Amazon-owned security company Ring has upgraded its lineup of smart security cameras with two new models, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 and Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus.
The new Ring cameras boast many of the same specs as their predecessors – including a very similar design – but come with a few new features that should reduce false motion-detection alerts, improve connectivity, better battery life and help to identify people captured by the camera.
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These new features could help to prevent would-be intruders and – if worse comes to worst – identify nefarious characters who try to enter your home when you're away.
One of these new features is a 'near motion zone', that comes into effect between 5 and 15 feet from your front door. This new motion zone should prevent the Ring Video Doorbell 3 and 3 Plus from over enthusiastically sending you notifications every time a car drives past, instead focusing on the area directly outside of your home.
Both new Ring cameras now come with dual-band Wi-Fi, offering 5GHz for better wireless connectivity – for comparison, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 could only handle 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi.
Roll the camera
Another feature, which is unique to to the more premium Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus, is the ability to record pre-roll footage.
This means that you'll be able to see up to four seconds of video before a 'motion event'; previously, the camera would only be triggered in the seconds after it detected motion, which meant it was possible to miss footage of a person when they first appeared in the vicinity of your Ring Doorbell.
This works thanks to a module that contains three additional cameras, which all work together to record the scene from your front door; these three feeds come together to create one 1080p image.
Whether this will drain the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus' battery remains to be seen; after all the camera will need to be constantly rolling. Amazon says that the new module actually helps to save battery, and it is possible to hard-wire both new cameras if you'd prefer not rely on their internal batteries.
As the more highly-specced camera of the two new models, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus is pricier than its sibling, costing $229.99 / AU$369 (about £180). Meanwhile, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 will cost $199.99 / AU$329 (around £150) – both devices will ship in the US from April 8 and April 28 in Australia, with UK pricing and availability to be confirmed.
Protection at the expense of privacy?
The new Ring cameras should prove popular, as smart video doorbells have become increasingly prevalent in recent years. These nifty smart home devices give us the chance to see exactly who is at their door – even when away from home – as well as recording intruders in the event of a break-in.
Saying that, they may not be as useful as we previously thought. Earlier this year, an investigation by NBC into Ring video doorbells found that the popular devices are rarely used by police investigating crimes.
Furthermore, privacy concerns have somewhat dented the Ring brand, with a recent data breach exposing the personal data of more than 3,000 device owners. In response, Amazon unveiled new web dashboard of privacy controls that allows its users to better manage the access settings of their devices, as well as requiring all users to sign in using two-factor authentication.