Smart doorbells seem to be the rising home trend of 2022. They're not particularly decor-oriented, of course, but they tap perfectly into how we want to live now. And that's with a fully automated home, one where we can check who is out the door when we're out living life (or on the sofa hiding from any IRL interactions).
And there's no shortage of smart doorbells out there to choose from. The release of the Blink Video Doorbell has made the decision even trickier for those who don't know whether to go for the well-known Ring or the newer kid on the block.
I'll note here that Blink, much like Ring, is an Amazon company, which means that the two video doorbells are just the retailer fighting with itself. This isn't necessarily bad for the consumer, as Ring has become the market leader for user-friendly video doorbells, and Blink is just another option to consider.
Despite only having one front door myself, I've road tested both these doorbells, taking them in turn. By detailing their pros and cons I want to make the decision process a little more manageable for you. And if you're interested in what we ranked top, take a look at our guide to the best video doorbells and best wireless doorbells for more.
Blink vs Ring Doorbell: Our verdict
Ring wins for: choice and ease of use. You'll want to go for this if you just want something you can have ready to use almost straight away. While the basic features of both doorbells are similar, Ring makes it a lot simpler to access all of the extras and add-ons you could want. The chime is an extra cost, but the doorbells are generally more useable without needing to be tied to a smartphone. The wireless models are also slightly easier to keep charged.
Blink wins for: affordability. The Blink Video Doorbell is currently half the price of Ring's oldest model and more than $200 cheaper than its most advanced. I really don't think you're sacrificing too much for that price cut, especially if you just want a doorbell with basic functionality. Its monthly subscription is also slightly cheaper.
Blink vs Ring Doorbell: Design
Curb appeal is something we take seriously here at Livingetc, and wanting to make sure your video doorbell looks good is understandable. It's literally the first thing any visitor sees when they show up at your home, their first interaction with your design. So it needs to make a good first impresson.
Ring - The design of the Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen), Doorbell 3, and Doorbell 4 look almost identical, with the now well-known silver rectangular with glowing blue light in the center. What looks a bit smarter, a bit more on trend, is the 'Venetian Bronze' faceplate for the 2nd Gen model that is easily swapped out when you get bored of the color.
Meanwhile, the Ring Doorbell Pro models and Ring Video Doorbell Wired are slightly slimmed down. Still, only the 1st Gen Ring Video Doorbell Pro offers the same customization options, with Cream and Black faceplates also available.
Blink - I think this one wins out. It's slimmer, more subtle, and less detracting from your door or porch. But! I hope you like it in black or white, as this is currently the only option available. That being said, being more discreet than the Ring helps it in the style stakes no end.
Blink vs Ring Doorbell: Pricing & availability
Ring - There are currently six widely available models of the Ring Video Doorbell, each with something a little different to offer. The Ring Protect subscription will set you back $39.99 per year.
Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen) - $99.99 on Amazon (opens in new tab)
Ring Video Doorbell 3 - $199.99 on Amazon (opens in new tab) - adds quick-release rechargeable battery and dual-band WiFi.
Ring Video Doorbell 4 - $219.99 on Amazon (opens in new tab) - adds quick-release rechargeable battery, dual-band WiFi, and color pre-roll.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro - $169.99 on Amazon (opens in new tab) - adds 90 degrees vertical motion detection, and dual-band WiFi but needs to be hardwired.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 - $259.99 on Amazon (opens in new tab) - adds 1536p HD video resolution, 3D motion detection, 150 degrees vertical motion detection, and dual-band WiFi, but needs to be hardwired.
Ring Video Doorbell Wired - $64.99 on Amazon (opens in new tab) - the budget-friendly option; adds 90 degrees vertical motion detection, but needs to be hardwired.
Blink - Blink currently only has one video doorbell available, which is currently priced at $49.99 on Amazon (opens in new tab). That's cheaper than any of Ring's offerings, with a subscription cost of $30 a year. It has just been released in the UK, but the US market has had it for a while, and plenty of other Blink products, such as indoor and outdoor security cameras, work well with it.
Winner: Blink - if you're being price conscious, that is.
Blink vs Ring Doorbell: Features
Ring - Standard Ring doorbells can be used wirelessly or connected to existing doorbell wiring, while the Pro models and the Ring Video Doorbell Wired don't run on battery life. So, if you don't want to pay for professional installation, you must go for the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th Gen models.
Charging is pretty simple, though the 2nd Generation Ring doesn't have an easy-eject button for the battery pack, so it will have to be removed entirely from the door when it runs low.
Video is 1080p Full HD with two-way communication and night vision, and all Ring Doorbells work seamlessly with Alexa smart assistants.
There is no option for local storage, and cloud storage requires a Ring Protect subscription at $39.99 per year, $3.99 monthly. You will also need to pay extra if you want a chime other than your mobile device - essential if you don't always have your phone with you - with the Ring Chime Pro costing $59.99.
The Blink Video Doorbell can be used wirelessly or fitted with existing wiring. The difference is that the battery power comes from 1 x AA lithium batteries rather than a charging pack like Ring's wireless doorbells. These, therefore, need to be changed periodically, which is a small extra cost.
Video is also in 1080p Full HD with two-way communication and night vision, and the Blink Video Doorbell works brilliantly with Alexa.
If you're not wiring the doorbell, you will need to purchase a Blink Sync Module (opens in new tab) to use live view and in-the-moment two-way communication (though both are available without the Sync Module whenever the doorbell is pressed). Still, this module can be used with a USB drive to store footage locally to avoid paying the $3 monthly fee for cloud storage.
Winner: Ring - there are no two ways about it. It offers a slightly better experience, with compatible external chime and more features without a wired connection. But it does this with a lot of additional costs, and even if you go all out with Blink, it'll still cost far less upfront (and monthly after that). Both have HD video and night vision and complete Alexa compatibility.