My friend (and brother’s girlfriend) runs her small bakery business from home. Her home is a small house in a complex on a main road. While there is a security gate to enter the complex, there is no guard and entrance happens via resident remotes. She is home alone most of the day and I do get a bit nervous for her. While she can see the gate from her kitchen window, sometimes couriers will be let in when the gate is opened by residents. I know it seems silly but I do worry about her alone in a house with a stranger knocking at the door. It takes only a few minutes for someone to push their way through on her opening the door. As it is a free standing house in the complex, it could be that quick.
Am I overreacting? Maybe. But it doesn’t mean I don’t worry – which is why when the Ring Video Doorbell 3 landed on my desk I knew I’d definitely be gifting it to her rather than using it myself.
Opening the box
The Ring is designed to let you see, hear and speak to visitors at your front door, from anywhere. It connects via WiFi and can be connected using wire or via the rechargeable battery pack. It links to an app on your phone to supply 1080p Video and talk capabilities and can also do snapshot capture and even advanced motion settings.
In the box you’ll get all the installation bits and bobs you need, including the tools needed to mount the camera. You’ll get the device itself, a charging camera and the various mounts and face plates needed to secure the camera to your door or wall outside.
What does it do?
Once you’ve taken the camera out of the box you’ll charge the removable battery and then link the device to the Ring app (available in both the iStore and Google Play). You’ll link the device to WiFi and be able to test it out. You’ll see that when linked, if someone rings the bell on the device you’ll be able to see their face on your phone via the video link and chat to them. The device has a broad field of view from the camera so you’ll be able to see around your front door relatively easily. There is also a motion sensor available, this can detect motion within 1.5 to 4.5m – so a nice security extra if you’re concerned or worried. The other feature of the Ring is that if you’re not home and someone rings the bell, you’ll still be able to communicate with them via your phone. This is great for someone like my sort of sister law (sorry Lauren, brother’s girlfriend just isn’t enough for me hahaha!) – she is out a lot on deliveries during the day and if a courier is let in via a neighbour and rings the bell, she can still communicate with them and they won’t realise she isn’t in the house. There is a safety benefit here. Same goes if they’ve gone away for the weekend.
Another additional feature to the Ring Video Doorbell 3 is that it has recording options as well for both video and audio. You can record if you want and watch those videos on your phone, but there is also the option to disable this if you’re concerned about your neighbours’ privacy. Once the device is in its casing it can get wet (something I was concerned about courtesy of those Johannesburg Thunder Storms!). Obviously it is advised not to submerge it in water, but some rain won’t stop it working.
The Ring Video Doorbell 3 retails at R3 999, which I don’t think is too pricey for something like this. I love that everything you need comes in the box, including little tools for installation. For situations like the one I laid out for Lauren working alone at home, I think this device is ideal and will give you a sense of security. If you’re living alone in an apartment block I can also imagine it works really well and will give you an additional “security blanket” in that regard. My only big gripe is that the device integrates well with Amazon’s Alexa but any other personal assistant type apps don’t deliver the same results. So if you’re a Google Home user you’ll be disappointed. The battery you use is really impressive. It should last you between 6 and 12 months depending on how much you choose to record or how active you are with the door bell. The app will also notify you when the battery is low so you can juice it up relatively quickly. Ring is also in South Africa now, with their various product offerings, so you do have some local support. After sales service is important to me so I’m glad about this! You can find the device at Builders Warehouse, Leroy Merlin, Incredible Connection and iStore.
Disclosure: I was sent a Ring Video Doorbell 3 to review and keep – I’ll be gifting it to Lauren!
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