Best answer: If your house is already equipped with low-voltage doorbell wiring, the Doorbell Pro is the best consumer-grade video doorbell in Ring’s lineup. Otherwise, the Video Doorbell 3 can run off a rechargeable battery and offer most of the same features.
What is a Ring Doorbell?
Ring’s line of Wi-Fi-connected video doorbells is a great way to secure your home and give yourself some peace of mind when you’re waiting on a package or going away on vacation. They detect motion before anyone gets near your door, alert your smartphone, and start recording video. Best of all, most Ring Doorbells go on sale pretty regularly, so keep an eye out for upcoming holidays — that’s typically when the deals struck.
Recorded footage gets stored in the cloud (with a subscription fee, of course), so you don’t have to be watching live to catch a would-be burglar. There’s also two-way audio, meaning you can talk to the person on the other end of the doorbell from your phone. With so many options in Ring’s lineup, it can be overwhelming to determine the best smart doorbell for your needs — that’s where we come in.
Which one is right for my home?
The Ring has plenty of video doorbells to choose from, each hitting a different price point and feature set. Ring Video Doorbell Wired is only $60 and works for homes that already have electrical wiring for their existing doorbell. It’s a sleek design that’s small, discreet, and offers excellent 1080p video quality and most of Ring’s best motion detection features at a fraction of the price of their other products. If you don’t have an electrical wire to use, Ring Video Doorbell (2nd gen) offers the ability to run on battery power for only $40 more.
Ring Video Doorbell 3 makes some significant improvements on its predecessor’s design, though. It features 5GHz dual-band Wi-Fi, along with improved motion zone settings that let you receive notifications only for close-by subjects within a few feet of the camera. It’s also easier to remove the faceplate on the Doorbell 3, making it effortless to toss in a spare battery.
While the Doorbell 3 is pricier than the Doorbell 2, we’d argue that it’s worth putting the extra money into. The improved motion zones are hugely helpful, particularly if your camera faces a busy street that would otherwise constantly set off motion alerts (I’m writing this from experience!). It’s now easier to set up and connect to your Wi-Fi network. This is the best camera to buy for homes that aren’t equipped with low-voltage doorbell wiring.
There’s also the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus to consider. While most of its features are the same, the Doorbell 3 Plus includes the Pre-Roll feature from Ring Video Doorbell Pro — a doorbell that only works with an electrical wire — that gives you a four-second preview of the events leading up to your motion alerts. These Pre-Rolls are kept at a low resolution and in black and white to preserve battery life. They even work while running on battery power, which is one of the things that makes this product so attractive.