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Things We Love: Ring Video Doorbell

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There must be a way to avoid those pesky notes left by delivery drivers claiming an attempt was made to deliver your long-awaited, highly anticipated package—even if it is just a bar of soap or applesauce. While I haven’t found a flawless solution, I am getting close. I live in a New York City apartment and don’t have the luxury of a doorman who receives all incoming packages for safekeeping until I arrive home. I have what you would consider your standard, typical apartment door. No frills, only a place to put a small box in the hopes that no one takes it before I have a chance to grab it.

Unfortunately, some couriers refuse to leave packages unattended or unsigned for, resulting in redelivery or special delivery phone calls. Well, no more! I picked what would soon be the love of my tech life, the Ring Video Doorbell. With this simple device, gone are the days of coming home to a delivery-less front door, and hello to the refreshing feeling of having my textbooks waiting for me when I arrive home after a long day’s work. What a feeling!

Ring Video Doorbell

Now let’s get into the features of this convenient device. First, the installation really couldn’t be easier. Deciding exactly where to put it will probably take the longest time—in my case, my apartment door was my only option—as opposed to perhaps the outside wall next to a front door of a house. Instead of mounting it directly onto my metal door using the included mounting hardware and relinquishing all hope of getting my security deposit back, I decided to use heavy-duty mounting tape. It’s secure alright, you’d need pliers and a whole lot of force to rip this thing off my door. But don’t even try, because I have you on camera!

After the quick initial setup of downloading the free Ring app to my iPhone (there’s also an Android app) and connecting it to my Wi-Fi network, I was ready to go. There are many settings to customize, including notifications, user accessibility, and more. Ring can send you two types of notifications: doorbell rings and motion events. Every time the delivery person or anyone else presses the enticing button, you get an instant notification on your phone while the ring around the button glows blue. Engaging the notification launches the app, giving you a live view of what the Ring sees. You then have the option to talk to the visitor via your phone’s microphone, which outputs to the Ring’s built-in speaker, allowing the other party to hear you. And because communication is a two-way street, its built-in microphone allows them to respond. I’ve been caught saying everything from, “Yes, please leave the package there, thanks!” to “Stop pressing the button!” But hey, it comes with the territory.

Ring records video in 720p for high-quality images. It also has a 180-degree field of view, meaning that you can see pretty much everything that’s in front of the lens—especially useful for suburban living with a front yard or perhaps a mailbox in view. It even has a 30' night-vision range. Video is automatically recorded onto Ring’s cloud service and provides you with the option to save selected clips in your phone’s storage.

A couple of more fun features include its built-in battery and live view capabilities. Yes, I said built-in battery. It lasted me 4 months without needing to be charged, and believe me, my neighbors are constantly passing by my door. It’s easily rechargeable via the included micro-USB cable—simply remove Ring from its base and plug it into one of your spare AC power adapters. Six IR LEDs are integrated on the front of the device, to the left and right of the lens, to provide night vision. For those not familiar with IR LEDs, these allow the camera to see in complete darkness—meaning no light at all—so you’ll be able to keep an eye on your surroundings, even in the dead of night.

Live view is arguably the coolest thing about Ring, even if it is a bit of a battery drain. From the app, press Live View, as the name suggests, to access a live view of the outside of your door. If you’re expecting that delivery to come between 9 and 5, this handy feature will allow you to check in occasionally on the progress of that “attempted” delivery.

Ring is available in four colors including Antique Brass, Polished Brass, Satin Nickel, and Venetian Bronze to ensure you can match it to the finish of your home or apartment door. Disclaimer: B&H Photo Video and Ring make no claims that Ring will save you the frustration of having to track down your undelivered packages, but it does take away some of that irritating back and forth. For full functionality and to get the most out of Ring, a subscription service is required and available through Ring. Some would say the Ring is the GOAT, savage, or maybe even lit; but I would simply say, it's an incredibly cool product with lots of functional and useful features.

2 Comments

Sadly, my experience -- and it was a months-long ordeal -- ended in complete failure, with tech support that was, to say the least, unsuccesssful.  Installling the unit was difficult, despite assurances that it would be easy.   Testing and retesting were equally unpleasant, and the unit, which worked spasmodically, at first, became a very expensive simple doorbell and, then, its replacement failed even at that.   I finally replaced it with a simple doorbell button, which works nicely, but without all the Ring's promised bells and whistles.  So, it is not a guaranteed success.

hmmm.. not exactly the hum-dinger you expected then

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