With a motion-activated camera, two-way audio and brilliant HD video, you’ll never miss a visitor again. See, hear and speak to anyone at your door in real time from your smartphone, tablet or desktop. We liked what we saw, and decided to create a list of the best Smart Doorbells this year.
With the recent surge in smart home technology, we have tackled topics like Best Smart Speakers of the year, looking at smart voice assistants like Alexa, and Google Assistant.
Smartwatches had a huge year back when Fitbit came out, and Apple introduced the Apple Watch – check out our article on Best Smartwaches.
The next step has come in the form of wireless security cameras that double as doorbells. Who saw that one coming? Ring did. We look into all the competitors as we review the best smart doorbell cameras of this year.
Ring was one of the first companies to introduce internet connected doorbells, with it’s Ring Doorbell. As demand increased, the number of companies joining the Smart Doorbell niche has increased tremendously. Companies like Zmodo, SkyBell Technologies, Nest even Google are now competing to have the best Smart Doorbell.
To help simplify the process, we decided to review some of the Smart Doorbells that have come out since Ring was first introduced. We take a look at video capabilities, design, feel, firmware and functionality so we can layout the best Smart Doorbell cameras to help simplify the process for you.
Best Overall: Ring Doorbell 2
Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell
Due to the Ring Doorbell 2‘s ability to easily connect to its smartphone app, and overall provide a more reliable connection for many users, the Ring Doorbell 2 takes the win for the best smart doorbell of this year.
It has a colorful 1080p daytime video recording and sharp night vision making it easy to see who is a the door. The Ring Video 2 comes equipped with two-way talk and WiFi connectivity to instantly watch over your house no matter if you are inside or on the other side of the world.
Not only is the video quality amazing, but it also offers multiple motion detection zones. Trigger an alert whenever visitors press your doorbell, or trigger rings built in motion sensors! This gives you the ability to never miss a package, or catch anyone snooping around your door.
The Ring Doorbell 2 also comes with support for Amazon devices using Alexa voice commands. Easily charge your doorbell with the quick-release rechargeable battery pack or hardwire it to your existing doorbell if you don’t want to deal with recharging the battery.
Optional, If you want to have the ability to record and playback videos, you can pay an extra $3/mo. or $30/year for the additional storage. There are also upgrades and packages available. Best Smart Doorbell / Video Doorbell of this year!
Another top spot on the list of best smart doorbell cameras of 2018, Ring Doorbell Pro comes packed with features. Sleekly designed and equipped with a full 1080p recording and HD camera, the Ring Doobell pro takes that and raises it with infrared night vision!
Protect your home / business—day or night.
Advanced motion detection!
Allowing you to create customizable motion zones that let you monitor high-traffic areas while avoiding false alarms. Check-in on your home at any time with Live View!
Compatible with iOS, Android, Mac and Windows 10 devices
The Ring Doorbell pro comes with a pre-buffering feature which records before the motion sensor is triggered and it is also Amazon Alexa compatible.
Ring Doorbell Pro comes enabled with cloud recording allowing you to view your front door footage at any time. This smart doorbell does not come with rechargeable batteries, it only requires a connection to your existing doorbell.
It lets you check-in on your home at any time with Live View, so you can watch video on demand at your convenience, and our optional Cloud Video Recording service lets you review, save and share videos captured by your Ring Pro.
It also has weatherproof construction and infrared night vision, so you can monitor your home around the clock—day or night, rain or shine. That is a ridiculous upgrade.
A sleek design with four interchangeable faceplates and enhanced security features make the new Ring Pro our most advanced doorbell yet.
A tough split decision for best smart doorbell, but a close runner up, the Skybell HD doorbell has a lot to offer! The HD image has the best quality, and somehow offers ‘full-color’ night vision! Built for tough weather, the Skybell HD Smart doorbell is water resistant and is functional no matter the season.
One of the reasons we loved the Skybell HD was because it comes with free cloud storage allowing you to view and download videos at any time. There are four different video quality settings that you can choose from 480p, 720p, and 1080p and 5x Zoom.
In addition to the multiple HD settings, did we mention the SKybell HD comes with ‘full-color’ night camera? The free cloud storage allows you to record and see what happens when you are away on vacation. Because it is connected to the cloud, it actually can pick up motion seconds before the motion sensor was activated, allowing you to see more of the full picture!
Another feature we liked was that Skybell’s LED indicators are also customizable, allowing you to choose from way too many options!
One reason this did not make top of the list, is that the Skybell HD has a little trouble staying connected to WiFi. It did not perform too well with our router, and we had to move the router closer to the front door to perfect it. You will need to know your WiFi speed to choose the correct HD setting to avoid the camera from lagging.
However, they do make it easy on you after purchase. This smart doorbell has a downloadable app compatible with Android or IOS which comes with step-by-step instructions making it easier to install your Skybell HD.
Nest Hello $229
The Nest Hello, Nest Labs has joined the Smart Home Industry with a variety of products, including their line of Smart Doorbells. At $229.00, Nest Hello works in tandem with Google Assistant, and the Wi-Fi-enabled HD camera to the doorbell allows you see who’s at the door from your smartphone, tablet, or computer whether you’re at home or elsewhere, so you’ll never miss a visitor or package. It makes our list of best smart doorbell cameras of 2018.
Smart A.I. allows for recognition of people and packages, while two-way audio allows you to converse with visitors or, tell those damn kids to get off your lawn. The Nest Hello is rated to temps above 14 degrees F, (-10 C). Installation does require you to install a small module in the chime and then replace the doorbell.
As far as recording, $5/month will allow you the ability to archive your video feed for the Nest Hello to view later. This subscription to Aware includes facial recognition, and people at your door will be announced by name. Not creepy at all. Although free live 24/7 streaming is still an available option, recorded playback will be limited to the past 3 hours only.
The video feed was one of the better ones we viewed, and the WiFi connection was solid. If you have Google Assistant products, the Nest Hello will surely be the doorbell for you, as it connects with Google Assistant, and various other products.
The Zmodo Smart Greet WiFi video doorbell deserves an honorable mention on our list of best doorbell cameras due to its price of $59.99 found on Amazon. Some of the specs of the smart doorbell include on-demand video with a new HD wide-angle lens that gives you a clear view of your entire space. With that being said, you can answer the door wherever you are, see and speak with visitors directly from your smartphone. This smart doorbell will send you alerts with a video recorded clip whenever motion is detected.
The set up is fairly similar to other smart doorbells mentioned before. The Zmodo Smart Greet simply connects to your existing home doorbell wiring. Zmodo offers its cloud service: Motion alert clips are saved in the cloud for 36 hours for free. All users are also eligible for a 30-day free trial of our 7 day cloud recording plan. Paid cloud recording plans for storing 24/7 footage are available in 7 and 30 day plans. With the paid plan options, you can review, save, and share footage at any time, and reduce false alerts with cloud intelligence
If you are considering purchasing the August Doorbell cam pro 2 this is what you should know before committing. Unlike other best smart doorbell cameras that are tall and slim, the Cam Pro 2 comes uniquely squared shape with an oversized button. The dimensions for the second generation of the Doorbell cam pro are 0.9 x 2.9 x 2.9 inches, making it a bit wide for for some areas.
The August Doorbell Cam Pro 2 is Alexa compatible for voice control. The camera records in HD video, and also has two-way audio making it easy to answer your door as if you were home. Know who’s there from anywhere, get real-time alerts on your phone whenever someone approaches your doorstep, even when you’re not home. The free, Basic Video Recording subscription, lets you replay any videos from the last 24 hours. Upgrade to Premium Video Recording to access 30 days of stored video recordings. A subscription costs $5 per month or $50 if paid annually.
This smart doorbell does not come in an wireless install option so you will have to install it to your existing doorbell wiring. No worries, August provides an app with a step by step installation guide with pictures based on whether you’re installing on concrete, brick, stucco, cement, wood, drywall, or vinyl siding.
The wisenet SmartCam made it on our list of best smart doorbell cameras because of its Face Recognition with human detection, night vision, two way talk, and the ability to be saved to the cloud.
Face Recognition w/ Human Detection: Receive alerts when visitors are detected at your front door. Create a list of your favorite guests and get alerts when the SmartCam D1 recognizes them. Abnormal Sound Detection: SmartCam D1 notifies you when it detects significant sounds outside your home so you never miss another event again.
Night Vision: Produces sharp and clear videos around-the-clock with True Day and Night by adjusting accordingly to the lighting conditions of its location. Storage Temperature / Humidity -30℃ ~ +50℃ / Less than 90% RH. Input Voltage / Current : Wired AC(16~24V), 10VA
Two-Way Talk: With a fully integrated two-way microphone and speaker, you can greet you visitors through the SmartCam+ app. Cloud Storage: Save your video recordings onto Smart Cloud by selecting from one of our subscription plans.
Our Top Pick: Ring Doorbell 2
The Ring Doorbell 2 won our top pick and best smart doorbell of 2018, as the most reliable, the easiest to install without having to use hard wires. The ability to install this doorbell anywhere without the hard wiring is one of the main selling points. As a bonus, the Ring Doorbell 2 works with Alexa, and IFTTT.
Pros: Reliability, and wire free capabilities! Seemlessly connects to Wi-fi and stays connected, giving you the protection you were looking for in the first place.
Cons: It is a little bulky compared to other doorbells.
Who should buy it: Anyone who wants to know where their packages are, keep track of who is at their door, and overall just keep an extra lookout on your front door. Great gift for Fathers Day, Mothers Day, Christmas, Birthdays, or a gift for yourself.