Ring Battery Video Doorbell Pro review: the best gets even better

Ring's latest video doorbell has so many tricks up its sleeve that it's a very worthy upgrade

T3 Platinum Award
Ring Battery Video Doorbell Pro review images
(Image credit: Rik Henderson / Future)
T3 Verdict

Ring has followed up its first fish-eye style doorbell with an upgraded model that's packed with neat tech upgrades. The Ring Battery Video Doorbell Pro has improved two-way audio, clear and crisp 1536p video capture, and a neat bird's eye view that allows you to see visitors and intruders' movements from above. It is truly the brand's flagship and a very worthy addition to any smart security setup – as long as you're willing to pay for Ring's pricey protection plan, too.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Excellent video quality with new bird's eye PIP

  • +

    Noise-cancellation on two-way conversations

  • +

    Best-in-class night vision that needs very little light

  • +

    Easy setup and installation

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    The Ring Protect subscription plan is one of the priciest

  • -

    You really need a Chime (which is extra)

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There was very little competition when Ring introduced its first Video Doorbell. I remember being wowed by the idea of seeing who was calling on my phone, let alone being able to talk to them. This was relatively unheard of outside of expensive apartment blocks with two-way entry devices.

However, a little over a decade on and we're spoiled when having to choose between the best video doorbells – from Ring itself and numerous rival manufacturers. And, with so many consumers having already installed devices in that time, it's becoming a harder sell to find consumers willing to pay for an upgrade.

That's why this sector of smart home is arguably one of the fastest moving, with new features and capabilities being added generationally. No sooner has one doorbell been released, there's another with an even more impressive feature list.

That's where the Ring Battery Video Doorbell Pro comes in. We only recently reviewed the Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus and there's already a better-specced model. To be fair, you do have to pay a bit extra for it, but considering everything it offers, it's worth the extended budget.

Ring Battery Video Doorbell Pro review: price and availability

As a 'Pro' doorbell, this particular Ring device does sit at the top of the family and therefore comes with a price to match. You'll have to pay £199.99 for it in the UK at Ring and $229.99 in the States. That's around £50 more than the Battery Video Doorbell Plus was at launch, and a darn sight more now that you can get it for around £129.99 these days.

However, I think it's worth the extra outlay. It's also worth pointing out that you should budget for a Ring Protect plan too, which was contentiously raised to start at £4.99 / $4.99 per month recently, but you'll miss out on a wealth of features if you don't subscribe.

Ring Battery Video Doorbell Pro review images

(Image credit: Rik Henderson / Future)

Ring Battery Video Doorbell Pro review: unboxing and set-up

Having had Ring Video Doorbells since the very beginning, with regular upgrades along the way, I'm more than familiar with the huge boxes they've invariably come in. But, the Ring Battery Video Doorbell dispenses a whole lot of the packaging this time around for a much smaller box and simpler experience.

It helps if you have an existing battery-powered Video Doorbell from the brand as that'll mean you'll already have a bracket in place on your wall. For example, the Pro fitted onto my existing plate I've used for the last couple of generations – it just takes four small screws to fix it in place. There's a tiny overlap at the bottom where you can see the plastic, but only if you look closely.

If you are new to the product though, installation is easy. You don't get a similar plate in the box, but you can just as easily screw the device straight into a brick wall. Just make sure you have a drill with the right-sized drill bit as you no longer get one included – all the screws are there, but not the bit. You do get a dedicated screwdriver for unscrewing the battery cover, but you'll also need to provide your own Philips head driver.

Once mounted, the rest of the setting up process is simple. You'll need the Ring app downloaded onto a phone or tablet, but just scanning the QR code on the doorbell or box will be enough to trigger a very helpful wizard that takes you through assigning it to your account and installing firmware updates.

I did accidentally choose to connect the review sample to my existing Ring Chime Pro rather than home Wi-Fi, which meant it had some network strength issues, but once I realised it was easy to correct. I didn't have any connectivity issues afterwards.

Ring Battery Video Doorbell Pro review images

(Image credit: Rik Henderson / Future)

Ring Battery Video Doorbell Pro review: design and app

If you have seen or used a Ring Video Doorbell before you'd be hard pressed to find any visible differences. It has the same button as all other battery models, surrounded by a glowing LED light that activates once pressed (or during setup).

The battery that goes inside is the exact same shape and size as the ones Ring has supplied for years. This is particularly handy if you're replacing an older model, as you can also use its battery as a spare. It slots into the bottom after you remove the silver plastic casing, which you can then screw back into place after.

As with other Ring models, you can also hardwire this particular doorbell but that somewhat defeats the object of buying the battery-operated version. There are other wired options available you might want to consider instead.

Effectively though, it seems that Ring has opted for an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach to the design, and at least it'll fit onto an existing wall bracket as previously mentioned. Of course, most of the smart magic behind any of the brand's products lies in its app, and that has been greatly improved over the years.

Available for iOS, iPadOS and Android, the Ring app can keep track of multiple devices at once and is so feature-packed these days that it can be customised and tweaked to perfectly suit your security needs.

That includes setting motion zones (for the doorbell to monitor) and determining its behaviours for the different mode settings Ring offers – home, away and disarmed. You can also change its chimes, and set smart responses for automated replies when someone visits and you're not home.

But, in terms of this particular doorbell, there's at least one new trick that's pretty neat – you get a bird's eye view of people standing within sight. That's thanks to radar-style tech that's included on the device, which not only assesses whether there is motion, but where exactly it's taking place. That is then mapped onto a satellite image of your property and fed as a picture-in-picture pop-up.

It'll come in use if someone was closely studying your car, for example, or is lingering too long around a prized garden ornament. Naturally, that PIP overlay is also burned into any video clip that's then stored in the cloud.

Ring Battery Video Doorbell Pro review images

(Image credit: Rik Henderson / Future)

Ring Battery Video Doorbell Pro review: performance

As with the Doorbell Plus, the Ring Battery Video Doorbell Pro has a fisheye aspect ratio with a 1536p, super-sharp resolution. That allows for a better view of visitors, even when standing close to the camera. It can also enable a view of packages left on the doorstep, say, although that really depends on where the doorbell is positioned in relation to your door.

Certainly, having upgraded from a Video Doorbell 4, which sported a wider aspect but was incapable of seeing much beneath it, the extra real estate is useful to detect when a delivery has arrived as it'll see anything a courier is holding.

I'm also very impressed by the image quality over my home wireless network. Details are sharp and clear, while colours seem much better realised (especially with HDR switched on – although that does come at the expense of battery life).

Perhaps the biggest and clearest improvements are at night though, with full-colour night vision matched with the extra resolution being comforting. The Video Doorbell 4 also had a tendency to mist up or get foggy during heavy rain, but I didn't have any such issues with this new model. And, although some of the other devices also have colour night vision, the Pro needs only very little light to operate, so looks better.

It gives you better sound, too. Noise cancelling has been added for two-way communication, so voices are clearer to understand. This should help greatly if you live on a busy road and ambient noise is an issue.

As for battery life, it's hard to say exactly how long a single battery lasts, not least because my testing was during some bitterly cold spells in the UK. The cold negatively affects the charge in the battery, so it'll invariably last longer in the spring and summer months, but I found that after three weeks of use I was still on 80% battery. In fact, at the time of writing, I've not had to replace the battery at all.

I will advise you consider purchasing a spare from Ring though, as it can take a couple of hours to charge the battery from flat to full, at the very least.

Ring Battery Video Doorbell Pro review images

(Image credit: Rik Henderson / Future)

Ring Battery Video Doorbell Pro review: verdict

To say I'm impressed by the new flagship in Ring's battery lineup is an understatement. Even comparing it to my previous model – the Video Doorbell 4 – is like chalk and cheese. There might be just a handful of genuine tech updates, but they make for a greatly improved experience.

The bird's eye view is a nice extra, but the extra resolution, sharper images, and better sound really do make a difference. And, most of all, that enhanced full-colour night vision is a must for me – after all, that's when I'd most want to capture ne'er-do-wells.

That it seems to be better protected from the changeable UK weather is great too. There's little doubt that it's a big upgrade then, and while that includes the price, there's plenty to justify the extra expense.

Ring Battery Video Doorbell Pro review: alternatives to consider

Of course, if you don't want to fork out for the best Ring has to offer, it has plenty of alternatives on its own website. There's the Ring Battery Video Doorbell Plus, for starters, which includes the same fish-eye style 1536p HD camera and some similar features. Or you can opt to pay a lot less for the Video Doorbell 2, with its 1080p camera – it's still a decent option.

Then there are the myriad of rival products, such as the Google Nest Doorbell, which works with Google's own smart home platform. Or the Yale Smart Video Doorbell, which won't set you back as much for the subscription.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.