The Best Smart Video Doorbell Cameras in 2019

Best Doorbell Camera
Nest Hello
 
$229.99
Pro Bullet Facial recognition
Pro Bullet Google Home integration
Pro Bullet Crisp 1080p video
Best Wireless Camera
Ring Video Doorbell 2
 
$199.99
Pro Bullet No wiring required
Pro Bullet Easy setup
Pro Bullet Live on-demand video
Best for Your Budget
Skybell Trim Video Doorbell
 
$149.00
Pro Bullet Color night vision
Pro Bullet Free cloud storage
Pro Bullet No monthly fee for extra features
Best Video Capture
August Doorbell Cam Pro
 
$199.99
Pro Bullet Crisp video quality
Pro Bullet Built-in floodlight
Pro Bullet 24 hours of free video storage
Best Slim Doorbell Camera
Ring Video Doorbell Pro
 
$249.00
Pro Bullet Clean design
Pro Bullet Sharp 1080p video
Pro Bullet Higher bandwidth (supports 5GHz Wi-Fi)
*Standard retail prices as of 7/8/2019. Prices and availability are subject to change and can vary by retailer.
Security System Products
Updated November 25

Black Friday 2019
Black Friday is almost here and it’s bringing plenty of deals on video doorbells. It’s an excellent time to buy if you’ve been wanting a video doorbell for your home.

  • The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is down to $129 from $199 ($70 savings).
  • The Ring Video Doorbell Pro also costs $70 less, bringing it to $179.
  • Starting Thanksgiving Day, Kohl’s has the Nest Hello for $149.99 ($80 cheaper). Plus Kohl’s is giving $15 of Kohl’s Cash for every $50 you spend (November 25-29) so you’ll get another $45 to spend between November 30th and December 9th.

August View now available
The August View video doorbell is now available for purchase again (it was briefly available in August, but the company delayed further production to fix some issues). This is August’s first battery-powered model so we’re excited to test it and let you know what we think. Stay tuned!

It looks like August View listings on online retailers like Amazon and Best Buy haven’t been updated to reflect the new stock, so you need to go to August’s website if you want to buy this doorbell.

Overview

We tested the most popular smart doorbell cameras to make it easy for you to find the best one for your home. We compare installation, features, quality, and how much they’re going to cost you.

Here are our favorite doorbell cameras

Compare the best doorbell cameras

Data effective 06/06/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.
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Nest Hello: Best doorbell camera

The Nest Hello video doorbell offers advanced features like facial recognition and a 3-hour snapshot video history.
Best Overall
Nest Hello
    Dimensions
    1.7 x 4.6 x 1 in.
    Resolution
    1080p
    FOV
    160º
    Operating temperature
    5ºF-104ºF
    Power source
    Hardwired
    Night vision
    Infrared
    App requirements
    iOS 10.0 or later; Android varies with device
    Nest Hello Doorbell

    Nest Hello pros and cons

    Pros
    • Pro BulletCrisp 1080p video
    • Pro BulletFacial recognition
    • Pro BulletMotion and sound detection
    • Pro BulletClean, modern design
    • Pro Bullet24/7 streaming
    Cons
    • Con BulletTechnical electrical setup
    • Con BulletNest Aware subscription to unlock all its features

    Why we recommend Nest Hello

    While most doorbell cameras tell you when someone is at your door, the Nest Hello can tell you who is at your door. That’s really cool.

    The Hello’s Intelligent Alert feature is the superpower that lets the Nest Hello tell the difference between a person and other things the camera picks up. Now you can see if it’s just the neighbor’s cat crossing your doorstep or a stranger.

    We also like Nest Hello’s stylish design and high-tech features like sound and motion detection and 8x digital zoom. And, because this is a hardwired camera (warning—setup can be tricky), it’s on the job 24/7, which means you’ll never miss a thing.

    But you can’t take advantage of the Hello’s coolest features (facial recognition, five-day video history, and continuous recording) without a Nest Aware subscription. The good news is that it’s only around $5 a month, but the bummer is that without it you basically have an intercom with a really impressive video feature.

    ASecureLife’s recommendation: The Nest Hello is one of the most advanced video doorbells on the market. It requires a monthly subscription to save video, but we think you'll be happy if you want to get an outdoor security camera and video doorbell in one. Plus, it works with the whole Nest ecosystem, so it’s easy to add a Nest thermostat or the Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm.

    >>Get the Nest Hello doorbell.

    >>Read our full Nest Hello doorbell review.


    Ring Video Doorbell 2: Best wireless doorbell camera

    Don’t want to deal with hardwiring a doorbell camera? The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is wireless, so you can put those tools away.
    Best Wireless
    Ring 2
      Dimensions
      5.1 x 2.4 x 2.4 in.
      Resolution
      1080p
      FOV
      160°
      Operating temperature
      -5°F–120°F
      Power source
      Rechargeable battery with hardwire option
      Night vision
      Infrared
      App requirements
      iOS 9.3 or later; Android 5.0 and up
      Ring Doorbell 2 Lifestyle

      Ring Video Doorbell 2 pros and cons

      Pros
      • Pro BulletWireless power
      • Pro BulletEasy setup
      • Pro BulletRechargeable battery
      • Pro BulletCloud recording
      • Pro BulletLive on-demand video
      Cons
      • Con BulletBulkier design than original Ring Video Doorbell
      • Con BulletRequired subscription to record video
      • Con BulletSpotty Wi-Fi connection

      Why we recommend Ring Video Doorbell 2

      If you’re renting a house or you simply don’t want to deal with the hassle of hardwiring your doorbell camera, the Ring 2 is your best option. It can be hardwired, but if you’re going that route, you might as well opt for the slimmer Ring Pro.

      The Ring 2 is a lot bulkier than the original Ring Video Doorbell, but it records crisp 1080p video, delivers on-demand live video, and stores clips in the Ring Cloud for up to two months. Getting ongoing video storage requires you to pay for a Ring Protect plan.

      The Basic Protect Plan starts at $3 per month (a little cheaper than Nest’s subscription service) and offers motion alerts, custom motion detection settings, live HD video, and 60 days of video storage.

      You get to try out Ring Protect for free for 30 days when you install your doorbell camera, but after the free trial ends, you need to pay up or live without video storage.

      ASecureLife’s recommendation: The Ring Video Doorbell 2 offers the best of both worlds—you can hardwire it, but it’s designed to be wireless. This doorbell camera is the ideal choice for renters and anyone who doesn’t want to try their hand at electrical work.

      >>Get the Ring Video Doorbell 2.

      >>Read our full Ring Video Doorbell review or compare Ring vs. Ring 2.


      SkyBell Trim Video Doorbell: Best for your budget

      Get advanced features and a few extra dollars in your pocket. SkyBell sets itself apart with color night vision, sharp video, and free cloud storage.

      Best for Budgets
      SkyBell Trim
        Dimensions
        8 x 1.44 x 1.13 in.
        Resolution
        1080p
        FOV
        180°
        Operating temperature
        -40°F – 140°F
        Power source
        Hardwired
        Night vision
        Multicolor LEDs
        App requirements
        iOS 9.0 or later; Android 4.4 and up
        Skybell Trim Doorbell

        SkyBell Trim Video Doorbell pros and cons

        Pros
        • Pro BulletFree cloud storage
        • Pro BulletFull-color night vision
        • Pro BulletQuiet mode
        • Pro BulletNo monthly fee for extra features
        Cons
        • Con BulletSubpar customer service
        • Con BulletNo battery option

        Why we recommend the SkyBell Trim 

        Considering how feature-rich the SkyBell is, it’s surprising that you don’t have to pay a monthly fee to get access to all the perks—including free cloud storage. That will save you a good amount of money over time, considering other plans range from $3 to $5 per month. Plus, the SkyBell’s purchase price is a few bucks lower than other video doorbells.

        Some of our favorite features include color night vision and a quiet mode that lets you turn off the chime if you’ve got little ones napping. SkyBell also has the highest level of weather and rain resistance of all the video doorbells we tested.

        Beyond its features, the SkyBell HD camera delivers sharper video and more reliable motion activation than the spottier Ring cameras. But we’ve been disappointed with SkyBell’s track record for serving customers. That’s one area where this company could step it up. 

        ASecureLife’s recommendation: If you’re a bargain shopper—or you simply like to get the biggest bang for your buck—you won’t get more for your money than with the SkyBell Trim Video Doorbell. It retails for a bit less than other doorbell cameras, and SkyBell doesn’t charge you extra to access its robust features or use cloud storage.

        >>Get the SkyBell HD doorbell.

        >>Read our full SkyBell HD doorbell review.


        August Doorbell Cam Pro: Best for video capture

        An attractive doorbell camera with high-quality video, the August Doorbell Cam Pro makes it easy to save and capture video footage.

        Best Video Capture
        August Cam Pro
          Dimensions
          2.9 x 2.9 x 0.9 in.
          Resolution
          960p
          FOV
          160°
          Operating temperature
          -13°F–122°F
          Power source
          Hardwired
          Night vision
          Floodlight
          App requirements
          iOS 11.0 or later; Android 6.0 and up
          August Doorbell Camera

          August Doorbell Cam Pro pros and cons

          Pros
          • Pro BulletHindSight feature that captures every motion detection event
          • Pro BulletSharp video quality
          • Pro BulletBuilt-in floodlight to help low-light monitoring
          • Pro Bullet24 hours of free video storage
          • Pro BulletCompatibility with August Smart Locks
          Cons
          • Con BulletComplicated electrical setup
          • Con BulletBulky design

          Why we recommend the August Doorbell Cam Pro

          The August Doorbell Cam Pro uses the same resolution as a GoPro (960p HD) which gives you a higher frame rate for improved motion capture. That means you can slow down footage while maintaining clearer video, letting you get a clear view of whoever’s at your door.

          We’re big fans of August’s HindSight feature, which lets you see the full story when you review a motion-activated event. Other doorbell cameras have a delay of one to three seconds between when motion is detected and when they start recording. The HindSight feature retroactively records a few seconds of footage before a motion detection event, giving you extra context when you need to review a video.

          If you’ve been looking into smart locks for your home, you can pair this doorbell with the August Smart Lock. Combined, these two smart home devices let you see, talk to, and open the door for people on your porch—no matter where you are.

          ASecureLife’s recommendation: You won’t miss a thing with the August Doorbell Cam Pro. Its HindSight feature makes sure you catch every second of action when the motion sensor is activated. Video delay is a common complaint with motion-activated video, but August seems to have solved that problem. But the setup is tricky, so call in some handy reinforcements or consider hiring an electrician to get it set up correctly.

          >>Get the August Doorbell Cam Pro.

          >>Read our full August Doorbell Cam Pro review.


          Ring Video Doorbell Pro: Best slim doorbell camera

          A smaller wired Ring doorbell camera, the Ring Pro is slim has a sleek, clean design, giving you sharp 1080p video and Alexa voice command.
          Best Slim
          Ring Pro
            Dimensions
            4.5 x 1.85 x 0.8 in.
            Resolution
            1080p
            FOV
            160°
            Operating temperature
            -5°F –120°F
            Power source
            Hardwired
            Night vision
            Infrared
            App requirements
            iOS 9.3 or later; Android 5.0 and up
            Ring Video Doorbell Pro

            Ring Video Doorbell Pro pros and cons

            Pros
            • Pro BulletClear 1080p video
            • Pro BulletSlim design
            • Pro BulletMultiple faceplate colors
            • Pro BulletHigher bandwidth (supports 5GHz Wi-Fi)
            • Pro BulletCustomizable motion zones
            Cons
            • Con BulletNo wireless option
            • Con BulletNo local storage
            • Con BulletSpotty Wi-Fi connection

            Why we recommend the Ring Video Doorbell Pro

            Ring Pro has a lot in common with the Ring 2 except it’s slimmer and requires hardwiring. It’s a better option if you’re tight on space or if you don’t want to deal with Ring 2’s rechargeable battery.

            We also think the Ring Pro performs a little better in terms of video quality, even though its tech specs are similar to the Ring 2’s.

            Both Ring doorbells we recommend work with the Ring Alarm security system that was released in July 2018. You can control all the aspects of the Ring security system in the Ring app. That means you won’t lose precious moments during an emergency opening multiple apps to see what’s going on at home.

            ASecureLife’s recommendation: It’s no secret that we like Ring video doorbells. This one delivers better aesthetics than other smart doorbells, and its slim profile means it’s easier to fit in spaces designed for traditional doorbells. But it requires a subscription and is known to have Wi-Fi connection issues. Still, if you want a doorbell that won’t distract from your perfectly posh porch, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro could be the perfect stylish choice.

            >>Get the Ring Video Doorbell Pro.

            >>Read our Ring Alarm security system review.


            Other brands we considered

            SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro

            If you have a SimpliSafe home security system, it’s worth looking into the new SimpliSafe doorbell camera. It offers a 1080p resolution and 160° field of view. It also gives you features like two-way audio, motion sensor alerts, and pan and zoom. Even if you don’t have a SimpliSafe system, you can still use this smart doorbell camera on its own with the SimpliSafe app.

            >>Get the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro or read our full review.

            Arlo Audio Doorbell

            If you don’t need a camera, or if you already have Arlo cameras on your porch, the Arlo Audio Doorbell is a cheaper alternative to the video doorbells above. Arlo’s wireless doorbell gives you features like visitor messaging, remote communication, and seven days of free cloud storage for audio recordings.

            >>Get the Arlo Audio Doorbell

            Blink Doorbell

            Amazon hasn’t yet released its Blink Video Doorbell, but it’s something to keep your eye on if you’re looking for a doorbell camera. The camera is going to be wireless with live video streaming, two-way audio, night vision, and motion detection. And it might cost considerably less than the wireless Ring 2.


            Our recommendation

            We really like the Nest Hello—it’s the most solid all-around video doorbell camera for both aesthetics and function. If you’re willing to get the electrical work done, and if you’re okay with the slightly higher price tag ($229 compared to $199 for most other doorbell cameras), then it’s simply the best smart video doorbell on the market right now.

            • For renters: If you’re renting a place and don’t want to deal with complicated wiring, or if you’d rather opt for a wireless doorbell camera, the Ring 2 is your best bet.
            • For smart home fans: If you want a doorbell camera that works with a keyless door lock, we recommend the August Doorbell Cam Pro. It works seamlessly with August’s smart locks to give you extra security and convenience—all from one app.

            Things to consider about smart video doorbells

            Should I get a wired or a wireless video doorbell?

            It depends on your living situation and your preferences. Most video doorbells are connected to your existing doorbell’s wiring, but wireless options are available. If you own your home, wiring in a new smart doorbell makes sense so you don’t have to remember to change dead batteries. But if you’re a renter it could be a hassle to chase down your landlord for permission to change out the doorbell—and they could tell you no.

            We also found in testing that some of our homes didn’t have the doorbell placed in the best spot to keep an eye on what was happening. If you want to use your smart doorbell as a security camera, you might choose to put a wireless video doorbell in a location that’s better for security, regardless of preexisting wiring.

            Is it worth it to add a subscription to my doorbell camera?

            We think so. Even though none of us like having another monthly expense, the $3 to $5 subscription prices aren’t bad. That’s one fancy coffee splurge per month, which we think is worth it to get cloud storage and other features like facial recognition.

            Do I need more internet speed to support a Wi-Fi doorbell?

            It depends on what you plan to do with your doorbell camera. If all you’re using it for is to answer the door and say hi to the kids after school, you shouldn’t see it impact your Wi-Fi network speeds or data usage much.

            Most of the video doorbells we tried performed best with an upload speed of about 2 Mbps. If you upload and store a lot of video clips, that could slow down your upload speed or impact your data usage. But in our experience, it didn’t make a big difference.

            What are the benefits of connecting a smart doorbell to other smart home devices?

            When you integrate your video doorbell camera with other smart gadgets like a smart lock or Amazon Alexa, you can get extra security, extra convenience, and extra fun. Here are a few of our favorite ways to combine the power of a smart doorbell with other home automation devices.

            • Thwart porch pirates. Connect your video doorbell to a smart garage door opener. Use the two-way audio from the doorbell to direct the delivery person to leave your goods in the garage—which you can open from an app no matter where you are.
            • Guarantee a quiet naptime. Use voice control with Amazon Alexa or Google Home to tell your smart doorbell it’s time to silence the chime. You won’t have to fumble for your smartphone while you’re rocking your little one to sleep.
            • Come home to paradise. Whether you’ve been on vacation or just survived another day at the grind, come home to a door that opens when you approach (no fumbling for keys or dropping groceries), a warm glow from lights that are already on, and the perfect temperature to put you instantly at ease. When you connect your video doorbell to other home automation devices, you can set up routines that are triggered the moment your video doorbell senses your approach.

            Contributing author: Rebecca Edwards