Amazon-owned Ring sells a wide range of video doorbells, each with a camera, microphone, speaker, and Wi-Fi to answer anyone’s door. Where in the world.
They all perform the same basic task, with the Ring smartphone app alerting you when the buzzer is pressed and initiating a two-way video call. But, as of April 2021, there are no less than eight different Ring doorbell models to choose from, along with a range of accessories. Prices range from under $ 70 to over $ 300.
This GearBrain guide has been written to help you determine which Ring Video Doorbell is best for your budget and your smart home.
Wireless Video Doorbells
We’re starting with Ring’s battery-powered video doorbells. These can be powered by your existing doorbell wiring if you want, but their real purpose is to operate completely wireless. Just attach it to your door or wall, connect it to your Wi-Fi network, and off you go.
Ring currently sells four versions of its wireless doorbell – and they all look almost identical, despite their prices ranging from $ 80 to $ 200, or even $ 250 when purchased with the company’s Chime Pro.
Video doorbell – $ 79.99
The Ring Video Doorbell is priced at $ 79.99Ring
First of all, the cheapest and easiest offer. This device has a camera, microphone and speaker to create a two-way video call between your smartphone and whoever presses the button. Released in 2020, it’s available in black or silver and has a built-in battery, which means you have to detach the doorbell and plug it in to charge it.
Alternatively, it can be wired to existing doorbell wires for power. The camera records in Full HD 1080p, color video and the camera can be configured to notify you when motion is detected, thus acting as a security camera as well as a doorbell. It can be controlled from the Ring app and also from Alexa devices such as the Echo speakers and smart displays. The first announces when someone is at the door, and the second shows a live video feed on their screen.
This doorbell camera has a viewing angle of 155 degrees horizontally and 90 degrees vertically. All Ring doorbells have infrared night vision for clear images after sunset.
Video Doorbell 3 – $ 179.99
Ring Video Doorbell 3Ring
Then, and for an additional $ 100, we have the Video Doorbell 3. It also takes photos in Full HD 1080p and has motion detection, but most importantly, it has a rechargeable battery that can be removed. This way you can swap between a pair of batteries when they are dry (although only one is included in the box).
The battery life of Ring doorbells varies a lot depending on how often they are used and your motion detection settings. “Between weeks and months” is the catch-all estimate, because it can really vary that much.
The camera of this doorbell has a slightly larger viewing angle of 160 degrees horizontally and 90 degrees vertically. It also benefits from dual-band Wi-Fi, which the cheaper model lacks, as well as interchangeable faceplates for changing the color and a mounting kit in a corner, for example between your door and a wall.
Unlike the cheaper model, this one can be attached to your existing doorbell chime (if you have one). Keep in mind that Ring doorbells only modify you through the app as standard, so this can be useful if you have a pre-existing chime in your home. Alternatively, you can purchase a new Ring chime that plugs into a wall outlet and connects to the doorbell wirelessly.
3 Plus Video Doorbell – $ 199.99
Ring Video Doorbell 3 PlusRing
For an additional $ 20, Ring will sell you the Video Doorbell 3 Plus. This is almost identical to the normal 3, but has a feature called Pre-Roll, which records four seconds of video before motion is detected.
That way, you can see a few extra seconds of footage that might come in handy in the event of a disturbance like an attempted break-in, vehicle theft, or anything else that needs proof. It should be noted that this pre-roll video is recorded in black and white only, then the images recorded in the normal way (after movement has occurred or the bell has rung) are in color.
We think this is a feature that easily justifies the extra $ 20 cost, especially when you’re already spending $ 180.
Video doorbell 4 – $ 199.99
Ring Video Doorbell 4Ring
Ring’s most recent doorbell, this model is available for pre-order now and will begin shipping in the United States from April 28. It has all the features of the Video Doorbell 3 Plus, but also benefits from color pre-roll footage instead of black. -and white. The newer model also has a system called Quick Replies, in which you can read a range of recorded messages when you hit the buzzer.
For example, if you’re alerted through the Ring app and open the camera feed to see a delivery guy, you can tap to play a pre-recorded message asking them to leave the package on the doorstep. The quick reply can also prompt them to record a message.
Ring describes it as an answering machine for your front door, and while it might not seem useful if you’re at home, remember how the Ring app lets you answer from anywhere in the world – so asking for packages to be left with your neighbor could be really helpful. The Video Doorbell 4 can also be purchased with the Chime Pro, which acts as an audible chime and Wi-Fi signal extender, for $ 249.99.
Wired video doorbells
Next, we have Ring’s wired video doorbells. These cost between $ 60 and $ 350 and are powered by existing doorbell wiring instead of a battery. This means that they are slimmer than other models and still have a power supply, with no battery charge level to monitor.
Wired Video Doorbell – $ 59.99
Ring Video Doorbell WiredRing
We think this doorbell represents great value for the money, thanks to its slim and smart design, Full HD 1080p video recording, motion detection and alerts, Alexa integration and even the Ring pre-roll video feature.
The only downsides are an inability to work with an existing doorbell chime (so you’ll have to buy a Ring plug-in if you want an audible chime) and a lack of a quick response system. Ring estimates that the doorbell can be installed in just 15 minutes.
Pro Video Doorbell – $ 169.99
Ring Video Doorbell ProRing
As with Ring’s wireless doorbells, the price of the cheapest to the next most affordable model has increased significantly. For $ 170, Video Doorbell Pro buyers get a video doorbell that works with an existing wired chime and features Ring’s quick response system, as mentioned earlier.
The estimated installation time here is only five minutes, making it one of the simplest smart home devices on the market. The Video Doorbell Wired and Video Doorbell Pro have a field of view of 155 degrees horizontally and 90 degrees vertically.
Video Doorbell Pro 2 – $ 249.99
Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2Ring
Then, and with another sizable price jump, there’s the Pro 2. This has improved audio quality, higher video resolution of 1536p, a more advanced motion detection system, and two features called Bird’s Eye View and Head. to Toe Video.
The first of these tracks traces the path taken by each visitor as they walk to and from your front door. These dotted lines are added to the recorded video so that you can see more clearly if a visitor took a suspicious path to the door or returned later but did not ring the bell for some reason. Head-to-toe video is possible with the Doorbell Pro 2 having a 150 degree field of view both vertically and horizontally, making it easy to see packages left by the door.
Elite Video Doorbell – $ 349.99
Ring Video Doorbell EliteRing
Finally, Ring’s current flagship is the Doorbell Elite and costs $ 100 more than the next best option. It’s a serious investment considering that Ring doorbells with the same basic features start at just $ 70. The Elite is offered in Satin Nickel, Pearl White, Venetian, and Satin Black with interchangeable faceplates, and it’s the only Ring to have a power-over-Ethernet connection (alongside Wi-Fi). This way, it can be used in a large house where the front door may not be covered by the Wi-Fi network.
The camera is Full HD 1080p and has a viewing angle of 160 degrees horizontally and 90 degrees vertically. The device also features advanced motion detection and customizable motion zones, just like with other Ring doorbells. In short, you pay a premium here for the finish quality of the device and the Ethernet connection.