Whether you’re in a house or apartment, making sure your home is safe while you’re away is a key priority, and there’s no better way to do that than with one of the best smart doorbells on this list. Our favorite smart doorbell that can deter thieves while providing you with peace of mind is the Nest Hello. But Nest isn’t the only great smart doorbell available; we’ve compiled a list of eight of the best on the market! See which one works for you.
Best Smart Doorbell Overall: Nest Hello
Source: Android Central
I love this smart doorbell. It costs a little more than average, but you get plenty of features that make the price worth it. For one thing, you can set it up to give you alerts whenever it detects motion in specific areas of your yard. What’s more, it has facial recognition abilities, so it can tell you if a particular friend is approaching before they even ring the bell. The camera operates at 1600×1200 with HDR for clear video quality. When the camera senses that it gets dark, it automatically switches to night vision. It’s in grayscale, but it’s clearer than many other cameras on the market.
When I was trying to decide between doorbell cameras for my home, I landed on this one. Unlike some others, it’s always recording. Doorbell cams that only turn on when they detect motion sometimes turn on too late, making it so owners can’t see the faces of those who’ve stolen packages from their porch. With the Nest Hello, I can go through the log and see everything that happened within the past few days. The app even allows me to zoom in for a closer look.
There are a few things that might give people pause when buying this device. For one thing, it requires a hardwired connection. It needs to work with the proper transformer so some folks, especially those in older houses, might need to purchase one of those as well.
Finally, like many other smart doorbells, this one requires a subscription if you want to view recordings, and you’ll need to pay per camera (though you do get the service at a discount if you have multiple cameras). The service is called Nest Aware, and you have the option of paying $6 per month for a 30-day plan, or $12 per month for a 60-day plan.
- Non-stop recording
- Great video quality
- Smart home integration
- Facial recognition
- Can set motion zones
- Zoom ability
- Hardwired connection
- Subscription costs
- More expensive than others
Best Smart Doorbell Overall
An excellent doorbell camera
Monitor live feeds at any time and set specific motion zones for camera alerts with the Nest Hello.
Best Smart Doorbell on a Budget: Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen)
If you’re looking for a way to monitor your home without spending too much, you should consider the Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen). It doesn’t have as many features as other smart doorbells, but it does an excellent job with the things it can do. It has a 1080p camera and better audio recording and night vision, which are both improvements on previous models. Still, its 155-degree field of view is a bit lower than some other more premium doorbell cameras. You can also set it to monitor specific, closer areas of your yard. That way, it will only send alerts if it sees people in your yard rather than cars driving past on the street.
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons to get this doorbell is the incredibly easy installation. It comes with all the tools you need to install it, and it’s designed to either function using a battery or by being hardwired to your home. When the battery life gets low, it will send you a notification so you can recharge it. It typically takes 10 hours to reach a full charge and should last roughly 12 months.
This little device connects to your Wi-Fi, allowing you to monitor and control it using the Ring app or smart home services like Amazon Alexa or IFTTT. Link it to your accounts, and you can use it to talk with those on your porch via two-way communication, or simply to view motion detection alerts.
The biggest downside to this doorbell is that it only records when it detects motion. As with the other doorbell cameras on this list, you’ll need to pay a subscription to access videos. You can pay $10 per month for a Protect Plus Plan or $3 per month for a Protect Basic Plan.
- Can set motion zones
- Works with Amazon Alexa
- Improved audio recording and night vision
- Relatively small 155-degree field of view
- Only records when it detects motion
Best Smart Doorbell on a Budget
An inexpensive smart doorbell
This is one of the cheapest doorbells you can find. Plus you can use it wired or wireless.
Best Smart Doorbell for Data Security: Eufy Video Doorbell 2K
Eufy is one of the brands under the Anker umbrella, and the company has been making high-quality and reliable smart home appliances for quite some time. In fact, some of our favorite security cameras are made by Eufy! One reason is the quality craftsmanship, but the more significant reason is that your data is safe, secure, and local.
As an actual video doorbell camera, the Eufy measures up well on its own. This version has 2K resolution, a 4:3 aspect ratio for better viewing, and built-in AI human detection capabilities. Its large capacity battery can last six months on a single charge, and it is a cinch to install quickly. Not only can you interact with guests in real-time, no matter where you are, but you can also record up to three “instant” responses for visitors like solicitors, delivery drivers, or gardeners.
Our favorite thing about this camera, however, is that it’s a one-time purchase. You get built-in, 256-bit encryption to protect or data, which can be stored locally on the included Homebase hub unit. There are wireless and wired versions available, but you should note that the wireless version cannot do pre-roll buffering as the wired unit can.
- Local storage included
- 256-bit encryption
- 2K resolution
- 4:3 aspect ratio
- Advanced AI human detection
- IP65 weatherproof
- Wireless version can’t do pre-roll buffering
- Wireless version has shorter viewing angles than wired
- Can be quite large
Best Smart Doorbell for Data Security
Local, safe data storage
The Eufy video doorbell is renowned for its local storage options. It’s great if you don’t want a cloud subscription.
Best Smart Doorbell for Apartments or Condos: Ring Video Doorbell 3
Ring is a home security company owned by Amazon. As such, it’s not surprising to learn that Ring devices work super well with the Echo Show (2nd Gen), the Echo Show 8, or the Echo Show 5 to help you monitor your front yard or engage in two-way conversations with those on your porch. If your smart home is already primarily made up of Alexa devices, this is an excellent doorbell for you.
This camera offers the same 1080p video quality as the previous generation, but it adds improved motion detection and privacy zones. You also get dual-band 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Wi-Fi support. Something I appreciate is that it’s super easy to install since it can be either battery-powered or hardwired into your home. Since the hardwiring is optional, it’s a great option to use on apartments and condos where permanent changes might not be allowed.
As with other Ring doorbells, this one only starts recording when it detects motion. Just be aware that several users have reported that their doorbell has only started recording once someone has already stolen a package or stolen the doorbell itself. Others have said that the doorbell helped them see intruders or even scare them off before they did anything. It will just depend on how quickly your doorbell decides to turn on. As with other Ring doorbells, you’ll need to pay a subscription if you want to view recordings.
- Battery or hardwired connection
- Easy installation
- Privacy zones
- 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Wi-Fi bands
- Motion detection with adjustable zones
- Triggered recording
- Must pay a subscription to view recordings
Best Smart Doorbell for Apartments or Condos
A sleek doorbell with quality video
The Ring Video Doorbell 3 allows you to choose between a battery or a wired connection for power, making it perfect for renters.
Best Smart Doorbell for Alexa: Ring Video Doorbell Pro
Of all of Ring’s video doorbells, I like the shape of this one the most. Since it’s smaller and slimmer than the others, it’s more likely to fit on the door frame or wherever else your current doorbell resides. It’s the most expensive unit on this list, but it also offers some features you won’t find elsewhere. For one thing, it supports both a 5GHz and a 2.4GHz wireless connection, so you’re more likely to get it to work on your Wi-Fi without connectivity issues.
Within the app, you can draw your own motion zones. I love this since it makes it so you only get notifications if someone is on your property rather than every time a car passes by. The resolution is a beautiful 1080p, which will give you a clearer view of porch guests than many other doorbell cameras do.
This doorbell does require a hardwired connection, so you’ll need to do the wiring work to make that possible. Additionally, this Ring doorbell comes with a Pro Power Kit, that must be installed inside your home for the doorbell to work correctly. The thing with this kit is that it needs the right kind of transformer to work correctly, so you might need to go out and purchase a new one. As with other Ring doorbells, you’ll need to pay a subscription to view recordings.
- Detects motion better than other Rings
- 1080p video resolution
- Allows for 5GHz connection
- Can draw your own motion zones
- Requires hardwired connection
- Pro Power Kit installation required
- Might need to upgrade transformer
Best Smart Doorbell for Alexa
A powerful doorbell that supports 5GHz
This premium Ring doorbell features a sleek design, offers 1080p video quality, and allows you to draw your own motion zones.
Best Smart Doorbell Peephole Upgrade: Ring Peephole Cam
Sometimes pulling out your phone to check to see who’s on your front porch feels a little slow or even a little silly, especially when you’re standing right behind the door. In these situations, it would be nice just to have something that worked as both a door camera and a peephole. Enter the Ring Peephole Cam. It’s small and installs in place of your existing peephole to give you both an in-person and digital view of porch guests.
You can also set motion zones and make it so that the Ring device only alerts you if it sees movement in specified areas of your yard. One of the reasons this device is so easy to install is because it’s battery-powered. You don’t have to do any wiring to make it function. Now, if you don’t already have a peephole in your door, the installation will be more of a challenge. In that case, you’ll either need to drill a hole into your door or hire someone to do it for you.
As far as doorbells go, this one has a decent camera. It features a 1080p video for a clearer viewing experience. Additionally, the device features both a camera and a microphone. Using the app, you’ll be able to talk with porch guests and hear their responses from anywhere. However, while some other buzzers feature HDR video, that’s not something you’ll find with this unit. Since this is an Amazon product, the camera only works with one smart home service: Amazon Alexa. If you prefer a different smart home assistant, this won’t be the ideal option for you.
- Physical peephole
- 1080p HD video quality
- Can set motion zones
- Two-way communication
- Only works with Alexa
- Drilling a peephole might be daunting.
- No HDR video
Best Smart Doorbell Peephole Upgrade
A smart doorbell with a keyhole view
The Ring Peephole Cam is easy to install indoors that already have a peephole. It’s also battery-powered!
Best Smart Doorbell for Local Storage: EZVIZ WiFi Video Doorbell
You might be noticing a trend on this list. Most of these smart video doorbells are made by companies that also make some of our favorite smart video security cameras. EZVIZ is another name that can be added to that list, and the company’s video doorbell has quite a lot going for it.
For starters, it has an impressive 180-degree field of view. That in and of itself is impressive, and on the higher end of the spectrum as far as video doorbells go, but what makes this option really unique is that the 180 degrees is vertical. Yes, you can still see quite a bit side-to-side, but this camera lets you see as much as possible top-to-bottom.
Aside from that neat trick, this is an HD camera that supports dual-band Wi-Fi at 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz and has night vision capable of seeing out to 16 feet. The doorbell is also fairy weatherproof, boasting IP65 dust and water resistance.
Best of all, you get a free, ongoing, three hours of cloud storage to go along with support for up to 128GB in expandable storage via a microSD card. Now that’s some impressive storage options!
- 180-degree vertical field of view
- Three hours of rolling cloud storage included
- IP65 water and dust protection
- Supports microSD local storage up to 128GB
- Three different colored doorbell faceplates included
- Horizontal viewing angle is among the shortest we’ve seen
- No battery-powered option
Best Smart Doorbell for Local Storage
Store all of your videos locally
This doorbell has some fun extras like a 180-degree vertical field of view and large-capacity local storage options.
Best Smart Doorbell for Pre-roll Recording: Arlo Video Doorbell
Like Eufy, Arlo is another one of our favorite smart video security brands that are not owned by Google or Amazon. The company’s security cameras are regularly among our top picks, and it makes a smart audio doorbell that is also a great find.
Like every other smart video doorbell on this list, Arlo’s offering has advanced motion detection, two-way audio, HD and HDR quality video, and night vision. It also has a built-in siren to scare away unwanted guests. Its 4:3 aspect ratio means you’ll be able to see more of who or what is at your front door. It also comes with both local and cloud storage options for accessing your video data, including three months of free Arlo Smart cloud storage.
Our favorite feature of this doorbell, however, is what Arlo calls Foresight. Foresight is Arlo’s pre-roll recording technology, and it captures up to three seconds of video before the initial motion sensors are triggered, giving you a better comprehensive picture of your doorstep visits.
- Arlo Foresight pre-recorded video
- 180-degree field of view
- Three months of Arlo Smart cloud recording included
- Can connect with Arlo Smart Hub for local storage options
- Foresight only available with subscription
- Motion zones can be a bit sensitive
Best Smart Doorbell for Pre-roll Recording
Capture it before it happens
This doorbell captures up to three seconds of pre-roll footage, so you have a complete picture of who visited your doorstep.
Best Smart Doorbell Top choice
When you’re looking to protect your home and deliveries, a smart doorbell is the way to go. There are several options on the market to choose from. We did the research and collected the best of the best for a variety of uses. When you go to purchase a smart doorbell, you’ll want to consider a few things. Things like whether or not you want a wired connection, what kind of subscription plan you’re willing to pay for, the size of the smart doorbell, and of course, the price of the device itself.
We highly recommend the Nest Hello as it records non-stop instead of only recording when it detects motion. It also features 1080p of HDR video quality for a clearer view of guests and trespassers. Best of all, you can set detection zones and make it so the device can tell if a human is approaching rather than a car or animal. It even offers facial recognition to let you know if a friend is approaching your door.
Rebecca Spear loves keeping up-to-date with the latest and greatest electronics. She is a life-long gamer and a writer who has written hundreds of online articles over the past four years. On any given day, you’ll find her drawing with her Wacom tablet, playing video games, or reading a good book.
Jeramy Johnson is proud to help Keep Austin Weird and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he’s not writing about smart home gadgets and wearables, he’s defending his relationship with his smart voice assistants to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.
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