Your front door is the gateway to your home, an entry point for friends, family and a whole lot of other folks, some welcome, some...not so much. Of course, you can always try to master the stealth-mode front-door tip-toe method to see who's there, but that isn't ideal. That's what smart doorbell manufacturers want you to think, at least.
These assorted Wi-Fi doorbells, ranging in price from $179 to $249, all offer built-in security cameras, microphones and speakers so you can see -- and even talk to -- visitors from your phone either on Wi-Fi or a cellular network. It's a seemingly-handy hunk of tech, but smart doorbells are a budding category and the earliest models had some significant flaws.
Still the market is growing, with a number of new and intriguing options -- check 'em all out here.
August Doorbell Cam
August's $199/£155/AU$265 Doorbell Cam is a first-gen model with a 1,280x960-pixel high-definition (HD) resolution and on-demand live streaming capabilities. Yes, you do have to connect it to your existing doorbell wires and it will only work with traditional mechanical chimes, but this smart buzzer is a step above the the rest.
Beyond the solid HD resolution and live feed, the Doorbell Cam also works withand related accessories. Available on the same Android or iPhone app, fans of multiple August products will find this integration especially useful. The one caveat is its size -- this thing is pretty wide and simply won't fit on every door frame.
Olive & Dove RemoBell
Unlike theand the 's flexible battery or hardwired installation, the RemoBell only runs on batteries. Specifically, it takes six AA batteries to power this thing -- no fancy rechargeable design here. It also has 720p HD resolution and no current smart home partnerships. Considering the long list of features offered by other brands, the $199/£155/AU$265 RemoBell either needs to introduce new options or reduce its price to stay competitive.
Ring Video Doorbell
The $179/£140/AU$235 Ring Video Doorbell is a 720p HD model that's powered by your existing doorbell wires or the included rechargeable battery. While the battery does allow for a more flexible install, you do have to remove the entire faceplate when you want to recharge it. That means you're unable to keep an eye on your front door every time you charge this buzzer -- which will happen more quickly if you use battery-draining features like the live feed on a regular basis.
Ring Video Doorbell 2
The $199/£155/AU$299 Ring Video Doorbell 2 has 1080p HD resolution and an entirely new battery design. Specifically, it has a removable, rechargeable battery. So, unlike the original Video Doorbell, you don't have to uninstall this buzzer's faceplate to charge it. Instead, simply take out the battery, charge it and put it back. You can also buy an extra battery pack for just $29 so you never have to wait to use your Video Doorbell 2.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro
Like the, the $249/£195/AU$325 Ring Video Doorbell Pro has 1080p video quality. This hard-wired-only model also offers four interchangeable face plates and motion zones that you can customize to suit your needs. That means that you can ask the Ring app to ignore street traffic, but pay attention to anything that gets close to your front door -- a neat add-on security feature designed to enhance overall usability.
And, at just 1.9 inches wide, this model is also smaller than most smart doorbells. That doesn't mean it will definitely fit on your doorframe, but it's much more likely to.
SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
SkyBell's $199/£155/AU$265 HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell is my current favorite. It has 1080p HD resolution, two-way talk, push notifications, a hard-wired setup and compatibility with standard mechanical doorbell chimes. It also offers live streaming and motion-sensing capabilities, as well as smart home integrations with Amazon Alexa, IFTTT and Nest. But the best part is its complimentary cloud storage -- August and Ring charge for this feature; SkyBell still offers it free of charge.
CNET Smart Home
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