• Google Nest Hello Smart WiFi Video Doorbell

  • Eufy Security WiFi Video Doorbell

  • How We Tested

  • How to Set Up a Smart Doorbell

  • Privacy Concerns with Smart Doorbells

  • Other Smart Doorbells We Tested

  • More Articles You Might Enjoy

Our Favorite Smart Doorbells of 2020

  1. Best Overall

    Google Nest Hello Doorbell

    Pros

    • Facial recognition

    • Reliable connection

    • High quality video and audio

    Cons

    • Subscription plan is more expensive than others

    Skip to the full review below
  2. Best Value

    Eufy Video Doorbell

    Pros

    • Free, encrypted local data storage

    • Custom activity zones

    • Works with Google and Alexa

    Cons

    • Some audio problems

    Skip to the full review below
Google Nest Hello
Credit: Google

The Google Nest Hello is an easy-to-use doorbell that can recognize familiar faces, sends immediate alerts over data and WiFi, and never lost its connection during our tests.

Best Overall
Google Nest Hello Smart WiFi Video Doorbell

The best smart doorbell we tested is the Google Nest Hello Smart WiFi Video Doorbell. It excels at delivering alerts right away from over WiFi when you’re at home or cellular data when you’re out and about. This doorbell also offers the best video and audio quality of any doorbell we tested, facial recognition alerts for familiar faces, package delivery notifications, and more useful features that will make you feel secure.

Video quality is one of the most important features to look for in a smart video doorbell, and the Google Nest Hello really delivers on that front. Unlike our original winner, the Ring Video Doorbell 2, the Nest Hello captures video in 4:3 format, whereas Ring records in a 16:9 format (more of a wide-screen look). The advantage that Nest has, according to Google, is that this view is “designed to show people head to toe.

Within the Nest app, you have the option to control the night vision settings. When night vision is on, the video records in black and white. Even so, the video is clear and it’s easy to make out what’s going on outside the front door.

As for the audio, we were able to clearly communicate with whoever was at the front door without any audio issues while at home and out and about. The doorbell also comes with several pre-recorded responses, available in 13 different languages, that you can select if you're unable to get to the door.

What else makes this a standout doorbell amongst others we tested? For starters, it can recognize familiar faces, sending alerts when it sees someone it recognizes—or doesn't recognize. In our testing, this feature worked accurately on family members—including grandparents who only visit from time to time.

This is the only doorbell we tested that offers facial recognition. You can assign a name to each face, so you can know when a member of your household is at the front door. This is a handy feature so you can know exactly who is coming and going without having to closely review every notification. It can be especially helpful if you have a spouse or roommate who returns home from work late at night or kids who come and go throughout the day.

Additionally, the Nest Hello can detect package deliveries and send notifications to your phone when a package arrives at your front door.

And although a paid Nest Aware subscription is required to access some of these features, the payment really enhances what this doorbell can do. Currently, Nest Aware subscriptions start at $5 per month or $50 for one year of 24/7 continuous recording and five-day storage per camera. However, a new Nest Aware subscription will be available starting in 2020 starting at $6 a month or $60 annually for one home, instead of per camera. The paid service also includes intelligent alerts (like facial recognition) and the ability to create clips and timelapses to review or share with friends and family. Like Ring and Eufy, you can customize activity zones to avoid any false motion alerts.

Pros

  • Facial recognition

  • Reliable connection

  • High quality video and audio

Cons

  • Subscription plan is more expensive than others

Eufy Security Doorbell
Credit: Eufy

For less than $160, the Eufy Security Doorbell includes free local storage and 2K resolution, so you can always see who is at your door.

Best Value
Eufy Security WiFi Video Doorbell

The Eufy Security WiFi Video Doorbell is our best value pick. It almost instantly sends notifications over WiFi and data, offers crystal clear 2560 x 1920 pixel resolution during the day and at night, and—unlike our previous best value pick, the Zmodo Greet—Eufy’s doorbell includes free storage, so you can record and watch your doorbell’s video history without paying for a subscription. All for just $159.99.

(And, if you’re concerned about privacy, you’ll appreciate Eufy’s claim that there is a “military-grade AES-256 chip” to make sure your data is encrypted on transmission and storage.)

This doorbell, which requires existing doorbell wiring, integrates with Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, both of which can announce when someone rings the doorbell. Or, if you have a video display like the Google Nest Hub Max or Amazon Echo Show 5, you can say things like, “show me the front door” to see a live stream of who is there. The only real issue we had was that, on a couple of occasions, the app would randomly log us out and stop sending notifications. But overall this wasn’t much of an issue as it only happened twice after 14 days of testing.

One thing we really like about this doorbell is the ability to watch the preview of the motion alert (including a “facial snapshot”) without opening the app, like you can with the Google Nest Hello. It saves you the time of actually having to unlock your phone and open the app, which is helpful when you’re in a work meeting or running errands with kids and need to quickly check to see who is at your door.

Also like the Google Nest Hello, as well as Ring doorbells, you can set custom activity zones to help offset any false alerts. And, the Eufy doorbell uses artificial intelligence to differentiate between actual people and other objects and animals, something that not all of the doorbells we tested can do.

Overall, the two-way audio quality is clear and without any real delays, but there were sometimes where the person on the other end had trouble hearing my responses when I was away from home. However, this could’ve been due to my cell reception at the time. It’s worth noting that the audio from the doorbell on my end was easy to understand.

Pros

  • Free, encrypted local data storage

  • Custom activity zones

  • Works with Google and Alexa

Cons

  • Some audio problems

How We Tested

The Testers

Hi, I’m Rachel Murphy, Reviewed’s smart home staff writer. I live in a smart home that’s full of smart cameras, smart plugs, smart speakers, and a smart oven. During my tenure at Reviewed, I’ve tested smart mini projectors, smart water leak detectors, and other gadgets that can be controlled remotely or via smart assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit. I spent about six months testing eight popular smart WiFi video doorbells to find out which one reigns supreme. I conducted a major update of our smart doorbell testing previously completed by Samantha Gordon.

The Tests

For this roundup, we put each doorbell through a series of in-depth, hands-on tests to fully understand each one’s capabilities, features, and downsides.

We considered audio and video quality, of course, measuring how clear the picture was in multiple settings. We also tested the apps in terms of connectivity, time to start streaming, storage options, and ease of use. We also made sure they were weatherproof.

When it came to audio testing, almost all of the doorbells passed with flying colors, but as you’ll read below, some excelled. The same, not surprisingly, went for the “rain” test, where we simulated inclement weather with a spray bottle. But our other tests revealed variances that helped us determine which doorbells were worth your time and which wouldn’t deliver as good of a result.

How to Set Up a Smart Doorbell

Most smart video doorbells should easily install using the existing wires your home may already have for an everyday doorbell. If you don't have a wiring setup, then purchasing a smart video doorbell that's battery-powered, like the Ring Peephole Cam, will be the way to go.

For the most part, you don't need any other smart home devices or technologies to use smart doorbells—just your smartphone and the doorbell’s app. Some doorbells, like the Arlo Audio Doorbell, require the Arlo Base Station in order to use it.

However, most of these doorbells will work well with other smart home devices, like Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers, so check to see which are most compatible with the system you're using. In some cases, like with our top pick, the Google Nest Hello, you can see who is at your door as soon as it rings with a smart display like the Google Nest Hub Max. Smart speakers can also make announcements when someone rings your doorbell. Note that if you want to save your videos, a separate storage subscription cost may be necessary.

Privacy Concerns with Smart Doorbells

Before you buy a smart doorbell—or really any WiFi-enabled camera for your home—you should consider the privacy concerns that come along with these devices. Companies like Ring have come under fire lately for hackers being able to gain access to certain Ring camera devices.

Recently, Ring, one of the most popular smart video security device companies, teamed up with more than 400 law enforcement agencies around the country to share doorbell footage. Ring users must give their approval before sharing personal doorbell footage with police, but Rebecca Ricks, a Mozilla researcher, told USA Today that "once they have access, they can save it indefinitely."

So, what should you do? There are a few ways you can help protect your privacy. When setting up your new doorbell, you will have a chance to control your privacy settings like granting the companion app permission to access your audio and video feeds, sharing insights with the company, and other personal data.

Additionally, make sure to keep the software and firmware for the app and doorbell up-to-date so that you're running the latest security updates across your devices.

Finally, your password should be made up of a variety of letters (both upper and lower case), numbers, characters, and follow the doorbell's password guidelines. Selecting a lengthy password that you have not used elsewhere is a safe bet to keep hackers out, in case your login information has been previously compromised on other websites.


Other Smart Doorbells We Tested

Ring Video Doorbell 2

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 was our previous winner, but the Google Nest Hello doorbell bested this Ring model because it offered a more reliable connection—one of the most important factors to consider when buying a video-enabled doorbell. Additionally, Ring’s recent privacy concerns are another reason this doorbell is no longer our winner. However, the Ring Doorbell 2, when compared with others we tested, is still a reliable doorbell.

Its smartphone app connected to the doorbell quickly and consistently and offered clear night vision.

The ability to define the motion detection areas and sensitivity was also useful. If you have, say, a flag on your porch, you can tell the Ring to ignore the area where it tends to flap around and cause endless notifications. And the fact that it can be wired in but also has a battery means there’s no reason to sweat a power outage.

If you want to save and playback video clips, you’ll have to pay $3/month or shell out $30 for a year of storage using Ring Protect. If you invest in multiple Ring devices, they offer a $10/month or $100/year package for as many devices as you want. Granted, this only becomes cost-effective if you have more than three Ring devices (they don’t just make doorbells).

Pros

  • Stable and strong connection

  • Extremely clear night vision view

  • Ability define the motion detection areas

Cons

  • Nothing we could find

Ring Peephole Cam

Most video doorbells aren’t designed with apartment living in mind, but the Ring Peephole Cam aims to solve that problem. Like the name states, the doorbell inserts through the peephole of most front doors. As long as you have a compatible peephole, the setup is simple and can be accomplished in just a few minutes.

The doorbell's battery is rechargeable via a USB-C cable included with your purchase, and in our tests lasted about a month with everyday use. However, it's a good idea to purchase an extra battery to have on standby. This way, you can charge one battery while still having a spare to power up your Ring Peephole Cam.

During setup, the doorbell performed a connectivity test and a quick update, which took less than five minutes. Like other Ring cameras, you can set custom activity zones, including privacy zones that block the camera from viewing certain angles. This is useful if you don't want the doorbell to pick up unwanted motion like your neighbor’s door or window.

This doorbell wasn’t as quick at sending notifications as the Google Nest Hello or Eufy Security doorbells, but it sent alerts in about 10 seconds, which is still relatively quick. Alexa integration is fast and simple, and two-way audio is supported between Echo speakers and the Ring Peephole Cam. So, you can say things like, “Hey Alexa, talk to the front door,” or whatever name you’ve assigned your doorbell camera. Just make sure you don’t have your Echo speaker too close to your front door. When we had an Echo Dot within close range of the doorbell, it created a static sound. That was a quick fix though, when we moved it elsewhere in the room, away from the doorbell.

For a battery-operated camera, it offers clear pictures at night but starts to get fuzzy at about 10 ft. away. You can still make out someone’s face, but it’s not the highest quality. However, when you’re viewing a live stream of your Peephole Cam, the motion detection happens in real time, which is awesome. As soon as I moved my arm in front of the camera, the video showed me doing the same thing on my phone.

While the Peephole Cam can be used without a Ring subscription plan, you’ll need one if you want to access features like video recording and saving and sharing videos. Motion-activated alerts, real-time view (including the live view), and two-way communication are included without a subscription.

Pros

  • Battery-operated

  • Custom activity zones

Cons

  • Only fits certain peepholes

  • Night vision gets fuzzy sometimes

Remo+ RemoBell S

Our previous tester had a less than ideal experience with the Olive & Dove RemoBell, and while we still stand by what she wrote, we gave the Remo+ RemoBell S a try. To avoid any confusion, it’s worth pointing out that the device’s manufacturer, Olive & Dove, rebranded as Remo+ in 2018. And the RemoBell S is a much better doorbell than the RemoBell we originally tested.

This doorbell is easy to connect to Alexa and Google Assistant, has two-way audio that’s loud enough that I could hear it from the end of my driveway and has a square video feed instead of a rectangular view like most others we tested. The square view limited the view of my front porch. While the audio is clear and loud, it is delayed a few seconds. Additionally, you can choose from five predetermined motion zones to avoid false alerts, but there’s no option to click and drag for customized zones like you can on the Google Nest Hello and Ring doorbells.

This doorbell would benefit from custom motion zones. But you can adjust the sensitivity of the alerts in the Remo+ app. This is helpful if you have shadows from trees and flags that may show up in the afternoon and set off false motion alerts.

Like the majority of doorbells we tested, existing wiring is needed. The doorbell offers infrared night vision and three days of free cloud storage. Paid subscription plans are available if you require extra storage.

Pros

  • Loud audio

Cons

  • No custom activity zones

Skybell Trim Plus

The Skybell Trim Plus by Honeywell is comparable to the Ring Video Pro. It's fairly similar in style, as both doorbells have slim, rectangular designs and dark-colored mid-sections (where the camera is housed). This doorbell proceeds the Skybell HD—and offers a more reliable connection than its older sibling.

Overall, the doorbell was fairly easy to set up, but it does require existing doorbell wiring. As for the camera view, the Skybell records in 1080p HD and the ability to digitally zoom in up to five times the normal view. The image quality became a bit distorted when we zoomed all the way in. This doorbell also offered more of a fisheye lens view, giving the ability to see a broader view than other doorbells we tested.

In terms of surviving the elements, the Skybell Trim Plus is one of the most durable doorbells we tested. It can tolerate temperatures as low as -40°F and as high as 150°F. Although it’s rain-resistant, like most other doorbells we tried, it is not waterproof.

As far as integration with Alexa and Google Assistant, it was mostly smooth sailing. However, if you have a video smart speaker like the Amazon Echo Show, you won't be able to pull up Skybell's feed on your device. You can say things such as "Alexa, tell Skybell to record video" or "Hey, Google, talk to Skybell,” but you can’t ask it to show you video.

The Skybell Trim Plus tracks and sends motion alerts, but it doesn’t give you the option to create your motion zones, which is a bummer.

In the Skybell app, you can access features like live monitoring, WiFi connectivity, two-way audio, access for multiple users, activity history, and full-color night vision. Like Ring doorbells, the Skybell Trim Plus comes with a theft guarantee. So, if your smart doorbell is stolen, you can have it replaced for free.

Pros

  • Durable

  • Broad view

  • Full-color night vision

Cons

  • No custom motion zones

Skybell HD

The Skybell HD was a close performer to the Ring 2. The doorbell’s HD camera offered great image quality, and it was one of the only doorbells we tested with full-color night vision. Our original tester also loved the sleek design. It was the most doorbell-like of the bunch and did not scream “I am a camera” if you didn’t look too closely. This is great if you don’t necessarily want your visitors to know they’re on camera, or you (or your homeowner’s association) is particular about exterior design.

The Skybell’s LED indicators are also customizable, giving you millions of color options, which is a fun little extra if you’re into that sort of thing.

The main issue we had with the Skybell? It performed poorly when it came to connectivity. I tested this doorbell both in our lab and at my home and experienced inconsistent connectivity in both locations. If your router is at all far from your door, you are likely to see similar results.

Pros

  • Full-color night vision

Cons

  • Poor connectivity

Arlo Video Doorbell

New to the market, the Arlo Video Doorbell is an upgrade from Arlo’s original smart doorbell, the Arlo Audio Doorbell. The addition of video is a big improvement here.

At first glance, the Arlo Video Doorbell looks like our best overall pick, the Google Nest Hello: It's about the same size and similar aesthetic—mostly black with a glossy white exterior shell.

It features a 180-degree field-of-view, and, like the Nest Hello, it offers a "head to toe" view of whoever is at your door. When someone rings the doorbell, your phone will ring, just like it does with the Arlo Audio Doorbell. In order to see who is at the front door, you have to answer the call and then a live stream of your doorbell pops up. With 1536 x 1536 max video resolution, you can easily see a clear picture of your front porch at night.

We don't love that a phone call is necessary to see who rang the doorbell. It seems easier to send a notification, but alas, this is how both of Arlo's smart WiFi doorbells operate.

The sound quality for the Arlo Video Doorbell is much improved over the Arlo Audio Doorbell. The audio was delayed by a few seconds, but overall it was clear and easy to understand on both ends.

You can also respond with pre-recorded quick reply messages if you're unable to talk to who is at the front door. The picture is sharp, both at night and during the day.

The wired doorbell, which features a built-in siren and works with Amazon's Alexa, comes with a three-month complimentary Arlo Smart Trial, but after that, you will need to pay to access up to 30 days of cloud storage. With a paid subscription plan, you can also access features like cloud activity zones, package detection, and more. Plans start at $2.99 a month.

Pros

  • 180-degree field-of-view

  • Clear audio

  • Free three months of storage

Cons

  • Requires Arlo Base Station

  • Doorbell alerts sent as phone calls

Ring Video Doorbell

This doorbell was, overall, totally fine. It had a solid picture, great night vision, good connectivity, and uses the same app as the Ring Doorbell 2. The newer version has a slightly better picture, response times, and night vision, but this makes a great buy too, especially because it goes on sale often.

Pros

  • Clear nightvision

  • Works with Amazon Alexa

Cons

  • Nothing we could find

Arlo Audio Doorbell

The Arlo Audio Doorbell only offers audio. So, when someone rings the doorbell, instead of sending a notification to your phone like the majority of doorbells we tested, it calls your phone. We didn’t love this feature, because not everyone is in a position to answer their phone whenever their doorbell rings.

Additionally, for being an audio-only doorbell, the sound was hard to hear on both ends and it picks up too much background noise. During our tests, the two-way audio often was spotty and delayed.

However, this doorbell can be used with an Arlo Wireless Outdoor Camera, so you can check the camera to see who is at the door when the Arlo Audio Doorbell is pressed. Another downside is that this doorbell requires Arlo Base Station. This is true of any of the Arlo smart home products, but it’s an extra cost to consider if you don’t already have an Arlo ecosystem up and running.

We could not get the doorbell to send notifications via Google Assistant, however, it connected with Alexa just fine. The doorbell didn’t always seem to stay connected when I was away from home and the doorbell button was not as satisfying to press as other models we tested. When I tested the button without my phone on hand, it was tough to know whether the doorbell registered my button push or not.

We tested the Arlo Audio Doorbell before the announcement of the Arlo Video Doorbell in November. If you are committed to the Arlo set up, skip the Arlo Audio Doorbell and go for the Arlo Video Doorbell instead.

Pros

  • Can be paired with Arlo Outdoor Camera

Cons

  • No video

  • Requires Arlo Base Station

  • Doorbell alerts sent as phone calls

Zmodo Greet

This was our previous best value pick. Our testing found the Zmodo Greet offers reliable connectivity, a clear picture, and an intuitive app. You even get free storage of any motion detection or answered calls for up to 36 hours (with incremental cloud storage packages available too).

However, our newer pick, the Eufy Security WiFi Video Doorbell, offers more features, free monthly storage, and extremely clear 2K resolution video all for about the same price as the Zmodo Greet.

Pros

  • Clear picture

Cons

  • Live feed display issues

Ring Video Doorbell Pro

This doorbell is a bit sleeker than its siblings, but that’s really the main feature that sets it apart. Considering it’s usually more expensive than the Ring 2, there is not really a compelling enough reason to spend more for this model. Plus, this is the only model from Ring that is hardwired-only and doesn't offer a battery-powered alternative.

Pros

  • Sleek and modern design

  • Works with Amazon Alexa

Cons

  • More expensive than other Ring doorbells

  • No battery; hardwire only

August Doorbell Cam Pro

August released the August Doorbell Cam Pro in 2017—the newer version of the August Door Cam, which we tested in an older version of this guide. This doorbell was quick and easy to set up with Google Assistant and Alexa. Both smart assistants make voice announcements when someone is at the front door, a feature that can be turned on and off.

This doorbell takes on a square design, abandoning the more traditional rectangular shape most of the other doorbells have. It feels—and looks—a little cheaper than other doorbells we tested like the Arlo Video Doorbell and Google Nest Hello.

As for video quality, it delivers high-definition video but it’s nowhere near as sharp as the Google Nest Hello or Eufy Security doorbell, however, it does offer full-color night vision and a floodlight brightness setting to help improve the picture. Unfortunately, the connectivity issues that our original tester experienced with the August Doorbell Cam carried over to the August Doorbell Cam Pro. It didn’t always stay connected to WiFi and it wasn’t nearly as responsive as other doorbells.

As for sound quality, the audio isn’t all that loud, even when set to the highest volume. When standing 10 feet back from the doorbell, I had a hard time hearing. However, the audio isn’t muffled and is clear—you just need to be close enough to hear it. Other doorbells we tested, like the Eufy Security and RemoBell S, offered louder audio. The doorbell picked up passing cars and other background noise, which sometimes hindered my ability to hear the other person when communicating via the August app.

However, for $199, we think the Eufy Security or Google Nest Hello offers more bang for your buck over the August Doorbell Cam Pro.

The Doorbell Cam Pro can be paired with August Smart Locks, so you can let friends or family into your home without actually being there. (We tested smart door locks and the August Smart Lock Pro was a very close runner-up to our best overall lock, the Schlage Encode).

Pros

  • Full-color night vision

  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • Video quality lacking

  • Connectivity issues

August Doorbell Cam

Overall, the August Doorbell Cam was unimpressive. The design was the least natural of any of the doorbells that we’ve tested. It suffered regular connectivity issues, slow response times, and setup was the most involved of the devices we tested in both the app and with the hardware. Using the doorbell’s app was fairly frustrating. If you let the doorbell go unanswered, it rings far longer than other apps do, forcing your guest to wait longer than necessary to find out you’re not home. It also doesn't have a night vision setting, which is a major deficiency.

Pros

  • Smartphone alerts

  • Two-way audio

Cons

  • Connectivity issues

  • Difficult set up process

Avoid
Olive & Dove RemoBell

This was the largest smart doorbell in our test group, and it proved that size isn’t everything. The app setup was clunky. Once set up, the app didn’t give me the option to live-stream the camera feed, which all the others did with no issue, except the Arlo Audio Doorbell. It took noticeably longer to connect the app to the doorbell than the others, and the app’s notifications lagged considerably. If you’re waiting on a package delivery or a cable guy, this doorbell is just too risky.

Pros

  • Nothing we could find

Cons

  • No livestream option

  • Long and lagging connection times

  • App is difficult to setup

Meet the testers

Samantha Gordon

Samantha Gordon

Managing Editor - Ecommerce

@sam_the_editor

Samantha is an avid writer, editor, and consumer with an oddly deep love for finding amazing deals on amazing products, especially stuff that makes life easier. Her personal passions include smart home tech, 3D printing, crafting, cocktails, and cats.

See all of Samantha Gordon's reviews
Rachel Murphy

Rachel Murphy

Staff Writer

@rachel_murphy

Rachel Murphy covers smart home for Reviewed. She holds a journalism degree from the University of Central Florida. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer for several major outlets including Mashable and MSN, and as an associate editorial producer for ABC News' Good Morning America.

See all of Rachel Murphy's reviews

Checking our work.

We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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