The Doorbot Smart Doorbell has been renamed and is now called the Ring Smart Doorbell. Despite the name change, however, the product remains largely the same. As with other smart doorbells on the market, the Ring helps you keep track of your home (and its surroundings) even if you’re not there.
It’s equipped with an HD camera to give you a clear view of your home’s entrance. It also features two speakers for enhanced audio quality.
The doorbell, which is compatible with iOS and Android devices, can be accessed from virtually anywhere in the world as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection. After testing out the SkyBell (see review here), I was eager to see how the Doorbot performed.
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If you’re like most homeowners, you prefer a doorbell with a simple and straightforward setup. This wired device is easy to swap out with an existing doorbell system. To begin, you may choose to remove the existing doorbell button.
Then, you’ll need to line up the mounting bracket with the provided mounting level. A screwdriver bit and handle comes included for installing the mounting bracket. For houses with brick, concrete, or stucco material, you should use concrete screws and anchors.
Houses with wood or vinyl material require wood screws. Remove the mounting level then connect the doorbell wiring to the terminal screws on the mounting bracket (this step is optional). Set the device up on the mounting bracket than tighten the security screws.
This smart doorbell has a number of features. Most come standard, but a few are optional. There are four available color options: satin nickel, antique brass, polished brass, and Venetian bronze. Here is more information about the available features:
- Instant access – the doorbell’s convenient mobile access lets you see and talk to visitors from anywhere as long as you have Wi-Fi connectivity. You will need to install the free Ring app for this feature to work. Once the app is installed, you will also be able to receive motion alerts when activity is detected and review recorded footage. A two-way talk feature also gives you instant connectivity and communication with any visitor.
- Technology – motion detection sensors activate the camera and instant mobile alerts when movement is detected. There is also a high quality HD camera with a wide angle lens to give you a clear look at your home’s entrance. Another highlight is night vision, which lets you see even when it’s dark out thanks to bright LED lights.
- Power – Unlike most smart doorbells, this one can run on two power sources. You can choose between connecting the doorbell to wiring that’s already in place, or run the unit off of a built-in battery. However, several owners complain about a relatively short battery life. You might opt to use the batteries as a backup, although the doorbell should continue to run through the household wiring even if you lose power in your home or your Wi-Fi network. The included battery is rated up to one year.
- Cloud recording – Cloud recording is an optional feature. While it comes free initially with a 30 day trial, you will need to pay extra if you want to keep it. For many customers, Cloud recording is worth the extra expense. It works by capturing every action detected by the motion sensors. This includes doorbell rings. The HD video is recorded when needed then is securely stashed away in the Cloud. If you have the Ring app, you can review footage instantly. You may also review footage through your computer and share it with friends or family members. Cloud recording let you stay in touch at all times, whether you are out of the country or simply running errands around town.
Pros of the Doorbot
Easy installation and high-quality HD video is some of this doorbell’s most notable features. It also offers optional cloud recording and convenient motion detection sensors. Here is an overview of the Ring doorbell’s many pros:
- Connectivity – It is pretty easy to set up a secure connection with this doorbell. Once you’ve downloaded the Ring app, all you have to do is press a button on the back of the doorbell. This will instantly put the doorbell in setup mode and turn on a Wi-Fi signal. Once the signal is ready, you will connect to your device to the app’s Wi-Fi network. As soon as the connection has been established, you can simply connect the doorbell to your existing Wi-Fi network.
- Motion detection – The motion detectors activate when they sense movement. You will get instant mobile alerts from the motion detectors. However, you can also set up specific zones for the motion detectors through the app. You will also be able to adjust your desired range within the zones. Another highlight is that it you can control the frequency with which the app notifies you once motion is detected. When the instant notification pops up, you’ll be able to view a live video feed and even communicate with the person on the other end.
- Communication – As with most smart doorbells, this one lets you instantly communicate with visitors. You can see and speak to visitors through your smart phone or tablet, whether you are on the couch or are away from your home. You can also stream live video and audio directly from your doorstep, letting you know exactly when a visitor or delivery has arrived.
Cons of the Doorbot
While the Ring doorbell has a lot to offer, there are also several drawbacks to consider. For example, it is not the cheapest smart doorbell on the market, especially if you add in the cost of the optional Cloud recording. Here are some other cons to consider:
Doesn’t alarm when phone is on silent – If you keep your phone on silent, you may very well miss visitors or deliveries to your home. However, there is a potential solution – Ring Chime. Ring Chime is a Wi-Fi speaker that activates when someone presses the ring doorbell.
One advantage of this product is that it lets you use custom tones that you can upload through the ring app. Unfortunately, you’ll have to spend around $20 more to get this device.
Unlike the smart doorbell, the Chime will produce sound even if your phone is on silent.
Questionable audio quality – While the lock’s high-quality video receives praise, its audio quality leaves a lot to be desired. Some customers complain that they have trouble hearing visitors if it’s windy outside, or if there are additional sounds.
This can be especially frustrating when you are trying to have a conversation with someone and the two-way audio becomes garbled and unintelligible. Although it doesn’t happen often, it is possible for the audio to go completely silent for a short period of time on either end.
Lacks on-demand feed – One common complaint among customers is the lack of on-demand feed. This is a little bit surprising, given the fact that many other smart doorbells offer this feature.
Most customers note that while you can access video feed through a phone, this is not an option on a computer or any other device.
Features of the Doorbot At a Glance
This is a list of features that you will find on the Ring doorbell, which has a price tag of around $200. (For the latest prices check here)
|Dual-powered operation||Two-way audio communication||Free Ring app gives you full control||High-quality HD video camera|
|Sets up in 10 minutes or less||Syncs with your existing Wi-Fi network||Compatible with Android and iOS systems||Motion detection sensors|
|Can be easily swapped out with most existing doorbells||Night vision||Lets you instantly see/talk to visitors||Suitable for year-round outdoor environment|
Should I Buy It Now or Wait?
This smart doorbell has a lot to offer. Many customers are willing to shell out $200 for a generally reliable and solid product. The high-quality HD video is one of this doorbell’s most commendable features. The video camera lets you see exactly who is there at any time.
You can even count on the camera’s night vision technology thanks to several bright LED lights. Other highlights include a simple and easy installation and the ability to monitor activity around your home even if you are not there.
There are some drawbacks to consider. For example, the audio quality is not the greatest. This can be frustrating when you’re trying to have a conversation with someone, only to have it cut in and out because of wind or other background noises.
The doorbell also lacks an on-demand feature, although it does store video for a period of time. Many customers are willing to pay extra for the Ring Cloud recording feature, which records all activity around the house and lets you share the video with friends and family.
I’ve been able to find the Doorbot for as low as $165 here.
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!