Today we're going to take a look at some of my favorite smart home tech and we're going to start with Ring and their video doorbell and Stick Up cam system.
Before we get started, I'd like to thank the folks over at Ring for being the sponsors of this video and kindly sending out their products for us to review.
Without wasting anymore time, let's jump right into it and start off with the Ring Stick Up Cam. Now, if you're coupling this camera with the video doorbell, you're going to want to put the camera away from the doorbell and monitor a different part of your house. For me, I put this on our detached garage so that it can monitor the fence to our backyard and the area around the garage.
The camera itself is pretty simple in design. It's an all black, sleek looking unit and the installation process is probably the easiest thing I have ever done. I am by no means a handy man. I am terrible at that stuff but installing any of these Ring products were super simple.
All you need to do is use the screws provided, find a place you would like the camera to go, and screw the base into that area. All of the tools and screws are provided by Ring inside of the box and a drill is not really required. For our case, we easily screwed the base into the wooden frame of the garage.
Then we chose how we wanted the camera to swivel and screwed the adapter into the camera. Once you have that set, simply snap the camera into the base and you are all set. Seriously, this took me roughly 5 minutes.
Now, both the Stick Up Camera and Video doorbell have a 5200mAh battery and that will be good to last quite awhile depending on usage, but a quick charge overnight with the provided Micro USB cable can give you months of charge.
Since the Stick Up camera has a live video feed feature, the battery might drain a bit more quickly than the doorbell but dont worry, Ring thought of a perfect solution and that is the Ring Solar Panel. Just attach this guy to near your camera and connect it via a USB cable and your Ring Stick Up Cam will always be charged.
Like the Stick up Cam, the Video doorbell is also super simple to install. Start with screwing in the base and then connect the doorbell to the base. Now this part is a bit hard to do and it will take some messing around but slide from the top down and give it a little force. Once everything is flush, tighten up the bottom screws and you're all set to go.
Of course, in order to get your Ring cameras setup completely, you will need access to the back of each device and the orange sync button. This means you might want to download the app and setup the devices first. This process definitely fits with their theme of simplicity. Just a few short steps that the Ring app clearly describes and in a matter of a few button presses, your devices will be all set up.
The app has a simple layout but can be a bit confusing at first. Your tabs are setup by either motions or rings and will have what camera or doorbell it came from. The first 30 days will get you a free trial of video recordings but after that it's going to cost you a few dollars per device to keep your recordings safe in the cloud.
The video quality of 720p and the wide angle lens is more than enough to survey your house and make sure your house and loved ones are safe even when you're not at home.
It’s also perfect for someone like me who gets a lot of packages. I feel safe knowing that my packages have surveillance on them when I can't get to them right away and I love the idea of letting the UPS man know that he can put the package near the side door or by the fence. This is all done with the two way audio feature that comes standard in both devices. You can see them and talk and they can respond without having to do anything else.
Now I did notice that since my front yard was pretty close to the street, I was getting a lot of motion alerts from passing cars but you can easily adjust your motion settings and zone distances easily within the app.
The doorbell does not have a live feed yet (however this feature will be coming soon) but the Stick Up Camera currently has it and accessing it is super simple. Simply tap on the camera icon and then tap on the live feed. The first few times I tried this it took a very long time to connect but lately it has been super quick to access and amazing quality.
Live View will definitely impact your camera's battery life but there are some solutions that Ring has given you. You have the previously mentioned solar panel that will definitely help keep the camera charged and let you check in frequently. However, Ring has also included a 12ft weatherproof Micro USB cable that can charge your camera constantly if a wall outlet is nearby the camera. This might be your best choice if you want to take advantage of the Live View feature.
If neither options are possible for you, you can always use the other two settings that rely on the battery of the Stick Up or Doorbell camera but do keep in mind again that these options will drain your battery much faster.
Finally, you might be wondering, how do I know when someone is at the door? The obvious way is the notification and live feed that is sent right to your smartphone or tablet but there is also a great accessory for those who don't always have their phones on them or have the volume up. This is the Ring chime and it will help amplify any ring of the doorbell or motion alerts that you might get. Simply plug it in to a wall outlet at your desired location and set it up via the app just like the cameras.
Both of these cameras will run you $200 each but for all of my awesome subscribers out there, I have a great bundle that will help you save $50. The bundle includes the Stick Up Camera, Solar Panel, Chime, and a video doorbell all for $427. Visit http://ring.com/cletech to get $50 off your Ring Home Security Bundle!