The Best Smart Home Video Doorbells to Buy Right Now

Photo of smart home video door

Want to keep a close eye on what’s happening outside your home? A smart home video doorbell might be the answer. A smart doorbell allows you to see who’s at your door and even talk to them. It also allows you to keep an eye out for deliveries and packages (and package thieves). Some smart doorbells are so sophisticated, they can even tell you who’s at the door with facial recognition. Here we present our picks for the best smart home video doorbells to buy right now.

What is a Smart Home Video Doorbell?

A smart doorbell is a high-tech version of a regular doorbell. A smart home video doorbell will send a notification to your smart phone when someone rings your doorbell. Smart home doorbells can also be equipped with a video camera that enables them to display real-time video of the front door area. (In this article, we’ll be talking only about smart doorbells with video capability, as these are the more common and popular versions.)

Smart home video doorbells add an extra layer of security for homeowners by allowing them to see who’s at the door. They’re also a huge help for people with mobility issues or disabilities. Instead of getting up to answer the door, a resident can use the video doorbell to communicate with visitors instead.

The Best Smart Home Video Doorbells to Buy Right Now

Ring Video Doorbell Pro

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is an excellent pick for a sophisticated smart doorbell. It’s simple enough to install yourself, and has high-def 1080p video. It’s equipped with a microphone and speaker so you can speak to visitors (and hear them). View the video feed from your front door on your TV or smartphone at any time. It’s also Alexa-ready, so if you have an Amazon smart speaker, you can ask Alexa to show your live video feed.

A great feature is its pre-buffering technology, so it can show you what was happening just before a motion trigger. Additionally, you can program your motion zones to avoid false motion alerts. And with infrared night vision, you can see what’s going on around the clock. The only real downside is that if you want to playback recorded video, you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription fee. (However, it’s only $30 a year for one Ring device). The Ring Pro comes with four different faceplates in black, white, nickel and bronze to match your home. Priced around $250, it’s not cheap. Overall, it’s an excellent pick for a smart doorbell that any homeowner should be happy with.

ProsCons
High-quality 1080p videoMust pay monthly to access recorded video
Supports Alexa voice controlNight video is monochrome
Sleek designExpensive
Best Smart Home Video Doorbells Review

Ring Video Doorbell Elite

Think of the Ring Video Doorbell Elite as the wealthy, good-looking cousin of the Ring Doorbell Pro. It has all of the Ring Pro’s best features including 1080p video and a microphone and speaker so you can hear and talk to visitors. Alexa connectivity means you can view the live video feed on an Amazon Echo Show with a simple voice command. It’s also got pre-buffering technology to show you what happened before detected motion, programmable motion zones, and infrared night vision.

So how does the Ring Elite differ from the Pro? For one thing, there’s the price: It clocks in at a somewhat hefty $350. What do you get for the additional hundred bucks? The Elite doesn’t require batteries or a power cord; instead, it’s powered by Power Over Ethernet. It also has an extremely sleek design that lies flush with the front of your home. It comes with four color options, in satin black, satin nickel, dark bronze, and pearl white. Because of its design, it’s a much harder DIY project; pro installation is recommended. Overall, if you want to utilize your existing doorbell wires, go for the Ring Pro. If you prefer Power Over Ethernet and an extra-sleek, fancy design, and don’t mind paying for installation, buy the Ring Elite.

ProsCons
Doesn't need batteries or a power cordNeeds to be installed by a pro
Great video qualityExpensive
Sleek design lies flush
Best Smart Home Video Doorbells Review

Ring Peephole Cam

Think of the Ring Peephole Cam as Ring Lite. It’s perfect for people who live in apartments, or anyone who usually uses a peephole to see who’s at the door. It’s wireless and easy to install (and to take with you when you move). It offers all the most essential features of the other Ring models, including a motion sensor, microphone and speaker, high-quality video recording, and Alexa support.

At $199, it’s still fairly expensive. And like the other Ring models, you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription fee if you want to playback recorded video. There’s no customizable motion detector zones, and only one color option (black with nickel trim). Overall, though, this is a great smart video doorbell for people in apartments who want additional peace of mind.

ProsCons
High-quality video recordingStill fairly expensive
Alexa supportBarrel distortion on video
Two-way audioHave to pay to store video recordings
Best Smart Home Video Doorbells Review

Arlo Video Doorbell

While Ring dominates the smart video doorbell market, there are other players, such as the Arlo Video Doorbell. One feature where the Arlo stands out is with its 180-degree viewing angle, allowing you to see people from head to toe (or a package on the ground). Beyond that, it has many similar features to other smart doorbells, like night vision and “Foresight” mode which allows you to see what happened before a motion event.

The Arlo Video Doorbell works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as Apple HomeKit and Samsung SmartThings. You can also ward off unwanted guests by sounding the alarm from within the Arlo Smart app. (That’s a monthly subscription fee, but you get a free trial.) Additionally, it’s significantly cheaper than the other smart video doorbells in this article, coming in around $130. This model requires existing doorbell wiring, meaning it probably won’t work for apartment dwellers.

ProsCons
Easy to installRequires existing doorbell wiring
180-degree viewSome buyers report notification lag
Two-way audio
Best Smart Home Video Doorbells Review

What to Consider When Buying a Smart Home Video Doorbell

What does it look like?

First of all, consider aesthetics, as your smart doorbell goes on the front of your home. The Ring Pro comes with different faceplates so you can select the one that best matches your home. Otherwise, look for a design that you don’t mind displaying at your fron tdoor.

Is it wired or wireless?

You’ll need at least 16 volts of electricity to operate a smart home video doorbell. Older homes may not have enough electricity running to their doorbells to support that, so be sure to consider this. Or look for a smart doorbell that’s battery-operated, but keep in mind you’ll have to charge it regularly.

How much do you want to see?

When choosing a smart home video doorbell, consider what you want to see in the video recording. Do you just want to see who’s at the front door? Or do you want a full view of the front of your home? If the latter, consider one like the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, which features a 160-degree viewing angle. Also consider the video resolution. A higher resolution means clear video that makes it easy to see who’s at the door.

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Final Thoughts

After reviewing our picks for the best smart home video doorbells, we hope you have a better understanding of which one will work for you. Even if you don’t have any other smart home devices, a smart doorbell can make your home safer. You simply can’t beat the convenience and ease of being able to see who’s at the front door from your smartphone. And if you combine a smart video doorbell with a smart home security camera and smart locks, you’ll have the safest home on the block.

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