What Are the Top Features to Look for When Choosing a Smart Video Doorbell?

April 15, 2024

When deciding on a smart video doorbell for your home, it isn’t as simple as picking the first one that catches your eye. You must consider a number of key features to ensure you’re investing in a doorbell that will best serve your needs and provide optimal security. We’re here to guide you on the top features to look for when on the hunt for the perfect smart video doorbell.

Quality of Video and Field of View

The primary reason for investing in a smart video doorbell is to see who’s at your door. Therefore, the video quality is of paramount importance. Most top-notch doorbells will offer 1080p HD video quality, which should provide crisp and clear images.

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However, the quality of the video isn’t everything. The field of view is equally critical. Doorbells with a wider view will cover more ground, allowing you to see more of what’s happening outside your door. This feature is particularly important if your door is adjacent to a sidewalk or public pathway where passersby could easily be out of a narrow camera’s view. Aim for a doorbell with at least a 160-degree field of view.

Power Source: Wired or Battery Operated?

Next on the list is the power source. Doorbells come in two main types: wired and battery-operated. Wired doorbells connect to the existing doorbell wiring in your home. They are reliable, offering constant power, and you don’t have to worry about changing the battery. However, installation can be more complex, and you may need a professional to do it.

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On the other hand, battery-operated doorbells are easier to install. They’re portable and can be placed anywhere around your entrance. Nevertheless, you’ll need to consider battery life and remember to recharge the battery when it runs low. Some brands like Ring and Eufy offer doorbells with long-lasting batteries, which can be a more convenient choice.

Cloud Storage and Subscription Services

The video captured by your doorbell needs to be stored somewhere. Most smart doorbells offer cloud storage, where the footage is stored on a server accessed via the internet. However, it’s important to note that many require a subscription to access this service.

For example, Ring and Nest doorbells offer free live viewing, but if you want to review recorded videos, you’ll need a subscription. Eufy doorbells, on the other hand, come with built-in storage, eliminating the need for a subscription for video playback.

When choosing a doorbell, consider how important accessing recorded footage is for you and whether you’re willing to pay an ongoing subscription fee for this feature.

Security Features and Package Detection

A smart video doorbell is more than just a doorbell. It’s a security camera that helps to protect your home. When selecting a doorbell, look for one with advanced security features like motion detection and real-time alerts. These features can alert you when there’s movement outside your door, even if the person doesn’t ring the bell.

Some doorbells, like the Ring and Nest models, also offer package detection. They can notify you when a package has been delivered and if it’s picked up, offering you peace of mind when expecting deliveries.

Compatibility with Smart Home Systems

Finally, consider how well the smart video doorbell will fit into your existing smart home ecosystem. If you are using smart home platforms like Google Home or Amazon Alexa, it’s desirable that your video doorbell can seamlessly integrate with these platforms. For instance, Ring doorbells work well with Alexa, while Nest doorbells are fully compatible with Google Home.

By having your devices working together, you can create routines and commands that enhance convenience and home security. For example, when someone rings the doorbell, your smart lights could automatically turn on, or the footage could appear on your smart display.

Choosing a smart video doorbell is an investment towards enhancing your home’s security. By considering these top features, you’ll be well equipped to make an informed decision, selecting a doorbell that best meets your needs.

Night Vision and Two-Way Audio

A very useful feature to look for when choosing a smart video doorbell is night vision. This feature enhances the camera’s ability to capture video in low-light conditions or during the night. It illuminates the view outside your front door, enabling you to identify visitors or potential threats even in the dark. Some doorbell cameras incorporate infrared sensors to provide black-and-white night vision, whilst others use LED lights to offer color video at night. Brands like Nest Doorbell and Ring Video incorporate high-quality night vision features in their products.

In addition to video capabilities, audio is an important aspect to consider. A two-way audio feature allows you to communicate with the person at your door without having to open it. This can be particularly useful for deterring unwanted visitors or for interacting with delivery personnel when you can’t come to the door. Moreover, some video doorbells also include noise cancellation features to enhance the clarity of the audio.

Both night vision and two-way audio enhance the functionality of your doorbell, providing an added level of security and convenience. When integrating these features, your smart doorbell essentially becomes a round-the-clock security guard for your home.

Local Storage and Weather Resistance

Another crucial factor to consider when choosing a video doorbell is local storage. While cloud storage is common, some doorbells, like the Eufy model, also offer local storage. This means that the doorbell stores the captured footage locally, in the device itself or a connected hard drive. Local storage can be convenient as it doesn’t require a monthly subscription fee, and you can access your recorded videos even if your internet is down. Consider your storage needs, budget, and internet reliability when choosing between cloud and local storage.

Lastly, it’s important to consider the weather resistance of the doorbell. A good video doorbell should be able to withstand various weather conditions such as rain, snow, and extreme temperatures. Whether it’s a scorching summer day or a freezing winter night, your doorbell camera should function perfectly. Brands like Ring Video and Nest Doorbell are known for their robust and weather-resistant doorbells.

Concluding Thoughts

The world of smart video doorbells is vast and filled with numerous options. Choosing a doorbell that best suits your needs can greatly enhance your home security system. Key features like video quality, field view, power source, cloud and local storage, compatibility with smart home systems, advanced security features, and night vision capabilities can significantly influence your decision.

Remember, a smart doorbell is more than just a doorbell. It’s your first line of defense against potential threats, a handy tool to monitor package deliveries, and a convenient way to communicate with those at your door. When chosen wisely, it can add an extra layer of security and convenience to your home.

As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more innovative and advanced features in smart video doorbells. However, regardless of what the future holds, the importance of these key features remains. Understanding them thoroughly will continue to be essential in choosing the best video doorbell for your home.