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Ring 3 Doorbell Review

Best-of-the-Best from Ring

Ring 3 doorbell

Ring 3

The Ring 3 is the newest doorbell from Ring. It has all the features from previous Ring doorbells, but steps it up a level with advanced motion detection, new privacy modes, and a “near” motion detection that allows you to prioritize the 5-15′ range. The Ring 3 is also available as a Ring 3 Plus version, which includes PreRoll. PreRoll records 4 seconds before the motion is detected, so you can see what led up to the motion.Check Price

Pros

  • 1080p video resolution with advanced motion detection
  • New privacy modes available and customizable viewing areas
  • “Near motion” provides extra security for motion detected between 5-15′ range of the camera

Cons

  • Fairly high price point compared to earlier Ring models
  • Only includes 2 faceplates (Ring Pro comes with 4 faceplates)
  • No local video storage, must pay for Cloud subscription

Ring 3 vs. Ring 2

Ring 3
Ring 3
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Power: Wired or Wireless
  • Privacy Zones: Advanced
  • Network: 2.4 or 5.0 GHz
Ring 2
Ring 2
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Power: Wired or Wireless
  • Privacy Zones: Basic
  • Network: 2.4 GHz only

RELATED – See our complete Ring doorbell comparison guide here.

The Ring 3 and Ring 2 have the same body style, video resolution, app control, and video performance. But the Ring 3 costs more, so what exactly are you getting?

New highlights of the Ring 3 (that are not found on the Ring 2) include:

  1. Improved motion detection
  2. Privacy zones
  3. Audio privacy
  4. Dual-band wifi connectivity (2.4 or 5.0 GHz)

The advanced motion detection includes a technology called “Near Motion” which isolates motion that is nearest to the camera (5-15′ away). This feature helps to cut down on unwanted notification alerts.

Ring 3 vs. Ring Pro

Ring 3
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Power: Wired or Wireless
  • Privacy Zones: Advanced
  • Network: 2.4 or 5.0 GHz
Ring Pro
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Power: Wired only
  • Privacy Zones: Basic
  • Network: 2.4 or 5.0 GHz

If you’re comparing the Ring 3 to the Ring Pro, the main difference here is that the Pro is wired-in and the Ring 3 is a wireless, battery-powered option.

Also, the Ring 3 Plus is the only Ring doorbell cam that offers the Preroll feature (currently).

Performance

Video: Day

Great

Video: Night

Great

Audio

Good

App

Good

10 SECOND SUMMARY: The Ring 3 is designed with a couple of higher-end features, compared to more basic Ring cameras. It has 1080p video resolution and a clear picture, regardless of light output.

Video: Day vs. Night

While we haven’t been able to test the Ring 3 in person, we can say that it has 1080p resolution, like the Ring 2 so we can expect the video quality to be comparable.

Video quality of the Ring doorbell app
Video quality of the Ring doorbell app

Below is a screenshot from the Ring app (provided by the Ring Spotlight cam) that is also shot at 1080p resolution. The Ring 3 doorbell can would have about the same clarity and definition between colors.

Ring Spotlight Camera - night
Ring Spotlight Camera – night

Audio

Like the Ring 2, the Ring 3 and Ring 3 Plus both have two-way audio. This allows you to hear what is going on on-screen as well as talk back through the camera from a remote location.

The Ring App

The Ring app is very user-friendly and quick to setup. Working through the app, you can quickly pair the camera to your wifi network, providing a clear view of your home no matter your location.

Ring app security camera home screen
Ring app – Home screen

Depending on your device and membership plan, you may use the app to:

  • Check the battery life
  • Enable / disable motion and Ring alerts
  • View of change chime sounds
  • Talk with your guests
  • Watch the doorbells’ footage
  • Create a motion schedule
  • Adjust motion sensitivity
  • See all the recent activity
  • Add other users
  • Watch back recorded video
  • Check the system status, Wifi signal, voltage, and more
  • Set up motion zones

Ring 3 Design

Here’s a quick list of some of the best features offered on the Ring 3 camera:

  • 1080p HD video resolution
  • Two-way audio
  • Advanced motion detection
  • Rechargeable, quick-release battery
  • Night vision
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa

NOTE: This camera does not offer video storage without a paid subscription.

Ring 3 vs. Ring 3 Plus

The Ring 3 and Ring 3 Plus are nearly identical doorbell cameras with the exception of one feature called Preroll.

Ring 3 video doorbell
Ring 3 / Ring 3 Plus

Preroll saved a recording of the first 4 seconds before motion or activity was detected on screen.

Ring 3 doorbell camera video footage
Ring 3 doorbell camera video footage

Preroll is not the same as regular footage. Couple things to keep in mind:

  1. The video footage is in black and white and low resolution (to preserve power).
  2. Preroll footage does not have any sound.
  3. It does not work at night or dimly lit areas.
  4. You do not need a Ring subscription to view Preroll footage on the Ring 3 Plus.

RELATED: Have more questions? Click here to read all the details about Preroll.

What’s in the box?

Parts & accessories include:

  • Ring Video Doorbell 3
  • Rechargeable, Quick-Release Battery Pack
  • Satin Nickel and Venetian Bronze Faceplates
  • Wedge and Corner Kits
  • USB Charging Cable
  • Mounting Bracket
  • Installation Tools and Hardware
  • User Manual
  • Security Sticker
Ring doorbell accessories
Ring doorbell accessories

Setup

Setting up the Ring 3 is quick and takes about 5 minutes from unboxing to installed.

How to set up the camera

To set up the Ring camera, follow the quick steps listed below:

  1. Unbox the camera and remove all original packaging.
  2. Download the Ring app onto your smartphone.
  3. Follow in-app prompts to pair the camera to the app.

How easy is Ring to install?

Ease of install depends on where you plan on using it, but it basically comes down to 3 steps:

  1. Install the mounting plate.
  2. Install the camera.
  3. Setup the Ring chime. (optional)

For wireless install…

Charge the battery using the USB charger provided. Once the mounting plate is installed, simply click the rest of the doorbell into place and tighten the screws to secure it into place.

If you opt for the battery-powered install, keep in mind that you will only receive notifications on your smartphone if the doorbell is rung.

For the Ring 3 to emit a chime indoors, you’ll need to purchase the Ring Chime here.

For wired install…

You’ll need to follow the diagrams to reroute the existing wires from the original doorbell into the proper channels of the new Ring doorbell.

RELATED – See our Ring indoor camera review and Ring spotlight camera review here.

In-App Features

Connecting the camera to the Ring app is necessary to access all of the features that Ring has to offer. To get the app up and running, follow the steps below:

  1. Download the Ring app onto your smartphone.
  2. Click “setup a device”.
  3. Follow in-app prompts to create an account.

The Ring may come with a charge, but you will want to fully charge the camera before installing it for use.

To charge the Ring 3 camera:

  1. Charge the doorbell using the USB cable provided
  2. When the LED light is fully illuminated, that means that the battery is full.
Charing Ring doorbell cameras
Charging Ring cameras (Ring 2 shown)

Once the camera is set up, you’ll be able to access the following features:

Ring doorbell app screen
Ring doorbell app screen
  • See battery life
  • Turn on / off Ring alerts
  • Turn on / off motion alert
  • View event history (with paid subscription)
  • Setup or adjust motion settings
  • Select licked chimes
  • View device health
  • Add additional users
  • App alerts
  • And more

Usability

I would consider the Ring 3 or Ring 3 Plus to be easy to use (the same as any Ring doorbell, quite frankly). Once you get past the initial setup, the day-to-day usage is all through the app (with the exception of the occasional battery charge.)

Ring video quality

The app is easy to use and sends instant push notifications when activity is detected within the field of view.

If you have a subscription you can view footage from past activity within the app.

Does the Ring 3 require a subscription?

No. You are not required to opt into the paid subscription to use the Ring 3 camera, but as with all subscriptions, paying a small monthly fee will unlock additional features.

Here’s exactly what you can expect with and without a subscription.

Without a Ring paid subscription, the Ring 3 camera has the following features:

  • Live remote video streaming
  • Motion alerts, sound alerts, and push notifications
  • No Cloud-based storage
  • 2-way audio
  • Custom motion zones
Ring video doorbell app screen
Ring video doorbell app

With a paid Ring subscription, you can choose from two different tiers.

  1. Basic account
  2. Plus account

basic account ($3 / month or $30 / year), which is available for one device and includes the above features plus:

  • Video saving and sharing capabilities
  • 30-day video history

A Plus account ($10 / month or $100 / year), which covers the entire home and offers all of the features of a basic account plus:

  • Extended warranty
  • 10% discount on all Ring products

Is the Ring 3 a good value?

So specs and features aside, is the Ring 3 worth the cost?

In most cases, I would say that yes, it’s worth the cost and it’s a good value. Ring is known for its high-quality surveillance systems and this doorbell is no exception.

Ring app

It’s easy to use and the video footage is high resolution. Additional features like “Near Motion”, advanced Privacy Zones add more value to the Ring 3.

And if you opt for the Ring 3 Plus, you’ll have the added bonus of the Preroll feature to provide more video context around suspicious activities.

Ring doorbelll camera - size comparison

That said, if you want a Ring, but want to save a few bucks, just get the Ring 2. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but it’s got most of the same features and it’s less expensive.

Should you upgrade your Ring?

But what if you already have a Ring doorbell camera. Is the Ring 3 worth an upgrade?

  • If you have the Ring original, I would say yes. The Ring 3 is a substantial jump in video performance and quality from the original Ring doorbell cam.
  • If you have the Ring 2, it could still be worth it if you’re specifically looking for some of the new features on the Ring 3 Plus (namely the PreRoll). But for most…it’s a bit of a toss up.
  • If you have the Ring Pro, I wouldn’t bother with it. The main difference here is the power source (Ring 3 can be battery-powered). But if you have the Ring Pro already installed the power is a bit of a moot point.

COMPARE: Click here to compare all Ring doorbell cameras.

Ring 3 Specifications

SpecsRing 3 PlusRing 3
Ring 3 Video DoorbellRing 3 Video Doorbell
Resolution1080p1080p
PowerBattery or HardwiredBattery or Hardwired
Field of View160° horizontal, 84° vertical160° horizontal, 84° vertical
Avg. Install Tile5 minutes5 minutes
Dimensions5.1" x 2.4" x 1.1"5.1" x 2.4" x 1.1"
Wifi2.4 GHz or 5 GHz2.4 GHz or 5 GHz
VideoOn-DemandOn-Demand
AudioTwo-WayTwo-Way
AlertsAdvanced Motion-Activated (Custom Zones)Advanced Motion-Activated (Custom Zones)
Pre-RollYesNo
FaceplatesYes; 2 includedYes; 2 included
Alexa CompatibleYesYes
Rechargable BatteryYesYes
Check PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

Should you buy the Ring 3?

I would recommend the Ring 3 if you’re looking for the following in a security camera:

  • Wireless install: The Ring 3 offers high-resolution video footage and a quick wireless install. The battery is easy to install when it’s time to charge up and it comes with a USB charging cable.
  • High-resolution: This camera also has 1080p resolution and works with both 2.4or 5.0 GHZ networks. These features mean you get a clearer picture and less chance of lag time.

I would recommend the Ring 3 Plus if you’re specifically looking for the Preroll feature, which allows you to look back at footage up to 4 seconds before the primary activity happened. Note, this is the only difference between Ring 3 and Ring 3 Plus.

Click here to learn more about or to buy the Ring 3 security camera.

Updates

  • April 9, 2020 – Initial version of the page was published. This is a pre-test review, meaning we have not yet tested the Ring 3. This opinions are based on manufacturer specs, features, and our tests with other Ring cameras and Ring products.
Ring's Doorbell Gets Better
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    Usability - 96%
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Summary

The Ring 3 doorbell cameras offers high-res footage (1080p) and the convenience of wireless, battery-powered install. It is compatible with 2.4 or 5.0 GHz networks and has advanced motion detection, advanced privacy zones, 2-way audio, night mode, and is compatible with Amazon Alexa. When someone rings the doorbell, you will receive an alert directly to your smartphone via push notification. The Ring app stores video history (with a paid subscription) and you’re free to view a live feed of the camera from the app at any time.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ModernCastle.com. He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider, Realtor.com, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

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