With the best doorbell cameras, you can make your home smarter, safer and more connected. No matter where you are, if anyone comes to your door, a smart doorbell camera will alert you. Some will even provide two-way communication, allowing you to make sure that package gets left by the doorstep, rather than being taken back to the depot. That alone seems worth the asking price if you ask us!
So connectivity is key to a successful smart doorbell, as well as decent video and useful features like night vision. The best ones will also be able to integrate with any smart home systems you’re already using, whether that’s Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or the nifty app of conditional statements, If This Then That (popularly known as IFTTT).
Some doorbell cameras require the wired connection that would power a regular doorbell, while others run on batteries. With smart notifications, they can alert you via your camera phone when someone presses the buzzer or just when someone triggers their motion detector, if they have it.
This gives you immense peace of mind when it comes to keeping your home safe. Accordingly, prices of smart doorbells can vary wildly, so it’s worth thinking about which features you need and which you don’t, to ensure you don’t end up paying over the odds. It’s also well worth considering whether you whole family will be happy with using your phone or smart home speakers as chimes, or whether you’ll need an accessory.
We’ve rounded up a selection of video doorbells for our guide, at a range of different price points, so there should be something here for everyone.
- 1 The ten best doorbell cameras in 2021
- 1.1 1. Ring Video Doorbell 4
- 1.2 2. Arlo Essential Wire-free Video Doorbell
- 1.3 3. Ring Video Doorbell Wired
- 1.4 4. Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2
- 1.5 5. Eufy 2K Battery-powered Doorbell
- 1.6 6. RemoBell S
- 1.7 7. Nest Hello
- 1.8 8. Ring Video Doorbell Elite
- 1.9 9. Ring Video Doorbell Pro
- 1.10 10. Ring Door View Cam
- 1.11 3. Ring Video Doorbell Wired
The ten best doorbell cameras in 2021
The look for the Ring Video Doorbell’s 3rd generation lives on into the 4th, and the camera is well featured; significant tricks that will appeal to those who want to know the most about the front of their home is the full color pre-roll function, that allows the camera to record footage for four seconds before the motion sensors are activated.
It’s not magic, a loop is being recorded continuously and is added to the recording when an event is triggered; on the previous version the loop was only black and white. Other refinements allow you to set up the camera so it only records things in certain zones – which is great if you get lots of false alarms. Another useful addition is support for 5GHz wifi routers (as well as older 2.4GHz models), which could help connectivity in some homes.
The Essential Wire-free Video Doorbell packs in a surprising amount of tech. Not least among its features is its sophisticated motion detection, which can identify humans to avoid false positives (motion alerts caused by animals, for examples). It can also use it’s huge 180-degree field of view through square frame, which can see right to the doorstep, to detect and identify packages and it must be said the HDR video is excellent and, with night view, great for peace of mind at all hours of the day and night.
It doesn’t require wiring in like the old model, but can benefit from it. Cloud storage and smart notifications do need the subscription though, so the box price isn’t the entirety of what you’re paying. If you don’t mind this, you’ll find the Arlo Smart Video Doorbell to be a handy home companion, easy to set up and simple to use.
Ring (aka Amazon) clearly have the data to understand that, in the long run, bringing the price down is good for everyone; a Ring Protect subscription ($2.99 / £2.50 per month) not to mention devices like Amazon Show still help you get the best of this device.
So you’re not being excessively deprived of features on pricier models like 2-way communication and phone alerts) once you’ve completed a wired install (standard wires and chime are fine, so it might be as easy as a swap).
The angle of view is slightly narrower than some, and 1080P isn’t the gold standard, but both are outweighed by Ring’s few years of software development which includes area-defined advanced motion detection and – thanks to that always-on power – pre-roll so, when you review suspect visitors, you see them walking to, rather than just from, the camera.
With a high resolution HDR camera, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is clearly appealing simply as a better camera. The square-shaped view (similar to the Arlo) makes it much better for checking the door for packages.
Motion detection offers all the features of cheaper Ring options, plus the option to set a distance perimeter – this is a great way to prevent a false ping every time a jogger goes by on the path near your front door. This can be set up with a satellite map, slightly over-sold as Bird’s Eye View.
You can also choose to let Alexa act as your door-person through built in greetings if you can’t get there yourself (though the AI won’t open the door just yet). Normal two-way conversations also benefit from an improved noise cancelation system and, like the cheaper pro with standard-shaped video, the face-plates are interchangeable to fit your home style.
There is a wired version of this doorbell camera from Anker, but it is the battery-powered Eufy 2K that is our pick. The indoor chime which plugs into a power socket has a MicroSD card to store upto 16GB of footage, in addition to have a subscription-based cloud storage option. Its 2K (or 1440p) camera offers around 78% more resolution than the more usual 1080P video captured by other video doorbells.. There is also built-in, on device AI Human Detection which negates the need for a paid-for subscription, and a wide dynamic range system which helps the camera make faces visible even when the sun is in a tricky position.
The clean, effective design of the Remobell S is immediately arresting, and has likely caught your attention if you’re a gadget lover. If so, you’re in luck, for this is truly a doorbell camera for the tech-headed among us. It integrates easily with all major smart home systems like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and is easy to set up and get connected.
The camera itself produces 180-degree video at a resolution of 1536 x 1536. The intense fisheye distortion may be off-putting for some, though it does give you a view of a pretty broad area. Two-way audio is handy to have, and can be relayed via your smartphone so you can talk to people on your doorstep no matter where you are. The night vision capabilities of the camera mean it’s useful twenty-four hours of the day. The sophisticated motion detection system generates a minimum amount of false alarms, and having three days of free cloud storage is no bad thing.
The makers bill this as ‘the ultimate smart doorbell’. That’s perhaps up for debate, but there’s no doubt that this is a top-notch doorbell camera for a huge variety of users.
Just like Ring, Nest is a smart home company – this time owned by Google – which has branched out into the nascent video doorbell market. What sets the Nest Hello apart is its HDR video capabilities and a tall 4:3 aspect ratio, which means you can get a better view of whoever is at the door, rather than the usual 16:9 shallow, wide angle view.
The Hello has night vision and motion detection, and facial detection. With that feature, the Hello starts to recognize regular visitors over time then, once you have assigned a name to a face, the Hello will let you know who is at the door, and when the visitor is a stranger.
Like all other video doorbells, the Nest Hello connect to your Wi-Fi network so you can answer the door via your smartphone from anywhere in the world. But, unlike others, the Nest app lets you pre-record messages, then play those (such as one to say you’ll be there in a moment, or are away on holiday) when someone presses the buzzer.
The Nest must be hardwired to your existing doorbell power supply (or a newly fitted one) to function. This does mean continuous recording is an option too, with the Nest Aware, which costs from $5 / £4 a month, video is recorded 24/7 and stored online for five days (more expensive subscriptions allow up to 30-day continuous recording).
The Ring Video Doorbell Elite is a luxury item with a price to match – it is around five times the cost of the basic Ring Video Doorbell.
But for the extra cost, buyers get a professional-grade device which is designed to sink into the wall, resulting in a flush finish. The faceplate can be changed to suit the style of your home, and power over Ethernet means no batteries and no worries over a dropped connection due to patchy Wi-Fi.
As such, this is a good option for readers with a large property, or who live in an older house where Wi-Fi struggles to pass through thick walls. Of course, installing the Ring Elite will require a professional (or advanced DIY skills) due to the need to run an Ethernet cable to your front door. Once installed, the Elite works like other Ring doorbells, with night vision, 1080p HD video, two-way audio, live on-demand video, and customisable motion sensitivity.
Very similar to the Video Doorbell and the Video Doorbell 2 – but this has a much slimmer profile, as there is not built-in battery. This means that this does need to be hard wired for power – but can use existing doorbell wiring if you have it. This model can also use the more recent 5 GHz wifi standard, as well as the more usula 2.4GHz standard. One other added bonus is that this model comes with four different fascia plates – giving you more options of matching the unit to the rest of your front door furniture. This device hasn’t disappeared from Ring’s listing, but is cheaper now the Pro 2 offers a significantly better camera and other improvements.
This is the latest addition to the Ring doorbell family, and it has been designed particularly to suit those who rent their properties. The Door View Cam replaces the optical peephole that you find on many front doors – giving you the traditional optical fisheye view, as well as the usual digital features of a Ring doorbell. And the caller doesn’t need to ring the bell either, as the device also reacts to the door being knocked.
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