The Ring Video Doorbell 3 vs. Plus has a nice set of upgrades over the device's previous two generations. The two new versions feature the same upgrades and visual stylings, with the only differentiator being the Video Doorbell 3 Pus gets Pre-Roll video. However, is that worth the additional $20? Let's get into it.
Time for an upgrade
Video doorbells allow you to see who's at the door without the need to go to the door or window. A good video doorbell also offers features like motion detection, two-way communication, and notifications. Ring has long been one of the most popular options for video doorbells, and with the release of the Ring Video Doorbell 4, but the Ring Video Doorbell 3 and Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus are still great options and pack some useful features.
These two doorbells aren't so different from each other — but if you look closely, you'll see that the 3 Plus has one big advantage.
One of these upgrades is the inclusion of a 5.0 GHz Wi-Fi band. This will be a welcome addition since it allows faster data transfer rates at the expense of a higher rate of interference from obstacles like walls or doors. In most cases, though, you shouldn't have any issues maintaining a connection between your front door and router. If it does, there is still a 2.4 GHz band available to fall back on.
Ring has also included a feature that was previously only available on the Pro and Elite models — advanced motion detection, which allows you to create a custom motion zone. Doing this can limit some false occurrences and unnecessary notifications coming to your phone. Should your home's front door face a busy sidewalk or street, for example, standard motion detection may pick up that activity. Setting up a more refined detection area will cut down on those annoying phone buzzes of joggers passing by.
While these two new video doorbells from Ring have some helpful differentiators from the previous offerings, they are not so different from each other — but if you look closely, you'll see that the 3 Plus has one big advantage over the 3.
|Ring Video Doorbell 3||Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus|
|Video Quality||1080p HD||1080p HD|
|Motion Detection||Advanced motion detection with adjustable motion zones||Advanced motion detection with adjustable motion zones|
|Connectivity||802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connection at 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz||802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connection at 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz|
|Smart Assistant Integration||Amazon Echo||Amazon Echo|
|Power Source||Wired or quick-release rechargeable battery pack||Wired or quick-release rechargeable battery pack|
|Pre-Roll||No||Yes, Black and White|
The one big difference
Ring is now including a feature that hasn't been seen on any of its other video doorbells: Pre-Roll. Typically when motion is triggered on a Ring Video Doorbell, you'll get a notification. This allows you to view what happened after the motion sensor was triggered. Pre-Roll gives you an additional four seconds of video from before the activity. This feature is an excellent addition, especially when using it as part of an expanded security setup.
Seeing what led up to the moment that enough motion occurred to activate the sensor can help give you a more complete picture. As with most motion-activated devices, its range can be limited, and the required movement can be high/specific. So, by the time the sensor is tripped, you may only see the tail end of what happened —causing you to miss out on valuable information to solve an incident or, hopefully, additional funny footage.
Pre-Roll does have its limitations. Its video quality is less than 1080p, night vision is not available, and audio won't be included. Regardless, Pre-Roll can still be a valuable asset to many situations — as the saying goes, "Something is better than nothing."
Small things matter
Ring has two products that are both full of great features for those looking for convenience and added security making these two or the best video doorbells available. With the fantastic integrations into the Amazon Echo ecosystem, the addition of 5.0 GHz Wi-Fi band, and advanced motion detection, it would be hard to go wrong with either the standard or plus model. However, the Pre-Roll feature is the tipping point to give the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus the win. While it isn't always going to earn that nearly $30 difference, even if it helps you once, you'll be glad you had it.
See it all
Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus
Before it happens
The Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus is packed with many of the same features as the more expensive models, but it has something those versions don't — Pre-Roll. That can make the difference between getting the full picture of a situation or not.
Ring Video Doorbell 3
A worthy upgrade
You'll get the same 5.0 GHz Wi-Fi band and advanced motion detection that the Plus model has, but you'll save about $20. You also won't get the Pre-Roll feature, but it's still a solid upgrade overall.
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