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Ring’s updated video doorbell is boring without its new solar charger

Ring announced its next-generation video doorbell, a follow-up of the original Ring. The video doorbell has been improved in almost every way while retaining the same affordable $100 price, but the standout part of the announcement doesn’t have to do much about the camera. Instead, it’s an optional accessory that will supply it all the power it’ll ever need: A $50 solar charger that fits nicely over it.

On paper, the upgrades to the original aren’t extravagant.  The 720p resolution has been upgraded to 1080p, night vision is improved, noise cancellation is added to its two-way audio feed, and there are now adjustable motion zones. The new Ring Video Doorbell has a “near” zone for more precise motion detection. Plus, there are “Privacy Zones” that allow you to exclude areas of the camera’s field of view from recording. All nice, but hardly worth drooling over.

Just as before, the new Ring Video Doorbell can be battery-powered or hardwired, depending on your preferences. The battery power is great for places that don’t have existing wiring connections, but eventually it has to be removed and recharged — an inconvenience, but nonetheless necessary. What’s notable about this solar charger versus previous ones the company manufactured for its other cameras is that it will fit around the doorbell and keep it charged at all times.

This makes the Ring Video Doorbell much more versatile since it can now be placed on just about anywhere — just as long as there’s enough reach to a wireless network. It’s no longer tied down to just entranceways or front doors. The solar charger will be a separate purchase available in July for $50,  a worthwhile investment that’ll save you from future inconveniences.

Beyond that, the new iteration of the doorbell retains features from the previous model, like the Snapshot Capture feature. This feature takes “snapshots” of the activity in front of your doorbell throughout the day for you to review later. This helps you have an idea of what things are happening that do not trigger an alert, like activity outside the doorbell’s motion zones. This feature is only available to Ring Protect Plan subscribers, however.

There have been several other video doorbells released over the last year around this price range, like the Arlo Video Doorbell and Eufy Security Video Doorbell, which have a leg up on Ring’s camera in the specs and features departments. For example, Arlo’s doorbell cam has a wide 180-degree viewing angle to see a person from head to toe — versus the Ring’s 155-degree field of view. Meanwhile, the Eufy doorbell cam offers an impressive 2K resolution for more detail.

Obviously, Ring’s new doorbell isn’t quite as robust as the competition, but its accompanying solar charger opens up more places where this doorbell can be used. The new Ring Video Doorbell is available now for pre-order on Amazon and Ring and will be available for purchase at most retailers on June 3. If you want to beef up your home security with minimal investment, it’s worth a look with that new solar charger.

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Patrick Hearn
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Patrick Hearn writes about smart home technology like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, smart light bulbs, and more. If it's a…
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