With the nights beginning to draw in, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus could be a consideration for enhancing your home security.
Luckily in recent years a series of innovations have come to market which have made home security a retail proposition – meaning that you don’t need an electrician to hard wire a new alarm system in your home. Instead, you can quickly by systems that are effectively plug and play – and battery operated devices that run off your home’s WiFi.
The Ring Video Doorbell became a leading player in this market as a kind of security device that also has a clear function, replacing your home’s doorbell. It’s a neat and smart little piece of kit, incorporating a camera into the bell so that you can see who’s at your front door – effectively allowing you to answer your door from anywhere in the world. It’s been selling these doorbells for several years – and we gave its latest model, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus, a try out to see what had changed and if it was still as effective as ever.
Keep scrolling to hear how it fared during testing or check out our best video doorbells for more smart ways to answer the door.
Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus specifications
- Connection requirements: Dual-Band WiFi, Alexa Enabled
- Video quality: up to 1080p HD Video
- Range: 1.5 to 4.5m
- Installation: easy, and it's battery-powered
- Field of vision: 160 degrees
- Exclusive feature: Pre-roll
How does the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus work?
The Ring Video Doorbell notifies you when someone’s at your front door. It does this through a built-in motion detector which triggers both the alert and recording of the ‘event’. Obviously, it also operates as a regular doorbell. You’ll need to install the app in order to set up the doorbell, and for us installation took around 15 minutes including the physical installation of the bell itself on our front porch.
In terms of connections, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus is battery operated and there are no wires involved. A rechargeable battery is supplied with the kit and, after three months of operation, has needed recharging once. The user receives an alert of the low battery and replenishment takes a few hours. Removal of the battery is straightforward. Wi-fi connection for us was OK, but clearly depends on the distance between the Doorbell and router. Ring sell an extender, the Chime Pro.
You can also use the Ring Doorbell 3 Plus as a standard security camera. The app allows you to see the live view from the camera giving extra peace of mind, which makes it a very useful part of Ring’s smart home range.
What's new about the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus?
This advanced third-generation model irons out some of the familiar issues with motion-detection technology. It offers a ‘Near Motion Zone’ capture which is suited to front doors on busy roads with pedestrian traffic, and reduces the false alert problem that affects so much of this type of system. Even better, the user can set motion detection zones, which further allows personalisation of the alert system. Indeed, the success of security cameras and video doorbells almost entirely comes down to how smart the alert process is, and we consistently find Ring’s systems score very highly in this regard.
The Video Doorbell 3 has a ‘Plus’ upgrade model. For an extra £20 or so, you can take advantage of the four second video preview pre-roll feature on the Plus, which eliminates another gripe of the long-term wireless security consumer: that the kit wakes up too late to capture the action. This is a genuinely important addition and in our view well worth the extra expense.
How easy is the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus to use?
It’s an easy-to-set-up piece of kit which then requires a bit of time investment to tailor to your individual needs. There is no shortage of features on the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus, and the key to enjoying it and making it useful is to identify how you want to use them. Luckily, the app is very intuitive and easy to adapt, offering a sense of control. For example, the app allows three different modes: disarmed, home and away, which offer different default settings for alerts which then in each case can be personalised. The app also offers a range of different tie-ins with other smart home technology most notably Alexa – allowing you to programme custom notifications through your home’s speakers, and even turn the lights on automatically when someone’s at the front door.
Again, it’s worth reiterating that you’ll need a good few hours to really explore the features and personalise the app to get the best out of this kit. The Doorbell comes with a 30 day free trial of Ring Protect, which for a regular payment of £2.50 records all your events on the cloud and from a security perspective feels essential.
The acid test for smart home kit - and the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus is no exception – is in how much it becomes part of your life. We found the doorbell easy to install and requiring a bit more than average brain power to make the most of. The app is very well designed with an appealing and easy to use interface – you really do feel like you have control over the system through your phone. The app will also make suggestions for you in terms of improving your user experience, which is very welcome for what can occasionally be quite a complex set of decisions.
In terms of value for money, the point of security systems like this is that they offer a return on investment on their function – meaning how secure they make you feel, how much they deter potential trouble, and how much you feel confident in using them. At just shy of £200 the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus isn’t cheap – particularly with Ring’s older doorbells usually available for around half that - but the added features and better useability make it money well spent. Not that looks matter too much in this regard, but Ring has always enjoyed sharp design and the 3 Plus is no exception. Interchangeable grey and black covers offer some design flex, too.