A High-End Doorbell Camera with Superior Ethernet Connectivity
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If you’re looking for the best doorbell camera on the market, then the Ring Video Doorbell Elite should get your attention (it certainly got ours!). Of course, this wasn’t our first rodeo trying out the professional-grade video doorbell, but Ring has made some major updates you’ll want to know about. For starters, they recently slashed the price by $150, making the Elite more affordable for the everyday person.
Don’t worry, the Elite doorbell still runs on a reliable Ethernet connection, and it still has the flush-mount design that’ll look stunning in your entryway. But when it comes to performance, we have a few gripes that you should know about. We’re sharing everything you need to know about the Ring Doorbell Elite. So let’s jump right in to see if this high-quality device is right for you!
We used to call it the Rolls Royce of doorbell cameras. With a price tag of $499, it was simply out of reach for most people. Thankfully, Ring dropped the price to $349.99, so now it’s more like the Mercedes of doorbell cams. It’s still expensive compared to the competition, but it fills a hole in the market for high-end entryway protection. So… if form and function matter to you, and you don’t mind paying extra for it, we think there’s a lot to love about the Elite.
Once we purchased the device at the Ring Shop online,1 we opted for a Ring Protect Plan. This is another cost to consider, but the most it will set you back is $10 per month. Below is a basic rundown of Ring’s cloud storage plans, which we highly recommend if you want to store footage and access advanced features like video sharing.
Get 60 days of video storage, the ability to review recorded videos, and video sharing, too. It costs $3 per month per camera (or $30 per year).
This upgraded plan covers unlimited Ring devices for $10 per month (or $100 per year). It includes all of the features in the Basic plan, plus a 10-percent discount on Ring hardware, as well as an extended warranty.
Keep in mind that Ring Protect plans are optional, and they don’t require a contract so you can cancel at any time. Another thing to note is that the company offers a 30-day free trial to see if cloud storage makes sense for you.
FYI: If the Elite’s $350 price tag causes sticker shock, you can always take advantage of Ring’s zero-interest financing. This spreads the cost of the device over 12 months, making it more financially feasible.
We compared the Ring Video Doorbell Elite to our other favorite doorbell cameras, the Nest Hello ($229) and the Vivint Video Doorbell Pro ($249). Both Nest and Vivint offer great features like AI facial recognition technology and custom motion zones. And Vivint’s doorbell even offers an impressive 180-degree field of view.
On the other hand, the Ring Video Doorbell Elite does not have AI-powered facial recognition, and the field of view isn’t so great at 160-degrees. But for the right person, we think it’s worth the extra money for the Ethernet connectivity and the stylish flush-mount design (neither of which Nest or Vivint offers).
In other words, we’d consider trading in some advanced features for a more streamlined look and an all-around faster and more reliable Ethernet connection. So the Ring Elite gets our vote.
Here’s a lighting-round where we highlight the most important specs of the Ring Video Doorbell Elite:
Installing the Ring Video Doorbell Elite is not for the faint of heart. We opted for professional installation by a licensed electrician, and we highly recommend you do the same. If you want to do-it-yourself, the Ring website says that it “requires advanced DIY skills.” So if you buy the product, we think you should save yourself the trouble and hire it out to a professional. There’s no shame in that.
FYI: The Elite’s installation process is much different than what we normally see. Its ethernet connectivity sets it apart from the competition, and even sets it apart from Ring’s other products. For instance, the Ring Doorbell Pro comes with the Pro Power Kit, which connects directly to your doorbell wiring in a matter of minutes. And battery-powered video doorbells are even easier to install without having to fuss with any wires at all. So on the sliding scale of installation difficulty, the Ring Elite is the most involved.
We won’t get too deep into the nitty-gritty of installation. But if you’re so inclined to try it yourself, here is a general overview of what it entails. Note, these are not step-by-step instructions on how to install the Ring Doorbell Elite — you’ll have to visit the Ring website or watch their how-to tutorial for that.2
Alright, once we unboxed the product, we noticed that the mounting bracket was quite large. But thankfully, this fit snug (recessed) into our wall to accommodate the flush-mount design. It secured to the wall using two clamps, then the doorbell itself was drilled into the plastic bracket and affixed to our wall. We also liked having four different faceplates included in the box. To match the modern look of our home, we chose the Satin Black faceplate, which simply screwed into the unit. We think you’ll like the options here.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the Ring Elite uses Power over Ethernet (PoE).3 As mentioned, the cable provided is plenty long at 50-feet and runs from your doorbell to your router. The ethernet cable provides for both the transfer of power and data, giving you an incredibly reliable and fast connection using only one wire. In our experience, ethernet beats a Wi-Fi connection any day (as you’ll soon see!). But again, it’s going to require an expert’s touch, or at least Jedi-level DIY skills.
We found the Ring Video Doorbell Elite just as easy to use as other top doorbell cams out there, like Arlo. The Ring app has long-been a favorite of ours, as it’s well-designed and intuitive to use. With this in mind, we controlled the device exclusively from our smartphone — it’s where we fielded alerts, viewed live-stream footage, used two-way talk to speak with visitors, played back recorded video (requires Ring Protect plan), and the like.
We’ve found that people are intimidated by the Elite doorbell (the name ‘Elite’ only adds to this). And while it is more technologically advanced than many of its rivals, and while the installation is more involved, you’d be surprised at how it functions just like other DIY devices. At the end of the day, it’s an easy-to-use doorbell video camera that helps to protect your home. We think Ring could do a better job at communicating this on its website.
One of our favorite things about Ring’s high-end doorbell camera was the control we had over the motion detection. You’ll find several settings in the Ring app to dial-in the types of motion that trigger an alert.
There’s even a “Snooze” motion option, which we found helpful during a family get-together at our home. This essentially snoozed our notifications for a few hours while we had company coming in and out so that we weren’t bombarded with alerts. We were also able to customize motion zones, a feature that gives the Ring Elite a huge advantage over most doorbell cameras on the market today.
Pro Tip: Party much? Activate the “Snooze” setting if you’re having lots of people over. This will ensure your smartphone doesn’t get flooded with motion alerts. It’s the only time we recommend snoozing at your own party.
We really liked how this doorbell cam performed during everyday use. In fact, we noticed that instant alerts came through faster than any other doorbell we’ve tested. This is obviously due to the ethernet connection and the fact that constant power was flowing to the unit. There’s no down time, or lag time, and we never had to worry about a slow Wi-Fi connection (a weakness we see in many wireless home security products). So kudos to Ring for its overall responsiveness, speed, and reliability.
And what’s an entryway camera without sharp resolution? Well, the Elite makes the grade in this category, too. But with that said, we weren’t blown away by the video quality. After trying it out for a few days, the resolution actually reminded us of the Ring Video Doorbell Pro model — crisp and clear. However, at 1080p HD, the video quality doesn’t stack up to doorbell cams that offer 4K (like the Arlo Ultra), which we’re starting to see more and more.
Note that the Elite doorbell also has night vision and two-way talk, but these are standard features and nothing to write home about.
Finally, we really appreciated the modern look of the Ring Elite at our entryway. Compared to many devices we’ve used, we think the Ring Elite makes a statement, which certainly won’t be lost on folks who value good design and aesthetic appeal.
Pro Tip: When paired with a Ring Floodlight Cam or Spotlight Cam, the extra light can enhance the nighttime image quality of the Elite doorbell. Just be careful about how you position the lights in relation to your entryway, as it can overexpose the frame and wash out the video.
Unfortunately, Ring only offers a few ways to upgrade or accessorize the Video Doorbell Elite. Honestly, we’d like to see more options on the menu, so there’s definitely room for improvement here. At any rate, here is what’s available for Ring Elite add-ons and accessories.
|Ring Elite Add-Ons||Price|
|Ring Elite Faceplate||$129|
|Solar Security Sign||$49|
|Replacement Parts Kit||$20|
Remember that Ring offers a whole lineup of doorbell cameras. After all, Ring was the company that put the doorbell camera on the map! Their popular Ring Video Doorbell sells for $100, but they have devices at the $200, $250, and now $350 price points.
If you think the Ring Elite is a little too elite for your taste, then we’d recommend checking out the new Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus or Pro models — both are top performers in our book. Although it’s not a perfect home security solution, Ring seems to have something for everyone. They even offer complete home security systems, called Ring Alarm. Here are their doorbell options.
|Ring Video Doorbell Models||Price|
|Ring Video Doorbell (2nd gen)||$99.99|
|Ring Video Doorbell 3||$149.99|
|Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus||$229.99|
|Ring Video Doorbell Pro||$189.99|
|Ring Peephole Cam||$79.99|
Did You Know: Ring is no longer selling the Video Doorbell 2; it’s been replaced by the more advanced Video Doorbell 3 line of products.
During testing, we appreciated the overall look and performance of the Ring Elite doorbell camera. The installation was admittedly more involved than what we’re used to, but that’s because it’s powered by an ethernet connection (again, better than Wi-Fi). If you rent, or if you move around a lot, we definitely don’t recommend this doorbell camera. But if you plan on living at the same address for a few years, we absolutely recommend the Elite, especially since Ring dropped the price from $499 to $350.
We do wish it came with a few extra advanced features, like AI facial recognition we get with Nest Hello and Vivint doorbells. But with that said, if you care about handsome design and ultra-fast connectivity, we think it’s a rock-solid value at the $350 price point. You can read all about Ring doorbells and their influence in the home security space in our full Ring Doorbell review here.
It used to cost $499, but now it costs $350.
No, but the company does offer Ring Protect cloud storage plans at $3 and $10 per month. You can cancel Ring Protect at any time.
Ring is hardwired with a Power over Ethernet (PoE) connection. Professional installation is highly recommended.
Yes, the Ring Elite offers full-color night vision.
At this time, Ring does not use artificial intelligence technology for facial recognition.
Ring.com. (2020). Home Security Company.
Youtube.com. Ring’s Channel. (2017, June 28). How to Install Ring Video Doorbell Elite.
Veracityglobal.com. (2020). Power Over Ethernet (PoE) Explained.