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Ring Battery Video Doorbell Pro - Great... But Has Anything Really Changed?

Glenn Hart,
Publish Date
Fri, 5 Apr 2024, 11:37am

Ring Battery Video Doorbell Pro - Great... But Has Anything Really Changed?

Glenn Hart,
Publish Date
Fri, 5 Apr 2024, 11:37am

Way back in April of 2021, I wrote... "How is the Video Doorbell (2020 Release) different from the Video Doorbell Elite? And why is there a Video Doorbell 3 Plus and a Video Doorbell 4?"

I was talking about Ring's identity crisis - a seemingly endless selection of video doorbells, all more or less the same to look at, with a slight variation in features.

Well, three years have passed since then so...

I'm somewhat resigned to revealing the latest collection of words in a different combination; may I present the Ring Battery Video Doorbell Pro. So you should be able to spot the difference there if you're really concentrating; this is the "Pro" model but it now comes with a battery.

You can still wire the device in if you're replacing an existing, mains-powered doorbell and as usual, Ring has included plenty of hardware in the box to help you hook up the terminals.

But the obvious advantage of now being battery-powered is you can mount the Video Doorbell Pro anywhere. My front door is metal, so I'd prefer not to drill holes in it unless absolutely necessary. Thanks to the doorbell's new portability, I have installed it on the adjacent wall instead. There's also an angled mounting wedge in the box and I've made use of this so I can keep an eye on the front path as well as the entranceway.

This is a great option if you do want to put the device right on your door though - no wires required. Or perhaps it makes more sense to have a security camera like this at your front gate instead? As long as you're within range of your home Wi-Fi network, you're in business.

If you've had Ring doorbells before, or even if you've only seen them out and about, you may be surprised to see this one looks pretty much exactly the same. What surprised me more was, even after three years, it basically IS the same. Well... like I say, there are a lot of different models with a lot of different features. What separates the Battery Video Doorbell Pro is it brings all of those features into one device and adds a dash of colour.

After previously introducing the option for colour night vision videos at a resolution of up to 1536p, Ring has now colourised its "Pre-roll" video preview feature. This option is actually quite unique to Ring and is a compelling reason to choose the Battery Video Doorbell Pro over any other. "Pre-roll" means your saved videos - whether they're fired off by the motion sensor or a press of the doorbell button - include a few seconds' footage from before that event. So, if some dirtbag sprints up to your doorstep to nick your parcel and dashes away again, you have a much better chance of catching their ugly mug on camera. For some reason, before the Battery Video Doorbell Pro came along, this pre-roll footage was only black-and-white. Now it's colour and crystal clear.

Other great (but not new) features include Bird's Eye View, which combines historical satellite imagery of your property with Ring's advanced radar detection to show you an overhead impression of any visitor's route up to or away from your front door. You also get the options of Quick Replies, Package Alerts, 3D Motion Detection and Two-Way Talk with enhanced audio.

But as always, there's a catch. Many of these features are only available if you subscribe to one of the Ring Protect Plans. The Basic Protect Plan will cost you NZ$4.95 a month but if you want to cover more than one Ring device, you'll need to fork out NZ$15 a month. (Or $150 for an annual discount) Like any successful pusher, Ring gives you a month free when you first set up your device to get you well and truly hooked. Then all of a sudden if you want to record and save any video, payment is required. 

Am I just sounding a bit cheap? After all, five bucks a month isn't the end of the world. Perhaps I wouldn't feel so aggrieved if the Battery Video Doorbell Pro didn't cost so much to begin with - $NZ369.00 isn't exactly chump change. And should receiving rich notifications (thumbnail previews) on your phone or smartwatch really be a premium extra? 

All I know is there are other video doorbells and cameras out there that let you store your videos locally on SD cards or will even keep your vids in the cloud for free.

That aside, with all its features activated, there's a very good chance the Ring Battery Video Doorbell Pro is the best example of its kind on the market today. It plays very nicely with other Amazon devices, like the Alexa-enabled Echo Show smart speakers and the new Echo Hub - and obviously, you can add other Ring products like security lights and cameras or perhaps a Wi-Fi-connected chime.

As has always been the case with the Ring home security range, I'm really torn with my overall verdict. There's no doubt the sheer number of features the Battery Video Doorbell Pro has to offer is impressive. The fact Ring has taken its flagship doorbell and made it way more versatile by putting a battery in it is also impressive. That Ring has dramatically improved battery life in the process is perhaps the most impressive thing of all. My same old conflict is over the Ring Protect subscription - as good as this device is, it isn't much without the "subscription-only" features and I simply don't like being held to ransom that way.




Click here for more information and pricing on the Ring Battery Video Doorbell Pro.

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