Ring's new $99 video doorbell unveiled with this big upgrade

Ring Video Doorbell (2020)
(Image credit: Ring)

We consider the original Ring Video Doorbell as the best video doorbell for those on a budget, but its specs — specifically, its lower-resolution 720p camera—are a bit dated, now that almost all other video doorbells can record visitors at twice that resolution. 

Ring is finally updating its original video doorbell, with a new 1080p camera, as well as some updated features that will make it easier to see visitors, as well as prevent false alerts from passing cars. And, Ring is keeping the new second-generation Ring Video Doorbell at the same price as the original: $99.

Ring Video Doorbell (2020): Price and availability

The new second-generation Ring Video Doorbell is available for on Ring.com (opens in new tab) and Amazon.com (opens in new tab) for $99.99, and is now shipping. 

For those who run their video doorbells using battery power, Ring is also releasing a Solar Charger, which will be available for $49 in July.

Ring Video Doorbell (2020): Specs and features

Like the original Ring Video Doorbell and the Ring Video Doorbell 2, the second-generation Ring Video Doorbell can be hardwired or run off of battery power; it's one of the features we especially like, as it gives homeowners a lot of flexibility as to where they want to place the doorbell.

From the outside, the second-gen Ring Video Doorbell looks identical to its predecessor: Black on top, silver on the bottom. Inside is a 1080p camera with night vision, a marked improvement over the 720p sensor inside the original. 

Ring is also adding a few new features that it introduced with the Ring Video Doorbell 3:

Adjustable motion zones, as well as a "near" zone that only detects motion from 5 to 15 feet in front of the camera.

Privacy Zones: This feature will let users specify specific areas in the camera's field of view, and exclude them from video recording.

Three modes (Home, Away, and Disarmed) that will let users specify when the Ring Video Doorbell starts recording if it detects motion. While these modes were already present in the Ring app, they can now be used in conjunction with the video doorbell.

The one big thing the second-gen Ring Video Doorbell is not getting is Ring's "pre-roll" feature, which shows the 4 seconds of video prior to a motion event; this lets you better see who's approaching your door, especially if they're moving quickly. Pre-Roll is available only on the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus.

The second-generation Ring Video Doorbell looks to be a good improvement over the original, but we'll wait until we've reviewed the device to make a final judgment. 

Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.