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(Pocket-lint) - Up until now installing a Ring doorbell in your home has meant you've got to drill, screw, and attach paraphernalia to your door or your door frame if you want to be connected.

That's now changed in 2019 with the Ring Door View Cam, but will it be any good? We've checked out the new device at CES to find out.

How does it work?

The key selling point here is that you don't have to do any drilling, screwing, fixing, or the such because unlike previous Ring doorbells like the Ring Video Doorbell 2, the Ring Door View Cam utilises the peep hole you already have in your door to work.

That's going to be really handy for those that rent their flat, apartment, or house as this is a completely non-destructive option compared to what has come before it.

The Ring Door View Cam works by replacing your door's peephole, and because of that, will have some specific features that other Ring doorbells don't have.

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A new compact design

  • 1080p camera
  • still use the peep hole
  • battery pack is stored on the inside of your door

Considerably smaller than the Ring Doorbell Video 2, the Ring Door View Cam is split into two parts. A small casing that includes the doorbell button and, a speaker, mic, and 1080p Full HD camera that sits on the outside of your door, and the battery and electronics within a much larger case that sits on the inside of the door.

The unit still includes a glass peephole that works in the analogue way you would expect. Ring hasn't digitised it or changed it, and it means you can quickly still see who is at the door if you haven't got your phone to hand to load up the accompanying app.

The design is appealing in a number of ways. Outside and the casing is small and unobtrusive. The design is clean and simple, and more akin to what you would expect from a traditional looking doorbell. It's certainly not as big and chunky as the Ring Doorbell Video 2, and that's a good thing.

The other is that the battery compartment is now on the inside, i.e. in your house, and that means battery changes are easier, but also that in theory (and we've yet to test this) means the battery shouldn't be affected by the cold as much. Numerous members of the team have Ring Doorbells and it is a common complaint that the battery doesn't last as long in the colder months.

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Specific Ring Door View Cam features

  • New dedicated features
  • Will support new Smart Alerts feature

From what we've seen, the Ring Door View Cam experience will be identical to previous Ring doorbell offerings with a dedicated app that will not only let know when people are outside your house or pressing the button, but also talk to them via the mic and speaker. But there will be some dedicated features of the Ring Door View Cam that haven't been available before in other Ring doorbells.

Impact Sensor

Ring has included an "Impact Sensor" that will detect when someone knocks on your door rather than pushes the button.

It works by including sensors in the device that will look out for vibrations associated with a knock so even if your visitor doesn't press on the doorbell button, you'll still know someone is there. 

Greater Motion detection controls

There's also a greater emphasis on controlling not only where the camera can see but also the motion sensor alerts that you get. Ring has told Pocket-lint this is in response to concerns that those using the Ring Door View Cam in corridors in apartment blocks might want to reassure their neighbours they aren't spying on them.

It's one of the first devices to benefit from the company's new Smart Alerts feature it announced in October 2018. Available to those that sign up to a Ring Protect Plan, the system will work to verity and motion detected and rule out false alerts, stop recording if motion is deemed unimportant, detect between people, animals, or trees, and most importantly for this device create custom motion detection zones to focus on or avoid specific areas, like your neighbours front door in the corridor opposite. 

We look forward to seeing how that works in practice when we get a unit in for review.

No need to have a separate chime

Unlike the Doorbell Video 2 that's located outside, the electronic casing for the Ring Door View Cam is located inside and that means Ring has been able to include a chime saving you from having to have a separate chime to hear the ring. That should save you money and a plug socket in your hallway.

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No drilling or screwing

Probably the biggest win here is, as we've mentioned, is that you'll be able to install the Ring Door View Cam without damaging the door. That's going to be great if you're a renter.

First Impressions

We love the Ring Doorbell Video 2 here at Pocket-lint and this brings that experience to a host of new customers in a clever way. Rather than replacing the Video 2 doorbell, this compliments a different type of customer and one that opens up Ring market to many more homes that previously haven't been able to enjoy what a connected doorbell offers because of the need to drill.

We suspect the Ring Door View Cam will be a hit, but look forward to reviewing it when it comes out later this year to make sure it's a sound purchase.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 14 January 2019.