The humble thermostat was first to receive the smart treatment and slowly but surely everything from smoke alarms to door locks are being connected to the internet.

One of the most useful gadgets is a smart doorbell. Not only will they notify you when someone presses the button, but they’ll show you a live video feed and – in most cases – let you talk to the person. It’s much like a video intercom, then, but available on your phone wherever you have an internet connection.

Smart doorbells really come into their own for deliveries: you can ask a courier to wait a couple of minutes if you’re nearby or to leave a parcel in your back garden or with a friendly neighbour.

Plus, a conversation is better (and more secure) than a note left on the front door saying you’re out.

With that being said, here’s our selection of what we consider to be the best smart doorbells available right now. 

Best smart doorbells of 2020

1. Ring Video Doorbell 2

Ring Video Doorbell 2

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2. Ring Video Doorbell Pro

Ring Video Doorbell Pro

3. Nest Hello

Nest Hello

4. Ring smart doorbell

Ring smart doorbell

5. 360 D819 Smart Video Doorbell

360 D819 Smart Video Doorbell

6. Ezviz DB1

Ezviz DB1

Smart doorbell buyer’s guide

Naturally, prices and features vary depending on the smart doorbell you go for. In general, you should expect two-way talk along with a live video feed, night vision and motion detection.

However, if you want access to more advanced features, you’ll usually have to pay a monthly fee. Both Nest and Ring won’t store any video clips unless you pay, so if you miss a notification that someone has pressed the button, you can’t see who it was later on.

It’s worth noting that two new versions of the Ring doorbell were announced recently; the Doorbell 3 and Doorbell 3 Pro. The big improvement is the inclusion of close-range motion sensors, allowing you to detect movement between 1 and 4.5 meters away, ideal for city-dwellers whose doorbells are constantly triggered by cars driving by. The 3 Pro also boasts Pre-Roll support, the ability to record four seconds of video before the doorbell has been activated.

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We’re yet to review the new Ring products, but we’ll be reviewing them and adding them to our chart as soon as possible. 

Nest offers person and facial recognition which means you can choose to only get alerts if an unfamiliar face is spotted. This is preferable to the annoying generic ‘there’s motion!’ alerts which many security cameras bombard you with. And, neatly, a Google Home can announce the name of the person who is at the door for familiar faces.

The main decision, though, is whether to opt for a battery-powered model or a hard-wired bell.

Battery bells can be installed relatively easily with basic tools, but don’t connect to your existing internal chime so even if you’re home you’ll only get a notification on your phone. However, Ring does offer a plug-in chime which you can buy for £29 from Wickes. or $29.99 from Amazon US.

A hard-wired doorbell can be connected to a chime, but will typically need an electrician to visit and install a special power supply. This adds to the cost, but also means there are no worries about batteries running out at a critical moment.

Don’t overlook your broadband speed either. The video feed requires a minimum of around 1Mb/s upload speed. Upload speeds are usually slower than download speeds, so check yours with an online speed tester before you buy, and make sure your doorbell is in range of your Wi-Fi router or it won’t work at all. 



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