great image quality
- Flexible night options
With its 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi support, you’ll have fewer problems getting a strong signal to the doorbell. I certainly experience no issues using my mesh system. Ring also seems to have worked on response times; from pressing the button to receiving a notification on my phone was only a few seconds, and it was no more for Echo devices.
There’s a slight lag answering a call, but that’s to be expected from any device such as this. Ring has used a loud speaker in the doorbell, so callers can clearly hear what you’re saying, and their responses are loud and clear, too.
With HDR support, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 copes well with all lighting conditions: even my south-facing front door didn’t phase the camera, despite it being in direct sunlight. During the day, image quality is good, and a step up from the older Video Doorbell Pro. That extra resolution helps, although it has to be said that definition is better for people standing still, waiting for you to answer the door, rather than those moving quickly, say, as they walk towards the door.
Given that this is a doorbell, that’s what I’d expect, and footage is usually good enough to find a still frame that clearly identifies someone. Even so, I think that the Arlo Video Doorbell just edges it in terms of overall quality.
At night, the camera can use full-colour night vision, although the quality of this depends on the ambient lighting. As you can see from the shot below, I’m in black and white thanks to the IR lights, but the background is in colour because of the streetlights.
With my Ring Floodlight Cam on, there’s no problem with full-colour night vision, and the image quality at night is as good as during the day.
If you’re struggling to get a good picture, there are a few advanced options. Wall Nearby helps if you have a wall in the vicinity that the IR lights bounce off; and Well-Lit Area disables IR completely, assuming that you have a security light that illuminates your doorstep.
Overall, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is the best smart doorbell you can currently buy. Its image quality is superb, and it’s easy to set up and use. The new 3D Motion Detection feature, combined with traditional activity zones, means that you’ll largely only receive important notifications: a powerful and genuinely useful upgrade.
Ring’s real strength lies in its ecosystem, with the doorbell working well with the alarm and any other cameras you have. No other manufacturer comes close to offering the same range of products, all tied together with one cheap monthly subscription.
Nest is starting to trail behind and, while the Nest Hello is good, the only reason to buy this doorbell is if you have Google Assistant smart speakers, which Ring doesn’t support. If you have Echo devices in your home, as the majority of people in the UK do, then it’s just another vote for Ring.
Should you buy it?
If you’re fed up of receiving irrelevant notifications, this doorbell has the best motion detection controls, dramatically cutting down alerts. Quality high-resolution video footage and excellent Amazon Alexa integration make this a great choice for any Echo-based household.
The lack of support for a regular internal chime is a shame. If you have Google Assistant smart speakers, then you’re also out of luck here.
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This model has to be hard-wired into place. There are two versions: the first requires professional installation to put the DIN-rail transformer in place near your consumer unit; the second version ships with a plug-in adapter for self-install.
The newer model offers higher-resolution video, 3D Motion Detection and Advanced Pre-roll. The older model supports standard wired chimes.