In our current age of technological advancement, it makes sense that smart doorbells have become very popular as a way to add extra security to your home.
At the very forefront of the smart doorbell movement is ‘Ring’, with their iconic designs, and futuristic features that make your home feel like a science fiction spaceship!
Ring doorbells feature built-in cameras that allow you to see who is ringing your doorbell without having to open the door, or even move from your seat!
As well as this, Ring doorbell products also feature an incredible list of extra security features that allow you to be in full control of your home’s security.
Ring is constantly seeking to innovate and improve their existing stable of products, and thus only recently this year did they release the new and improved Ring Video Doorbell version 4!
But what really makes this new model of the smart doorbell stand out from previous iterations, like the Ring Video Doorbell version 3?
Prepare to have all of your questions answered, as we compare the new Ring Video Doorbell 4 with its previous version, to find out what you can expect from it!
Read further to see our dedicated FAQ where we answer more of the questions that you might have!
What Features Does Ring Video Doorbell Version 4 Have That 3 Doesn’t?
With this brand new generation of Ring video doorbells, you can bet that a whole stable of new features were introduced.
First, the WiFi connection on the new Ring Video Doorbell 4 has been improved considerably.
Ring recommends that you provide any one of their doorbells with at least 2Mbps of upload bandwidth to achieve the best video and audio quality.
This connection speed helps you to respond quickly and efficiently, no matter where you are, and keep your home safe.
The fourth generation of Ring doorbell is able to more efficiently connect to your home WiFi and can work from a wider range.
The fourth generation of Ring video doorbells also boasts a quick-replies function. This allows you to create pre-made messages that you can send to anyone who rings your doorbell if you are too busy to answer the door. The person who has rung the doorbell can leave a message that you can then view later. Think of it as voicemail made specifically for your door!
Quick replies also allow you to more easily send away unwanted guests, such as pesky salesmen, with quick and short messages such as “We are not interested”. You can send these quick replies from anywhere, on any of your devices.
Color Pre-Roll is another incredibly useful feature added to fourth generation Ring video doorbells. On older Ring models you may occasionally only see as a guest, delivery man, or another person has begun to walk away from the doorbell. Thanks to the Color Pre-Roll, you can see the moments before a person has rung the doorbell, so you can be totally sure of who has recently visited, and make an informed decision on how to respond!
Charging your battery-operated Ring doorbell is also made far easier on the fourth generation. The battery features a quick-release function, so you can access your battery without hassle, and then charge it indoors.
Ring doorbells can also be purchased as wired models so that you don’t have to worry about charging your doorbell.
Comparing Ring Video Doorbell 3 And 4
Now that we have explored some of Ring video doorbell 4’s new and unique features, let’s see how it stacks up to previous generations when it comes to such things as video quality, security, and costs.
Video And Audio Quality
From the very beginning, Ring doorbells have focused strongly on delivering high-quality video feeds from front doors.
Keeping your home secure, and deciding whether to respond to the person at your door are made far easier with clear video quality.
Generation 1 Ring doorbells had 720p video quality, which was soon quickly upgraded to 1080p in the 2nd generation model.
Since the 2nd generation model, every subsequent model has featured 1080p quality. 1080p is a fantastic resolution for maintaining maximum clarity while also ensuring the battery does not deplete quickly, allowing you to keep watch over your home for longer.
Audio quality is one feature that has seen a significant improvement for every iteration. Audio quality has always been sufficient to give you a clear sense of who is at your door, but the fourth generation features far better audio fidelity.
Two-way audio, which allows you to hear your guest, and the guest to hear you, has been improved on fourth generation models, with crisp and clear audio for users on both ends.
The audio quality is still sufficient on 3rd generation Ring video doorbell models, but if you want consistent high-fidelity, then it is best to go for the fourth generation model.
Video quality has also been significantly improved on fourth generation models in regards to the Color Pre-Roll feature. The third generation of Ring doorbell did have Pre-Roll footage, but, in order to save power, this footage was only ever recorded in lower-quality black and white footage. The fourth generation model displays this footage in higher quality, and in full color, giving you an extra sense of security and control over your home.
The most important factor for any Ring doorbell is, of course, the security that it can provide.
Ring doorbells have earned themselves a very healthy reputation for their security, and it’s not hard to see why!
Ring was one of the first companies to make smart doorbells truly accessible to the general public, and their selection of security features make their devices truly perfect for home security.
But how much more secure is the fourth generation Ring video doorbell?
First up, what’s worth mentioning is the increased battery life of the fourth generation doorbell. These doorbells will last longer off of one charge than previous models, and can also be charged far quicker, so downtime is reduced and you can remain secure constantly.
The stable of video and audio quality improvements in the fourth generation also make securing your home far simpler, thanks to being able to easily discern potential threats.
Pre-made messages also make it easier to quickly deter package thieves.
Improved WiFi connections also go a long way in improving security, by allowing you to respond far quicker to threats with your voice, or by simply opening your door.
It is also well worth mentioning the ways in which you can utilize video footage on the fourth generation model. If you are subscribed to the Ring protect app, you have access to cloud storage of all video clips from your doorbell, which are saved for up to 60 days. These videos are encrypted from end to end, so you don’t have to worry about hackers or internet service providers snooping through footage.
This also makes it great if there are any particularly funny video clips from your doorbell!
The Ring Protect app is also protected by two-factor authentication so that only you and those you trust can access your doorbell settings and footage.
Previous generations of Ring video doorbells, especially the third generation, have faced criticism for their relationships with law enforcement. The third generation of Ring doorbell was able to independently send footage to law enforcement to make responding to crimes quicker and simpler. While this sounds great on paper, it has led to concerns regarding the privacy of Ring users, and whether they are being secretly monitored.
With the new fourth generation model, Ring has set out to make privacy a particular focus. Police and other law enforcement bodies must now make a request to have access to Ring access, which they can do through the use of the dedicated Ring Neighbor’s App. Ring users are within their rights to not send any Ring footage through to law enforcement if they so choose.
Due to its improved and updated features, the fourth generation of Ring Video Doorbells has a higher price tag than previous generations. The fourth generation sells for around $200, and this can be upgraded to a doorbell and chime bundle for a small extra cost.
Third generation doorbells average at around $180 but can be found far cheaper at various retailers, due to now being a less up-to-date model.
Your choice between the fourth or third generation Ring doorbell will depend entirely on what you want out of it. If you are happy to do without features such as Color Pre-Roll footage, and quick replies, then the third generation model should suit you just fine. If you want extra security features and improved wifi connectivity, then the fourth generation is definitely worth considering, at only a small price markup.
If you only want basic security, you could even go for a first generation Ring model, which, despite only generating 720p footage, still provides easy and hassle-free security. Such models will be available now at very low prices.
On top of the cost of any Ring model, there is also the optional extra of signing up for the Ring Protect app. This app allows you to quickly access your Ring setting from any device, as well as cloud storage for Ring video and audio.
The app runs on a subscription-based model and comes in three distinct tiers.
First is the basic subscription plan, which allows you to cover one device at any given location, alongside Cloud footage saving. This costs around $3 per month, or $30 for the entire year. This plan would be perfect for a user looking for basic protection, and who only owns one Ring device.
The second Ring Protect plan is ‘Ring Protect Plus’, which covers all devices that are based within one location, Cloud storage, and even includes lucrative extended warranties. This plan costs around $10 per month or $100 to cover the entire year, which saves you a considerable $20 per year.
The final Ring Protect plan is the ‘Pro Subscription’, which covers all of your Ring products, no matter where they are based. Alongside all other features, you also get access to backup internet for Ring Alarm Pro models. This subscription plan is perfect for those with large houses with multiple entrances, or those with holiday homes that they want to protect while away. This plan costs around $20 per month or $200 for the year.
Subscribing to the Ring Protect app is entirely optional, and Ring still provides you with top-class security and customization features regardless of whether you are a paying member or not. For a discussion of other video doorbells that operate without a subscription, see here.
Clearly, Ring has managed to create a nearly perfect and iconic design right out of the gate with their first model.
Throughout its multiple iterations, Ring doorbells have seen very little in the way of radical design changes.
From the first generation to the fourth, Ring doorbells have stuck with their elegant and simplistic silver-black design, complete with a soft-blue ring light that creates a futuristic look.
Perhaps the biggest design change between Ring models is their size.
The fourth and third generation modes are slightly larger than the first-generation model, thanks to now boasting high-quality cameras and improved battery life.
There is very little in the way of design difference between generation 3 to generation 4. Luckily, those who hold design to high-regard don’t have to worry about design differences between the two!
Ring doorbells do have removable faceplates, which can be easily replaced or swapped out.
If you wanted, you could decorate your own ring doorbell with custom or third-party faceplates, to make your Ring really stand out amongst your neighbors!
Reliability And Battery Life
You’ll definitely want your Ring doorbell to be able to last a considerable amount of time on one charge, so that you can be sure you are fully protecting your home, with very little downtime.
Of course, if you are looking to buy a wired Ring doorbell, then this will not be an issue, as such models will always be connected to a power supply.
Ring doorbells, on average, last for around 3 to 4 months or 3 to 4 days. This is a pretty significant difference, but this is due to very specific usage types.
Ring doorbells, when powered up, are built to constantly be surveying the area and providing a clear video feed of your front door.
Ring doorbells also have built-in smart features that can detect motion outside of your door. This motion detection can be adjusted to react and notify you of any motion outside of your door, or only occasional motion.
If you have your Ring doorbell set to notify you of any motion, it may be liable to run out of battery far quicker.
However, those who have their Ring doorbell set to notice all motion are likely to live in more isolated areas, where movement in front of the home is less frequent, which means the battery is less likely to be affected.
If you live in a heavily populated area, such as a city, and your front door frequently has people, vehicles, or animals moving past it, then you may be more likely to set your Ring to only notify you of occasional movement.
This will save considerable battery life, and mean you won’t be driven mad whenever the neighbor’s cat walks past your door!
The battery can also be affected by the amount that you use it. If you receive multiple house calls a day, then your Ring will likely need to be charged far more frequently.
If you have a Ring doorbell that is battery operated, then you may be spending upwards of five to ten hours waiting for the doorbell to charge.
For some, this is a rather significant length of downtime.
If you are worried about missing out while your Ring doorbell is charging, you may want to consider buying an extra Ring battery (click here to check price) that you can then swap over to while the other one charges.
This means that you will never have to worry about downtime!
Both third and fourth generation Ring doorbells have similar battery lives, and also give easy access to their batteries, thanks to the quick-release system. This means there’s no overly complicated hassle preventing you or causing you to put off charging it!
Ease Of Use
Ring doorbells were built to make smart home security simple and accessible to the general public.
The doorbells are easy to install, requiring only a simple bracket to be installed on the outside wall of the home for the doorbell to be fixed onto.
If you are installing a wired Ring doorbell, then this may require more setup.
Luckily, Ring has multiple dedicated step-by-step guides on how to install any Ring doorbell, from wired to battery models!
Once your Ring doorbell is installed, it is very easy to maintain. The most that you will have to do to maintain the Ring doorbell itself is removing the battery to charge it, which can be done easily through the quick-release system.
You might also want to give the doorbell an occasional quick clean, just in case it faces any harsh weather conditions!
Accessing the many features and settings of your Ring doorbell is made incredibly easy thanks to dedicated Ring applications that can be accessed on a wide range of devices. Devices compatible with Ring doorbell features include personal computers, mobile devices, and even smart-home devices such as Alexa.
Devices such as Amazon Echo Show allow you to see a direct video feed from your doorbell and easily respond to anyone who rings it.
The Ring application features a simplistic and minimalistic design that makes navigating your device stress-free. For those who want to access more advanced settings and features of their device, the Ring app has access to in-depth options and settings.
Ring also has a dedicated helpline, in case you have any complicated problems. This can be accessed through live internet chat, which is available from 5 AM to 9 PM, or via phone, with 24/7 support available.
Ring can be called from a wide number of countries, so if you are far from home and encounter any problems, you can access support from anywhere, at any time.
In terms of basic security, both the third and fourth generation Ring video doorbells offer ample features to control your home from inside. Both feature strong batteries, support from the Ring Protection app, and very similar designs.
If you were looking to buy your first Ring system or to get access to basic Ring features, you may be perfectly well served with the third generation model, which now retails for a lower price.
However, if you want access to some of the fourth generation’s considerable exclusive features, such as Color Pre-Roll footage and increased WiFi connectivity, then you may want to consider upgrading to the newer model.
The price difference between the two models is small enough for it to not be an overwhelming choice, at only $200.
Frequently Asked Questions
When Did The Ring 4 Come Out?
The fourth generation Ring Video Doorbell model was released in early May of 2021.
It brought with it significant improvements, such as Colour Pre-Roll, and a quick-replies function to make responding to house calls far easier.
What Does The Ring Doorbell 4 Come With?
The fourth model of the Ring Video Doorbell comes packaged with the doorbell itself, as well as additional interchangeable faceplates.
As well as this, it also comes with the necessary installation tools and screws, a quick-start guide, and a single rechargeable battery pack.
Does Ring Doorbell 4 Have Night Vision?
Yes. All Ring doorbell models feature a night vision mode. This operates slightly differently from the normal mode.
When the Ring doorbell has determined that it has become too dark, it will switch to night mode, which features an infrared light that can record video in low light conditions.
These infrared cameras can only record in black and white, unfortunately, but still provide high-quality footage so you can remain secure overnight.