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Ring Doorbell vs Ring Doorbell 3 (2021): Comparing Smart Video Doorbells

With the Ring Doorbell having been updated, it’s worth comparing it to the rest of the Ring lineup. The Ring Doorbell 3, for instance, has a similar design as the original smart buzzer and shares several of the same features, too. But with an $80 gap between them, there’s reason to believe one doorbell is better than the other. In our review below, we flesh out these differences to help you make an informed buying decision.

Ring Doorbell vs Ring Doorbell 3 Comparison Chart

ModelRing Video Doorbell (2020 Release)Ring Video Doorbell 3
 Ring Video Doorbell – newest generation, 2020 release – 1080p HD video, improved motion...Ring Video Doorbell 3 – enhanced wifi, improved motion detection, easy installation
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Video Resolution1080p1080p
Field of View155° horizontal, 90° vertical160° horizontal, 90° vertical
ConnectivityWi-Fi at 2.4GHzWi-Fi at 2.4GHz and 5GHz
Live ViewYesYes
Night VisionYesYes
AudioTwo-way audioTwo-way audio
Noise CancellationYesYes
Interchangeable FaceplatesNoYes
Alexa GreetingsNoYes
BatteryBuilt-in, rechargeableRemovable, rechargeable
Dimensions2.4 x 4.98 x 1.1 inches2.4 x 5.1 x 1.1 inches
ColorsSatin Nickel, Venetian BronzeSatin Nickel

Design

The Ring Doorbell and Ring Doorbell 3 have the same design but differ in the availability and compatibility of colored faceplates.

Ring Video Doorbell 2020 vs Ring Video Doorbell 3 Design
On the left, the Ring Doorbell 2020 release in Venetian Bronze; on the right, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 in Satin Nickel.

With its 2020 release, the Ring Doorbell is advertised as a refresh of the original launched back in 2015. However, the design has largely stayed the same, which means you’re getting a doorbell that looks just like the Ring Doorbell 3. Both devices are sleek and even share similar dimensions, with the Doorbell 3 just slightly taller.

On the top half of the smart doorbells, you’ll find the 1080p HD camera. The bottom half, on the other hand, houses the doorbell button. When the button is pressed, the LED ring surrounding it flashes the same blue light. There’s also a speaker discreetly located on the bottom edge of the doorbells for two-way talking.

The latest generation of the Ring Doorbell is available in Venetian Bronze. While the Satin Nickel model of both buzzers looks stylish, it’s hard to argue against the bronze’s brushed metallic aesthetic. The Ring Doorbell’s faceplate, however, is not interchangeable. In contrast, the Ring Doorbell 3 is compatible with several colored faceplates, so you can choose a finish that matches your home.

Features

The Ring Video Doorbell 2020 model brings its features up to par with the Ring Video Doorbell 3.

Ring Video Doorbell 2020 vs Ring Video Doorbell 3 Features
Ring’s video doorbells are compatible with Alexa-enabled devices and come with a enhanced features.

Beyond external appearances, the main feature of these doorbells is their camera. In this aspect, you’ll find the smart buzzers are quite comparable. For instance, the 2020 release of the Ring Doorbell now offers 1080p video in contrast to the original Ring Doorbell’s 720p. It’s also the same quality as the Ring Doorbell 3’s.

When it comes to security features, both the Ring Doorbell and Ring Doorbell 3 have 3D motion detection. It’s a technology that combines infrared sensors with camera-based motion detection to alert homeowners if someone is in the vicinity of their property. Users can also set up customizable motion zones if specific areas of a home need to be monitored. The system itself is also capable of differentiating between humans, objects, and pets.

Of course, 24/7 monitoring is the name of the game. As such, you will get HD night vision on the Ring Doorbell and Doorbell 3. Both buzzers also double as intercoms thanks to two-way talk functionality. The doorbells can also be controlled using a mobile app or voice assistant. In the case of the latter, however, support extends to Alexa-enabled devices.

Check out our SimpliSafe Doorbell vs Ring Doorbell Pro review here.

Audio and Video Quality

Thanks to dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 delivers better video quality compared to the Ring Doorbell 2020.

Ring Video Doorbell 2020 vs Ring Video Doorbell 3 Quality
Ring’s smart doorbells allow homeowners to remotely view who’s at their front door.

Given that both devices have similar features, what advantage are you getting with the Ring Doorbell 3 then? The answer lies in their connectivity feature. Unlike the Ring Doorbell, the Ring Doorbell 3 supports dual-band Wi-Fi. Now, the impact of this difference is largely seen in their video quality.

With its dual-band connectivity, the Ring Doorbell 3 has a longer range and better signal strength. It’s also capable of switching between bands — 2.4GHz and the much faster 5GHz—automatically. This translates to better video streaming and recording quality. And for a device that banks on getting clear images of your front door, it’s definitely a welcome feature.

In terms of audio quality, however, the Ring Doorbell and Doorbell 3 are quite comparable. No, these smart buzzers aren’t revolutionizing two-way talk. Nonetheless, the transmissions are clear and loud enough for both devices, a considerable upgrade from the often garbled quality you’ll get from the 2015 Ring Doorbell.

Installation, Setup, and Power

While both devices are easy to install and set up, the Ring Doorbell 3 is less cumbersome to recharge than the Ring Doorbell.

Ring Video Doorbell 2020 vs Ring Video Doorbell 3 Installation, Setup and Power
The Ring Doorbell and Ring Doorbell 3 comes with a mounting bracket and installation tools and hardware.

One of the main draws of Ring Doorbell and Doorbell 3 is their straightforward installation. While they can be hardwired, they’re also versatile enough to be mounted anywhere. This is thanks to the fact they are battery-powered devices. Another benefit of this type of power source is that they still work even when the electricity is out. Of course, whether your internet connection is still up is another matter.

Setting up the buzzers is fairly easy, too. Homeowners simply need to download the Ring app, create an account, and follow the in-app instructions. Through the mobile app, users will then be able to check connected devices, customize controls, and of course, access videos. Like all Ring video doorbells, however, a subscription is required to view recorded videos.

Although these smart doorbells come with rechargeable batteries, the Ring Doorbell 3’s is removable, while the Ring Doorbell 2020’s is built-in. Both are advertised with about 6 months of battery life. But since the Ring Doorbell 2020’s battery is non-removable, you’ll have to unmount the entire doorbell to charge it.

Verdict

Even though the 2020 release of Ring Doorbell boasts enhanced features, the Ring Doorbell 3 is still the better device.

The Ring Doorbell 2020 version updates the core features of the original 2015 smart buzzer. Here, you’re finally getting a 1080p HD camera, improved audio, and a refined motion detection system. You can even get the doorbell in a stylish bronze variant, too. But while it’s a step-up from its predecessor, it’s still not as complete a device as the Ring Doorbell 3. That’s the price you pay in getting a more affordable model.

With the Ring Doorbell 3, you get many of the same features as other Ring buzzers. However, the presence of dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity translates to a much better video and audio quality. It also comes with an interchangeable faceplate, a thoughtful feature if you want your doorbell to match your home’s exterior. Plus, the removable battery makes life so much easier since you don’t need to take out the entire device to charge it. The same can’t be said of the Ring Doorbell.

FAQs

📌 What’s the key difference between the Ring Doorbell and Ring Doorbell 3?

The Ring Doorbell 3 has dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity and removable faceplates, unlike the Ring Doorbell. The Ring Doorbell 3 also comes with a removable battery.

📌 Does the Ring Doorbell 2020 release offer a People Only Mode?

Yes, the 2020 release of the Ring Doorbell comes with a People Only Mode. This feature limit alerts and notifications only when the device identifies a person.

📌 Can you view recorded videos by the Ring Doorbell 3 for free?

No, you can’t. The Ring Doorbell 3’s recorded videos can only be viewed if you have a subscription to Ring Protect.

📌 How long is the battery life of the Ring Doorbell?

Ring shares that its battery-powered video doorbells typically last 6 months before you need to charge them again.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.