Regretting the Amazon Ring / Echo setup

Based in no small part on the advice gained from this community, I made the decision in my new home to link up smartthings as a hub with Echo voice control around the house.

Now i’m hitting my first real roadblock which is making me second guess the decision.

By almost every metric, Google Nest Hello is a better doorbell than Ring. In addition Amazon’s own Echo is janky with with Amazon’s Ring. It still lives in a separate app, takes several seconds to load up on the Echo Show and inexplicably the Echo Show doesn’t automatically display who is at the door, you have to ASK, which only further delays the already slow response.

This one issue is so frustrating that i’m actually considering pulling a 180, returning all of my echo devices, and going towards Google home instead.

Is there a solid reason not to do that? Is echo any better than google home in any serious way that I should stick with the amazon echosystem?

If SmartThings compatibility for the doorbell is important, then you have to stick with ring.


You will find that Google and Amazon continue to leapfrog each other with features and capabilities. If you decide to return your devices and switch every time you find something the other does better, get ready for your devices to spend more time in transit than actually installed and working.

All jokes aside, I personally find that Alexa’s voice recognition for the purposes of home automation is currently much more capable than Google. Google does a better job answering basic questions - of course, they’re a search company. Alexa’s AI seems better tuned to interpret what I’m saying when I access my devices and they seem to be advancing that part of thier featureset rather rapidly… I also like that I can control speech on my Echo devices with a simple smartapp where with Google, I need an RPi running an app as an intermediary.

If doorbell is your critical use case, by all means switch, just before you do look at ALL of your use cases and make a decision based on what system does what better.

As Jimmy said, if you want doorbell integration into ST, Ring is basically it at the moment as Google broke the heck out of the works with Nest API and it will be months before there’s new news on that front.


I had a Ring at my other house but decided not to go with it when we moved a 16 months ago. It always had trouble connecting to my wifi, even with a satellite/repeater right on the other side of the wall. It would drop off at least 3-4x a week. When the yearly subscription ran out I didn’t renew, and I’d wasted so much time on it. Without the subscription is was worthless. Not really an alternative for Smartthings. I just have Arlo cams with motion sensing to monitor my entrances. Arlo is not practical for real time communication (talking) though. Too much delay.

The nest hello itself is a better, smarter camera but I don’t know that it’s that much better as a doorbell, particularly when you take cost and integrations into account. The ring starts out about $100 cheaper and is also less expensive for the annual plans. And the ring comes in a battery operated version for people who need that. And ring just has more integrations available, including with smartthings and IFTTT and of course much better integration with echo. (Be careful when reading about integrations: the nest doorbell does not yet have the same integrations as the nest cameras do.) And most of the independent review sites, including consumer reports which does lab testing, say that the ring response time and the Nest response time are about the same.

Choice is good, and if the camera quality on the ring really bugs you, you may indeed be happier with the nest or one of the other video doorbells. :sunglasses:

We have several of the small echo shows in places like the laundry room and we have a ring doorbell and we really like being able to just say, even if you’ve got your hands full of laundry, “Echo, show me the front door” when the doorbell rings. That handsfree option is not available with the “nest hello” on any device as far as I know, although maybe it works for the one of the google nest homes with a screen. (Those are all much more expensive than the echo show 5, though.)

As far as Echo versus Google, lots of conversation about that in the forums, and as @nathancu said, The two companies keep leapfrogging each other in terms of features.

If you’re already all in on android and Chromecast you may like the Google better. Certainly if you want something that can answer complex homework type questions.

At our house, we have one Google home but we all prefer the echo. Right now it does much more in terms of home automation and the far Field voice recognition is better from across the room. And we use a lot of the features that are not yet available on Google. but both are good systems.

If you like the nest cameras better, you’re willing to spend more money, and you don’t need as many integrations, go for it. There’s certainly no reason to stick with a system that you don’t like, there are many options available.


There are days I go back and forth thinking I should have gone with Google Home vs. Alexa. I also have a Ring doorbell. However if a lot of the security concerns, and the general unreliability of my ring doorbell I’ll probably switch it out. I’m waiting for the Wyze doorbell personally. I already have 3-4 wyze cams, and like their products, especially at the price point. Personally, I didn’t go down the next route because its expensive, and eventually it seems like every manufacturer bails on their cloud products. In terms on longevity I’m going zwave/local for most things and then inexpensive stuff like wyze for cloud based things (so I don’t feel too bad when they go away in 10 years, lol)

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I typically answer with my phone but I do have 5 Shows and yes, there is a delay. Would also loved if you could press a button and unlock the door.

With Alexa, we created a phrase which then triggers the door to unlock. I have both Google and Alexa and found Alexa to be much more useful for HA.

Both are lacking feature but Alexa is pretty darn helpful especially with the Alexa Routines and EchoSpeaks.

I love the Ring Doorbells. I have one for the Front Door and one for the Back Deck Door. The doorbell rings, Alexa announces someone is at the door.

If I am near one of the Shows, I can say show me the xx Door and it comes up after a short pause. However it come up automatically with my iPhone. Just have to click the notification.

So the Ring response is slow but I love the Whole House Audio, Drop In, Announce, Alexa Routines, Room Awareness, Voice Recognition, Echo Sub and Stereo Pairing and many other features that have been added over the years.

The last thing I am waiting on is the ability to identify device types per room. I have 8 fans and have to say which fan to turn on. Whereas with lights, I can just say turn on the light to the Echo that’s in the room with the light. This only works with lights so far.

Can also ask the the temperature as there is a temp sensor assigned to each Echo in each room.

Yeah, Alexa is the Bomb dot Com!


I was a Google fan for a long time, but prefer using Echo’s for HA control for a few reasons. The main reason is that Alexa routines are far better than Google Assistant routines (at least currently). Last I knew there was no way to trigger a Google Assistant routine by anything other than a schedule or voice command. Alexa routines can be triggered by all sorts of things, and I’ve used this in combination with virtual switches to gain control/automation of several things that I wasn’t able to integrate directly with SmartThings, such as my robot vacuum. My wife also finds Alexa easier to interact with and has far fewer incidents where her voice commands don’t result in the intended action.

The Echo Speaks smartapp for SmartThings is also extremely useful, and I have dozens of automations that utilize it. There are some similar smartapps for google assistant, but they don’t seem to be nearly as full featured from what I’ve seen.

The way Google has been handling the shut down of the Works With Nest program has also made me wary of Google/Nest integrations with 3rd parties. Seems like Google keeps reducing features and killing integrations while Amazon keeps adding them. I made the mistake of moving my Nest account to a Google account, and lost most of the control/functionality I once had over my Nest thermostat, essentially turning my once smart device into something barely more functional for me than a cheap $20 programmable thermostat.

Each ecosystem has it’s own flaws and areas where they shine though, so only you can determine which system is better for your use cases and priorities. I don’t have a video doorbell, but can totally understand your frustration at the way Amazon set up it’s smart screens to integrate with them.


Last I knew there was no way to trigger a Google Assistant routine by anything other than a schedule or voice command.

Isn’t that something that SmartThings can correct? Can you trigger Google assistant routines via something happening in SmartThings?

A fair point, the the reason I made this post. i’m trrying to make sure i’m not overlooking major use cases. My most important use cases are: Voice control over zwave shades, voice control over zwave dimmer switches and bulbs, calling people in my contacts, etc…

Yes I know! Thats why i went this direction at first.

I understand that nest is all “mine mine mine” with its ecosystem these days, but i actually do not need smartthings to do anything special for the doorbell.

The only thing that i really need is for the doorbell to be better and integrate with a display to immediately show who is at the door.

I intend on getting a smart lock that can be opened with a voice command, which is unrelated to the doorbell itself.

If smartthings DID integrate with nest, i could have fun stuff happen like facial recognition triggering the smart lock to open. But thats is a moot point because ring does not have that feature, only nest does.

You can! Get a smart z wave enabled door lock and a SmartThings button :slight_smile:

Here’s my response time with an Echo Show 2nd Gen and 1st Gen…Pretty darn reasonable if you ask me.

It might be your ISP if you have really long wait periods. I am on 1Gig Fiber.

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Nope. Currently GA routines can only be triggered by schedule or voice command, which is a huge limitation IMO. And there’s nothing SmartThings can do about it, that’s how Google has set it up to work.

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Posted a 1st Gen as well above.

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I don’t know of any Wi-Fi doorbells that are instant. And again, consumer reports runs a testing lab on video doorbells and they found the nest and the ring to be about the same in response time.

If you want immediate response you need a constant feed security system. Those exist, but they are more expensive and don’t typically integrate with anything else unless you have a control4 or crestron system.

Basically it’s the same buffering issue you run into with TV streaming services. First it loads, then it displays. To get instantaneous, you need continuous feed, which is just a whole different kind of system.

I think the least expensive approach would be to get continuous feed security cameras and open that yourself when you get the motion or button alert from the doorbell. But it’s still a lot more expensive than even a nest system.

Maybe i’m just spoiled. Mine are the same.

It just feels like its stupid for Alexa to have to access when both companies are owned by amazon. This should be nearly immediate.

The real annoyance is that theres no way to trigger the display to show the front door when the doorbell is pressed. Thats such a simple thing to overlook

Response time isn’t the real thing. its the fact that i have to ask alexa to display the door. The fact thatthe echo show knows that the doorbell is ringing, but i still have to take a moment to ask to see the front door is silly. Why would it not be an option?

I imagine this is something they’ll push in a future update.

I’m cheap so I use Wyze cams on all my porches and cheap zigbee buttons as doorbells. Someone presses the doorbell, my Dome siren makes a doorbell chime, various Echo devices in the house announce which door someone is at (which Echos are used depends on time of day, mode, and room occupancy), and I can ask the nearest Echo spot/show to show me that door. My response time is very similar to what you show, sometimes a bit faster, sometimes a bit slower.

I also recently set up an old Fire tablet with ActionTiles in a wall mount, and am considering setting up tiles that show the feeds from two of my Wyze cams by putting tinycam on the tablet as well. This would allow me to instantly see who’s at the door at any time if I’m near the tablet. Not sure it’s something I really want though.


I meant in the Ring Video feed. I answer the door bell and while looking at the video, there would be a little icon I can touch to unlock the door. I have Tablets all over the place that can unlock/lock the door and a couple of “secret” phrases I’ve created to unlock via voice.

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Well Let’s look through these:

My Pref here is Alexa - you have to ‘turn <on/off" the shades’ in Google. GH doesn’t currently natively support a ‘shades’ device type but you can get some device handlers in ST that support opening and closing in Alexa - Of course either you can setup a routine that is linked to a device (this is how I do my whole home and whole room shade actions)

Both - but I find recognition better in Alexa especially in noisy environments or across the room. and as @rontalley said, room association is better in Alexa currently because you can assign ‘lights’ to a room with an Echo device and not have to prefix the room you’re in.

Alexa - with an Echo Connect in your system - works, although I find the mics on the echos while good for voice recognition - suck quite hard for a phone call.

Heh - they all are… The Works with Nest debacle won’t be the last time you see that. The only hope we have as consumers is LOUDLY pointing out to vendors when the make mistakes.

I prefer the widget on my phone. The beauty of a lock and WebCoRE is you can basically make whatever you want a trigger. :wink:

For cameras in general, I have a Ring doorbell, and a couple Arlos. If I had it to do over, I’d keep the Ring because I love that I can have it double as a motion detector. (My front porch night automation is driven off the Ring plus a few smartapps bound together with WebCoRE. However, I’d trade the Arlos for Blue Iris driven devices or something like Wyze that can use TinyCam so I could pump the video into ActoinTiles.


I can see where it might be a future option. Choice is good. :sunglasses: But I can also see why it isn’t automatic. What if you are having a video call with a dying grandparent or a parent serving overseas, And you’re pretty sure the ring is just detecting a package being dropped off? You wouldn’t want to automatically switch.

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