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Ring Video Doorbell 2020 vs. Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2

It seems like video doorbells are on just about every house these days. They let you keep tabs on who’s coming and going, and when. Plus, the high-definition video recordings may come in handy if you ever have a break-in or doorstep package theft.

One of the most popular manufacturers of video doorbells is Ring, and it has numerous models to choose from. In this post, we’ll dive into two of them: The Ring Video Doorbell 2020 (2nd Gen) and the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2.

For the most part, if you’re shopping for a video doorbell, you should expect at minimum color HD video, two-way talk and listen, motion detection, and alerts to your phone when someone is at the door.

To choose the right Ring video doorbell, you’ll need to ask yourself a few questions and make a few choices upfront: Do you want hard-wired or the option of a rechargeable battery? Are you working with limited space? Will your video doorbell integrate seamlessly with your preferred smart home ecosystem? Can you access videos for free, or do you need to pay for cloud recording, and how much does that cost? There’s also the price of the device to consider.

At a glance

Ring Video Doorbell 2020 (2nd Gen) Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2
Design Rectangular, 4.98 inches tall by 2.4 inches wide and 1.10 inches thick Rectangular, 4.49 inches tall by 1.9 inches wide and 0.87 inch thick
Features Live video, night vision, advanced motion detection with adjustable motion zones, two-way audio with noise cancellation, Alexa connectivity Live video, night vision, 3D motion detection with Bird’s Eye View, HD audio with noise cancellation
Specs 155-degree field of view, 1080p HD video 150-degree field of view, 1536p HD video with Head to Toe sighting
Price $100 retail $250 retail
Subscription Starts at $3 per month; highest tier is $10 per month Starts at $3 per month; highest tier is $10 per month
Install requirements Runs on a rechargeable, quick-release battery pack. Can be hardwired to an existing doorbell system or transformer for continuous charging. Wiring in requires a standard doorbell system, Ring plug-in adapter, or transformer with 16-24 VAC, 40VA max, 50/60Hz; Ring DC transformer/power supply only

Power: Battery vs. hard-wired

Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2
Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2

One of the first choices you’ll need to make is whether you want a hard-wired doorbell or one with a rechargeable battery.

Ring Video Doorbell 2020 (2nd Gen) gives you the options of using battery power or hard-wiring it. Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 can only be installed with a hard-wired connection.

There are pros and cons to both options. For example, if you’re concerned about doing any wiring, or if you don’t have any existing (or functional) doorbell wiring, you may want to go the battery-powered route. While most of Ring’s doorbell batteries can last months on a single charge, things like cold weather and lots of motion can shorten that lifespan.

A hard-wired doorbell can make a lot of sense as long as you don’t mind the wiring hookup (it’s not actually hard; more on that in a sec). Hard-wired video doorbells mean you’re always connected … unless there’s a power outage, that is (another point for the battery option?), but they do generally provide a more reliable power source. If you live in a busy area where there’s always motion out front, a wired doorbell can keep functioning no matter how many times it’s triggered. In this case, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is your best bet.

One last point: Ring Video Doorbell 2020 (2nd Gen) does offer the choice of being installed with a hard-wired connection for continuous charging, essentially giving you both the stability of a hard-wired connection and a battery option for backup, so this could be a good choice for renters who may have a temporary setup now but want a more permanent option later.

Winner: Ring Video Doorbell 2020 (2nd Gen)

Both hard-wiring and battery power have a plus side, and which one appeals most to you will depend on your own personal circumstances. But since Ring Video Doorbell 2020 (2nd Gen) gives you both, it’s our winner.

Ring Video Doorbell 2020

Video resolution

Video resolution is the clarity of the video picture your little camera provides. Most doorbell cameras today are HD (1080p) and provide a crisp and clear video picture.

The Ring Video Doorbell 2020 (2nd Gen) has HD video with night vision; however, the new Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 tweaks the resolution slightly to make it 1536p HD video (plus night vision), giving it just a tad more sharpness — though in truth, viewing footage on your phone, you probably won’t even notice it.

The resolution change also pairs with a feature Ring calls Head to Toe Video, which lets you see not just a midlevel view but also up higher and down lower to the ground, meaning you can likely see if a package has been left on your step.

Winner: Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2

With increased resolution and Head to Toe viewing, Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is our choice.

Size and design

Depending where you’re mounting your video doorbell, you may have very limited space. If that’s the case, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is the only way to go here. It’s narrow and small, measuring 4.49 inches high by 1.9 inches wide and 0.87 inch thick.

With its slim and pared-down design, this is a video doorbell that can virtually disappear if you’re looking to be less obvious about your surveillance. It has a black core with a brushed silver frame edge.

Ring Video Doorbell 2020 (2nd Gen), by contrast, is wider at 3.06 inches high by 2.44 inches wide and 0.98 inches thick. It has the now-traditional stacked metal and plastic Ring design with the option of a couple of different brushed metal finishes (black, brass, or silver) for the lower half.

Winner: Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2

For a security device that doesn’t give away its presence, doesn’t take up a lot of space, and still delivers on functionality, we like the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2.

Installation

ring video doorbell wired, how to, install

Installing these doorbells is quite easy whichever model you choose. The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 does require a connection to your existing doorbell wiring, which really just takes a few extra steps, but it’s definitely a do-it-yourself option.

If you’re choosing the Ring Video Doorbell 2020 (2nd Gen) for its battery-only installation, it’s ready to go in minutes. However, if you are hard-wiring it, you’ll have wiring connections similar to if you were installing the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2.

Ring Video Doorbell 3 and extra battery

Winner: Ring Video Doorbell 2020 (2nd Gen)

Assuming you want this one for its battery power, the Ring Video Doorbell 2020 (2nd Gen) is quick and easy to install.

Audible chime options

Audible chimes are a pretty handy feature for video doorbells since they mean anyone in the house can know someone is at the door, not just the person with the Ring app.

Ring packages the Ring Video Doorbell 2020 (2nd Gen) with a Chime; it simply plugs into an outlet, connects to Wi-Fi, and will play a range of audible sounds inside the house when the doorbell is activated.

Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2, on the other hand, is designed to work with your existing doorbell’s chime, so you don’t need an extra unit — though there is some additional wiring that needs to be done.

Ring Video Doorbell 2020 (2nd Gen) with Chime

Winner: Tie

Ring Chime is super convenient, and you can put multiple Chimes all through the house. Even so, being able to simply use your existing chime is also an easy solution.

Price and subscriptions

If you’re watching the family budget, there is a substantial price difference to be aware of.

Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 sells for about $250, while Ring Video Doorbell 2020 (2nd Gen) with Chime sells for $120. Some of that additional cost is due to the wider field of view it offers, but it may or may not be worth the extra cost to you.

A video doorbell may be only as good as the recordings you can — or can’t — access. While you get limited access to snippets of videos with a free cloud recording plan, if you want full access to full-length recordings going back more than a few days (we do recommend this), you’ll need to subscribe to the monthly cloud recording plan. Ring Protect starts at $3 month and goes up to about $10 per month.

Winner: Ring Video Doorbell 2020 (2nd Gen)

You get most of the major features of a video doorbell without the additional cost and with a Chime!

Overall winner: Ring Video Doorbell 2020 (2nd Gen)

Ring Video Doorbell 2020

Our pick is the Ring Video Doorbell 2020 (2nd Gen). It has almost all of Ring’s best features, including motion alerts, cloud recording, clear video, and two-way talk, plus the option of hard-wiring or battery power means it’s ultra-versatile. Factor in its low cost and the fact that it comes with a Chime that can be placed anywhere, and you’ve got a well-rounded package that ticks all the video doorbell boxes, and at a nice price.

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