Ring Video Doorbell vs Doorbell 2 - Differences Explained

Ring Video Doorbell vs Doorbell 2 – Differences Explained

Smart home additions continue to crop up on the market and seeing and recording who is at your front door is joining the game. You can now have a doorbell that will record on movement or action so you can see, live, who is at your door, or record potential intruders while you are away.

Ring is a company that has taken the video doorbell by the horns and continues to make advancements and innovations in the smart doorbell market. The original Ring Doorbell has been upgraded with the Ring Doorbell 2, but which one is the best option for you?

This article will compare the two models and give you a side by side comparison as well as the pros and cons of each model so you can make the most informed decision possible. Read the entire article for all the details, or if you are in a hurry: The Ring Doorbell 2 is my choice for the superior smart doorbell option.

What’s Different between Ring Doorbell and Ring Doorbell 2

Sometimes a model upgrade isn’t the best option for your needs. The differences in the two models make or break your decision.

  • The Ring Doorbell records in 720p resolution, the Doorbell 2 records in 1080p.
  • The Doorbell has a view radius of 180 degrees. The Doorbell 2 has a field of view of 160 degrees.
  • The Doorbell has rechargeable batteries while the Doorbell 2 relies on swappable batteries.
  • Doorbell has predefined motion zones where the Doorbell 2’s motion zones are programmable.
  • You can change the faceplate on the Doorbell 2. The Doorbell doesn’t have exchangeable faceplates.
  • The Doorbell 2 is larger and heavier than the Doorbell.

What About the Similarities between Doorbell and Doorbell 2?

Sometimes when something works, you leave it alone. When you know what they both offer you can focus your choices on other factors.

  • Live video recording is available with each version.
  • The Doorbell and the Doorbell 2 have hard-wired power options as well as battery.
  • Night vision is standard for each model.
  • Two-way communication via speaker and microphone available in each version.
  • Mobile control center controls both Ring models on Android, iOS and Windows 10.
  • Each of the units has a variety of colors and finishes.

Comparison Chart

Ring Video Doorbell Ring Video Doorbell 2
Video Resolution 720p 1080p
View Angle 180 Degrees 160 Degrees
Mobile App Control Yes Yes
Battery Power Option Rechargeable Swappable
Hard Wire Power Option Yes Yes
Motion Zones Predefined Programmable
Two-Way Communication Yes Yes
Face Plates Fixed Exchangeable
Night Vision Yes Yes
Recording Storage Cloud Cloud
Price Check on Amazon Check on Amazon

Comparing the Features of Ring vs Ring 2

I will give you an in-depth look at each of the important features and options of the two models so you can see what it is that draws you one side or the other.

Video Resolution

The Ring Doorbell records and shows its video in 720p high definition resolution. This is the minimum resolution as defined by “high definition” and is common in smaller screens and recording devices.

The video resolution is fairly good because the camera is smaller. However, you will notice a slight lag, and some pixelation if the movement that causes the camera to start recording moves too fast. Also, when the infrared light is on for night vision, the recording can be shadowed around the edges which may cause some frustration.

The Doorbell 2 answers this issue by recording in 1080p resolution. You will still find some issues with fast movements; however, the edges will remain crisp and clear, even in night vision mode.

One thing to note, even in the 1080p resolution of the Ring Doorbell 2, night vision recording can become hard to see if there is direct ambient light in the field of vision or if bright lights constantly pass by, such as with headlights from cars. If your doorbell faces these kinds of lights, you may want to mount the doorbell somewhere else.

Bottom Line: The Ring Doorbell 2 wins because of the higher resolution and addressing of clarity issues of the original Doorbell.

View Angle

The original Doorbell has a wide angle view field of 180 degrees. This wide angle will cover all the areas you would be able to see if you were standing at the door yourself. However, if you are standing at the door, you won’t have to squint to see around using the low 720p resolution.

I should also note that the Doorbell night vision is black and white only. The Doorbell 2 does have full color night vision.

The 1080p resolution makes the lower field of view of the Doorbell 2 is hardly noticeable. Even 160 degrees is wide enough to see what you need to see. If your front door has a wide angle of view, you may want to consider the extra 20 degrees of the viewing field. However, the clearer recordings and color night vision make losing 20 degrees worth it.

Bottom Line: The Doorbell 2 wins even with a smaller field of view because the picture is so much better.

Mobile App Control

The mobile app simply named Ring App, is a full-featured app in and of itself. You will be able to run the app on and Android or iOS device as well as a Windows 10 computer. The app will send you push notifications when there is motion or action at your door.

You can also use the app to view the live camera feed to see who is at your door. Further, you will be able to talk through the app on a wireless connect to the Doorbell or Doorbell 2 and hear responses via the microphone installed in the unit.

Another feature of the app is that they have also included the ability, through the dashboard, to view recordings, save or delete them. You also become linked to other Ring users in your local area, and you can send and share videos with your Ring neighbors.

Because the Doorbell and Doorbell 2 link to your WiFi connection and the app runs on your network you can view, speak and hear from anywhere. You don’t even have to be home to see who is at your door.

Bottom Line: A tie. Both versions have the mobile app and all of its features and capabilities.

Motion Zones

Motion detection is essential for alerts and recording. Your Doorbell or Doorbell 2 will have the entire visual field as a motion zone by default. Using the mobile app, you can set specific areas as motion zones.

You can set zones that are ignored, such as streets or sidewalks where there is constant movement. These can send false alerts and become a burden. If you don’t want an alert every time a car drives by your house, block the street with a zone.

Likewise, you can set zones that send an alert when the motion is detected. Gates, walkways leading to your house and the porch are common areas to set motion zones.

The Doorbell has predefined zones that you can set. Using the mobile app, you can set a zone as active or disabled. The Doorbell 2 allows you to customize the size and shape of your zones by using the app and the draw zone function.

Bottom Line: The Doorbell 2 wins because you can customize the size and shape of the zones for better control.

Batteries and Charging

If you decide not to hard wire the power to your Ring Doorbell, you can use batteries to power the system. The original Doorbell has a rechargeable battery pack built-in. This means you don’t need to replace batteries constantly and can simply charge your Doorbell unit.

The downside if this is that the battery pack is not removable, so you will have to remove the doorbell and plug the entire unit into the charger, meaning you will be without a doorbell while it charges.

The Doorbell 2 has swappable batteries to power the unit. You can remove the batteries and replace them with new ones. The batteries that come with the unit are not rechargeable batteries; however, you can purchase rechargeable batteries to charge and swap.

Bottom Line: The Doorbell 2 wins. Ring addressed the issues of being without a doorbell while the unit charges.

Night Vision

Intruders don’t usually try to access your home in broad daylight. Without night vision you wouldn’t be able to see who is in your camera’s field of view in the dark and could miss identification or prevention opportunities.

The Doorbell has night vision using infrared lights but will only view and record in black and white. If there is enough ambient light the image can become blurry or pixelated.

The Ring Doorbell 2 addresses this issue by offering full-color night vision. The 1080p recording accepts ambient lighting better and help reduce the instance of spotted and unclear imaging. If the light is bright enough or direct enough, though, the infrared lights can still be momentarily disabled.

Bottom Line: The Doorbell 2 wins here. Full-color night vision is always better than black and white, especially when it comes to home security.

Cloud Storage

Upon purchase of any Rinvvvvvvvvvvvvvg Doorbell, you will have access to 30 days of free cloud storage of your video recordings. Once the month is up, you will have to purchase a monthly plan to continue to use the storage.

Ring currently has two payment options, Basic and Protect. The Basic plan will cost about $30 per year, and the Protect plan costs $100 per year. If you do not continue the cloud storage, you will not be able to save recordings for viewing later or playback.

Bottom Line: This is a tie. Both versions have the same cloud storage options.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

When setting up a smart home and including a smart doorbell, you will invariably have questions. Here I will take on the most common questions of the Ring Doorbells.

Q. How difficult is installation?

A. Only as hard as you make it. If you can follow instructions and use a screwdriver you can install the Doorbell in just a few minutes. The clear and easy to follow instructions make the installation process simple.

If you decide to hard wire the Doorbell you will need a power wire already run. If you do not have one, then you will need to run one. This may require a professional installation and won’t take mere minutes.

Q. I don’t always have my phone turned on, is there an inside bell to hear when someone is at the door?

A. It is now nearing 2020, whoever turns their cell phone off? The answer is no. The Ring Doorbells do not have an interior chime. There is a chime on the Doorbell unit itself, but you may not hear it from inside the home.

However, if you already have an interior chime installed in your home you can use the existing wires to connect the Ring Doorbell to the chime, and it will sound your internal chime for when you turn your phone off.

One other option is to purchase a Ring Chime to install inside your home.

Q. How long do the batteries stay charged?

A. Running video and wireless connectivity on a battery is not going to last long. If you run battery power only you can expect to have to change or replace the batteries about once a week. If you find that you are getting a lot of alerts the battery exchange may be more frequent.

Ring documentation will state that the batteries will last up to six months or 1,000 recording events. However, real-world applications and the frequency of events that trigger a recording will shorten that by several weeks.

It is always recommended to use electrical power to run your video devices, but if you have to use battery power, you can expect a weekly recharge of the batteries.

Q. Is it possible to run multiple Doorbells from the mobile app?

A. How many front doors do you need? Yes, the answer is you can absolutely run multiple Doorbell units from the mobile app.

In the app, you will be given the opportunity to give your Doorbell a name (I named mine Lurch – You rang?). Once you name your Doorbell unit, it will give an icon on the app. Each named unit will have its own icon, and the alerts will use the Doorbell name.

Q. I want to give access to the Doorbell on my wife’s phone, however, the kids are always playing with it, and I don’t want them to change any settings. Is this possible?

A. Is it possible to give access to your wife’s phone? Yes. Controlling your kids? I am not sure. One option for your situation, though, is to set up the account on your phone as a Master account and then when you set up your wife’s phone you can give it guest access.

Guest access means that you can view the video, talk and hear, but you cannot change any settings.

Q. Does it work with a laptop computer?

A. It works a lot better on a house. I assume you mean the mobile app. Yes, there are mobile app versions of the Ring App available for Android and iOS devices such as cell phones and tablets.

There is also a version that runs well on Windows 10 OS computers. As long as your laptop is running Windows 10, you can use the app.

Q. Do I need to launch the mobile app when someone is at my door?

A. You will need to launch the app if you want to see who is at the door, talk or hear them. However, no one can force you. You can continue to ignore them hoping they will go away without knowing who is at the door. Likewise, you could actually walk to the door and answer it.

So no, it isn’t required, unless you want to use the functionality of the Ring Doorbell.

Q. Can I angle the camera in a different direction than the push button?

A. Actually, yes you can. You can use a wedge to give up to 15 degrees of variance of the camera angle.

The Ring Doorbell installation video will explain this process in detail.

Q. Is this thing waterproof?

A. No. It is not waterproof, so please do not submerge it underwater. However, it is weather resistant. This means that under normal weather conditions and within the temperature ranges of minus five degrees and 120 degrees (Fahrenheit).

Q. If someone comes to the door and knocks, can I still activate the Doorbell unit to talk to them?

A. The unit is activated by motion, so you will be alerted to the motion activity, and the Doorbell will be activated. You can then use the mobile app to see, talk and hear the person standing at your front door. In the cold. Shivering. Trying to be neighborly. While you sit in the warmth. In a recliner. With a cup of hot cocoa. And a fire. Being rude.

What We Like About the Ring Doorbell

  • 180-degree field of view.
  • Night vision already included in the model.
  • Mobile app connectivity is simple and intuitive.
  • Cloud storage is reasonably priced.
  • Live view capable.

What We Like About the Ring Doorbell 2

  • 1080p recording resolution.
  • Full-color night vision.
  • The mobile app is user-friendly and simple to use.
  • Multiple connections capable.
  • Exchangeable faceplates.

That’s A Wrap

When setting up a smart home, starting at the front door is a viable option. The Ring series of Doorbell smart video doorbells are a good choice. The mobile app is one of the best in the industry and is simple to use and set up.

If you are in the market for a video doorbell with two-way communication, infrared night vision, simple installation and full view of your front porch area, the Ring Doorbell may be the right choice for you.

However, if you plan to have the best resolution, full-color night vision and replaceable batteries, then the Ring Doorbell 2 might just be the choice you need to make. You will spend a little more on initial fees; however, this could be worth it for the upgrades you will receive.

In my opinion, the Doorbell 2 is the clear winner and worth the small increase in cost. You will have a much better experience with set up and use. Full color at all times, even at night and a mobile app that can control the entire system with ease makes it the clear winner.

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