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9 Reasons to Buy a Ring Video Doorbell: Ring 3 vs Ring Intercom

If you‘re considering adding a smart video doorbell to your home, two of the most popular options on the market are the Ring Video Doorbell 3 and the new Ring Video Doorbell Intercom. As a tech enthusiast, I‘ve tested out both models extensively. While they share many core features, there are also some key differences to consider when deciding which one is right for you.

In this in-depth comparison, I‘ll break down the specs, features, and benefits of the Ring 3 and Ring Intercom to help you determine which video doorbell offers the best fit for your home security needs and budget. But first, let‘s look at why Ring has become the leading brand for smart doorbells.

The Rise of Ring Video Doorbells

Ring was one of the first companies to popularize the concept of a WiFi-enabled doorbell with a built-in camera, two-way audio, and mobile alerts. Founded in 2013, the company initially struggled to gain traction. But after a successful appearance on Shark Tank and new financing, Ring started to take off.

In 2018, Amazon acquired Ring for over $1 billion, giving the company an influx of resources to expand its product line and integrations with Alexa. Ring now offers a wide range of video doorbells at different price points, as well as other smart home security products like cameras and alarm systems.

So why have Ring video doorbells become so popular with homeowners? Here are a few key reasons:

  1. Convenience – See and talk to whoever is at your door from your smartphone, even when you‘re not home.

  2. Security – Deter package thieves and other suspicious visitors with a visible camera. Review video recordings if an incident occurs.

  3. Awareness – Get notified about any activity at your doorstep via mobile alerts. Know when deliveries arrive or kids get home.

  4. Easy installation – Ring offers both battery-powered and hardwired video doorbells with simple DIY setup. No complicated wiring or professional help needed for most models.

  5. Affordability – Ring‘s video doorbells start at $59.99, making them accessible for most budgets. More advanced features are available at higher price tiers.

With an understanding of Ring‘s background and appeal, let‘s jump into comparing two of their most popular models – the versatile Ring Video Doorbell 3 and the newly released Ring Video Doorbell Intercom.

Ring Video Doorbell 3 vs Ring Intercom: Specs Comparison

While the Ring 3 and Ring Intercom have many specs in common, including 1080p HD video, two-way talk with noise cancellation, advanced motion detection, and Alexa integration, there are also notable differences. Here‘s how they stack up:

Video Quality & View

  • Ring 3: 1080p HD, 160-degree horizontal, 84-degree vertical field of view
  • Ring Intercom: 1080p HD, 150-degree field diagonal field of view, portrait orientation

Both models provide crisp, wide-angle video that will let you clearly see visitors and packages at your door. However, the Ring 3 offers a slightly wider viewing angle, while the Intercom has a unique portrait orientation. This tall, narrow view is optimized for apartments and condos with narrow doorways. So your building layout may influence which one provides better coverage.

Power & Connectivity

  • Ring 3: Rechargeable battery pack or hardwired, 2.4 GHz WiFi
  • Ring Intercom: Hardwired only with Power over Ethernet (PoE), Ethernet connection

The Ring 3 provides more flexible power options with a rechargeable, removable battery pack and support for hardwired connections. The battery typically lasts 6-12 months on a charge, making it ideal for homes where doorbell wiring isn‘t already available.

The Ring Intercom, on the other hand, is designed specifically for apartments and condos with existing intercom systems. It gets both power and internet via a PoE adapter connected to your building‘s intercom panel. While more limited in compatibility, this enables a neater, wire-free installation without needing to worry about batteries.

Smart Features

  • Ring 3: Customizable motion zones, smart alerts, Alexa integration
  • Ring Intercom: Remote unlock, virtual keys, Alexa integration

When it comes to smart functionality, both the Ring 3 and Intercom integrate with Alexa so you can use voice commands and smart displays to view your doorbell‘s live feed, talk to visitors, review recordings, and more.

They also provide smart alerts about activity at your door. The Ring 3 lets you customize your motion detection areas to reduce false alerts from busy sidewalks or streets. The Intercom sends smart alerts not just about doorbell presses but also door entries from virtual keys.

The biggest difference is the Intercom‘s support for remote unlocking, which regular video doorbells like the Ring 3 don‘t offer. You can remotely buzz open the building door for visitors or delivery drivers. You can also issue virtual keys to guests, family or service providers to give them scheduled access. The Intercom essentially combines a video doorbell and access control system in one.

Installation & Setup

As mentioned, the Ring 3 offers a quick DIY setup with the simplicity of a battery. Just charge it up, mount it by your door with the included tools and follow the app‘s instructions to connect it to WiFi. You can also hardwire it to your existing doorbell wires for a steady power supply. Whichever route you choose, you can typically be up and running in under an hour.

Installing the Ring Intercom requires connecting it to your building‘s existing intercom panel and ethernet network. You‘ll likely need to work with your building manager or HOA to gain access to the intercom closet and get permission to install it. The process is still relatively simple but may involve scheduling with your building and waiting for the device to be configured with your apartment number. Once physically installed, setup is completed in the Ring app like other devices.

Subscription Costs & Cloud Storage

To fully utilize all of your Ring doorbell‘s capabilities, you‘ll probably want to subscribe to a Ring Protect plan. Without one, you can only view the doorbell‘s live feed. Recordings are not saved.

Ring Protect plans start at $3.99/month or $39.99/year for one device. This basic plan includes 60 days of rolling cloud storage for videos, so you can review, share and save any important clips. It also enables other advanced detection and alert features.

If you have other Ring cameras or a Ring Alarm system, you can cover all your devices under a Ring Protect Plus plan for $10/month or $100/year. For apartment dwellers, there‘s also a new Ring Protect Intercom plan designed specifically for the Intercom doorbell. It runs $49.99/year and enables the remote unlocking capabilities.

The Bottom Line: Which Ring Doorbell is Best?

After testing both the Ring Video Doorbell 3 and the Ring Intercom extensively, I can confidently say they are both excellent smart doorbells. But which one is best for you will depend on your specific living situation and security needs.

For most single-family homeowners, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 offers the ideal blend of flexibility, features and value. The rechargeable battery enables easy installation even without existing doorbell wiring. The 1080p HD video, wide field of view, night vision, two-way audio and smart alerts provide comprehensive front door monitoring. And the reasonable $199 price point makes it a worthwhile investment in convenience and security.

However, if you live in an apartment building or condo with an existing intercom system, the Ring Video Doorbell Intercom is a game changer. The integration of remote unlock and virtual keys makes it easy to grant access to guests and deliveries. The sleek design and PoE installation provide a polished, wire-free look. And the $199 price is very competitive compared to other smart access systems. For multi-tenant buildings, the Intercom is hard to beat.

Whichever Ring doorbell you choose, you can have peace of mind knowing you‘re getting a quality product from the leading brand in the business. With robust features, reliable performance and Alexa integration, Ring doorbells enable you to keep tabs on your front door more easily than ever. Add in affordable subscription plans for cloud storage and it‘s clear why Ring video doorbells are a smart investment in your home‘s security.