I have a confession to make. I order a lot of stuff from Amazon. I love it. I can shop online using my smartphone and get stuff sent straight to my house. It’s super convenient—until it’s not. The thing is, my wife and I have ridiculously busy schedules, and we’re almost never home during the day. This means we’re not there when all that Amazon loot arrives, and it sits on my porch for most of the day, ripe for the picking. I’ve always been super nervous about leaving my packages unattended on the porch for such a long time, but that all changed when I discovered doorbell cameras. I’ve compiled a list of my top picks for the best doorbell cameras available, along with some information on how they work and why you need one. Take a look below.
Best doorbell cameras: Top 5 picks
|Doorbell camera||Ring Pro||Ring||SkyBell HD||Vivint||August Doorbell Cam|
|What it looks like|
|View product||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Website||View on Amazon|
Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
Ring Video Doorbell is the best-selling doorbell camera out there, and it’s my top pick for best doorbell camera (or cameras, in this case) because it offers two different versions of its incredible video peephole. The Ring Pro 1080p and Ring 720p offer different benefits and drawbacks, but each can add security to your front porch depending on what you need. I’ll break down the pros and cons of each Ring doorbell so you can see which one works for you.
Ring Pro 1080p
The Ring Pro does lose some of its field of vision (FOV) compared to the Ring 720p. It allows for only 160 degrees FOV instead of 180 degrees like Ring 720p. For me, better picture quality and customizable motion detection outweigh this small step back in FOV, but it’s something to keep in mind.
The one major drawback for the Ring 1080p Pro is that it does not offer a battery-install option like the Ring 720p. This means if you can’t hardwire it to your existing doorbell, it’s not going to work for you. Even still, the Ring 1080p has so much to offer with its high-resolution video quality, trim design, and customizable motion zones—a part of the app that lets you set specific locations for your motion detector to focus on—that it takes the top spot for the best doorbell camera out there.
- 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
- 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.
I mentioned its size, and it’s huge. It feels like an old Nokia brick phone, and it definitely sticks out. We ran into a few issues where guests didn’t know that it was a doorbell, so instead of ringing the bell, they knocked. This shouldn’t hinder Ring 720p from a security standpoint because it will still pick up that someone is on your porch using motion detection and then send you a notification, but it is a minor annoyance.
Ring 720p works great for apartments, guest houses, or anywhere else where it may be difficult to hardwire a doorbell.
- Quick DIY installation
- Easy setup, app, and instructions
- Adjustable motion detection
- Multiple-user support
- Good customer service
- Battery option available
- Lifetime purchase protection (if it’s stolen, Ring will replace for free)
- Rechargeable battery
- Smartphone alerts
- Affordable cloud storage
- Bulky size (5 in. x 2.5 in.)
- Spotty Wi-Fi connection
- Inconsistent motion detection
- Lower video quality (720p)
- Doesn’t chime inside the house without Ring Chime add-on for battery-powered option
- No live video feed for battery option
- 720p HD video
- 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection
- 4.98 x 2.43 x 0.87 in.
- 5200 mAh battery with 6–12 months of battery life
- -5 ºF to 120 ºF operating temperature
- Infrared LED night vision
To learn more about Ring 720p, read the full review or check out the video below:
SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
Users have complained that they experienced difficulties with installation due to poor setup instructions, and I’m in this same boat. It took a while for me to get SkyBell to work properly, but once it did, I was really 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, so if you live in extremely hot or cold climates, you might consider SkyBell over Ring, as well.
- 1080p video
- More features than Ring
- Live video feed
- Two-way audio
- Alarm.com equipment integration
- Free cloud storage (7 days)
- Color night vision
- Multiple color options
- 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)
- No battery option (hardwire only)
Vivint Doorbell Camera
Vivint ranks number four 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.
- 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
- Availability only with a Vivint security system
- Only one color to choose from (black)
- Mixed customer service reviews
- No option to self-install
- Expensive monthly monitoring
August Doorbell Cam
That being said, August feels like an “almost but not quite” product to me. As of now, the August Doorbell Cam does not offer night vision and only recently added motion detection. That’s not a deal-breaker, but August’s competitors have more experience and have ironed out some of the kinks with motion detection and alerts, which seems to be hit or miss with the August Doorbell Cam. I also lean toward the higher video resolution that 1080p doorbell cameras offer instead of the 960p from August, but that’s more of a personal preference than anything.
Overall, August is still a work in progress, but it looks like a great option in the near future.
- 960p resolution (same as GoPro)
- Good customer service
- Ability to connect with other August devices
- iOS and Android app
- Motion detection
- Video storage (+$4.99 per month)
- No night vision
- Poor video quality in bad lighting
- Hardwired installation only
- Complicated installation
- Bulky profile that may not fit on every door frame
- 960p HD video (same resolution as GoPro)
- 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
To learn more about the August Doorbell Cam, read our full review.
NOTE: If you don’t need or want smartphone compatibility and prefer to monitor your front door while at home, you might check Amazon availability on the digitharbor Doorbell Cam or the RioRand Doorbell Cam. Both doorbell cameras feature on-site only video monitoring, are well reviewed, and are super affordable, coming in under $100 each.
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? I’m a big believer 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 for me. Knowing when my packages arrive has been a huge weight off my shoulders. I no longer worry about someone stealing my Amazon purchases off my front porch or that I’ll miss a delivery from USPS or FedEx because I’m not there to sign for it.
Know who’s coming and going
A few weeks back, we had some teenagers poking around our neighborhood, checking for easy-target pranks. Nothing was reported stolen, but some of my neighbors came home to an open front door, and it gave them quite a scare. A doorbell camera with motion detection alerts would have notified them that someone was approaching (and entering) their house without their knowledge. A good doorbell camera can keep you informed so you don’t walk into a potentially dangerous situation.
Communicate with visitors remotely
One of my favorite features that my doorbell camera provides is the ability to talk to the person on my porch, no matter where I am. This feature has saved me many times with FedEx and USPS when I’ve been unavailable to receive a delivery in person. I can talk to the deliverer and give instructions on where to leave the package. If you have an August Doorbell Cam with the August Smart Lock, you could even unlock the front door to let them drop it off just inside.
Best doorbell cameras recap
- Ring Pro 1080p Video Doorbell
- Ring 720p Video Doorbell
- SkyBell Wi-fi HD Video Doorbell Camera
- Vivint Doorbell Camera
- August Doorbell Cam
It’s time for an upgrade
With my Ring Pro 1080p doorbell camera, I no longer fret about whether my packages will be there when I get home. I get a notification when they arrive, and I can see whether or not someone approaches my porch, thanks to motion detection and smartphone notifications. It’s one of the best things I’ve ordered from Amazon yet. If you don’t have a video doorbell, you should seriously consider one.