Ring Battery Doorbell Plus: a simple smart solution for a super smart home

July 4, 2023
3 mins read
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Summary

Ring Battery Doorbell Plus REVIEW

PAT PILCHER is sold on the latest iteration of Ring’s doorbell which bumps up its security features and jives with other smart home gadgets.

$329

As a smart home fan, Rings’s doorbell was one of the first gadgets I ever bolted onto my home. Since then, It has earned its keep many times, notifying us whenever anyone comes to the front door. Handier still, I can tell couriers where to leave packages when I’m not home using the Ring mobile app (iOS/Android). I was curious to see what improvements the new Ring Battery Doorbell Plus offered, so I took the plunge for your reading pleasure.

On the design front, little has changed from the earlier Ring 3+. Like its predecessor, it’s built to last, meaning it isn’t petite. Fitting it to slim door frames in newer homes might be tricky, so measuring up before buying is recommended. The upside of this, however, is that the Ring is built like a brick you-know-what house and looks like it could survive thermonuclear war.

Being battery-powered, one of the chores associated with owning a Ring Doorbell is regularly recharging its battery. With this latest edition, the battery life on the Doorbell Plus has been given a boost. This is largely due to enhanced power management features. I got just over a month of uninterrupted use before needing to recharge. Since then, I’ve wired it into my existing 24v AC doorbell transformer. While it still requires its battery, charging is now a non-issue.

The folks at Ring have steadily improved video quality. The battery Doorbell Plus sports a crisp 1536p HD resolution and enhanced colour night vision. Even better still, the camera now has what Ring calls head-to-toe coverage. If someone is at my front door, I can see them from the top of their head down to their toes for added security. Video detection has also been given some added smarts. Suppose a courier approaches my front door carrying a package. In that case, I get a package notification in the Ring app (Android/iOS). Because motion detection is based on machine learning and is set up to recognise people, annoying false alerts from the app are non-existent. The many swaying trees outside our front door, birds and even the neighbour’s cat no longer result in false notifications.

In addition to seeing people at the front door and getting alerts regardless of my location (as long as I’m within mobile coverage), the various Amazon Echos scattered around my house act as chimes. If a person is detected at the front door or the doorbell is rung, Alexa lets us know we have company, and we can use the Alexa Show 15 in our kitchen to see who is at the door and use it as an intercom to talk to them. You can purchase a separate wireless chime if you don’t have Alexa. I also like that motion and doorbell press notification sounds can be customised – I’ve currently got it set to a wolf howl, which confuses the bejesus out of our poor greyhound.

Another useful upgrade that deserves specific mention is privacy zones. With the Doorbell Plus, I can use the Ring app to set up specific areas I didn’t wish to monitor. This ensures our neighbour’s privacy is respected.

 

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The Ring app remains largely unchanged from previous versions. Its user-friendly interface makes viewing live feeds or past events and adjusting settings a straightforward exercise. It’s the hub for all Ring cameras and other Ring devices to act as an easy-to-use one-stop home security app. That said, you need to subscribe to a plan if you want Ring alerts to be recorded.

Installing the Ring was a doddle thanks to clearly documented instructions that were sufficiently idiot-proof that even I got it right the first time. Ring handily bundles several mounting plates, including one that angles the doorbell, allowing it to look along the entire length of our front veranda to see people approaching. All the mounting screws are covered by the external case of the Battery Doorbell Plus, and its battery is fastened using a proprietary screw, making tampering all but impossible.

As impressive as the Battery Doorbell Plus is, I discovered two relatively minor gotchas. The audio quality during two-way conversations was sometimes a little ropey, and the response time for live video feeds to start on the Echo Show in my kitchen could be a tad quicker too. Neither of these issues are deal breakers.

After spending a few weeks with the Ring Battery Doorbell Plus, I’m 110% sold. It’s a reliable and feature-rich home security option. For those without a compatible doorbell transformer, its battery life is excellent. Its video quality is great, and motion detection is bomb-proof. With the intuitive and seamless app, it ticks all the right boxes.

www.ring.com

 

Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

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