Amazon’s Ring brand is a household name, and Ring doorbells are what most of us think of when we hear the term ‘video doorbell’. I’m very much invested in the Ring ecosystem and had positive experiences with several of Ring’s past products. So when they announced the new Ring Battery Doorbell Plus back in March, I figured Amazon would continue its winning trend but these days Ring faces some tough competition.
Obviously, the Ring Battery Doorbell Plus fixes some problems and fills some gaps and that’s why I’m interested in reviewing the doorbell and see exactly how this fits into the Ring family and who should actually buy this model over its cheaper predecessors and the still more expensive Ring Pro 2. In this review, I’ll touch on set up and installation, and you can see my full How To on installs, here. I’ll look at what’s new, what you can do with this version, and how well the new Doorbell Plus fits into my Ring ecosystem.
Ring Battery Doorbell Plus
Amazon’s Ring Battery Doorbell Plus is a solid update to the 2021 Ring Doorbell 4, though fans of the product don’t view it as a full successor. It’s still easy to use, with good video quality and a well-synced app that alerts the user quickly.
- Good video quality
- Head to toe view
- Package alerts
- Easy install
- App is easy to navigate
- Battery or wired installation
- Alerts come quickly
- Integrates well into Ring/Echo ecosystem
- Some video features missing (preroll)
- Monthly fee for cloud recording
Because the Ring Battery Doorbell Plus has a similar feature set as the Ring Video Doorbell 4, I will point out the key differences between both models to serve as a basis for describing the new features here.
Head-to-Toe Square HD+ Video
The big new feature you get with the Ring Battery Doorbell Plus is Head-to-Toe HD+ video thanks to an upgraded 1536p resolution sensor. This improved camera means that the doorbell can capture a whole person from head to toe, making it a more suitable choice for package tracking. This Ring doorbell achieves this via a fisheye effect crammed on a 1:1 or square aspect ratio so don’t expect tall portrait view footage or a widescreen effect. Because this sensor was previously exclusive to the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2, this addition makes the Ring Battery Doorbell Plus the only battery-powered Ring doorbell to have this feature at the time of writing.
Color Night Vision
Another interesting new addition is the ability to add some color to the Ring Battery Doorbell Plus’s infrared functionality. This will make nighttime viewing a bit more pleasant.
What’s in the Box?
Unboxing the Ring Battery Doorbell Plus doesn’t reveal any major surprises as the package includes the same contents as what you get with the Ring Video Doorbell 4. In fact, the Ring Battery Doorbell Plus resembles the Doorbell 4 and it’s probably intentional as it maintains compatibility with the rechargeable batteries and interchangeable faceplates. It would have been nice at least if Amazon at least included a different faceplate rather than the typical Satin Nickel faceplate just to paint the Battery Doorbell Plus as a fresh new face.
Another minor drawback for keeping things the same for the sake of compatibility is old standards resurfacing in this day and age. Within the doorbell housing is the rechargeable battery that contributes to the name of this product yet it is still stuck in the past using a fairly dated microUSB cable to recharge the battery. Considering how long these batteries take to charge, the Battery Doorbell Plus should have been at least an opportunity to add a “Plus” by having a quick charging USB-C port. You can also hardwire this doorbell in if yo want using the two connectors at the back. If you don’t opt for that guarantee power, having a spare battery remains the best option for keeping the doorbell online while the other one charges.
Other things you get in the package include a corner kit, installation tools, a setup guide, and a security sticker.
Why isn’t this called the Video Doorbell 5?
With the Ring Battery Doorbell Plus supporting the usual features found in the Video Doorbell 4 like live video, two-way talk, motion detection alerts, package alerts, and quick replies, you would think this new product should be called Ring Video Doorbell 5 or at least be considered as a spiritual successor to Video Doorbell 4. Unfortunately, Amazon had to complicate things by not carrying over every single feature to this new model.
What is lacking with the Ring Battery Doorbell Plus is the speedier 5.0 GHz wireless support and pre-roll feature, which starts recording motion before someone rings the bell, for example. Not having 5.0 GHz isn’t the end of the world especially if positioned the wireless router far from the doorbell but the lack of a pre-roll could be a deal-breaker for some folks. Pre-roll was a nice feature of the Video Doorbell 4 as it can capture the previous four sections before a motion event is triggered.
Set up and installation
I won’t get too deep into the set up and installation process here since I have covered it numerous times in the past, and you can check out those videos and blogs. I will say the installation is incredibly easy whether you opt for the wired or battery option, since this video doorbell comes with both options. Once the battery is charged and installed or your doorbell is wired into your home, you will use the Ring app to connect it to Wi-Fi to establish a wireless connection to whatever is going on at your front door.
The Ring app is really easy to navigate and use, and it’s easy to find and download any footage you might need, since footage is searchable by each different camera, or by using the calendar feature. It’s worth noting however that recording footage does come with a fee of about $6/monthCAD/$4USD. I’ve been opted into the cloud recording system for many years and I do think it’s essential to using this device. If you’re adverse to adding another monthly subscription fee you might want to search other options.
Using Ring Video Doorbell Plus
Ring’s ecosystem is incredibly easy to use. You can configure most of the settings for the doorbell to your personal preferences. For example you can choose to get alerts for any type of motion in front of the doorbell, or just when your camera detects people in the shot.
Naturally if someone rings the doorbell ring will record this interaction as well allowing you to come up and answer the door or use the built-in microphone and speaker to interact with whoever is there. The remote access feature is huge meaning you can answer the doorbell from anywhere in the house, or anywhere in the world. This also adds a level of security too, which I love.
As noted earlier, you get a good head to tow view which also allows you to see if any deliveries have arrived.
One of the features I really appreciate is the package detection feature. As a tech blogger and writer, I often receive packages of samples for review. Getting alerts when there is something on the porch for me is super helpful so we can scoop it up to thwart porch pirates from grabbing potentially pricey deliveries. Because of the camera’s shape and resolution, it won’t see absolutely everything in front of your door, and Ring is pretty good about giving you that disclaimer when you set this feature up, but it certainly works well.
If someone rings the bell and you would rather not get into a conversation with them, you can use what are called rings quick replies. Quick replies allow you to wait a certain length of time and then have the ring video doorbell response for you. It can ask your visitors to leave a video message on your doorbell, or simply respond with a command that says you are not interested in a potential sales pitch. Ring updates these commands seasonally too, so you can have a bit of fun with them throughout the year.
My only complaint about the quick replies is that many of them are centred around the fact that you are not at home, which I’d rather not acknowledge. But with that said there are other options that don’t let on so much information.
The video quality on the ring battery doorbell plus is quite good. It’s high definition resolution allows you to see who’s there easily enough whether it’s day or night. You do also get the ability to zoom in on your footage for a closer look.
I am still waiting for a 4K resolution a video doorbell to hit the market at a reasonable price point, and I think the reason we haven’t seen this yet is that the cameras would cost substantially more, and the bandwidth required to manage 4K video across the cloud and for storage would probably be extremely expensive. So for now we are making do with HD doorbell cameras so it’s a good thing they still do a good job.
The night vision view is also well done and I appreciate the addition of colour.
Bird’s eye view
Ring video doorbell’s like this one also offered what’s called a Birdseye view of activity at your home. Feature users Google Earth snapshot of your property to place the motion detecting so you can understand where it’s happening. I personally haven’t found this feature particularly useful because I would already understand that the motion from the doorbell is coming from the front of the house.
Integration with other Ring Devices
One of the great things about Ring devices that I’ve found in almost 10 years of reviewing them is that they work incredibly well together. You can get an Amazon Echo Show device and your Ring Doorbell feed will automatically pop up on it (once you set this up). Similarly you can connect other cameras and even Ring lights that will turn on automatically when the doorbell detects motion or a ring of the bell. I have my other cameras in front of the house that come on, alongside a couple of wireless Ring lights whenever there’s person-motion, so I think that’s super helpful.
Overall Thoughts: Ring Battery Doorbell Plus
I love Amazon’s Ring Doorbell products and I was happy to see the Head-to-Toe feature finally make it to a battery-powered model. Ring Video Doorbell 4 was released back in 2021 so a clear successor should have been in the cards, and it seems like the Doorbell Plus is a bit of a stopgap ahead of a bigger, better camera to come (maybe that 4K model is actually happening?). Considering it took 2 years to come up with something with compromises and only a few improvements, I expected more, yet the Ring Battery Doorbell Plus has all the goods to be a great doorbell choice for you, particularly if you get lots of deliveries.
With its $179USD price tag ($20 more than the Doorbell 4) it’s still a reasonable price for a lot of great features.
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