Works with Alexa
Color Pre-Roll clips
Ring’s Video Doorbell 4 is a smart blend of performance, value, and useful features.
In case you’re keeping score, this is the third doorbell release from the Amazon-owned smart home brand this year, following the spring launches of the Ring Video Doorbell Wired and Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2. The 4 builds upon last summer’s Video Doorbell 3 Plus (which is no longer in production) with some new features, most of which can be accessed without a paid Ring subscription plan like convenient color Pre-Roll clips for motion events and helpful pre-recorded Quick Replies for when you can’t answer the door.
There are a lot of Ring doorbells out there, so how does the 4 stack up? This one sits in between Ring’s budget-friendly wired doorbell and the premium-priced Pro 2, striking the right middle-of-the-road balance of smarts, performance, and features for under $200. If you’re all in on Ring products, love using Alexa to manage your smart home, or think the new features sound fun to use (we don’t blame you), the well-rounded Ring Video Doorbell 4 could be the perfect fit.
About the Ring Video Doorbell 4
- Price: $199.99
- Colors: Satin Nickel
- Connectivity: 2.4GHz Wi-Fi/5GHz Wi-Fi
- Smart assistants: Amazon Alexa
- Installation type: Hardwire or rechargeable battery
- Operating temperature: -5 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
- Field of view: 160-degree horizontal, 84-degree vertical
- Video Resolution: 1080p HD
- Dimensions: 5.1 H x 2.4 W x 1.1 L inches
The Ring Video Doorbell 4 records in 1080p HD resolution, about the average for most modern video doorbells. It comes with other basic smart doorbell features like black and white night vision using infrared LEDs and two-way talk with active noise cancellation (which helps prevent background noise from wind and other outside sounds from interfering with your conversation).
Within the Ring app, you can view a live stream of your doorbell camera, create custom motion zones, and finetune your privacy settings. With a paid Ring Protect Plan, which starts at $3/month per Ring device, you can record, store, and share all of your videos for up to 60 days.
What we like
New and improved features
The Ring 4 offers new and improved features over its predecessor, the Ring 3 Plus, like color video for Pre-Roll clips. This is an exclusive feature to select Ring doorbells that captures the four seconds leading up to any triggered motion event. When the feature launched last summer, it was only in black and white. The upgrade to full color is a welcomed change that makes it easier to see what triggered the motion event.
Quick Replies are also available on the Ring 4 doorbell and can be accessed without a paid Ring subscription plan. Just choose from one of six preset messages to play if you can’t get to the door and a woman’s voice (not Alexa) will say, “Hi! We’ll be right there,” or “Sorry, we’re not interested.”
Other features like leaving a message; People Only mode, a special setting in the Ring app that only alerts you to motion caused by a human; and Rich Notifications, which allow you to quickly view a snapshot image of a motion event without opening the Ring app; are available with a paid Ring Protect Plan. Additionally, Ring added custom motion zones to all of its battery-powered video doorbells in Dec. 2020.
At the time of publication, the Alexa Greetings—a feature that allows Alexa answer the door, take messages, and give instructions on where to deliver packages—is not available on this doorbell.
Multiple installation options
The Ring Video Doorbell 4 can be installed using your existing doorbell wiring (8-24 VAC, 40VA max, 50/60Hz) or the included rechargeable battery. I opted for the battery-powered setup since it’s completely wire-free and doesn’t require any tools, but wired Ring doorbells are notorious for being quick and easy to install. The battery takes roughly eight hours to charge. Battery life depends entirely on usage, motion settings, and more—the more motion events, the faster the battery will drain.
During my testing, I set the doorbell to Ring’s recommended Power Usage settings, which are available in the Ring app. Over 14 days, the doorbell’s battery life dropped from 100% to 75%. At that rate, the expected battery life should last about two months before it will need to be recharged. For comparison’s sake, Arlo’s Wire-Free Video Doorbell boasts a battery life of up to six months, though we have not tested to confirm this.
From a security perspective, the quick-release battery is a nice touch because the doorbell can remain in place while the battery is charging to give the appearance that the camera is indeed watching. For a continuous, uninterrupted experience, hardwiring the doorbell is the way to go. However, the flexibility of having multiple installation options (something not offered on many video doorbells) is an appealing feature for homeowners, who may want to place a doorbell camera on a spare exterior door, or renters without existing wires.
What we don’t like
Larger design than other Ring doorbells
All Ring doorbells look the same for the most part, but the 4 is noticeably larger than Ring’s other two doorbell releases this year. The Ring Video Doorbell 4 stands about 5 inches tall and 4 inches wide, a little larger than other top-rated doorbells. This isn’t a dealbreaker, rather something to note if you’re planning to upgrade your existing video doorbell with the 4. For comparison’s sake, the Ring Video Doorbell Wired measures 3.98 inches tall by 1.81 inches wide and the Ring Pro 2 is 4.49 inches tall by 1.9 inches wide.
Limited smart assistant compatibility
Much like other Ring doorbells, the 4 is designed for use with Alexa. It works especially well when paired with an Echo smart display like the Echo Show 10 that can broadcast a live stream of your front door in real-time (including audio so you can have a full conversation if you want to). However, as noted above, there’s no support for smart assistants like Siri and, most notably, Google Assistant, which may be a sticking point for some.
Smart home devices come with inherent risks to your personal privacy, (especially those with cameras). Ring has had its fair share of privacy mishaps over the last few years, but the company has taken strides to beef up user privacy with its Control Center, which is available for all Ring devices (not just Ring’s latest doorbell). It offers security features like mandatory two-factor authentication, the option to view and remove linked accounts and shared users, and control over which devices and third-party apps are synced to the account.
Much like other Ring doorbells, the Ring Video Doorbell 4 supports Ring’s Privacy Zones so you can define which areas you don’t want to record. For more information about how you can protect your privacy, check out our detailed privacy guide that’s loaded with tips and tricks to help keep you safe while using smart devices.
Should you buy it?
Yes, but only if Alexa is your preferred smart assistant.
The Ring Video Doorbell 4 isn’t the most affordable or feature-filled Ring doorbell you can buy, but it’s got everything a great doorbell should have to safeguard your home at all times of the day. The monochrome night vision view and color-rich daytime view are sharp and clear, the two-way audio is loud and free of delays, and smartphone notifications are sent almost instantly, keeping you in the loop at all times.
It’s not overloaded with pricey features like the Pro 2. Instead, it offers useful smart features at no additional cost like Quick Replies and color Pre-Roll video clips that enhance the overall experience. Because of the multiple installation methods, this doorbell can be installed pretty much anywhere in a matter of minutes, something most video doorbells can’t do.
The biggest downside is really just the fact that it doesn’t support Siri and, most notably, Google Assistant. It’s also larger than many other video doorbells, though that shouldn’t be much of an issue unless you’re tight on space.
If you need a wireless doorbell that supports both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, check out the Arlo Essential Wire-Free Doorbell (available in a hardwired option, too). It’s one of the best video doorbells you can buy. When compared to the Ring Video Doorbell 4, Arlo’s wireless doorbell has better video recording resolution, a larger viewing angle, and more intelligent smart alerts,with the ability to differentiate between people, packages, animals, and cars. It’s also a bit slimmer in size, though it doesn’t offer a similar feature to Pre-Roll, which may be a deciding factor in choosing the right doorbell for your home.
If you’re all in on Amazon Alexa, have an existing Ring home security setup, or simply want access to Ring-exclusive features like Pre-Roll, the Ring Video Doorbell 4 will fit nicely into your smart home.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Senior Staff Writer
Rachel Murphy covers smart home for Reviewed. She holds a journalism degree from the University of Central Florida. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer for several major outlets and as an associate editorial producer for ABC News’ Good Morning America.
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