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Amazon’s Ring Video Doorbell is now in its fourth generation, and already we’ve been deeply impressed with this smart home security product. First released in late 2021, the newest version of the popular video doorbell looks pretty unchanged from past versions. Still, it does contain a new feature that will likely make it very compelling for those in the market for the best video doorbell.
So does the new Ring Video Doorbell 4 deserve pride of place on your front door?
Absolutely, yes. We recently named this product one of the best home security cameras of the year. Recently, Ring sent SPY this doorbell to test, and you can read our in-depth Ring Video Doorbell 4 review below.
- Dimensions: 5.1 in. x 2.4 in x 1.1 in
- Connectivity: WiFi
- Field of View: 160 degrees
- Resolution: 1080p
- Storage: Cloud
Ring Video Doorbell 4 Review: Setup and Installation
The Ring Video Doorbell 4 prides itself on a straightforward setup and installation, but the process for me was even easier than it would be otherwise. I already had a Ring Video Doorbell 3 in my home, so the process was as simple as unscrewing the 3 from the existing mounting base and attaching the 4. The entire install took about 3 minutes. However, it will be a little more time-intensive for others new to the process — but not dramatically so. The whole install should take no longer than 20 minutes as most.
Setup, depending upon how customized you want or need to go with your settings, will take another 5-15 or so but is overall pretty easy. The Ring 4 uses the Ring mobile app for both setup and monitoring, and it was pretty simple to go through and add another Ring device to my existing list of devices.
Ring Video Doorbell 4 Review: Overall Design
As you may glean from its name, the Ring Video Doorbell 4 (or Ring 4 for short) is the fourth version of Amazon’s popular device. As such, the overall look, feel, and design are primarily unchanged from the 3 to the 4. As you can see below, the two devices are practically identical. You still have the camera portion in the upper half of the device, while the bottom part is the backlit doorbell button and a replaceable battery cover. In fact, the only changes between the 3 and 4 that I could find were in the style of screws used to affix the Ring to the base extender and the included battery cover.
Here are side-by-side comparisons of the two models for reference:
I kind of miss the old black cover I was using on my Ring 3 and was disappointed to see the only (included) option in the box for the Ring 4 was this silver one. Oh well. Otherwise, the Ring 4 is pretty much the same as the models before it.
Ring Video Doorbell 4 Review: Camera Quality
As with all video doorbells, the most beneficial feature of the Ring 4 is the ability to see who or what might be at your door at a given point in time. The Ring 4, as with all models before it, is super successful in this regard. You can either tap into the device to get a live, 1080p HD view at any given time or simply view it when the device itself sends you a motion notification (if you have those motion alerts set up) or if someone actively rings the unit.
Additionally, the Ring 4 supports a full-color “Pre-Roll” feature, which captures a four-second snapshot clip of what a person did before getting an alert notification. If you want to save, view, or send any video clips from the Ring, however, you’ll need to subscribe to Ring’s pay plan, which is $3 a month and provides 60 days’ worth of history.
Overall, the camera video is good, but we wish this version had slightly stepped up the quality. It feels like this is one area wherein Amazon is lagging behind in terms of its competitors. 4K video seems like maybe a bridge too far, but the image quality can definitely get blown out during particularly sunny days. Black-and-white nighttime video is pretty sharp and works especially well for my individual needs (my door isn’t any more than about 12 feet from a security gate, so anything that comes through said gate is pretty clearly visible).
Ring Video Doorbell 4 Review: New Features
The most notable feature in the Ring 4 is the new and improved area monitor settings. The rental home I’m in gets a lot of street traffic, so I’m always thankful for the ability to customize the monitoring area for the Ring 4, which sees an enhanced feature set in this version. Instead of just setting general, broad coverage zones, I can actively edit and drag around a web-like field to set up where I want motion monitoring.
Given the hectic nature of our block, this feature is a godsend and is a significant upgrade over similar functionality on the Ring 3. Battery life is going to be variable depending upon how frequently you use it, but the included rechargeable battery should last about a month or so without needing to be charged.
The Verdict: The #1 Video Doorbell of the Year, but Not the Best Value
The Ring 4 remains a decidedly reliable option for those in the market for a video doorbell. While the improved area monitor setting is a huge upgrade for me, it doesn’t quite warrant rushing out to upgrade, especially at its already pricey cost of $199.99.
So Should You Buy It?
In short: yes. The ease of setup and use make it a worthy purchase. That being said, there are definitely cheaper options that are still worth purchasing. For instance, we recently reviewed (and loved) the new Wyze Video Doorbell Pro, which only costs $90.
- Simple to set up, use, and maintain.
- Good video
- Strong battery life
- Customizable area monitoring
- Want more from video quality
Ring Video Doorbell 4
What Are Some of the Alternatives?
If you’re looking for some cheaper or even more expensive alternatives, here are a few other options to consider.
Blink Video Doorbell
We just reviewed Amazon’s budget Blink video doorbell and were pretty impressed with the features you get for the price. Definitely worth digging into as a budget option.
Arlo Essential Video Doorbell
For the same price as the Ring 4, you can get HDR video with Arlo’s Essential Video Door Bell. It even includes a 1:1 aspect ratio instead of the 16:9 ratio of the Ring 4.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2
Amazon puts a lot of our most wanted features into their Pro model. The second version of the Pro is $50 more than the Ring 4 but has full video picture, 3D motion notifications and more.