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Review: Ring Video Doorbell 3 – great successor with new functions

4.6/5 - (46 votes)

In this review we will get started with the Ring Video Doorbell 3. The video doorbell has some new functions compared to the previous model and is immediately in the shops for 199 euros.

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 was released in 2017. According to Ring it is high time for a successor. The Ring Video Doorbell 3 is now available for 199 euros and comes with some new functions on board. Is it a big step forward? In this review, we’ll tell you everything about the Ring Video Doorbell 3.

What is it?

The Ring Video Doorbell 3 is a so-called smart video doorbell. This doorbell is equipped with a front camera. If someone calls, you will immediately see a notification on your smartphone. If you click on this, you can see live who is at the door and talk via two-way communication with your visitor. You can also use motion zones to set you to receive notifications when someone is at your front door. That way you know what is going on at the front door 24 hours a day, wherever you are. And are you expecting a package and you are not at home? Via your smartphone and the Ring Video Doorbell 3 you can immediately indicate whether the delivery person can deliver the package to the neighbors.

The Ring Video Doorbell 3 records video in a Full HD resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels at a viewing angle of 160 degrees. Live images are possible and the video doorbell is also equipped with night vision. You can use the video doorbell with the included rechargeable battery, but you can also connect it to a doorbell system (8-24 volt VAC transformer) for continuous power. If you don’t feel like working with cables, you can simply hang up the Ring Video Doorbell 3 and use it with the supplied battery. The assembly therefore only takes a few minutes. The Ring Video Doorbell is water resistant and works between temperatures of -20 to 48 degrees Celsius.

The Ring Video Doorbell 3 comes with a cable to charge the battery, two faceplates (silver gray and black) and two spacers to hang the video doorbell at an angle. If the view is not completely optimal at the place where you want to hang the video doorbell, you can adjust the angle with these spacers.

We tested the Ring Video Doorbell 3 with the new Chime. This costs 35 euros and serves as a gong. You can hang it up in your home and connect it to your video doorbell. As soon as the doorbell rings, you will hear a melody of your choice via the Chime. If your smartphone happens to be in another room, you won’t miss that someone is at the door with this Chime. The Chime does exactly what it should and is therefore a valuable extra for your new video doorbell.

New functions

At first glance, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 is very similar to the Ring Video Doorbell 2 . If you look a little further, you can see that there are some differences. For example, in addition to the 2.4 GHz band, the WiFi connection now also supports the 5 GHz band. If you already have several smart home devices at home, the 5 GHz band is probably a lot faster and more stable, although the range is a bit less than the 2.4 GHz band. If the video doorbell is too far away from your router, a WiFi amplifier is recommended.

Also new are the improved movement zones, where in particular the minimum distance has been reduced to 1.5 meters. This is particularly useful if you live close to a street or a staircase, so that you do not receive continuous notifications that someone is walking by the door. These movement zones can be set completely according to your wishes. Ring calls this feature Privacy Zones. You can therefore set yourself which part of the image does count as a movement zone and which part does not.

Finally, the build quality has also been improved compared to the Ring Video Doorbell 2. You can hang the video doorbell by means of four screw holes. You can already feel from the weight that the build quality is good. The whole is made of sturdy plastic and there is nothing wrong with the build quality. 

Ring Video Doorbell 3 in use

Via the app you have the Ring Video Doorbell 3 ready for use within a few minutes. You download the Ring app, create an account, add the Ring Video Doorbell 3 by scanning the qr code on the device, add your WiFi password and indicate where the doorbell is hanging. Then the video doorbell will search for new updates (this may take a few minutes) and you are ready to use.

Once you open the app, you have three different options available. You can switch between ‘Disabled’, ‘Home’ and ‘Away’ mode at the touch of a button. You can set each mode as desired. For example, you can indicate whether the motion detection should be switched on per mode, as well as the Live image. You can also indicate whether you want to receive notifications or perhaps turn off the motion detection completely.

You can set the new motion zones via the extensive motion settings. You can choose the Movement Wizard, where you can create a good situation based on a few questions, but you can also do this manually via the Movement zones option. Here you have the different zones for far, left, right and close that you can switch on or off yourself. You can also adjust the movement sensitivity. Because my front door opens directly into a hall with several apartments, I had to switch off the movement zones. After all, I don’t need to know every time neighbors walk by. The Ring Video Doorbell 3 is doing just that little bit too well at my front door and that is a compliment for this video doorbell.

The clear app is also a big plus with the Ring Video Doorbell 3. An app should make it clear almost immediately which option you can find where, and that is something that Ring has done well. You will therefore have no trouble finding the options you are looking for.

If someone calls at the front door, you will almost immediately receive a notification with the text ‘There is someone at the front door’. Then it is important to unlock your smartphone and click on the notification. The app then starts up quickly and immediately shows you the Live image of your front door. It takes no more than a few seconds from ringing the bell to Live image on your smartphone. You can communicate via the green icon, while you can push someone away or close the conversation with the red icon. The sound is crisp and clear and you will have no problems understanding each other on either side. Night vision is also excellent and you can clearly see who is at the door. The connection is also almost always stable, but you should not hang the video doorbell too far from your router.

During the two-week test period I did not have to recharge the battery, so how often you should do this is not entirely clear. After these two weeks, the battery level was still 90 percent, so in theory you should charge your Ring Video Doorbell every few months. However, it is now quite warm, so you may have to charge more often in the cold winter months. Be aware that charging the battery is not very fast. You will therefore have to connect the battery to power for several hours. To remove the battery, loosen the screw at the bottom to remove the front cover. Now you can take out the battery and charge it with the supplied cable.

No local storage

The Ring Video Doorbell 3 basically does everything you’d expect from a video doorbell, but a subscription to Ring Protect is actually a requirement. Without this subscription, images will not be stored. The video doorbell unfortunately does not support local storage, but sends everything to the cloud. And if you want to watch images, that subscription is a requirement. Without a subscription you can see who is at the door and communicate with your visitor, but if you want the video doorbell to also serve as a security camera at the front door, then such a subscription is required if you want to view images. A subscription to Ring Protect costs 3 euros per month per device or 30 euros per year. If you have multiple Ring products, you can also opt for a more extensive subscription for all your Ring devices. When you buy, you get a month of Ring Protect free. You don’t have to use Ring Protect, but you do if you want to get the most out of the video doorbell.

For a future version, we hope that Ring will provide local storage options. Now you depend on Ring Protect for all functions. And since Ring has not always been very good with user privacy over the past year (see 1 , 2 ), we would appreciate it if we could get a little more control over our data.

In fact, you have no options at all regarding your privacy. You can turn on or off personalized ads in the app, but you don’t have the option to turn off data with external service providers. Although Ring claims not to sell your personal information, third-party service providers do have access to certain information to notify you of important notifications, improvements, or new features. According to Ring, these service providers are contractually limited to use this data only for the above services and are not allowed to sell your data, but the extent to which you settle for this is entirely up to you.

Ring is part of Amazon and therefore relies heavily on other Amazon products. If you mainly have Google Home devices at home, this will not work together. Ring works with Amazon Alexa and this virtual assistant still does not speak Dutch. So you cannot view the Live image on your Google Nest Hub, but you need the smart display Echo Show from Amazon. Of course you can view the image directly via the smartphone. Ring does support IFTTT , so the advanced user can get started with that. It would be nice if Ring also made the video doorbells suitable for further smart home integration, but as part of Amazon that will of course not happen any time soon.

Conclusion

The Ring Video Doorbell 3 is a nice successor to the Ring Video Doorbell 2. Installation is a piece of cake, the connection is stable, image and sound quality is good and notifications are passed on quickly and accurately. The addition of the 5GHz band, the improved movement zones and the solid build quality are nice extras on a great predecessor. If you want to buy a Ring Video Doorbell now and you have doubts between the Video Doorbell 2 and the Video Doorbell 3, I would choose this new version, especially for the good build quality. However, the predecessor is now more than half cheaper (199 euros and 99 euros). However, if you already have the Ring Video Doorbell 2 at home and you are satisfied with it, then an upgrade is certainly not necessary. After all, a video doorbell must show who is at the front door and provide two-way communication, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 does that just fine. Still, it’s a shame you depend on Ring Protect if you want to use all of its features, and we’d love to see local storage and further smarthome integration back in a next model.

Pros

  • Good picture and sound quality
  • Improved movement zones
  • Excellent build quality
  • Clear app
Negatives

  • Subscription required for all functions
  • No local storage
  • Smarthome integration is moderate
  • Few privacy options

 

 

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