Ring cameras have been a fixture at my home for years. I’ve been using Ring’s original Spotlight Cam and Spotlight Cam wired for years and both have stood the test of time relatively well. Since Ring has upgraded its outdoor security cameras with a new Ring Spotlight Cam Pro, in this review, I’ll install it at my home to see what new and different and what’s been made better.
Ring Spotlight Cam Pro
This is a solid addition to the Ring lineup of products: devices are easy to set up, the app is super easy to navigate, and the video quality is good both in the daytime and at night, with the enhanced alerts being much more user-friendly.
- Devices are easy to set up
- Ring app is super easy to navigate
- The video quality is good both in the daytime and at night
- Enhanced alerts are much more user-friendly, far fewer false notifications
- Need to subscribe for access to cloud recordings (Ring Protect)
Ring Spotlight Cam Pro review
I should start by pointing out there are four different models of the spotlight cam. All of the models offer a dual LED directional spotlight feature which is activated when motion is detected.
My hands-on video review
Where the differences arise in how they are powered. The spotlight cam pro version I have is a battery powered option and battery only. There are also hard-wired versions, an AC plug in version, as well as a version which can be connected to a solar panel.
What’s the difference between Spotlight Cam Plus and Spotlight Cam Pro?
Ring Spotlight Cam Plus includes Live View, Two-Way Talk, Advanced Motion Detection, Customizable Motion Zones, Customizable Privacy Settings, Color Night Vision, and an easy to use app. Ring Spotlight Cam Pro builds upon all those features with a new design and advanced features including radar-powered 3D Motion Detection, Bird’s Eye View, Audio+ for enhanced audio, HDR video, and dual-band Wi-Fi.
I will say that for most users these are incredibly incremental changes that will not make or break your buying decision. But if you’re shopping for a brand new camera or upgrading from something incredibly dated, these new features do make it worthwhile.
Enhanced mounting bracket
The new Ring Spotlight Cam Pro camera comes with Ring’s better mounting bracket that’s now a whole lot easier to adjust. This was available on the previous Generation too, but it it much easier to deal with than the original.
Wider field of view in HD
Ring Spotlight Cam Pro offers a wider field of view than some other cameras, giving you a good view over your space. With 1080 HD video resolution (which is still decent quality these days) and HDR support for better colour it’s easy to see what’s going on day or night.
Mic, speaker, siren too
There’s also a built-in microphone and speaker so you can hear what’s being said outside, and even speak with anyone who’s in front of the camera.
Spotlight Cam also has infrared night vision built in so you can see and record even in full dark. Plus, there’s that light which will turn on when motion is detected. For added peace of mind, there’s a 110-decibel siren if you need to pull out the bigger guns, and this blaring beacon can help you scare off prowlers. To use it, you do have to manually turn it on inside the app.
All Ring cameras are built to keep you in the loop whenever something’s happening on your property. You’ll get a heads-up on your smartphone whenever the camera spots any movement. And the cool part? You can totally customize which parts of the camera’s view trigger those alerts. So, if you’re not interested in notifications from the busy street or your kids’ swing set, you can turn them off. Plus, you have the power to tweak the motion sensitivity settings. Whether you want to know about every little twitch or just the big stuff, it’s up to you.
Here’s another nifty option: you can add the Ring Chime Pro for some audible alerts. Once you set it up, it’ll send out a sweet chime or any other sound you like throughout your home whenever motion is detected. Pretty handy when your phone isn’t right in front of you all the time, right?
What is Ring Protect?
To make use of Ring cameras, or the Video Doorbell (read my review of the Video Doorbell 3 and Chime Pro here), you’ll probably want to sign up for Ring Protect.
Ring Protect is a monthly service plan that allows you to access, download and view recordings from your Ring devices on your phone. Prices for this Cloud video storage and access range from about $5 to $15/month and fortunately there’s no contract needed so you can cancel it any time.
There is also a free version that lets you view your camera’s live feed, but you won’t have access to recordings of previous events. The specifics of each of the different plans can be found here.
Set up: Ring Spotlight Cam Pro
From setting up the app to the actual installation, it was smooth sailing. First things first, make sure to charge up that battery and download the Ring app if you don’t have it already. Then, sign in or create a new account.
Now, here’s a hot tip: before you take it outdoors, it’s easier to set up the camera inside. Once the battery is good to go, pop it right into the Spotlight Cam. There are actually two slots for battery packs inside. It doesn’t matter which one you use, but the second slot comes in handy if you want to add an extra battery for more juice.
Next, the Spotlight Cam kicks into gear and it’s time to dive into the Ring app. Hit that “Add Device” button and follow the instructions to link the camera to your home Wi-Fi. My Spotlight Cam was good to go in just a matter of minutes.
With everything working like a charm, it’s time to screw the bracket onto your house. Ring’s got you covered with screws and even a screwdriver included. Spotlight Cam bracket is like a ball and socket joint, giving you the freedom to move it around for the absolute best view. Snap that camera in and tighten the collar to keep it in place.
Boom! In just a few minutes the camera was installed and ready to capture all the action.
How well does Ring operate in Cold weather?
While this camera has gone up in summer, my previous Ring cameras have operated trouble free all winter long, with the exception of extreme cold plunges around -30, which does seem to freeze them and knock them offline temporarily.
Video & light quality of Ring Spotlight Cam Pro
As you can see if you watch my video review, or from the photos, the video is sharp and easy to watch. As far as I’m concerned, it’s high quality day or night. The LED lighting is also quite bright, and lights up the area around it really well, plus that extra light improves the overall video picture too.
This camera is also configured to be able to send smart alerts which can record and or send alerts to you particularly when people are detected. This is a great way to make your alerts more relevant, but you can also get alerts for any other type of motion also, in case you need to check if the neighbours cat is digging up your garden.
Adding Alexa to Ring
One of the great options with Ring is the ability to connect the cameras and doorbells with Amazon Alexa so you can get voice control or remote viewing using an Amazon smart device with a screen.
If you have a newer Echo Show device like the Amaxon Echo Show 8 (read my review of the Amazon Echo Show 8 here), great news, Alexa automatically detets and adds Ring cameras and devices to the Alexa app to make set up even easier (though in some cases you may need to sign into your accounts if it’s your first time). With Alexa and Ring connected you just need to say “Alexa, show me the Backyard” when motion is detected and the feed will pop up on screen. If you do need to do a manual set up, you can enable Ring as a ‘skill’ inside the Alexa app.
Overall review Ring Spotlight Cam Pro Battery
Overall I’ve been a big lover of Ring devices. The pros will explain why: Devices are easy to set up and the ring app is super easy to navigate. The video quality is good both in the daytime and at night, and the enhanced alerts are much more user-friendly, giving me far fewer false notifications.
Downsides? I’m having a hard time finding any. I know some folks are disappointed that without paying up for Ring Protect you can’t get your videos but that’s the reality of most remote security systems today; they all want you to pay a fee for that cloud recording. And if you feel that this camera is missing any particular feature that would be most useful for your home, chances are you’ll find it in one of Ring’s other cameras.
I can definitely recommend Ring Spotlight Cam Pro as a way to increase your home’s security and keep watch over your house.
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