Ring Doorbell 3 vs. Ring Doorbell 4

Safety & Security

The Ring home security company was pitched as an idea on "Shark Tank" in 2013. Although it didn’t get a deal there, it was sold to Amazon just five years later for more than a billion dollars.

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Is the Ring Doorbell 3 or 4 best? 

The Ring Doorbell 3 was released in early 2020 to great acclaim, improving home security and peace of mind for homeowners. Users loved its smart video functionality, ease of installation, sleek design and convenient companion app. 

With the introduction of the next-generation Ring Doorbell 4, some were left wondering where the difference lay between the two models, as they are almost identical in their design. In short, the answer to this question lies in improvements to the software, longer battery life and enhanced Wi-Fi capabilities.

Ring Doorbell 3

Ring Video Doorbell 3

The Ring Video Doorbell 3 has proved extremely popular with users. Since Ring was acquired by Amazon in 2017, it was also designed with Alexa products in mind, opening up several useful opportunities. For instance, you can link it to the Amazon Echo, which will alert you if the doorbell is pushed or if the motion capture is triggered. Echo smart speakers enable you to chat with whomever is standing outside and Echo Show displays the live stream as soon as the doorbell is activated. Not only do these features save you time and effort but they can prove invaluable to those living with mobility issues. Plus, like all smart doorbells, it has a companion app that live-streams footage to your devices. 

Ring Doorbell 3 pros

Ring Doorbell 3 features are built on the company’s already successful line of home security doorbells. It has improved motion detection that is less sensitive than its predecessors. It also has upgraded connectivity with both 2.4GHz and 5GHz network support and improved battery life. While all smart video doorbells work with devices to alert you once the doorbell is depressed, this model has “pre-roll” functionality that stores a few seconds of activity before motion detection, to let you know what happened immediately before the alert.

Ring Doorbell 3 cons

While you wouldn’t necessarily call them faults, the Ring Doorbell 3 falls short in a few notable ways. For example, video quality has a 1080p resolution, which is lower than that of some rival products. The viewing angle is also comparatively smaller than some at 160 degrees, with other models offering a full 180-degree field of vision. The pre-roll function, while useful, is presented in black and white, which reduces clarity at a crucial moment. Finally, if you use battery power to operate your doorbell then you will need to purchase a separate bell chime.

Ring Doorbell 4

Ring Video Doorbell 4

Only a little more than the Ring Doorbell 3, the Ring Video Doorbell 4 is battery-powered, but it can also be hardwired to an existing doorbell connection that will charge its battery on a drip feed. Installation is easy, especially if you use only battery power. Batteries can easily be removed and charged overnight. 

As with its predecessor, the Ring Doorbell 4 has a 160-degree field of view that is more than sufficient for capturing most porches and driveways. The images themselves are full HD quality, and a two-way microphone allows for communication with the outside via your smart device. Although black and white, night vision streams with clarity. 

Ring Doorbell 4 pros

Video footage is streamed and recorded with improved clarity on the Ring Doorbell 4 companion app and can be viewed at a later date using the Ring Protect online service. The app also lets you customize the doorbell in many ways to suit your unique requirements. Any connectivity issues that plagued previous generations of Ring Doorbells seem to have been ironed out. 

Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus

One major improvement over past versions is the inclusion of color footage on the pre-roll function, which adds clarity to this useful review feature. Ring also claims that battery life has been significantly improved with the Ring Doorbell 4, even when compared to the most recent iteration of the previous generation, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus.

Ring Doorbell 4 cons

While some of the issues with the Ring Doorbell 3 have been addressed for this newer model, there are still some negatives with the Ring Video Doorbell 4 that cannot be ignored. For example, those who use other AI solutions might be bothered that it doesn’t work with Google Assistant technology. Also, you must sign up for a monthly subscription package to view video recordings at a later time. Lastly, the plastic housing is prone to scratching. 

Should you get the Ring Doorbell 3 or Ring Doorbell 4?

The Ring Doorbell 4 is a very impressive solution that exceeds the requirements of a smart doorbell with its Alexa integration and video capture capabilities. With that said, owners of the Ring Doorbell 3 shouldn’t necessarily rush out to buy the upgrade. Unlike the aesthetics of the Ring Doorbell 3 —  a breath of fresh air compared to the stark gray lines of its predecessors — the Ring Doorbell 4 doesn’t break any new ground, looks-wise. However, if this is your first installation of a smart doorbell, it’s well worth spending a few extra dollars for the improved pre-roll recording, better connectivity, sharper images and extended battery life.

 

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Luke Mitchell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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