BATTLE! – Comparison & Review of the Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell versus SkyBell HD and SkyBell 2.0 Wi-Fi Video Doorbells versus August Doorbell Cam

Imagine being able to see who is ringing your front door, even when you’re not home.  How amazing would it be to have a two-way conversation with that person?  How about the added layer of security of recording video when someone approaches your door, even if they aren’t supposed to be there?  All of this is possible, and not in some distant future but right now.  In this blog post we’ll review the two premier brands and their three collective products, comparing the Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell versus SkyBell 2.0 Wi-Fi Video Doorbell versus the SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell.  We’ll also peak at the up-coming August Doorbell Cam recently announced.

Although both of these brands offer products which are quite similar, there do exist a few key differences in both quality and function that separate them.  When we started off, we began with the SkyBell 2.0 testing at my house, and my friend Holly tested the Ring at her dwelling.  Then during our testing the SkyBell HD was released so I tested that, too.  And at time of publishing there is the new August Doorbell Cam, which isn’t yet actually on the market and is expected to ship in 5-7 weeks per the manufacturer’s web site.  We tested what we could get our hands on, and here is what we learned about each device.


FORWARD:  In the case of all the hardware here these devices are larger in size than your Standard Door Bell Button units.  Before you purchase either, make sure to check out the size/specs of the unit that interests you.  Some of them require wiring, and all of them have a footprint that is most likely larger than your current button.

In the case of Holly’s home, either device would have fit nicely in the physical space, but she did not have existing low-voltage wiring and had no choice but to go wireless.  Of the units tested here, only one of them allows fully wireless function. 

At my home both my exterior doors are all recessed, rather than flush with the exterior brick.  My existing door bell buttons on both my exterior doors sit in a rather narrow section, within the door jamb.  Due to this I was actually unable to fit ANY of the units we tested in this space without some modification or trickery.

You’ll see that I had to create a very pathetic looking wooden structure (shown in my photos) in order to even test the SkyBell devices at my home.  This was the only way to (temporarily) test the unit since it was too big to fit down in the existing door bell location.

If I were going to keep a unit permanently I would have to devise something (perhaps from wood, or even metal) that would work similarly to my home-brew 90-degree wooden block.  But this would add both hassle, and cost, for this custom resolution.

So again, depending on where your door bell button needs to go, as well as whether or not you have wiring going to your buttons (as we’ll talk more about later), these details will dictate which, if either, of these units are feasible for you. Ciao!


SkyBell 2.0 (non-HD)

Let’s get the biggest difference out the way, which ultimately determined which unit Holly would test and which one I would.  By design the SkyBell 2.0 (and their HD unit) are only compatible with low-voltage transformer power.  You can read more about the power options they have HERE, but this immediately meant that only I would be able to test the SkyBell Wi-Fi Video Doorbell.  Holly’s house lacks a hard-wired system, but mine has a low-voltage setup already.  Note that the Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell can accept power, too- but can also run off just battery if you prefer.  It is also the ONLY unit we test here that can run fully on battery, even though many of the other units have battery backups built into them.

You’ll see in my photos below that I also purchased a new chime/bell because my existing one was old and not working so great.  Our home has a front and side door, with a doorbell button at each location.  For testing purposes here I installed the SkyBell 2.0 at the front door location only.  Installation was quick and easy, and I’ve provided various photos captured during the initial software setup process in the gallery below.

Overall things seemed to go pretty smoothly during setup, with the hardest part being the fact that, as noted in the section prior, the device doesn’t fit in the intended location at my particular home.  Assuming you have the proper wiring, and a wide enough space to mount the SkyBell 2.0, the installation in total should take less than 20 minutes.  Once you’re done adding the device to the app you can configure options, such as allowing the bell to alert you not just if the button is pressed, but also if it is simply triggered by motion.

Immediately after getting the unit setup the first thing I did was request a live feed.  This is one of the key differences between the Ring and the SkyBell 2.0 or SkyBell HD, where the SkyBell-brand units allow on-demand access to the camera in the unit.  I immediately noticed connectivity issues, even though my phone was showing a 50% or better wifi signal in the same spot.  Even though my SpeedTest results indicated more than ample connection to the front porch, the camera continued to under-perform.  Even after I extended my network connection using a new Apple AirPort Express Base Station as a wifi extender, I still had issues.

This was the beginning of the end for me, as the app would drop my connection constantly.  There was a 64-bit compatibility upgrade for the app released during the tail-end of my testing, but it was too little, too late.  As you’ll see below, the video quality was sub-par (640×480), something that the new HD-version covers in the next section.  But even beyond the low-resolution, the video feed still suffered from odd discoloring.  Add the poor connectivity and you’re left with a poor overall user experience.  For example, during my testing I danced around in front of the camera, but it would only rarely trigger a motion event.  Another complaint is that, as shown in my Apple Watch screen capture, the notification when motion was triggered was the SAME notification as someone actually ringing the bell.

Above are various photos ranging from installation, to unboxing, to testing of the SkyBell 2.0 Wi-Fi Video Doorbell device.  Below is a short video taken at night, to show off just how poor the video quality could potentially be with this unit.  Day time video was only marginally better.  Check it out:

Overall, I really wanted to like the SkyBell 2.0 Wi-Fi Video Doorbell, since it is a sleek looking device with a simple, intuitive app.  And right now it is $149, the cheapest of the three items reviewed here.  However, the poor video and still-photo quality (in both daytime and night modes), the connectivity issues, the lack of proper notifications (it would fail to alert me when someone rang the door bell 50% of the time), made for an overall underwhelming experience.  Note that both SkyBell units tested are listed (at least the HD is listed) as works with Nest, though I was unable to provide a test of these features at this time since at home I don’t have Nest Aware services at this time.  Since SkyBell unveiled a new, better unit, that was next on my list to test.

SkyBell HD

It is interesting to take note that the new SkyBell HD unit has a completely new app to download rather than using the same old iOS app.  It is also worth noting that the new HD version is iOS compatible only, as of this publication (November 2015).  Though I suspect they might eventually release an Android or Windows Mobile app, this could be a limiting factor right now for those who purchase.  And like the SkyBell 2.0, you need to have power. This unit cannot run wirelessly like the Ring can.

This unit is quite similar to their prior unit, but there are definitely some note worthy improvements.  First ones we observed was during setup, with a nice new bracket that mounts on the wall.  I’m a big fan of the screw-down terminals they added for the wiring, the included drill bit and all the hardware.  In general the kit included to get this device up-and-running is much improved from the prior generation.

It is necessary for me to point out that my unit arrived not working correctly.  It didn’t want to hold a charge, so I sent it back to SkyBell.  They tested my SkyBell HD and ultimately charged it up, and returned it.  Since then it has functioned fine, and there has even been a software update that improved things.  But still I want to mention that my unit was not functioning correct until they tested & charged it back at HQ.

Because there is a new/different application for the SkyBell HD versus the old 2.0 unit, there are some good (and bad) changes.  For example, you can now see the exterior temperature listed (See gallery below), though it varied greatly from what my outside thermostat read, so I didn’t give it much trust.  Setup was equally as simple as before, but the overall user interface is cleaner and nicer.

However, gone is the feature to export your recorded videos.  Not only can you no longer save it to your camera roll, there isn’t even a share function like some competitors have.  Additionally, there is no indication as to how long the videos are, nor scrubbing during playback.  All in all the video quality was improved, but these other changes were for the worse.

Here are some photos taken unboxing, during setup, and operation:

With the SkyBell HD you still have on-demand video, which is a very nice feature if you want to check on your home even when there is no motion or button press.  When viewing your feed of recordings you can see each is labeled (such as User Watching, Motion Activated, Button Press).  Loading up a video for later playback is quick, as was answering a call, typically.  There were a few times that I would see the app lock/freeze, or that establishing a connection took a while.  And ending a call also was very slow, sometimes taking over a half-minute to complete & exit.  (See photos above, showing this laggy process)

My wife loved the fact that you can change the LED color on the top and face of the unit, and immediately requested that I change it to match her purple front door.  At night this was a particularly attractive option, where you could pick a color from a matrix not much unlike the Philips Hue color bulbs we have at home.  During a call the button was solid white, however, probably to help illuminate the face of the caller.

Overall we found the SkyBell HD was a decent unit, but it wasn’t our top pick.  Even with the updates provided to the app, it doesn’t have the granular adjustments the Ring offers, it lacks sharing of video snippets right now, and it just felt a bit less polished of a user experience.  It would rate as “good but not great” if we had to summarize the whole device experience.  We’d rank the video quality as being just a slight notch below the Ring, but definitely very close.

Ultimately many people don’t have a hard-wired doorbell, and since either version of the SkyBell requires such, it eliminates a certain group of potential users.  If you do have hard-wiring available, and purchase the new SkyBell HD unit, you at least get closer to the Ring in quality, but as you’ll see next, the Ring still reigns supreme.

Ring

Since many homes don’t have low-voltage wiring in place for a door bell, the only unit in this test that would work for you is the Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell which can operate purely off the battery inside.  This was the case for my friend Holly, who tested the Ring at her home where her prior/existing doorbell was already a wireless system.  There are plenty of wireless doorbell systems on the market today, but the Ring adds many features that go beyond the usual RF-type device, and is worth your consideration.

Setup was overall the same experience as the SkyBell, with a simple and straight forward experience to connect to your home wifi.  However, it became immediately obvious that the quality of the Ring door bell’s iOS app we tested was far superior to the competition. Sadly, the Ring lacks the ability to call upon the video feed on-demand, though they have promised this in a future software update.  When comparing the SkyBell 2.0 & HD to the Ring, the Ring’s iOS app blows away the competition.

If you are installing your Ring entirely wireless then keep in mind you’ll need to have a smart phone capable of receiving the button press alerts.  If you want a noise-maker at your home when setting the device up wirelessly, you’ll want to purchase the Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Chime, which is what Holly opted to do.

However, if you are lucky enough to be using existing low-voltage wiring in your home, existing mechanical and electrical chimes can still be utilized, just like with the SkyBell.  Either way, both units have the ability to chime in the house, and alert your smart device, but only the Ring can run fully wireless, if you desire.  Where the Ring itself runs on battery power, the Chime gets plugged into an outlet inside your home.

We did find that the Ring Chime receiver would have a slight delay, but it was negligible.  Also, the Chime can be quite loud if you want it to be (volume is adjustable) and works very nicely overall.  Since the Ring has a motion sensor, those events will trigger the Chime inside the house.  This proves to be a huge added security benefit that was lacking from the SkyBell devices, which both have motion sensitivity, but provided no audible feedback for this in your actual home.

Another big differentiation between the SkyBell and the Ring is quite obvious from the photos you see in this blog post: VIDEO QUALITY.  Even though the new SkyBell HD gave us improved quality, it was typically grainy and pixelated when we compared it to the Ring, giving the Ring a bit of an edge.  Without a doubt the most crisp and clean video came from the Ring, providing a better true-to-life color palette, as well as a finer, cleaner looking image.  Low-light images on all of these devices were subject to the same issues any other security camera we’ve seen before, but hardly a deal breaker for any of them.

With the Ring we observed a fish-eye effect that bothered us at first, making it “peep-hole-esque” when viewing the imagery.  But given that this provides a FULL 180-degree view, you learn to get used to the effect for sake of the broad viewing angle.  Compared to the SkyBell HD it seemed to have a slightly wider view-angle, beyond the cleaner images.

Another interesting aspect of the Ring is that you only get a trial of their cloud recording.  They normally charge $3 per month that will provide you access to the last 6 months of recordings.  Keep in mind that none of these devices are not going to continually record, and instead only snippets are taken during a motion-sensor triggered event.  Also, all devices will record an event where the doorbell itself (button) is pressed.

However, the SkyBell devices are providing you a cloud recording service at no charge, with no mention anywhere about future costs associated.  So if you want this feature but want it for free, Ring might not have you covered.  Still, recording video is only good if the quality is worth recording, and that was only really the case with the Ring, which also allows scrubbing during playback, and easy video sharing.

Below is a gallery showing off setup, installation, and other random tidbits during our testing of the Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell.:

Here is a short motion-triggered video that the Ring captured at Holly’s place during the day:

And here is another motion-triggered one at night from the Ring:

And lastly one triggered by motion as far away as the street, before she dialed-back her distance sensitivity on the Ring doorbell:

To date the only real complaint we have is trying to hone in sensitivity for the zones based on where the doorbell is situated.  You’ll see a screen shot where you can set that, and it was great because we were able to eliminate false alerts from cars driving by.  As a matter of fact the Ring was the only device that was more than just on/off for motion, but actually offering a granular adjustment that was unmatched.

However, as the walkway up to Holly’s house is to the far left (see images) and flush to the house, there continue to sometimes be missed alerts (motion not detected) in this tight zone.  This may be just a limitation of the hardware, but we hope a future software/firmware update might help with this as well.  We did have a chance to interact with the Ring customer service team for some questions (regarding notifications & zones) and they were prompt and quite helpful.

For those of you running Android devices, Ring offers an Android app, which you cannot get on the SkyBell HD.  So again that, plus the ability to run wireless, definitely gave the Ring a leg-up on the competition.  Now before we conclude, there is one more device to mention.

August Doorbell Cam

As we began wrapping up our testing of these devices, a new one was announced: the August Doorbell Cam.  We reached out to August to get our hands on one, but received only a simple reply that they would look into things, and nothing more.  With their web-site showing a 5-7 week lead time we’ve decided to postpone testing of this unit until such time that it is more readily available to the general public.

However, based on data we received from friends using the August Smart Lock in their homes, it sounds like they have a very polished app experience.  And the specifications of the August Doorbell Cam sound solid, with both Bluetooth and WiFi built in, integration with their existing locks eco-system, and four gorgeous colors.  They offer both Android and iOS apps, but the device does require wiring.  So again, if you need an entirely wireless option, this isn’t going to work for you.

Down the road we would really love to test the August Doorbell Cam, and see how it stacks up against the others here.  Since my house is the one with wiring, I’ll likely be the one to give it a crack.  Stay tuned to our blog, and I’ll add a link here to this post if/when we get our hands on one in the future.

Final Thoughts

By now it should be fairly obvious that we much preferred the Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell.  It offered a more versatile set of options (wired vs wireless) and applications (iOS vs Android).  It provided a far superior quality of video versus the SkyBell Wi-Fi Video Doorbell, and still better than the SkyBell HD.  Plus you get an overall smoother interface within the smart phone application.

If you’re shopping for a smart door bell, there is a reason the Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell is the top-seller, has more than three times as many Amazon reviews, and gets 4-stars (versus the SkyBell’s 3-stars)– the Ring is the one to buy!

Stay tuned here for updates, especially when the August Doorbell Cam is available.  Thanks for reading!

Advertisements

Published by

Ari Jay Comet

Sharing my life experiences. Interacting with technology. Digital self-expression. Binary is black, white, and many shades of grey.

49 thoughts on “BATTLE! – Comparison & Review of the Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell versus SkyBell HD and SkyBell 2.0 Wi-Fi Video Doorbells versus August Doorbell Cam”

  1. Great writeup. It looks like the August doorbell cam has potential. However, I have the Schlage Sense. It would be nice to have the integration between the two, however, I highly doubt that will happen.

    1. While the integration is nice if you often need to unlock the door remotely, I prefer the Sense locks with built in keypad. The remote keypad with August will prove just one more battery to replace in the coming months. 😉

    1. Did you actually read the article? Because I clearly explain why in the body of this post.

      There is currently no way to export the SkyBell HD videos. They removed that feature. Hence the only way I could have provided you a “video” would have been to use my wife’s iPhone to record my phone’s screen. Which wouldn’t be ample quality to provide a true comparison.

      1. I have a SkyBell HD and I just click download from the IOS app and they show up on my saved vids on my IOS device.

      2. This blog post is from Nov-2015. Surely there have been app updates to both SkyBell and Ring that might allow for differences in your experience. In the near future I’ll be reviewing the Ring Pro, and might acquire the latest SkyBell offering to compare an up-to-date experience. Thank you for your feedback.

  2. We have the new #SkyBellHD and right now would rate of 2.5 out of 5. Setup was very easy. Picture quality for us is excellent day and night. We had a Skybell 2.0 and the HD version is far superior for image quality.

    We definitely like the ability to get a live feed with the push of a button. It typically takes 4-5 seconds for the image to load, but that probably is still faster than walking to the door.

    One of the features of the HD version was supposed to be motion detection and recording. Unfortunately, we get notification of motion, but all there is to view is a camera icon and no recording.

    Additionally, when we bought the HD version, there was no indication this was a beta. The unit is not ready for prime time. We too miss the download feature, but would much rather have the motion detection recording work. Someone can literally come to the door, steal a package, and we’ll never see it. If someone rings and we are not home and not available to answer, no recording, so we have no idea who was there.

    Our biggest disappointment is the lack of customer support. If you have a problem you are just left hanging. Interestingly enough, Skybell’s Facebook page is completely lacking of any comments regarding the HD unit. In several places it appears comments were posted and deleted. If Skybell simply acknowledged there were problems, and communicated that they were working on these, we could live with that. We originally chose Skybell because their customer service seemed superior to Ring’s. But things have changed.

    Skybell could be a great product, but they have to get it working BEFORE selling it, and they have to have the customer support.

    1. Thank you for your feedback. Sounds precisely like my experiences here. I agree the video on demand feature is nice. Ring says they may add that soon. You may want to consider that device. SkyBell doesn’t even have their HD device listed on Amazon yet. Very fishy!

    1. It was one of the best still images, yes. I would say the SkyBell HD had marginally better image quality than the Ring. However, based on the many poor reviews on the app store, the gal here who had the same 2.5 out of 5 rating, and other blog posts I’ve seen, let’s face it– good video doesn’t matter if the product doesn’t work or perform right. SkyBell told me they only shipped 137 units in their first batch. Really, that is all they made? Regardless of which photo is my banner at the top, the Ring is still the best option here. And when the August cam arrives, it will probably make all of them look like child’s play. 🙂

  3. RING had its issues when it was a new product. The picture shows the potential and doesn’t look like the RING which reminds me of looking through an old fashion peep hole (is that what RING stands for?). The August product has one big problem if it matches their video. By the way full color night vision is really cool.

    1. The problem is that SkyBell is -not- a new company, and this is hardly a new product. As a matter of fact, the SkyBell HD is the companies THIRD camera, with the prior unit being released two years ago. Ring’s device launched the same year, and is far superior.

      With that being said, the fact that SkyBell’s third product isn’t even as good as Ring’s second, in the same amount of time, doesn’t bode well for the future of SkyBell. And if they don’t get their act together soon they’ll be gone before they even started.

      1. Sorry can’t agree with that. The first and second RING products were not related. I had one of the early RING products a year ago when it came out it had lots of issues even though it was based on an existing reference design. Now a year later it is good. SkyBell HD isn’t related to its prior generations either. Given a little time I am sure SkyBell HD will be just fine.

      2. How can you say it isn’t related? The SkyBell 2.0 looks nearly identical to the SkyBell HD. And products are supposed to get better, not worse. I have zero problems setting up my SkyBell 2.0, which allowed me to save/export videos. Versus I had to return my SkyBell HD for defects/replacement, and even once setup it failed to work properly, and doesn’t allow video export. But we can just disagree, because there is no right or wrong.

        In the end this blog is a personal/private website, with my results from my testing. Your results may vary, and I always encourage people to check out Amazon which has a bounty of user reviews before buying any product. Based on our testing here, the SkyBell HD did not perform properly, and failed to achieve the levels of functionality that the Ring did, plain and simple. I’m REALLY glad however to hear your SkyBell HD results are different, and hope that improves because it would be nice to see options for folks in the future that are equally good.

  4. I just want to share a few more points in favour of the RING Doorbell:

    1) Ring has 4 colours to choose from; and appear less “Plastic” because of its brush aluminum faceplate;

    2) While the 180 degrees wide-angle view does give you a round “peep-hole” view, you have the option to zoom-in during live playback to reduce the Field-of-View (to around 150 degrees) and completely fill ad 16×9 screen. With a 720 HD image, even the zoomed view is very good;

    3) Battery = easy setup. I did all my initial setup without needing to install the device, and tested inside around the home first. This was super convenient, especially in case I didn’t like it and need to return it to the store, I didn’t rip up all the packaging;

    4) The saved video playback from the CLOUD is actually much sharper than Live Playback. I believe that actual video being recorded is actually very good (in 720 HD), but understandably the quality of the live playback can reduced depending on cellular network. Don’t get me wrong, if the signal is great during live streaming, the quality is as good as cloud playback;

    5) Notification/alert time (either at home WiFI or over LTE Cellular) is much faster than the older reviews. My experience is LESS than 1 second over LTE! Perhaps, the latest firmware and the recent iOS update (version 2.7.1 Nov 3, 2015) fixed the prior delay issues;

    6) Night vision is VERY good. I tested it around my home at night in pitch-black, and just the light from the LED ring was enough for capture video in pitch-black!

    7) Reboot Router: I initially had problem during setup connecting the RING to my home network. I kept getting an error. Finally, I rebooted my Dlink router, and it connected immediately;

    8) The cost of the built-in battery has value in itself. So, for around the same price as the competitors, RING includes a decent size & quality battery!

    9) The $3/mo. cloud storage is discounted to only $2.50/mo if you opt for the ANNUAL payment of $30/year. I am hopeful this nominal charge will help RING maintain the quality of the cloud services;

    QUESTION: I guess it depends on activity and motion sensor, but how long would you say the built-in battery typically last?

    This is the BEST and latest online review of the various WiFi doorbell options available in this category. Very informative. Thanks!

    1. Great feedback, thank you so much for sharing! This really good information and I hope others read it, who are curious about other real-world experiences. Thank you!!

      As for your question, battery life is rated at “up to a year” by Ring, right on the support pages of their web site. However, most of the reviews we’ve read it seems 2-4 months is a more typical for the average user, with less life in the cold months as it typical of batteries in lower temperature settings. A full charge is supposed to take 4 to 5 hours, which mimics our findings, too.

      Still, as you said, there is a value to the fact the battery can be recharged. Even if you have to do it three or four times a year, the cost to recharge the battery is pennies on the dollar. We love the Ring, and we’re glad you do, too!

  5. I have the same narrow space issue you have. I cannot find anything online to work around the issue. Have you been able to find anything yet aside from building one yourself?

  6. I want to say the writer of this article is getting a kick back from Ring. I’ve had both the Ring and the Skybell and though the Ring picture is much better the functionality of the Skybell is better.

    1. Did you actually read the article? I had nothing but issues with SkyBell and had to send it back for them to fix it. Even then I had huge wifi issues with my unit. I since purchased a ring and it works perfect. We tested SkyBell at my house and Ring at my other editors house. SkyBell sucked.

      I don’t get any kick back from these companies. I pay cash for all my items. I can show you my excel spreadsheet if you want. I spent over $9,000 in 2015- luckily it is expensive due to Amazon. But the only money I receive is my associates account when people purchase items using my link. See side bar for details. Neither of these door bell companies offer me kick backs sorry you’re quite wrong there.

  7. i have the 1st gen sky bell and it stopped recording. I don’t know why. i was going to call and ask about it but i see there is no point. My sky bell was not a flawless install it could not see my network and they did not tell me it was an older unit that needed legacy wifi support to work.

  8. Hi, do you know if you can lock/unlock the door with your smart phone with the Ring doorbell like you can with the August doorbell?

    1. In order to unlock your door with the August Door Bell, you must also own the August Door Lock here:
      http://amzn.to/1L0Ssro

      So you need a $150 door lock, and a $200 door bell, both of the same brand, to make them work together. In that instance you can unlock your door from within the SAME app. One app covers both the door lock and the door bell. This makes it handy if someone is at your door and you want to easily open the door for them.

      If you decide instead to go with the Ring Door Bell (see here: http://amzn.to/1L0SCiq) … there are options, too!!

      They recently unveiled their new Ring+ integrations here:
      https://ring.com/plus

      So they offer more options, wider selection of compatible hardware. It gives you a quick jump off button in the corner, similar to how things might work with the August. And you’re not forced to use just one lock, but a bunch. We’ve tested this with the Wink hub, actually, and it takes you right to the door lock page. It works really great, and makes opening the door for someone VERY easy.

      If you want an all-inclusive setup from a single brand, get August. If you like a more open architecture, with wider options, check out the Ring. Either way work nicely!

  9. Thanks for the great review! I’m on the market for my first doorbell cam. Looks like Ring is the overall best for now. However, there is one issue that keeps me from acquiring a Ring doorbell. The issue is the missing of “On-Demand” feature. What bothers me is: Ring has claimed to deliver On-Demand feature “VERY SOON” since March of last year (2015). One year has passed, Ring’s customer support still has no clue when they are going to have this feature. Very disappointed. Hopefully the new August will be decent.

    1. Though I would agree, the truth is that you can set motion alerts as triggers. This proves to be enough for me at my office where I’ve since relocated my Ring door bell.

      At home I’ve decided to exclusively used a wireless Arlo camera. It provides the same level of notification but works on-demand. Obviously not as a door bell though, sadly.

      And yes, the August units look promising for sure!

      1. Update: There were two break ins recently within one mile of my house. So I couldn’t wait anymore and went ahead with Ring doorbell. It performed really well, actually more than I’d expected after reading all the reviews. Very happy!

      2. Update #2: I found a BIG issue with Ring doorbell. If it ever loses connection to router (for example, router reboot, glitch, refresh etc), upon router restarts itself, Ring doorbell does not automatically reconnects to the router like all of my other wifi clients do. You’ll have to physically uninstall the doorbell and redo the wifi setup manually every time it loses connection. It poses a major problem for my use case, where I refresh my router at daily basis (update parent control etc.) This issue might affect you as well, see the following link.

        http://www.amazon.com/review/RQA4LKI1U8W3T/ref=ask_dp_lswr_rp_hza

        I can’t believe Ring overlooked such an essential and ubiquitous functionality on its flagship product, which is otherwise very nicely designed and implemented. So bad just after a few days of excitement, I’ll have to return it.

      3. Yao, you’ve made a quite incorrect assumption. Unless you’ve already done so, you should contact Ring. My Ring at both my office and my home reconnect just fine. Sounds like an issue that is isolated specifically to your unit. Could be something wrong with your Ring, or your router. But I’ve had plenty or router reboots at both locations (office/home) and my Ring always reconnects flawlessly. Give Ring a call, they have awesome customer service, and should be able to get you up and running again in no time! 🙂

      4. Update (Hopefully last one): Sorry for drawing incorrect conclusion too fast earlier today. This evening I did extensive tests trying to reproduce the re-connection issue. I tried all kinds of scenarios I could imagine, but failed to reproduce even once. Ring doorbell DOES remember wifi settings and is able to reconnect when router recovers. I also ruled out possibility of weak signal strength as my router (ASUS AC68U) is not far away and shows doorbell signal as excellent. Not sure why connection was lost twice last night. It could be my router or communication glitch? Finger crossed, hopefully this won’t happen again (at least not frequently)

        On a side note, Ring finally announced “Live View” (on-demand?) feature available for hard-wired doorbell since yesterday. Can’t wait to give it a try.

      5. Great news! Glad to hear you have had better luck these tests. Hopefully the Ring remains reliable, as it had for me and many others. Enjoy it! PS: my current setup is wireless so I can’t personally test on demand, so do let us know how that experience goes for you

      6. Live View works great. I have been using it for a few days now. If you are hardwired, there is an extra option to activate Live View in the app. You don’t even need to update the app.

        Click the Live View button in the app, and it’ll open up the live camera and records automatically. It is just a responsive as a doorbell or motion alert. I timed it a few tries at around 5 seconds to start viewing and recording.

  10. I can also confirm that my 2 Ring doorbells and 1 Stickup Cam all reconnect fine automatically after a reboot or poweroutage. There is no issue with automatically connecting to my WiFi from my experiences.

  11. Saw that there is a new Ring Pro coming soon. Would like to see a review on this item and how it compares to all above.

    1. Keep in mind the new unit is $50 more expensive and requires a wired connection. For those who require a wireless setup, the new unit will not work. That being said, it adds more customization to motion zones, jumps up to 1080 video (from 720), and offers interchangeable face plates; all in a smaller design. I think it will prove a very nice unit, and for those who are in a wired setup, will be worth the extra cash. Once it is fully available (read: not pre-order) I’ll be sure to pick one up for testing here!

  12. Thank you, nice review.

    Are you going to do a review or detailed comment on August doorbell soon?

    I’m debating between ring and August and can’t seem to decide. Send August might be a more stable product but I’m not sure. Also they have the ability of the lock capability all within the same app. I understand that ring has it too as a add on, but I’ve read reviews about the time it takes to get in to the ring app to begin with, and then to have to click and load another app…

    Anyone on the comparison between ring and August? Trying to decide between the two.

    1. I don’t have any immediate plans to test the August system. I don’t personally like how the lock and keypad are separate items. Also, the doorbell doesn’t fit at my home location, and my office door isn’t wired. I might test it in the future but have no immediate plans.

      From other single sided reviews I’ve read I don’t think the Ring or August are heavily better one versus other. Though the new Ring with slimmer design might change that slightly. Stay tuned here in case I do another comparison. If I do, it would wait until new Ring is publicly released to compare to the August.

      1. Thank you for your response. I appreciate it. Now in response.

        Aren’t all (atleast with ring as well) locks and doorbells two separate items?

        What I’m trying to figure out is how complicated and time consuming it really is to unlock the the door with ring, when using a compatible lock. I understand that there’s a link within the ring app, but you still need to open a new app when you click on the link. Does this work smoothly? Couldn’t find any video reviews with this integration. Just thought maybe that since August has both products, the integration would work more smoothly. But Im just speculating and may be incorrect.

        I wish there were some videos with the integration between ring and the compatible locks, as week as how they work with wink. For example, does their compatibility with wink mean that any lock that works with wink will work with ring when using wink. There seems to be a lack of clarity on this (at least to me…).

        Size is something to consider, and not needing to wire is a benefit too.

        Two points on that though.

        1. I actually do have an existing doorbell at my door. Would it be more beneficial to hard wire it? I’ve read somewhere that with the hardwire you can access video on demand. Is this true?

        2. Does it make sense perhaps to wait for the new version of ring? Although the new version seems it will require hard wire. Which shouldn’t be an issue for me, but important to keep in mind.

        Bottom line – I’m trying to decide and figure out how reliable these wifi products are, and whether they are stable enough.

      2. I do not believe that either of the Ring door bells allow for on-demand, though I think you may be correct they added that feature to hard wired units? I’m not entirely certain, since mine is run wireless right now. At one point it had been wired, but it is at my office now instead of my home, and wirelessly. I know for sure the original Ring on wireless does NOT offer on-demand, I can verify that. As for wired, I have no way to verify. Some of the competitors devices will work on-demand, though.

        As for how they are separate items, you are correct that most of the door bells are separate from the door locks. Perhaps I was unclear in my prior reply, sorry. MY issue is this: August offers a smart lock, a door bell/camera, and a keypad. In my home I’ve chosen to work within the Apple HomeKit compatibility segment. As such I have Schlage Sense door locks, found here: http://amzn.to/1Sqa8gm — those offer me the ability to use Siri to check if my doors are locked, etc.

        What I love most about those locks is that they have a keypad built into them. There is no wireless keypad that has to be mounted somewhere on the house, no additional remote hardware. This makes it all-in-one, the same battery that powers the lock powers the keypad. With the August system, the keypad is not part of the door lock, which I dislike personally. You are right that no matter what smart door bell you use, they are separate from the lock. However, if you use the August door bell, I have seen videos that indicate the same app can unlock the door. However, I’d ask yourself, how often do you use that feature? I don’t usually randomly unlock my door remotely anyhow, so I don’t need a doorbell that ties in with my door lock. On the other hand, I do have family members who need to easily unlock the door without a key, so having a door lock that has a keypad built in is very important, and the Schlage system is the best in that segment, in my opinion (even the older Z-wave units were rock solid performance).

        There will be advantages to the next-generation smaller Ring door bell. But you have to be hard-wired. If you have wires already at that location, then yes, waiting may be wise (you can pre-order the Ring Pro direct on their web site right now). However, if you want to run wireless, the standard Ring device is the only of the two that supports that. Also note that if you have a Wink smart home hub (see here: http://amzn.to/1QkaHDV ) — you can use that, with a smart door bell such as Ring, plus any Z-wave door locks, and stay within the same app to unlock the door. It might achieve the goals you have, in which case any Z-wave door lock works. My suggestion there would be the Schlage connect : http://amzn.to/1pe3rDz

        Hope this data helps you in your smart home shopping and research. Let me know if you have any further questions. – Ari

  13. I really learned a lot from your review and from the comments of the readers who replied however I still have what is probably a very basic question: Where can we view the recordings that the doorbell makes? I understand that the Ring recordings are stored on the cloud (for a fee) but where are the Skybell recording stored?… on the iPhone? If on the iPhone, can they be transferred to my desktop computer?

    1. Both devices record their videos to the cloud. There have been various updates to both apps, constantly changing, where at times they add/remove features for downloading. I’m 99% sure both allow you to download the video to your phone and/or then your desktop computer, though my recent experience is more specifically wth the Ring device.

      In the case of the Ring device, you can actually access your videos/recordings right from the desktop portal. I’m not so sure this feature is possible with the SkyBell. Also note that there are various limits on cloud storage/recordings, another feature that is always changing, so check with both manufacturers.

      I have the new Ring Pro inbound and hope to test it in the near future. My current suggestion between these two is either the Ring Pro or their classic Ring device, as it remains my preferred of the bunch. Cheers!

  14. Thanks for the awesome review! It helped me a lot! I was thinking over two weeks and couldn’t decide whether I should purchase Ring doorbell or not. Finally, I made the decision and bought it! Thanks for the awesome content!

  15. Thanks for the great review. I think the August is shipping now, as I have seen ads recently on TV. Does anyone know where we could see a comparison of it and the Ring or Ring Pro?

  16. I noticed you made a right angle mount for the ring on Yeggi – I’m 3D printing challenged and am looking for a solution. I’m in Columbus OH and would love some help – if possible please email me at abrahammangan@gmail.com. Thanks so much!

Comment or Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s