Privacy at its core

Ring Video Doorbell 3

$ 199 at Amazon

Pros

  • Adjustable motion zones
  • Dual-band 2.4Ghz/5Ghz Wi-Fi
  • Privacy zones
  • No wiring needed since it’s battery-powered

Cons

  • Poor Google Assistant integration

The Ring Video Doorbell 3 isn’t a mind-blowing generational leap, but it’s an important product upgrade nonetheless. With a focus on privacy, better motion detection, and improved compatibility with faster, modern Wi-Fi networks, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 is a great choice for anyone looking for a powerful battery-operated video doorbell.

Affordable, dependable

Ring Video Doorbell 2

$ 169 at Amazon

Pros

  • More affordable
  • No wiring needed since it’s battery-powered

Cons

  • Only supports 2.4GHz networks
  • Poor Google Assistant integration
  • Can’t customize motion detection

Ring has made a name for itself over the years, and the Ring Video Doorbell 2 has been at the forefront of that. Ring’s products all tap into a powerful ecosystem that’s supported by Amazon Alexa to give you the feeling of a truly automated smart home.

It’s been about three years since Ring introduced a new Video Doorbell product, and the third-generation is a direct result of the privacy concerns that have been brought up since the launch of Ring’s Neighbors app in 2018. As such, the biggest differences you’ll find between the Ring Video Doorbell 2 and Doorbell 3 are all wrapped up in personal privacy and better motion detection. Ring Video Doorbell 3 now also supports 5GHz Wi-Fi networks, meaning a faster wireless signal that isn’t bothered by interference from other household appliances.

It’s all in the motions

From the outside, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the second and third-generation Ring Video Doorbells. The hardware residing under that familiar plastic housing is a very different story, and it directly affects how motion is detected. A brand new adjustable motion zone, called Near Zone, is able to detect motion within 5-15 feet of the Ring Video Doorbell 3’s camera.

Within the app, you can adjust any specific section of the screen you want the Ring Video Doorbell 3 to monitor for motion. This could significantly help cut down on the number of erroneous motion detection notifications that pop up. For example, you’ll finally be able to block out sections of the video where a flag regularly waves, cars drive by, or trees tend to blow. That means the doorbell can now detect motion only where it’s actually wanted — on your porch.

Cutting down on notifications is important in a world where we’re constantly bombarded by too much information all day long. No one wants their video doorbell to spam them with useless notifications, as this could eventually create an environment where you end up ignoring the notifications that are designed to help secure your property.

These features have been offered on the older wired Ring Doorbell Pro, but that requires quite a bit of extra installation and wiring that renters aren’t normally allowed to do. The Ring Video Doorbell 3 brings these features to the battery-powered world with a rechargeable battery and doesn’t skimp on features.

Ring Video Doorbell 3 Ring Video Doorbell 2
Price $ 199.99 $ 169.99
Video Quality 1080p 1080p
Motion Detection Advanced motion detection with adjustable motion zones Basic detection
Privacy Zones Yes No
Connectivity 2.4GHz and 5GHz 2.4GHz
Smart Assistant Integration Amazon Alexa Amazon Alexa
Power Source Quick-release rechargeable battery pack Quick-release rechargeable battery pack

Privacy and connectivity

Aside from excluding certain sections of video recording from motion detection, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 even supports excluding certain sections of video from recording. That’s a huge step in the right direction for privacy advocates and concerned consumers alike, and it’s rightly called Privacy Zones.

There are any number of reasons you might want to exclude portions of the Ring Video Doorbell 3’s video from recording and, thankfully, the way to do it is easy. From within the app, you can simply draw a square around the area you’d like to exclude, and from then on, recordings from the camera will black this section out and ignore its existence completely.

In addition to being better in touch with concerns about privacy, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 can be better in touch with your network thanks to the addition of 5GHz Wi-Fi support. Home routers began offering 5GHz signals years ago to increase bandwidth and speed, as well as to help reduce wireless traffic interference. While 5GHz won’t physically go as far in the home, many folks have adopted mesh networking systems, like Google WiFi or Ubiquiti AmpliFi to increase coverage without decreasing speed.

Unfortunately, The Ring Video Doorbell 2 only supports the slower 2.4GHz Wi-Fi bands, which are also more prone to interference from common appliances like microwaves and cordless home phones. Ring Video Doorbell 3’s ability to utilize both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands means that it can select the faster 5GHz band to deliver higher quality audio and video, but can always fall back on the 2.4GHz band if that 5GHz one isn’t strong enough outside your front door.

A small change can make a big difference

The leap between generations of Ring Video Doorbells isn’t massive, but a few key differences make the Ring Video Doorbell 3 an easy choice. It’s only $ 30 more than the Ring Video Doorbell 2 and yet offers better connectivity, more privacy options, and the ability to hone motion detection to help reduce erroneous notifications. Those are all important upgrades and create a more trustworthy product that’s more likely to inform you of something important while still protecting your personal privacy.

See all the right things

Ring Video Doorbell 3

A substantive upgrade

$ 199 at Amazon
$ 200 at Ring

Ring Video Doorbell 3 brings a few key improvements to the table, like better motion detection and privacy features, as well as the ability to handle faster, modern Wi-Fi networks.

A great budget pick

Ring Video Doorbell 2

Wireless without the premium price

$ 169 at Amazon

If you just need a great wireless video doorbell that integrates perfectly into Amazon’s Alexa and Ring ecosystems, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is a fantastic choice.

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