So just like the title of this thread, I've been researching the Ring for a few weeks.
Most of my comments have already been posted by others, but I thought I'd summarize my review of the system after 2 days.
Ring Pro Doorbell
I'm pretty impressed with the app. It's very clean looking and quick. The look changes a little from the Doorbell after you add the alarm... and again if you enable the clip preview function but I'm very happy with it.
From what I gather, Smart Things sounds like it has a ton of programming options, IRIS probably in the middle, and Ring has fewer... but for the most part the basic functions can do everything you need. Like you can turn on alerts individually for each sensors, change the alarm entry/exit delay, etc. It's hard pressed to think of something that's critical that you lose when going from IRIS to Ring for security.
Video history screen is pretty smooth. Instead of showing large thumb nails like IRIS, the history just shows motion, manually viewings, and doorbell presses in a list with a time stamp and when you click on each one then it plays the video.
The sensors are definitely larger than IRIS, but the contact sensors actually have a little light that pops up for a second when they open/close.
The keypad is vastly better than the IRIS V1 hub (I'm sure the V2 was better though)
It appears that it has an internal rechargeable battery and you mount a bracket to the wall and when you need to recharge it you just remove the keypad itself from the bracket, charge, and replace.
It has a motion sensor in it and if the battery saver feature is off, when you walk up to it it lights up to confirm what mode it's in. It looks pretty cool.
As mentioned earlier, the door "chirps" come from the hub not the keypad, but even though it's in my basement I can still hear them. Hopefully they add chirps to the keypad or a chime device in the future.
Notifications are instant
I haven't seen this yet since I'm on the self monitored option so far, but from my understanding you can switch from self to professionally monitored at any time. That could potentially be useful for periods that you are home or think you could have a false alarm, vs times you are away and want no chance of the police showing up. Huge feature if you ask me.
Little thing, but it's weird that after a motion detector sees motion, it seems like it takes a while for it to say no motion
You can tie the cameras to record off alarm... it says "entry delay and alarm event". At first I didn't understand entry delay... but I think what it means is that if you enter your home and the 30 second countdown begins, I think it immediately records and continues if the alarm goes off. At first I thought this could me annoying if every day when I get home it records despite disarming immediately, but after thinking about it... my older non wireless IRIS cameras would only record after the alarm goes off so in theory there's a dead spot with an intruder in my house. (understand it could record off motion but I didn't want it recording non stop while I'm home)
I paired it with an Alexa skill and you can tell it to arm or disarm and then enter your 4 digit pin. That's kind of cool, but I think it would still be quicker to enter the pin on the keypad.
As mentioned earlier, I paired my Schlage lock to it and it responds quicker and I like that you can add a guest code easily.
I'm likely going to buy a stick-up cam, as I'm very impressed that you can easily toggle for motion alerts and record off motion, or tie it to an alarm event
I'm going to buy the dome siren, smoke listener, and likely try out the $80 path lighting kit.
I'm planning on subscribing to the $100/year plan which will give me professional alarm monitoring and unlimited camera storage. I think that's a good deal. It also gives you 10% off products so if I buy another $400 (Stick up cam, siren, more door sensors, etc.) I figure to save $40 on hardware I was already going to buy
In Summary, I think the Ring system is the best fit for me for security and cameras. Hardware cost and $100/year service plan seems really reasonable.
With Amazon's purchase or Ring, the Alexa eco system, and their recent purchase of Eero, planned release of Ring lighting products, and more... I expect this to be a rapidly growing eco system.
I plan on getting a $65 Smart Things hub so my light switches, bulbs, thermostat, etc. will instantly work, but in the future I'll play it by ear and see whether if new products get added to the Ring/Alexa or Smart things.
Speculating on the Future of Ring/Alexa
They're owned by the same company but as of now they're different apps/products. I'm trying to figure out how they'll merge/integrate them together in the future.. but here's my guess...
I know you can pair some bulbs directly to the full size Echo speaker w/o a hub, but to me the Alexa smart home app to me appears to be more of a compliment to an existing system (adding a voice assistant) than a primary ecosytem/app.
My guess.... Amazon will use the Ring brand and app to be their primary smart home app and after the outdoor lighting is released they will eventually start adding indoor lighting, etc. making it more like the IRIS ecosystem, but allowing it to be tied in to Alexa for voice commands.
Think about it this way... we always wondered how IRIS or Wink makes any money and can be sustainable. With Prime... they want as many people sucked into their $100+ a year subscription as possible.. last I saw it was over $4B a year in revenue.
They likely don't make money on their dots and they don't make money by allowing someone elses hardware to link via skill.... so that's why I think their ultimate plan is going to be to grow the Ring eco system to get everyone in America to have a Prime Subscription and a Ring Protect subscription.
We'll see, but my theory is they will keep the Ring and "works with Alexa" products separate by branding but all Ring items will of course work with Alexa
Let me know if anyone has any questions, but I strongly recommend picking up the $159 5 piece kit at best buy with a free echo dot as a low risk trial, or the 10 piece kit for $200 at Costco.