Up from the 720p camera in the original $200 Ring, the new Ring Video Doorbell Pro from BOT Home Automation goes on sale today and boasts a 1080p high-definition video feed, along with a sleeker look, swappable face plates, and customizable motion detection zones. It's a compelling list of new features. The trade-off -- it costs $50 more and is hard-wired only. The original Ring could be hard-wired or powered with rechargeable batteries.
The original Ring is available in 83 countries, including in Australia for AU$244 and in the UK for £127, plus additional shipping charges. I'd expect the new one will be available overseas, too. The $250 price converts to approximately £180 and AU$335.
Hopefully, the extra specs add up to clearer video in practice. That wasn't always the case with the 720p Ring. It should have been an obvious step up in video quality over the 640x480 picture of the competitive $200 Skybell 2.0, but over the course of testing both, we preferred Skybell's feed as Ring's lagged and streaked more frequently.
Still, the Ring proved a significant leap forward from its predecessor -- BOT Home Automation's disappointing Doorbot, so there's room for optimism that the Pro will take a similar step. The Ring Pro's other big new feature is similarly great in theory -- you can actually draw your own zones for customized motion detection. With the original Ring, you picked from predefined zones, so it'll be interesting to see if refining them beyond that makes a tangible difference.
Otherwise, both Rings share a lot of the same qualities:
- Push alerts when motion is detected and/or when the doorbell rings
- Two-way audio so you can talk to whoever is at your door
- An activity log
- Optional cloud storage of recorded clips ($3 per month or $30 per year for 6 months of storage)
The Ring Pro also works with both 5GHz and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connections, as opposed to the 2.4GHz-only Ring.
The Ring Pro isn't replacing the original Ring. If you don't have a hard-wired doorbell, or don't care to pay $50 for the new look or extra definition in terms of video and motion detection, you'll still be able to purchase the $200 Ring. You can order the $250 Ring Pro now on the company's site. The units are scheduled to start shipping in April. At that point, we'll see if the new features do enough to help the Ring Pro stand out from an increasingly competitive field that includes a model from August and the Bird Home Automation Doorbird.