8 Best Smart Doorbells for Your Home - SafeWise Buyers Guide
2018’s Best Smart Doorbells
Knock, knock. Who’s there? If you have a smart doorbell, you already know! That’s because today’s smart doorbells come with everything from live video streaming to Wi-Fi-enabled apps, two-way communication, and home automation compatibility.
Cutting Edge Technology
New To Market
Pre-Order (as of June 2016)
Ring™ Video Doorbell
Ring is the successor to Doorbot, a Kickstarter project that represented one of the first smart doorbells on the market. Since its creation, Ring has put out another, newer model, Ring Video Doorbell Pro (covered below). However, the original Ring Video Doorbell has a lot to offer—from motion sensing capabilities, video recording, two-way audio, and more.
Unique Feature: For $30/year, you can store doorbell video footage on the cloud.
Two-Way Audio. Listen and talk to whoever is at your door through this device.
Motion Sensing. Ring Video Doorbell has a 180-degree range of motion to better sense if someone is approaching your home. Once it detects motion, it’ll start recording and send an alert to your iOS or Android phone. It’ll also allow you to set zones around your home you’d like to record. This adds greater security and accuracy to its motion sensing capabilities.
Live/Cloud Storage Video. You can view the videos in real time or play them back later if you pay $30/year for Cloud storage.
Night Vision. See who’s at your door even when it’s dark out.
Color Options. Choose between several metallic colors (like bronze, polished brass, nickel, and Venetian brass).
Audio. Consumers have noted that the audio quality could be better. till, many users appreciate the option to install the device wirelessly or through a hard-wired connection.
Not As High Definition. Other models have better definition. The Ring smart doorbell captures 720p video footage.
SkyBell™ HD Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell
The SkyBell Video Doorbell offers a ton of options. You can watch live video, anytime, and take a snapshot if you want to. While the SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell doesn’t have cloud storage, you can download videos from the device itself. This smart doorbell is tasked with helping keep you safe, and the company has taken a step above that by guaranteeing replacement if your smart doorbell is stolen.
Unique Feature: Take a snapshot while watching live video.
Works With Nest.
On-Demand Viewing. Stream video through the mobile app that’s available for Android and iOS devices.
Motion Sensing. Get regular push notifications when the motion sensor has been triggered or the doorbell has been rung.
Snapshot. Take a snapshot while watching the live feed.
No Battery. The SkyBell Video Doorbell is hardwired into your home, so you won’t need to replace batteries or worry about them expiring.
Two-Way Audio. Listen to your visitors and talk to them through this smart doorbell.
Free Cloud Recording. Every video is recorded and users can watch the videos later or download them. This service is free, while some competitors charge a fee for this.
Night Vision. See what’s happening even when it’s dark.
High Definition. This smart doorbell records in 1080p HD and has a 5x zoom.
Hardwired. Installing SkyBell tends to be more challenging, since the doorbell can only be hardwired into an existing connection. Homeowners with a digital doorbell will need to purchase an adapter. The SkyBell also won’t work with existing intercom-style doorbell wires. And if you don’t have an existing doorbell, you’ll need a professional to wire one into your home before installing SkyBell.
Vivint© Doorbell Camera™
Vivint is a top home security company with a lot of gadgets to keep you safe. When you buy either the Smart Protect & Control or Smart Complete security package, you can make use of the company’s high-tech doorbell. The way it works is similar to other models; it starts recording video when it senses motion or someone rings the bell. The system permits real-time viewing through the mobile app or your Vivint in-home control panel and also stores clips for later viewing through the company’s Space Monkey local Cloud storage device. Like Ring and SkyBell, the Vivint video doorbell also offers two-way audio via Wi-Fi.
Unique Feature: You can only use this smart doorbell with a Vivint smart home monitoring package, but when you do, it offers a bevy of security customizations.
Pairs With Home Automation. When you have a Vivint smart door lock and smart doorbell, you can see who’s visiting your home and let them in remotely.
Professional Installation. You don’t have to worry about the ease of installation because your Vivint representative will install the doorbell as part of your smart home system.
Cloud Storage. Keep all of your video footage safely stored on the cloud.
Live Streaming. Watch what’s happening outside your door day or night.
Two-Way Audio. Talk and listen to your guests through Vivint’s smart doorbell.
Must Buy Monitoring Package. Unlike Ring or SkyBell, Vivint’s video doorbell only works with a Vivint smart home monitoring package. This will cost you extra in equipment and monthly fees.
August Doorbell Cam
August Doorbell Camera was praised by Fortune Magazine as the “Best Doorbell.” Considering the fact that it offers motion sensing alerts, video recording options, On-Demand viewing, and more, we agree that it’s up there. The installation of the August Doorbell Camera is a little more intensive and requires mounting brackets and a drill, but it’ll be worth the effort for the amount of security it adds to your home.
Unique Feature: August’s doorbell was endorsed by Fortune Magazine.
Motion Sensing. This new update will be available on the August Doorbell app "soon" (as of June 2016). When the device senses motion, it’ll send an update to your smartphone.
Records Video. This doorbell saves footage, so you can watch recordings if you miss live video.
Live Streaming. Watch live video from the app whenever you want.
Home Automation Compatible. This connects with the August Smart Lock, so you can lock and unlock your door depending on who’s knocking.
Two-Way Audio. Talk to whoever is at your door or listen in to what’s happening.
Slow To Update. As of June 2016, August was still working on incorporating standard functions into its app—like motion sensing alerts.
Monitor your home and who comes and goes with the Zmodo Greet. When motion is detected, you’ll receive a notification through the app. When someone rings the doorbell, your phone will ring to let you know. Choose whether you’d like to watch live footage, record footage on the 8GB memory card, or upload video to the cloud for later use. The Zmodo Greet is about $50 cheaper than similar models and does just as much.
Unique Feature: Store footage on the cloud without a monthly fee
Most Affordable. Of all the smart doorbells on our list, this is the cheapest at $150.
Easy Set-Up. Hardwire this smart doorbell into your existing doorbell. Then, connect to Wi-Fi and let the doorbell do the rest.
Self/Cloud Storage. Save video on the 8GB internal memory card or upload it to the cloud.
Call Alerts. When someone rings your doorbell, you’ll receive a call. This could become annoying though rather than a typical push notification.
Motion Detection. Get a push notification when your doorbell detects motion.
Night Vision. See what’s happening no matter the time of day.
Lower Definition. The Zmodo Greet has 720p resolution, so it’s not bad, but others have higher definition.
VTech® IS741 Accessory Audio/Video Doorbell Camera
The VTech IS741 Accessory Audio/Video Doorbell Camera was designed as an accessory for VTech phones. If you have a IS7121 series phone, you can buy this doorbell. Once it’s installed, you’ll be alerted with a snapshot if someone comes to your door. Then, you can watch live video of who is at your door, listen in, and speak to your Guest or uninvited visitor.
Unique Feature: This is the cheapest smart doorbell on our list—$150 cheaper than most.
Most Affordable. You’ll only spend $50 on this doorbell camera.
Snapshot. When your doorbell senses someone nearby, it’ll send you a snapshot so you can turn on the video feed and/or audio.
Two-Way Audio. Listen and talk to your guests through this doorbell camera.
Need Phone To Operate. You’ll need a VTech phone to operate this doorbell camera accessory.
No Recording. You can only watch live video with this device.
Chui Face Recognition Doorbell
Get a taste of the future with the Chui Face Recognition Doorbell. With its cutting edge technology, you can program familiar faces into the device, so it’ll know to keep the door locked from strangers or open it up if it recognizes you. Plus, it can connect with other home automation devices to streamline your life. Just know that this device was on preorder as of June 2016, so you might have to wait a while for it to ship.
Unique Feature: Chui uses face recognition to unlock your door and alert you of strangers.
Cutting Edge. Face recognition software allows this device to unlock the door for you and approved guests.
Crowdfunded. Chui got its start through a crowdfunding campaign, meaning customers believe in it enough to fund its production.
Two-Way Audio. Listen to what’s happening and speak directly through the device.
Alerts. When someone comes to your door, you’ll get a notification so you can decide what to do.
Preorder. As of June 2016, the Chui Face Recognition Doorbell was on preorder.
New To Market. This is a brand new product that might have some kinks to work out.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is a step up from the already impressive Ring Video Doorbell. It has all the same features—cloud storage, motion detection, and high definition—but it’s amplified. Instead of setting zones for your motion detection, you can select actual shapes. This means you can set alerts for your walkway, driveway, front lawn, or mailbox. The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is also a lot smaller, so it won’t take away from the aesthetic of your home.
Unique Feature: Enhanced motion detection allows you to set alerts for zones like your walkway or portions of your yard.
Compact. The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is smaller than the original, so it won’t take up as much space on the front of your home.
Enhanced Motion Detection. Instead of setting zones by distance, set them by shape. For instance, highlight your front walkway if you want to be alerted if someone is on it rather than the grass.
Color Choices. Choose different face plates to customize the look.
Two-Way Audio. Listen to someone at your door and talk to them too.
High Definition. Watch 1080p video on this device.
Night Vision. See clearly whether it’s light or dark.
Lots Of Storage. Record up to six months of activity.
Share Clips. Send clips to law enforcement or your social circles.
Cloud Recording Extra. Cloud recording will cost you $30/year.
Most Expensive. At $249, this is the most expensive doorbell camera on our list.
Smart doorbells and doorbell cameras provide an essential upgrade your life and home security. When you install a smart doorbell, you won’t have to wonder who will be waiting for you on the other side. And if something bad does happen, you’ll have video footage to help law enforcement find the trespasser. Choose any from the list above for better security, or, take a look at home security packages to add another level of protection to your home.