A video doorbell can help you quickly connect to anyone at the door – even if you’re not home. This protects the home’s most vulnerable point of entry, as well as keep an eye on any front porch goings-on. Doing so requires a powerful camera of course, plus the best video doorbells are customizable, easy to install and provide great quality for their price.
Best Video Doorbells of 2018
There are lots of smart doorbell options available in the market today, though most of them have only appeared recently. We have tested over 20 models, including both the newer and older versions, and the result is five solid video doorbell picks to further secure your home.
To determine the best video doorbell, we looked at a variety of factors such as camera quality, usability, appearance, features both standard and advanced, and customer satisfaction. You can check out the brief review of each product below followed by a buyer’s guide to help you make an informed decision.
Ring Video Doorbell 2
Wireless Video Doorbell with Advanced Features
This smart doorbell has high-quality camera with some competitive tech specs. Plus, it’s battery-powered for easy installation and comes with wedges included.
Zmodo Greet Pro
An Attractive Alternative for Budget Users
This is a well-designed smart doorbell that offers excellent camera range and other solid features. It may fall short on the customization side, but the cheaper price makes up for it.
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 improves on the first generation in almost every way. It features 1080p HD video, better installation options, two interchangeable faceplates, and a more responsive mobile app.
The Ring 2 has the best balance of features earning it the top spot on our list of the best video doorbells. First things first, the doorbell is super easy to install. The device runs on battery power, which allows you to install it anywhere, even hardwire it into your pre-exisitng system.
The device features a high-quality camera with a wide 160 degree field of view and customizable motion sensor. Moreover, the battery is removable which makes it easier to charge than the original Ring’s battery.
The package also includes two wedges, so the doorbell can automatically be tilted upwards as well as adjusted at whichever angle you want to capture the yard on-screen. The device itself, though, is bulkier than others on the list.
There is no free video storage option, but Ring offers the lowest cloud storage prices in our comparison, starting at $3 a month per doorbell camera. You can also choose to get a lifetime warranty, which lets you store footage from an unlimited number of cameras.
- Easiest to install smart doorbell
- 1080p video resolution
- Wedges included
- Affordable cloud storage
- Multiple user support
- Bulky appearance
#2. Nest Hello
The Nest Hello is one of the most versatile doorbells on the market. It has an attractive design, and comes with some of the most advanced features we’ve seen in a smart doorbell.
The device produces an excellent camera quality. The resolution of 1600×1200 is a slightly lower quality than the Ring 2, but the live video feed through the Nest app is still clear and legible. Further, it uses a face detection technology that lets you know who is at the door.
Another notable feature is the pre-recorded responses which you can use to relay information to visitors without directly connecting with them. For instance, you can tell visitors to leave a package, or wait for someone to come to the door.
The doorbell has a slim form factor, and looks cool with a white outlined call button. It can integrate with all three of most common smart home system, including Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, and Nest itself.
The restrictive temperature for the device ranges from 14 °F to 104 °F so make sure you don’t expose it to extreme weathers. It is backed by a two-year warranty from the manufacturer.
As for pricing, the Nest Hello is a bit expensive than average at $230. In addition, you’ll need to subscribe to the $5/month Nest Aware service if you want to record video.
- Slim form factor
- High video quality
- Pre-recorded responses
- Facial recognition
- Most expensive package overall
- No vertical wedge included
#3. Zmodo Greet Pro
The Zmodo is not a feature-laden doorbell model, but it has impressed us by providing great value for money. It’s the least expensive product in our list, but it still boasts a pretty nice set of specs, decent design and high durability.
The Zmodo Greet Pro is aesthetically pleasing with its neutral color, signature brushed metal look, and small form factor of about the size of a flip phone. It’s also easy to setup; all you need to do is mount the included panel to your wall, plug in the Greet and slide it into the mount.
As for camera range, the Zmodo boasts 1080p HD resolution coupled with a full 180 degrees field of vision. That’s 20 degrees wider than the Ring 2, which should give you more visibility around your home and in the neighborhood.
Other features include pre-recorded responses, dual-band WiFi signal, and optional cloud service. The device, though, has its own downsides.
The users often criticize Zmodo for its iffy app, which is said to be less customizable and incompatible with other security systems. In addition, like the Nest, the Zmodo Greet Pro has a somewhat limited temerature range from 14 °F to 122 °F.
- 1080p Any-Time Monitoring
- Pre-recorded responses
- Included WiFi Extender
- Cost-effective solution
- The app is not customizable
- Restrictive temperature range
Like the Ring 2, the Ring Pro delivers 1080p res and 160º field of view, though the video and image quality are a bit better in the latter case. So if you prioritize imaging, then it might be worth spending a few extra bucks on Ring Pro.
Apart from better video quality, the Ring Pro sports a slim profile with raised button that makes it look close enough to a standard doorbell. The device comes with four different faceplates — silver, charcoal, black, and white — to let you customize it according your taste.
You can also customize the motion detection sensor both by range and by sensitivity. This comes handy if you live near a busy street and don’t want to be alerted by every activity across your yard. You can adjust a specific threshold for motion to trip the alarm.
The Ring Pro can work as a standalone device as well as can be integrated with Alexa and Google Home. Moreover, as with other Ring doorbells, you can avail cloud video storage for as low as $3 a month.
On the downside, unlike the Ring 2, the Pro version doesn’t have a battery backup which means you can’t hardwire it to your existing doorbell, but would need some other compatible power source within your home.
Also, the Ring Pro doesn’t feature any wedges for adjusting the angle of your doorbell camera. You’ll have to purchase it separately from Ring or find a compatible set on Amazon.
- Slim design
- Interchangeable faceplates
- 1080p HD video
- Customizable motion sensor
- No wedge included
- Higher price
Vivint is a trusted company that has been in the home security business for a long time. They are known for their incredible products and this smart doorbell camera is no exception.
The Vivint Doorbell Camera comes with a minimalist design and great coloring, making it one of the best looking products on the market. It delivers 1080p resolution and 120 degrees field of view for capturing sharp and clear footage.
With the high-quality, built-in microphone and speaker, the sound is really clear and you won’t have problems hearing what your visitors have to say. Another advantage is that you don’t have to constantly carry your phone around to monitor outdoor activity, but can use the keypad to answer calls.
Moreover, the Vivint app is flexible and designed for multiple user alerts. The manufacturer offers lifetime equipment warranty, with 1TB of recording space. The product is only available in one colour, i.e., black.
You’d require a Vivint home security system to use this smart doorbell camera. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it would surely exclude many from the list of potential buyers.
- Minimalist design
- Easy to use
- High-quality video and audio
- Multiple user alerts
- Lifetime equipment warranty
- Must have Vivint security system
- Expensive monthly monitoring fee
The higher video resolution delivers sharper image, which will make it easier to identify the person at the door. Both of the Ring 2 and Pro, as well as our budget option, the Zmodo Greet Pro, feature 1080p video. The Nest Hello outputs slightly quality, but it integrates cool tech, like face detection that make up for it.
Field of view is another important spec that will determine the viewing angle of your porch and driveway. Both of Ring’s doorbells boast 160-degree field of vision, while Zmodo gives a full 180 degrees for even better visibility around your home.
The placement of your video doorbell is also going to impact your purchase decision. You will have make a decision based on whether you intend to replace an existing doorbell or installing a smart dorbell where there isn’t one already.
In this respect, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is the most flexible option. It can either replace a hardwired doorbell, or can be placed anywhere you want thanks to its rechargeable battery.
A video doorbell allows you to view live video, get notifications, or speak with visitors, but you won’t be able to record your video to the cloud until you subscribe to a storage plan. The pricing varies depending on the manufacturer and your cloud storage needs, but you can expect to pay between $3 and $10 a month per doorbell camera.
There are a few companies, including August and Vivint that offer free recording space, but they are more limited than other plans.
Video doorbells are a great way to secure your front door, but if want a more comprehensive way to monitor your home, then you should better opt for a home security system with 24/7 support. It provides protection and monitoring to your home in multiple ways.
If you are interested, you can check out our review of the best home security systems, but keep in mind that they are not cheap, especially the ones that include video.
How does a Video Doorbell work?
A video doorbell is a bit more complex than your traditional doorbell. When the video doorbell’s motion sensor is triggered or someone pushed the button on it, the device notifies you and sends the video feed to your smartphone over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. You can then talk to the person at the door via the app over a two-way speaker.
How motion-sensitive are video doorbells?
It varies from model to model, however, your video doorbell should be sensitive enough to notify you when someone enters your porch, while ignoring routine activities across the road. The best video doorbells allow you to customize the motion detection sensor both by range and by sensitivity, like both the Ring 2 and Pro.
What is the best camera resolution for a video doorbell?
All of our top picks deliver higher camera resolutions, but if you want the clearest picture, we suggest you go with the 1080p HD. As mentioned above, you should also consider choosing a camera with wider field of view, so that you don’t get any blind spots at your front door.
Which one should I opt for: a video doorbell or a security camera?
While a video doorbell can give you motion alerts as well as door alerts, they can’t make a great security camera. A dedicated security camera may be a better choice if security is your priority. You can position such a camera in more than one places, and when you get a motion alert, you can back up the video to see exactly what happened before the alert came in.