SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro Review

We tested the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro and loved how easy it was to install and use.
SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro
simplisafe-doorbell-pro
SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
  • pro
    Human detection helps reduce false alarms
  • pro
    Installation is quick and easy
  • con
    Night vision struggles at a distance
Plan
Price
Video verification Icon Tooltip  Dark
Timeline access
Video recording
Smart home integration
Interactive Monitoring
Icon Yes  LightYes
Unlimited
Icon Yes  LightUp to 10 cameras
Icon Yes  LightYes
Standard Monitoring
Icon No  LightNo
7 days
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Self Monitoring w/ Camera Recording
Icon No  LightNo
Unlimited
Icon Yes  LightUp to 5 cameras
Icon Yes  LightYes

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Kasey Tross
Researcher & Writer
February 02, 2023
SafeWise is an independent review site. We may earn money when you click links on our site. Learn more.

If you already have a SimpliSafe home security system, the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro is the best option for front door surveillance. It's easy to install and uses human detection to cut down on false alarms.

Because SimpliSafe promises to keep home security, well, simple, you won't encounter too many settings to fiddle with. And while the video quality is good, we did run into few hiccups, like lag time, during testing.

SimpliSafe deals

🔥 Simplisafe is offering a free indoor camera and 20% off any new system with the Interactive Monitoring plan. 

Info current as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. 

pro
Pros
pro User-friendly app
pro Human motion detection
pro Affordable cloud storage
pro Compatibility with most wiring
con
Cons
con Audio delays
con So-so night vision
con Limited features

SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro versus the competition

Product
Best for
Price*
Field of view
Cloud storage
Learn more
Best for SimpliSafe customers162º 30 days for
$4.99/mo.
Best for Vivint customers180°30 days for $5.00/mo.
Best for ADT customers145º30 days for
$6.00/mo.
Best for Cove customers160°30 days for $2.99/mo.
Best for Ring Alarm customers160º 60 days for
$3.00/mo.

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.

The SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro is less expensive than both Nest Doorbell (Battery) and Ring Doorbell 4, but it lacks the smart home integration of the other two—it will connect only with your SimpliSafe security system.

Nest and Ring video doorbells' higher price tags also include tech-like facial recognition and motion zone settings that SimpliSafe lacks.

When it comes to cloud storage, SimpliSafe has a pretty good deal, but Nest's plan is the best of the three. It includes 30 days of storage for unlimited cameras (not a single camera like base plans with Ring Protect and SimpliSafe). You can also upgrade to continuous video recording if you have the Nest Doorbell (Wired)—while both SimpliSafe's and Ring's cloud storage video recording plans are for doorbell and motion events only.

How to get the most out of SimpliSafe home security

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What's in the box

SimpliSafe Doorbell box shot

Image: SafeWise

  • SimpliSafe Pro Video Doorbell
  • 3 faceplates (cloud, jade, obsidian)
  • Installation guide
  • Angled base
  • Mini screwdriver
  • Screws

SimpliSafe doorbell tech and equipment

The SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro has a 1080p resolution, making it sharper than the 720p of SimpliSafe's SimpliCam. It has a 162-degree field of view, pushing it just over Nest Doorbell's 160-degree coverage, although you probably won't notice the 2-degree difference.

The SimpliSafe's doorbell wiring goes through your existing doorbell, so it can use your existing chimes and their power source. If you don't have existing doorbell wiring, you'll need to call an electrician or pick a wireless doorbell camera. The camera part of the device works with a battery that can be removed and recharged with a USB power cable.

We like that the SimpliSafe Doorbell Pro comes with two additional faceplates to better match your décor, and the angle adjustment wedge is also a nice touch for those of us with angled siding.

Connectivity and video quality

Image: SafeWise

I was able to access my live video feed from the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell on the first try about 75% of the time. The other 25% of the time I got "Unable to load video" messages that invited me to try again.

Usually after one or two tries, I could connect to the live feed. I noticed these same results both when I was at home and when I was away. When I was connected to the live feed, the audio would frequently cut out, which indicated that there were some connection hiccups.

The video quality was mostly clear, but when there was a lot of movement on the screen, it would get pixelated and the movement would look jerky. There was also often a delay of up to five seconds between what was really happening and what I was viewing on my screen. I just didn’t feel like I could quite trust the doorbell camera to show me what's happening in real time.

SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro features

Images: SafeWise

Motion detection

The motion sensor on the front of the security camera will send a notification to your phone if someone is approaching your door. You can crank up the motion sensor's sensitivity to high if you want an earlier warning, or if you're getting too many alerts, you can lower the sensitivity or turn off motion notifications altogether.

We kept the sensitivity on medium and, like Goldilocks's porridge, it was just right. We liked that we only got a handful of false alarms from things like cars, squirrels, or waving flags.

Doorbell ring notifications

The SimpliSafe app alerts you when someone pushes the doorbell button. Because you hook the doorbell into your original chime, your doorbell chime inside your home will ring as well, but it turned our existing chime from a two-toned "ding-dong" to just a single "ding."

Two-way audio

The greatest benefit of the best smart doorbells is the ability to answer your door when you're not at home with two-way audio. SimpliSafe's two-way audio relies on a walkie-talkie-style press-to-talk operation, but the transmission delay of several seconds makes it nearly impossible to carry on a conversation. It's fine for telling a door-to-door salesman to scram, but don't expect to be able to chat with visitors.

Night vision

SimpliSafe doorbell camera night footage

Image: SafeWise

SimpliSafe's night vision works well in close range when someone is right up on your porch, but we found that it gets blurry once someone is more than about six feet away from the camera. It also doesn't handle the glare from bright lights well at night.

Zoom

Technically, there's no optical zoom on the SimpliSafe doorbell camera, but when you turn your phone to landscape mode and pinch the screen, you can zoom in on the picture. Because the doorbell is located to the side of your door, you can't tilt it left or right, so people walking up to your door are always off to one side in the picture.

Installation and setup

Home security and safety expert Kasey Tross demonstrates how to install the SimpliSafe video doorbell by drilling in the backplate.

Image: SafeWise

If you're comfortable with using a screwdriver and you know how to work your circuit breaker, installing the SimpliSafe Doorbell Camera and its mounting bracket is pretty straightforward.

I was a little intimidated by the process, but I realized it was like cooking using an unfamiliar recipe: I might not be able to throw it together as quickly or easily as an experienced chef, but as long as I follow the instructions and take it one step at a time, the outcome is the same.

I did run into some installation snags, though. After getting everything hooked up and restoring power to the circuit, the doorbell wouldn't ring when I pressed the button. After troubleshooting with some SimpliSafe product installation videos on YouTube, I learned that sometimes it just takes a few minutes before the doorbell starts working.

Once the wired doorbell was installed and functional, it took only about two minutes to get it linked to my Wi-Fi network and the SimpliSafe app so I could access the camera and its settings from my smartphone.

Light Bulb
Pair up for a smart doorbell combo

The SimpliSafe Smart Lock pairs well with the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro. You can see who's at your door and then unlock it using the app.

SimpliSafe customer service

SimpliSafe's customer service hours aren't 24/7 like other companies, but there is an online support center you can access anytime to get your questions answered. SimpliSafe's customer reviews are mixed, and most complaints center on technical difficulties and billing issues. Still, the company earns an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.1

Final word

If you already have a SimpliSafe system and you want to jump on the video doorbell bandwagon, the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro is an affordable option that will play nicely with your existing system. But keep in mind that it won't have as many features as pricier brands, and you'll experience more video and audio delays than you might with a higher-end product.

Learn more in our full SimpliSafe review or see how it stacks up on our list of the best home security systems.

SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro FAQ

How does Amazon Alexa work with the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell?

Although SimpliSafe does connect to Alexa, you can't do anything with the Video Doorbell through your Alexa devices. For example, you can't view doorbell footage on your Echo Show. 

Can I use the SimpliSafe video doorbell if I cancel my subscription?

You'll lose the ability to view saved clips if you cancel your SimpliSafe subscription. With the free plan, you can use the app to view live footage. Plus, the activity timeline is limited to 7 days instead of 30 days.

The SimpliSafe mobile app lets you sync all your SimpliSafe security cameras—including your doorbell cam—to your security system sensors. So if an entry sensor on a door or window gets triggered, all your connected cameras will start recording. This allows you to track any intruder through your home and get valuable footage for law enforcement.

Unfortunately, no. The Video Doorbell Pro isn't available with SimpliSafe UK systems.

Read answers to more SimpliSafe FAQs.

How we reviewed the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro

For our SimpliSafe video doorbell review, we installed our SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro to an existing doorbell location at a private residence and tested it over the course of several days.

While testing it, we used both normal everyday use and our own testing scenarios to evaluate its features and video quality. For monitoring, we used the SimpliSafe app on an iPhone 6. To learn more about the SafeWise product testing process, check our full methodology.


Related articles on SafeWise

Sources

  1. Better Business Bureau, "SimpliSafe, Inc.," October 2021. Accessed November 3, 2022.

Disclaimers

*Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Full ADT disclaimer

†Google, Google Nest, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

Kasey Tross
Written by
Kasey Tross
Kasey is a trained Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member and a freelance writer with expertise in emergency preparedness and security. As the mother of four kids, including two teens, Kasey knows the safety concerns parents face as they raise tech-savvy kids in a connected world, and she loves to research the latest security options for her own family and for SafeWise readers.

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