Ring Video Doorbell


At just $119, the Video Doorbell Wired is Ring's cheapest, entry-level doorbell. There's no package detection, no Alexa talking back, and definitely no facial recognitio­n, but what's notable here is a truly wired doorbell from Ring for the budget-conscious smart home.


Taking its styling cues from the higher-end Ring Pro, Ring Wired is small, discreet and comes in a nice matte black. This is the smallest doorbell we've tested: it's smaller than a chocolate bar and will easily fit on most door frames.

Install isn't as easy as with most Ring products, because in order to keep the low price you don't get any handy wedges or backplates included, meaning you have to screw it directly onto your door frame.

Part of the install includes popping an included jumper wire on to bypass your existing doorbell chime's wiring. This has to be installed if you have an electronic or mechanical chime, as the Ring Wired will not work with existing chimes. You'll have to hook it up to an Echo speaker or a Ring Chime if you want to hear it ring in your home. This is a shame, and one of the biggest negatives of the product.


While this is an entry-level device, all the standard Ring smart doorbell features are present and correct. You also get the full power of Ring's impressive app and all the related integratio­ns with other Ring devices, plus full-on compatibil­ity with Amazon's Alexa (Ring is owned by Amazon).

This means you can have a live feed from your doorbell pull up on a screen-enabled Echo the second someone presses the bell, and have your Echo speakers announce you have a visitor. The buzzer can also be used in Alexa Routines.

On the hardware front there's 1080p HD video with night vision and two-way audio on board, live view from the camera in the app, motion and ring alerts, adjustable motion sensitivit­y, and customisab­le motion/privacy zones to help cut down on nuisance alerts.

Also included is a handy “advanced pre-roll” feature and “snapshot capture.” The latter takes a picture every 30 seconds, 1 minute or 3 minutes to give you a scrollable timeline of what's been going on in your front yard, while advanced pre-roll adds extra video to the start of any motion-activated recording so you can see what happened before an event was triggered. It completely does away with the back-of-thehead problem most video doorbells suffer from.


About that video. It's just blah: dull colours, shadowy faces and pixelation around movement. On the plus side, it's pretty sharp, and the advanced motion detection with the pre-roll feature mean you get to see the whole picture, so to speak – but when it comes to discerning faces at the door it's just too dark and shadowy.

Two-way audio worked very well in testing. Clear with very little lag time, we could hear and talk to visitors with ease. We were also really impressed with the speed of the Ring Wired. Alerts came in almost instantly on our iPhone and tapping on a notificati­on to pull up a live feed took just 2 to 3 seconds, compared to 8 to 10 on Ring's battery-powered buzzers.


Ring Wired fills a large hole in Ring's line: a budget option with the speed and reliabilit­y benefits of a wired doorbell. If you have wires and want a decent doorbell for under $150, this is the best option right now – assuming you don't need top-of-the-line video quality, this is the buzzer for you.

Rating 8

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