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SkyBell Review: SkyBell HD vs. SkyBell Trim Pro

Best for Video Playback
  • Full-color night vision
  • Free video recording
  • 30 FPS (frames per second)

SkyBell HD

$220.15*

Best Aesthetics
Skybell Slimline Doorbell
  • Full-color night vision
  • Free video recording
  • Slim, aesthetically pleasing style

SkyBell Trim Plus

$169.99*

*Standard retail prices as of 8/19/2019. Prices and availability are subject to change and may vary by retailer.

Overview
SkyBell can be used as a standalone security measure, with a set of smart locks, or as part of your existing home security system. Either way, you’ll be able to keep an eye on your threshold.

Like most doorbells, the SkyBell HD and the SkyBell Trim Pro offer two-way audio, night vision, and the ability to livestream your doorstep. SkyBell also takes it up a notch by being one of the video doorbells that pairs with both other smart devices and alarm systems like Link Interactive and Frontpoint.

If that sounds like what you need, read on to see whether SkyBell is a good fit for your home.

Compare SkyBell HD and SkyBell Trim Pro

RecommendationBest for video playbackBest aesthetic
Product nameSkyBell HDSkyBell Trim Plus
Price*$220.15$169.99
What it looks likeSkyBell HD
Resolution1080p HD1080p HD
Frames per second30 FPS15 FPS
Field of view180°180°
Night visionFull color up to 15 ft.Full color up to 15 ft.
Learn moreView ProductView on Amazon
Recommendation
Product name
Price*
What it looks like
Resolution
Frames per second
Field of view
Night vision
Learn more
Best for video playback Best aesthetic
SkyBell HD SkyBell Trim Plus
$220.15 $169.99
SkyBell HD
1080p HD 1080p HD
30 FPS 15 FPS
180° 180°
Full color up to 15 ft. Full color up to 15 ft.
View Product View on Amazon

*Standard retail prices as of 8/19/2019. Prices and availability are subject to change and may vary by retailer.

SkyBell HD review: Best for video playback

Best for Video Playback

SkyBell HD pros and cons

Pros

  • High FPS rate for better video quality
  • Full-color night vision
  • Free cloud storage for seven day
  • Ability to set up multiple accounts

Cons

  • Reported difficulty connecting to Wi-Fi
  • No desktop or Windows mobile compatibility

SkyBell HD key features

The SkyBell HD may not be shaped like your typical rectangular doorbell, but it’s a solid pick that’s easy on the eyes with crisp high-definition video at 30 FPS.

It also lets you share the wealth: SkyBell gives everyone in your family access, so multiple people can receive notifications when the doorbell is rung or your SkyBell senses motion. (Just make sure you’re using your iOS or Android device: the SkyBell app isn’t compatible with Windows phones, and you won’t be able to view your doorstep from your desktop.)

ASL Fun Fact

What is FPS?

FPS, or frames per second, is the frequency that consecutive images appear on a display. The higher the FPS rate, the smoother video playback is. FPS rates under 30 can often appear choppy or laggy.

The SkyBell HD comes with a couple of perks that may help identify would-be intruders. It offers 5x digital zoom so you can take a snapshot of a potential intruder and zoom in on them. And full-color night vision up to 15 feet lets you see any defining features—the color of a maybe-burglar’s hat, for example—which can be super helpful when it comes to identification.

While most Wi-Fi video doorbells require a monthly subscription of $3 to $5 to access your video, SkyBell allows you to view, download, and share up to seven days of cloud storage for free. There’s no option to upgrade, but it’s no big: seven days is usually more than enough time to review and catch any events, suspicious or otherwise.

Installation is pretty straightforward, though some users have had trouble connecting to their Wi-Fi network. If that happens to you, try moving your router closer to your SkyBell, or purchase a Wi-Fi extender.

ASecureLife’s recommendation: If video quality is your top priority, the SkyBell HD is a winner. It has crisp 1080p HD resolution, color night vision up to 15 feet, and an impressive 180° field of view. It also performs well in a wide range of temperatures, so you can be sure your smart doorbell is safe on both the coldest and warmest days of the year.

>>Get the SkyBell HD.

SkyBell Trim Plus review: Best aesthetics

Best Aesthetics

SkyBell Trim Plus pros and cons

Pros

  • Slim, aesthetically pleasing design
  • Full-color night vision
  • Free cloud storage for seven day
  • Ability to set up multiple accounts

Cons

  • Low FPS rate
  • Reported difficulty connecting to Wi-Fi
  • No desktop or Windows mobile compatibility

SkyBell Trim Plus key features

The SkyBell Trim Plus is very similar to the SkyBell HD doorbell camera. Both have full-color night vision, free cloud storage, and an extensive 180° field of view.

There are two main differences. The first is appearances: the SkyBell Trim Plus looks much more like a doorbell with a more familiar rectangular shape. The second is video resolution. While both doorbells have 1080p HD, they have different FPS rates. SkyBell HD has a rate of 30 FPS, but SkyBell Trim Plus has a rate of only 15 FPS. That means video playback may not be as smooth, and you could see some lagging.

ASecureLife’s recommendation: If having a sleek, unobtrusive doorbell is more of a priority for you than video quality, or if you’re tight on space, give the Trim Plus a go. It has most of the same great features as the SkyBell HD but in a more compact, doorbell-like form.

>>Get the SkyBell Trim Pro.

How does SkyBell work?

When your SkyBell senses someone pressing the doorbell button or its motion sensor detects any movement in its field of view for 10 seconds, you’ll get an alert on your mobile device. If more than one person in your home has access to your SkyBell, they’ll get an alert too.

When you accept the alert, you’ll be able to view a live feed, from your SkyBell to your smartphone. You’ll also be able to see, talk to, and hear the person on the other end, with two-way audio. Plus, you can check in with your doorstep anytime with SkyBell’s on-demand feature.

How to install SkyBell

SkyBell works with all mechanical doorbell chimes without any additional accessories. If you have a digital doorbell chime, you’ll have to purchase and install SkyBell’s digital doorbell adapter, so be sure to double check before your purchase.

To install SkyBell, you’ll first turn off your power and remove your existing doorbell button. Then, install the SkyBell mounting plate included with your doorbell, connect the two wires, and mount the SkyBell on top. It’s a pretty straightforward, DIY process, but if you’re uncomfortable working with wires, even low-voltage ones, you can opt for professional installation.

If you’re uncomfortable working with wires, even low-voltage ones, you can opt for professional installation.

How to connect SkyBell to Wi-Fi

Once you’ve downloaded the SkyBell app and created an account, you’ll be able to follow steps to connecting your Wi-Fi.

When you log in, you’ll be able to tap on a button that says “Add a new SkyBell,” then “OK let’s begin.” At this point, your SkyBell should be flashing red and green, signifying it’s in syncing mode. You’ll then connect your Wi-Fi network and finish configuring your new video doorbell.

How to reset SkyBell

If you can’t figure out what’s wrong with your video doorbell and you want to opt for the old turning-it-on-and-off-again trick, you can just reset your SkyBell.

For a soft reset, hold down the main doorbell button for 45 seconds. The doorbell should start blinking green, then flash alternately red and green. Keep holding it down until the pace of the flashes change, resetting the SkyBell’s power cycle.

If that doesn’t work, try a hard reset. You’ll hold the main button down for one minute. It’ll start blinking green, then flash alternately red and green. Keep holding it until the LED goes from a rapid blinking blue to a rapid blinking yellow. Once you let go, the SkyBell should start blinking red and green again, which means it’s ready to start resyncing.

SkyBell app

Once you’re all set up, the SkyBell app will be where you control everything for your video doorbell. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to navigate. It lets you control your doorstep and get push notifications so you can see who’s coming to dinner—whether you expect them or not. From the app, you can also watch video on demand, check out your recording history, enable silent mode, and talk to people at your front door.

Price

SkyBell’s video doorbell cameras are priced similarly to others on the market. Both the SkyBell HD and the SkyBell Trim Pro retail for about $199—that’s the same price as the August Doorbell Cam Pro and the Ring Video Doorbell 2.

One advantage SkyBell has is its cloud storage. August and Ring’s wireless doorbells may be similarly priced, but you’ll also have to pay at least $5 a month to access up to seven days of videos. With SkyBell, you can access a week’s worth of recordings for free.

Compatibility

As far as smart home automation goes, SkyBell is compatible with Alexa and Google Home, but only for simple commands. You can tell Alexa to turn on silent mode or command Google Home to start recording—but that’s about it. You won’t be able to stream live video from the SkyBell on your Echo Show or your Google Nest Hub Max. And you won’t be able to pair it with your Apple HomeKit devices at all.

SkyBell also works with Samsung SmartThings, Honeywell Total Connect, and IFTTT, the latter of which gives you a bit more integration. You can have your porch light turn on when SkyBell’s sensor detects motion, or even save all records of motion detection in a Google Doc.

Plus, SkyBell can be paired with many home security systems. Brinks, Link Interactive, and Frontpoint all offer SkyBell as part of their security packages.

SkyBell vs. Ring

DoorbellSkyBell HDSkyBell Trim ProRing 2Ring Pro
Price*$220.15$164.98$199.00$249.0
What it
looks like
Ring Video Doorbell 2Ring Video Doorbell Pro
Power sourceHardwiredHardwiredWirelessHardwired
Resolution1080p HD1080p HD1080p HD1080p HD
Free cloud storageUp to seven daysUp to seven days
No

No
CompatibilityAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, SmartThingsAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, SmartThingsAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTTAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT
Learn moreView ProductView on AmazonShop NowShop Now
Doorbell
Price*
What it
looks like
Power source
Resolution
Free cloud storage
Compatibility
Learn more
SkyBell HD SkyBell Trim Pro Ring 2 Ring Pro
$220.15 $164.98 $199.00 $249.0
Ring Video Doorbell 2 Ring Video Doorbell Pro
Hardwired Hardwired Wireless Hardwired
1080p HD 1080p HD 1080p HD 1080p HD
Up to seven days Up to seven days
No

No
Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, SmartThings Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, SmartThings Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT
View Product View on Amazon Shop Now Shop Now

*Standard retail prices as of 8/9/2019. Prices and availability are subject to change and may vary by retailer.

Compared to SkyBell, Ring offers a bit more versatility with its smart doorbells. Because Amazon owns Ring, Ring doorbells let you do a lot more with Alexa: you can create routines, view your Ring devices on your Echo Spot or Fire TV, or teach your Amazon Echo devices to chime when your doorbell button is pressed. Ring also offers doorbells that you can use wirelessly or hardwire into your existing doorbell setup.

Still, you’ll shell out a little bit extra for cloud storage. Ring’s Protect Plan offers up to 60 days of video history, starting at $3 a month or $30 a year. But if you’re interested in smart home integration, it could be worth it. To learn more about Ring’s options, read our full review.

Our recommendation

With SkyBell HD and SkyBell Trim Pro, SkyBell offers two solid doorbell cameras with great features. SkyBell especially stands out as one of the only smart doorbell brands with free cloud storage up to seven days. And compared to the competition, it’s a lot more affordable than other smart doorbells. If you’re looking for a bargain, SkyBell could be a great fit.

>>Ring the bell. Get the SkyBell HD doorbell or the SkyBell Trim Pro.

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