Welcome to 2019: smart home solutions abound, and secure living is optimized by convenience. Your home is characterized by a variety of technological innovations, coupled with convenient, secure, and stylish personal touches.
One such innovation is the doorbell camera. These must-have security features for the modern home now come equipped with intelligent features such as high-quality video recording and two-way audio.
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about doorbell cameras and which ones are the best doorbell cameras for your home in 2019.
Simply put, this advanced take on the doorbell comes integrated with a variety of intelligent features that can pair with your smartphone, tablet, or PC, and integrate with your home.
The camera allows you to view the area outside your front door so you can see who's visiting you. The camera doubles as a security features by providing an opportunity for you to identify whoever is in the camera view.
With a doorbell camera, you can keep an eye on your home even when you’re not there by accessing the video feed from your smartphone. These innovative devices are designed to never miss a visitor.
Wrapping your head around all the techy terminology can get a little overwhelming. It’s best to think of the smart home system as a collection of devices that work together and are controlled from your smartphone or tablet.
Apps on your smartphone provide a control panel for your smart devices, and virtual assistants like the Amazon Echo’s Alexa or Google Assistant listen to your command and perform the task.
As a whole, the integrated smart home is optimized for security and convenience. Doorbell cameras integrated with virtual assistants and devices provide numerous layers of protection and security.
Older houses have a lower voltage output, and generally speaking, doorbell cameras require at least 16 volts or more to work. An upgrade to the circuit's transformer should do the trick. Newer houses typically have the right voltage already.
A number of doorbell cameras offer battery power either as a backup option or to power the device all the time. If this is the case, then you need to regularly check to ensure that the batteries are working and do not run flat.
Along with the camera, a smart doorbell system is equipped with other features to make your life even simpler. Think two-way audio, motion detectors, video recording, zoom, and panning capabilities, as well as video storage.
Smart home integration is the ability of your modern device to work with other smart devices in your home. Smart doorbell cameras can be controlled from a central hub or speaker device and work with technology such as Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, or Apple’s Siri.
Again, there are a number of options here. You might be replacing an existing hardwired doorbell or utilizing the existing wiring to connect a doorbell camera to the chime and transformer.
Some existing doorbells only support mechanical systems, while others may be compatible with newer digital or wireless technology.
We’ve put together a list of the most impressive products on the market and taken into consideration the features that matter most. Whether it’s a good all-rounder, innovation, integration capabilities, or budget options that you’re after, we’ve got you covered.
With slim designs and interchangeable skins, HDR video and facial recognition, our top five trailblazers for 2019 will elevate your lifestyle to a new level of comfort and safety.
Great Smart Home Integration
Good Budget Option
The SkyBell Trim Plus is our pick for the best overall award. Not only is this intelligently designed product from SkyBell affordable, but it also boasts a host of impressive features that every top-of-the-range doorbell camera should possess.
The slim dimensions of this doorbell fit almost any home entrance and are narrow enough for most door frames. Measuring 6.5 x 4.8 x 2.4 inches, the aesthetic of this product is certainly one of its most loved features.
Another is its impeccable video quality. The 1080p HD camera provides you with full-color video—even at night! Furthermore, you can adjust the viewing resolution down to 720p if your slower connection is causing a delay in receiving alerts.
While other similar products on the market offer night mode, which is often grainy and desaturated, the Trim Plus gives you HD color night vision for immaculate video, regardless of the time of day.
Communicating with the people at your door is also simple with the SkyBell. The two-way audio means you can have a conversation with whomever is at your entrance without having to open the door to speak to them. This is handy when you do not know who’s there and want to find out who it is before compromising your safety.
Appearance-wise, you have a bit of choice to customize the device. It comes in either silver or oil-rubbed bronze, and you can select the color of the LED light.
When you don’t want to be alerted to visitors, simply put the Trim Plus into silent mode. This feature allows you to turn off the chime but still receive notifications on your smartphone if someone comes to your door. It’s handy when you don’t want to be disturbed or need to let the baby sleep.
One of the main reasons this device is widely appreciated is because of its hardiness. It’s protected by a theft guarantee, and it is also weather resistant between -40 F and 140 F.
The doorbell can only be set up with a hardwired doorbell kit, and the transformer needs between 16 and 24 volts AC for power.
The Trim Plus is easily installed and connects to the existing doorbell wiring at your door. There’s no need to hire someone to install it for you unless you want to save some time. Just follow the simple instructions, and you’ll have it up and running in no time.
Enjoy free cloud recording with zero monthly fees and store your video recordings for up to one week. The SkyBell Trim Plus works with the free SkyBell app for smartphones and tablets and requires no subscription.
Our good all-rounder product is Ring’s Video Doorbell Pro. An upgrade on the Video Doorbell 2, it encompasses all of the essential smart home doorbell features and more.
Although it is one of the pricier devices on our list, we have included it for good reason. Ring is known for its high-quality range of smart home devices and accessories and has produced some of our favorite doorbells.
The ultraslim design and dual Wi-Fi connectivity are what sets this model apart from the rest of its predecessors. (Make sure it gets an upload speed of at least 2 Mbps for optimum performance.)
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro comes complete with a set of colored faceplates so you can match your doorbell to your wall or front door. To get a better camera view, consider purchasing the angled faceplate that easily fits onto the device when installing it.
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro connects with Amazon’s Echo to provide you with convenient voice control and seamless home integration. When someone presses your doorbell or triggers the built-in motion sensor, your Echo device will illuminate and announce that someone is there. You can use voice commands to control your doorbell from that point.
This model has been praised for its fast response time when sending out alerts after detecting motion, and you can check in on your property and view live activity at your door at any time with 1080p HD live view. Furthermore, you can customize the zones on the built-in motion detector to focus on the more important areas in your yard or porch—a feature absent in some other premium doorbells.
Ring provides you with nonstop security when you purchase its device. Noise cancellation technology, lifetime theft protection, and advanced motion detection provide you with a good all-round security device to fit into your home.
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro also requires a hardwired system and an existing doorbell kit to operate. It runs off a transformer of between 16 and 24 volts AC.
Although installing the Ring Pro can take a little longer, instructions are provided and anyone with DIY skills should be able to handle the task. It is a hardwired device and needs to be connected to your existing doorbell wiring.
You can hear, see, speak to visitors, and view your video feed on your iOS, Android, Mac, or Windows 10 device. However, in order to record, save, and share videos, you’ll need to pay $3 a month for the Ring Protect Basic subscription or activate Ring Protect Plus for $10 a month.
If innovation and unique features are your main concerns when buying a doorbell, then take a look at the Nest Hello. This video doorbell gets our award for most innovative due to its unique features that stand out from the competition.
Fully equipped with an HD camera and night vision, the Nest Hello doorbell gives you a clear picture of visitors on your doorstep.
The camera shows you a 160 degree diagonal, 4:3 HDR head-to-toe view that alerts you to people, sound, and motion at your doorstep. The device is compatible with Google Assistant and has the ability to recognize individual faces and announce them to you.
Weighing in at 0.48 ounces, the lightweight product is UV and weather resistant. Purchase one of the optional silicone skins to improve your Nest Hello’s durability and make it blend in or stand out.
Another impressive feature of the Nest Hello is geofencing. Geofencing allows the camera to adjust automatically to your presence in or out of the home. You can set schedules for when you're away or at work, and let your doorbell respond appropriately when visitors arrive.
Push notifications will deliver straight to your smartphone with an accompanying live snapshot of whomever is on your doorstep. If you’re away or don’t want to be disturbed, then one of the pre-recorded responses on your Nest Hello will let your visitors know you are not available.
The Nest Hello is yet another doorbell that requires an existing hardwired system to power it.
Although Nest claims that this can be done DIY, it is more complicated to install than other doorbells. You are better off seeking the help of a professional with this one.
The Nest Hello device has 24/7 continuous streaming and recording so you won’t miss a single thing. However, without a subscription, all you get is access to three-hour snapshots. Any more than that and you need to sign up for Nest Aware.
With this subscription, you can rewind live videos to see what has happened at home, set specific motion zones, and customize the tracking of your camera.
The award for great smart home integration goes to the August Doorbell Cam Pro. This second-generation wired doorbell offers you intelligent smart home integration to make living at home easier and more convenient than ever before.
The device comes in silver or dark gray; it’s square in shape and weighs about 14 ounces. It requires iOS 9.0 and Android 5.0 or higher to work with your smartphone, and it offers the usual HD video, two-way audio, and real-time alerts like other smart home doorbells do.
So what sets the August Doorbell apart from the rest? The answer is in the finer details of the product. Firstly, it pairs with the Amazon Echo, which naturally makes life easier. You can answer your front door and know who’s there no matter your location.
It also pairs with the August Smart Lock to easily let guests into your home. This way, you never have to worry about losing your house keys or having to rush to find them in order to open the front door.
The integrated floodlight is another intelligent feature of the August product. It illuminates guests when they approach the door at night, delivering crystal clear HD video to your smartphone, tablet, or PC. Grainy infrared nighttime video is thing of the past!
While you can’t customize the motion zones, you are able to adjust the motion sensitivity so that you don’t pick up on redundant security alerts.
The August Doorbell Cam Pro is another device that requires a hardwired system. However, it can be tested prior to installation to determine optimal positioning using battery power. The battery power also serves as a backup in the case of a power outage.
While it is easy enough to install if you’re replacing a similar sized and powered bell, the August may require professional installation if you’re performing a major upgrade.
The Hindsight feature monitors your doorway continuously and even captures the moments before someone rings the bell or triggers a motion alert. You can view the footage on the free August Video Recording Basic subscription which lets you replay any videos from the last 24 hours.
The Greet Pro from Zmodo is the most affordable device on our list of leading smart home doorbells, so we’ve given it the good budget option award.
The Zmodo Greet Pro is equipped with an impressive 180-degree wide-angle view that allows you to see up to 16 feet away in 1080p HD quality. The night vision feature means that it works after hours, and you can easily turn it on or off and further customize the sensitivity so that it works optimally no matter the time of day.
The device supports both 2.4 GHz as well as 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks, which should, in theory, reduce signal interference and boost connection.
However, despite the fact, reviews say the doorbell and app combination are often unresponsive. This is due to the delay (sometimes between 10 and 15 seconds) between the time the doorbell is pressed and live footage received on your phone.
After downloading the latest software version, the device is compatible with the Amazon Echo and Google Home. Just ask your virtual assistant who is at the door to see a live feed on your hub device.
Like the Nest Hello, the Greet Pro has autoresponder capabilities. You can record a personal voice message to greet visitors when you can’t answer the door or are not at home.
Furthermore, you can customize motion detection zones, and the device’s wide-angle PIR sensors mean that it detects movements and activates alerts to notify you.
The Zmodo Greet Pro only works with hardwired systems and is not currently compatible with a wireless setup or digital chime.
The setup and installation processes are hassle free, and the device easily connects to your existing doorbell wiring.
A 30-day free trial lets you try out the cloud recording plan. If you want it, you will have to sign up for either a seven-day or 30-day plan. The service lets you review, share, customize, and save videos so you can look back on the day's events or show them to someone else.
Ready to buy a doorbell camera? Consider the factors we’ve listed above and decide which factors are most important for you. The best one for you depends on your budget, your existing setup, smart home requirements, and network connection capabilities.
You won’t go wrong buying any of the above-mentioned best doorbell cameras—they are all backed by quality manufacturers and healthy reviews.
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