I’ve reviewed quite a few Ring cameras in my time and I’ve been so impressed with them that I’ve purchased even more of them along the way. When Ring offered their latest camera to test out I jumped at the chance.
The battery only version of the new Ring Spotlight Cam Pro Battery was sent to me and it fit seamlessly into my Ring household. Read on to hear my thoughts on it and how it compares to the other Ring offerings.
In the box
Ring has always included everything you need to install your Ring camera up on the wall but not this time – but it’s not a huge issue. The wall mount is included, along with the requisite mounting screws and wall plugs and a charging cable. The usual Ring sticker is also included.
So what’s missing? The masonry drill bit. If, like me, you are mounting the camera on a brick wall outside you will need to screw into the wall using a masonry drill bit. Now this is not a big issue in my opinion anyway because the one Ring always included wasn’t great but it’s important to know that you will have to have one the correct size if you want to mount it. The masonry drill bit you get from your local hardware store will be far better than the one Ring ever put in the box.
Ring are continually adding new features to their cameras so the setup from one camera to the next is often different – well, the more features a camera has the longer it takes to set up all the details as you prefer them. It can get complicated at times with Ring cameras because there are so many features you can use for each camera.
The setup process does a pretty good job of walking you through each setup step, explaining what each is for and how to do it. Setup was thus a breeze although it does seem to be a lot of things to set up, if you just follow the app all the way through you can get it set up how you want it.
If there are things you want to change later on it is relatively easy to do, once you figure out where that feature is hidden within the large number of options for each camera.
The new Ring Spotlight Cam Pro is a security camera with a relatively small footprint that offers 1080P HDR video recording along with 3D motion detection, dual band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5GHz), and improved audio with the increased size of the included speaker on the bottom of the camera. There are two LED spotlights on either side of the camera lens and of course a very loud siren.
The camera feels solid and well-built and offers you the option to mount it either way – ie. with the speaker on the top or the bottom. Inside the mounting section is a USB-C port for attaching a solar panel if you decide you prefer to power it that way rather than recharging the battery manually yourself every month or two.
I have Ring solar panels for all of my other outside battery powered Ring cameras and they work great but haven’t decided whether I’ll buy one for this new camera – it’s much easier to reach this camera than the others outside so much easier for me to recharge the battery (there is also a plug-in version you can purchase but we were sent the battery option).
The camera is battery powered with the battery compartment easily accessible by twisting the speaker at the bottom of the camera. The compartment includes slots for two batteries although Ring only includes one. You can buy spare batteries from your local retailer such as Bunnings or from Ring themselves for $49.
The camera itself, once installed, is fairly unobtrusive with no visible cables.
The features are the same as that in the Ring Floodlight Cam I reviewed late last year. They are extensive and I highly suggest you go through each and every one as some of them are extremely useful.
My favourite, relatively new feature, is the geofencing option to allow you to arm or disarm various cameras for when you are home or away. Seems simple but it wasn’t that long ago that Ring did not have this option.
3D Motion settings –
- Camera motion zones: Here you draw the motion zone onto the camera view as you would for all Ring cameras. You can change the shape and alter it however you want it, and you can also have up to three separate zones.
- Bird’s eye zones: This is your bird’s eye view and its setup — Similar to the motion zones but you are instead setting the zone on the bird’s eye view image.
- Smart notifications: You can decide whether you want to receive smart notifications or not — whether you get notifications, recordings, both or neither for person motion and “other” motion. I left my setting as person only – I don’t want a notification every time to doggos walk past it.
- Motion schedules: a handy addition is the ability to avoid getting motion notifications at certain times and on certain days.
Light settings –
- Motion activated lights: you can actually turn off the motion activated lights. I had this on as it also helps when taking the doggos out in the night for a toilet break.
- Light brightness: The light brightness can be lowered but our camera is mostly confined to our alfresco without any neighbours’ rooms in the vicinity so I left it at full brightness – lowering the brightness would make the battery last longer if that is a concern to you.
The main settings for your camera will be the camera motion zones, how sensitive you want the detection, and when you want notifications of it. Once these are setup you will be notified when there is motion within the zone you have set.
The good thing that is though, once you have it all set up you never have to touch it again.
The video recording is a great quality as you’d expect for 1080P HDR video. It is crystal clear, colourful and easy to see or hear whatever is on the camera.
Live view of the camera is also amazingly crisp. Cameras have come a long way since we first used Wi-Fi cameras around the house. The video is stutter-free, assuming you have a decent Wi-Fi network at home. Someone tries to sneak into your house and you’ll be able to get a decent image of their face.
Can I record locally?
The only bad thing about the Ring Spotlight Cam Pro Battery (and the whole Ring ecosystem) is the fact that there is no local recording. To be able to playback recording you will need to have a Ring online account.
You can get either a “Basic” subscription (A$4.95/month or A$49.95/year but that is for a single device only) or a “Plus” subscription which is A$15/month or A$150/year but covers every single Ring device at your home – and also gives you extended warranty for all Ring devices. Personally I have 11 Ring cameras and a Ring doorbell so the Plus subscription is a no-brainer for me. The Ring Spotlight Cam Pro Battery does come with a 30 day trial of Ring Protect so you can test it out before forking out the money.
If you want local recording to a hard drive or SD card then I suggest you look elsewhere.
Should you buy it?
If you are already in the Alexa/Ring ecosystem and need a top quality outdoor camera then yes, you should buy the hell out of it. It’s well built, has some great improvements over the previous generation and offers a relatively small footprint. Those venturing into smart security cameras for the first time will find so many features that they may get overwhelmed but in saying that setting up will still be easy and once set you will likely never have to touch it again.
It’s super easy to setup and has some fantastic features — everything you could wish for in a security camera. The only downside is the lack of local recording but for me the Ring Protect plans offer the ability to easily view the recordings and live camera feeds from anywhere in the world where I have an Internet connection.
The Ring Spotlight Cam Pro Battery is everything I want in an outdoor camera — although in this instance I would have chosen the plug-in version but usually a power point in not situated all that close to the camera position — and thus highly recommend it to anyone. At $329 it’s not cheap but you get what you pay for — how much is the security of your house, home and loved ones worth? Grab one from Ring.com or from your local hardware or smart device reseller.