Best doorbell cameras: Top 5 picks
|Vivint Doorbell Camera||Ring Pro 1080p||Ring Video Doorbell 2||SkyBell HD||August Doorbell Cam Pro|
|What it looks like|
|View product||View on website||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon|
|Resolution||720p HD||1080p HD||1080p HD||1080p HD||720p HD|
|Field of view||180º||160º||160º||180º||120º|
|Smart home integration|
|Power source||Wired||Wired||Wireless battery or wired||Wired||Wired|
In the era of Amazon Prime, well over a million neatly taped packages are delivered to American doorsteps every day. Because most of us aren’t home to receive their packages upon delivery, petty theft has caught up to the Amazon phenomenon and more thieves are looking for those easy doorstep wins.
That’s one way doorbell cameras can make a difference. Not only do they protect the home’s most vulnerable point of entry but they also help you remotely track any front porch goings-on.
Best overall: Vivint Doorbell Camera
In fact, Vivint ranks among our favorites on our best home security systems list, and we love the new direction Vivint has taken with its Vivint Flex Pay program, which allows customers to choose whether they want to pay for their equipment up front or finance it over a contract. Vivint also leads the industry in home automation integration, so if you’re thinking about beefing up your home security with more than just a doorbell camera, Vivint is worth a closer look.
- 1080p HD video
- 4.45 x 1.5 in.
- 180-degree FOV
- 14ºF to 104ºF operating temperature
To learn more about Vivint, read our full review.
- Feature-rich and sleek aesthetic
- User-friendly design
- 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
- Availability only with a Vivint security system
- Only one color to choose from (black)
- Mixed customer service reviews
- No self-install option
- Expensive monthly monitoring
Best for versatile installation: Ring Video Doorbells
The ring video doorbell series offers some of the best peephole cameras available today. The Ring Pro 1080p and Ring Video Doorbell 2 offer different benefits and drawbacks, but each can make your front porch safer depending on what you need. We’ll break down the pros and cons of each Ring doorbell so you can see which one works for you.
Ring Pro 1080p
While the Ring Pro and Ring 2 both offer 1080p recording with a 160º field of view, we think the Ring Pro performs better in both video and image quality. So if video quality is important to you, it might be worth spending a bit more on the Ring Pro, but the differences are marginal.
The one major drawback for the Ring 1080p Pro is that it does not offer a battery-install option like the Ring 2. This means if you can’t hardwire it to your existing doorbell, it’s not going to work for you.
- 1080p HD video
- 160-degree field of view
- 4.50 x 1.85 x 0.80 in.
- -5°F to 120°F operating temperature
- 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi connection
- One-year equipment warranty (lifetime theft protection)
For a deeper dive into the Ring Pro 1080p, check out our full review.
- 1080p video
- Multiple faceplate color options
- More bandwidth (supports 5 GHz Wi-Fi)
- Customizable motion zones
- Smartphone notifications
- Hardwired only (no battery option)
- No local storage
- Higher price
- Slow performance in cold temperatures
Ring Video Doorbell 2
Because of its size, you’ll want to make sure you have space for the Ring Video Doorbell 2 next to your door. The device itself measures a little more than five inches tall and two inches wide. And while it’s not the most discreet doorbell camera out there, it’s built with aesthetics in mind and looks good resting next to your front door.
Ring Video Doorbell 2 works great for apartments, guest houses, or anywhere else where it may be difficult to hardwire a doorbell.
- 1080p HD video
- 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection
- 5.1 x 2.4 x 2.4 in.
- Lithium ion battery
- Infrared LED night vision
- Quick DIY installation
- Easy setup, app, and instructions
- Alexa integration
- Multiple-user support
- Affordable cloud storage
- Bulky size (5 in. x 2.5 in.)
- Spotty Wi-Fi connection
- Inconsistent motion detection
- Lower video quality (720p)
- No chime inside the house without Ring Chime add-on for battery-powered option
Best for live video feeds: SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
Users have complained of difficulties with installation due to poor setup instructions, and we had the same experience. It took a while to get SkyBell to work properly, but once it did, we were happy with its functionality.
SkyBell gives you the same video quality as the Ring Pro at 1080p and adds a 5x digital zoom feature. It also has a better operating temperature range than others on the list, so if you live in extremely hot or cold climates, you might consider SkyBell over Ring as well.
- 1080p HD video and 5x zoom
- 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection
- -40ºF to 140ºF operating temperature
- 2.8 x 2.8 x 0.9 in.
- Multi-colored LEDs (colored night vision)
- 1080p video
- More features than Ring
- Alarm.com equipment integration
- Live video feed, two-way audio
- No monthly fee for extra features
- Subpar customer service
- Allowance for only one user per account
- No battery option (hardwire only)
Best for video quality: August Doorbell Cam Pro
First, it uses the same resolution as a GoPro camera (960p HD), which is better for motion capture because it uses a higher frames per second than standard HD. This means you can slow your footage down to get a better look at the person on your porch, frame by frame. Keep in mind, however, the picture won’t be as clear with the lower 960p resolution.
Second, August offers its own smart device ecosystem with smart locks and other products that can link with your August doorbell. We really like the smart lock function coupled with the doorbell so you can open the door for guests as they arrive without having to leave the couch.
The August Doorbell Cam Pro improves on its predecessor in a few key ways. Many complained about the lack of night vision or IR on the first-generation August doorbell. While the Pro model doesn’t add either of those features, it comes with a built-in floodlight to help capture low-light footage.
The Pro version also added some useful customization options like motion sensitivity controls as well as chime controls. Both allow you to customize the sensitivity and intensity of your alerts so you can find a happier balance than with the sometimes hypervigilant first generation doorbell.
Where the August Doorbell Cam may have had shortcomings, the August Doorbell Cam Pro has moved August into our top picks.
- 960p HD video
- 2.9 x 2.9 x 0.9 in
- 16-24VAC ~50-60Hz 0.2A power
- 1-year warranty
- -13 ºF to 122 ºF operating temperature
- 960p resolution
- Good customer service
- Ability to connect with other August devices
- Built-in floodlight for low-light monitoring
- 24 hours free video storage (+$4.99 per month after that)
- Hardwired installation only
- Complicated installation
- Bulky profile that may not fit on every door frame
Three reasons to get a doorbell camera
So is a doorbell camera really worth the investment, or is it just another cool gadget in the Internet of Things trend happening right now? We’re big believers that a doorbell camera can increase your home’s security and ease the anxiety of package delivery, but if you’re on the fence, here are a few reasons you should consider getting a doorbell camera.
Protect your porch and packages
This is the big one. Knowing when your packages arrive is a huge weight off your shoulders. You’ll no longer have to worry about someone stealing your Amazon purchases off your front porch or that you’ll miss a delivery from USPS or FedEx because you’re not there to sign for it.
Know who’s coming and going
A doorbell camera with motion detection alerts notifies you when someone approaches or enters your house. So if someone is poking around your neighborhood looking for homes with unlocked doors, you won’t be an unlucky target. A good doorbell camera can keep you informed so you don’t walk into a potentially dangerous situation.
Communicate with visitors remotely
One of our favorite features that doorbell cameras provide is the ability to talk to the person on your porch no matter where you are. So if a delivery person shows up on your porch while you’re at work, you can talk to the deliverer and instruct them where to leave the package. If you have an August Doorbell Cam Pro with the August Smart Lock, you could even unlock the front door to let them drop it off just inside.
It’s time for an upgrade
Ultimately, we’d opt for Vivint’s doorbell camera because its sleek, modern design is backed by a wealth of useful features—not to mention it’s one of our only cameras that offers a 180º field of view to cover the entire front side of your house.
We also understand not everyone wants to jump for a new security system, in which case we’d recommend either of the Ring cameras. For the best video and image quality, the Ring Pro is hard to beat. If you want wireless installation, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is your best bet.
Do you have experience with any of the above video doorbell cameras? We’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment below.