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SkyBell downsizes the smart doorbell with Trim Plus

Startup SkyBell says its new Trim Plus doorbell is slim enough to fit on even the narrowest of doorframes.

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Megan Wollerton
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Megan Wollerton

Senior Writer/Editor

Megan Wollerton covers renewable energy, climate change and other environmental topics for CNET. Before starting at CNET in 2013, she wrote for NBC Universal's DVICE (now SYFY). Megan has a master's degree from the University of Louisville and a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College, both in international relations. She is a board member of the Louisville chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. When Megan isn't writing, she's planning far-flung adventures.

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SkyBell's new Trim Plus doorbell.

SkyBell

Startup SkyBell, makers of the $199 SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell, unveiled a new product at the CEDIA consumer product conference in Dallas this week -- the SkyBell Trim Plus.

Similar to the brand's HD doorbell, the Trim Plus boasts 1080p high-definition video resolution, night vision and access to the related Android and iPhone app. But the Trim Plus comes with two bonus features: a smaller design and optional battery power.

This is important for a couple of reasons.

First, the current roster of connected doorbells is huge. Of course, "huge" is relative when you're talking about a device that traditionally goes on a doorframe, but the SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell, August Doorbell Cam and Ring Video Doorbell are all significantly larger than your standard push-button buzzer that's less than an inch wide.

That's partly because these devices can do a lot more than the not-so-smart doorbell you probably have at home today. Additional features like live streaming, motion alerts and recorded video clips make them much more like security cameras than your traditional entryway buzzer. Some of these features, especially the camera portion, take up space. But SkyBell's Trim Plus apparently packs all of these features into a 1.39-inch-wide frame.

Second, the battery option offers flexibility for anyone who doesn't have a hardwired doorbell, but still wants to enjoy the features offered by a connected model. In the case of the battery-powered-optional Ring Video Doorbell, taking the battery-powered route means no access to a live stream (as it would drain the batteries fast). I've reached out to SkyBell for confirmation on whether this is also the case for the Trim Plus.

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Watch this: August's Doorbell Cam is smarter than your front door buzzer

In addition to the Trim Plus, SkyBell will also offer Chime, a standalone speaker designed to play a doorbell melody. Chime is outfitted with LEDs that are supposed to change colors as someone approaches, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth "for communicating with other smart home devices," according to the official press release.

SkyBell's Trim Plus and Chime are expected to hit retail toward the end of the year. Details on pricing and third-party integrations are forthcoming. Check back soon for updates.

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