Best Doorbell Cameras: A Review

History

CCTV as we know it, specifically consisting of a camera transmitting information to a receiver, was invented by German electrical engineer Walter Bruch during the second world war.

It wasn’t until 1966 however, that the first example of what we commonly known as the doorbell camera, was invented.

Of all the places in the world, it was Queens, New York, where the invention took place, when innovative nurse Marie Van Brittan Brown created the first prototype to protect her home from intruders and criminals during one of the district's worst periods of violent crime.

Receiving the patent in 1969, Van Brittan Brown’s innovative design (which allowed her to see who was at her door, and hear voices from another room) is widely considered to be the early predecessor of the modern doorbell camera, and was the spark that encouraged the shift from a purely military application to the consumer market.

Our Top Picks

Of course, when we think of modern devices, we think of simplicity, user friendliness, clarity of image, and quick response time.

These are all key factors, and they played a large part in the construction of this list.

So without further ado, here is our run down of the best doorbell cameras, as found on Amazon.com.

OUR TOP PICK

With a 180 degree field of view, and high definition recording that has become a synonymous trademark with the Arlo brand, this product really does offer high performance for the money.

Whether in bright light or dark, dingy conditions, you can count on the Arlo to respond and adjust accordingly, ensuring you get the information you need in a timely and reliable manner.

Boasting the ability to detect visitors before they ring the doorbell, Arlo claims to provide 24 hour pristine recording, regardless of weather or light conditions.

For those seeking greater protection, the Arlo Secure Plan allows for smarter alerts and quicker responses, able to detect cars, people, and objects quickly and efficiently, as well as providing encryption protection to defend your personal data.

Pros

  • 180 degree field of view.
  • High definition recording.
  • Quicker detection and response time.
  • Good value for money.
  • Weatherproof design across a range of extreme temperatures.
  • Sturdy outer shell.

Cons

  • Requires Arlo Homebase + subscription to function.
  • Doesn’t pair with Apple homekit.

EDITORS CHOICE

The Ring V4 offers 1080p high definition video recording, improved battery life, and all new color pre-roll video previews of any and all motion events.

Enhanced with improved dual band wifi connectivity (both 2.4GHz and 5.0 GHz), the Ring allows customizable privacy zones and upgraded motion detection, making sure that you are the first to know when someone enters the field of view.

Powered by removable battery packs that are fully rechargeable, the Ring gives you the option to connect to existing systems to provide an extra safety net of power if you need it.

With the Ring Protection Plan, you can record and save videos, and review what you have missed up to 60 days, as well as sharing all content with whoever you want.

Pros

  • Great, high quality recording.
  • Dual band wifi connectivity.
  • Long battery life.
  • Motion previews.
  • Fully weatherproof.
  • Sturdiness promotes longevity of devices.

Cons

  • Blurriness on the pre-roll function.
  • Temperamental motion detection. 

BEST VALUE

With 2.5x clarity thanks to a built-in Sony 2K sensor, and with a professional grade lens promoting further detail capture, the Euphy boasts sharp detail on all of its recordings.

What makes this device even more impressive is the alleged 180 day battery life, ensuring long lasting security without the constant need for recharging.

Able to connect with the Echo Dot, ensuring you never miss a notification, the Euphy offers high end privacy thanks to encryption technology, meaning your personal information and footage remains that way.

If this wasn’t enough, it expertly pairs user friendliness, and a sturdy design (water and dust proof) that can withstand high or low temperatures (-20C to 50C), as well as all manner of inclement conditions, ensuring you are protected whatever the weather.

Pros

  • Great value for money.
  • Sturdy, weatherproof design.
  • 2.5x clarity and 2K quality.
  • Encryption protection.
  • Great night vision.
  • User friendly.

Cons

  • A percentage of reviewers reported poor battery life.

RUNNER UP

With a high definition 1080p recording quality, a 145 degree field of view, and an infrared night vision offering up to 33 feet of visibility under the lowest light conditions, the MUBVIEW doorbell camera uses Starlight CMOS image sensors to achieve the best quality image capture.

Using advanced PIR motion detection technology, and being able to discern human beings from other unimportant objects (trees, weather, birds etc.), the MUBVIEW doesn’t waste your time with pointless notifications, communicating only the information you need.

With the ability to record voice messages, two way communication from any device, and perfectly paired audio and video, the MUBVIEW offers real time transmission right to your mobile device or tablet, and with encryption technology, your information has never been more secure.

Pros

  • Wide field of view.
  • High quality recording.
  • Modest price tag.
  • PIR motion detection.
  • Long range night vision.

Cons

  • Only works on 2.4GHz wifi networks (not 5G).
  • Can only connect one device at a time.

RUNNER UP

Powered by 5000mAh lithium batteries, the TECGUUD boasts long battery life without the irritation of cables and wiring, offering an estimated 900 camera wakeups and 8000 chimes before the need to recharge.

With a doorbell ringer (running on 3 AA batteries), and a tamper alarm trigger, which can be armed via a button, issuing a loud alarm if someone breaks the connection on the door, the TECGUUD goes the extra mile for personal security.

Offering pre-recorded voice messaging to greet visitors, and with two way audio to communicate with package deliverers and callers, the TECGUUD is equipped with high db microphones and speakers, allowing for clarity in recording and communication.

With AI human detection technology, and instant mobile alerts (Android and IOS) to notify you of intruders, the TECGUUD doesn’t waste your time with bad weather, falling leaves or swooping birds, giving you the important information in a timely manner.

Pros

  • Additional accessories included (including alarm tamper).
  • Modest price tag, offering value for money.
  • Strong battery life.
  • Durable, sturdy design.
  • Simplistic design for easy installation.
  • High definition recording quality.
  • Strong audio quality.

Cons

  • Cannot pair with multiple devices.
  • Temperamental supporting app.

Best Doorbell Cameras Buying Guide

Of course, before choosing the perfect doorbell camera, there are many things that need to be considered.

Best Doorbell Cameras: A Review

Price

For consumer items, price is always an important factor, and whilst an expensive price tag isn’t always a sure sign of a quality product, it is worth considering nonetheless.

Firstly, be wary of low prices.

That doesn’t mean avoid bargains, but if something seems too good to be true, then it usually is.

If a product is advertised as being all singing and all dancing, but the price tag doesn’t reflect that, then it may be worth checking out some further reviews and doing your research.

Similarly, a high price tag doesn’t necessarily mean that the product in question does everything you want it to do.

Many high end brands have higher prices based on name alone, so always check the product specifications to see if what you’re buying really does what you want it to do.

However, with certain products, especially ones such as doorbell cameras which will be exposed to the rain, snow, heat, and cold, you want a product that can offer reliability and quality, so always compare items, because sometimes it can be worth paying a little more than you’d like to get a high quality product.

Design

You might not think that aesthetics have much value, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Firstly, you want a product with as few moving parts and accessories as possible.

This reduces the risk of things going wrong, breaking, or requiring repair at a later time.

Sturdy, simplistic designs are signs of a good product, so don’t waste your time on fancy, overly complex items that could cause more trouble than they’re worth.

Weatherproofing is also important, and can mean the difference between your camera surviving a particularly harsh winter, or becoming damaged by the elements.

Once again, minimalism works best, and products with the least seals and entry points are the most secure ones to use.

Secondly, with a doorbell camera, attractiveness is obviously important.

If it was an internal camera it might not matter as much, but a doorbell camera is literally attached to the front of your house, so it is important for it to look the part.

And finally, you don’t want a product that is too complicated.

With something as necessary and frequently used as a doorbell camera, you want something that boasts user friendliness above all else, both for you to install and check, and for any guests to properly operate.

Features

This can be a tricky one, especially where technology is concerned.

With a doorbell camera, the desired features should be fairly basic, and the choosing of a product that does those key features well should be paramount.

Ultimately, the more things a product does means more things to figure out, more things to potentially go wrong, and more things to be reflected in the price tag.

Clarity and high quality recording is obviously a must.

This is the whole reason for purchasing a home security camera in the first place, and if the product you have bought cannot clearly record potential intruders or thieves, then it is not fit for purpose.

Long battery life is also something worth looking for.

If you are away from home for extended periods of time, or you are due to take a long vacation, you want your camera to continue working and recording the comings and goings on your property.

You also don’t want to be having to change the batteries or recharging them too regularly.

The camera is supposed to work for you, and so efficacy and reliability are incredibly important, otherwise you might as well just sit at the door and watch approaching visitors.

Effective motion sensors are obviously important things to look out for.

As far as wifi connectivity goes, there is always the potential for delayed reactions with camera products, so it is important to factor this into your search and find the one that can deliver the goods.

Check the reviews once again, see what people are saying about the things you are looking for, and find the common denominators amongst the feedback.

Protection

Being protected is obviously the most important factor with any home security system.

This not only means your physical security (and that of your possessions), but also the security of your personal information.

With wifi cameras comes the risk of hacking from external sources.

This is just a common risk of internet use, and can happen to anyone at any time.

However, with the proper encryption, you can ensure that your system is safe and protected.

Similarly, look for products that promise good customer support and extended warranties.

Most camera companies offer lifelong technical support, and a warranty can come in handy if the product doesn’t work, breaks after reasonable use, or requires replacing for any number of reasons.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Field Of View Important?

Field of view is literally what your camera can see, making it an important part of the buying decision.

A higher camera angle provides a wider field of view, as does a wider fisheye lens.

This means the camera can see more across a horizontal field, giving you a better overview of your property.

A lower camera angle, like with a doorbell camera, has a lower field of view, but is better for close ups and detail.

The field of view you need can vary, and is dependent on your needs, the position of the camera, and the type of product you are buying.

Is 2K Good Enough?

2K recording is the standard high definition found on most recording equipment on the modern market.

2K is equivalent to 1080p high definition recording quality, which is suitable for mounted security cameras, and more than effective for capturing footage for a doorbell camera.

Do I Need A Smartphone?

Wireless doorbell cameras are generally reliant on a supporting app to handle much of the installation and operation processes.

Accompanying smartphone applications generally provide the instructions for installing the camera, and also allow you to preview the camera in live mode, review past recordings in the archives, and replay recent recordings for peace of mind.

Wired systems are generally connected to a hard drive, and as such don’t always require an app, however in the modern market, smartphone pairing and app support are becoming increasingly commonplace.

How Much Does Night Vision Matter?

Most security minded people are looking for a product that can protect them, their home, and their possessions at any time of the day or night.

When you consider that a lot of crime, like home invasions and thefts, tend to happen at night, quality night vision can be a game changer when it comes to ensuring the perpetrators are caught red handed.

Just from a general safety point of view, night vision ensures you know what is happening on your property at all times, which for a lot of people is important for creating peace of mind.

Range doesn’t matter too much, as long as it covers the immediate area.

Final Thoughts

And there we have it, our reviews of the 10 best doorbell cameras available through Amazon.com.

Hopefully this list goes some way to pointing you in the right direction when it comes to the right product to choose from.

But remember, the best way to make the right choice is to weigh up the pros and cons, figure out your specific security needs, and always, always do your research.

David Jones