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12 July 2021

Which Ring doorbell should I buy?

Amazon’s Ring is the most popular smart doorbell brand. With Ring models ranging from £89 to more than £300, we help you choose which Ring video doorbell is right for you.
Andrew Laughlin

Which Ring doorbell is best?

All Ring doorbells have the same 1080p HD video quality, core features and the Ring app, so how much you spend depends on power and how you want the doorbell to look. 

Battery-powered Rings are easier to install and at the cheaper end of the range, but they’re also typically chunkier and you have to keep the battery charged. The hardwired models – Ring Pro and Ring Elite – remove the concern about charging and look sleeker when installed, but they cost more than £200 and £300 respectively.

With all Ring doorbells, you’ll need to sign up to a subscription to record videos and access them remotely. See more on that below. 

Best Ring doorbells

  • 80%

    You might double-take at the price of this smart doorbell, but you’ll like its slim and discrete design. That should help it more easily blend into your home and not look overly bulky. See how it fared in our testing by logging in if you’re already a member, or joining Which?.

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    First month only £5, then £9.99 per month, cancel any time

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  • 79%

    Among the most expensive doorbells we’ve tested, this slick and stylish model will appeal if you’re conscious of exterior design at your home. It blends almost seamlessly into your door and so will appear more discreet than most cheaper models. Read our full review to see what else you get from this pricey video doorbell.

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    First month only £5, then £9.99 per month, cancel any time

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  • 78%

    One of the mid-priced video doorbells we’ve tested, this Ring model has a removable battery, so you have more options to keep it always charged. For example, you could buy a spare battery and have it ready so you won’t have any drop in coverage. Read our full review to see if it makes the Best Buy grade.

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  • 77%

    If the concept of spending more than £200 on a smart doorbell leaves you aghast, this cheaper model will be much more appealing. You get the same 1080p HD video as more expensive models, the same app and most of the same functionality. Sounds a bargain, but log in or join Which? to find out if there are some hidden downsides you need to consider.

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    First month only £5, then £9.99 per month, cancel any time

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How much does a Ring subscription cost?

With any Ring doorbell, you can view the live video and respond to motion alerts as standard. So, if you’re happy to use the doorbell for just live monitoring, you won’t need to do anything more. 

You might find, though, that you also want to save video clips in case you need them later on, such as to prove a possible crime. 

For that you’ll need a Ring Protect subscription. With Protect Basic, you get 30 days of video storage for a single Ring device for £2.50 a month, or £24.99 a year. 

Upgrade to Protect Plus if you have more than one Ring device, such as a doorbell and a wireless camera. This enables you to record 30 days of video clips for unlimited devices for £8 a month or £80 a year. Most Rings come with a 30-day free trial to Ring Protect to try the service out. 

How to install a Ring doorbell    

Ring Protect
Ring Protect

The wired Ring doorbells – Ring Elite or Ring Pro – will most likely require a professional to install them. This is because they need existing doorbell wiring in place, and the AC voltage will need to be compatible with the camera. 

You can wire one yourself  but it’s not only complicated, but also dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Hiring a professional is likely to be the best option. Battery-powered doorbells are much easier to install, and worth trying if you’re sufficiently confident with DIY. 

Installation generally involves mounting a wall plate on or near your door, adding the camera and fixing it all with security screws. You can usually find ‘how to' videos to follow for each doorbell online. 

How to charge a Ring doorbell    

With wired Ring doorbells you won’t need to worry about keeping the battery charged as they draw power from the mains. With battery-powered models, however, you’ll need to factor in charging times. 

Ring doesn’t specifically state how long a fully charged battery will last, but the Ring app sends you a notification when the battery is low. 

Some battery-powered doorbells have removable batteries, and so you can have a fully charged spare battery ready to go if you need it. That way you won’t have a gap in coverage while the battery charges. 

With others, such as the Ring Doorbell (2nd gen), the built-in battery means you’ll need to remove the entire doorbell to charge it.  You can often connect battery doorbells to mains power so that the battery is ‘trickle charged’ to keep it topped up. We’d advise you to hire a professional to do this.