Best smart doorbell: 5 top video doorbells | Real Homes

Best smart doorbell: 5 top video doorbells

Choose the best smart doorbell and know who's at the door before you answer it – just what you need to enhance your home security

Best smart doorbell: Ring video doorbell
(Image credit: Ring)

It's worth investing in the best smart doorbell you can afford to maximise your home security. Not only do smart doorbells make opening the door feel safer, since they allow you to see who's there, but you can also see who's at your front door when you're not at home from your phone. Plus, smart doorbells make receiving packages so much easier.

What is a smart – or video – doorbell?

Video doorbells – or smart doorbells, as they're also known – use Wi-Fi to connect your doorbell to a smart device. This makes it easy to keep an eye on your home, wherever you are, as well as providing reassurance before you open the door.

But are they just another smart home gimmick that you don't need? We don't think so. In fact, we think they make a handy addition to a modern home by allowing users to enhance home security with ease; keep a closer eye on elderly or vulnerable relatives who live alone; or simply coordinate package deliveries with the mailman.

Browse our picks for the best smart doorbells below. There are option for both renters and homeowners, so you're sure to find something that suits your home. Keep scrolling to learn more about our favorite finds or check out our best home security systems for more ways to protect your home.

The best smart doorbells

the best video doorbell: Nest Hello video doorbell device

1. Nest Hello

The best video doorbell: our top pick of the best smart doorbell money can buy, and it's easy to use

Specifications
Best for: Easy to use
Camera quality: 1600x1200 resolution
Two-way comm?: Yes
Night vision?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+The app is super-easy to use+Doubles as a security camera+Video quality is excellent+Face recognition is an extra, but useful
Reasons to avoid
-Unlike some smart doorbells, it has to be wired in-You'll need to subscribe at extra cost for all the features-Without good Wi-Fi, there's a lag – or buffering

Worthy of the top spot on our list, Nest Hello offers everything you need in your next smart doorbell. Here's why it's our top rated product:

Stylish design

Boasting a slim and neat design, this smart doorbell will fit right on to your door frame, ensuring it does the job without ruining the aesthetics of your entrance.

Wide-angle perspective

Providing an impressive 160 degree view of your front door, it's easy to see who's directly outside and around your property, without having to open your front door. 

Voice communication

Communicate verbally with visitors to your home, thanks to handy two-way audio. This is perfect if you're coordinating deliveries with your mailman – from the office, a vacation, or elsewhere – or want to let a visitor know that you're five minutes away from home.

Facial recognition

If you're really concerned about security, it's also possible to set up facial recognition. Perfect for the elderly, or those who find the prospect of strangers at the door unnerving, this model can inform you when regular visitors are at the door, for peace of mind. 

Easy to use

Connecting this video doorbell to a smart phone app is easy, so tech-novices needn't be put off by a complex set-up system.

Factors worth considering

Unlike some smart doorbells, such as Ring Video Doorbell 2, Nest Hello does need to be wired in, which may be an inconvenience for some, especially those who rent their homes. But, in the long-term, at least you'll never have to change the batteries. 

It's also worth noting that you will have to pay for add-ons such as facial recognition, but without them the product still becomes quickly indispensable.

Read our full Nest Hello review

The best video doorbell: Ring Video Doorbell 2

2. Ring Video Doorbell 2

Best wireless video doorbell: Ring’s wireless video intercom system is our second pick for the best smart doorbell

Specifications
Best for: Wireless
Camera quality: 1080p
Two-way comm?: Yes
Night vision?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Long-lasting battery + Included fixtures and retrofit option 
Reasons to avoid
-Bulkier than most models

Designed with renters in mind, there's no need to worry about wires with our next best pick, the Ring Video Doorbell 2. You'll find everything you need to know about it in our comprehensive Ring Doorbell 2 review. Or, for a quick overview, keep reading:

Does not require hard wiring

Perfect for those who rent, or anticipate themselves moving in the not too distant future, this model does not require hard wiring. Rather, it's run by lithium-powered batteries, which can be removed and recharged with ease. Pick up two packs and you'll never have to go without a charge.

If you don't like the idea of having to recharge batteries, it's also worth noting that Ring offers a wired version, too.

Full HD 1080p camera

Equipped with a full HD 1080p camera and an impressively wide field of view, expect high quality video footage delivered straight to your smartphone. So, whether you're at your desk, at the beach or simply lounging upstairs in bed, you're guaranteed clear perspective on exactly who's at the door.

Two-way audio

This model also features two-way audio, making it a great video intercom system for coordinating deliveries or visitors.

Functions as a regular doorbell, too

With the addition of a Chime Pro device, this model acts as a regular doorbell, too, which is ideal for those who don’t always have their phone on them. 

Factors worth considering

The design of this model is slightly less sleek and streamlined than some of the other options available. But, really, this comes down to personal preference.

The best video doorbell: Ring Doorbell Pro

3. Ring Doorbell Pro

Best video doorbell for advanced features: a doorbell that buddies up with your favourite voice assistant

Specifications
Best for: Alexa-compatible
Camera quality: 1080p
Two-way comm?: Yes
Night vision?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Get updates using Alexa + Easy to set up 
Reasons to avoid
-No option for rechargeable battery 

Perfect for those who are setting up a comprehensive smart home system, the Ring Doorbell Pro comes with all the perks of the other video doorbells from Ring, as well as some extra special features. Here's everything you need to know about it:

Alexa compatible

Compatible with smart assistant, Alexa, you no longer need to have your smart phone in hand to see who's at the door. Simply communicate via a smart speaker or – if you have the Amazon Echo Show – view your visitor live, on screen.

Read our handy Amazon Alexa review if you're considering a more complete smart home setup.

Answer your door from anywhere

As you'd expect from a video doorbell, it's easy to see who's at the door, wherever you are. But, what sets this model apart is its built-in motion detection, which allows users to be notified if it detects that there's someone outside.

This further enhances home security, as users are no longer reliant on someone ringing the doorbell – or frantically checking their camera – to know if someone is there.

Streamlined design

Unlike other offerings from Ring, this model also boasts a sleek and stylish design that won't ruin the aesthetic of your entrance.

Factors worth considering

Unfortunately, unlike other models available from Ring, there’s no option for a rechargeable battery, but reviewers say if you have an existing doorbell connection then setting up is quick and easy.

Arlo Video Doorbell

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Arlo Video Doorbell

Best budget smart doorbell: simple storage and setup at an impressively low cost

Specifications
Best for: Easy setup
Camera quality: 720p
Two-way comm?: Yes
Night vision?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Doesn’t require a connection + Automatic backup for captured content 
Reasons to avoid
-Camera quality lower than the others

If you're trying to do smart home tech on a budget, the Arlo Video Doorbell is the one for you. Here's everything it has to offer:

HD with HDR

This doorbell will give a clear and crisp picture even in low light and extra bright conditions. 

Smart alerts

This doorbell will send you handy notifications when its motion sensor is triggered not just by people but also by packages, animals, and vehicles, so you can get a very good idea of what's happening outside.

Night vision

Perfect for the elderly, or those who are concerned about personal safety when the sun goes down, night vision allows users to see who's outside, however dark it is.

Factors worth considering

Set-up is a little bit fiddly with this doorbell, particularly where it comes pairing it with your device. There's a QR code you need to scan, but it doesn't give you much time to do this, so you may find it easier to just reinstall the doorbell as a new device on your phone or tablet. 

The best video doorbell: Vuebell

5. Vuebell

Best compact smart doorbell: for a streamlined setup, go for the compact Vuebell

Specifications
Best for: Compact
Camera quality: 720p
Two-way comms?: Yes
Night vision?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Compact, elegant design + Night vision up to 10 metres 
Reasons to avoid
-Low camera quality

For those concerned about the aesthetic impact of a chunky video doorbell, the Vuebell Video Doorbell is an option worth considering. Here's everything you need to know about it:

Compact design

As mentioned previously, this model is designed for those looking for something compact. At just three inches square and one inch deep, it’s a little thing with minimal interface that won’t stick out like a sore thumb.

Motion detection and alert

In addition to notifying users when someone rings the doorbell, this model can also let you know if someone is lurking. While nine out of ten times motion detection won't pick up anything suspicious, it's a handy feature to have just in case.

View historical footage

On account of being linked to the cloud, it's also easy to play back through historical content, which is perfect if your key motive for buying a video doorbell is enhanced security. 

Night vision

A handy feature, night vision is perfect for those who are unnerved by the prospect of opening the door to an unknown nighttime visitor. 

What is the best smart doorbell?

We think the best video doorbell is the Nest Hello, thanks to its impressive all-round performance. However, it's pretty much neck and neck with the Ring 2, which also impressed our tester. Keep scrolling to find out more about both below, and to see the rest of our top picks:

How to buy the best smart doorbell

When it comes to buying the best video doorbell to suit your requirements, there are a few factors worth considering if you're looking to ensure you get the most for your money. These include:

Does it cover the basics?

Each of our best video doorbells features two-way communication, allowing you to both hear and speak to the person at your door, and night vision, which both come in very handy.

Does it need to be wired in?

Some smart video doorbells require wired installation, others are battery-run. Consider whether you have the time and money to get someone to wire-in your smart doorbell, or you'd rather get one you can fit yourself.

Camera quality

The ones on our list are mostly either 720p or 1080p, the latter being the better. Our first pick, the Nest Hello Video Doorbell boasts a 1600x1200 resolution; the highest on our list.

Two-way communication?

Important if you want to talk to the person at your door through your phone.

Night vision?

A necessity especially come dark nights in the winter. All the best smart doorbells have night vision so the device can record motion while you sleep.

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