A video doorbell camera is an innovative technological solution that can be characterized as a hybrid between a built-in security camera and a doorbell. When a guest arrives at your house, you don’t need to go to the door to see who it is. Instead, use your smartphone to view a real-time video of the person on the doorstep.
The device is equipped with a microphone and a speaker allowing you to greet the guest and ask them to wait until you meet them in person. Depending on the model you choose, the doorbell camera may allow you to let the guest in without physically opening the door yourself, using a remote smart lock system.
The most advanced devices available on the market today allow two-way communication, which means your guest can respond to you while you are getting ready to open the door. Some can also record and store high-quality videos. Other considerations which may influence your choice are design, Wi-Fi connectivity, a rechargeable battery, and the details of the installation process.
Below, you will find a brief comparison of some of the most popular models on the market. This information will help you understand which doorbell camera best meets your taste and budget and what the pros and cons of each brand are.
This model costs just $99.99 and possesses fairly impressive functionality for its price category. This hardwired rechargeable gadget with a built-in battery offers night vision and two-way audio communication. It features 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connectivity and is compatible with Alexa. This model captures videos of a decent 1800p HD quality with a 155° field of view and allows you to adjust motion zones in a range of 5 to 30 feet. It enables you to see in detail not only callers’ faces, but also any vehicles parked nearby or other objects of interest. Privacy zones can also be customized, allowing you to set an area of the field of view that won’t be monitored or recorded.
- Improved motion detection
- 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi
- 160° field of view
- 5.10″ x 2.40″ x 1.10″ viewing area (compared to the previous model’s4.98″ x 2.44″ x 1.10”)
At $199.99, the Ring 3is in a different price bracket than its predecessor, yet remains quite competitive when compared to many other products in the marketplace.
The 4:3 video format with 1600 x 1200 resolution enables you to see visitors from head to toe. Thanks to the HDR quality, even the smallest details, in the darkest or brightest spots, can be clearly observed in the 160° diagonal viewing area.
Its developer emphasizes that most doorbell cameras record videos triggered by sound or motion stimuli, but the Nest records non-stop, 24 hours a day. In addition to sound and motion alerts, the Nest features facial and object recognition. If a person or object such as delivery package that has previously been recorded is detected, a corresponding message will be sent.
However, to access the full functionality of this progressive solution, be ready to pay a bit extra. You will be able to view only snapshots of the last three hours for free and to be able to view the entire recording from longer periods of absence, subscriptions start at $6 per month.
Peephole cameras are a separate class of devices that differ slightly from video doorbells in their functionality. They allow the homeowner to discreetly observe anyone approaching your house even if they are not planning to ring your doorbell. This precautionary measure may allow intruders to be detected prior to an any attempted break-in, and allow you to identify salespeople who are roaming the neighborhood.
When any living creature approaches your house, your peephole camera’s motion sensors will detect it and the camera will be activated and start recording. You can choose whether the recordings are stored in a cloud storage service or on a physical drive.
The best peephole cameras are equipped with night vision, feature a wide and flexible field of view and are made of highly durable materials. Some of them double as doorbells, can play pre-recorded messages and won’t require you to replace your existing peephole.
With such a large range of video doorbells and peephole cameras on the market you can easily select the model that best fits your taste, needs and budget.