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Ring Battery Security Cam Review

Ring Battery Cam on House

Security cameras. I always thought they were a bit silly. I mean, I know dated old fashioned house alarms are kinda irrelevant nowadays anyway (does anyone even bat an eyelid at sirens blearing down the street?) but as for CCTV, I just felt like it was basically telling the world you have stuff worth stealing.

BUT, that was then and this is now. So many houses have security cameras, it's become normal. A house that has a security camera is no longer standing out from the crowd. It's fitting in. And those left unprotected by CCTV are the houses that are more likely to stand out. Security cameras have also become cheaper in recent years, so I think those things combined, is probably why so many people are buying them nowadays.

We live in a fairly mixed-area. And by that I mean, everything about the area is mixed. From the house sizes (8-bedrooms to a block of flats) to the residents. Its location, just a few minutes walk from the centre of town means it sees a fair amount of foot traffic too. Foot traffic which means you get "all-sorts" round here. Sometimes drunkies walking home from the pub, late night dog-walkers, people parking up nearby and walking to work (although our street is now permit-parking, so this one happens much less), you get my point - it's not just residents that you'll find around here.

It makes the house a little more vulnerable, as its seen by more people. There are more people to notice those expensive french doors, empty boxes left by the recycling bin. More people and some who will potentially be looking for easy targets. 

Old Fashioned Blue Front Door

In the five years that we've lived here, we've had our car broken into, I've seen the odd drug deal and there was one time I had to call the police after a street fight broke out outside the house. I'm not saying the area is bad (it really isn't!), it's just life I guess. Unpredictable and you should be prepared for anything.

And so, perhaps because of this, many houses on this street have security cameras and alarms built into them. Our house, up until now, has had nothing. No house alarm, no camera, just a good old fashioned door lock. And in all fairness, that's done us fine since we've lived here. And to my knowledge, no house on the street has been broken into for the time we've lived here either. But that doesn't mean it never will.

So, anyway. I didn't really *plan* to buy a camera, however, it has been something I've thought about from time to time. And so when I saw QVC had a 'Todays Special Value' deal on a security camera, and an offer that was just so good, I decided to go for it.

So this is what I bought: the Ring Battery Security Cam.

Ring Battery Cam with Solar Panel Unboxing

The thing that sold this particular camera to me, was the fact that it's battery powered. No wiring required! The idea of having to tap into our finished electrics was not something I was particularly fond of, so this was instantly winning on that front. Plus, it also came with a solar panel (although usually, this would be purchased separately) which re-charges the camera. I mean, I didn't even think that was possible!

It almost sounds *too good to be true* which is kinda why I wanted to do this review. Because ultimately, it does have some flaws and I think when you're spending £100 odd pounds on a camera, you need a good review to decide whether it's the one for you. And that's what I'm here for - honest information. So, let's take a little look at it, shall we? The Ring camera can be bought in either white or black, but I opted for the black version:

Ring Battery Cam Review

As mentioned, I purchased this on a special offer for £159, which included the solar panel as well, which is normally sold separately. The normal price of the camera is £199 and the solar panel is £50. Well, I told you I got a good deal, didn't I!!

When you open the box for the camera, this is what you'll find inside:

Ring Battery Cam What Comes in the Box

Basically, everything you need to fit and install the camera. Including drill-bits and a screwdriver. I LOVE that they've thought about everything. Literally, all you need is a drill. Here's a better look at the actual camera, up close and personal.

Close Up Ring Battery Cam

It's quite small, I'd say around 15cm in height. You can see the actual camera lens - underneath that is a speaker and the two white stripes either side are lights. Underneath all that, there's a motion sensor. It's simple, compact and I think, looks quite modern.

Ring Battery Cam Review

The bottom of the camera opens up and in here is where you'll place the battery. The camera comes with one battery, but as you can see, there is room for two batteries. An additional battery is around £20 - this will give you more running-time, which may be especially useful if you don't buy the solar panel. Here's a snap with the battery inside:

Two Batteries in Ring Camera

The back of the camera has a slide-out plate which you can turn around, depending on how you're affixing your camera (wall, or ceiling). This is also where the cable for the solar panel connects.

How to Install Ring Security Camera

We're using our camera in the back garden, but you can, of course, use it at the front, side, where-ever. It comes with an app so you can control everything about the camera from your phone. It's really simple to set-up and you can add multiple users as well as multiple cameras. So I'm going to take you through some of the best/worst features and what I like/don't like about the camera...

Battery Powered Means NO CABLES

This is the reason we bought it, NO WIRES. No electrician costs, nothing. Simply screw to the wall and go. Ring claim the battery can last up to 6 months, however, this really depends on how often it detects motion. To charge the battery manually, you need to remove it, which of course means taking the camera down to do so. If your camera isn't easily accessible this may be a massive pain in the butt. And of course, it also means you'd need to monitor its percentage constantly.

Additional Solar Panel Reduces the Need for Charging

There is a way around having to manually recharge the battery and this is by buying the additional solar panel. This plugs into the back of the camera and recharges your battery whenever it can. We have our solar panel positioned on a south-facing wall and two months on from buying the camera, it's still at 100%. Even throughout the winter!! This, I think, is absolutely brilliant.

Ring Security Camera App

However, the solar panel definitely needs a good position to work effectively. We bought the same camera for Grants parents which they use to overlook the side of their property, a narrow space squished between their house and their neighbours. Because of this, the area gets no sunlight and as such, their battery has drained right down. The cable on the solar panel is 3m, so fairly lengthy, but not nearly enough to run to another side of the house.

Ring Solar Panel

Camera Must be Able to Connect to Wi-Fi

The camera connects up to WiFi so it can save recordings to the cloud and so you can access it on your phone. The whole camera relies on being connected to WiFi at all times. If it's not, it simply won't work. It won't notify you of motion and it won't be able to save the recordings for you to access.  That footage will instantly be gone and you'd never know it existed.

Having a strong connection is, therefore, a must. That means the signal from your router needs to be good enough to reach the camera. Most routers are fairly good, but depending on how old it is, how large your house is, and the build of it, this may be an issue. Thick stone walls, for example, may potentially block your signal from having a far-reach.

To test this before buying, I would ask yourself - can you still get on the WiFi on your phone in the location you wish to install the camera? Our WiFi drops out just beyond the decking, which meant the location of our camera was *just* within its limit. That said, it does constantly say 'poor wi-fi connection' on the app, however, this has never affected it working as it should.

Ring Battery Security Cam Poor Wifi Connection


Only Records When It Detects Motion

Another way the ring cam saves energy on the battery usage is because it only records when it detects motion. Yep, that means it's not constantly recording like other security cameras. Depending on how you look at this, it's both positive and negative. It's energy-saving, but there's the potential it may miss something. We haven't found this an issue personally, but then I guess, we wouldn't know would we?! It also alerts you every time it notices movement and starts recording, although you can turn the alerts off if you wish. This is what the homepage looks like when you access all those recordings:

Ring Battery Security Camera alerts app

As you can see, ours activates a lot. That's because it's in the back garden and activates every time the dogs go out. So that is definitely something to consider when you buy one. You can also schedule your camera to not record at certain times of the day (perhaps as you leave for work), but I personally think this is a little risky. And you can also 'snooze' the alerts for a certain period of time if you need to as well, to stop your phone constantly buzzing.

snoozing a ring security camera

Wide Angle Lens Means Wide Range of Detection

The lens on the camera is brilliant. It's wide-angle which means it covers the whole garden (and a tiny bit of our neighbours - I really need to adjust that a little!). The good thing about this is that it protects every inch of our property and there's no way anyone could get past it without appearing on screen. The quality of the camera is also fab.

Lens on Ring Security Camera

If you find your camera encompasses area's you don't wish it to (a road or path for example) then you can alter the settings so that it won't detect motion from those areas. This is especially quite handy if you have it on the front of the house. We, however, have ours limited on the left-hand side so that the big bushy bamboo doesn't trigger the sensor. So far it's worked really well.

Camera Settings on Ring Security Cam


Built-In Lights and Night Vision

The camera has two lights on either side of its speaker, which turn on during detection at night. This obviously helps with producing a clear picture with colour, but should an intruder be entering the property at night, the activation of lights should hopefully spook them as well.

Night Vision with Lights on Ring Security Cam

I find the lights really handy as ours actually come on when it detects the dogs in the garden. Which is fab as you can never have enough lights IMO!

The night vision on the camera without the lights is also excellent, so yes you can still see what's happening in the dark too.

Ring Security Camera Night Vision

Reduced Visibility During Fog/Frost/Rain

The biggest flaw of this camera is when conditions are bad, the visibility is bad. This is only occasional, typically during fog or excessive rain and I can't really imagine a way around it, but still, I wanted to mention it. Here is a snap of what I mean - the visibility was so reduced the camera would basically be pointless:

Ring Security Cam Reduced Visibility


GO LIVE!

You can access the camera at any point to see real-time what's happening back home. Going live uses the most battery, so I don't recommend doing it all the time. But if you want to check-in at any point of the day, then there's the option to do so. We tested this out abroad and it worked perfectly!

Live Setting on Ring Camera

Two Way Speech

Whilst using the live feature, there also the option to use a two-way speech on this camera. That means, should you need to talk to anyone through the camera, you can. There's a mic on the camera so you can hear them, and a speaker, so they can hear you. Do we use this feature? No. But it would be very useful if you had it over a front door. You can access this feature via the call buttons on the lefthand side of the screen shown below:

Ring Security Camera Review

Siren Alarm

Let's say you see an intruder on your camera, in real-time, yes you'll have the evidence captured - but you can also instantly scare them off with the siren alarm. And it's LOUD let me tell you and. It can only go off by manually activating it, so there's no worry about being away and it ever activating on its own. I really like this feature, although luckily, I haven't had to use it. Although we did test it by scaring Grants parents once... It was fun.



So, TO SUMMARIZE:

Ring Battery Cam Pros:

  • Battery power means you don't need an electrician and can be DIY installed.
  • If you use the solar panel in a well-positioned location, you will never need to recharge the battery. Ours is still charging to 100% through winter.
  • You can access the camera from anywhere in the world. We've tested this ourselves and it works brilliantly!
  • The camera alerts you every time it detects motion - so you are always in the know (you can also turn this off if you want).
  • The wide-angle lens is really handy - it leaves no side of our garden left unmonitored.
  • Live view for real-time updates and two-way speech means you can talk to visitors through the camera.
  • Siren Alarm allows you to scare off intruders.
  • Built-In lights which turn on during detection at night.
  • Night vision is excellent!

Ring Battery Cam Cons:

  • If you have it directed over a back garden like ours, it will record and alert you very often unless you snooze the camera or schedule it to deactivate during certain times. This can be 1- annoying and 2- draining on the battery.
  • Relies on WiFi to save recordings. If your router drops out often, or the connection to your camera is weak, you may miss some action.
  • If you don't have a solar panel, you will need to manually remove the battery to charge it. Depending on the position of your camera, this may be a pain.
  • If you do buy the solar panel, it needs to be in a good location to actually work. We bought the same camera for Grants parents side-access, which is narrow and lacking sunlight. Their solar panel performs considerably worse and hasn't been charging it enough.
  • You must pay for cloud storage after 6 months. This is only £2.50, but still an added expense.
  • Fog, frost and sometimes rain can reduce visibility on the camera.

Would I recommend the Ring Battery Cam?

In conclusion, would I recommend it? Yes, I think I most definitely would. In fact, it's convinced me of having security at the front of the house too, so I plan on buying the ring doorbell at some in the point in the future. The camera isn't totally flawless though, and it is kinda expensive compared to cheaper cameras you may find on Amazon. BUT, with what you save on not paying an electrician, I think it's very much worth it.

I like that it notifies me, I like the live feature, and generally, I think the camera and app perform really well. I've had very few problems with it after two months and I've given it a fair bit of testing (We've been to Lithuania, Edinburgh and Center Parcs in the last couple of months!). That said, I do think this camera works best in an area where you don't use it often. Ours is pointing over the garden, so there will definitely need to be a daily routine of turning it off in summer when we're out there (otherwise it will constantly be recording/buzzing). For a front door, side-access, or even watching over a shed though, I think it's great.

So these are just my thoughts. Of course, I'd love to hear what you think to the camera if you have one too. Or if you have any questions regarding the camera, do let me know. I know investing a hundred odd quid in a camera is quite a big decision, so if there's anything I've missed, feel free to drop me a message!

You can find the Ring Battery Cam on Amazon here and the Solar Panel here. Or you can click the link below!

Ring Battery Security Cam Review Blog

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