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Best video doorbell 2021: The best Black Friday deals on smart doorbells

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See and record who’s knocking on the door with the best video doorbells from Ring, Nest and the rest

Video doorbells have been all the rage in the US for some time. Now they’re taking off in the UK. Also known as smart or connected doorbells, you hook them up to your smartphone and when someone rings the bell, you get an alert on your phone, followed by a live video feed of your visitor and the option for two-way audio. In other words, you can see them, but they can’t see you, and you can both talk to and hear each other. Some also have motion sensors, giving you an alert as soon as someone approaches your front door. A few even have fancy features such as face recognition.

There are plenty of reasons to get a video doorbell. Even if you’re in another country when your doorbell rings, you get to see who it is and communicate with them. “Please leave it in the porch,” you could tell a delivery man, or “Mum, sorry I’m running late, I’ll be back in five minutes,” if she's paying a visit. If you're at home and don’t want to see that person, you can just pretend you’re out. Then there’s the security aspect. Burglars will either spot the camera and scarper or you’ll have video footage of them snooping.

So what features should you look out for? Is Ring the only brand worth buying? Are video doorbells affordable? Read on to find out answers to these questions and more, as well as our best video doorbell recommendations.

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Save £65 on the Google Nest Hello Video Doorbell for Black Friday

With facial recognition that will even announce your guests to you, the Google Nest Hello is a fantastic bit of kit - that you can get for over 30% less today. It's got an outstanding microphone and speaker, great video quality and it looks good doing it. This is the best wired video doorbell out there, so do not miss out on these Black Friday savings.
John Lewis
Was £205
Now £140

Save BIG on the Eufy Video Doorbell

Between the simple installation and the lack of a monthly subscription fee, there was already a lot to love about the Eufy Video Doorbell. The price was reasonable when we first reviewed it, too, and it's now even cheaper at £129 in Amazon's Black Friday sale.
Amazon
Was £179
Now £120

Save over £60 on the Ring Video Doorbell Pro

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro was our pick for best wired-in Ring Doorbell, so if you're looking for a more lightweight video doorbell with coloured night vision, this is a good choice - especially at its Black Friday price of £159, more than £60 off!
Amazon
Was £220
Now £159

Best video doorbell: At a glance


How to choose the best video doorbell for you

What should I look out for in a video doorbell?

Your first consideration is how the video doorbell is connected, which really comes down to two options:

Battery-powered: Battery-powered doorbells get their charge from a rechargeable battery, meaning you don’t need any wiring in place; just a working Wi-Fi signal. While this has obvious benefits, it makes the unit bulkier and the batteries will need charging. Luckily, you don’t have to do this too often. They last anywhere from two months to a year.

Wired: This means the doorbell must be connected to the wiring for your existing doorbell. This saves the hassle of changing batteries and the doorbell is usually more discreet. However, if you don’t have existing wiring, you may need to fork out for professional installation (and most video doorbell manufacturers recommend their own, which can be pricey).

Your doorbell should have two-way talk with a decent microphone and speaker and a good-quality video image. With some video doorbells, you see people head to toe, while with others you only get a partial view. Check there’s a motion sensor and think about whether you want alerts to cover the full 180˚ to 185˚ view, or whether you want only a certain zone within the field of vision to be covered. Infrared lighting makes it easier to see people at night.

What other features are worth paying for?

You may want to access previously recorded motion and rings – perhaps because you missed a call or because someone on your street has told you about attempted break-ins. Be aware this comes at an extra price, sometimes more than £25 a year.

Will you be able to hear the doorbell? To hear it in the house (not just on your smartphone), you’ll need a chime unit. With some video doorbells, these come in the box; with others, it costs extra.

What about smart home features?

Do you want your doorbell to be part of a bigger home-security system – for instance, by adding on security cameras that can connect with a central system hub? With certain video doorbells, there's even smart lock integration so your doorbell can effectively let someone into your home once you give them the green light from your smartphone.

On a simpler level, it's worth remembering that the two main players in the world of video doorbells – Nest and Ring – are owned by Google and Amazon respectively. That means that they tie in with the smart displays of both companies: Ring works brilliantly with Echo Shows and Echo Spots, while Nest Hello plays nicely with Google Home Hub. Technically there's a Nest skill for Alexa (but not a matching one of Ring for Google Home), but if you want maximum compatibility and support, it makes sense to ensure your systems match.

How much do I need to spend?

Video doorbells start at around £80 and go up to several hundred pounds. Don’t assume it’s always best to pay top whack as even the cheapest video doorbell in our roundup gets a great review. You may not need or even want some of the features in the more expensive video doorbells.

READ NEXT: The best home security cameras

The best video doorbells to buy

1. Eufy Video Doorbell (Battery-Powered): The best all-round video doorbell

Price: £199 | Buy now from Eufy

We’ve been big fans of the Ring series of video doorbells for a while now but Eufy’s new doorbell has just knocked it off top spot. This doorbell is battery powered and, therefore, just as easy to install as the Ring.

It can be connected to your mains doorbell wiring if you can’t be bothered to charge it, although with a monstrous claimed battery life of up to six months, that shouldn’t be too much of a bind anyway.

Image quality is excellent at 2,560 x 1,920 in resolution and we found that notifications came through on our phone almost instantaneously, something older Ring doorbells can suffer with. There’s no facial recognition but you can set motion zones and only send notifications when humans are detected.

Where the Eufy really steps out in front of the Ring doorbells, however, is that it’s free to run with no mandatory ongoing subscription; all the video clips it records are stored on the Eufy Homebase’s 16GB of integrated storage. This plugs directly into your Wi-Fi router and also acts as an internal chime – something Ring charges extra for. You can even get it to ring your Amazon Echo Dot if you can't hear the chime in certain parts of the house.

The only thing Eufy can’t do is ring a mechanical chime. Otherwise, it’s pretty much the perfect video doorbell.

Read our full Eufy Video Doorbell (battery-powered) review for details

Key specs – Camera: 2K (2,560 x 1,920) video with 2-way audio; Field of view: 160˚; Warranty: 12 months

Buy now from Eufy


2. Nest Hello: The best wired video doorbell

Price: £205 | Buy now from John Lewis

Arguably the best-looking video doorbell, the Nest also has the best video quality, with a view of your visitor from head to foot, as well as an outstanding microphone and speaker (although it sometimes takes a few seconds for the “talk” feature on your phone to kick in). It’s pricier than its main rival, the Ring 2, but a wireless chime is thrown in and there are some great additional features, including pre-recorded messages that you can select from the app (telling the postman to leave the package in the porch, for example).

It will also recognise individual faces and announce them to you, or you can set up specific zones so you’ll only be notified if someone appears in that zone. That said, you’ll have to subscribe to the Nest Aware service to access some of these features and you’ll also need a wired connection to make the doorbell work – Nest Pro installation is recommended. We also found the face recognition a little complicated to get working.

If you’re looking to start a system, Nest has plenty of security cameras for both inside and out that you can add on. We tested the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor camera, which has a very clear picture and spots a person 15m away, automatically zooming in and tracking them, provided you’ve got a good Wi-Fi signal. There’s also a great speaker, which is fun to use from the train to talk to your partner into putting the bins out.

Read our full review of the Nest Hello

Key specs – Camera: 1,600 x 1,200 resolution; Field of view: 160˚; Warranty: 2yr limited warranty

Buy now from John Lewis


3. Arlo Video Doorbell: The best doorbell for image quality and convenience

Price: £180 | Buy now from Amazon

Arlo's video doorbell is a heavyweight new entry into the world of smart doorbells and it has a number of unique features.

Top of the list of reasons why you might want to buy one is its ability to automatically call your phone (via video or audio) instead of just notifying you via an app. You can then answer with a swipe as you would any other phone call or let it ring through to voicemail where your caller can leave you a voice message.

Aside from this novelty, the doorbell has great video quality at night and during the day. It's at least as good as the Nest Hello in this regard.

Audio quality is superb, too, and it also smart motion detection. It can tell you whether it's spotted people, animals or vehicles and it can even alert you (just like the Nest) when a package has been left on your step. There's no face recognition, though, which is where the Nest Hello beats all comers.

The only catch is that it isn't battery-powered and needs connecting to existing mains-powered doorbell chime wiring, which means you may need professional help installing it. And, after the initial trial period expires (three months at the time of writing) you will have to pay a subscription fee to keep using most of the camera's features. Prices starting at £2.49 per month.

Key specs – Camera: 1,536 x 1,536 resolution; Field of view: 180˚; Warranty: 1yr limited warranty


4. Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2: The best doorbell for customisation

Price: £219 | Buy now from Amazon

The mains-powered Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 is the best produced yet by the company, with fantastically crisp video and a range of advanced motion detection features. It’s also the nicest-looking doorbell Ring has made to date, with a much slimmer, less boxy shape than the usual Ring products.

It comes at an additional cost compared to the standard Ring doorbell, but that extra money gets you a camera capable of capturing 1536p footage with a wide 150-degree field of view, as well as HDR processing and colour night view. You’ll also get brilliant motion detection. The Pro 2 is not only able to detect movement within the field of view of the camera but it also allows you to set how close objects need to be before they set off an alert - especially useful for houses that have short front garden paths. Its headline feature, however, is its new Advanced Pre-Roll functionality. This allows the camera to capture full-resolution video footage from six seconds prior to motion being detected.

As it doesn’t work with a standard chime, you’ll need to invest in a Ring Chime (£29) or Chime Pro (£49) if you want the doorbell to be audible. There’s also the subscription to consider, which adds £25 per year for the lifetime of the device. However, that’s a price worth considering for the best mains-powered video doorbell from Ring.

Key specs – Camera: 1536p HD video; Field of view: 150˚; Warranty: 2 months on parts, lifetime theft protection


5. Ring Video Doorbell 3: A fantastic battery-powered video doorbell

Price: £179 | Buy now from Amazon

The third-generation video doorbell from Amazon-owned Ring doesn't look all that different from the previous model but it does have some improvements. The most important of these is better Wi-Fi, with dual-band connectivity included where the original was only able to hook up to legacy 2.4GHz networks. That means, potentially, your connection with the doorbell could be more reliable, although if your Wi-Fi router is a long way from the front door we still recommend you purchase a Ring Chime Pro to extend wireless range and improve reliability.

Other improvements include more flexible motion detection, allowing users to choose a new "near" motion zone that means the camera won't alert you if people simply walk past your front gate. Plus, there's a neat additional function called pre-roll. This new feature allows the camera to capture footage four seconds prior to motion being detected, although be aware that this feature will cost an extra £20 to enable.

Otherwise, it's pretty much the same offering as the Ring Video Doorbell 2. Video footage is captured at a resolution of 1080p. The doorbell is battery powered so there's no need to wire it up to the mains, although you do have the option to do that if you don't want to have to remove the battery every so often to charge it. And, if you want to capture clips rather than just look at the live feed and talk to people at the door remotely, you need to pay a subscription after the 30-day trial expires. There's no facial recognition as provided with Google's Nest Hello doorbell, but aside from this the Doorbell 3 is a well-priced and easy-to-install option to keep watch on the front of your home.

Key specs – Camera: 1080p HD video; Field of view: 160˚; Warranty: 2 months on parts, lifetime theft protection


6. Vuebell: The best video doorbell for under £100

Price: £89 | Buy now from eBay

At less than a hundred quid, we thought this wouldn’t be a patch on its pricier rivals, but it shares the same basic features and the video and sound quality are decent. In fact, its vertical field of view is wider than some of the top models and it has good night vision to boot. Plus, you get the chime unit (battery powered so you can put it anywhere) thrown in, which means it works like a traditional doorbell with chime in addition to alerting you via smartphone. The app works well, enabling you to set the camera to record videos or capture images, and it will let you know if there’s anyone anywhere near your front door. It looks more expensive than it is too.

There are, of course, some drawbacks. You can’t hook it up with other connected devices or smart home platforms and you should also bear in mind that it needs to be wired up, which can set you back a few bob. Some users have also reported connection problems; in many cases, it wouldn’t get going at all and in others it started off fine, but problems kicked in within a few days, driving them to send the product back. Given the price, it’s arguably worth taking the chance and doing the same if you’re affected.

Key specs – Camera: 720p HD video; Field of view: 185˚; Warranty: One year

Buy now from eBay


7. IseeBell: An easy-to-install option

Price: £184 | Buy now from Amazon

This is the cheapest video doorbell in our roundup, yet you still get an indoor chime included in the box, which is great for those that don’t have their phone by their side at all times. It’s also easy to install. Images are sharp and, as with some other smart doorbells, multiple people can access the one account so that even the kids can see who is at the door. We also like the fact that additional terminals can allow control of an electric strike or magnetic lock, so you don’t need a separate smart lock.

It’s not all good news. Night-time vision isn’t great, and you’ll need to wire it up where your wired doorbell was – or start from scratch. As with other video doorbells, you’ll have to pay extra if you want to be able to access past video footage. However, it’s not as if that’s compulsory and it’s the fees are less expensive than with some of the bigger brands. Overall, this is an excellent budget option that is giving some of the best-known names in the industry a run for their money.

Key specs – Camera: 720p HD video; Field of view: 185˚; Warranty: 18 months on parts, lifetime purchase protection


8. ERA DoorCam Smart Home Wi-Fi Video Doorbell: A great video doorbell from a security specialist

Price: £199 | Buy now from Amazon

Available in black or white, this is one of the slimmer video doorbells available, with a decent 180˚ field of view. The picture has the kind of clarity you’d expect at this higher price range and, as with other more expensive models, there’s absolutely no chance of tough weather conditions stopping it from doing its job. It comes with free cloud recording for 12 months – a big bonus – and we found it easy to set up the app.

Another benefit is the passive infrared sensor, which can distinguish among humans, animals and leaves – excellent news for those who don’t want endless notifications when there’s a prowling fox or windy day. ERA might not be a familiar name for electronics, but it’s a company with history in the home security field, particularly locks and padlocks. The only serious downside is that you will need to wire this one up, and professional installation can be pricey.

Key specs – Camera: 720p HD video; Field of view: 180˚; Warranty: 2-year mechanical guarantee


9. Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell: The best doorbell for Apple HomeKit support

Price: £270 | Buy now from Amazon

It’s one of the most expensive video doorbells on the market, but the Netatmo comes with a range of smart design features that are enough to give it a unique appeal. 

From a design perspective, it’s very stylish, finished in grey and black and brushed aluminium. It captures video in crisp, 1080p resolution in HDR. It’s also one of the few video doorbells on the market to support Apple HomeKit, which comes with a number of benefits. It means you can use the HomeKit App instead of the Netatmo app for answering the door remotely or viewing the video stream. Similarly, can employ your HomePod speakers as additional doorbell chimes and view the camera stream on your Apple TV.

Netatmo’s smart doorbell stores its clips on an internal microSD card, and from there they can be downloaded to your phone or automatically uploaded to either a Dropbox account or an ftp server. Unlike other video doorbell makers there’s no subscription cost for cloud storage, which helps to offset the high initial price. In our experience its motion detection features works well, and isn’t too difficult to set up provided you already have a wired doorbell. If not, you’ll need an electrician to help set things up.

Key specsCamera: Full HD 1080p; Field of view: 140˚; Warranty: Two years