The best Smart doorbells that really work

Firstly, what is a Smart doorbell? And which one should you invest in?

Smart doorbells

by Kirk Schwarz |

Knock knock, who’s there? Actually, don’t bother answering that, we can already see you. So, despite ruining one of the finest joke-telling mechanics, smart doorbells are revolutionary. Packed with a wide-angle camera, Wi-Fi connection and in-app alerts, you’ll always know who is at your door.

And they're not just useful for scouting out whether you want to answer your best friend or hide under the sofa from a door-to-door salesman. Thanks to motion tracking and the power of the Cloud, your smart bell can alert your smartphone, as long as you have a signal, to warn you of any activity. This makes it much more than a novelty, being seen by many as one of the best home security devices on the market.

Whatever the reason you’re looking to invest in a shiny new video doorbell, we can all agree that you can never take too many security measures, and with the rise in prominence, these options are as useful as a deterrent for opportunistic crime as they are handy to make sure you never miss your weekday parcel again.

The best smart doorbells UK 2022

The Ring Doorbell is the one that started it all off, and now it's on version 4. The Ring 4 allows you to check out goings-on with high-resolution Full HD 1080p video and you never have to miss a moment with the Colour Pre-Roll video previews, which adds up to four seconds of extra video for every motion. A built-in microphone and speaker system allow you to talk to your visitor - great to deter shady characters or redirect your sign for delivery. It's powered by a rechargeable Quick Release Battery Pack, super easy for switching out, though you choose to hardwire it if you prefer. It also has Alexa compatibility, a wide-angle lens that gives you 160 degrees of capture, and motion detection to keep you ahead of the game.

Features:

• 1080p HD video with two-way talk

• Instant notifications

• Removable rechargeable battery pack

• Works with Alexa

• Dual-band (2.4 and 5.0 GHz) Wi-Fi connectivity

• Complete control from Ring app

Review: "First impressions are that the build quality is excellent, this feels like a quality item, solid and substantial. Thought has been put into this, the included angled mount allows you to better select the viewing area, coupled with the user-specified active motion detection zones greatly reducing false triggering. The response time between either a movement trigger or a bell press is fast, my previous unbranded version took so long to alert me, the visitor had already left.

"The Ring 4 performs superbly and I haven't missed any callers to my home. The quality of the sound and vision is excellent and the ability to look back through the cloud recordings is an excellent feature. I had read that its wifi supported 5.8G, however, I could only select the 2.4G side of the router - but that is still very quick. I should have bought this the first time instead of wasting money and time being frustrated with the unbranded version. Would I buy the Ring 4 again? - yes, in a heartbeat."

Nest's alternative to Ring's video doorbell also features a 160-degree field of view and high definition video recording. It even comes with night vision and HDR to get the most from your footage, regardless of the scene. Thanks to Google's Cloud services, you can record 24/7, and smart motion detection can differentiate between people and objects. As you'd expect, you can communicate two-way via HD audio, and alerts come straight to your phone in the case of any questionable visitors.

Features:

• Instant alerts

• HD video quality, day and night

• HD talk and listen

• Video history

• Secure - with 128-bit AES with TLS/SSL encryption

Review: "Doesn't have battery capabilities, but if you either already have a doorbell transformer, or you know the basics of electronics, then this is pretty easy to set up. Works well to notify all devices and has a selection of pre-created greetings to communicate with people at the door."

Much like the previous Ring door cam, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 offers you two-way audio communication, motion detection for maximum security, and a glorious high definition 1536p video - the best quality of all our selected smart doorbells. The customisable 3D Motion Detection powers a new Bird’s Eye View feature, which gives you with an aerial map view of your property showing you the historical context of motion events. It can send alerts to your Ring app that you can control, and recordings are saved up to 30 days after subscribing to Ring Protect. Too busy to answer the door? Use Quick Replies to respond with a pre-selected message, perfect for taking in parcels while working at the office or home.

Features:

• 1536p HD video

• Real-time mobile notifications

• Two-way talk and noise cancellation

• Works with Alexa

• Customisable knock and motion detection

Review: "I did a fair amount of research talking to friends who had video doorbells, and though I paid a bit more than some available, I am so pleased with this one which I decided upon. Easy to set up (providing you remember to set it up on your router, not an extender), and the ability to view saved video clips for £80/annum is brilliant.

"We also bought the optional chime, which means we hear the bell throughout the house. I am amazed at how good the night vision recording is - I didn't know we had nocturnal foxes until I saw them clear as day on a recording. Very happy, don't pay less!"

More of a budget option, the Byron is a solid entry to the world of video doorbells. It features 1080p Full HD video recording with a 160-degree field-of-view, smartphone alerts and motion detection - none too shabby so far. You can enable two-way communication to deter or advise your guests, and the infrared night vision allows the camera to capture subjects in the dark up to 3 meters away and records directly to an SD card.

Features:

• 1080p Full HD video – with infra-red night vision

• Doorbell alerts via phone

• Easy installation

• Can be connected to an automatic door or gate opener

Review: "Easy to install. Has been paired with an indoor wireless Byron chime which works great. It has a clear and high-resolution camera and good night vision. Good software to adjust settings and linked up easily with an iPhone and an Android notepad. The best part is that videos/images can be saved on Dropbox etc, no need to pay a subscription. No issues after several weeks use."

Okay, you got us, it's not technically a doorbell. However, this Mickey Mouse-looking contraption is a part video monitor, part floodlight. You still get 1080p Full HD video and two-way communication. Ring Protect gives you 30 days of saved footage, and you'll get alerts straight to your smartphone. Where this differs is that it includes a siren, two ultra-bright LED floodlights and motion sensors with a 270-degree field-of-view and object and facial detection. You can even use the smart zoom to get close to the alarm causing the issue and separate that detestable burglar, from your neighbour Dodgy Dave… Get out of my bin Dave!

Features:

• 1080p HD video with live view

• Motion-activated alerts

• Two-way talk

• Remotely activated siren

• Customisable motion zones

Review: "Frankly I'd give it 5 stars just for the install, someone at Ring has REALLY thought about the entire installation process and made it so simple even an idiot would struggle to get it wrong! If you can drill a hole and use a screwdriver (they even provide one in the box!) then there really isn't much else to it if you're replacing an existing powered floodlight or have an external socket in a convenient location.

"As for the rest of it, it's a 1080p camera which is decent but not great by today's standards, the floodlight is adequate and certainly lights up my average size back garden (approx 50m2) and my neighbours. It's the ring software which is great on its own and plays really nicely when you have other ring products."

With the Arlo Essential Wireless Video Doorbell you can get video calls directly to your mobile phone when pressed so you can find out who’s at your door faster. You can hear and speak to visitors using the built-in speaker and microphone and get a clear picture of them thanks to the 1080p HD video with HDR, crisp night vision, unique square viewing angle, and a wide 180-degree field of view. This way you can see a person from head to toe or check if any packages have been left on the ground.

The Arlo also claims to the only doorbell with a built-in deterrent siren included which can be triggered from the app or via motion detection. In many ways, the Arlo doorbell combines some of the best features from across the Ring range.

Features:

• Mobile notifications

• Two-way talk

• Built-in deterrent siren

• 1080p HD video with HDR

• Wide 180-degree field of view

Review: "Purchased the Arlo Doorbell to go with my existing Arlo Pro2 camera setup. Installation was incredibly simple; the wireless version has a rechargeable battery so it's not dependent on your existing doorbell transformer powering it. However, the beauty of the kit is you can then have an existing bell power supply trickle charge the battery. Best of both worlds!

"Wiring up to my existing bell was a doddle, just unplug the two wires on the old button and wire into the Arlo. My existing chime still works, so no need to invest in another. The kit includes a flat and an angled mount to suit most door positions.

"Calling from the bell to mobile phones works really well. I've found the delay between the button being pressed and my phone/tablet ringing to be within 1sec - just have it as near as possible to your wireless router. Works great with existing cameras so you can include them in existing recording schedules and have other cameras trigger when the doorbell detects motion. Works with Alexa just like the other Arlo cameras do; I often have the video displayed on an Echo Show and Fire TV."

Unlike other popular smart doorbells such as the Ring, one of the biggest selling points of the Eufy doorbell is that you don't need to pay an extra fee every month to have the doorbell video footage stored. Instead, Eufy's built-in storage saves up to 90 days of footage so you can keep your home and wallet protected.

The 2K resolution quality is seriously impressive and the 4:3 aspect ratio gives you a head-to-toe view of anyone who approaches your door. The doorbell's AI instantly analyses each 'event' and accurately determines whether or not a human is present - meaning you won't be notified if a cat happens to wander past the front door.

Read our full Eufy video doorbell review here, as tried and tested by Yours Digital Writer Emily Thorpe.

Features:

• Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant

• Motion Detection and notifications

• Built-in storage that saves up to 90 days of footage

• Two-way audio talk

• 2K Full HD video

Review: "I bought this doorbell to add it to my existing Eufy system of cameras. Previously I had another big brand doorbell that was ok but not great. I set this doorbell up to work off my existing homebase rather than the chime and as with all Eufy products it was really easy using the app. Picture quality is very good and the night vision is good also.

"Notifications come through fastest if you select notification only and not select images. This doorbell integrates perfectly into my existing setup and works exactly as I hoped it would. Very easy to install and so a few of my family are now purchasing them. Would highly recommend!"

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