If there’s an invention we’re extra thankful for right about now, it’s the smart doorbell. The relatively humble appliance has always been something of a silent (well, except for when it’s ringing) hero, helping connect visitors with hosts even when they’re at not home and assisting with getting packages delivered safely – and keeping them that way. But smart doorbells are coming in especially handy by helping minimize unnecessary face-to-face contact as people embrace the “new normal.”
Not that we need a reason for choosing whether or not we answer the door. With day or night video streaming available right to your phone and two-way audio, you can see and speak with whoever might come knocking – whether it’s a visitor, solicitor, or delivery person.
The latest generation of smart doorbells has also seen some pretty solid advancements in the technology as well as the available options. We’ve researched this year’s new releases and narrowed our selection down to a handful based on criteria such as security and quick response time. For the best smart doorbells of 2020 we’ve chosen an array of models from the – wait for it – entry level, to those with all the bells and whistles.
They include models that are both hard-wired (requiring an existing doorbell or expert install) and battery powered, and are listed in order from least to most expensive. And without further ado, our list of five best smart doorbells of 2020.
At just $123, the eufy Security is the most budget-friendly smart doorbell on the list, with the lowest price tag and no need for any subscription services – but that doesn’t mean it lacks higher-end features. High-quality 2K video gives a clear picture of whoever is at the door, and the practical 4:3 aspect ratio typically found on new pricier models gives an improved field of vision that lets you see them from head-to-toe (and also tips you off as to any packages that are lying on the ground).
You can check out what’s happening outside anytime via an Amazon Alexa voice command, and the video stream is sent via military-grade AES 256-bit data encryption, so transmission and video storage are kept for your eyes only.
While many smart doorbells require hard-wiring, the Ring Peephole Cam has gained a strong following among renters and others who aren’t looking to make any permanent changes on their doorposts. The (rechargeable) battery-powered Ring Peephole Cam slides over an existing peephole and in minutes is set up to send real-time notifications to your phone anytime someone knocks, rings the bell, or sets off the motion detector. You’re then free to have a look at who’s outside via the 1080p HD video, as well as speak and listen via the two-way audio feed. Additional features including more storage space for a longer time are available via a subscription plan available for as little as $3 monthly.
The Arlo Video Doorbell packs some of the best features in for a price that’s barely higher than most budget models. The 180-degree 1:1 aspect ratio camera gives the largest field of vision possible, and that’s just the beginning of the thoughtful touches. The doorbell’s AI can detect different motions relating to people, vehicles, packages, and animals, and is able to quickly show you the few seconds leading up to any motion event with the Arlo Foresight feature. It also has clear night vision and a unique alarm feature that lets you trigger the siren either manually or automatically from the doorbell’s app, scaring off intruders.
The Nest Hello boasts a 160-degree field of vision using a 4:3 aspect ratio that lets you see from head to toe, and the HD video is crystal clear either in daytime mode or when using the night vision feature. But with a whole range of quick automated features, you can let the doorbell do most of the work. The Nest Hello can notify you when a package is delivered and when it’s picked up from in front of your door, so you know exactly who’s got it in their hands. The 24/7 streaming and video recording means you never miss a thing, and the Nest Aware subscription gives you additional security features starting at $6 a month. It even has pre-recorded responses so you can provide instructions to the person at your door even if you’re not available to remotely greet them.
The Ring Video Doorbell has lots of upscale features, including Live View, which lets you check in on your front door anytime via the Ring app. It of course boasts the head-to-toe field of vision, with 160 degrees horizontal and 90 degrees vertical, which is streamed to your phone, tablet, or even TV in 1080p HD.
It also has customizable motion zones, so you can have it pay less attention to dead zones and focus on areas where traffic is likely to appear, and it can save video for up to 60 days with the Ring Protect subscription service, which starts at just $3 a month.
Leave it to the Puls professionals
Some things such as hardwired doorbell installations, which require dealing with exposed electric wiring, are best left to the professionals -- and nobody does it like Puls. Our skilled technicians have installed and configured hundreds of smart doorbells nationwide, and can come to you virtually anytime, even as soon as on the same day, to get all your digital devices up and running in a flash.
Simply select a time slot online and one of our certified technicians will come to you to install your smart doorbell with no fuss or hassle, for fast, expert installation whenever you like.