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Review Ring Video Doorbell 2nd Generation

Review Ring Video Doorbell 2nd Generation

Ring's standard model video doorbell is affordable, easy to install, and works well with other smart devices. However, you will have to pay extra to watch archived videos.

Jan 09, 2024 · 8 min read

Olivia Langstaff
By Olivia Langstaff

Staff Writer

Ring Video Doorbell 2nd Generation


Reasonable price

Sharp 1080p video

Easy to install

Can be connected by cable or wireless network connection

Works with Alexa and IFTTT



Non-removable battery

Registration required to view archived videos

Does not support Apple HomeKit or Google Assistant

Ring Video Doorbell Gen 2 Specifications




Amazon Alexa, IFTTT



Observation range

155 degrees



Two-way audio

Night vision


Mechanical Pan/Tilt

Ring's second-generation smart doorbell, the Video Doorbell ($54.99), is a refresh of the original 2015 version. This time, it offers 1080p video (up from 720p on the original), improved audio, and a number of new features including user-only motion detection, making it a significant upgrade over its predecessor. It also responds to Alexa voice commands and interacts with other smart devices using the IFTTT app, but it lacks dual-band Wi-Fi or support for video pre-buffering (to record what's happening before the motion sensor is triggered) like some other devices.

Design and Features

With its Satin Nickel and glossy black finish (it’s also available in Venetian Bronze), the Ring Video Doorbell maintains the same design used by the original, the Video Doorbell 2, and the Video Doorbell 3 Plus. Measuring 4.9 by 2.4 by 1.1 inches (HWD), it’s bulkier than the Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro (4.6 by 1.5 by 1.3 inches), but still a hair smaller than its more expensive sibling, the Video Doorbell 3 Plus (5.1 by 2.4 by 1.1 inches).

The top black part of the device contains the camera and microphone, while the bottom silver part holds the doorbell button, which is surrounded by a flashing blue LED ring when the button is pressed. The bottom edge contains a speaker used for two-way communication and to play the doorbell sound.

Ring App

Inside the device is a Wi-Fi transceiver that operates at 2.4 GHz. While other Ring doorbells have removable battery packs, this model uses a non-removable rechargeable battery that is rated to last from 6 to 12 months between charges (depending on usage). To charge the device, you must physically remove the entire device, bring it indoors, and power it up using the included USB cable. However, you can also hardwire it to your existing doorbell wiring for continuous charging. The USB charging port, two wire connectors, and the Setup button are all located on the back.

The doorbell's camera records video at 1080p resolution, has a 155-degree field of view, and uses infrared LEDs to record black-and-white video at night. It will start recording video and sending notifications when someone presses the button or when it senses motion. If you have an Amazon Alexa device, it will tell you when the doorbell button is pressed.

Like all Ring cameras, you will need to subscribe to a Ring Protect Plan to access stored video. At $3 per month/$30 per year, the Basic Plan is affordable and provides you with 60 days of rolling storage, video sharing, and snapshots for one device. If you own multiple Ring devices, the $10 per month/$100 per year Plus Plan will provide you with 60 days of storage for all of your devices as well as professional monitoring service if you own a Ring Alarm system.

Like other Ring doorbells, the second-generation model works with Alexa voice commands and supports IFTTT apps that allow it to interact with third-party smart home devices. It also works with Keikset, Schlage, and Yale smart locks, allowing you to lock and unlock your door from within the Ring app. That said, it lacks support for Google Assistant voice commands and does not work with Apple's HomeKit platform.

The second-generation Ring doorbell uses the same mobile app (for Android and iOS) as all other Ring devices. It opens to a Dashboard screen with Disable, Home, and Go buttons. You can enable or disable the doorbell's Motion Detection and Live View features depending on your arming mode. Below these buttons are the Neighbors and History tabs. Tap on the Neighbors tab to access Ring's Neighbors feature, which lets you know about any criminal activity in your neighborhood, and use the History button to view a timeline of motion events from all of your Ring devices. To view, delete, or download an event video, tap on the event list.

Ring App

At the bottom of the screen are individual camera dashboards with still images of recent activity. Tap on the Doorbell dashboard to launch a screen where you can view live video or scroll through a timeline to watch video clips of motion and doorbell events. There are buttons here to rewind, fast forward, and pause video, and there is a share button to share clips via Facebook, text message, or email. Or you can click the Notify Neighbors button to post the clip to the Neighbors community portal.

Tap on the gear icon in the upper right corner to access Doorbell settings. Here, you can enable and disable alerts, notifications, and motion recording; view live video; and adjust modes, devices, and motion settings. Motion settings include a wizard to help you select a motion zone, a Motion Verification option to help reduce unwanted notifications, and a Schedule option that lets you decide when you want to receive notifications. The new Smart Alerts setting allows you to set your doorbell to Person Only mode so that you only receive notifications when a person is detected. Other settings allow you to link your doorbell to other Ring devices to trigger recording, check device status (battery level, signal strength, network connection), disable motion notifications, and link your doorbell to an external chime.

Installation and Performance

Setting up Video Doorbell couldn't be easier. I already had a Ring account, but if this is your first Ring device, you'll need to download the mobile app and create an account. I opened the app, tapped the three-bar icon in the upper left corner, and selected Set Up a Device.

Following the on-screen instructions, I used my phone's camera to scan the barcode on the setup page and select my home location for installation. The next few screens provided instructions on how to mount the doorbell and what type of screws to use, then I was prompted to name the device and press and release the orange button on the back of the doorbell. The LED ring began to flash white and a voice reminded me to follow the instructions, so I pressed continue and connected the doorbell to my home Wi-Fi network. After a few seconds, the device was added to my network, it was automatically detected by Alexa, and began to update its firmware, which took about five minutes to complete. I used the included screws to mount the mounting plate to the exterior wall of my house, attached the doorbell to the plate, configured the motion settings, and the installation was complete.

The doorbell performed well in testing. It always responds when the button is pressed and stores video and sends notifications when the button is pressed or when motion is detected. The Person Only mode did a good job of filtering out motion alerts from passing cards and objects blown by the wind.

The camera provides sharp 1080p video with vibrant colors in our daytime tests, and black-and-white video at night shows good contrast and clear images at a distance of about 20 feet. Two-way audio transmission is clear and loud, unlike the original model, which sometimes produced choppy audio. I had no trouble viewing live video on my Amazon Echo Show device using an Alexa voice command, and my Alexa devices always notify me when the doorbell button is pressed.


Ring Video Doorbell is a solid choice for those looking for a smart doorbell camera. It is quick to set up, provides sharp 1080p video, supports Alexa voice commands, and works with other smart devices via the IFTTT app. It does not have dual-band Wi-Fi or pre-buffered video storage like some of Ring's higher-end models, and you have to pay to view recorded video and you have to remove the entire device to charge the battery, but for the price of $59, it is still a good value.

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