The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

Is the £159 Ring video doorbell pro worth the investment?

Boost your home security with this cool bit of tech

Jacob Little
Friday 06 August 2021 10:46
<p>The company has seven different styles in its range, suitable for every home</p>

The company has seven different styles in its range, suitable for every home

As a company, Ring offers a wide range of security features on the consumer level, including alarms and security cameras, but its focus has for many years been on video doorbells. The video doorbell pro is said to be its most advanced video doorbell yet, and includes professional-grade security features that have been designed specifically for a home setup.

Now, it has seven different styles of video doorbells in its range, suitable for every home, ranging from bungalows and multistorey flats to easily demountable setups for renters and temporary accommodation.

At first glance, the Ring doorbell line-up can seem a little confusing. The video doorbell pro comes with an optional plug-in adaptor, but otherwise is essentially the same doorbell as the newer and upgraded video doorbell pro 2 (£219, Ring.com), a strictly hardwired option requiring an existing doorbell wiring for the power supply.

There are some extra advantages to this wired pro 2 option – it comes with 1:1 aspect ratio, slightly higher-res video and some improvement to motion detection. But for the purposes of this standalone review, we’re looking at testing the original pro doorbell with the plug-in adaptor, which you’ll be able to set up even if you don’t have a doorbell already. This makes for easier installation for pretty much any home.

How we tested

We tested the device by installing at the front door and using the aforementioned plug-in adaptor, as we didn’t have an existing doorbell – once we were over this hurdle, it worked as you’d expect any video doorbell to.

Read more:

Ring video doorbell pro

Buy now £159, Amazon.co.uk

  • Motion detection: Customisable
  • Audio: Two-way communication with noise cancellation
  • Video: 1080P HD video
  • Connectivity: 2.4GHz & 5GHz
  • Rating: 8/10

Out of the box we were presented with a sleek, futuristic-looking device that has some degree of customisation available – we liked the fact that we could change the outer surround of the video doorbell pro to fit in with our entrance style (colours include “satin nickel”, “venetian” and “pearl” as well as standard black). The extras and accessories in the box may look daunting – there are quite a few little bags of screws and drill bits – but the instructions are clear and straightforward.

Read more: 11 best home security cameras that are easy to set up

Once you’ve got everything out of the box, it’s time to start the fiddly bit. If you already have a wired doorbell, it is more or less a case of a straight swap utilising the 12v to 24v transformer that comes in the box. But if like us, you don’t have this, you can choose the plug-in adaptor option, which means you can plug it into a conventional power outlet and run the wires to the door. Full instructions are provided, but you may want to enlist the help of a professional here.

Ring also has a useful YouTube channel and playlist with lots of tips on how to get the most out of your device.

Features

Once you’re set up, you get full, always-on motion detection and superior image quality – we found that the full HD video and two-way talkback offers some of the best clarity on the market. We used the plug in adaptor version, but if you have it wired into an existing system, it also can ring an existing chime, so that’s a bonus if you’re used to a particular ‘”ding-dong” sound.

The app that controls everything works well, and we had very little issue in setting it up. As you’d expect, it’ll send you alerts when someone calls and it also has Amazon Alexa integration.

In terms of performance, we found that the one of the best features of this doorbell is its ability to work as a proper home security camera. The HD quality is so good that we found we could make out faces at a distance – a vital aspect when it comes to making the camera itself more useful than just a doorbell system. We found that audio did take a little while before it connected properly, especially in less-than-ideal wifi spots, and then was some crackling and interference, but generally, it didn’t affect its use too much, as if it’s someone you recognise or are expecting, the door’s been opened by then anyway!

Read more: 12 best Bluetooth speakers for every budget

The specific motion detection abilities are a real bonus and certainly add to the video doorbell pro’s appeal compared to its competitors. You can select “zones,” which allows you to draw a square around your door and ignore the bits on either side, meaning it’s far less likely for your phone to ping with an alert when someone walks past or the binman pays a visit. This is more useful than it sounds and is another reason that we don’t mind the slightly complicated wired setup rather than a battery-powered device which tends to use a more efficient but slightly less accurate sensor.

Pausing motion alerts and setting sensitivity options are really useful too – we found stopping motion alerts for a set period of time was really useful when we were going backwards and forwards putting the recycling out, for example.

Subscriptions and ongoing costs

As with all of these types of devices, there are subscription costs incurred if you wish to use the full setup – around £2.50 a month as a base package for Ring Protect, which gives you record and capture abilities and better camera previews on your mobile device, amongst other features. For us though this isn’t necessarily a barrier to its use – it’s nice to know you have backups of your recordings if you need to call back on them for security reasons.

The verdict: Ring video doorbell pro

Ring as a company has really proved itself, in recent iterations of their devices and are quite rightly now considered a leader in this field.

This is still one of the most persuasive options on the market and the most convincing argument we’ve seen to get a video doorbell like this. We did find installation tricky – the plug-in adaptor does help, but we would suggest wiring it into existing setups if possible for the full range of features. That being said, the benefit of either option is that you do get a maintenance-free doorbell that works flawlessly when called upon, with excellent video during both the day and night and some of the best motion detection features on the market.

Voucher codes

For offers on home security cameras and other home tech accessories, try our discount code pages:

Want more smart tech for your home? Check out more of our reviews

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in