The Ring Video Doorbell 3 is a popular model that’s been upgraded over its predecessor, the Ring Video Doorbell 2, with additional security features. It was launched around the same time as the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus last year, although that model has since been discontinued for reasons that are unknown.
As is the case with all the best video doorbells, control is through the smartphone app. From there you can live view the street outside, engage in two-way talk, and check out the event history – if you’re still within the trial period, that is, or you’re a subscription payer. The Doorbell 3 captures live and saved footage in 1080p HD color, and night vision ensures streaming is clear during the darker hours of the day.
We were concerned that our Wi-Fi signal strength wouldn’t be sufficient to cope with the model’s dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz connectivity requirements, so at the same time we were reviewing the Doorbell 3, we also tested the Chime Pro to help extend our Ring network – and to ensure we could hear the doorbell when it was rung. The latter can be bought separately for $49.99 / £49.99 / AU$79, or bundled in with the Doorbell 3 at the time of purchase (this is the cheaper option). Once connected to Wi-Fi, setup was really easy.
Like other models in Ring’s range, the Video Doorbell 3 is available in wired and wireless options. Meant as a replacement for your existing doorbell, the battery-powered model could in fact be used alongside your current doorbell – although it might cause confusion for those coming to your door. The wireless Doorbell 3 has a removable battery, which you pop out for charging; it will need to be recharged every 25 days. Helpfully, Ring includes a little screwdriver device to more easily access the battery; without this tool, it would be tricky. If you’ve chosen a wired Doorbell 3, this will be synced up to your existing doorbell system.
Ring is an Amazon-owned company so it’s hardly surprising that the Video Doorbell 3 can be integrated with Alexa. Having done so, you can set Amazon Alexa-enabled devices to hear custom notifications and use Two-Way Talk through the Echo Dot. You can even launch live video on the Echo Show when the doorbell is activated, and so much more.
It isn’t the most subtle of doorbells, but you can buy a new faceplate – available in a range of colors such as Blue Metal, Fire Cracker Red and Galaxy Black – to better match your front door. This can be bought direct from Ring for $14.99 / £14.99 / AU$25.
While the Video Doorbell 3 is one of the more affordable models in Ring’s range at $199.99/ £159.99 / AU$299, you will need to factor in ongoing costs if you’re to continue to benefit from all the features on offer. Ring Protect includes extras such as information on missed doorbell rings and motion detection, for example, and will set you back $3.99 / £3.49 / AU$4.95 per month.
Ring Video Doorbell 3 price and availability
- List price: $199.99/£159.99/AU$299
- Available in the US, UK and Australia
The Ring Video Doorbell 3 is a mid-range, mid-priced video doorbell in the US brand’s lineup of products. It sits between the Video Doorbell (2nd Gen) priced at $59.99 / £89.99 / AU$149 and the Video Doorbell 4 at $219.99 / £179.99 / AU$329.
Launched around the same time as the Ring Video Doorbell 3, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus has since been discontinued. Costing $229.99 / £199 / AU$369, the main difference between the two models is that the Doorbell 3 Plus comes with a “pre-roll” feature. In fact, it’s the only Ring Video Doorbell to arrive with this feature. This enabled the doorbell to store four seconds of black-and-white video, captured before motion detection was activated, without audio. However, as our review pointed out, the feature only works in good lighting conditions. So, while footage in the dark is saved, we found it extremely difficult to make out.
Price & availability score: 5/5
Ring Video Doorbell 3 design
- Can be hardwired or battery-powered
- Customizable faceplates
- Quick-release battery pack (battery-powered version)
The Ring Video Doorbell 3 is a smart-looking doorbell, yet it might prove too bulky for some households. It’s larger than your average doorbell, measuring
5.1 x 2.4 x 1.1 inches / 12.8 x 6.2 x 2.8cm, and will need to be mounted next to the front door. Note that you can buy an interchangeable faceplate direct from Ring for $14.99 / £14.99 / AU$25 in order to switch out the standard gray faceplate for a color that better suits the outside decor of your home.
The Doorbell 3 is relatively easy to install. Download the app (more on this later) and you’ll have access to step-by-step instructions on how to mount the unit to the wall. Those who have opted for the battery-powered version of the doorbell can just use the mount and screws included in the box to secure it, but if you have the hard-wired model then this will need to be connected to your existing doorbell.
Note that on the hard-wired model of the Video Doorbell 3, the LED ring around the doorbell button will permanently glow white, switching to blue when the doorbell is pressed. However, the LED ring on the battery-powered Doorbell 3 doesn’t illuminate until the button is pressed; you won’t even hear it ring inside the home. This is where you’ll need the optional Ring Chime Pro, which will not only sound the door bell, but it will also help to boost Wi-Fi connectivity.
The Chime Pro can be hooked up to the Doorbell 3 and other Ring products in the app over your home Wi-Fi. It’s powered by plugging it into a main socket, but you’ll need to ensure it’s positioned in a central location in your home to boost and ride the Wi-Fi.
Included in the box of the battery-powered version of the Ring Video Doorbell 3 is a special screwdriver that grants access to the faceplate for switching it out, and the battery pack for recharging purposes. There’s no replacement, so be sure you don’t lose it.
Ring Video Doorbell 3 performance
- Clear HD video footage with night vision
- Motion detection and alerts
- Works with Alexa-enabled devices for hands-free control
The Ring Video Doorbell 3 is a fantastic security camera for the front door – and it’s easy to use, too, from initial setup through to viewing recorded footage via the app. And it’s through the app that you’ll receive notifications to your smartphone each time the doorbell is pressed or motion is detected. Those using the battery-powered Doorbell 3 will hear the tone selected on their Ring Chime or Ring Chime Pro.
Tap on a notification and you’ll be taken to a view of your front door to see who is outside; here, you’ll have the option to engage in two-way talk. Although this works across a dual-band 2.4GHz or 5GHz Wi-Fi network to speed up load times, we found that it still took a few seconds for the notification to connect to the Doorbell 3, even with the Chime Pro in place. If you miss the ring at the door, or if motion is detected, then this will be recorded and you can view it later. However, in order to do this, you’ll need to be signed up to Ring Protect once the free trial period has come to an end.
Video and audio was crisp, both during the day and at night. Even the recorded footage was clear, with no pixelation or juddering when watching it back.
The Ring Video Doorbell 3 works with Alexa, too, which means you’ll be able to see who is at your door simply by saying: “Alexa, show me my front door”. If you have an Echo Dot then you can hear custom notifications or use two-way talk, and if you have an Echo Show then you can even launch live or recorded footage.
Ring Video Doorbell 3 app
- Easy to download and use
- Simple to navigate
- Subscription required to access recordings
The Ring app is available for download from the App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android). By following the on-screen instructions, you’ll soon be connected to the Ring Video Doorbell 3, granting access to live streaming and various other features such as motion detection, missed doorbell rings and two-way talk.
For the first 30 days you’ll be able to access all the features the Ring Video Doorbell 3 has to offer, for free. Once this trial period ends, however, to continue using the doorbell as you have been, you’ll need to subscribe to Ring Protect for $3.99 / £3.49 / AU$4.95 per month. This on-going cost isn’t unique to the Doorbell 3; it’s required for all Ring Video Doorbells.
In general, we found the app really easy to navigate. The first screen you’re presented with is the live stream, plus any other Ring products that you may have synced with the device – we had the Chime Pro, for example. From here you can click through to Event History to view motion detection and any missed rings; simply click through on either activity to view footage. From there you can share videos with friends and family, or save videos to your device. Of course, this is if you’re within the free trial period, or have subscribed to Ring Protect.
We found the Video Doorbell 3’s two-way talk feature particularly useful. When the doorbell is pressed, you can set it up to receive a notification. If you’re not at home, you can click on this notification to view the person at your front door, “answering” it by selecting ‘some is at your front door’. Using two-way talk when a delivery was being attempted allowed us to instruct the courier to leave the package in a specified safe place.
Ring Video Doorbell 3 battery life
- Battery will need a recharge every 25 days
- Takes 6 hours to charge
- Charging cable supplied, but no plug
Ring claims that Video Doorbell 3’s battery life can last anywhere between six and twelve months, yet during our two-month testing period, we found that we were having to recharge the battery every 25 days or so. This was under normal use.
On day 18 we received an email to our inbox and notification to our smartphone that the Doorbell 3 had “battery at 30%”, advising a recharge. We didn’t recharge it at this point, and within seven days the notifications and emails stopped, and so did the Doorbell 3.
The battery pack is quick-release, sliding in-and-out of the main unit. It’s secured by a little screw on the underside of the unit, which is released using the screwdriver type tool supplied in the box. It’s a small screw, so keep this safe because there’s no replacement included.
It took six hours to charge the battery; we did this overnight, when the doorbell is unlikely to be rung. Note that there is a USB charging cable in the box, but no plug, so you’ll need to source one yourself.
Battery life: 3.5/5
Ring Video Doorbell 3 score card
|Price & availability||Available worldwide for a very reasonable price.||5/5|
|Design||Looks smart as it is and the faceplates are customizable to match the front door,||5/5|
|Performance||Brilliant at all hours of the day, but it does rely on a stable Wi-Fi network.||4.5/5|
|App||Easy to navigate and not over-complicated, although it would be useful if at least some footage was recorded and stored.||4/5|
|Battery||Quick-release battery pack is easy to remove and takes just four hours to fully recharge, yet the battery doesn’t last much longer than 25 days.||3.5/5|
Should I buy?
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
- First reviewed: October 2022