Ring has taken the world by storm with its stand-alone front door security system, and now they have a new one out. So, is the Ring Doorbell 3 any good? Well. Yes and no. No matter what you are told by the company and a mountain of YouTube videos, the setup can be fraught. It can be done, but it can be a pain. I didn’t particularly want one, but the Tech Nuovo editor shoved it in my hand and said do it.
I wanted it to be simple – so simple a child could do it. There were two things wrong – the wording on the app and the instruction leaflet which was so small. It took me an hour when if all had gone well, would have been 10 to 15 minutes. I am sure it is all down to me but these days people want things to be simple. And sadly, the Ring Doorbell 3 isn’t. Well, that’s not quite true – now it is set up, it is working. Sorta.
It can be simple, but this is now the third iteration, and it seems the next generation MUST be bigger and better than its ancestor. Now there are around half a million settings you could take advantage of. I don’t want half a million settings, and thankfully I don’t have to get into them if I didn’t want to. It is on the front door now and seems to be working well. The motion sensor is hit or miss, and I know there is a slider to alter its sensitivity. But because it works sometimes when someone walks past it, that setting appears fine.
But then the Ring will ignore people on other occasions. Fitting it to the wall is simple. And because you should really set it all up before screwing it down, you can really get the positioning spot on. Three screws to hold a ‘cheese slice’ plate that angles it in the right direction – four screws to hold the camera to the slice, and a hex screw to make it all secure. Simple – beautiful – loved that. And it’s there, I am happy to leave it be and do its thing. I may well come back to those million settings at a later stage if I start to see things I don’t like.
The picture quality at 1080p is excellent but the £169 in Argos, a UK box store, seems hefty. And on top of that is the Ring subscription service to store all the events at your door. The recent ones are recorded to your phone. You can share access and even co-operate with neighbours, although I have not done that. You can wire this up to your existing electric doorbell or use the included battery, which took around five hours to charge with a fast Samsung charger, but will apparently last a good two months, depending on use.
You also get a free front plate in a variety of colours to give it a custom look. However, it is the sheer number of add-ons you can buy that is astonishing. There is a myriad of alarm packs with optional indoor cameras taking the price up to a shade of £500. There are extra bing-bong boxes, solar charging, floodlight packs, and a ton of additional external cameras. It will notify you of a package drop off, and you can set it to auto-answer your door, a bit like an answerphone for the house.
With my Android I can tap the on-screen notification that the Ring was triggered to take me straight to the camera image. Love that. You are never short of choice with a Ring. They are now so common and recognisable, that I wonder if they have helped reduce house crime. Despite the pain I had with setup, I do thoroughly recommend this device. Yes, there are too many options once it’s operational, but you might like that. I am more of a plug-and-play and get on with my life personally, and it allows that too.