Ring Video Doorbells can now take a message for you

Woman holding groceries in front of a front door with a ring video doorbell
(Image credit: Ring)

The best video doorbells are a great way to see and hear someone at your front door when you’re not at home, putting an end to missed deliveries and other missed callers, but, you may still miss whoever’s on your doorstep if you can’t answer the notification on your phone at the time.  

Ring is now rolling out a new feature to some of its video doorbells in the UK, which will help put an end to this. Quick Replies, which has been available on Ring Video Doorbells in the US since February 2021, enables you to play one of six pre-recorded messages when the doorbell is pressed, but not answered.

These include ‘Please leave the package outside’ or ‘We can’t answer the door right now’. There’s even an option that asks the visitor to wait a few moments, giving you more time to answer the door.  

You can choose how long the doorbell should wait before the Quick Reply message is broadcast, and once it’s been played the caller will then have the ability to leave a message, which you’ll be able to review at a later date if you subscribe to Ring Protect – the brand’s online storage service, which costs from £2.49 per month.

What about the other Smart Responses?

Quick Replies is one of three Smart Response features, and is available on a number of Ring Video Doorbells including the Ring Video Doorbell 4, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus, the Ring Video Doorbell 2, the Ring Video Doorbell (2nd generation) and the Ring Video Doorbell Wired, as well as the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2, Ring Video Doorbell Elite and Door View Cam. It can be activated through the New Features section, under the Control Centre in the Ring app. 

However, Ring is not currently rolling out the other two Smart Responses to the UK. This means Brits can’t currently access Alexa Greetings, which sees Amazon’s voice assistant greet the person on your doorstep once the doorbell has been pressed and interact with them before offering to take a message or provide instructions on where packages should be left. Similarly, the UK won’t be getting the Motion Warnings feature, which alerts anyone detected by the camera that they are being recorded to deter unwanted visitors, just yet. 

Ring told TechRadar that it couldn’t confirm if the other two Smart Responses would be rolled out in the UK.

“I can’t comment on the roadmap at this time, but Ring will make product decisions based on what will best empower customers with an affordable, effective way to monitor and secure homes," a Ring spokesperson told TechRadar. 

Analysis: is the UK being short-changed? 

There’s no denying Quick Replies is a handy feature – it ensures that if you can’t answer an alert from your Ring Video Doorbell, for example because you’re driving, you won’t miss important deliveries or callers. However it’s not the most useful of the three Smart Responses available in the US, 

Alexa Greetings really builds on the idea of a smart home that can essentially run itself when you’re indisposed by giving delivery drivers instructions on exactly where to leave packages, rather than letting them decide – which can see parcels end up in a recycling bin, or even on top of the garage roof. 

If Amazon wants us to truly embrace the smart home, then why is it making Brits feel short-changed by not rolling out these handy features in the UK? It’s not just Smart Responses either – there’s still no sign of the somewhat controversial Neighbor app, which alerts Ring owners about crimes within five miles of their property.

Considering that part of the point of Ring Video Doorbells and Ring’s home security camera offering is the promise of protection for your property, we feel this is a bit of an oversight.

If Ring continues to withhold its handy features from some territories, it may find that consumers choose rival products from Arlo and Google Nest, which don’t restrict their features by region, instead. 

Carrie-Ann Skinner

Carrie-Ann Skinner was formerly Homes Editor at TechRadar, and has more than two decades of experience in both online and print journalism, with 13 years of that spent covering all-things tech. Carrie specializes in smart home devices such as smart plugs and smart lights, as well as large and small appliances including vacuum cleaners, air fryers, stand mixers, and coffee machines. Carrie is now a copy editor at PWC.