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Ring Video Doorbell vs. Ring 3 vs. Ring Pro: Which should you buy?

Ring Video Doorbell vs. Ring 3 vs. Ring Pro

The days of getting up to see who's at your door are over. With a video doorbell, you can greet your guests and keep an eye out for intruders — all without getting up from your couch. And with Prime Day deals in full swing, you can expect some steep discounts on Ring's family of doorbells. 

Ring appears several times on our list of the best video doorbells for a variety of reasons. The Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus is our favorite wireless model, the Ring Video Doorbell (2nd gen) is our favorite under $100, the Ring Doorbell Pro is the best at motion detection. And, the Ring Peephole Cam is great for those who want to replace their peepholes with a camera. 

But which should you buy? We've compared all devices to help you decide which one is best for you.

Ring Video Doorbell: Specs compared

Ring Video Doorbell (2nd gen)Ring Video Doorbell 3Ring Video Doorbell 3 PlusRing Video Doorbell ProRing Peephole Cam
Dimensions4.98 x 2.4 x 1.1 in5.1 x 2.4 x 1.1 in5.05 x 2.5 x 1.08 in4.5 x 1.85 x 0.8 in4.4 x 2.3 x 1.2 inches
WiringBattery or hardwiredBattery or hardwiredBattery or hardwiredHardwiredBattery
Field of View155 degrees horizontal, 90 degrees vertical160 degrees horizontal, 90 degrees vertical160 degrees horizontal, 90 degrees vertical160 degrees horizontal, 90 degrees vertical155 degrees horizontal, 90 degrees vertical
Wi-Fi2.4Ghz2.4, 5GHz2.4, 5GHz2.4, 5GHz2.4 GHz

Ring Video Doorbell vs. Ring 3 vs. Ring Pro: Design

The Ring Video Doorbell, Ring Video Doorbell 3/3 Plus and Ring Video Doorbell Pro are relatively similar in design; they're all black and gray, with a camera at the top and an illuminated button beneath. The Doorbell 3 Plus is slightly larger than the Doorbell, but otherwise identical. The Doorbell Pro is much smaller and thinner (as it doesn't need to accommodate a battery).

The Doorbell 3 and 3 Plus and the Doorbell Pro both come with interchangeable face plates as well as angled wedges, making it easier to match your home's decor, as well as angle the camera towards your door. You must purchase these accessories separately if you buy the Ring Video Doorbell (2nd gen).

Additionally, the Ring Video Doorbell 3, 3 Plus, and Peephole cams all have removable batteries, so if you're running them on battery power alone, you can swap out the batteries and not have any downtime. The Ring Video Doorbell (2nd gen) has a nonremovable battery, so if you want to recharge it, you have to take the doorbell off your door.

Installation and setup

Of all of RIng's video doorbells, the Ring Peephole Cam sports the simplest design and simplest setup. The device consists of two pieces: one that sits on the outside of the door, and one that you look through from the inside, connected through the peephole. It doesn't require any tools or permanent modifications, and should take only a few minutes.

MORE: How to Install the Ring Video Doorbell

Ring Video Doorbell vs. Ring 3 vs. Ring Pro

Ring Video Doorbell Pro

The other three devices are a bit more complicated to install, but you can (in theory) set them all up yourself. 

The Ring Video Doorbell and Ring Video Doorbell 3/3 Plus can both be battery-powered, meaning they'll still work when the electricity's out — provided your internet connection is still up. This also means that you can mount them anywhere, and don't have to worry about connecting them to an existing doorbell's wires.

The Ring Pro is more complicated. It's the only Ring video doorbell that requires hardwiring. You'll need to upgrade your transformer if your old doorbell isn't getting 16 volts of power. You'll also need to install a Pro Power kit (included with the device) in your home’s chime box.

Ring Video Doorbell vs. Ring 3 vs. Ring Pro

Ring Video Doorbell Pro installation

Ring Video Doorbell vs. Ring 3 vs. Ring Pro: Audio and video

Now that the company has upgraded the original Ring Video Doorbell, all of the company's video doorbells now have cameras with a resolution of 1080p, which means you should be able to better spot details of those who cross the camera's field of view. 

Speaking of which, all of the video doorbells have a horizontal field of view of 155 to 160 degrees, and a vertical field of view of 90 degrees. While plenty wide, we wish that the camera had a larger vertical FOV, so we could better see if a package was left at our doorstep.

In our testing, we found the Doorbell 3 Plus's footage to be good, and on a par with other video doorbells we've tested. The Pro's video was better, but not perfect: It would start out pixelated and then clear up as the subject left the frame.

The Video Doorbell, Doorbell 3 Plus and Doorbell Pro all have comparable audio. In our testing of the Doorbell 3 Plus and Doorbell Pro, we found decent sound with a brief but manageable delay. 

The Peephole Cam's video and audio quality was also excellent, but for one thing. If you have a storm door, it will cause the Peephole Cam's motion detection to stop working.

Ring Video Doorbell vs. Ring 3 vs. Ring Pro: Features

All of Ring's video doorbells have motion detection; when the device detects movement, it sends an alert to your smartphone. You can customize how far the sensors stretch. If you have a Doorbell or Doorbell 3/3 Plus, you'll select from pre-drawn zones. If you have the Pro, you can draw the zones yourself.

Ring Video Doorbell vs. Ring 3 vs. Ring Pro

Ring Video Doorbell motion zones

Both the Video Doorbell 3 Plus and the Video Doorbell Pro have what Ring calls a Pre-roll feature, which helps you get a better look at who's approaching. In effect, the cameras are always recording a continuous 4-second looping video; in the event motion is detected and recorded, it will then add those four seconds to the start of the video. For the Video Doorbell Pro, this Pre-roll footage is in color and at full definition; for the Video Doorbell 3 Plus, it's in black and white, and at a much lower resolution, so as to conserve battery life.

The Pro and the Video Doorbell 3/3 Plus are the only doorbells that support 5.0GHz connections, which allow for faster and more reliable connectivity.

The Peephole Cam has a few new features, including "motion stop," which pauses the camera's recording to conserve battery life if it deems motion unimportant. Like the Doorbell 3 and 3 Plus, it also has a removable battery pack.

Ring Video Doorbell vs. Ring 3 vs. Ring Pro

In most other features, the three doorbells are on a par with each other. They all offer two-way communication, which you can use to greet your guests, or scare off burglars, and infrared night vision. They all work with Alexa, SmartThings and IFTTT, and you can watch the doorbells' footage and communicate with guests using the Echo Show and Echo Spot, as well as all generations of the Fire TV. Unfortunately, Ring does not work with Google Assistant/Home devices.

MORE: Which Security Camera Has the Best Storage Plan?

As a bonus, you can connect them with a number of smart locks from Kevo, Yale, and August. This will allow you to unlock your door — and let your guest in — directly from the Ring app.

Ring Video Doorbell vs. Ring 3 vs. Ring Pro: Price

The Doorbell Pro is the most expensive of Ring's devices, at $249.99. The Video Doorbell 3 Plus is $229.99, the Video Doorbell 3 is $199.99, and the Peephole Cam is $129.99. The Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen) is the most affordable at $99.99.

Keep in mind that you'll also have to pay for cloud storage if you want to save footage to the cloud. Cloud storage is $3 per month (or $30 per year) for 60 days. If you have multiple Ring cameras, you'll pay $10 per month, or $100 per year, to save money.

Ring Video Doorbell vs. Ring 3 vs. Ring Pro: Which Ring Video Doorbell is best for you?

If you're shopping among Ring's devices, we recommend the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus for most customers — especially those who aren't comfortable messing around with their house's wiring. It's $50 less expensive than the Pro, but you'll get comparable video and audio quality, and most of the same features. You'll also have an easier installation process, and the added benefit of a rechargeable battery.

If aesthetic appeal is paramount for you, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro is sleeker and, owing to its smaller size, will better fit on narrower door jambs. Additionally, if you're  particular about where your motion sensors should be looking, you'll probably appreciate the ability to draw your own motion zones with the Doorbell Pro. However, make sure you're comfortable with the Doorbell Pro's involved setup process, or with hiring a professional.

For those on a budget, the Ring Video Doorbell (2nd gen) offers the same resolution as its peers, and lacks a quick-release battery as well as Pre-roll, but otherwise has most of the same features.

Finally, we recommend that renters, or those who want a very quick setup, the Ring Peephole Cam is the best option. Just make sure your door has a peephole.

Credit: Tom's Guide