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Battery Doorbell Plus Ring
What we like
What we don't like
Battery Doorbell Plus Ring
Amazon’s Ring is practically the default video doorbell option for many people, and no wonder, given its parent company and a headstart in the market. The Alexa-powered Battery Doorbell Plus is positioned to become the brand’s new flagship — but is it worth a place at your front door? Find out in Android Authority‘s Ring Battery Doorbell Plus review.
Ring Battery Doorbell Plus review: What you need to know
- Ring Battery Doorbell Plus: $179.99 / £159.99 / €179.99
The Battery Doorbell Plus is primarily powered by a removable 5,800mAh battery pack, charged indoors via a micro-USB cable. You can supplement the battery with options such as a solar charger or trickle-charging from your home’s transformer. For ring sounds, you can wire the doorbell to your home’s existing chime system or use it on its own, but either way you’ll receive alerts via the Ring app (for Android or iOS), and optionally a Ring Chime or an Alexa-compatible smart speaker or display. Alexa-equipped Fire TV devices will work too. With any Alexa-capable device, all you need to say is something like “Alexa, answer the [doorbell name]” or “Alexa, show me the [doorbell name].”
You’re normally meant to mount the Plus on a wall or doorframe, and all the essential tools and parts are bundled in the box, including an angle piece if you need to face the camera away from the street. Since this was a review unit, however, I asked Ring for a No-Drill Mount, which uses super-strong adhesive paired with hidden pull tabs for eventual removal. While I’d probably want to drill if I was planning something permanent, I didn’t encounter any problems during testing, even after several hours-long rainstorms.
There are a few distinguishing features in the Ring Battery Doorbell Plus versus most Ring models. First is a 1,536p video resolution camera, which is noticeably sharper than the 1080p Ring normally sticks to — the only other model with that resolution is the Video Doorbell Pro 2. And like the Video Doorbell 3 Plus, it sports a 150-degree field of view both vertically and horizontally. This makes it easier to get a full view of visitors and packages on your doorstep, unlike many Ring doorbells, which default to a landscape view that often blocks out legs, pets, and packages.
By default, the Battery Doorbell Plus offers live views, two-way talk, motion zones, color night vision, canned Quick Replies in case you can’t come to the door, and the option for visitors to leave messages. You’ll need a Ring Protect subscription for any form of cloud recording, however, not to mention person and package detection, or preview images in app notifications. In the US, Protect Basic ($3.99 per month/$39.99 per year) covers a single doorbell or camera, while Plus ($10 per month/$100 per year) offers unlimited coverage, and Pro ($20 per month/$200 per year) introduces things like professional monitoring and cellular backup if you have a Ring Alarm system.
What I like about the Ring Battery Doorbell Plus
The Plus’ 1,536p video is superior to most doorbells for picking out details, especially if you’re watching fullscreen clips on a device that can match or surpass that resolution, such as a tablet or higher-end smartphone. It doesn’t make a dramatic difference — you won’t be reading shipping labels, for example — but it does make anything with 1080p or lower feel obsolete.
A 150-degree field of view, meanwhile, does make it genuinely easier to see packages. It can’t top the twin cameras on the super-premium Eufy Video Doorbell Dual, and you need to position the Plus low enough, but I was able to tell whenever something had been delivered with a quick glance at the Ring app or its notifications.
The best thing about the Ring Battery Doorbell Plus is how straightforward it is.
Perhaps the best thing about the is how straightforward it is. It’s easy to install, and the Ring app is largely uncomplicated. Alexa integration is as simple as enabling the Ring skill in the Alexa app, and you can answer your doorbell from any Echo device, whether or not it has a display to see visitors. And when person and package detection are enabled, you can generally trust the Plus to alert you only to important things, at least as long as your custom motion and package detection zones aren’t set too broad. I found I had to spend a few days tweaking zones to find the right balance.
What I don’t like about the Ring Battery Doorbell Plus
Too many critical features are contingent on a Ring Protect subscription, most notably recording. Without one you’re limited to live views, which can mean no evidence of events while you’re asleep, or even while you’re busy away from your phone for a few minutes. The Nest Doorbell offers tjree hours of free cloud recording by default, and Amazon’s own Blink brand offers optional local recording so long as you have a Sync Module 2 and a USB drive. The only way to get local recording with the Battery Doorbell Plus is by paying for both Protect Pro and a Ring Alarm Pro, at which point you’re just duplicating cloud recording.
Person and package detection are likewise unavailable without Protect, and for some people that may be less forgivable than recording. In their absence you can only be alerted to button pushes and general motion, the latter potentially resulting in false alerts caused by animals, vehicles, or trees rustling in the wind. While this won’t be an issue if you can steer the doorbell’s field of view and/or motion zones away from streets and sidewalks, that isn’t always possible.
Too many critical features are contingent on a Ring Protect subscription.
I don’t have any other serious complaints, but I will note that battery life can vary wildly depending on how often the doorbell captures video, live or otherwise. Within less than a week I had a fully-charged battery pack drop to 87%. That’s under the intense demands of review testing, but you could easily replicate that in a high-traffic neighborhood, especially without person detection. I’d expect to recharge the battery every two and a half months or so if you don’t wire up solar or transformer power, so keep that official Ring screwdriver handy for opening up the battery compartment.
Lastly, while person detection is rock-solid, package detection could stand some improvement. It’s only built to detect boxes, and sure enough, I typically only knew Instacart or DoorDash deliveries had arrived because of person detection or someone pushing the button. To Ring’s credit, it did pick up bags and other non-box objects a couple of times, although that feels like a fluke.
Should you buy the Ring Battery Doorbell Plus?
The Ring Battery Doorbell Plus is a good option for anyone with an Alexa-based smart home, but only if you’re already using or interested in Ring Protect. Without it, the Battery Doorbell Plus is little more than an Alexa-capable intercom and chime, and one that can bombard you with irrelevant motion alerts if you’re not careful.
Indeed if you’re looking at a doorbell in this price bracket, you should seriously consider the Nest Doorbell ($119.99 at Amazon). There are Wired and Battery versions, both of which offer three hours of free cloud recording and free onboard detection of people, packages, animals, and vehicles. While its resolution is sub-par, that might be an acceptable tradeoff, and you can link it with either Alexa or Google Home.
The Ring Battery Doorbell Plus is a good option for Alexa-based smart homes, but only if you have Ring Protect.
If saving money is your concern, you might want to try the Blink Video Doorbell ($54.98 at Amazon). You’ll be stuck with a landscape view and no person detection, but it’s still Alexa-compatible, and you’ll get the option of free local recording as long as you can supply your own USB drive.
When you are willing to sink money into Protect, the Battery Doorbell Plus delivers. It offers sharp picture quality, a practical field of view, and a well-designed mobile app that bridges with an Alexa smart home. I just wish Ring wasn’t so bent on driving up subscription numbers.
Ring Battery Doorbell Plus review: FAQs
While Ring started out as an independent company in 2013, it was bought by Amazon in 2018.
No, but without a Ring Protect subscription you’ll sacrifice features like cloud recording and person and package detection.
While Ring doorbells aren’t fully waterproof, they can handle rain and snow. As long as they’re not flooded or sprayed with a high-pressure hose, they should be fine.
Yes. It connects to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, and usually, it relies on its removable battery pack for power. You can connect it your house’s transformer power or a special Ring solar charger.
No. It only records short clips whenever it detects motion or a button press, and if you have a Ring Protect plan, you can limit motion recording to people and packages.
Not in any useful way, unfortunately. You can’t stream live video, and Google Assistant commands limit you to actions like starting a manual recording or checking device health.