Ring Video Doorbell Buying Guide: Which Is Best for You?

by newsup

Ring is one of the go-to brands for video doorbells and home security, and for good reason. Ring devices are easy to install, simple to use, and offer impressive features. From custom motion controls to nighttime viewing, there’s a Ring doorbell for everyone. We’ve put together this exhaustive guide to help you choose between some of the most popular Ring doorbell options. With an increasing portfolio that also spans smart lighting, indoor cameras, and a home security system, Ring has a complete solution that caters to your needs.

We’ve also gathered some of the best Ring Video Doorbell deals and home security camera sales for your perusing.

Ring Doorbell 2nd-generation Ring Doorbell 3 Ring Doorbell Pro 2 Ring Doorbell Wired Ring Doorbell Elite
Finishes  

Satin Nickel, Venetian Bronze

Includes two faceplates: Satin Nickel, Venetian Satin Nickel Black Includes four faceplates: Satin Nickel, Pearl White, Venetian, Satin Black
Compatible transformers 8-24 VAC, DC not compatible 8-24 VAC, DC not compatible 16-24 VAC at ~30 volt-amps 10-24 VAC at ~40 volt-amps Cannot run off a doorbell transformer
Motion detection  6 selectable zones and customizable sensitivity scale 6 selectable zones and customizable sensitivity scale Customizable motion detection zones Customizable motion detection zones Customizable motion detection zones
Battery life 6 to 12 months with normal usage 6 to 12 months with normal usage N/A — hardwired N/A — hardwired N/A — hardwired
Compatible networks 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz or 5.0GHz (Channels 11-13) 802.11 b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n  2.4GHz or 5.0GHz 802.11 b/g/n
Field of view 155 degrees 160 degrees horizontal, 90 degrees vertical 150 degrees horizontal, 150 degrees vertical 155 degrees horizontal, 90 degrees vertical 160 degrees horizontal, 90 degrees vertical
Dimensions 4.98 x 2.43 x 0.87 inches 5.05 x 2.5 x 1.08 inches 4.49 x 1.9 x .87 inches 3.98 x 1.8 x 0.88 inches 4.80 x 2.75 x 2.17 inches
Video resolution 1080p HD 1080p HD 1536p HD 1080p HD 1080p HD
Price $100 $200 ($180 on sale) $250 $60 $350

Ring Video Doorbell 2nd-gen

Ring entirely revamped its standard doorbell with the new 2nd gen model. As a result, it has some of the most modern features, outclassing the previous generation (but still looking about the same).

On this unit, you’ll find a 1080-pixel camera with a 155-degree field of view, plus two-way audio options, motion sensors, and night vision features. A lot of the technology is upgraded too: There’s an additional motion zone, and motion zones are easier to customize. The night vision functions work better, and the mic has noise cancellation to enable easier conversations. Alexa voice compatibility is also included.

Ring also made the doorbell easier to mount with a new design on the back to make sure users will have no problems setting it up. There’s a built-in rechargeable battery to manage, but the option to hardwire the doorbell remains.

Bottom line: The new Ring Video Doorbell is a great improvement over the old model while offering the same basic functions. It’s also quite affordable being, making it a great recommendation for the average home.

Read our in-depth Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen) Review

Ring Video Doorbell 3

The Doorbell 3 is about twice as expensive as the new Ring Video Doorbell 2nd gen, but does it offer twice the value? Well … not really. The biggest difference is compatibility with the 5GHz band for dual-band routers and a more durable design. It also comes with a “quick-release” battery pack that makes recharging easier. Otherwise, most of the specs are about the same.

Oh, and all customers should also know there’s a “Plus” version of the Doorbell 3. It’s about $30 more and includes what Ring calls “Pre-Roll” technology, which can show you four seconds of footage before the motion sensor is activated, giving you a clearer idea of what’s going on.

Bottom line: It’s baffling that the Doorbell 3 is twice as much as the standard model, with few changes beyond a better battery pack and 5GHz support — we suspect this model may be in for a price drop in the future. If you want this model, it may be wise to consider the Plus version, as Pre-Roll options may be useful for certain businesses or keeping a closer eye on your porch.

Read our in-depth Ring Video Doorbell 3 Review

Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2

The Pro 2 begins to differ more significantly from the Doorbell and Doorbell 3. There’s no battery option for this model since it’s designed to be hardwired right into your existing doorbell wiring. That leaves fewer options for placement, but you also don’t have to worry about replacing a battery. Alexa functionality also means you can view the video right from an Amazon Echo Show.

You also have an enhanced dual-band option, allowing you to run the doorbell on the 5GHz band of your Wi-Fi router. There’s a beautiful new slim design that fits into the background more easily, and four faceplate options come in Satin Nickel, Pearl White, Venetian, and Satin Black.

The specs on this doorbell receive a significant upgrade over other models in the lineup. The camera is 1536p HD+ with a 150-degree field of view on the horizontal and vertical. However, its standout feature is the ability to track individuals in and around your front door with its 3D Motion Detection with Bird’s Eye View. It uses radar technology to pinpoint the exact location on a map where someone’s been in the vicinity of your front door.

Bottom line: The upgrades make this Ring doorbell the best option for your home if you don’t mind paying the higher price. The only exception is if you don’t have any current doorbell wiring. In that case, you should weigh the costs of installation to see if it’s worth it, and you may want to go with the original Doorbell or Doorbell 3.

Read our in-depth Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 review

Ring Video Doorbell Wired

The newest Ring doorbell is also the most budget-friendly. The Ring Video Doorbell Wired, available February 24, sells for $59, with pre-orders starting February 17 through Ring.com and Amazon. Similar to the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, the Doorbell Wired requires a hardwired connection to your home’s existing doorbell system.

For almost $200 less than the Doorbell Pro, what exactly do you lose? For starters, the Doorbell Pro comes with four exchangeable faceplate options, the Doorbell Wired only comes in black (you can still purchase additional faceplates separately). The Doorbell Wired also drops the 5GHz compatibility of the Doorbell Pro. If you’re planning on keeping your doorbell chime going, the Doorbell Pro doesn’t interfere with the audible chime in any way. If you still want the chime to work with the Doorbell Wired, you’ll need to purchase the Ring Chime.

Bottom line: For the money, the Ring Video Doorbell Wired brings all the essentials of a Ring doorbell. If you want more faceplate choices, more Wi-Fi options, and fewer installation steps for keeping your home’s existing doorbell chime, go with the Ring Video Doorbell Pro.

Read our in-depth Ring Video Doorbell Wired Review

Ring Video Doorbell Elite

Ring Video Doorbell EliteThe petite Elite model is very similar to the Pro version, except for two main areas. First, the doorbell is even slimmer than before. Second, it cannot utilize the existing doorbell wiring. Instead, it uses the Power over Ethernet protocol via an Ethernet cable to get energy. If you’re willing to install an Ethernet cable, you have more placement options.

Bottom line: The Elite is twice the price of alternatives. However, with the higher price, you get a more reliable connection (Power over Ethernet). Ethernet may make installation more versatile, but it’s also likely to make it more expensive (unless your doorbell already has an Ethernet cable).

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