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January 15, 2020 • In Electrical, Featured • 3 Min Read

Best of 2019 Smart Home Improvement: Doorbell Cameras

GEM

By GEM

There are so many video doorbell cameras on the market, it can be difficult to sort through the options. GEM is here to help you make the best choice for your home, with a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of today’s most popular doorbell cameras.

If you look at all of the home electronics and smart home product reviews, there are a few video doorbells that stand out:

  • Ring Video Doorbell 2
  • Nest Hello
  • SkyBell HD
  • August Doorbell Cam Pro

RING VIDEO DOORBELL 2

Ring makes the Ring Video Doorbell and the Video Doorbell Pro, but it’s the Video Doorbell 2 that gets a lot of favorable mentions.

ADVANTAGES OF RING VIDEO DOORBELL 2

  • The video is high-definition 1080p with a 160° wide field of vision. 
  • The user can hear and speak to anyone at their front door with instant mobile alerts and you can “answer” the doorbell from your phone, tablet or PC. 
  • It is iOS, Android, Mac and Windows 10 compatible. 
  • The motion detector distance is adjustable, and the camera has infrared night vision capabilities. 
  • It can work with your doorbell’s existing low-voltage wiring or it can run off a rechargeable battery pack. 

DISADVANTAGES OF RING VIDEO DOORBELL 2

  • It requires a subscription to record video. 

Learn more about the Ring Video Doorbell 2.

NEST HELLO

The Nest Hello is Google’s video doorbell, which comes highly recommended for the following features. 

ADVANTAGES OF NEST HELLO

  • It supports 24/7 continuous streaming and recording.
  • Its camera has an aspect ratio that shows visitors from head to foot.
  • You can pre-record messages for situations in which you can’t answer personally. 
  • It works with a whole host of compatible products, such as Yale Locks, and other Nest products.
  • Nest Aware, the subscription that comes with Nest Hello, gets you access to another cool feature, face recognition, to tell you if there’s a stranger at your door or a friend or relative.

DISADVANTAGES OF NEST HELLO

  • You have to have an existing doorbell with low voltage wiring, transformer and an existing chime box for it to work. 
  • There is no battery option. 
  • You can get up to 30 days of continuous video, but you have to subscribe to Nest Aware. 

Learn more about the Nest Hello.

SkyBell HD

The SkyBell HD is a round puck-shaped video doorbell that gathers an exceptionally wide 180° field of view of HD video. 

Advantages of SkyBell HD

  • Night video is in color. 
  • Its motion detectors begin recording a few seconds before an event, such as the doorbell being rung. 
  • It is highly compatible with other devices. It has an If This Then That (IFTTT) channel, which allows for the use of conditional statement driven features, and works with both Amazon Alexa and Google’s Nest. 
  • Multiple people can receive alerts to answer the doorbell and you can have multiple devices on each account. 
  • You can snap a photo of visitors with the touch of a button.
  • It stores a week’s-worth of video in the cloud for no charge. No subscription needed. 
  • It is more affordable than most competitors on the market. 

Bonus! For anybody up north — the device works down to -40°F. A lot of its competitors only work down to -5°F. 

DISAdvantages of SkyBell HD

  • It doesn’t have a web application. 
  • It requires a low-voltage wiring connection to work with your existing chime box.

Learn more about the SkyBell HD.

August Doorbell Cam Pro

Here’s one more video doorbell that’s been getting good reviews. In fact, PC Magazine named it an Editors’ Choice. The Doorbell Cam Pro shows high-def video and clear two-way audio. 

Advantages of August Doorbell Cam Pro

  • It works with your existing low-voltage wiring, transformer and chime box. 
  • It can be a gateway to other smart home products. August makes a line of smart locks that pair with the doorbell and that are compatible with a wide range of other smart home products. 
  • It has a built-in floodlight, allowing it to capture full-color video at night. 

DISAdvantages of August Doorbell Cam Pro

  • It requires a subscription to record video, which is relatively expensive compared to competitors’ subscription costs. 
  • It has a narrower field of vision in comparison to other doorbell cameras. 

Learn more about the August Doorbell Cam Pro.

All of these products come highly recommended, so check them out to make your smart home even smarter! Once you’ve decided which smart doorbell is best for you and your home, book an appointment with GEM to get it installed by our licensed and experienced electricians

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