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Ring Video Doorbell 4 vs. Ring Video Doorbell 3 & 3 Plus: Which should you buy?

Ring Video Doorbell 4 Lifestyle
Ring Video Doorbell 4 Lifestyle (Image credit: Ring)

Ring Video Doorbell 4

Ring Video Doorbell 4 Render

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With the Ring Video Doorbell 4, Ring kept all of the best parts from the previous models and improved them. Pre-Roll video is now in color rather than only black and white; there's also improved battery life to go with it.

Ring Video Doorbell 4

New hotness

Color Pre-roll video
Dual-band Wi-Fi
Full 1080p HD video
Quick replies
Advanced Motion Detection
No Google Assistant integration
Only comes with a satin nickel faceplate

Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus

Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus Official Render Cropped

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The Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus introduced Pre-Roll video to the video doorbell lineup, and while the feature still works great — as black and white only, it seems dated. Other features are very close in line with the new model, but fewer features seem to make this model a pass since it's priced the same.

Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus

Close second

1080p HD video quality
Advanced Motion Detection
2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz Wi-Fi
Pre-roll video
Quick replies
Pre-roll video is only black and white
Only works with Alexa
Priced the same without color Pre-roll video

With the announcement of the newest Ring Video Doorbell and looking at the features, it makes sense that there is a bit of head-scratching as to which model to get — the Ring Video Doorbell 4 vs. Ring Video Doorbell 3 & 3 Plus? With the 3 Plus, Ring introduced the beneficial feature in the Pre-Roll video. All of the features from the best Ring Video Doorbells are included and even improved upon in its newest model. So, is the latest and greatest worth the upgrade — let's take a look.

Ring Video Doorbell 4 vs. Ring Video Doorbell 3 & 3 Plus: These video doorbells share a lot of DNA

Ring Video Doorbell 4 Pre Roll Lifestye

Source: Ring (Image credit: Source: Ring)

Ring is one of the most well-known brands when it comes to video doorbells. At the same time, there are some excellent alternatives to Ring Video Doorbells, like the Nest Hello, Ring is far more common. Part of that reason is the simplicity of use and the helpful features that are included. Ring does a great job of updating older models of its products with features when it can, like Quick Replies, but sometimes that's not possible.

Ring Video Doorbell 4Ring Video Doorbell 3Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus
Price$199.99$179.99$199.99
Video Quality1080p HD1080p HD1080p HD
Motion DetectionAdvanced motion detection with adjustable motion zonesAdvanced motion detection with adjustable motion zonesAdvanced motion detection with adjustable motion zones
Connectivity802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connection at 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connection at 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connection at 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz
Smart Assistant IntegrationAmazon EchoAmazon EchoAmazon Echo
Power SourceWired or quick-release rechargeable battery packWired or quick-release rechargeable battery pack
Pre-RollYes, ColorNoYes, Black and White
Quick RepliesYesYesYes

When looking at the table above, it's clear that there are many similarities in the features each of these models shares. This is why we have to look further into the details to see what separates one from another.

The Ring Video Doorbell 4 brings in the Pre-Roll video from the 3 Plus but improves on it. You will get to see the four seconds of video before an event is detected, but now it's in color. One of the downsides to the feature on the previous model was that it was only available in black and white, even if the camera was in color mode.

When comparing these three models, the only thing that the Ring Video Doorbell 3 wins at is saving you a little bit of money.

While it's not a deal-breaker, the lack of color could be a major piece to a puzzle should the doorbell capture something happening. When giving information to authorities to help with the situation, every bit of info helps.

Another improvement that is found on the Ring Video Doorbell 4 is improved battery life. While all three of these models can be hardwired for power, the wire-free method is much simpler to install for most people. The battery packs are all quick release and rechargeable, but you'll have to mess with that process less on the 4. With the Ring Video Doorbell 4, you'll get an average of 20 or more motion events per day over the previous models. That adds up to a lot of events fast when the battery can last up to 12 months per charge.

Ring Video Doorbell 4 vs. Ring Video Doorbell 3 & 3 Plus: Should you upgrade?

Ring Video Doorbell 3 Hero

Source: Ring (Image credit: Source: Ring)

This question runs in the same vein as deciding if you should get the Ring Video Doorbell 3 or 3 Plus when those two were announced. However, in the case of the 4 vs. 3, it's a little more clear-cut.

If you are even remotely considering getting a new Ring Video Doorbell to replace your current model 3, then you will likely find a lot to like from this newest version. You'll keep the same high-quality 1080p HD video feed that's on your current doorbell.

In addition to that, instead of only getting to see the action from the point that the camera recognizes something is happening — you'll also be able to get the lead up to that moment. This is because on the Ring Video Doorbell 4, you will get not only the missing Pre-Roll option from your 3, but you'll get it in full color. Not to mention that the 4 will be able to capture more motion events due to the improved battery life over the Ring Video Doorbell 3.

Ring Video Doorbell 4 vs. Ring Video Doorbell 3 & 3 Plus: Every little bit counts

Ring Video Doorbell 4 Pre Roll Lifestye

Source: Ring (Image credit: Source: Ring)

With the Ring Video Doorbell 4 and 3 Plus currently costing the same, the improved battery life and full-color Pre-Roll video are well worth it. If there does come a price difference, then it really comes down to what features you value most. The same is true in deciding between the Ring Video Doorbell 3 or 3 Plus, and what features are with the money to you.

While it's unfortunate that all of these options only come in satin nickel at purchase, there are some fun Ring Video Doorbell faceplates you can buy to change up the look a bit. When it all boils down, getting more events captured on video between battery recharges is a huge benefit on the Ring Video Doorbell 4, as is the inclusion of color Pre-Roll video. Because when you need it, it's always better to have more information than less.

Chris Wedel
Chris Wedel
Chris Wedel is a fan of all things tech and gadgets. Living in rural Kansas with his wife and two young boys makes finding ways to get and stay online tricky. By utilizing his years of experience with the tech and mobile communications industries — success is assured. When not conquering connectivity challenges and testing new gadgets, he enjoys cruising a gravel road in his UTV with some good tunes.