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Ring aims small for its Video Doorbell 4

Ring's newest video doorbell will be a largely similar redux of its oldest design. That's not necessarily a bad thing.

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Ring

Editors' note: Ring's partnership with local police departments have led privacy advocates to express concern about the data Ring shares with law enforcement and how they process that information. You can read more about how we factor Ring's privacy policies into our recommendations here. CNET has not and will not issue Editors' Choice awards to Ring while the company's policies around law enforcement and surveillance remain on their current course.


Ring is launching its Video Doorbell 4 for preorder Wednesday. The new doorbell is fairly similar to the Video Doorbell 3, with a similar profile and many of the same basic features -- 1080p resolution, the usual functionality of the Ring app, integration with Alexa devices and so on. 

New to the device is a four-second, full-color preroll, which means you'll get four seconds of footage recorded from before motion is detected by the camera. Whether this slight update to its popular hardware and functionality is worth the $200 price tag remains to be seen.

The Amazon-owned home security company, which has largely popularized video doorbells over the past five years, has been updating many of its most popular devices in recent months, launching three new video doorbells and one new floodlight camera (announced alongside this doorbell). Most of these updates have been incremental, improving resolution, lowering price and adding small quality-of-life features. The Video Doorbell 4 appears to be doing much the same thing.

In recent years, however, Ring has also faced a slew of security and privacy controversies -- a result of data leaks, hacked devices and troubling police partnerships. These factors should weigh into any purchasing decisions you make, particularly products with cameras, such as the Ring Video Doorbell 4.

The Video Doorbell 4 is scheduled to ship by April 28.