Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus is the latest in a long line in the popular Ring Doorbell series.
With COVID-19 cases rising again, we are starting to multiply in our homes. Despite being locked up though, we’re just suckers for some good Black Friday deals, right? So what’s a good way to track all of our deliveries? After all, the increase in online shopping also meant an increase in theft and mishandling by delivery personnel.
Ring has been a household name in the video doorbell department for a few years. Only in 2020 have we seen the basic doorbell update, and New bell 3. Well Ring decided to update the Doorbell 3 and sent us in AH a review unit for the new Doorbell 3 Plus.
Before we do an in-depth review of this latest iteration of doorbells, let’s get out of the box.
Doorbell Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus Unboxing
Everything about the package shouts premium. From the cover to the easy-to-open box, the attention to detail is easy to notice. But let’s examine all the good things inside, shall we?
Inside the box there is a case with instructions, a 3 Plus doorbell, a rechargeable battery, a wedge, corner mounts, a micro-USB cable for charging the battery, fasteners and fixing tools that include a screwdriver and a construction drill.
Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus technical specifications
Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus has a 1080p HD camera with a horizontal viewing angle of 160 °. Supports two-way audio communication with built-in noise cancellation. For night vision, the doorbell has four infrared LEDs. Ring app supports Android and iOS. The communication protocol is 802.11 a / b / g / n so Wi-Fi @ 2.4GHz / 5GHz is supported out of the box.
Dimensions are 5.1 inches x 2.4 inches x 1.1 inches. It’s also weatherproof with an operating temperature range from -5 ° F to 120 ° F. You can run it via a rechargeable battery or connect to your existing doorbell wires. For continuous charging of a transformer with 8-24 VAC, a maximum of 40 VAC is recommended. These are easily available online for less than $ 20 including taxes.
Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus installation
The installation of Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus is usually quick. However, in my case, it was the door ring button located in the offset / corner location. So it took a little longer than the recommended install time of around 5 minutes.
The first step is to download and install the Ring app on the device. I installed it on my S20 FE, created an account, and scanned the unique QR code for my Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus unit. Setup completion in the app was relatively quick and painless. You will need your WiFI password and camera test to see the image in the app to finish the initial setup. This whole process took just under two minutes.
Then my optional Corner Mount installation was in the box since the current doorbell is in the corner. I used the miniature box level to make sure the Corner Mount was in the correct location and horizontal level before locating the holes. Using my drill and masonry drill from the machine box, I began drilling holes in the plaster wall. The drill bit in the box proved to be lacking in functionality. So I used a Ryobi stone drill to drill the holes. Ring provided anchors and screws along with a screwdriver which made the Corner Mount installation job easy.
Before starting the installation process, I put the rechargeable battery. Then connecting the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus to the two wires was from the existing resonance. This took less than a minute with the wires and connectors previously stripped into the box. Mounting the doorbell on Corner Mount started easy but took a little longer to screw the upper left corner. The reason is that the screws provided are small and the total clearance gap will not allow for correct alignment with the screwdriver provided. Took me another 5 minutes to find a matching magnetic screwdriver to fix the last screw in the upper left corner.
In a hurry to test the new gadget, I installed the battery, installed the Venetian Bronze front panel, and moved on to tweak various settings in the Ring app. So I have never fully charged the battery provided and it is the number one instruction in the manual. Excuse me. So my suggestion is to follow the instructions in the manual. Thankfully, the current doorbell transformer was giving enough power to slowly charge the battery for every Ring application.
One small item to note is that no star head screw in the package would secure the front panel by threading the battery. A star head is included in the screwdriver bit but I couldn’t find the screw in the box contents.
As you can see from the pictures, the general installation looks very nice despite some minor hiccups. And I switched the front panel to Satin Nickel to take photos for this review. Generally, the start and finish time was around 25 minutes.
Ring app is fully featured and extremely easy to use
Remember that the initial setup was done before the actual installation. Once I installed Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus my regular use of the review began. The first thing after the bat I noticed the overwhelming amount of notifications. These things come in pretty much instantly so I dived into the app’s settings to see if I could adjust the motion detection settings. I’ll go into a little more detail, but first I’ll walk through the Ring app.
The main menu allows you to quickly switch alerts, motion detection, and motion alerts. You can also go directly to Live View to see who is standing at the door. Pressing Live View shows who is at the door, and flipping the phone to landscape provides a full screen view for better clarity. Clicking “Event Log” shows all the different things the camera has captured. You can filter every activity from left to right from various options including marking some of them with the “star” button.
Next, let’s see what other options are available in order to get the most out of this smart security device. Mode settings let you choose Home, Away, or Disarmed modes. If you have a lot of foot traffic at your doorstep – event, party, furniture delivery, home repairs, etc., you can choose to delay motion detection from 30 minutes to 4 hours. The next component is the linked chimes that are self-explanatory. I have connected Doorbell 3 Plus to my current ringer without any issues.
You can add more users through the list of subscribed users option. It is fairly self-explanatory regarding adding additional users.
Using Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus
I have now been using the doorbell for a little over a week. The video and audio quality is very excellent. I like the Pre-Roll a little bit and it’s the major upgrade over the previous version. Pre-Roll lets you watch an additional 4 seconds of video before triggering the motion event alert, the number one unique feature on the market. Low resolution black-and-white pre-roll video to conserve bandwidth / storage / battery life. But even so, I think that’s a great feature.
My front door faces the street and on the first day of use the number of motion notifications was absolutely insane. A quick trip to the motion settings menu was all it took to smooth out the notifications. First, use a motion wizard and answer a few questions to help calibrate the motion detection you’re interested in. Second, use the Motion Zone to narrow the detection area more precisely to get rid of street traffic notifications. Finally, use Advanced Motion Detection to improve accuracy and crop blank footage from your recordings.
Next, I recommend going to Smart Alerts and toggling People Only Mode to help reduce unnecessary motion detection notifications. Once you fine-tune these options, it’s best to switch between rich notifications so you can see a preview of a person’s face in the notification itself!
After getting all the settings dialed in, I had no alerts to detect unwanted motion. Notifications on the app are timely and immediate. And because of the rich notifications, you can get a preview of the video directly from the notification itself instead of having to open the app which is a nice feature.
Of course, you can always click on the notification to go to Live View and have a two-way conversation. And if you miss the notification and click on it at a later time, you’ll see a pre-play shot along with the rest of the video. As far as audio is concerned, the two-way speaking feature works just like a regular video chat call and the audio quality was excellent during the review time.
Ring app has some other menu items to help you navigate or better use the device. For example, Device Health displays power, network, MAC address, and firmware information for the device. You can also check ring status and device health report from this menu. The last list remaining is “Help Content” where you can browse educational videos and helpful articles.
Now that we’ve looked at the different options in the app it’s time to see how well you really capture the video. In short, the picture quality in daylight is clear, and it is easy to see who is standing at the door, especially the delivery drivers. See the example below for yourself.
The night video is black and white but still provides reasonable clarity. Plus, the sound quality is still good during the day with color HD videos. Below you can see an example screenshot from a video for detecting night motion.
In short, my experience with Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus after using it for over a week has been very positive. Specifically, I like to hear my body chime instead of relying solely on my smartphone. I also love the rich notifications with the preview image and pre-play shots are an excellent addition to a device and a really feature-rich app.
Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus is a recommended tool for the holiday season
Ring is improved on their current rechargeable / wired doorbell chain set with new Video doorbell 3 Plus. Provides lots of options for fastening including custom face caps. The app is very easy to use, feature rich and powerful. The video and audio quality is excellent and the Pre-Roll feature is the icing on the cake. For these reasons, it earns the Editor’s Choice recommendation for a smart safety device.