Ring Peephole Cam Review 2020
The Ring Peephole Cam is like a video doorbell for the people. Or at least the peephole-havers. If you live in an apartment and have always wanted one of those swank doorbell cameras but lack the necessary, you know, doorbell, then the Ring Peephole Cam is here to end your FOMO.
This camera works almost exactly like a video doorbell, but it modifies the peephole on your door instead of requiring you to hook it up to a doorbell fixture. Plus, you can still use your peephole as a regular peephole.
|Model||Price||Video resolution||Smart speaker integrations||Learn more|
|Ring Peephole Cam||$129.99||1080p||Amazon Alexa||View on Amazon|
Amazon.com List Prices (as of 5/27/20 12:04 PST)
Ring Peephole Cam features
The Ring Peephole Cam has solid features overall, including HD resolution and two-way audio.
The Ring Peephole Cam has somewhat middling features for a doorbell camera. It wouldn’t win any prizes from us for being the best video doorbell, but it’s still pretty solid. You get 1080p HD video, a fairly wide field of view, night vision, and two-way audio.
Ring Peephole Cam features:
- 1080p HD video resolution
- 155º field of view
- Knock-sensing capability
- Motion detection
- Infrared night vision
- Adjustable motion zones
- Amazon Alexa integration
- Motion alert scheduling function
- Two-way audio with noise cancellation
- Rechargeable battery pack
- 2.4GHz Wi-Fi compatibility
Of course, the best part of the Ring Peephole Cam is that it uses the peephole you already have for installation.
As such, this camera comes in two parts: the exterior part that goes on the outside of your door, and the interior part that holds the battery pack and lets you look through your peephole the old-fashioned way.
1080p video resolution
1080p is pretty standard resolution for doorbell cameras these days. In fact, it’s even better than what you might get from something like the ADT doorbell camera. The Ring Peephole Cam gives crisp, clear images you can view in the live feed through the Ring app or as recorded clips.
Every doorbell camera we’ve ever reviewed has motion detection. The cameras start recording when someone approaches your porch, even before they ring the doorbell.
The Ring Peephole Cam has the standard motion detection capability, but it takes a step further with knock-sensing. This camera can detect when someone’s knocking on your door, even if they don’t realize they could just press the button on the device to “ring” your “doorbell.”
Knock-sensing might not sound like that big of a deal considering the camera could just tell you when it senses motion. But listen: it is kind of a big deal. If you live in an apartment building with lots of people walking through your hallway all day long, then motion alerts can get really annoying really fast.
Those motion alerts can get so annoying that you might just want to turn them off entirely. But then how are you going to know if someone’s at your door? Especially if they skip the button on the Ring cam and just . . . knock?
That knock-sending feature ensures you get an alert on your phone when someone knocks on your door. So if you want to turn off the motion detection feature, you can do it without worrying you’ll miss half of the visitors who show up.
Some other Ring models, like the Ring Pro, hardwire into your existing doorbell wiring. The Peephole Cam obviously has to do things a little differently. Hence its rechargeable battery pack.
The battery pack lives on the interior side of the Peephole Cam. When it needs to be charged, you just remove it from the housing and charge it with a micro-USB cable. It takes about five to ten hours.3
Motion zones and scheduling
We’ve already talked a little bit about how motion detection in places like an apartment building can be tricky.
If you live in a house, it’s usually not a problem. But in apartment buildings, it’s hard to adjust your camera’s motion detection so that you don’t get a push notification every single time someone walks down the hallway.
The Ring Peephole Cam does offer adjustable motion zones. But unlike some doorbell cameras, like the Google Nest Hello, the motion zones aren’t customizable. You can’t precisely adjust which areas you want the camera to watch and which you want to exclude. It’s more like a single area of coverage you can shrink or expand.
Ring Peephole Cam pricing
The camera itself is affordable, but you’ll want to add on a monthly subscription plan.
The Ring Peephole Cam itself is relatively affordable at around $130. But keep in mind that you’ll probably want to subscribe to a Ring Protect plan.
Without the Ring Protect plan, you won’t be able to save video clips to the cloud. And the Ring doesn’t offer any local storage options, which means you can’t save video clips anywhere else either.
Ring Protect subscription plans
Luckily, Ring Protect plans are pretty affordable. For the Basic plan, you’ll pay only three bucks per month for 60 days’ worth of video clips, along with Ring Protect’s other features.
Features that require a Ring Protect subscription:
- Video saving
- Photo capture
- Extended warranties (with Plus plan)
- 10% off certain Ring products (with Plus plan)
That low monthly price is for just one camera. If you have multiple Ring devices, then you’ll probably want to upgrade to the Ring Plus plan. It covers all the devices in your house, plus includes professional monitoring for your Ring Alarm home security system.
|Plan||Price||Video history||# of devices||Learn more|
|Basic||$3/mo. OR $30/yr.||60 days||1||View on Amazon|
|Plus||$10/mo. OR $100/yr.||60 days||All devices in one household||View on Amazon|
Data effective 5/27/20. Offers subject to change.
Ring Peephole Cam home automation
The Ring Peephole Cam lacks some home automation features we expect from Ring devices.
The Ring Peephole Cam has fewer smart home integrations than even Ring’s other products. The biggest difference is the Ring Peephole Cam doesn’t work with Google Assistant.
It does still work with Amazon Alexa. You can even have Alexa function as a doorbell chime and stream your video’s livestream to your Echo Show. But if you’re a Google devotee, then you’re out of luck on this one.
Ring Peephole Cam installation
Installation is pretty easy as long as you already have a compatible peephole.
The Ring Peephole Cam is designed to modify the peephole you already have. It comes with a tool you can use to unscrew and remove the peephole apparatus that’s already there and replace it with the Ring equipment.
Ring Peephole Cam installation steps:
- Use the included tool to unscrew and remove your existing peephole.
- Thread the tube on the outdoor part of the Ring Peephole Cam through the now-empty hole on the outside of your door.
- Connect the indoor part of the Ring Peephole Cam with the tube from the inside of your door.
- Secure the camera to your door with the included tightening nut and plug the attached connector cable into the port.
- Slide the battery pack into the interior housing and put on the cover.
Once you’ve got the actual camera set up, you can connect it to your Wi-Fi network and adjust the settings through the Ring app. The app will ask you to scan the QR code on the camera, and from there, it will walk you through the rest of the process.
Recap: Is the Ring Peephole Cam good?
The Ring Peephole Cam is a good option for people who can’t (or don’t want to) install a doorbell camera.
The Ring Peephole Cam is a nice alternative to a doorbell camera for apartment-dwellers or anyone else who can’t hook up a traditional doorbell. We like its knock-sensing feature and its high-quality video footage. Just watch out for motion alert fatigue.
Features: The Ring Peephole Cam has features we expect from all worthwhile doorbell cameras, including two-way audio, night vision, 1080p resolution, and motion detection. It can also sense when people knock on your door.
Pricing: The Peephole Cam itself is pretty affordable, but Ring’s monthly subscription plans cost extra. Plan on spending at least three bucks per month on a Ring Protect plan.
Home automation: The Ring Peephole Cam works with Amazon Alexa and integrates with some smart door locks. But it lacks some home automation features you get even from other Ring products, such as Google Assistant support.
Installation: Installation requires some wrangling of your existing peephole, but is pretty easy overall. Ring includes the tool you’ll need to unscrew your peephole apparatus so you can replace it with the camera.
Do you prefer a peephole camera or a doorbell camera? Do you think the peephole camera is a good replacement for the traditional doorbell model? Let us know what you think in the comments.
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