Ring’s new Battery Doorbell Plus fixes some of the biggest problems with its existing doorbells. While Ring created the category, many video doorbell competitors have surpassed its capabilities, offering better video quality, better viewing angles, and notifications for things like animals and vehicles (as well as people and packages). Only Ring’s top-of-the-line Ring Pro 2 (a wired doorbell) was really keeping up with the Joneses.
The new $179.99 Battery Doorbell Plus, available for preorder today at Amazon and Ring.com and shipping April 5th, improves on Ring’s existing battery-powered buzzers by adding a square 1:1 aspect ratio with a 150-degree by 150-degree field of view and 1536p HD video resolution. These are the same specs as the Ring Pro 2, one of my top picks for best video doorbell, for about $70 less (the Pro 2 is $250).
The new square view gets you a head-to-toe view of all your visitors and the ability to see packages on your porch. All of Ring’s other battery-powered doorbell cameras use the standard 16:9 aspect ratio, which lets you see a lot from side to side but often misses packages on the floor.
The 1536p HD video, a big bump from the 1080p used by Ring’s other battery-powered buzzers, brings it up to the quality of Ring’s Pro 2, which provides some of the best video quality for seeing who is at your front door of all the video doorbells I’ve tested.
The Battery Doorbell Plus will eventually replace the Ring Video Doorbell 3 in Ring’s line as a midrange standard doorbell option, coming after the Ring Video Doorbell Wired at $65 and the Ring Video Doorbell at $99 (which has a built-in battery).
As the name implies, the Ring Battery Doorbell Plus also includes some “energy saving features” that the company says will get battery life “up to three times better than our first Ring Video Doorbell.” Battery tech has greatly improved since Ring’s first doorbell came out in 2011, so you would hope its new doorbells last at least three times as long.
However, this improved battery isn’t new, unfortunately. It’s actually the same removable, rechargeable battery that the current Ring Doorbells 3 and 4 and the company’s battery-powered cameras use.
According to Ring, some of this better battery life comes from “software tweaks” the user has to make by using features like Advanced Motion Detection, Motion Zones, and People Only Mode available in the Ring app. These reduce how much power the camera uses since it doesn’t have to wake up for every tiny bit of motion. But these work for any current Ring camera, so they aren’t unique to the new doorbell.
As with all of Ring’s cameras, the Battery Doorbell Plus comes with free motion detection and privacy zones. There are also Quick Replies (preset responses your doorbell can deliver to visitors), Alexa compatibility to view your doorbell camera feed on an Echo Show or Fire TV, live view, and two-way talk. The Battery Doorbell Plus can also be hardwired to trickle charge the battery and to work with your existing indoor doorbell chime.
A Ring Protect subscription ($3.99 a month / $39.99 a year) adds cloud storage of recorded video, package alerts, rich notifications, and People Only Mode (so you only get notified when the cameras sees a person).
You can enable end-to-end video encryption on any of Ring’s cameras, but you do lose out on some features. The new Battery Doorbell Plus will work with Ring Edge, a local storage and processing option that requires a Ring Alarm Pro smart hub. You can also opt out of Ring’s Neighbors app integration and Ring’s public safety partnerships if you are concerned about the company’s partnerships with police — or the ability of anyone other than you to access and view your recordings.
Source: The Verge