In recent years, several manufacturers started selling futuristic doorbell cameras nationwide. These wireless doorbells with video monitoring promised a lot, but most of them were unreliable, difficult to use, and poorly received by the public and press.
Now in their second generation, doorbell cameras have improved to the point of not only delivering on their original promise of allowing homeowners to preview (and in some cases talk with) who’s at their door before answering, but also empowering said homeowners with a newfound sense of control, surveillance, and security.
Which current models deserve to hang next to your front door? The answer to that depends on several factors, including size of the home, desired features such as motion-detection and smartphone support, ease of installation, personal taste, and of course, price.
After researching dozens of available doorbell cameras and scouring the latest consumer and professional reviews, we’ve picked the three best doorbell cameras on the market. All score at least 3 out of 5 stars (or better) among thousands of online reviews, which is a good indication of their reliability and performance.
Before choosing and buying your next doorbell video camera, consider the below. NOTE: This list will be updated as new products and developments are made available.
Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
The elegantly named Ring is the best-selling brand on the video doorbell market, not to mention the most consistently reviewed (4/5 stars on Amazon as of this writing). The doorbell lets you use your smartphone or tablet to see and speak with visitors, whether you’re at home or abroad. Alerts and live video are triggered by motion detection or after the bell has been rung. The unit can be powered by existing electrical wires, or manually charged for unorthodox placements—although in those cases, some users complained about having to recharge often.
- Impressive packaging
- Easy setup, app, and instructions
- Higher picture and audio quality (samples here)
- Support for multiple users via emailed invites
- Good customer service
- Four colors to choose from
- Lifetime purchase protection (if it’s stolen, Ring will replace for free)
- Over twice the size of other highly rated doorbell cameras (5 inches tall x 2.5 inches wide)
- Unreliable motion detection
- Higher stand-alone price
- No option for video on demand (video can only be viewed once a call has been placed to your smartphone and detected by motion or doorbell call)
Pricing & Tech specs
- 720p HD video
- 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection
- -5 ºF to 120 ºF operating temperature
- Infared LED’s Night Vision
SkyBell Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
More features for less money but with greater installation and usability hassle—that’s the popular SkyBell in a nutshell (3/5 stars on Amazon). While the first version was criticized for unreliable performance—only working 50% of the time for some users—recent reviews indicate that version 2 and subsequent updates have improved reliability. Like the Ring, SkyBell lets you see and hear visitors from your smartphone or tablet as they approach or ring your doorbell. As a bonus, SkyBell lets you monitor your front door at any time with its on demand feature. Despite some reports of poor setup instructions, most users were satisfied once setup was complete, and were especially enthusiastic about all the added features for $50 less than the Ring.
- Good, not great, video quality
- Cheaper price
- On demand video at any time (not just when someone approaches or rings your doorbell)
- Two colors to choose from
- Easy-to-use app
- Do not disturb mode that rings phone only
- No monthly fee for extra features
- Subpar customer service
- Only one user per account (must share login to share video monitoring with other household members)
- Must mount in existing doorbell location for power (which some consider a good thing since you never have to recharge)
- Not compatible with T-Mobile Samsung phones
Pricing & Tech specs
- Multi-colored LED’s (Colored Night Vision)
- 1080p HD video and 5x zoom
- Between -40ºF and 140ºF operating temperature
- 2.8 in width / 0.9 in depth
Vivint Doorbell Camera
If you want professional installation, home security monitoring, dedicated customer service, and don’t mind committing to a recurring contract, this might be the doorbell camera for you. It’s also the sleekest and smallest. Like both Ring and SkyBell, the Vivint Doorbell Camera lets you see and hear anyone who approaches or rings your doorbell. It also supports video on demand, like SkyBell, and multiple user alerts like Ring. When coupled with its companion smart devices such as a control panel, smart door lock, or thermostat, it’s also one of the smartest home automation packages on the market.
- Feature-rich and sleek
- Easy to use
- Professional installation for those who don’t want to do it themselves
- On demand video
- Multiple user alerts
- High-quality video, audio, and app features
- Only one color to choose from (black)
- Mixed customer service reviews
- No option to self-install for those who want to do it themselves
- Expensive monthly rates compared to other home monitoring packages
Pricing & Tech specs
- 1080p HD video
- 4.45 inches tall / 1.5 inches wide
- 180º FOV
NOTE: If you don’t need or want smartphone compatibility and prefer to monitor your front door while at home, you might consider the digitharbor Doorbell Cam (available on Amazon) or the RioRand Doorbell Cam (available on Amazon) . Both cameras feature on-site only video monitoring, are well reviewed, and are priced at $60 and $50, respectively.
Whatever you decide, thanks for reading ASecureLife.com. Please share your own thoughts and experiences with doorbell cameras in the below comments, and again we’ll update this story as new products and developments are made available.