A video doorbell (also known as a smart doorbell) was once reserved for us tech nerds, but the convenience and added security they bring has seen a huge growth in the demand for them.
If you’re planning to add a video doorbell to your front porch, I’ve put together this guide with my top recommendations and some helpful buying advice.
- Quick Overview
- Things to Know
- Best Video Doorbell Reviews
- What is a Video Doorbell?
- Video Doorbells Specs Comparison
- Benefits of Video Doorbells
- Video Doorbell Buyers Guide
In a rush? Here’s my top three picks for 2022. Keep reading below to see my full reviews.
Best Overall: Ring 4• Reliable video doorbell with fast alerts
• High quality video including 4 second pre-roll
• Speak to visitors through your Echo smart speaker
• Hardwire or battery-powered
Runner Up: Arlo Wireless• Calls your phone via video call when someone rings
• Uses AI to distinguish people, animals, and package deliveries
• Excellent 3+ months battery life
No Subscription: Eufy 2K• Local storage means you don’t need an ongoing subscription
• Excellent battery life of 4+ months
• Features not as advanced as Arlo or Ring
Things to Know
Before I jump in to the full recommendations, here are 3 quick tips to help you find the perfect video doorbell:
Does it require a subscription? Some of the best video doorbells require ongoing fees for cloud storage to make full use of their features. Others have local storage to avoid this.
Hardwired or wireless: If you have existing doorbell cables, you may want to consider a hardwired installation. For a quicker and easy installation, you can go for a wireless device but you’ll need to keep recharging the battery.
Voice assistant integration: Using your doorbell with your voice improves the user experience. As a starting point, Ring works best with Alexa and Nest works best with Google (given their parent companies). The rest will vary by manufacturer and voice assistant.
Best Video Doorbell Reviews
The best video doorbells currently on the market in the UK are:
- Best Overall: Ring Doorbell 4
- Runner Up: Arlo Video Doorbell
- Best Without Fees: Eufy Video Doorbell
- Premium Pick: Ring Pro 2
- Best for Google Home: Nest Hello
- Best for Smart Locks: August View
- Best for Apartment: Ring Door View
- Budget Pick: Ring Wired Doorbell
Below, you’ll find full reviews of each product I’ve recommended with the pros and cons of each.
Best Overall: Ring Doorbell 4
Resolution: 1080p HD // Power: Battery or Hardwire // Storage: Cloud Only (starts at £2.49/month) // Price: £££
The Ring doorbell was one of the first smart home devices to garner mainstream popularity in the UK and they still make some of the best video doorbells today. It offers two-way audio, clear HD video, and minimal lag between the doorbell being rung and receiving a phone notification on the Ring app.
The motion sensor capabilities of Ring Plus are superb with their near motion zone detection which allows you to set a distance in front of your doorstep to monitor, great if you live near a busy street.
As part of Amazon, it integrates seamlessly with Alexa. This allows you to use Echo devices as a chime or stream your doorbell to an Echo Show or Fire TV.
The Ring 4 is the newest addition to the lineup introduced in 2021. It pulls in a feature called pre-roll that was previously reserved for the Ring 3 Plus. However, unlike the Ring 3 Plus, this one is in full colour. This means it captures 4 seconds before any motion is detected using a rolling buffer. However, it doesn’t have the more advanced motion detection as found in the Ring Pro. If you live on a busy street then you may want to upgrade.
It’s probably not worth buying a ring without the subscription commitment because the lack of local storage means you cannot review footage previously captured unless you have the cloud storage that forms part of the Ring Protect Plan.
Runner Up: Arlo Essential Wireless Video Doorbell
Resolution: 1536 x 1536 HD // Power: Hardwire or Battery // Storage: Local (with smart hub) or Cloud (starts at £2.49/month) // Price: ££
Arlo operates in a slightly different way to the other video doorbells shared here because if someone rings the doorbell, it sends you a video call rather than an app notification.
For motion detection alerts, it still sends a notification like the other doorbells and can store them in the cloud. It includes a nice screenshot within the notification so you can see who’s on your porch before calling in.
In a new update, you can now connect an Arlo video doorbell to Arlo smart hubs for subscription-free local recording.
Similar to the Nest Hello doorbell, Arlo has a wide viewing angle at 180-degrees and a 1:1 aspect ratio which gives you a full view of the doorstep from head to toe, however, it is very distorted at the edges like a fishbowl effect.
If you have a subscription to Arlo Smart, you’ll get advanced features such as AI to differentiate between people, cars, animals, activity zone detection and cloud storage. Whilst you can see a live feed via a smart display, unlike the Nest and Ring devices, you cannot speak with your visitor using a smart speaker.
Shown here is the latest wireless doorbell which is very easy to install. To recharge, you have to use the dedicated tool to remove the entire doorbell. This means you will be without a doorbell whilst it is topped up, however, with an excellent battery life of 6 months (more like 3 in reality), this isn’t too much of an issue.
There’s also an Arlo wired doorbell available here which is much slimmer and cheaper, however, you’ll need existing doorbell wires and a more difficult installation process.
No Ongoing Fees: Eufy 2k Video Doorbell
Resolution: 2k // Power: Battery or Hardwired // Storage: Local (free) or Cloud (starts at around £2.15/month) // Price: ££
Eufy is a great pick if you’re looking for a video doorbell camera that doesn’t require a subscription but still has great features and smart home integrations.
Eufy isn’t yet a household name, but it’s heading that way and being a subdivision of Anker, you know you can trust them. Their video doorbell easily deserves a place in the top devices and provides some of the best footage thanks to it’s 2k resolution via a Sony sensor.
The biggest advantage of buying a Eufy over the Nest or Ring devices is that there is no ongoing commitment which many people like to avoid. You can access all of the doorbells features without a monthly fee, thanks to the inclusion of local storage.
The Eufy doorbell is available as a wireless battery-powered version (shown above) and a wired one that can be fitted to existing doorbell wires. There are a few key differences as outlined here:
- Wireless Doorbell (Battery-Powered): The wireless device has a base that sits inside the house to store the footage, meaning that thieves can’t steal the doorbell and your footage. It uses a low-power wireless technology to communicate with the base allowing for an impressive battery life.
- Wired Doorbell: If you opt for the wired version, you’ll have the added feature of pre-roll recording which has a constant buffer of 3 seconds, this means you’ll see what happens in the run up to any recording. It is also much slimmer than the battery version so does look a lot better.
The downside of the Eufy is that it’s less advanced than Ring, Nest, and Arlo video doorbells. For example, you can only have one motion detection zone per camera and the AI is limited to distinguishing humans from non-humans whereas the other devices can usually recognize package deliveries, and even individual faces.
If you’re on a budget, Eufy also has a 1080p edition of this doorbell which you can see below. It’s almost identical to the 2K edition only with lower video resolution and a reduced price tag. The footage is stored on the device and it can be wired or wireless.
Premium Pick: Ring Pro 2
Resolution: 1536 HD // Power: Hardwire Only // Storage: Cloud Only (starts at £2.49/month) // Price: £££
If you’ve got all the money in the world to spend on video doorbells, then you’ll want to consider the Ring Pro 2.
This is Ring’s most advanced doorbell with a number of upgrades compared to the Ring 4 shared earlier. This includes 1536 HD definition compared to their usual 1080p HD definition, this provides super clear and crisp images that look great on your smart display or Fire TV, although you may not notice too much difference on a small phone screen.
They have also taken a leaf out of Nest and Arlo’s book with a 1:1 ratio for a full head-to-toe view of your visitor. The doorbell is also slimmer than the Ring 4 at 2.2cm thick instead of 2.8cm.
The other big selling point of the Pro 2 compared to the Ring 4 is the 3D motion detection. This uses radar to create an overhead map showing your visitor as they approach your doorstep. This map is overlaid on the camera display for a great security experience (see image below)
So with all these features, why have I not rated this as my number one choice? Well, the doorbell is wired only so the install is more complicated. It’s also a lot more expensive than other video doorbells here so I don’t think it is great value for money.
Best for Google: Nest Hello
Resolution: 1600 x 1200 // Power: Battery and Hardwire Only // Storage: Cloud Only (starts at £5/month) // Price: £££
I’ve rated the Nest Hello as the best video doorbell in the UK thanks to a number of high end features beyond simple two-way audio that help it stand out.
It records with a resolution of 1600 x 2000 pixels which might seem like a strange aspect ratio but is designed to help you see everything on your doorstep, from your visitor’s head right down to the doorstep itself. The video records in HDR which gives good viewing quality in all lighting conditions.
Nest integrates with both Alexa and Google Home to announce visitors, but if you have a Nest Hub or a Chromecast you get the added benefit of streaming footage when activity is detected. This is one smart doorbell, it can tell the difference between animals vehicles, people, and parcels deliveries, so you can customise your notification alerts meaning you won’t be bombarded with messages next time the neighbours cat is looking for food.
The Nest Hello is currently the only doorbell to offer facial recognition, allowing you to set up a feature called familiar faces where your doorbell will recognise frequent guests and announce their arrival by name using your smart speaker.
The Hello also features pre-recorded quick responses which you can choose to play if you’re unable to speak to the visitor.
Keep in mind that you will need a Nest Aware subscription to make full use of the doorbell. For options without ongoing fees, keep reading below.
Best for Smart Locks: August View Doorbell
Resolution: 1440p // Power: Battery Only // Storage: Cloud Only (starts at around £2.15/month) // Price: £££
If you have some of August’s market-leading smart door locks, then adding their video doorbell to your lineup will give you ultimate security and convenience at your front door.
The August View is a new generation of video doorbell and builds on the success of their previous August Doorbell cam, but with a major facelift and some smart new tech.
It is another device that manages to one-up Ring with a 1440p resolution, and its infrared vision gives the option to see who’s around at night. With both the door locks and the doorbell, you can view your front door and unlock it all from one screen on your phone.
If you have an Echo show, the process is even more streamlined, allowing you to view and unlock with just your voice. If you have a standard Echo or Google Home without a screen, you can still get visitor announcements but there is no voice unlock for safety reasons.
The August View is customisable too, you can easily switch out the faceplates for a different colour to match your house, options include black, white, bronze, blue and grey.
Best for Apartments: Ring Doorview
Resolution: 1080p // Power: Battery Only // Storage: Cloud Only (Subscription Required) // Price: £
Ring has the broadest range of video doorbells so it’s no surprise that we’re including another one. The Ring Doorview Camera is a slightly different affair to their other devices, rather than replacing a doorbell, it is more like a replacement for a peep hole camera.
The device is perfect installing a doorbell in a rented apartment as it can be fitted and removed without leaving trace, there is no need for drilling or screwing the device as it simply replaces the peep hole. This photo shows you exactly how it looks from the front and back of the door:
As the device is installed into the door, rather than the door frame, it also has the nice addition of knock detection in addition to being activated by motion detection or when someone presses the doorbell.
As with other Ring doorbells, it doesn’t have any local storage so you need the Ring Protect Plan in order to make best use of it. It’s also worth noting that this device has the narrowest field of vision out of all the video doorbells due to it replacing the peep hole.
Budget Pick: Ring Wired Doorbell
Resolution: 1080p // Power: Hardwire Only // Storage: Cloud Only (Subscription Required) // Price: £
Ring have recently launched a new budget version of their video doorbell to make them more accessible than ever before. For this bargain price, you get many of the features that Ring is best known for such as it’s integration with Alexa and the speedy response times via the Rapid Ring app.
However, there are some drawbacks with the main one being that the device is wired only. This means it must be hardwired using doorbell wires or a nearby power point, unlike the Ring 4 which has a quick-release battery.
There are other limitations too, for example, there’s a narrower field of view (155 degrees) and the design is a very cheap-looking black rather than the usual satin nickel effect of the Ring 4 and Ring Door View mentioned earlier
If you like the look of it’s price tag, see my full guide to budget video doorbells.
What is a Video Doorbell?
It seems like every part of the house is getting an upgrade in the smart home revolution, and the doorbell is no exception.
A video doorbell works like an intercom system, allowing you to see who’s at your door and communicate with them. This biggest benefit is that you don’t even need to be home in order to do this.
You can speak with anyone at your doorstep no matter where you are in the world, provided you have WiFi and the required smartphone app, of course.
Video doorbells don’t just provide convenience, they are now an essential security camera that helps protect your home by providing a deterrent to potential thieves, or video evidence if any crimes are committed.
Video Doorbells Specs Comparison
Here is a comparison of the key product specs of the best video doorbells shared above:
|Ring Doorbell 4||Arlo Video Doorbell||Ring pro 2||Eufy Video Doorbell 2K||Nest Doorbell||August View||Ring Door View||Ring Wired Doorbell|
|Resolution||1080p||1536 x 1536||1536 HD||2k||1440p||1440p|
|Power||Wired or Wireless||Wired or Wireless||Wired only||Wired or Wireless||Wired only||Wireless only||Wireless only||Wired Only|
|Local Storage||No||Yes (with smart hub)||No||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Cloud Storage Fee||From £2.49||From £2.49||From £2.49||Not Required||From £5||From £2.50||From £2.49||From £2.49|
|Where to Buy||Amazon||Amazon||Amazon||Amazon||Currys||Out of Stock||Amazon||Amazon|
Benefits of Video Doorbells
The video doorbell seems like a no brainer now that we have seen all the of the benefits they bring, here is a summary of the key reasons to buy one:
- Added security – The video doorbell adds multiple security benefits, it can act to deter anyone thinking of causing trouble, in much the same way that security cameras can, but can also be used to identify any suspects or provide evidence in case something does happen.
- Know who’s knocking – You can interact with visitors before you answer the door and get a good look at them via the built-in camera. If you don’t want to answer, you can always tell them you’re not home.
- Save time – You no longer need to drop everything to answer your door, it’s as easy as answering a phone call. This is helpful if you’re out in the back garden with the kids or even if you’re away from home and don’t want to rush back to collect a parcel. The time saving element is even great when you have voice assistants working in tandem with your doorbell, depending upon which doorbell you get, it could also stream to a smart hub or TV screen so you can speak to guests whilst cooking or without leaving your couch.
- Piece of mind whilst away – You can check in with your front door from wherever you are in the world and whenever you like with an always on live feed so you no longer need the neighbours to check up on things whilst you’re away.
- Keep track of visitors – Most video doorbell cameras have some sort of activity feed that you can look back through to see comings and goings. A couple of the products in this guide have facial recognition, giving the names of visitors in the activity feed.
Video Doorbell Buyers Guide
If you’re not sure what to look for in a video doorbell, we’ve put together this buyers guide with all of the key features and considerations to keep in mind:
Are there ongoing costs?
When purchasing a new video doorbell, one of the key things you’ll need to understand is whether there are ongoing monthly costs to access all of the features.
Many of the devices mentioned here do not have local storage and therefore require you to sign up and pay a monthly fee to use their cloud storage. The fee is usually quite low, but nonetheless, it’s something you need to be aware of before buying.
Battery powered vs wired
Whether you’re happy with a battery-powered device, or whether you want to hardwire it into your existing doorbell wires will be down to personal preference. Most hard wired doorbells can be wired up to existing doorbell wiring.
Voice assistant integration
If your voice assistant is like another member of your family, you’ll want to make sure your smart doorbell plays nicely with your set up.
Unfortunately, Amazon and Google are the key players in video doorbells and both have their own voice assistant, so you won’t be surprised to hear that Ring works best with Alexa and Nest Hello is my recommended video doorbell for Google Home. As far as the other devices go, you’ll have to check they work with your preferred assistant.
Motion detection and AI recognition
All of the doorbells in this guide have motion detection capability which has become a default standard. However, you can look out for some differences in the implementation. The more advanced doorbells, such as Ring and Nest, have really advanced capabilities for setting motion detection zones which can prevent false alerts.
AI is also starting to play a part, with some devices such as Arlo being able to distinguish between an animal and a human. Nest Hello and the 360 D819 both have facial recognition, although the Nest Hello makes much better use of it to provide visitor announcements by name of your frequent guests.
After Ring’s lead, several manufacturers have now adopted pre-roll technology in their devices. This involves a rolling buffer of video that is kept temporarily in the memory until motion is detected or the doorbell is rung.
It allows you to get a fuller video including what happens in the lead up to any activity. Devices without pre-roll can take a second or two to begin recording and you could miss key activity.
Which is better, Ring or Nest?
It’s a very close tie between Ring and Nest, both do the basics very well, so you’ll likely be happy with either option.
However, I think that the Nest Hello just has the edge over Ring as the best video doorbell thanks to advanced features including facial recognition and integration with Google Home.
Both devices are priced very similarly, however the monthly cost of cloud storage is slightly higher for the Nest Hello.
How much does a video doorbell cost?
The video doorbells shared in this guide will typically cost between £180-220, these are mid-range and top tier devices. On top of this, you’ll need to keep in mind any ongoing monthly fees to access cloud storage, these are usually between £3-5 per month, although not all doorbells require this.
If you’re looking for a cheaper device, we put together a guide to budget video doorbells, these devices tend to cost under £100 and have a more limited range of benefits. They are great if you need a doorbell for security but won’t make use of advanced features.
Which video doorbell has the best video quality?
It’s up for debate which doorbell has the overall best video quality as there are a ton of factors to consider, including resolution, frame rate, sensors, quality at night, etc. In our view, the top three devices we have shared, Nest Hello, Ring Doorbell Plus and the Eufy Doorbell, are all key contenders for best video quality.
Featured image credit: Google.com