Not along ago the makers of the Ring Video Doorbell released their PRO unit. Now that I’ve had a few months to test this unit, and compare to the standard offering, I’m finally ready to give you a quick review on the UPGRADE you’ll get with the Ring Video Doorbell PRO. To find out how it compares, keep reading.
If you want to see how the Ring Video Doorbell stacks up against the competitors, you may want to start with my shootout/comparison by CLICKING HERE. Though I had less than ideal experiences with the SkyBell HD, rumor has it they have made huge strides to improve their units with software & firmware updates. However I still feel the Ring is the brand and unit to favor.
Sidebar: There are some instances, especially when building a smart home, where the SkyBell might have deeper integration with your hub/hardware. In those instances where the SkyBell offers you a better arrangement, it is definitely still a unit worth considering. Everyone’s experiences may vary, and for me, the Ring reigned supreme.
After testing the original Ring WiFi Video Doorbell at my home, I eventually moved it to my office. It was ran off battery for a while, but the need for frequent charging eventually had me hard-wire it. An easy way to do this, if you have an outlet nearby, is with a power transformer (like THIS ONE). Just be sure to follow these instructions from the manufacturer.
When the Ring Video Doorbell PRO was released I decided it was time to revisit having a smart doorbell at my home. Although I was quite happy with my ARLO Home Security System (see my review HERE), there was something to be said for having two-way audio/video and the features that Ring brings to the table.
Just like with my prior installation, my door is laid out in such a way that I had to 3D print myself a bracket in order to fit the unit. You can find photos of the hardware, my custom made bracket, and a few setup screen shots here:
Installation was VERY easy, with step-by-step instructions right on the smart phone app. Rather than review the obvious tidbits that are out there on other sites, I’ll just focus on what makes the Ring Video Doorbell PRO different from the regular unit.
Firstly, there is no wireless operation. If you want to run a Ring PRO you need to have a hardwired setup. That right there will eliminate some users from being able to consider the PRO version. Secondly, the installation does require a small box, their PRO Power Kit, to be installed at the chime. You’ll see photos of this in my gallery above. This adds some time to the installation, but in no way is this a difficult step even for the novice.
Beyond those two differences, the unit boasts a smaller footprint. This was extremely welcome to me, since my door jamb is already rather tight (And requires a special custom bracket). And there are interchangeable face plates, so where the standard unit requires you pick a color and live with it forever, the Ring PRO gives you the ability to change up the color of the surround any time you want (it comes with all the colors in the box!)
But of all the features the Ring PRO brings to the table, the two most important ones here are Custom Zones, and Video On-Demand. You also get full HD (1080p) with the PRO, versus only 720p with the standard unit. I’ll admit that the video quality difference was barely noticeable — there reaches a point where 720 vs 1080 just isn’t a huge deal. But having the ability to create motion zones has been huge for me at my front door, since the street and sidewalk were otherwise picking up false motion (from trees, neighbors, cars, etc).
You’ll see a photo above where I created a custom zone with the Ring PRO that covers just my walkway up to the front door, and the grass area beyond that. This avoids the street and the outer sidewalk, where I didn’t really want motion to be captured. What I loved about this was the ability to use the distance slider still for sensitivity, while still limiting your motion to a specified zone. The fact too that these zones can be custom shaped, not just a square/rectangle, is awesome (each little dot can be slid around to create any sort of funky shape you need based on your door/camera visual needs).
In conclusion, I feel the Ring Video Doorbell PRO is a worthy upgrade from the classic Ring WiFi Video Doorbell. If you are working with a wired location, the added $50 is worthwhile for the on-demand video, higher quality images, and custom zones. However, if you’re like many folks who don’t have wiring in place, the classic unit is still a great option too! Thinking about getting started with a smart home? Video doorbells are a great first choice, and I can’t recommend them enough! Best wishes!!
Upgrading to the Chime Pro (Update on December 19, 2016)
Over the past year (and then some) I’ve had hit-or-miss reliability with the classic Ring Chime accessory. For whatever reason, the two Chime units installed at my office Ring location will drop connectivity regularly, which in turn means that door bell alerts are missed. Since our office doesn’t have a hard-wired door chime, those Chime accessories are the only way we know someone is visiting. (Well, that and my iPhone).
Enter the new Ring Chime Pro, which offers antenna for greater connectivity. Although you cannot yet buy these on Amazon, they are available direct from Ring, or via retailers like BestBuy. Beyond the two obvious arms that swivel to provide stronger range, the Chime Pro also can be used as a wifi extender for your Ring Pro.
Although the WiFi extension features only work to help increase range to your Ring devices (not for your other home devices), this could still help for those of us where your doorbell is on the fringe of connectivity. That is the case at my office, so I moved the classic Ring Chime accessories to my home location, and the new Pro devices are at work.
Thus far, the results seem much better. No drops in connection, all devices have stronger wifi signals (thanks to the latest app update providing “health” status to show how your signal strength is at each device & accessory). All in all, I continue to recommend the Ring Video Doorbell as my top pick, and the accessories make it that much better!