Since the first generation of video doorbells, Ring has continued to evolve and offer more features to customers. One of the latest offerings is the Ring Spotlight Cam Pro (battery), which has several tricks up its sleeve.
The name gives away one of them, being the spotlight that allows not just save access and egress from your property; but also makes it far more obvious to guests — wanted or not — that they’re on camera. There’s a lot more to it that we’ll delve into throughout this review.
What is it?
The Ring Spotlight Cam Pro (battery) is the latest addition to Ring’s camera set. It’s a fantastic option for open spaces, entryways or high foot-traffic areas approaching your premises.
On the surface, the Ring Spotlight Cam Pro (battery) looks much like the previous generation of spotlight cameras. It’s a 1080P HDR camera with a couple of motion-activated LED spotlights, an excellent quality speaker that operates for either two-way talk or as a siren, and it supports dual-band Wi-Fi; Thank you, Ring!!
There is an option to run a USB-C charger (hardwired or solar panel) into the back of the device to avoid changing and charging batteries. Although, I’ve found that the dual battery design and simple change of batteries mean the need for changing batteries is rare and the process takes moments.
Pro Tip: If you’ve got a few battery-powered Ring cameras, getting a couple of spare batteries and a charging station is worth the investment!
What’s in the box?
All the basics are here, but users who’ve installed Ring cameras will note one absence; the drill bit. In honesty, it was good enough to install one, maybe two cameras — ie. four mounting holes — and that’s about it. If you’ve installed one before, you’ll still have the right size bit. Otherwise, a quick trip to Bunnings will do you well.
Of course, you’ll get the camera, battery, mount (including wall plugs and screws), some paperwork and a sticker to tell anyone close enough to read the sticker that Ring cameras protect your home.
Setup, app and daily use
We’ve covered the setup process for Ring devices in multiple previous reviews. Very little has changed, and the initial steps to connect the camera to your network, whether a first camera or adding it to an existing system, are quick and easy. The app guides you through the process in simple language with images to assist users who may not have high-level reading skills.
As cameras and their features have advanced, the setup has become more involved for users. Much of this, like the connection to your Wi-Fi, is walked through as part of the setup process. These features on the Spotlight Cam Pro (battery) include:
- Motion Zones: You can customise the area your camera “checks” for movement, recording events and alerting you to the motions.
- Bird’s Eye Zones: This is an interesting addition that allows you to create motion detection zones that alert based on distance from the camera, not the two-dimensional view the camera creates.
- Motion Schedules: Configurable to avoid getting motion notifications at high-traffic times of the day.
The app is your control centre for all of the features listed above, as well as configuring the notifications you want for each camera you have. I’ve found that the notifications for the Spotlight Cam Pro (battery) are delivered within a few seconds of the motion zone being breached.
While Ring isn’t the cheapest option, I’ve found that once they’re set up: Ring cameras don’t need to be touched again, save for the battery changes.
Whether you set up all of the features or skip over a few, the video quality you’ll get to your devices is excellent. The colour is vibrant; at 1080P HDR, you’ll get clear video quality and the microphone delivers crisp audio. With the camera attached to the Ring Chime Pro, I’ve had zero issues with dropouts, and — with 40Mbps upload on my Internet — I can stream smoothly to my phone wherever I am in the world.
Alexa Integration: It just works
It’s been a couple of years since I overcame my aversion to Alexa (born of poor experience in the early stages of Alexa’s existence), and I have steadily accumulated more devices. With my Ring account already linked to Alexa, the new camera was automatically connected and was available almost instantly for viewing on my Echo Show screens.
Should you buy one?
You would buy a Ring Spotlight Cam Pro (battery) for your home or business for many reasons. Start with existing Ring hardware around your home, because it makes sense to stick with a single ecosystem, particularly if you’re paying for subscription services.
Some features are likely overkill for some locations, where something like the Ring Spotlight Cam Plus (battery) or even the last generation of Spotlight Wireless Security Camera will do the job for you. Mainly the Bird’s Eye View makes this model very useful in primary access or yard areas.
For the Spotlight Cam Pro (battery) to be on your shopping list, you must be comfortable with short downtime while you charge or change (if you buy spares) batteries. You’ll need to be comfortable with this cost, and for this to hit the mark; it will probably not be your only camera.
Probably the only detractor for some buyers is the lack of local storage for recording. If you want local recording, you’ll need to investigate your options a bit further and understand that — particularly with a Network Video Recorder — setup is significantly more involved and costly than the time taken to install a battery-powered, Wi-Fi connected camera.
Ultimately this is a really versatile camera, one of the best and most feature-packed that I’ve used to date. With the features on offer, the Ring Spotlight Cam Pro (battery) can add some impressive visibility to your home. If you’re keen on grabbing one, the usual retail channels, plus the Ring website, are your go-to channels for $329.00 or to check out the other camera and accessory options from Ring.
The camera is permanently attached to the house and has not been requested for review.