Here's why the Ring Video Doorbell Pro is a worthy upgrade

After using the standard Ring Video Doorbell camera, I recently upgraded to the newer, more expensive Pro model and it made a huge difference.

For the past couple of years or so, I've had the standard Ring Video Doorbell Camera installed next to my front door. During that time, I've complained about the daily false motion alerts I would receive on my phone.

Often times, I couldn't figure out what triggered the motion detection. While other times, it was a car driving down the road -- some 60 feet away from the camera and outside the motion detection zone I had setup in the Ring app.

The constant false alarms were something my wife and I learned to live with in the name of peace of mind. Without motion alerts enabled, the Ring doesn't capture any video until the doorbell button is actually pushed.

For a short amount of time, we tried leaving motion alerts turned off, but then after six pumpkins disappeared from our porch one Halloween night, we re-enabled the feature and dealt with false motion reports.

Over a month ago, Ring sent me a sample of its upgraded model, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro. In addition to upgraded video quality (1080p vs 720p), the Pro model also includes improved motion detection features.

Setup

Initial setup of the Pro is more involved than the standard doorbell camera due to power requirements. I had to install a 24v doorbell transformer in order to get enough juice to the Pro, whereas the original model would recharge itself off of the older transformer installed in my home.

Once the new transformer was installed, totaling about $14 in all, I was up and running with the Pro.

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Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

One of the first things I did on the Pro was to draw the precise area I wanted the camera to monitor for motion. This process is done in the mobile app, using your finger, and allows you to highlight a sidewalk but ignore the street or an area where, perhaps, you have a wind chime hanging. As you can see above, I highlighted my entire entryway, sidewalk, and driveway. The street is eliminated completely.

In comparison, the original Ring only offered zones and the distance into each zone you could manually adjust. But there was no real clear picture of just what was monitored and what wasn't. Even then, my settings didn't seem to matter all that much.

The alerts actually mean something now

Since swapping out units, the Pro has all but eliminated false motion alerts. Now, when I hear the alert of motion at my front door, I'm confident there's someone approaching my front door.

There are, of course, a couple of exceptions. As is the case with most motion sensing gadgets I've tested, the Pro can be tricked by changes in lighting. So, when I turn off the porch light each night before I head to bed, it triggers a motion alert as the camera switches to night mode.

If the flood light over my garage is triggered in the night, it also triggers a motion alert on the Ring Pro. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but I should mention I don't have the Ring Floodlight Cam installed. The Ring Pro is triggered by the change in lighting.

Finally, if it's raining or snowing outside, the reflection of a vehicles' headlights on the wet surface of my driveway will trigger the motion detector.

At the end of the day, I can live with the minor annoyances.

Worth the upgrade

If you're on the fence of whether to upgrade from the standard $179 Ring Video Doorbell camera, or if you should splurge and pay a bit more for the $249 Pro version, I'm convinced the added cost is well worth the investment. Get the Pro.

Not only does the Pro offer superior motion detection, but the video quality, though on paper it seems slight, makes a big difference as well. Instead of a washed-out sky and slow refocusing, the Pro's video is overall very clear and is able to better handle bright or low-lit environments.

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