Amazon is one of the largest companies around, so naturally when their company Ring came out with two video doorbells, I had to see what was up. On the surface, these cameras look extremely similar, but I can see that the Ring Video Doorbell Pro costs about $80 more than the Ring Video Doorbell 2. Are their differences worth the extra cash?
In this review, I’m comparing the Ring Video Doorbell 2 to the Ring Video Doorbell Pro in terms of their key similarities, key differences, design, features, and installation processes. Of course, the two video doorbells both use the Ring— Always Home app, so I’ll be going over that as well. Let’s get started!
Key Similarities of Ring Video Doorbell 2 vs. Ring Video Doorbell Pro
These video doorbells have a ton in common; their similarities by far outweigh their differences, including:
- Temperature range: Both video doorbells work in temperatures from negative five to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Video quality, fields of view, audio, night vision, storage, smart platform integrations, and artificial intelligence: The cameras have the same specs for almost all of Security Baron’s Necessary Features.
- App: You’ll control both video doorbell through the Ring— Always Home app.
Now let’s see how they’re different!
Key Differences of Ring Video Doorbell 2 vs. Ring Video Doorbell Pro
I’m going to be honest: I was shocked by how similar the Ring Video Doorbell Pro was to the Ring Video Doorbell 2, especially considering their significant difference in price.
- Installation: While the Ring Video Doorbell Pro must be hardwired, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 can be hardwired or battery-operated.
- Activity zones: Only the Ring Video Doorbell Pro has Advanced Motion Detection in the form of activity zones.
- Price: As of writing, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro costs $80 more than the Ring Video Doorbell 2.
Let’s move on to design!
Ring Video Doorbell 2 vs. Ring Video Doorbell Pro Design
On the surface, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro and the Ring Video Doorbell 2 look pretty similar, with the Pro being slightly smaller and having a different camera orientation. But looks aren’t everything, so let’s see what they’re like on the inside.
As you can see, both video doorbells share the same temperature range and water-resistance. As long as you don’t immerse them in water, they can continue to function normally. The main difference between the two, design-wise, has to do with how they get power. While the Ring Video Doorbell 2 can be hardwired or operated by battery, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro must be hardwired. The advantage of hardwiring is that you never have to worry about the battery running out of power. However, it does make installation is bit more of a to-do. Side note: If you choose to run the Ring Video Doorbell 2 on battery power, the battery will last six months.
Both video doorbells will record whenever their doorbells are pushed or whenever they detect motion, and both will connect with the Ring— Always Home app via Wi-Fi.
Top Video Doorbell for Design
As these two doorbells have extremely similar designs except for their power sources, I’m going to have to give the design award to the Ring Video Doorbell 2 for having two options, hardwired or battery. Now let’s see what these things can actually do!
Ring Video Doorbell 2 vs. Ring Video Doorbell Pro Features
When I say features, what do I mean? Well, I’m really referring to Security Baron’s Necessary Features Test, which puts cameras up to my very high standards for categories like video, audio, night vision, and more. Again, these video doorbells have really similar cameras in terms of technical specifications, but there are a few differences that I want to point out.
In terms of video, both cameras have the industry standard of 1080p HD plus wide fields of view of 160 degrees. The only difference? While the Ring Video Doorbell Pro can zoom in digitally, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 has no zoom. So, the Pro wins by a hair when it comes to video.
Both cameras have two-way audio, allowing you to speak to your visitor along with seeing them through the Ring— Always Home app.
Moving along, both cameras have infrared night vision, my preference over color night vision. This may seem counter-intuitive, but the reason I dislike color night vision is because it’s done through a bright white light. That light is not only going to create some serious glare for your visitors, but it’s also going to making it alarmingly obvious that you’re recording them (no pun intended). And when it comes to my doorbell camera, I like to keep it on the down low.
Either Ring Protect plan will give you local storage plus 60 days of cloud storage. Unfortunately, Ring doesn’t give you any free storage, but at least their prices are incredibly reasonable, starting at just three dollars a month. If you want more features like 24/7 professional monitoring, coverage for all the Ring devices at your house, discounts on the Ring website or an extended warranty, I recommend investing in the Protect Plus plan for $10 a month. Despite the lack of free storage, I’m pleased with the storage options for the Ring Video Doorbell 2 and the Ring Video Doorbell Pro.
Smart Platform Integration
Amazon owns Ring, which is why I wasn’t exactly shocked to hear that both of these doorbell cams integrate with Amazon Alexa. That means that you’ll be able to tell your doorbell to record using your voice alone, which is super convenient if your hands are full.
Artificial intelligence may seem like the stuff of science fiction, but it’s quickly becoming commonplace in our everyday lives. As far as security cameras go, A.I typically refers to either person detection or facial recognition, both pretty self-explanatory. They create stronger and more specific notifications, ignoring movement from animals, cars, and other inanimate objects and only focusing on what matters, movement from humans. Unfortunately, neither the Ring Video Doorbell 2 nor the Ring Video Doorbell Pro has any A.I features, so you’ll definitely receive some unnecessary notifications.
The main feature that sets the Ring Video Doorbell Pro apart from the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is activity zones, or what Ring calls Advanced Motion Detection. Activity zones let you tell your camera what to focus on and what to ignore. As you’ll most likely be using your doorbell camera outside, a good example would be marking your property as important and the street as unimportant. This will lead to more helpful notifications, alerting you only if someone is on your property.
Top Video Doorbell for Features
Features-wise, the only difference between the two video doorbells is that the Ring Video Doorbell Pro has digital zoom and activity zones which the Ring Video Doorbell 2 lacks, so the crown will go to the Pro, again, just by a hair.
Installing the Ring Video Doorbell 2 vs. Ring Video Doorbell Pro
While the Ring Video Doorbell 2 can be hardwired or battery-operated, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro can only be hardwired. I installed both doorbells in two places— at a house in Austin, Texas with an existing chime and doorbell setup, as well as in my Brooklyn apartment, which lacks an existing setup.
Installing the Ring Video Doorbell 2
I installed the Ring Video Doorbell 2 in Texas using video tutorials from Ring, which were very straightforward. The only blip occurred when I realized I had to add a range extender, as my router was too far away from the door to connect to Wi-Fi. In Brooklyn, I used the Chime Pro as both a chime and range extender for my Ring Video Doorbell 2. Installation at either location took no more than 30 minutes, which was really impressive.
Installing the Ring Video Doorbell Pro
Using the Ring Video Doorbell Pro requires a 16-24 VAC transformer or a power adapter, but it’s something you can do yourself. The process worked exactly the same way as the Ring Video Doorbell 2 did in Austin, as I hardwired it the exact same way. The same went for Brooklyn, in which I installed the Chime Pro as well.
Top Video Doorbell for Installation
These two doorbells have nearly identical installation processes, so I had to call it a tie.
The Ring— Always Home App
The Ring— Always Home app is where you’ll see and speak to visitors, access cloud and local storage, set up activity zones (if you have a Pro), receive notifications, and even receive crime and safety alerts about your neighborhood. The app has a 3.3 on both the Apple and Google Play stores, which is good but not amazing.
“I like the Ring app (especially the timeline view). I use the original Ring Video Doorbell. After several months, I lost my Ring notifications (even though my events continued to be recorded)… and could not fix it with Ring or Android settings…but uninstalling and reinstalling the app fixed the issue,”
wrote Android-user James Champion in a recent four-star review.
Recap of Ring Video Doorbell 2 vs. Ring Video Doorbell Pro
Aside from their sizes and orientations, the only differences between the Ring Video Doorbell Pro and the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is that the Pro has digital zoom and activity zones, for $80 more. Ultimately, I don’t think this small of a difference is worth the additional $80, at least not to me. But I understand that some people may really want digital zoom or activity zones, in which case, be my guest and buy the Ring Video Doorbell Pro.
I’d go with the Ring Video Doorbell 2 if you want…
- More affordable price: The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is only $169, $80 less than the Ring Video Doorbell at $249.
- Battery-operated option: If you don’t have a 16-24 VAC transformer in your home, you can still use the Ring Video Doorbell 2.
- Easier installation: If you choose to go with batteries over hardwiring, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 will be easier to install than the Ring Video Doorbell Pro.
To learn more, read our full review of the Ring Video Doorbell 2.
However, if you want, choose the Ring Video Doorbell Pro…
- Digital zoom: For that extra detail, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro has got you.
- Activity zones: Your notifications will be more specific and relevant with the activity zones of the Ring Video Doorbell Pro.
For more information, read our full review of the Ring Video Doorbell Pro.
Want to explore other options? Check out the best video doorbells of 2019.