The latest addition to Ring’s growing stable of video doorbells, the Battery Doorbell Plus ($179.99), is the company’s most advanced battery-powered model yet. It offers a wider, higher-resolution (1536p) view than its predecessor, and includes features such as color night vision and intelligent motion detection. Our main complaints are that it costs a lot and all but requires a Ring Protect subscription plan. At roughly half the price, the Wyze Video Doorbell Pro ($93.99) remains a far better value and our Editors’ Choice winner. It provides similarly sharp 1440p recordings, has a dual-band Wi-Fi radio, and supports Google Assistant.
A Familiar Design With a Higher-Res Camera
The Battery Doorbell Plus retains the satin nickel and glossy black finish of the Video Doorbell 4 and is the same size at 5.1 by 2.4 by 1.1 inches (HWD). The camera sits at the top of the enclosure, while the lower portion has a removable cover and a doorbell button. An LED encircles the latter; it flashes blue when you ring the doorbell and a white light spins around it during setup.
In the box, you get a mounting wedge and mounting hardware, a Torx screwdriver and Torx security screws, wiring nuts, a charging cable, and a user guide.
The camera captures video at 1536p, a significant jump over the previous model’s 1080p resolution. It has a 150-degree (vertical and horizontal) field of view that’s broad enough to show a head-to-toe view of visitors, your full doorstep, and even some of your front yard. This coverage is expansive enough that you won’t miss any context of motion events. The doorbell records color video at night if there’s enough ambient light, but otherwise relies on the two infrared LEDs to provide black-and-white night vision.
Beneath the cover is a removable 5,800mAh battery pack (which charges via the included micro USB-to-USB-A cable) and a reset button. On the back, there are two terminals for connecting the device to traditional doorbell wiring with an 8-24 VAC transformer if you don’t want to worry about charging the battery pack every couple of months. Note that while the Ring Video Doorbell 4 and the Wyze Video Doorbell Pro offer dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity, the Battery Doorbell Plus uses only the 2.4GHz band.
The device records video and sends an alert to your phone whenever someone presses the doorbell button or the camera detects motion, but you need a Ring Protect subscription to view those recordings; otherwise, you just get screenshots with alerts. The Ring Protect Basic plan, which costs $3.99 per month ($39.99 per year), unlocks 180 days of cloud-based video history for one camera as well as person and package alerts, snapshot captures, rich notifications, and the ability to save and share video clips. For $10 per month, you can expand coverage to all your Ring doorbells and cameras. Wyze offers a similar plan for $1.99 per month ($19.99 per year), but gives you only 14 days of video history.
The Battery Doorbell Plus supports Alexa voice commands and IFTTT, but it doesn’t integrate with Apple HomeKit or Google Assistant. For reference, the Wyze Video Doorbell Pro works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT.
Ring Battery Doorbell Plus App Experience
The Doorbell Plus uses the same mobile app (available for Android and iOS) as every other Ring device and shows up in a panel on the main screen along with its last event capture. Simply tap that section to view a live feed from the camera. Here, you get buttons for ending the live stream, initiating two-way talk, and muting the speaker. Once you end the live feed, you see a timeline of events with controls for pausing, fast-forwarding, and rewinding recordings. At the bottom of the screen are buttons for sharing, downloading, and deleting clips that this specific device generates. You can also sort them by calendar date and filter by type (person, package, motion, or doorbell press).
Tap the gear icon in the upper left corner of the screen to access the doorbell’s settings. Here, you can toggle ring and motion alerts, as well as motion detection. Several other widgets take up the lower half of the screen. The Event History option provides thumbnails of events from all account devices, which you can view, share, download, or delete. The Mode Settings widget lets you set Home, Away, and Disarmed modes if you pair it with a Ring Alarm system. The Linked Devices section enables you to connect the doorbell to other Ring devices and configure them to trigger it. The Motion Snooze widget lets you temporarily silence doorbell alerts, while the Linked Chimes area allows you to set the doorbell up with the $60 Ring Chime Pro.
The list of features doesn’t end there. The Device Health section lets you check the doorbell’s battery and signal strength, as well as change Wi-Fi networks. In the Motion Settings section, you can create custom motion zones, adjust motion sensitivity, configure smart alerts, and set up a package detection zone. A Smart Responses area enables you to select a preprogrammed message to play when someone rings the doorbell. Finally, the Device Settings widget lets you configure video settings (HDR, color night vision, and recording length), set up Snapshot Capture frequency to see what happens between motion events, enable rich notifications, and configure Privacy Zones to protect your neighbors’ privacy .
As with most battery-powered doorbells, the Doorbell Plus is easy to install. If you decide to set it up with traditional wiring, though, don’t hesitate to hire a pro to complete the physical installation. I already have the Ring app on my phone, but you need to download it if this is your first device from the company.
After I inserted a fully charged battery into the doorbell, I immediately heard a chime, and a white light began to spin around the LED ring. I tapped Set Up a Device at the bottom of the app’s Dashboard screen, selected Doorbells, and used my phone’s camera to scan the QR code on the back of the device. The app immediately detected the doorbell, so I added it to my Home location, gave it a name, and scrolled through several help screens.
When I reached the Setup screen, I provided my Wi-Fi network information. Shortly after, the doorbell showed up in the app and on my Alexa device list. After a quick firmware update, I was ready to install the doorbell outside. At this point, you can view an installation tutorial, set up motion zones, and link the doorbell to other Ring devices. Or, you can skip all this and do it later. I simply attached the doorbell to my doorframe using the included screws and replaced the cover to prepare it for testing.
The Battery Doorbell Plus delivers sharp video. Colors are sufficiently vivid in daytime captures, but nighttime recordings look darker and less vibrant. Black-and-white night clips appear crisp and sufficiently bright. As with most doorbell cameras, the edges of the frame suffer from some minor barrel distortion, but people and objects in the camera’s main field of view appear normal.
Doorbell and motion alerts arrived quickly in testing and the camera does a fine job of identifying motion caused by people. Two-way communication between the doorbell and my phone sounded clean and loud enough. An Alexa routine I set up for a Wyze bulb to turn on when someone presses the doorbell worked perfectly. Alexa voice commands to stream video from the camera to an Amazon Echo Show display work without trouble, too.
A Pricey Yet Capable Ring Doorbell
If you don’t have existing doorbell wiring and don’t want to run wires to a transformer, the Ring Battery Doorbell Plus is worth a look. It’s completely wireless, installs in minutes, offers a wide view, and delivers better-than-HD video. You get support for Alexa and IFTTT as well, though we don’t like that you need to pay extra for a Ring Protect plan to view recordings and unlock person and package detection features. You pay extra for these features with the Wyze Video Doorbell Pro too, but that model costs a lot less upfront and has several notable benefits including dual-band Wi-Fi and Google Assistant support. For those reasons, it remains our Editors’ Choice winner for smart doorbells.