The doorbell is generally the first point of contact you have with people coming to your door. So when you put that into context, you want to know who and what you are opening your front door to. The newly released Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus improves on the field of view from the previous generation. With thanks to Ring, we are checking out what difference it makes.
At first glance the Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus looks almost identical to the Ring Video Doorbell 4 which we reviewed late in 2022.
Ring has retained the same form factor here along with the iconic satin nickel face plate. There are some subtle differences if you look closely.
The face plate accents are slightly different on the sides and the bottom where the security screw is. The main change is the shape of the fascia around the camera lens. Instead of a rectangular cut out, it is now a square to accommodate the new 150×150-degree head-to-toe field of view.
Similarly, the packaging is almost identical. Although one notable change that I would flag is that Ring is now using a paper based slip to protect the battery from contacting the main device during shipping. This piece was previously a piece of soft plastic. To be pedantic, the orange colour is a bit muted in comparison. It’s good to see Ring making changes in deference to sustainability, and without fanfare.
I have a brick veneer house and drilling holes into the brickwork is not my favourite thing, it’s not like I can putty over it and a lick of paint will cover things up particularly right at the front door.
It did occur to me when I put my hand up to review the Battery Doorbell Plus, that I may be up for drilling more holes into the brickwork.
What I am really happy to report back is, that the two Ring doorbells have the exact form factor and locations for mounting. I was able to swap out the previous unit and replacing it with the new unit in just a couple of minutes – four screws into the wall mount and one security screw. Job done.
Just having a quick squizz on the Ring website, it seems that the Battery Doorbell Plus shares a common plan form with the Doorbell 3 and Doorbell 4.
I also had a different coloured face plate that my partner prefers, and that pops straight onto the Battery Doorbell Plus without fuss.
For me this is a real highlight of the product design. It makes it simple for anyone to upgrade from the previous version.
The process of adding a Ring device hasn’t changed, it is still as straightforward as ever with the app guiding you through. It does take a few minutes to complete so make sure you budget some time to see it through. Also it is important to heed the warning about using the correct screws
In brief, the steps are:
select the category (doorbell)
scan the QR code under the face plate
location where the device is to be located, either an existing location or new
If you have a Chime Pro at your location, you are given the option to connect to the Chime Pro or the Home Wi-Fi network, depending which one is physically closer to the doorbell for a stronger signal.
If you have other Ring devices, you are prompted for the option to link them to trigger an action.
Lastly the device checks for a firmware update and will bring itself up to the latest version.
One of the main selling point of the Ring Battery Doorbell Plus is the head-to-toe 150×150-degree expanded field of view. This is in contrast to the 160×84 degrees of the Video Doorbell 4 where it valued more of the landscape view.
Why does it matter? It matters because you want to know who is at the front door, and what they have in hand. It is easy to just see who is coming, but what if it is a stranger and you have no idea what they are carrying? Having a larger vertical field of view will help you get a better idea of what is outside your house. Am I being paranoid? Perhaps, but what value do you put your family’s safety?
The difference in coverage is significant. I have the camera in the doorbell mounted at 1430mm off the ground.
With the Ring Video Doorbell 4, I can see the ground at 1.2m away from the wall where it is mounted.
In comparison, the Ring Battery Doorbell Plus sees from 28cm from the wall. Yes there is some distortion but that is quite an impressive field of view.
In reality for me, I can see the chair I have next to the door to sit on and put shoes on. It is going to take an effort to hide from the doorbell, which in itself is a clue something is up.
As Ring marketing points out, this makes the Ring Protect subscription and premium features such as Package Alert much more useful. When a package is detected within a specified zone, it sends a push notification to your phone.
There is caveat though, the package needs to be 25cm or larger on each side (10″) to be triggered as a package alert. That means smaller packages may not be “seen”.
The image resolution has been increased to 1536p, and is the highest resolution available in the current product line up. Older features, such as Motion Zones and Privacy Zones remain the same and available.
In the screenshots below, the first image is the Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus. The second image is from the Ring Video Doorbell 4.
When I reviewed the Video Doorbell 4, I lamented that the battery life did not seem to be anywhere near the rated duration.
Over time though, I am happy to note that the battery lifespan has improved and I am now going around six weeks between recharges. And this is with a reasonable amounts of motion detection and notifications. Yes I get a lot of that with the coming and goings, deliveries and all.
So far I am seeing a similar trend with the Battery Doorbell Plus, about 1% battery a day with a bit of testing, configuration and the like. There are plenty of notifications and I have tuned it down slightly to be less sensitive. Ring is claiming that the battery life is up to three times better than Ring’s first doorbell. Let’s face it though, it isn’t really an apples to apples comparison.
If the battery lasts around two months on a full charge, I would be fairly satisfied in my use case.
In the screenshots below, the left image is the Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus. The right image is from the Ring Video Doorbell 4.
There is now support for colour night vision, as well as High Dynamic Range (HDR) for better colours. Both comes at the expense of battery life. Almost remember, unless you are intending to do a full featured motion picture with your doorbell, you probably don’t need to turn these on.
Despite the naming convention, you can hardwire electrical power to the unit. The instructions are included in the packaging.
One thing that I do like is that Ring guaranteed software security updates until at least four years after the device is last available for purchase as a new unit from the Ring website. That’s a decent commitment!
Do I have any? Glad you asked.
I feel that it would be really nice to be able to migrate or inherit the settings from the previous Ring doorbell to the new one. There isn’t huge amount of settings but when you have invested the effort into getting it just the way you want, it would be nice to save the extra effort.
Yes the zones will be a bit out of whack with the changed field of view, but that is easily adjustable.
There is no colour pre-roll video on this one, which is a step back from the Video Doorbell 4.
Wi-Fi connectivity is 2.4 GHz only. This is a step back from the dual band Video Doorbell 4.
The Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus is a worthy upgrade from the previous generation. Taking out the efficiencies in battery life, the real drawcard is the significant field of view upgrade to allow virtually full body view in close proximity to the device.
However to make the most out of the device, you do need to consider the Ring Protect Subscription. Purchasing a new Ring device will give you a free 30 days trial.
The Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus is currently available from Ring.com and Amazon for AUD$289, with bundled with a Ring Chime for AUD$309. The latter is well worth considering. If you need more convincing, read my review of the Chime Pro here.
It will be available for purchase from retailers in May 2023 across Australia and New Zealand for AUD$289.
DRN would like to thank Ring for providing the review unit.
To the lovely lady I spoke to at Bunnings back mid-March 2023, this one is worth waiting for over the model you were planning to get on the day. And yes you can pair two doorbells to the same Chime Pro.
Dimensions: 12.8cm x 6.2cm x 2.8cm
Colour: Satin Nickel
Video: 1536p HD Video, Head-to-Toe View, Live View, Colour Night Vision
Motion Detection: Advanced Motion Detection with Customisable Motion Zones
Field of View: 150° horizontal, 150° vertical
Audio: Two-way audio with noise cancellation
Internet Requirements: 02.11 b/g/n wifi connection @ 2.4GHz
Connectivity: Requires a minimum upload speed of 2.5 Mbps for optimal performance
Runs on a removable, rechargeable, Quick Release Battery Pack (included).
For connecting to an existing doorbell system:
Hardwired transformer (8 to 24 VAC, 50/60Hz, 5VA to 40VA)
Ring accessories are sold separately and may include
Din Rail Transformer (24Vdc, 420mA)
Plug-In Adapter (24Vdc, 500mA)
Solar Charger (5.2Vdc, 100mA or 109mA)
Solar Panel (5Vdc, 380mA/480mA/800mA)