Some of our young readers will probably have difficulty relating to the old fashioned peephole and door chain that the rest of us grew up with. Walking up to the front door and looking through the the only way we could check to see who was on the other side of the door when the bell rang.
But there are times when you’re really busy and can’t get to the door in time. Or you’re just so tired after a gruelling day at work and you just don’t feel like getting up. We’ve all been there, wishing we could remotely take a peek at who’s outside before getting up – especially if it’s a salesman!
Thanks to modern technology, you can now do all of the above from wherever you’re sitting or lounging around in your house from the convenience of your phone. In fact, not only can you see who’s standing outside your door, but also talk to them with two way audio.
|Ring Video Doorbell||9.5/10||
|SkyBell HD Video Doorbell||9.0/10||
|Ding Smart Doorbell||8.2/10||
|RemoBell Video Doorbell||7.3/10||
- Ring Video Doorbell 2
- Zmodo Greet
- SkyBell HD Video Doorbell
- Ding Smart Doorbell
- RemoBell Video Doorbell
One of the most convenient features of the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is the extremely simple setup process, meaning the device can be installed in a few minutes and up an running in a few more after that. The device does not need to be plugged in to your mains, because it relies on a large rechargeable battery.
Once you’ve set up the device, you need to set a perimeter of sorts so the device can monitor the comings and goings of visitors. If you don’t have a lot of room between your door and the main street where a lot of movement occurs regularly, you should turn off this feature as it can get annoying very quickly. It is extremely accurate though, so you should know that if you are using this feature, there won’t be a lot of false positives.
When a visitor is standing at your doorstep and touches the button on the panel, the device will sound off a tone. Simultaneously, your mobile phone (that is connected to the device via the app) will receive an alert that you can tap on. The device starts the camera while all of this is happening, so the moment you select the alert, you have an image of the visitor waiting for you.
You can now decide to answer, or reject via the application. As you can imagine, choosing to decline will turn off the camera and your interaction ends there. But if you pick the option to answer, you will be connected via a two way audio system that lets you talk to your caller. Now while you can hear the other party extremely well, the ambient sound on the outside might be a little to loud for them to hear you – depending on where you live.
Another thing is absolutely wonderful about the Ring Smart Video Doorbell 2 is the ability to watch your front door all day long. This is even more useful if you have a motion alert set up and with a Ring cloud subscription (which is optional, I don’t use it myself) you can keep a log of every person that comes up to your door, even if they don’t press the button. The video from these callers is also saved onto the cloud, which can be downloaded and reviewed at any time.
If you decide this device is the one you want to choose, we highly recommend investing in the optional solar charging mount that can extend your battery life by a few days during winter and much more during warmer days. The Chime Pro and the standard Chime are also excellent additions if you want a specific sound to go off in a particular room, while also ensuring that your device can come within range of your Wi-Fi router especially if you’ve placed it further away inside your house.
The Zmodo Greet is an excellent device that has almost everything the competition can currently offer. If even adds some features not found in other devices, like an in-built storage system and better weatherproof design, excellent picture quality and a 115 degree wide field of view.
Zmodo Greet didn’t support any form of cloud storage for the longest time, though the company has since added support for 30 day video recordings with a subscription. You’ll need to pay per camera that you use and the company gives you a discount of 50% on each additional camera. The device comes with an internal storage capacity of 8 gigabytes, which should cover your needs for a short while, especially if you don’t want the cloud subscription.
You can set what the company calls “Quiet Hours” from the app on your phone and the device will make sure that you are not disturbed by any unwanted visitors during that time period. Now you might wonder “what if I don’t want to be disturbed but don’t want to miss any callers?” – Zmodo has you covered. The device allows for a special message to be set from the app that plays over the speaker when you’re too busy to answer, or you’re outside and no one’s home.
The camera on the device records at 720p high definition, making sure that the quality of the video shows on your mobile screen when you choose to stream it. The device also has a microphone on board, allowing for two way audio communication with your visitor. Keep in mind that only you will have video access, this is to protect homeowners from anyone on the outside being able to see you – especially if they’re unwanted guests.
The Zmodo Greet device is an all round performer and the company has worked hard to rectify the mistakes they made on the first generation device. Improvements to overall build quality and the feature set make it a compelling addition to our list of the best smart video doorbells.
Modify the quality of the video that the SkyBell records when you begin to stream to adapt to network constraints. With a lower limit of 480p and an upper limit of 720p, this gives you enough legroom to modify your video quality without worrying about bandwidth issues or data charges. This is a useful addition that other great options like the Ring Video Doorbell 2 do not provide being locked at 1080p.
The SkyBell works with both Alexa for voice control giving you a level of interconnectivity with a host of other services that works well no matter what the requirement. You can ask the device to begin or stop recording or disable the ring. Additionally, the device can take a snapshot of the caller and display it on your phone. The SkyBell is missing IFTTT functionality which is slightly disappointing, considering the device is extremely well designed and would have benefited greatly from additional automation methods.
With a stable phone connection, which is low on battery consumption – notifications are instantaneous. That means if you (hypothetically) have another video doorbell installed, you will probably notice the SkyBell alerts you a few seconds before the other devices. This probably has to do with excellent network optimization on the SkyBell, which is great.
Customizing everything seems to be the motto of the team behind the SkyBell HD Video Doorbell. You can actually customize the color of the LED light on the outside. You can also turn on or off the sound that your doorbell will emit when a visitor presses the button. In fact, not only will it let you mute the sound on the inside, but also disable it from ringing outside which could be handy if you don’t want to tell the rest of the street that you have visitors.
The Ding smart doorbell is a video doorbell that is designed to bring your doorbell to life with features designed to make your life indoors easier whenever you have a caller at your doorstep. While it is an entry level device and the cheapest of Zmodo’s entire smart doorbell range, it is still an excellent product that works as advertised, earning a spot on this list with the others.
You can customize the message that your Ding will play when someone rings the doorbell while you’re outside. The device lets you record a specialized voice message for this purpose, which is great. You can also check for access and grant household help like pet walkers and housekeepers to help them keep your house safe when you’re not at home yourself. These access permissions can easily be revoked so you can adjust the settings as necessary if someone doesn’t work for you anymore or just doesn’t need access for a while.
The device provides you with 720p high definition video that can display a 145 degree view of your front porch. The app allows you to quickly pan around your feed to take a look at any time – the best part is that this works at any time, not just when someone rings the bell.
As opposed to the other devices manufactured by the company, this device has the unique advantage of a six month trial of the full cloud recording. This is probably geared at bringing in more users who are likely to pick up the Ding smart doorbell thanks to the price and the functionality provided at that price.
This is one of the biggest smart doorbells on the market, but don’t let its size fool you – the large chassis does not translate to a feature rich device and we were not thoroughly impressed by the device. Even so, it ticks enough boxes to make it to this list – which we’ll explain below.
One of the biggest advantages to this device is the four month battery life (with regular use) which is four times longer than the Ring Video Doorbell 2. However, unlike the latter, you can’t dislodge the batteries from the unit to charge it, you have to take the entire unit off the mount and charge it.
You can pick from three preset video resolutions when you’re choosing the video quality to stream, pick 480p if your internet isn’t very fast or the 720p if bandwidth issues aren’t a concern. Considering that you’ll be uploading videos to the cloud, you might want to check your settings as uploading 720p videos over a slow connection or a limited one can be a very undesirable experience.
The RemoBell Video Doorbell doesn’t support any sort of wiring, and as a result, you can only receive notifications on your phone. This is less than ideal for those that are used to the ring of a traditional doorbell and let’s face it – we don’t have our faces glued to our phone or our phones around us at all times,so it is very easy to miss someone at the door.
The notifications for the app are quick, you will generally receive a notification in a second or less, which is better than at least two other devices we tested on this list. There’s another thing that gets on your nerves if you’re someone who wants to check the front door at any time – this device only lets you look at the live view when someone rings the bell.
You can also set your RemoCam to switch off your TV or any other device that can be toggled with the same technology (infrared remotes) and control them via the Remo app. The device allows you to store a month’s recordings for $3.99 which is not too expensive, but avoidable if you already use a monthly cloud subscription for your smart home security camera.
Overall, this device seems like it ticks the right boxes for some while ending up being inadequate for the others. We would recommend that you pick any of the other devices instead, as they offer a much better experience for the asking price.
Most of the features discussed above will be important or irrelevant to you depending on your requirements. It also depends on the quality of your home’s wireless network and the number of devices connected to it at any given point. If you have a smaller house, you’ll definitely run into lesser problems.
Similarly, if your house is built in such a way that you have a lot of walls between your router and your front door, you’re going to have a few connectivity issues. Luckily, these can be resolved by adjusting the position of your router (seeing as you can’t move the other component) or picking a device with better range or connectivity instead, perhaps the DING smart video doorbell!