The Ring Video Doorbell 4, Ring’s latest smart doorbell, which can be battery-operated or mains-powered, is now on sale in the US, UK and Australia.
Designed to replace the Ring Video Doorbell 3, which was released in early 2020 and made it onto our best video doorbells list, the Ring Video Doorbell 4 looks identical to its predecessor.
With only a slightly higher price tag on the newer model, it can be tough to spot the differences that actually exist between the two video doorbells. Well, we’ve gone through the specs to show you where the key differences exist and whether you want to go for the more expensive model this year.
Here’s all the details you need to help you decide which one to go for while we build our full Ring Video Doorbell 4 review.
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Prime Day video doorbell deals - should I wait?
Every year we see Ring Doorbells dropping in price on Prime Day, as Amazon’s own-brand devices get the heaviest discount from the retailer - really, there’s very little better time to buy (other than Black Friday or Cyber Monday) and we’re already seeing early Prime Day deals on the Ring Video Doorbell 3 before the day itself.
You’ll often see the Ring Doorbell bundled with an Echo (to play the sound when someone pressed your doorbell) or an Echo Show, so you can actually see who’s at the door - we recommend waiting for those, as they can lead to some stellar savings.
For instance, we saw $30 off the Ring Video Doorbell 3 last year on Prime Day, and we’re expecting to see an even better saving this year as the newer model comes onto the market and drives the prices down further for the older Ring Doorbells.
The Ring Video Doorbell 4 is Ring’s latest versatile video doorbell that can be battery-operated or connected to mains power. It is priced at $199.99 / £179 / AU$329, which is the same price as its predecessor.
When the Ring Video Doorbell 3 was launched, Ring initially offered two different models; the Ring Video Doorbell 3, which cost $199.99 / £179 / AU$329, and the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus.
The latter was the only model with a ‘pre-roll’ feature that stored four seconds of video before motion was detected, making it easier to work out what caused the alert. The Ring Video doorbell 3 Plus was priced at $229.99 / £199 / AU$369.
The Ring Video Doorbell 3 has now dropped to $179.99 / £159 / AU$299, however since the Ring Video Doorbell 4 was released, stocks of the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus have dwindled.
In fact, the doorbell is now so hard to come by, it isn’t even referenced on Ring’s website, although refurbished versions are available through Amazon.
When it comes to looks, the Ring Video Doorbell 4 looks identical to the Ring Video Doorbell 3.
Both doorbells measure 5.1 x 2.4 1.1 inches / 12.8 x 6.2 x 2.8cm (HxWxD) and have a removable faceplate on the bottom. The Ring Video Doorbell 3 comes with two faceplates in the box; Satin Nick (silver) and Venetian (black).
However the Ring Video Doorbell 4 only comes with a Satin Nickel faceplate in the box - but once installed Ring will email you instructions on how to get a further faceplate free or charge.
The Ring Video Doorbell 3 and 4 are both versatile, in that they can be powered by a rechargeable battery or installed into mains power, although the Ring Video Doorbell 4 can also be used with a plug-in adapter so it can be plugged into a mains outlet.
The battery on both doorbells is also removable, so the whole unit doesn’t need to be removed from the wall when the battery is dead.
If you choose to use mains power, it's worth noting that unlike Ring’s dedicated mains-powered video doorbells, such as the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2, the battery is still used to power the doorbell’s functions.
The hard-wire is used to provide a trickle charge to the battery. Depending on how the doorbell is being used, the battery may drain faster than the hard-wire can charge it, so you may still need to remove the battery and recharge it yourself.
Both video doorbells support two different Wi-Fi frequencies; 2.4GHz and 5GHz, which means they should be able to create a more stable connection with a wide range of routers, putting an end to the connection issues that have plagued some users, in particular those with slower broadband.
When it comes to recording footage when the doorbell is pressed or motion is detected, the two doorbells have the same camera with a 160 degree field of view that can record video in Full HD.
Night vision means footage recorded at night by both doorbells will still be clear even if it is in black and white rather than color.
The main difference between the Ring Video Doorbell 3 and Ring Video Doorbell 4 is the addition of color pre-roll.
As we've already mentioned, this feature stores the four seconds of footage before motion is detected to help you identify the cause of the activity alert.
Pre-roll isn’t available on the Ring Video Doorbell 3, and while it was available on the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus, that was in black & white rather than color.
Ring says the pre-roll footage on the Ring Video Doorbell 4 is of a higher quality than on the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus - despite the footage being captured at ‘less than 1080p’, and not actually detailing the resolution.
On top of that, Ring also claims the pre-rolls footage has ‘improved functionality at night time’ although it didn’t elaborate further.
To access the pre-roll feature on the Ring Video Doorbell 4, you will need a subscription to Ring Protect, which costs from £2.50 / $3 / AU$4 per month.
However both doorbells need this subscription if you want to go back and review videos recorded by the doorbell for up to 30 days after they were stored, so this doesn’t really make a difference when choosing between the two.
The Ring Video Doorbell 4 is a small step-up from the Ring Video Doorbell 3 thanks to the pre-roll feature.
For those taking their first steps in the world of video doorbells, it makes sense to opt for the newer device - that said, we’re expecting to see larger discounts on the Ring Doorbell 3 during Prime Day this year, so if you’re not fussed about the pre-roll feature (although it does seem mightily useful) then getting the Doorbell 3 is a very solid choice during the sales.
- Check out these great Ring video doorbell deals
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Carrie-Ann Skinner was formerly Homes Editor at TechRadar, and has more than two decades of experience in both online and print journalism, with 13 years of that spent covering all-things tech. Carrie specializes in smart home devices such as smart plugs and smart lights, as well as large and small appliances including vacuum cleaners, air fryers, stand mixers, and coffee machines. Carrie is now a copy editor at PWC.