A smart doorbell is one of the most useful gadgets out there. Once you’ve got one, you’ll always know when someone’s at your door because you’ll receive notifications on your phone when they press the doorbell. And even if they don’t, most smart doorbells will detect a person and alert you anyway.
As they have built-in cameras, microphones and speakers you can see, hear and speak to someone whether you’re not home or not.
If you miss the notification or can’t answer the door, Wi-Fi doorbells can often speak a standard reply such as “I can’t answer right now” and record video of the person so you can see who it was and what they may have been trying to deliver later on.
If there’s a catch, it’s that most manufacturers want you to pay a subscription to do anything other than see the live video feed and get notifications when the doorbell is pressed. This, of course, adds to the overall cost and must be factored in: don’t just look at the price of the doorbell itself.
However, not all smart doorbells require a subscription. Eufy, Netatmo and Ezivz doorbells don’t force you to pay for cloud storage, and they don’t lock away useful features behind a subscription.
Subscription-free doorbells don’t have to be expensive either. Amazon’s Blink doorbell can be used with a ‘Sync module’ that records video just like Eufy’s HomeBase.
Many of the best doorbells can limit notifications to specific things, such as a person, vehicle, parcel or animal, rather than alerting you when a tree branch is moving in the wind or some other motion you don’t care about.
Smart doorbells can also be useful if you’re at home in the garden or anywhere that you can’t easily hear the doorbell ring. You simply need to have your phone nearby. Some models will work with an existing chime, but an alternative is to buy a specific chime for that doorbell or set it up to work with your smart speaker so a Google Home or Amazon Echo can let you know someone’s at the door.
Prices vary a lot, as do features and video quality. Below, you’ll find our pick of the best smart doorbells available right now for all budgets, but scroll down to find more expert buying advice.
1. Eufy Video Doorbell Dual – Best overall
Dedicated parcel camera
HomeBase with 16GB of storage included
Whole unit must be removed for charging
If your budget will stretch to it, the Eufy Video Doorbell Dual is well worth the cost. It’s unique here because it has two cameras: one facing forwards, and one pointing at the ground so it can watch out for parcels.
It offers great control over motion detection so you only get notifications that you care about. Better still, it comes with an indoor module called the HomeBase which acts like a range extender and means you don’t need a strong Wi-Fi signal at your door as with most other smart doorbells.
The HomeBase has 16GB of built-in storage for recording video, meaning there’s no need to pay a subscription as you do with Ring, Google and other doorbells that offer no local recording option.
Video quality is impressive both day and night, and you have a choice of using the built-in battery to power the unit or using a transformer for continuous mains power. If you want the simplicity of battery power, just note the whole doorbell must be removed from its mounting bracket to be recharged: you can’t buy spare batteries and swap them over.
Read our full
Eufy Video Doorbell Dual review
2. Ring Battery Doorbell Plus – Best battery doorbell for most people
Shows visitors from head to toe
Good quality video
2.4GHz Wi-Fi connectivity only
Colour pre-roll video is not supported
Ring Protect subscription required
Ring’s range of doorbells is probably too large and confusing for most people. So let’s make it simple: the Ring Battery Doorbell Plus is the one to buy. For just about everyone, it’s the one you want: it shows the visitor from head to toe thanks to it’s square video, but also improves resolution on older models such as the Doorbell 4.
Ring has also added package detection, primarily because packages left on your doorstep are now within the camera’s field of view. The Plus supports colour night vision, and you can also enable HDR, but you’ll have to sacrifice some battery life.
The sticking point, as with all Ring doorbells, is that most of the features – including recording and package detection – are locked behind a Ring Protect subscription and there’s no way around that. Still, as an overall package, this is hard to beat as long as you don’t need support for Apple HomeKit or great integration with Google Assistant.
Read our full
Ring Battery Doorbell Plus review
3. Google Nest Doorbell (wired) – Best hardwired doorbell
Face & package detection
Excellent HDR video
No power supply included
It used to be called the Nest Hello and has been around for a good few years but is still a top choice now. It’s packed with features, offers great-quality HDR footage and is easy to use.
The only area we’d like to see improved is motion detection, but you can set up custom zones to avoid lots of false notifications.
It’s expensive to buy, but if you have other Nest security cameras, then a single Nest Aware v2 subscription cost covers them all and is better value than Ring’s Protect.
A subscription is required for recording but it also gives you some useful features such as face and package recognition, and the Nest app is better than Google Home, which you’re forced to use if you opt for the lower-resolution battery-powered model.
The app makes it easy to see events as you scroll through the timeline, even if you don’t pay extra for the continuous recording you get with Nest Aware Plus, a feature rarely seen on other doorbells but still useful if you want a doorbell that’s more like CCTV.
Installation isn’t difficult if you have a mains socket near your door, as you can buy an AC adapter, but it’s a shame Nest doesn’t include one in the box given the high price.
It works with most existing wired chimes and you can also get notifications from Alexa and Google Assistant on your smart speaker and other devices.
Read our full
Nest Hello review
4. Ring Video Doorbell Wired – Best budget doorbell
No power supply included
Doesn’t work with existing chimes
If you’re on a budget and are happy to accept ‘good quality’ video rather than the very best available, then few rivals can beat the Video Doorbell Wired for value.
It requires AC power at your door, which is great if you already have it, but will cost you extra if you don’t. The Doorbell Wired works with Ring’s plug-in mains adapter, so a DIY install is possible if you have a socket somewhere near your front door.
Surprisingly, it gives you six seconds of pre-roll, just like Ring’s most expensive doorbell, and this means you see a few seconds of footage before the motion began.
While it requires the same Protect subscription to enable recordings, rich notifications and other features, it’s a bargain at this price.
Read our full
Ring Video Doorbell Wired review
5. Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 – Best Ring doorbell
Superb motion detection
Wide viewing angles
Great quality video
No face recognition
For the same cost as the original 2019 Doorbell Pro, the second-generation adds quite a few new features and improves on video quality and viewing angles so you can see more, including packages left on your doorstep. And thanks to a software update, you can now get notifications when packages are detected.
3D motion detection, using radar, allows you to choose how far away motion should be before you get an alert and, along with custom zones, you can practically eliminate any false motion alerts.
Night vision is pretty good (bearing in mind no smart doorbell is truly great in the dark) and quality during the daytime is excellent.
The Ring app is better than most, and has deep integration with Ring’s other products and the rich notifications you get with a Ring Protect subscription are great.
Read our full
Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 review
6. Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell – Best subscription-free doorbell
No subscription required
Expensive to buy
Not the best video quality
Unlike the likes of Ring and other battery-powered smart doorbells in our chart, the Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell requires a wired power supply and probably an electrician to install.
But, once you’ve got this out of the way, you’ll never need to worry about recharging batteries or enabling more advanced, power-hungry features like night vision or live viewing.
It’s not the only way that the Netatmo system differentiates itself either – it also records exclusively in portrait mode, making it much easier to capture a person from head-to-toe. The downside is that you don’t capture as much of the environment, and you might miss the action completely depending on doorbell placement, so it’s not a clear-cut win.
The main highlight is that the doorbell doesn’t require a monthly subscription to access video footage – something required by most other smart doorbells on the market right now – and instead records video to a built-in microSD card.
Read our full
Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell review
7. Blink Video Doorbell
Can record video to Sync Module 2
Average video quality
Won’t monitor doorstep for parcels
Blink, like Ring, is owned by Amazon and now there’s a doorbell in the range alongside the security cameras. It’s even cheaper than the Ring Video Doorbell Wired (in the US, at least) and is battery powered, so it is really easy to install.
It’s basic, as you’d expect at this price, with unimpressive video quality, but it does the job. The best feature is the option to buy it with a Sync Module 2 which allows it to record video locally to a USB stick. This saves you paying a subscription to Blink Plus, which would otherwise somewhat negate the whole point of a budget doorbell.
Read our full
Blink Video Doorbell review
8. MyQ Smart Garage Video Keypad
Easy to install
Excellent video quality, day and night
“Optional” subscription plan is very expensive
Can’t open garage door from the app
It’s not your typical smart doorbell. The MyQ is a mash-up of a doorbell and an exterior door controller in one. This means it’s the ideal upgrade if your garage already has a door opener. The Smart Garage Video Keypad is exactly what the name says: it retains the keypad you’re already familiar with, and adds a 1080p camera with a 160° field of view.
As long as you have a compatible garage door opener already, there’s no wiring to do at all, even though that sounds patently obvious given that this is a battery-powered device. However, the point is that this is very easy to install. The battery should last several months between charges.
You can open your garage door using a combination you set, but using the companion app you can also hand out guest PINs which expire, as well as choose the times and days people can have access.
Video quality is surprisingly good, even at night (as far as that goes using IR to illuminate the 30 feet or so in front of your garage door).
The snag is that video can’t be stored locally so you’ll have to pony up for the subscription plan.
One other potential gotcha: this is not the MyQ Smart Garage Control Hub, which means you can’t use your phone to open your garage door. You’d need the Hub as well if you want to do that.
Read our full
myQ Smart Garage Video Keypad review
9. Google Nest Doorbell (battery) – Subscription-free smarts
Usable without subscription
Battery or mains powered
Lower resolution than Nest Doorbell (wired)
Google Home app needs work
The Nest Doorbell (battery) offers a slew of improvements over the (wired) model. The fact you can have detailed alerts, set up zones and store three hours’ worth of events without subscribing is great, as is the fact it can run from battery power, or be hooked up to existing doorbell wires. (There are also third-party solar panels if you want longer battery life.)
But there are good reasons it doesn’t feature any higher up this list. For one thing, the Google Home app isn’t nearly as nice to use as the Nest one, and if you have older Nest cameras, you’ll have to use both, which is silly.
Those older Nest products don’t offer free storage so you probably subscribe to Nest Aware anyway, in which case the free storage isn’t a benefit. And because it’s a rolling three-hour window, anything that happened more than three hours earlier will have already been deleted.
There are other drawbacks, too, such as the fact that resolution is lower than the Doorbell (wired), and the fact there is no IFTTT or HomeKit support. (It does work with Google smart speakers and there’s now Alexa integration.)
Read our full
Google Nest Doorbell (Battery) review
10. Ezviz DB1 – Cheap Ring alternative
Can record video locally
Works with mechanical & digital chimes
Costly cloud storage (but not mandatory)
A full feature set in an easy to use and set up device, the EZVIZ Video Doorbell Cam is a very good smart doorbell – particularly for those with existing EZVIZ devices and Amazon Alexa in the home.
It uses a PIR for motion detection and you can set how far away someone should be before you get alerts of their presence.
The sting in the tail is in the price of cloud storage, although you don’t need to pay a subscription fee as you could add a 128GB SD card for a fraction of that cost.
Read our full
Ezviz DB1 review
Smart doorbell buyer’s guide
As you’ve seen, prices and features vary considerably, but in general, you should expect two-way talk along with a live video feed, night vision and motion detection as a minimum.
However, if you want access to more advanced features, you’ll usually have to pay a monthly fee. Few smart doorbells will record any video clips unless you pay, so if you miss a notification that someone has pressed the button, you won’t be able to see who it was later on.
It’s worth noting that the Google Nest Doorbell will record for three hours for free but since that is barely anything, most people will still need to subscribe.
On the more expensive Ring models, the inclusion of close-range motion sensors allows them to detect movement between 1 and 4.5 meters away. That’s ideal for city-dwellers where most smart doorbells would send notifications constantly because of people and cars driving by. Even the Ring Video Doorbell Wired supports Pre-Roll, which is the ability to record a few seconds of video before the doorbell has been pressed.
Nest offers person, package and animal detection for free, but only facial recognition if you pay for Nest Aware. This means you can choose to only get alerts if an unfamiliar face is spotted and is preferable to the annoying generic ‘there’s motion!’ alerts which many security cameras bombard you with. And, neatly, a Google Home can announce the name of the person who is at the door for familiar faces.
The main decision, though, is whether to opt for a battery-powered model or a hard-wired bell.
Battery bells can be installed easily with basic tools, but this means they don’t connect to your existing internal chime, so even if you’re home you’ll only get a notification on your phone. However, Ring does offer a plug-in chime which you can pick up separately, and many smart doorbells can be set up to work with smart speakers from Google and Amazon so they can act like an indoor chime.
A hard-wired doorbell can be connected to a chime, but will typically need an electrician to visit and install a special power supply. This adds to the cost but also means there are no worries about batteries running out at a critical moment.
Don’t overlook your broadband speed either. The video feed requires a minimum of around 2Mb/s upload speed. Upload speeds are usually slower than download speeds, so check yours with an online speed tester before you buy, and make sure your doorbell is in comfortable range of your Wi-Fi router. If the Wi-Fi signal is weak, you’ll find it difficult or impossible to watch live video, and it might cause delays in notifications, too.
Security Cameras, Smart Home