A small doorbell is no longer just a button: with cameras and sensors, we know who is at the door before we even press the button. We list the best examples.
This is an abbreviated version of a comparison of the best smart doorbells previously featured on tech site BestGetest.
Best tested: Google Nest Doorbell
Google is deeply entrenched in the smart home world with its Nest products. The company has a smart thermostat and speakers, but also a very good doorbell. As far as we’re concerned, this is the best smart doorbell. It works through the Google Home platform, but also with Home Assistant, Homey and SmartThings.
The battery-operated doorbell is one of the best options when it comes to privacy. The horizontal viewing angle is a bit smaller, so you only film whoever is at the door. So you don’t really see what’s going on in front of your door. The image is good, although the resolution is a little lower than what we are used to.
You need a subscription to view the images, which means that after three years you pay almost 320 euros. This makes it a fairly expensive solution, even if the images are stored long enough: no less than sixty days.
The Nest also has something you don’t easily see with other doorbells: facial recognition. Accordingly, the bell will not sound the alarm, for example, if you yourself are at the door.
Best Budget Choice: Arlo Video Doorbell
The Arlo Video Doorbell’s motion detection works well, causing it to sound an alarm as soon as someone is at the door. You can also pre-record a message for people to hear at the door, which competitor Ring also offers. In addition, the bell has a built-in siren that can be triggered by unwanted guests.
The camera’s large field of view sees no less than 180 degrees around it, so you quickly have the entire driveway in view. We notice that the small details are less well captured. It is somewhat sensitive to light, so the position of the sun determines the image quality.
According to Arlo, the video images are in HD and HDR, which is disappointing in practice. They are good, but not fantastic.
A good alternative: Ring Video Doorbell 4
Like the camera above, the Ring Video Doorbell has a wide viewing angle. The quality varies, so it is often doubtful that the recording is really clearly visible. Details are sometimes difficult to see, although on the other hand, the bell handles dark situations well. It films before anything happens, which provides additional context as you look back at who was at the door.
The range of additional accessories is extensive, giving you plenty of options to create a more extensive security camera setup. For example, you can add a gong, so that you can also hear the doorbell without your smartphone nearby if you are in the attic, for example. It even immediately acts as a WiFi extender for your doorbell.
The Ring Video Doorbell 4 works with a subscription through Ring and the whole thing will cost you over $285 after three years. Images are stored for 60 days. It’s also good to know that Ring has a pretty low Wi-Fi range, especially compared to other cameras. This means it loses its signal faster than the others, so you don’t know who’s at the door.
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