The Best Smart Doorbell Cameras to Buy in 2018
Smart doorbell cameras work with your smartphone. They offer features including two-way talk, infrared lighting and motion detection. There are a variety of smart doorbell options, so keep reading to see Lifewire's best picks.
Best Overall: Ring’s Video Doorbell 2
Well-known in the video doorbell space, Ring’s Video Doorbell 2 is a superb choice for buyers looking for a great combination of price, features and ease-of-use. Available right out of the box with motion-activated alerts, 1080HD video (and video recording) and two-way talk, the Ring 2 instantly helps you keep watch over your house via Wi-Fi (and to your phone via cellular connectivity), whether you’re inside the house or on the other side of the world.
Capable of working with just about any home, the Ring 2 incorporates its own internal battery pack that lasts between six months and a year before needing to be re-charged. Beyond battery life, the Ring 2 allows you to monitor via night vision, as well as live video-on-demand through Ring’s subscription-based service (cloud-based storage is included). Compatible with both iOS, Android, Mac and Windows, the Ring 2 also offers a water-resistant design, plus two different color styles.
Zmodo’s budget-priced Greet Smart Doorbell is a standout option for the wallet-conscious shopper and includes many great features found on higher-priced models. The Zmodo offers two-way communication, so you can see and speak to visitors, plus smart motion detection that sends alerts via smartphone and records a short video clip whenever motion is sensed. And if you can’t answer the door, the Zmodo can play a brief, personalized voice message when you’re unavailable.
Beyond its mainstream features, the setup utilizes existing doorbell wiring and adds the Zmodo Beam as a dual Wi-Fi extender and Wi-Fi companion to the bell, which pairs quickly to the downloadable Android and iOS smartphone app. Once it’s installed, the 720p camera helps capture up to 8GB of video storage with an option for a subscription-based cloud backup service that combines with night vision, so you can see and remember who is at your door no matter the time of day. While it doesn’t offer true “HD” video capture at 1080p, the Zmodo offers just about every feature a smart doorbell shopper could want at a price that’s too good to pass up.
The iseeBell offers Wi-Fi connectivity at 2.4 GHz without the need of any wire setup or complicated installations. The tiny smart doorbell camera is compact (measuring 3.3 x 0.9 x 2.9 inches) and affordable.
With its dedicated smart app feature, the iseeBell connects to your iOS and Android devices through Wi-Fi, making it accessible to view live stream video from outside your home. The smart doorbell camera can also speak with visitors at your door, receive alerts and even snapshot pictures of any activity from remote locations. Shooting in 720p HD, the iseeBell gives a 180-degree ultra-wide lens field of motion, includes a night vision mode and pushes all its captured content to a convenient cloud storage system completely accessible from your mobile or desktop devices.
Available with a full HD camera and recording video at 1080p, Ring’s Doorbell Pro offers a feature-rich smart doorbell with Amazon Alexa compatibility. The Doorbell Pro includes more standardized options such as night vision (so you can see visitors during the evening hours) and a wide-angle 1080p camera for a complete view of your home’s entrance. Cloud recording enables you to maintain and view footage anytime, while automatic motion sensing sending alerts to your smartphone upon detecting any type of movement at the front door.
The ultra-slim design offers four interchangeable faceplates for pairing with the style of your home. The inclusion of Amazon Alexa allows Ring Pro owners to say “Alexa, how is my front door?” and see what’s going on right from your phone. Installation is easy: It just requires a connection to your existing doorbell since there’s no rechargeable battery option on-board.
The VueBell measures just 3 x 3 x 1 inches, making it one of the tiniest smart doorbells on the market to date. The compact doorbell security system is equipped with a camera that can wireless stream 720p HD video to your smartphone.
The VueBell’s camera gives users a 185-degree horizontal and 120-degree vertical camera view of their outside. It connects to your Wi-Fi network and allows for a remote view on its dedicated app through your iOS and Android mobile devices. The tiny smart doorbell even allows for two-way audio communication and has infrared vision up to 10 meters. Included in the app is a direct line to customer service, so if there’s any problem, you’ll have expedited troubleshooting right there on your mobile device.
If you're looking for a smart video doorbell that's quick and easy to install, check out the one from RemoBell. Available right out of the box with six AA batteries, there’s no need to hardwire the RemoBell to your existing doorbell. Just mount the included bracket by screwing it into the wall, snap the main unit on the bracket and, for added peace of mind, screw in the additional security screw. Beyond fast installation, the RemoBell adds two-way audio, infrared night vision, advanced motion sensors, low battery reminders, 256-bit AES security and a 120-degree viewing angle.
Additionally, the RemoBell is water- and weather-resistant (it's capable of withstanding temperatures 0 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. The included Cloud system for storing video is good, but it requires a small monthly subscription fee (and with no local storage, it’s a must if you want true security). Fortunately, each subscription works for up to five viewers, so it's possible to have multiple household members connected. Looking past storage, alerts come instantly via apps for both Android and iOS. While the lack of a desktop app is disappointing, the RemoBell offers great value, four months of battery life, inexpensive storage options and a great installation process.
Widely praised and one of the best-known options in the smart doorbell space, the SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell offers both a unique design and excellent feature set. Available with a 1080p camera and 5x zoom, it includes motion sensors to help identify if a visitor, whether wanted or otherwise, is at your door. Monitoring the door is a snap, thanks to the downloadable Android and iOS app that lets you view the doorway at any moment.
The design of the SkyBell is equally unique, trading the boring, rectangular style for a circular design that’s coated to help prevent rust. The included battery in the SkyBell HD is good enough to run the doorbell for a short time in the event of a power loss, but connecting to your existing doorbell wiring is the best solution for long-term use. The SkyBell HD really shines with its free cloud storage, which allows owners to record, download and view videos anytime, anywhere.
And in addition to being water-resistant, it's capable of operating in extreme temperatures (-40 to 149 degrees Fahrenheit), so whether you're living in Alaska or Arizona, you can still see who's ringing the bell.
The August Wi-Fi Video Doorbell has a contemporary, square, unassuming design that will fit well beside any door. And that unassuming design also gives you an added benefit, further hiding the device’s automatic flood light. The ultra-bright floodlight is what makes the video part of this doorbell extra sharp because it allows the camera to produce full HD, well-lit video even at night. Of course, the ring-style floodlight will also alarm intruders or stray animals as they approach the front door.
But the real standout feature for this smart cam is its app connectivity and the simplicity of its controls. Like a lot of camera-based doorbells, you can connect it via Wi-Fi and stream the live imagery straight to the dedicated app on your phone. But the elegant controls also let you replay video, hear what’s going on, talk back through the doorbell (whether to converse with a friendly guest or try to scare away a malicious one), and you can even lock and unlock the door itself with a single tap right from the same interface. It doesn't have all the flashiness of the more brand-recognized devices, but in this case, that simplicity works in its favor.
VEIU is one of your classic Kickstarter happy endings; starting in 2016 in the center of the tech universe Silicon Valley, VEIU has a focus and dedication to smart doorbells that not a whole lot of other brands can claim, and it gave them the edge to reach their goal very quickly.
They’ve packed a lot of thought behind the features, even if they are slightly limited compared to units from Ring and the like. To start, it comes in a few colors ranging from black to a copper-y gold, so you’ll be able to meld it with whatever your home’s style is.
The installation is super simple as it’s a rechargeable, battery-powered unit, so it can be hooked up in no time. The smartphone app is one of the best out there and lets you access the feed anywhere, anytime. But, if you’d prefer not to use your cell phone every time, there’s the option to use a series of LCD screens inside to see what’s going on.
The fisheye-style, 180-degree lens leaves no inherent blind spots, and the IR night vision gives you full sight even when it’s dark. Finally, unlike most of the other systems, each unit comes standard with 2GB of cloud storage for free, plus you can expand the internal storage with up to 32GB via micro SD. So, it’ll be a while before you have a shortage of space to store video.
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