More and more people, homeowners and renters alike, are opting for a video doorbell over a traditional one. Not only does it add an extra layer of security – you can identify a visitor before you open the door – but one of convenience as well, preventing parcels being left in strange places or going back to the depot.
We’ve put together a guide to the best video doorbells in the UK right now, so choosing the right one for you is easy.
What is a video doorbell?
A video doorbell is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a wi-fi enabled doorbell that can facilitate audio-visual communication with the person at your door. They allow you to speak and record your visitor, so if you’re out and about, or you don’t feel comfortable opening the door to an unknown person, you don’t have to physically interact with them.
Choosing the right smart video doorbell for you
The main things to consider when purchasing a smart video doorbell are whether you’re a homeowner, and what your budget is.
Homeowner? Then you’ll feel perfectly comfortable drilling and screwing holes into your doorframe to install a new video doorbell (assuming you don’t already have a traditional doorbell installed). If not, then a battery-powered smart doorbell, or a peephole camera may be a better option.
Budget? There’s not only the cost of the device to consider. There’s also the price of installation and a cloud storage subscription to factor in, though some devices allow you to store footage locally on an SD card.
Smart Video Doorbells
These are traditional style doorbells that sit to the side of your door for a visitor to press.
Ring Video Doorbell 3
This wireless video doorbell can be mounted anywhere and could provide the perfect solution for no-contact transactions. It sends high quality HD video footage with night vision, so you can see who’s at the door, day or night. You can also hear and talk back through the microphone and speaker.
An upgrade from the Ring 2, the 3rd generation offers adjustable motion zones, so you can cut down on the random motion detection notifications and focus on the ones that matter. The Ring 3 also allows you to exclude certain sections from recording, which addresses certain privacy concerns too. On top of these advancements, the Ring 3 supports 5GHz as well, which means higher quality audio and video.
It’s also ideal for renters as it’s battery powered.
Available standalone, with Chime pack or Chime Pro
Ring Video Doorbell Pro
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro differs from its siblings in that it offers pre-roll recording. This means that the camera begins recording four seconds before the doorbell button is pressed, which could help provide context to videos.
Because it is powered using existing doorbell wiring, it is not as convenient for renters to use. However, being hard-wired does mean that you don’t have to worry about maintaining the battery, and once it’s wired in, your new smart doorbell will be ready to go.
Available with Chime.
Imou Wired Smart Video Doorbell
As one of the most affordable options when it comes to smart doorbells, Imou’s Wired Smart Video Doorbell offers all the usual features that we’ve come to expect. A mains-powered video doorbell that sends alerts to your smartphone when someone pressed the bell, where you can then communicate with your visitor. It also includes motion-detection which will alert you to movement on your property.
One of the advantages of this doorbell is that it allows for local recording via an SD card, so you don’t have to pay for a cloud subscription. This allows you to keep costs down.
Available with chime.
EZVIZ Smart Video Doorbell
Ideal for those who are a bit more design-focused, the EZVIZ Smart Video Doorbell has three different fascias, including white which makes it an alternative to the usual black, silver or grey. It includes super HD 3-megapixel video footage with night vision so you can see who’s at your door at any hour of the day or night.
As with many smart video doorbells, you have to download an app. The advantage of the EZVIZ app is that it can also include smart wifi cameras, floodlight cameras, and other connected EZVIZ devices, allowing you to manage your home security in one place.
This video doorbell does need to be hardwired into your existing doorbell power supply or plugged in to the nearest socket.
Asec Smart Video Doorbell
Asec’s Smart Video Doorbell receives instant alerts and is battery powered, making it perfect for renters. It connects to your smartphone or tablet, allowing you to hear and speak to visitors at ease. It’s weather resistant and comes with and Infrared LED vision meaning you can clearly see anyone approaching your door.
The batteries are rechargeable by USB, but it can also be hard wired if you’d prefer.
ERA DoorCam Video Doorbell
One of the few video doorbells that come from a well-known home security brand, this smart doorbell from ERA promises to be robust, clear and easy to set up.
The ERA DoorCam is slimmer than you might be able to find elsewhere, making it a less intrusive option, but no less effective. You still get a full 180-degree field of view, and a strong design means that the weather won’t stop it from working. It features a passive infrared sensor, which means that you won’t get notifications about cats or blowing trees.
Another benefit of choosing the ERA DoorCam is that the chimes are actually decent quality, allowing you to choose from a number of pleasant-sounding tunes.
Available wired or battery powered.
These doorbell cameras sit on your door where your peephole is, with most of the hardware being inside your home rather than out.
Ring Door View Cam
The Ring Door View Cam is another weapon in Ring’s arsenal. It offers those who live in apartments or in rental homes whose landlords are particularly strict an option for a smart doorbell.
It has an incredibly easy installation. No drilling or screwing is involved, instead simply unscrew your existing peephole, and slide the Door View Cam in. That’s really it.
This smart doorbell doesn’t scrimp on features either – despite its compact design, there’s still a doorbell button, a camera and the physical peephole to look through. The 1080p HD lens has a 155-degree field of view, allowing you to see along the hallway or street, and it has night vision built in.
Like a regular video doorbell, this peephole camera allows you to see, hear and speak to potential visitors, and it integrates with Amazon Echo and Alexa, as well as Samsung SmartThings. It also has a couple of added extras exclusive to the Door View Cam, including knock detection for those people who don’t see the doorbell.