Top 6 Smart WiFi Camera Doorbell Reviews

The humble doorbell has been used by young children to irritate their seniors since its very invention, but those little demons have to find a new way to occupy their time, because the crowning achievement of 21st-century science and engineering must surely be the WiFi-enabled smart doorbell.

Fine, that may be overstating it just a little bit, but home security is not something to take for granted and knowing when someone is at the door, as well as who they may be, can be a pretty important first step in staying safe or keeping your possessions safe.

So here I have selected a few of these WiFi doorbells that look promising and we’ll see what exactly they offer for their respective prices. If there are any I really like I’ll highlight them at the top of the list, but the rest are not going to be in any special order.

Second Best Pick: Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell

I know it’s strange to start with a second best pick, but that’s because the very best pick is the successor of this one. Just hear me out.

This is one of the more expensive products that I have seen in this category, but it’s not exactly the best looking. It comes in a couple of finishes, but honestly the all-black scheme is the only one that looks halfway decent. I really hope this is a brilliant doorbell, because it would have to be in order to make up for those looks.

So what do you get for the not-insignificant price? Well, for one thing you aren’t limited to simply watching passively through a camera, you can also talk to whomever is standing in front of your door. I guess that makes it more of a video intercom than an actual doorbell, but the dividing line is fuzzy at best.

This doorbell has night vision built right in, it has motion detection, and it will alert you wherever you are. One thing I like about this doorbell is that it has a built-rechargeable power source so that if the power goes out it will keep working. The downside of this is that batteries have a relatively short lifespan, so the battery will probably reach the end of its life before the rest of the device.

This doorbell is also compatible with wireless N technology, which means that even with this somewhat older model, you don’t have to introduce a slow protocol into your home network. With a 180-degree field of view and 720p HD video resolution you should have no problem identifying the faces of the person at the door.

All in all this looks like an excellent choice, but I have noted a few issues that might influence your purchasing decision. The camera seems to catch people as they are leaving and what’s worse, you can’t access the camera whenever you want. It seems like a silly thing, but you can only access the camera when someone rings the bell. Luckily a software update has been released that adds a “live view” function, but people have had mixed success in getting it to work. The most recent customer reviews say it works fluently now, but for a doorbell that costs almost two hundred bucks I’m just not terribly impressed by all this.

However, compared to the rest of the field it seems that the Ring is perhaps the best you are going to get, apart perhaps from the improved Pro version, but this costs far too much to get my recommendation.

Best Overall: Ring Video Doorbell Pro

The regular old non-pro Ring doorbell is a promising product that has too many flaws for serious consideration. I really hope that they fixed the issues I had in this pro edition. Whatever they have changed, it comes at a price. This smart doorbell costs well over two hundred dollars! Yeah, it’s expensive, but if it does its thing well, the price may be worth it.

For one thing, the Ring pro will work with both 2.4 and 5.0 Ghz WiFi, which is good for those of use with newer routers. The companion app lets you receive alerts and you can also view recorded footage as saved to the cloud, although this storage feature will set you back $30 a year (which is pretty good actually compared to other manufacturer plans).

The footage, by the way, is full 1080p HD. Night vision is a given and you also get two-way communication. One thing I really like is the inclusion of noise cancellation. Noisy, low-volume sound is one of the most common complaints I have seen with regard to WiFi doorbells, and this additional technology will deal with that problem decisively.

So does it make up for the shortcomings of the original Ring device? The short answer is yes, but I have to warn you for a few customer reviews that seem to have received a beginning-of-lifecycle Monday morning model. These have a variety of reliability issues and the support from Ring wasn’t exactly impressive, but as long as the WiFi signal at the doorbell is good and constant, the overall consensus is that the doorbell, sound, camera and app of the Ring Pro work fluently and reliably. Nighttime motion detection still seems to be a bit wonky, but I’d rather have one or two false alarms than no alarm at all.

For the price you might expect something as simple as a video doorbell to work perfectly, but as with everything that needs to be integrated in wireless home networks, some people will experience connection problems. The software is pretty stable though and installation is straightforward, so once you have it running, you can happily enjoy all the conveniences of chat, video and internet on your android or iOS device. You’ll never go back to a dumb doorbell again.

Best for the Money: SkyBell Smart Camera Doorbell Version 2.0

The first thing I like about the SkyBell is, as the name suggests, the classic look of the thing. If you put this on a nice traditional or classically-styled door it would blend right in. Lots of smart home technology is going for a nasty “futuristic” look that will be out of fashion pretty quickly. That’s fine for something like a smartphone where you buy a new one every two years or so, but a lot of this stuff will hang around for a decade or more, so timeless looks are actually quite important.

The SkyBell has a nice set of core features which I think are both sensible and genuinely useful. You can use it with both Android and iOS devices and it will work with a WiFi setup that’s compatible with either the b or g 2.4Ghz standard.

The camera itself is pretty decently specified actually. It has night-vision and a wide angle lens. There’s also a motion sensor and a silent doorbell mode. Obviously the doorbell has to be a bit weatherproof and SkyBell has even managed to turn the fact that the housing is plastic into a selling point, saying that it maximizes the range of the WiFi. Imagine that.

Using the app you can check in even when you aren’t home and have the doorbell alert you when the motion detector senses movement. Pretty useful early warning system.

So how does it perform? Well, the best users can say about it is that the SkyBell is sort of OK. Not the most resounding endorsement, I think. There are complaints about video quality that is too poor for any security use. You can’t actually make out details like faces for one thing. The motion sensor also seems to have a tendency towards false positives.

There are however lots of people who are happy with the Skybell, so it is actually an average product in my view.

The Really Low on Budget Choice: Kingmak WiFi Doorbell

Of all the video doorbells I have looked at I like the Kingmak’s design the most. It looks a bit techy without being garish. It is also a nice touch that it does not have a physical button to push, but just a touch-sensitive patch. This not only comes across as more elegant, but has a practical purpose in waterproofing the device.

The doorbell has motion detection, IR night vision and can connect up to eight different mobile devices. You can also monitor four different Kingmaks from one phone. Apart from WiFi this is the first video doorbell I have seen that also takes a network cable, which may be a better solution for some and I appreciate having the option.

All the core features are here, but as you probably have noted, this is one of the cheapest examples of a WiFi video doorbell out there. Although there is a cloud service, there does not seem to be cloud video recording. Footage can be recorded to your mobile device however.

There are some negatives. It seems that people struggle with the more complex than usual installation and that the Kingmak does not always work as expected. When you do get it properly working it does the job adequately and I can’t be too hard on a product that undercuts the rest of the field by this much.

If you really must have a video doorbell and are on a strict budget you could consider the Kingmak.

Toguard Smart Wireless Video Doorbell

The Toguard makes quite a few promises if you read its feature list. The main one that I find interesting is the fact that it promotes how waterproof it is. As far as I am concerned anything designed to be a doorbell should handle at least a reasonable amount of rain and other inclement weather, so I’m keen to see exactly what they mean by that.

I like the fact that it uses a passive IR sensor in order to detect motion. Many WiFi doorbells use digital camera motion detection which tries to look for movement in the video frame. That’s a very inaccurate system that leads to a frustrating amount of false positive. It works well with security cameras that are monitoring a static scene, but the view from most people’s front doors are not static and I doubt anyone wants to receive a push notification whenever a car drives past.

There is both an iOS and Android app with real-time two-way communication possible. Best of all, you can actually unlock the door remotely using the Toguard and the included lock control.

Like almost every other doorbell I’ve looked at the Toguard also has night vision. It all sounds good, but some people are suffering from poor WiFi connectivity and an unresponsive device. Until this issue is fixed with an update I can’t yet recommend the Toguard, although in every other way I am quite happy with it.

Zmodo Greet Review

The Greet is another video doorbell that has this top-bottom split color scheme, just like the Ring. I prefer something less oblong, but Zmodo has made this into a more interesting shape rather than just a straight-edged rectangle.

The Greet has most of the features that we expect at this price and for this kind of product. There’s live viewing of the HD camera any time you want and you can speak to them via a speaker. The motion detection also has an auto-record function that alerts you and sends you a clip of who was at the door. The angle of the lens is not the widest that I have seen, but 155 degrees should be enough for almost anyone. There is also night vision and a wonderful ability to mute notifications during certain times of day.

The marketing material also promises a future feature where footage is recorded continuously to the cloud. I have no idea if this is working yet, but that would be super useful. It may never happen though, so don’t take that into account as a strong buying criterion.

Once again, this is a product that seems great on paper, but provides what seem to be a mediocre experience in practice. In the case of the Greet, however, the complaints are not serious and most people could probably live with them. The price is not cheap, but also not as expensive as I have seen. I guess it might be worth it if it goes on sale, but there are better alternatives at this price point.

Ring In The Final Round

When I identified WiFi video doorbells as something that I would want as part of my own home automation setup, I never expected to have such a hard time finding a product that I would actually spend my own money on. I mean, how hard can it be to make what amounts to a webcam with a button? Apparently quite hard, as just about every product that I reviewed seemed haunted by problems and poor aftermarket support. Home automation is as much about simplicity and reliability as it is about convenience. Most of these products seem to be more of a hassle than they are worth, but fortunately there were a few exceptions.