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Ring Video Doorbell Wired vs. Ring Video Doorbell 3

One of the leading video doorbell brands, Ring doorbells offer impressive audio and video, quick and easy install, and an intuitive mobile app for checking your front door on the go. Ring has several bells to choose from, based on your needs and preferences. Two popular options are the new Ring Video Doorbell Wired and the Ring Video Doorbell 3. There are several differences between both bells, which is where we come in. In this side-by-side, we’ll look at both Ring devices, observing criteria like design, features, and price, to help you determine which Ring bell is best for you.

Design

Ring Video Doorbell 3
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Ring Video Doorbell Wired is one of Ring’s smallest video bells. Measuring 3.98 inches tall, 1.8 inches wide, and 0.88 inches deep, the bell matches the rectangular aesthetic of the rest of Ring’s product suite. Out of the box, there’s only one faceplate option (standard matte-black), although you can purchase additional plates, along with wedge and corner kits, if you need them. In the box, you’ll find the Video Doorbell Wired itself, installation tools and screws, a quick starter guide, user manual, and security sticker.

The Ring Video Doorbell 3 is one of the bigger Ring bells on the block, but for good reason — the optional battery pack. Measuring 5.1 inches tall, 2.4 inches wide, and 1.1 inches deep, the Doorbell 3 comes with two faceplate choices: Satin nickel and Venetian bronze. You’ll find a full wedge and corner kit in the box, too, if you need to bump the bell out past certain exterior features of your home’s entryways. Other in-the-box finds include the Doorbell 3’s battery, installation hardware and tools, a USB charging cable, mounting bracket, user manual, quick start guide, and security sticker.

In terms of the overall design, the Doorbell Wired offers a slimmer profile. If you’re after the battery, you’ll need to contend with the larger shell of the Doorbell 3. That being said, we’ll call this category a tie.

Winner: Tie

Installation

The Video Doorbell Wired requires an existing doorbell system for power. According to Ring, the install process should take about 15 minutes. To begin, you’ll want to power down the breaker to your home’s bell system. Locate the chime box in your home and remove the cover. Use the provided Ring cables to connect both terminals in the chime box. You can also use the Ring plug-in adapter or a dedicated transformer (16-24 VAC, 40VA max, 50/60Hz). Outside, you’ll want to remove your home’s doorbell. Connect the existing wiring to the back of the Doorbell Wired, then mount the bell to your door’s exterior framing. Once all the leads are properly connected, turn the breaker back on. Download the Ring app on your preferred mobile device (if you haven’t already) to complete the rest of the install.

It’s also important to note that if you’re using your home’s existing doorbell wiring to power the Doorbell Wired, your doorbell chime won’t work. To keep the chime going, you’ll need to purchase the Ring Chime with your doorbell product.

The Video Doorbell 3 can be powered by a rechargeable battery or through a hardwire connection to your home’s existing bell system. For battery power, simply insert the pack into the bell, mount to your door framing using the screws and hardware, then pop the faceplate on. If you’d rather hardwire the bell, the install process is the same as the Video Doorbell Wired.

The Doorbell 3 can be paired to both a 2.4GHz or 5GHz network, while the Doorbell Wired can only live on the 2.4GHz band. Consider this if your home’s network is overloaded with web-connected devices.

Winner: Ring Video Doorbell 3

Features and performance

Ring Video Doorbell Wired footage
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Both the Doorbell Wired and Doorbell 3 offer full 1080p HD video, live view, night-vision capabilities, and two-way audio (with noise cancellation) for communicating with guests at your front door. You’ll find advanced motion detection and customizable motion zones on both bells, too. With custom motion, you’ll be able to use the Ring app to draw motion zones around to scan within. Only motion that is detected inside the boundaries you draw will trigger a motion alert. In terms of viewing space, the Doorbell 3 offers enhanced resolution with up to a 160-degree field of view and 90-degree vertical viewing. The Doorbell Wired isn’t far behind, offering a 155-degree field of view and 90-degree vertical viewing.

One of the big advantages of the Doorbell 3 is the device’s battery pack. If your home loses power for any reason, the Doorbell Wired won’t work. Thanks to external power, the Doorbell 3 will stay online, even if the bell is hardwired.

Ring Video Doorbell 3 on Ring mobile app
Image used with permission by copyright holder

With the additional Ring Protect Plan (with prices starting at $3/month and the first 30 days for free), there’s more to unlock for each bell. One of these features is Pre-Roll footage. Exclusive to the Doorbell Wired, this allows the camera to record up to six additional seconds of footage before a motion event begins, helping you paint a clearer picture of the motion event. There’s no Pre-Roll feature for the Doorbell 3, although you can find it on the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus. Another feature, available for both bells, is People Only Mode. When enabled, this issues a motion alert to your device only if it’s a person that your doorbell detects. Then there are Rich Notifications (available for both bells). When enabled, this plants a snapshot preview in your motion alert. If you can see it’s just your in-law in the thumbnail image, there’s no need to unlock your phone to view the full motion alert.

For $10/month and the first 30 days for free, you can get a Ring Protect Plus plan. This includes all the benefits of a Ring Protect plan, along with 24/7 emergency surveillance from Ring, extended warranties on all your home’s Ring devices, as well as 10% off select products on Ring.com. Do note that if you plan on using Ring’s 24/7 surveillance, you’ll also need a Ring Alarm kit.

Amazon households will be glad to know that both the Doorbell Wired and Doorbell Pro are compatible with Alexa devices. Use an Echo speaker to communicate with front-door guests, or view live, front-door footage on your Echo Show. Neither bell offers support for Google Assistant.

We’re calling this one a tie. While you won’t get the full 160-degree horizontal view and 5GHz compatibility with the Doorbell Wired, the hardwired device does include the useful Pre-Roll feature.

Winner: Tie

Price

The Ring Video Doorbell Wired is currently available for pre-order through Ring.com and for $59. The Doorbell Wired officially hits shelves on February 24. Right now, you can save $9 off the cost of a Ring Chime by purchasing the Doorbell Wired and Chime together for $79.

The Ring Video Doorbell 3 sells for $199 through Ring.com and Amazon.

Winner: Ring Video Doorbell Wired

The verdict

Depending on your needs and wants, there’s a reason to buy each bell. If you’re shopping on a budget or want the most minimalist design for your home, we’d recommend the Ring Video Doorbell Wired. Do keep in mind that if your home loses power, the Doorbell Wired goes down, too. If you don’t want to mess with your home’s doorbell wiring, and don’t mind dropping a few bucks, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 is probably the best bet for you and your front door.

Michael Bizzaco
Michael Bizzaco has been writing about and working with consumer tech for well over a decade, writing about everything from…
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