The new Ring Battery Doorbell Plus looks the same as previous models, but it has a few big improvements inside that improve your experience. The new Battery Doorbell Plus has a wider field of view, so you can see all that is happening at your door. Also, the video quality has been improved to match the company’s Video Doorbell Pro 2.
The Battery Doorbell Plus, unlike the Video Doorbell Pro 2 does not need to be wired to your home's electric system. It can be installed wherever there is a Wi-Fi signal.
The Battery Doorbell Plus has been in my testing for the past week. I have found it to be a lot more reliable than the previous generation models and do many other things well. Ring's products are not perfect in certain areas.
We liked it
The head-to-toe view allows you to see everything
The Battery Doorbell Plus has a new name and a larger field of view (FOV), which can show you what Ring refers to as a 'head–to-toe view'.
The larger 150x150-degree field view of the camera is capable of showing what's below it. The camera also has a wider field of vision, so you can see everything around the person who is standing at your front door.
A larger FOV means that features such as package detection will be more accurate, particularly if deliveries are frequently left at your doorstep, away from your current video doorbell.
The Battery Doorbell Plus was installed on my back porch, in the exact same place I test all doorbells. The video feed normally doesn't show the bottom or my buggy filled with firewood below the outdoor TV. The Battery Doorbell Plus allows you to see the bottom and part of my buggy at the bottom of each frame. Not only that, but I can also see my entire backyard. This is a huge upgrade compared to its predecessor, Ring Video Doorbell 4, which had a 160 by 84 degree field of view.
Video of high quality is important
Ring increased the viewing area and also raised the resolution to 1536p. This is the highest resolution video Ring has ever produced for its battery-powered doorbells and matches the resolution of Ring’s flagship Video Doorbell Pro 2.
The Battery Doorbell Plus also offers HD video and Color Night Vision capabilities. These offer superior video quality during the day and night.
Some pixelation occurs at the beginning of recorded clips and when you first begin live streaming from your doorbell. However, this is a common problem for all home security cameras and video doorbells I have tested. After those few seconds, the video is sharp and clear.
I like that the colors aren’t too saturated and that the camera doesn’t struggle with the afternoon sun, which can often cause overexposed video. Video quality should not be an issue. This will allow you to identify who is coming up to your doorbell or riding it.
The Battery Doorbell Plus's video resolution is an improvement on the older battery-powered Ring doorbells.
It can be installed anywhere
The Battery Doorbell Plus is the same design as Ring's other battery-powered doorbells and uses the same battery. The lens is located above the removable door at the bottom of the housing, where the battery can be inserted into the doorbell's body.
Two screws are located on the backside to the doorbell. These can be used to attach it to existing wiring or to supply constant power through one of Ring's power adapters.
Ring claims that it has made power optimizations to improve the battery life of its Battery Doorbell Plus doorbells, compared with its older battery-powered models. Ring claims that the Battery Doorbell Plus will last three times as long, but I was not able to test this claim.
Even then, so many variables like traffic volume, motion alert frequency, and outside temperature all affect the battery life of a video doorbell that it would be difficult to compare them. Ring does not list the battery life of its doorbells because of these variables.
The Battery Doorbell Plus is perfect for people who don’t own their homes or apartments or don’t have wiring for their doorbells. Ring offers a solar panel that can be used to charge the Battery Doorbell Plus, so you don't have to worry about charging it every day.
We didn't like it
It requires more than just package alerts
Ring is ahead of the pack when it comes offering smart alerts that keep you up to date with what's happening in front of its cameras. The Nest Doorbell can recognize motion and send alerts to you for people, packages and animals. This smart alert feature is quite common in other home security cameras and video doorbells. Even the $60 Roku Video Doorbell offers this alert feature.
Ring's Battery Doorbell Plus, along with its other camera range, will only allow you to receive motion, people, and packages. These alert types will require that you sign up for one Ring's subscription plans. They start at $4 per month or $40 per year for a single camera. You won't have motion alerts and other features such as cloud recording or rich notifications if you don't sign up.
Smart alerts from the Nest Doorbell are available without a subscription. Once you have set it up, you can turn on the alerts that you choose, disable the rest, and then you are good to go.
You can customize the push notifications that reach your phone by having more smart alerts. It might be a good idea to get vehicle and people alerts if your doorbell is visible from your front porch or driveway. This will let you know when someone pulls up in your driveway.
Perhaps you just want to see if your neighbor has allowed their dog to enter your yard. You can also have video evidence that your neighbor must clean up after their four-legged friend.
You can't identify people or packages without knowing more. This means you have to rely on every motion alert and then check it. It leads to notification exhaustion, which eventually causes you to ignore or turn off all alerts. It is not ideal.
It is almost impossible to see the fisheye from this angle.
Ring put a fisheye lens onto the Battery Doorbell Plus to increase its field of view. This lens helps you see all that is in front of the camera. However, if someone is close to the camera, it can cause a distortion that reminds me of Busta Rhymes or Blink-182 music videos from the 90s. This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially for those who grew up watching Total Request Live and MTV. However, the distortion caused by the fisheye lens can sometimes feel a little heavy handed.
Ring's Video Doorbell Pro 2 offers the exact same 150-degree field, but it doesn't feel quite as aggressive as its Battery Doorbell Plus.
It's not something you can do, but maybe after using the Battery Doorbell Plus for a while, I won't notice it.
Is there 3D Motion Detection available?
Even without Ring's advanced motion detection technology that is used in the Video Doorbell Pro 2, motion alerts work fine on the Battery Doorbell Plus. Ring should bring 3D Motion Detection and Bird's Eye View to the Battery Doorbell Plus. This would allow me to map the route that someone took as they approached the battery doorbell.
Although I know that Ring's battery life concerns were likely to be the reason we didn't see Ring include its advanced motion hardware in Battery Doorbell Plus's, keep in mind that you can still hardwire the doorbell to your existing doorbell, providing constant power and eliminating the need for worrying about the battery draining.
It's currently on sale for $175. This is less than the regular price of the Battery Doorbell Plus.
Ring's $180 battery doorbell Plus has a wider field-of-view, better video quality, and performance improvements that should improve battery life. This is a great option for anyone looking to replace an old Ring video doorbell or if they already have other Ring products and want to remain within Ring's ecosystem.
Ring's inability to send smart alerts beyond packages and people is disappointing. Google's $180 Nest Doorbell is a smarter option for someone looking for a video doorbell that works in both wired and wireless modes. It also includes additional alert options, without the need to subscribe.