Top positive review
Zero Integration with Ring Alarm
Reviewed in the United States on October 24, 2019
I have a much better security camera system for my home's exterior but thought I might try one of these cams indoors since I have the Ring alarm system and a Ring Doorbell already. I made the silly mistake, I guess, of assuming there would be some kind of integration with other Ring products - there isn't. None. Not a single thing.
It seems like common sense to me that they'd integrate in a couple of ways. I assumed that I'd be able to tell these cameras to only sense motion if the alarm was armed. Nope.
I figured I could at least set it to detect motion when I wasn't in the house. Nope. There isn't even any kind of proximity setting for it to even know if you're home or not. They are not location aware in any way. The Ring alarm system isn't either, so I suppose I should have known better already.
I also assumed that if my Ring alarm went off the cameras would automatically come on and start recording. Nope!
The only motion option at all is to not alert you to motion during specific hours. Note, this doesn't stop motion detection during these hours, it only stops the alerts.
Motion detection/recording is only an on or off thing... absolutely no options whatsoever.
Annoyed by the lack of integration I still mounted the camera in my great room. I figured I try it for a few days and see how long the battery would actually last with motion recording on. This is a high traffic area so I wasn't holding my breath... and sure enough, after not even 1 full day the battery is down to 80%. This is with all the 'battery saving options' on. This was only a test as I don't actually want recording of any kind going on in my house while I'm home unless the alarm is armed or going off.
With absolutely no options, no integration with Ring alarm and no settings to limit it's recording this thing is really only good for one thing; on demand video with no automatic recording. So, the thing is turned off now, doing nothing. I can still activate it from my phone to occasionally check my house isn't burning down.
Hopefully someday Ring will update the software and provide some common sense integration with it's other devices.
This is all a shame as the build of the camera is quite good considering the low price as is the video quality. The audio isn't great but it never is on cameras of any kind.
Ring support reached out to me directly almost immediately after I posted my review (Good on them) and told me how to link the Alarm, somewhat, to the camera. You have to go into your Base Station settings, then linked devices, then you can set the cameras to record when the alarm goes off - but only then. Make sure you have the updated app that just came out to do this. I didn't. Again, the setting is in your base station, not in the cameras.
This solved probably the biggest issue I had with the camera. The rest of my review is still accurate though per Ring support. Hopefully they'll add the other much needed features in the near future.
From Ring Support: "The Modes feature will be released in November and will allow you to have the option to record motion only if the Ring Alarm System is set to Away Mode". This will be a great update and should have been available on launch. I wonder if they are only just now thinking of it from all the negative feedback and reviews, but glad it's 'coming soon' either way.
***ONE MORE UPDATE***
Ring provided me early access to the 'Modes Feature' and I've been using it for the past few days. It resolves all the issues I had with the alarm integration. With modes you can set your cameras to only record when your alarm is set. They can all be set independently and act differently depending on if you have your alarm set to off, home, or away. For instance, you can set your exterior cameras to record when your alarm is set to home mode, but have your interior cameras are turned off. You can set your interior cameras to only record while in away mode, etc. etc. Or any combination. The cameras can now be set the same way motion and door sensors can. This is a great improvement. They haven't told me exactly when this feature will be made public but have said it will be released 'by the end of the year'.
I've increased the rating from 3 stars to 5. This software update really has resolved every issue I had with the cameras. I've now ordered and installed an additional 6 for my home.
Having the modes features and my cameras set to only pop on and record during an alarm event (which is rare) and be off at all other times, I've had 2 months to evaluate battery life, almost exactly 60 days now. All my cameras were down to below 10% battery level when I checked them last night. Given the rate of battery drain I had expected them to last 3 months - though 2+ still isn't bad. I have two external cameras on my entry gates outside with the solar panel add-on, they stay fully charged at all times even though it's pretty much been non-stop dark and cloudy days here since installation. They are set to record all motion and since they point at a street they record events dozens of times per day... so if you're thinking of getting the solar panels for outdoor use, I highly recommend them.