Ring vs. Ring 2

If you’re looking to purchase your first smart doorbell, Ring is a well-known brand that will help you add security and convenience to your home. But are the features of the Ring 2 worth it? Or will the Ring suit your needs just fine? We’ll go over the things they have in common, and also break down the differences between the Ring vs. Ring 2, to help you choose which is the better fit for your home.

Don’t have time to read? Here’s the short version:

What’s the difference between Ring and Ring 2?

The first-generation Ring doorbell has lower video resolution compared to the Ring Doorbell 2 — 720p vs. 1080p. Unlike Ring Doorbell 2, the Ring Doorbell doesn’t feature a swappable battery, so charging the original doorbell is a little bit more complicated. Also, the Ring Doorbell lacks in advanced motion detection, however, it does excel in a field of view feature. The Ring Doorbell offers a 180-degree horizontal view vs. Ring Doorbell’s 2 160 degrees. Other than that, if we were to choose between Ring Doorbell vs. Ring Doorbell 2, we’d definitely go with a Ring Doorbell 2. Check for more differences below.

About Ring Doorbells

Ring doorbells keep you safe and secure by protecting you against intruders and any unwanted guests. Ring lets you monitor your door no matter your location, so you never miss a visitor.

See, listen, and speak to visitors from the comfort of your smartphone, tablet, or PC. Receive instant alerts when anyone presses your doorbell or triggers the motion sensor, so you’ll always be aware when someone is approaching your home. Add to that the fact that Ring will replace your doorbell if it’s ever stolen, and it’s easy to see how these products could be a great addition to your home.

There are also a few protective measures you can take to make sure your Ring Doorbell won’t get compromised. With recent Ring customers’ passwords leaks, we highly recommend activating a Two-Factor Security Authentication with Your Ring Products. Follow this easy 2-FA set-up guide from Ring to make sure your front door is totally protected.

And now, let’s look at some of the main aspects the first-generation Ring and Ring 2 share, and then we’ll discuss what makes them unique.

Ring Video Doorbell — Common Features

Ring Video Doorbell 2

Both the original Ring and Ring 2 use 2.4GHz WiFi to connect to your router. The doorbells offer excellent two-way audio and live video feeds which let you listen and speak to visitors at your door.

Each device features flexible power options, you can either power them via a rechargeable battery or hardwire to your existing doorbell kit. Just keep in mind that there are a few benefits to having your Ring smart doorbell hardwired — you get to check “live video on demand” — a feature that is only available if your doorbell is hardwired. If the Ring doorbell runs solely on battery power, then on-demand live view is not available, which makes sense since it requires a lot of energy and would probably drain Ring’s battery way faster than we’d want to.

Both models feature basic motion detection designed to detect human-sized heat signatures up to 30 feet away through passive infrared (PIR). Despite being a pretty high-tech feature, it’s easy to configure through dragging a “range” bar in the Ring app.

The Ring doorbells feature night vision, so you can keep your home secure from dusk til dawn. The only downfall of its night vision is that it records in black-and-white. So, if you’re looking for night recordings in color, check out the Skybell HD doorbell.

Regardless of which model you choose, installation is a breeze. Both the Ring and Ring Doorbell 2 integrate with a control center app on iOS, Android, and Windows 10. The doorbells also work with Amazon Echo Show. And, if you’re a Homekit person, there’s good news: Ring is looking at integrating with Homekit, however, we not sure of when exactly. But once it happens, all Ring devices will be compatible with Homekit. It’s worth mentioning that Ring has been looking into HomeKit integration for a few years now, with no results, so honestly, we wouldn’t put our hopes high.

Ring vs. Ring 2 — Differences

  • Difference #1: Video resolution – One of the main differences between the first-gen Ring vs. Ring 2 doorbell is their video quality. Both models feature HD resolutions, but the Ring Doorbell 2 has a better image quality with 1080p compared to the Ring’s 720p. This may not seem like a huge difference, but it actually is — having a sharper, clearer image will help identifying people at your porch easier.

  • Difference #2: Swappable battery – While the Ring and Ring Doorbell 2 both feature support for traditional doorbell wiring, installation is a lot faster and more convenient when you use the rechargeable battery. These two models differ, however, in how you charge said battery.

    With the Ring doorbell, you pretty much need to remove the whole doorbell and bring it inside to charge. You’ll need to remove the doorbell with a screwdriver and charge it via micro-USB. But, if you looking for simpler charging option, consider getting the Ring 2.

    The Ring Doorbell 2 improves upon the original Ring’s clunky charging process by featuring a swappable battery. It’s a lot easier to recharge your device when you can just take a battery out rather than removing the whole device, making the newer model much more convenient than its predecessor.

  • Difference #3: Battery life – As mentioned above, both doorbells have the option to run off existing doorbell wiring for non-stop power. However, if you opt to use the rechargeable battery, the Ring doorbell’s battery will last 6-12 months. Which is a longer than the Ring 2’s 6 month charge.

  • Difference #4: Compatible doorbell transformers – You can avoid charging Ring’s battery by directly connecting your Ring Video Doorbell to a transformer.

    The Ring doorbell requires an 8-24 VAC transformer, while the Ring Doorbell 2 requires a 16-24 VAC. Neither device supports DC power.

  • Difference #5: Field of view – Although the Ring features a 180 degree horizontal and 140 degree vertical field of view, it seems that the Ring 2 has taken a step back in this category.

    Despite a decent amount of useful features, the Ring Doorbell 2 only supports a 160 degree horizontal view, as well as suffering from less impressive 100 degree vertical view — which makes no sense. Yet, this is what we’ve got.

  • Difference #6: Colors – If you really care about the look of your porch, then this might be a major difference to look at. It’s important that the doorbell blends well with your home, and both models offer multiple colors and finishes, however…

    With the original Ring, you choose a finish when buying the product. There are four available finishes: Antique Brass, Polished Brass, Satin Nickel, and Venetian Bronze. So, make sure you pick the right one.

    But if you’re looking for flexibility — the Ring 2’s got it: you don’t need to pick the color when you purchase the doorbell, because it comes with two interchangeable faceplates for you to select a color that matches your home best. The two colors are Venetian Bronze and Satin Nickel. And yes, the flexibility in color options is a bit of a downfall.

Ring vs. Ring 2 — Comparison Chart

Ring Video Doorbell Ring Video Doorbell 2
Power Options Battery/Hardwired Battery/Hardwired
Battery Life 6-12 months 6 months
Compatible Doorbell Transformers 8-24 VAC,
DC not compatible
16-24 VAC,
DC not compatible
Field of View 180 degrees horizontal,
140 degrees vertical
160 degrees horizontal,
100 degrees vertical
Video Resolution 720p HD 1080p HD
Night view Yes Yes
Color Night Vision Black/White Black/White
Compatible Networks 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n
Motion Detection Basic Advanced
Live View Motion Triggered Yes Yes
Live View On Demand Only if wired Only if wired
Size 4.98 x 2.43 x 0.87 inches
12.65 x 6.17 x 2.21 cm
5.05 x 2.50 x 1.08 inches
12.83 x 6.35 x 2.74 cm
Mounting Screws 4 4
Security Screws 2 1
Silent Mode No No
Two-Way Audio Yes Yes
Operating Temperature -5 – 120°F (-20 – 50°C) -5 – 120°F (-20 – 50°C)
Web App Yes Yes
Finish Available in four finishes Includes 2 faceplates

Do Ring Doorbells Require a Subscription?

Not really, however, if you want to be able to use all the features of your Ring doorbell, then yes, a Ring Protect subscription is recommending.

Ring offers three plans: Free, Protect Basic Plan and Protect Plus Plan. The free plan is included with all the Ring devices at no cost (go figure). With the free plan, you get Ring and Motion Alerts, Custom motion detection, Interact with visitors from anywhere, Live video on demand, and 1-year Warranty.

The Ring Protect Basic Plan, in addition to the free plan features, also offers Video Recording, Review, share, and save Ring videos, and Snapshot Capture — all of it for $3 per month or $30 annually for one Ring Doorbell or security camera.

And, finally, the Ring Protect Plus Plan, on top of the Ring Protect Basic Plan features, also offers Ring Alarm professional monitoring, 10% off Ring Products, and Extended warranty for $10 per month or $100 annually. Keep in mind that that price is for All Ring devices at one address, which makes it a pretty good deal.

If you’re looking for doorbells/cameras with better subscription plans, check out the Skybell HD doorbell (no subscription at all) or Arlo cameras (great free plan with 7-day storage for up to 5 devices).

Free Basic Protect
Cost Included with all Ring devices $30 per camera per year or $3 per month $100 per year or $10 per month.
Ring Protect system monitoring No No Yes, 24/7
Additional charge for extra cameras No Yes No, Unlimited cameras
Stream Audio & Video Yes Yes Yes
Live View Yes Yes Yes
Lifetime Theft Protection Yes Yes Yes
Cloud Storage No Yes Yes
Video Review No Yes Yes
Video Sharing No Yes Yes
Event Saving No Yes Yes
Warranty 1-year Warranty 1-year Warranty Lifetime Warranty
Exclusive Discounts No No Yes

Ring vs. Ring 2 Video Doorbell — Our Thoughts

Ring Video Doorbell

Both the Ring and Ring 2 are great doorbells that can add security and convenience to your monitoring home. As you can see, there are a number of differences between the two models: the Ring offers basic doorbell functionality with a 180-degree field of view, while the Ring 2 generally improves upon its predecessor with better video quality and easier battery-charging. However the Ring Doorbell 2 has the caveat of some unfortunate tradeoffs — like downgraded field of view.

It’s might seem hard to choose the right doorbell, but once you do, you’ll have home security at your fingertips.

Last update on 2023-12-11 at 05:04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3 thoughts on “Ring vs. Ring 2”

  1. Thank you for the helpful review. I am confused about the live video feed. Is this option possible with both the ring and ring 2? Thank you

    • Hi Maria,
      Live view triggered by motion is available on both doorbells, however, live view on demand is only available if the doorbells are hardwired. 🙂


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