A door bell is a very simple part of nearly every home and no longer does it need to be just a doorbell – now it can be a video doorbell.
Big household names like Amazon and Nest are now battling for a share of this ever growing market, not to mention the smaller manufacturers like Skybell and VueBel.
In this guide we talk you through the biggest of the market and help you choose which smart doorbell is right for you!
What is the point in a Video Doorbell?
The doorbell was invented back in 1831, believe it or not, since then it has came a long way. However the most common form of doorbell is still a simple button that makes a sound inside the house. The doorbell at first was a simple bit of tech to tell you someone is at your door. It worked perfectly for many years until criminals realised they could take advantage of the homeowner not knowing who was at the door. This sparked the invention of the intercom doorbell, initially only audio but then video allowing you to see and communicate with the person on the other side of the door.
But there is a big drawback, what if you are not home?
This is why Video Doorbells were invented, allowing you to answer your door, see who is there and communicate with them wherever you are via your smartphone!
What do I need to think about?
Smart doorbells come packed with features which will definitely tempt you to get one. Install one in your home and eliminate the need to get to the door to open it. Simply get live footage of the person on your doorstep on your smartphone as well as voice interaction. From there on if you need to open the door some devices will even do that for you with a simple command from your phone. Also the video doorbell is multipurpose, you have the camera for surveillance not just in the day but with night vision technology even in the darkness.
There are various devices on the market now and some even have voice recognition intelligence, but first there is one main thing to consider, installation. If you are already using a wired doorbell then installing the smart doorbell will be an easy task. However if you are using a wireless doorbell which is battery operated, you would have less options to choose from.
Once you have the basic requirement right we still have one more thing to consider, storage.
Cloud storage is vital for a smooth smart device experience as you need a place to store the ‘missed rings’ as well as having a look at who has been at your door.
This storage feature costs around £20 per year with most brands.
Ring Video Doorbell
Ring, or Ring 2 if looking at the latest model was formerly known as Doorbot.They first came to market back in 2013 and appeared on the USA hit show Shark Tank.
Ring has a HD camera and offers a 160 degree view. The design of the Ring 2 is not as sleek as other devices out in the market. The device is battery operated (rechargeable) which justifies the bulky look. However if you had wired doorbell you can attach the wires to Ring avoiding the need to recharge. Unlike traditional doorbells Ring Wi-Fi doorbell does not make a sound inside your house. The notification is all via their app installed on your phone. If you would like to sound in your home you need to purchase a separate Ring Chime. They also have a range of Chimes that include Wi-Fi extenders, designed for large houses with Wi-Fi issues.
For more details read of Ring Doorbell review.
Priced same as Ring 2 at £149 we have its competitor SkyBell. It offers the same video quality but with an additional option to zoom in as well as take pictures. Security wise if someone lures around your door for more than 10 seconds it will record it. SkyBell has free storage and intelligent security system. Design wise it is round and looks a little dated. The main problem with Skybell is it only works with a hard wired connection, meaning you need a professional and it can be expensive.
August Doorbell Camera
Another Competitor at the same price is August Doorbell camera. Like the other two devices it has two way audio option and motion sensing feature. What sets it apart is the floodlights which will aid night vision of the camera. When integrated with August Smart Lock you can open or close your door using the app from your sofa. This doorbell is also wired and its battery is only for backup.
The most expensive option at the moment is Nest Hello priced at £229 slightly higher than its rivals. The price is justified by higher resolution offered by the camera but depends on the user if they really need it. Even though the field view is the same as Ring there are a few more interesting features. Not only is it sleek and slim it will sense human presence by body heat and start recording It also comes a wireless chime which you have to purchase separately for Ring.
What is the best Wirelss Doorbell?
Overall Ring and Hello seem to be a tie when comparing features and price. Personally Ring is our favourite due to the Amazon integrations.