Top critical review
Cool but three problems
April 17, 2015
First off, the Ring is very cool. I really like it and many people that come to my front door (salespeople) know what it is immediately and don't bother me. There are three problems however, one very serious (in my opinion).
1 - The motion function engages when people are walking away, not when they walk up. MANY of my videos are of people's backsides. I don't know if this is a software issue or what. Tried increasing the sensitivity to the point where I was grabbing cars driving down the street but still only got people leaving my front door. Weird.
2 - This kind of goes along with #2. You cannot access the doorbell with security software like Blue Iris,et.al. Now, I get that they want to sell you their Cloud service and I'm ok with $30 / year to have an off-site backup. But if you could link the doorbell into your security system you would have an actual video of everything in your possession and you could access it from any computer in the world. That would be REALLY handy for police investigations and any legal hassles that may come your way.
3 - If you do not answer the alert fast enough, you are locked out-- even though someone is standing at your front door. You cannot "turn on" the camera from your phone or tablet. If someone is there and you do not have an "ACCEPT" button on the screen, there is just no way to see or talk to them. This is obviously a software flaw. You should always be able to "wake" a camera remotely and talk to a person at your front door. Or maybe you just want to see the view outside your front door. You should be able to access the camera / microphone and enjoy your front yard.
Hopefully these issues will be addressed in the future.
Update 1/24/16 - I have found a fantastic use for the Ring Doorbell and Chime. My mother-in-law, now in her 90s, lives by herself. She has become hard-of-hearing and often does not hear the doorbell. By installing the Ring on her door, she now is bothered much less (solicitors tend to recognize it and don't seem to like it) and when someone rings the bell, the Chime, placed by her favorite chair, gives her a better chance of hearing someone at the door.
I think the Chime would be MUCH improved if it had an ultra-brite LED on top (that you could turn on or off) that would flash when the bell rings. In addition, I REALLY like that I now know when people come to her door and I can talk to them before she answers the door. It gives me a much stronger sense of security for her.
Update 3/24/16 - Ring has added “Live View” to their feature set. It allows you to access your Ring Doorbell any time you wish. This solves the problem with #3 as long as you are not on battery power. Obviously, it also lets you “dial in” any time you wish to check out your front or back yard (where ever your doorbell is). This is a feature that I like as every once in a while I just like to see if its raining or foggy at the house.