Skip to main content

Best doorbell cameras 2022: Top 6 video doorbells ranked

Nest Hello video doorbell
(Image credit: Android Central)

Whether you're in a house or apartment, making sure your home is safe while you're away is a key priority, and there's no better way to do that than with one of the best smart video doorbells on this list. Our favorite smart doorbell that can deter thieves while providing you with peace of mind is the Nest Doorbell (Wired), formerly known as Nest Hello. But Nest isn't the only great smart doorbell available; we've compiled a list of eight of the best on the market! See which one works for you.

Nest Video Doorbell

(Image credit: Android Central)

Nest Doorbell (Wired)

Best smart doorbell overall

Specifications

Dimensions: 1.7 x 4.6 x 1.0 inches
Colors: Black
Video: 1,600x1,200 with 4:3 aspect ratio30 FPSHDR
FOV: 160º diagonal
Night Vision: 850nm IR LEDs
Power: 16V AC–24V AC; requires a 10VA transformer
Operating temperature: 5° to 104°F (–15° to 40°C)
Weather resistance: IPX4
Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz) 2x2 MIMO Wi-Fi
Security: TLS/SSL with 128-bit AES

Reasons to buy

+
Non-stop recording
+
Great video quality
+
Smart home integration
+
Familiar face detection
+
Can set motion zones
+
Zoom ability

Reasons to avoid

-
Hardwired connection
-
Subscription costs
-
More expensive than others

I loved the Nest Hello when it first launched in 2018. Since then, it's been rebranded to the Nest Doorbell (Wired), but it still holds its own as the best choice in 2021. It costs a little more than other alternatives, but you get plenty of features that make the price worth it.

For one thing, you can set it up to give you alerts whenever it detects motion in specific areas of your yard. What's more, it has facial recognition abilities, so it can tell you if a particular friend is approaching before they even ring the bell. The camera operates at 1600x1200 with a 160º FOV and HDR for clear video quality. When the camera senses that it gets dark, it automatically switches to night vision. It's in grayscale, but it's clearer than many other cameras on the market.

When I was trying to decide between doorbell cameras for my home, I landed on this one. Unlike some others, it's always recording. Motion-activated cams sometimes turn on too late, making it so owners can't see the faces of those who've stolen packages from their porch. With the Nest Doorbell (Wired), I can go through the log and see everything that happened within the past few days, in full color and resolution. The app even allows me to zoom in for a closer look.

There are a few things that might give people pause when buying this device. For one thing, it requires a hardwired connection. It needs to work with the proper transformer so some folks, especially those in older houses, might need to purchase one of those as well.

Finally, like many other smart doorbells, this one requires a subscription if you want to view recordings, and you'll need to pay per camera (though you do get the service at a discount if you have multiple cameras). The service is called Nest Aware, and you have the option of paying $6 per month for a 30-day plan, or $12 per month for a 60-day plan.

You may want to consider the Nest Doorbell (Battery) instead if you don't want to hardwire your doorbell or pay for a subscription. But the Wired version has much better resolution, continuous recording, and doesn't require constant recharges, making it the better option of the two.

Arlo Essential Wire-free Video Doorbell

(Image credit: Android Central)
Best battery-powered overall

Specifications

Dimensions: 1.85 x 5.63 x 1.45 in
Colors: Black and white
Video: 1536x1536, 1080x1080, 720x720, 1:1 ratio
FOV: 180º diagonal
Night Vision: 850nm with IR Cut Filter
Power: Battery or wired
Operating temperature: -4° to 113°F (–20° to 45°C)
Weather resistance: IPX4
Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz)

Reasons to buy

+
Months of battery life
+
Clear 2K 1:1 footage with 180-degree FOV
+
Person/ pet/ vehicle/ package detection
+
Solid night vision
+
Hardwired option
+
Supports smart assistants and IFTTT

Reasons to avoid

-
Local storage requires expensive hub
-
Best features require subscription
-
Doorbell is pretty thick

Wireless video doorbells lack some wired doorbell perks, such as continuous video recording (CVR), and they often require a recharge every few months. But they're so much easier to install — particularly for renters or less handy homeowners. Out of the battery-powered options today, the Arlo Essential Video Doorbell is our favorite by a mile (and has a hardwired option if you prefer).

This doorbell shoots in 2K HDR (1536x1536) with a 1:1 aspect ratio and 180-degree FoV, which translates into extremely clear porch footage in our tests, even at night. The Arlo Essential sends motion alerts as fast as the wired options we tested, avoiding the delay we've seen with other wireless doorbells. With a subscription, the doorbell will tell you if a person, animal, vehicle, or delivery person with a package triggered the alert. You can train your Alexa or Google Assistant speakers to ding when the doorbell rings; it even works with HomeKit, which many doorbells ignore.

Truly, the Arlo Essential gives you the "essentials" that most people need, except for CVR. You can record to local storage, but it requires a separate SmartHub that'll cost you as much as the doorbell. Just be prepared to pay monthly for an Arlo Smart subscription, which unlocks many vital features like smart detection and activity zones. That's on top of a doorbell that's already decently expensive in exchange for great quality.

Ring Video Doorbell Wired

(Image credit: Android Central)

Ring Video Doorbell - Wired

Best smart doorbell on a budget

Specifications

Dimensions: 3.98in x 1.8in x 0.88in (101mm x 45.7mm x 22.4mm)
Colors: Black
Video: 1080 HD Live Video, Live View, Night Vision
FOV: 155° horizontal, 90° vertical
Night Vision: 850nm with IR Cut Filter
Power: Hardwired (10-24 VAC, 40VA max, 50/60Hz, or 24VDC, 0.5A, 12W)
Operating temperature: -4° to 113°F (–20° to 45°C)
Weather resistance: IPX4
Wireless: 155° horizontal, 90° vertical

Reasons to buy

+
Inexpensive
+
Can set motion and privacy zones
+
Works with Amazon Alexa
+
Six seconds of pre-roll footage
+
Person-only detection

Reasons to avoid

-
Only 2.4GHz Wi-Fi
-
Only records when it detects motion
-
Requires a subscription for best features

Most of the best smart video doorbells cost a couple hundred dollars, which correlates to excellent video quality but may fall outside your price range. For something low-priced but reliable, the Ring Video Doorbell Wired gives you many of the perks of the best Ring doorbells for a lower price.

It has all the standards you need: 1080p footage with IR night vision, customizable motion zones and privacy zones (which blocks out portions of the camera feed), two-way talk, and Alexa support. It requires hardwiring to your doorbell, but this extra power gives you six seconds of full-color pre-roll footage. Many battery-powered options only give you three seconds in grainy black and white.

In exchange for its budget price, you'll have to accept some trade-offs. The doorbell only records when it detects motion, which is true of many doorbells. Unlike other wired doorbells, installing it disables your current house chime, so you'll need a smart speaker or Ring Chime. It doesn't support dual-band Wi-Fi, so motion alerts could take slightly longer to arrive. And you'll need to pay a Ring Protect subscription to access video recordings, with no local storage option. At least a subscription isn't expensive, but competitors like Eufy that don't require one at all will save you money in the long run.

If you'd prefer a battery-powered option, the Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen) is still cheaper than most alternatives and has very similar specs with an easier installation process. However, the wired version is still much cheaper and gives you better pre-roll footage. Then, there's the Ring Video Doorbell 4, which offers some upgrades but at too high a price for diminishing returns.

Eufy Video Doorbell official lifestyle

(Image credit: Source: Eufy)

Eufy Security 2K Video Doorbell

Best smart doorbell with no monthly fees

Specifications

Dimensions: 5.5 x 2.1 x 1.1 inches (1140 x 53 x 28 mm)
Colors: Black
Video: Up to 2560 x 1920 pixels (defaults to 1600 x 1200 pixels)
FOV: 160º diagonal
Night Vision: 850nm with IR Cut Filter
Power: Hardwired (16-24VAC, 30VA or above)
Operating temperature: -4°F - 122°F (-20°C - 50°C)
Weather resistance: IPX4
Wireless: 155° horizontal, 90° vertical
Video Storage Location: 4GB, On Doorbell

Reasons to buy

+
Local storage included
+
256-bit encryption
+
2K resolution
+
4:3 aspect ratio
+
Advanced AI human detection
+
IP65 weatherproof

Reasons to avoid

-
Wireless version can't do pre-roll buffering, has no chime
-
Can't do continuous recording
-
Can be quite large

When it comes to Nest, Arlo, Ring, and other doorbell-makers, most make you pay monthly to fully unlock their devices' AI smarts or full cloud storage of video footage. Eufy is unique in that its doorbell and security cameras come with AI detection out of the box, limiting false alarms so you solely receive alerts if a person approaches — all without paying monthly. While Eufy does charge for cloud storage, the Eufy Video Doorbell 2K also lets you store footage locally, avoiding potential data breaches. Eufy also makes some of the best security cameras with local storage, so your whole security system can be subscription-free.

As an actual video doorbell camera, the Eufy measures up well on its own. This version has 2K resolution, a 4:3 aspect ratio for better viewing, and six months of battery life per charge — unless you buy the wired version with constant power. Not only can you interact with guests in real-time, no matter where you are, but you can also record up to three "instant" responses for visitors like solicitors, delivery drivers, or gardeners.

Your main question will be whether to buy the wired or battery-powered versions. The battery-powered version is particularly easy to install, but the wired version is slightly cheaper and offers three seconds of pre-roll buffering. The wired version bundles a free chime and supports 4GB of local storage while the wireless version makes you plug in a HomeBase hub that can act as a chime and gives you 16GB of local storage.

Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2

(Image credit: Android Central)
Best smart doorbell for accurate detection

Specifications

Dimensions: 4.49 in. x 1.9 in. x .87 in. (114mm x 49mm x 22mm)
Colors: Satin Nickel
Video: 1536p HD+ Live Video, HDR
FOV: 150° horizontal, 150° vertical
Night Vision: Color night vision
Power: Hardwired (16-24 VAC/24VDC, 30-40VA max, 50/60Hz.)
Operating temperature: -4°F - 122°F (-20°C - 50°C)
Wireless: 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz and 5.0GHz)

Reasons to buy

+
Crisp resolution with full view
+
CVR with great event history in-app
+
3D motion detection with bird's eye view
+
Person-only detection
+
6 secs of color pre-roll footage
+
Compact compared to battery doorbells

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Hardwired
-
Sub required for person detection and saved clips

Cameras and smart doorbells typically rely on infrared sensors to detect motion, which is decently reliable. For the best performance and the fewest false positives, you'll want the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2, which uses a radar sensor for proper 3D Motion detection. If money isn't an object and you're willing to hardwire your doorbell, the is the undisputed upgrade buy for people serious about home security.

When you set up your Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2, you use satellite data to configure a motion detection radius up to 30 feet out from your door. It knows when motion is coming from close by or further away on the street, so you can limit alerts from cars and pedestrians without blinding half the camera with motion zones. A simultaneous in-app bird's eye view tells you exactly where the tracked motion started and ended. Our reviewer found the doorbell perfectly accurate.

Its high price also corresponds to solid specs, from its 1536p HD+ resolution to its head-to-toe view that makes packages on your porch or tall people fully visible. It still has the same faults as other Ring cameras, however: no local storage, dependence on a monthly subscription, and no Google Assistant support. Unlike other Rings, it supports always-on recording and lets you check your recent history of motion events.

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 really feels like a future-proofed device. You may want to wait for a sale, though.

A true next-gen doorbell

Forget infrared; use radar and a satellite view to track anyone or anything that gets close, and keep false alarms to a minimum.

Arlo Video Droobell

(Image credit: Android Central)
Best mid-range wired smart doorbell

Specifications

Dimensions: 4.49 in. x 1.9 in. x .87 in. (114mm x 49mm x 22mm)
Colors: Black and white
Video: 1536x1536, 1080x1080, 720x720, 1:1 ratio
FOV: 180°
Night Vision: 850nm with IR Cut Filter
Power: Hardwired (16V AC and 24V AC, and a 10VA transformer)
Operating temperature: -4° to 113°F (–20° to 45°C)
Weather resistance: Outdoor UV & Weather resistant
Wireless: 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz and 5.0GHz)

Reasons to buy

+
Arlo Foresight for pre-roll
+
2K 180-degree FOV with 1:1 aspect ratio
+
Further motion detection than Arlo Essential
+
Arlo Smart for AI detection
+
Reasonable price for specs
+
Works great with smart homes

Reasons to avoid

-
Requires sub for best features
-
Hardwired-only
-
No local storage without pricey hub

The Arlo Video Doorbell doesn't bring much new to the table that the Arlo Essential doesn't. You get the same 2K HDR resolution, ultrawide 180-degree FOV, and 1:1 aspect ratio that makes everything clearer than the lower-res or stretched-out footage from rival doorbells. It also has a built-in siren and Arlo Smart categorization. Arlo doesn't sell your personal data like other companies, and its cameras work with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit.

What's the difference? For one, it detects motion up to 16.4 feet (5 meters) compared to just 9.8 feet (3 meters) with the Essential. It costs significantly less, and doesn't require removing from your door to recharge every couple of months. It's more compact due to the lack of battery, so it won't stand out quite so much. Plus, it offers three seconds of Foresight (the Arlo term for pre-roll footage) while the wire-free model doesn't.

Generally speaking, we still recommend the Essential model. It's easier to install for renters or people without powerful-enough chime wires. However, if you want a wired doorbell, this falls in the pricing sweet spot between the base-level Ring Wired and premium Ring Pro 2. It's cheaper than most battery-powered options without giving up as many features as the Ring Wired model does.

Best smart video doorbell: Our top choice

When you're looking to protect your home and deliveries, a smart doorbell is the way to go. There are several options on the market to choose from. We did the research and collected the best of the best for a variety of uses. When you go to purchase a smart doorbell, you'll want to consider a few things. Things like whether or not you want a wired connection, what kind of subscription plan you're willing to pay for, the size of the smart doorbell, and of course, the price of the device itself.

We highly recommend the Nest Doorbell (Wired) as it records non-stop instead of only recording when it detects motion. It also features 1080p of HDR video quality for a clearer view of guests and trespassers. Best of all, you can set detection zones and make it so the device can tell if a human is approaching rather than a car or animal. It even offers facial recognition to let you know if a friend or stranger is approaching your door.