Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus review

Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus review: see more, or less

8.8

Offering a better view of what’s sitting on your doorstep, but ditching a key feature, the Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus ensures you know what’s waiting for you when you get home.

The concept of a video doorbell finally won me over during the pandemic lockdowns. While we couldn’t go out or have any visitors, more deliveries came to the door than ever.

If a courier decides to drop and run without making a sound, even if you’re home, a video doorbell with motion detection can let you know someone’s been and that there might be something precious sitting on your porch. This way you can grab it before it gets rained on, or someone pinches it.

Having reviewed the Google Nest, Arlo and Ring battery-powered video doorbells over the last few years, none of them are perfect but Ring is my pick of the bunch. Ring’s biggest shortcoming is a narrow vertical field of view, meaning you can’t see the ground in front of the doorbell.

That’s where the new Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus comes to the rescue, offering a wider view and a few other improvements to help you keep a close eye on your doorstep. Yet Ring has also ripped out a critical feature that could be a deal-breaker for some households.

Review: Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus

Australian websiteRing
Price$289 RRP ($309 with indoor Chime bundled)
Warranty1 year
Lockup-Battery-Video-Doorbell-Plus
Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus makes it easier to see what’s at the door, but harder to see what happened.

First impressions

At first glance, the Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus looks exactly like Ring’s other battery video doorbells but, under the bonnet, Ring has made a few significant improvements that might make it a worthy upgrade.

Sticking with the same design makes it easier to swap out an older Ring battery video doorbell, like the Ring Video Doorbell 4 I reviewed previously (that review is worth a re-read so I don’t need to cover too much old ground here).

Sticking with the same design is helpful because Ring battery video doorbells are cumbersome to install, although there’s the option of a no-drill mount if you don’t want to mess around with screws.

The new model also relies on the same battery, interchangeable face plate and plastic wedge, which you can insert between the doorbell and wall if the doorbell is installed in a corner or alcove and you want the camera on an angle.

Ring includes a Satin Nickel faceplate in the box, plus it sells a choice of different coloured $25 faceplates to match your house. The faceplate pops off so you can remove the battery and recharge it every few months via micro-USB. There’s a special screw for attaching the faceplate if you’re worried about someone stealing the doorbell.

There’s also the option to hardwire it to your existing doorbell wiring for power and use your existing in-door chime. If you’re not doing that then you’ll likely want to invest in Ring’s wireless indoor Chime or Chime Pro (the Pro also extends your Wi-Fi signal to boost the network for all your Ring video doorbells and cameras).

Set up is pretty straightforward using the iOS or Android Ring app. You can adjust the sensitivity of the motion detection and create zones, as well as set how long the camera waits before checking for motion again. All of this reduces false alarms and conserves battery life.

It took three tries before it would connect to my Wi-Fi network, which could be related to the fact that it only supports 2.4 GHz networks, not dual 2.4G Hz and 5.0 GHz like other Ring doorbells.

Ring-Chime
You can install the wireless Chime anywhere in your house, or sound the chine through Alexa speakers.

Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus specs

Dimensions12.8cm x 6.2cm x 2.8cm
Weight240 gm
Field of view150° horizontal, 150° vertical
Video1536p HD
Night visionColour
AudioTwo-way audio with noise cancellation (Pre-Roll does not include audio)
Wireless802.11 b/g/n wifi connection @ 2.4GHz
AC Power8-24 VAC, 10-40VA, 50/60Hz
Weatherproof-20°C to 50°C. Weather Resistant – when hardwired, the device allows charging in the range of 0° to 45°C, otherwise charging is disabled
Body colourSatin Nickel
Faceplate coloursSatin Nickel, Galaxy Black, Night Sky, Smooth Black, Blue Metal, Gold Metal, Silver Metal, Pearl White

Features

The biggest improvement with the Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus is the wider viewing angles. At 150 degrees it can’t see quite as far to the sides as the Video Doorbell 4, but that’s forgivable when its 150-degree vertical viewing angle means it can now see a lot more of the ground.

It’s best to install the doorbell about 1.2 metres off the ground so you get a good view of people’s faces. At this height, the Video Doorbell 4 can’t see anything on the ground within roughly 180 centimetres of the camera (that’s looking straight ahead, it’s a bit better off to the sides).

The Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus brings this down to only 15cm, which makes it all but impossible for packages to hide from sight. That’s important considering that package detection is a bit hit-and-miss, depending on the size and shape of the package.

The new doorbell also features a higher resolution sensor, but that’s to allow for the wider field of view and doesn’t actually deliver a sharper picture. The new sensor brings the Battery Video Doorbell Plus into line with the wired Video Doorbell Pro 2’s video capabilities.

Another improvement is colour night vision, which sounds great in theory but in practice isn’t that impressive, primarily just adding an unnatural green tinge to things.

Ring also promises triple the battery life compared to its “first video doorbell”, which isn’t as impressive as it sounds considering it was released in 2015. This means the Battery Video Doorbell Plus will likely go six months without a recharge, which is a slight step up from the Video Doorbell 4.

Realistically, recharging every few months isn’t a major inconvenience unless you’re using the doorbell at a property that is empty for extended periods of time.

The biggest surprise with the Battery Video Doorbell Plus is that it completely ditches the great pre-roll feature which helps Ring cameras stand out from the crowd. 

When you click on an alert to check the live feed from your doorbell, pre-roll gives you a Picture-in-Picture replay of the four seconds leading up to the event so you know exactly what happened. The Ring Video Doorbell 4 upgraded from black and white pre-roll to colour, but the Battery Video Doorbell Plus abandons it completely.

Without pre-roll, when you click on a live notification you might only see the back of someone’s head as they walk away, or a glimpse of their shoulder as they walk in the front door. You’re left to wait until the video preview is available before you can see what actually happened.

Subscription

Like most smart home devices that upload video to the cloud, a Ring Protect subscription is required to access some of the Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus’s advanced features. You can cover just the doorbell for AU$4 p/m or AU$40 p/a, or multiple Ring devices for AU$15 p/m or AU$150 p/a.

The camera doesn’t capture any recordings unless you pay for a subscription (which stores recordings for 60 days), without which it’s only really useful for receiving alerts and checking the door in real time.

It gets worse, with Ring planning to also make watching live video part of the subscription service. That seems like a jerk move but, realistically, it probably doesn’t make a difference as it’s unlikely you’d opt for a video doorbell like this without a subscription.

GadgetGuy’s take

Ditching pre-roll is a stunning move, especially considering that the Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus isn’t a budget model – is now more expensive than the older models which support pre-roll. That’s hard to forgive considering that, in my book, it’s one of the key features that sees Ring come out ahead of Google and Arlo.

That said, I have to admit I didn’t notice the lack of pre-roll at first. That’s because I work from home, so I mostly rely on a video doorbell to tell me when someone is approaching the door (or to see a history of who has come to the door). It’s not often that I use a video doorbell to see a live view of what’s happening when I’m not at home.

Which of these two use cases applies to you will determine which Ring is best for you. If you need to see what’s sitting on the porch, the new Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus is a big improvement. If you need to see what’s happening at your doorstep right now, and the events which lead up to it, then stick with a Ring camera that features pre-roll.

Would I buy the Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus?

Yes, if I cared more about the field of view than pre-roll.

Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus
The Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus is both a big step forward and a big backwards for those who want to keep an eye on their doorstep from afar.
Features
9
Value for money
9
Performance
9
Ease of use
9
Design
8
Positives
Wider vertical viewing angle can see more of the doorstep
Optional standalone wireless Chime
Intelligence alerts and adjustable notification tones
Negatives
No pre-roll
Requires subscription to record video clips or see live feed
Tricky to attach to the wall
8.8