Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 review
Ring’s range of doorbells covers just about every budget now, with the least expensive model – the Wired – costing just £49.99/US$59.99.
The Pro 2 is the most expensive at £219/$249.99 and has quite a few extra features including 3D motion detection, head-to-toe and HDR video, colour night vision and more.
Yet, for some people, it won’t be worth spending so much more if you’re just after a device that will let you know when someone’s at your front door and give you the ability to see and speak to them.
It’s worth stating up front: like the Video Doorbell Wired, the Pro 2 also needs power at your front door: it isn’t battery powered like some of Ring’s other models.
Features & design
To begin with, the Pro 2 looks exactly like its predecessor and has virtually the same dimensions at 114 x 49 x 22 mm (4.49in x 1.9in x 0.87in). Just make sure your door frame is wide enough to accommodate it as it’s fairly chunky.
The bezel is interchangeable and you’ll be emailed a code to redeem a free one in your choice of colour.
As well as the prominent camera, there’s also a built-in speaker and microphone, plus a glowing LED ring so visitors and see and hear that their press has been registered.
Inside your home, you’ll hear a sound if you have a Ring Chime unit paired with the doorbell, or if you enable the Ring skill in the Amazon Alexa app. Then, all Echo devices will announce someone’s at the door.
You can do the same with Google Home / Nest devices, but do note there’s no support for Apple HomeKit.
If you have an existing mechanical chime, the Video Doorbell Pro 2 will work with it in the US, but not in the UK unfortunately. That’s a shame, when rivals such as the Nest Hello and Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell work happily with just about any mechanical chime.
In the UK, you’ll have to use the included jumper wires to bypass a mains-powered chime unit.
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 improves upon the original Pro model by increasing resolution to 1536p (up from 1080p) and by also supporting HDR – a feature you need to enable in the app as it’s off by default.
It also has what Ring calls a head-to-toe viewing angle, which means 150° vertical as well as 150° horizontal. This allows you to see much lower (and higher) than a traditional TV-shaped view and should mean you can see if packages have been left on your doorstep.
It’s a feature we first saw in 2018 when the Nest Hello was released: it rotated the sensor 90° from the usual orientation to give the same full-body perspective.
That’s why it’s slightly disappointing that Ring hasn’t added package alerts as you get with a Nest Hello.
In practice, the video is square: 1536×1536 pixels and looks almost circular when you zoom out in the app or download a clip to save. When you see it full screen, this means you’re zoomed in on the central portion of the full image captured.
There’s no face recognition either: just a general person detection. That means you can’t choose to get notified if there’s an unfamiliar face at your door, or specific information such as “Marie is at the front door”.
What you do get is accurate and reliable motion detection. Like other Ring doorbells, you can set custom-shaped zones to monitor for motion. But the Pro 2 goes further with what it calls 3D motion detection.
This allows you to choose how close someone (or something) should be before you want to know about it. This is especially useful if your front door is close to the street, though it doesn’t really help if it opens directly onto the pavement.
What’s impressive about it is not just that it works really well, but the 3D aspect to it. It detects where the motion is happening and overlays this as a bird’s eye view of your property on top of the camera feed in the Ring app. You can tap it to see the satellite view full screen, making the video feed a thumbnail.
In my case, the imagery was exceptionally poor quality and was clearly not sourced from Google where much more detailed visuals are available. Your mileage may vary here, but once you’ve told the app where the doorbell is located in that bird’s eye view and which way it faces, you can then see straight away where the motion is happening and which direction it’s moving, even with low-resolution imagery.
Whether you can install the Pro 2 yourself or not will largely depend upon where you live and how competent you are with electrics.
In the UK, there are two packages available. One comes with a mains adapter that plugs into a socket near your front door. This means just about anyone can install it.
The other kit comes with a DIN rail transformer which will require an electrician to fit unless you already have a mains-powered doorbell and can just replace the existing transformer with the one from the kit.
For those in the US, no power supply is included in the box, though both types are available to buy separately if you need them.
The kit includes a wedge if you need to angle the camera left or right, as well as the screws, fixings and security screwdriver that’s needed for the special screw that secures the bezel to stop someone from simply unscrewing your doorbell and nicking off with it.
Naturally, when someone rings the doorbell you’ll get a notification on your phone wherever you are, and you can listen and talk to the visitor if you want to. In the US, bust not the UK, you can also get Alexa to greet the visitor if you don’t respond after a set amount of time.
She can ask who is calling and the purpose of their visit. A Ring Protect subscription is needed for this feature, but since you also need this to record video clips and see a history of who came to your door (as well as other motion) then it’s a moot point: you’re not going to buy a Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 and not subscribe to Ring Protect.
Improving on other Ring doorbells, the Pro 2 records six seconds of video before motion is detected. That’s important because cameras which only begin recording when they detect motion often miss crucial events, and six seconds is plenty in most cases.
There is no option to record continuously – something that certain rivals can do (including the Nest Hello) – but the Pro 2’s motion detection is so good, there’s no real need for continuous recording. And with Snapshot Capture, you can still see what happened even when motion wasn’t detected.
By default a snapshot (a still image) is taken every three minutes, but you can change this to 1 minute or 30 seconds in the app.
The Ring app is very good in general and is easy to use. It provides rich notifications so you can see who’s at your door without opening the Ring app and these also let you snooze notifications for 30 minutes or an hour – handy if you’re watering the garden or any other time where you want to ignore motion for a while.
Typically, you’ll get notifications just a couple of seconds after someone rings the doorbell, or when motion is detected, but on occasion it can take longer. Similarly, activating the live feed in the app can take a good few seconds before you can see who’s at the door.
Another slight niggle is that if you did miss a visitor, you can’t immediately see the recorded video in the app. It’ll say ‘processing’ and you’ll have to wait a short while before you can watch the clip.
Colour night vision
One of the frustrations of most security cameras, not just doorbells, is that their video quality drops to unacceptable levels at night. Most cameras use infrared so see when there’s very little light around, which means footage is black and white.
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is no different, but it uses whatever ambient light is around to try and create a “false colour image”. Essentially then, it’s not colour night vision at all, but it does help (as Ring claims) to get a better sense of what’s happening in an image.
Detail levels still drop off, and people’s faces are usually hard to recognise compared to the excellent daytime view which is sharp and detailed.
Price & availability
You can buy a Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 from Ring and Amazon in the UK where it costs £219 regardless of whether you opt for a plug-in mains adapter or the DIN rail transformer.
For £10 more there’s the option of getting either kit with a Ring Chime, a good-value offer if you don’t already have one or an Amazon Echo.
The same four options and prices are available from Amazon as well.
In the USA, you can buy the Video Doorbell Pro 2 from Ring or Amazon.com where it costs $249.99. You can get a Chime Pro bundled with the doorbell for $289.99 from Amazon.
You get a 30-day trial of Ring Protect with the doorbell and after that it costs. The subscription costs £2.50 per month or £24.99 per year, but if you have multiple Ring cameras, you can go for Protect Plus which covers unlimited devices for £8 per month / £80 per year.
In the US, that’s $3 per month or $30 per year for Protect Basic and $10 per month or $100 per year for Protect Plus.
If all this sounds way too expensive, then remember that the Ring Wired costs only £49.99 / $59.99 and could be a better-value choice if you already have power at your doorbell and don’t need the whizzy extra features of the Pro 2.
The original Pro has dropped in price and now costs under £170, too.
For others, see our roundup of the best video doorbells.
The Pro 2 is quite a considerable upgrade on the original Pro. It offers better video quality with a taller viewing angle so you can see parcels on your doorstep.
Motion detection can be configured so you only get the alerts you want, and it works well. 3D motion and the bird’s-eye view is certainly innovative, but not a reason in itself to buy the Pro 2 over the Pro or any other doorbell.
It’s expensive, though, and doesn’t have some of the features Nest Hello owners have enjoyed for several years such as package detection and face recognition.
Even so, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is one of the best choices if money is no object and it makes more sense than a Nest Hello if you already have other Ring cameras. But if you have Nest cameras already, the Nest Hello is the one to pick.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2: Specs
1536p video recording
150-degree field of view (horizontal + vertical)
two-way audio with noise cancellation
3D motion detection
Colour night vision
-20 to 50C (-5°F to 120°F ) operation