There is no shortage of smart doorbells, but which one should you have? We have tested three popular doorbells with a camera and know the answer. This is the best smart doorbell.
Tested: the best smart doorbell
Always be able to keep an eye on things, chat remotely with the parcel deliverer, or peek for a moment before opening the door. There are many reasons to buy a smart doorbell with a camera. Making a choice is still quite tough because there are many copies available.
In this article, we have compared and compared three popular doorbells. We performed this test with Apple glasses on: how well do the doorbells work with your iPhone? In this article, we provide an answer.
Contents best smart doorbell:
- Best choice: Ring Video Doorbell 3
- Best budget pick: Hombli Smart Doorbell
- The dropout: Ezviz DB1
- So it is with subscriptions
The purpose of this article is to indicate in concrete terms what the plus and minus points of the various doorbells are. We have drawn up a number of criteria to arrive at a fair comparison. For example, we looked at the ease of installation of the doorbells, the designs, and the user-friendliness of the associated apps. Of course, we also consider distinctive functions such as face recognition, image quality, and value for money.
The test copies of the Ring Video Doorbell 3 and Hombli Smart Doorbell were provided by tink. The Ezviz BD1 is borrowed from 50five!
1. Ring Video Doorbell 3
Are you looking for a smart doorbell with a competitive price-quality ratio? Then you will most likely come across the Ring Video Doorbell 3. This Ring doorbell, which is fully owned by Amazon, has a strong price-quality ratio. The image quality is good, the app is very good and the installation is also flawless.
Let’s start with the last point: the Ring Video Doorbell 3 is easy to assemble and that is partly due to the extensive manual. This is nice and clear and provided with clear pictures so that even less handy people, including the undersigned, understand. The doorbell is also supplied with sufficient installation materials, such as various viewing angles. It is useful to have a drill at home.
There is no arguing about taste, but in my opinion, the Amazon doorbell is stylishly finished. In addition, you can change the front independently and give the Ring a different look. You can choose between a gray or black front. It is also nice that it supports dual-band WiFi. So the Ring 3 can connect to 5GHz frequencies, which may work more stable at a short distance than 2.4GHz networks.
Unlike a lot of other doorbells, the Ring doorbell produces widescreen. So you always see a large part of the street, next to the one who rings the doorbell. Pay attention to this when installing: because if you unnecessarily film public order, you are in violation.
Speaking of that ringing: the image quality is neat thanks to the full HD resolution. During testing, the connection faltered a few times. As a result, there were a few seconds between the time when the bell rang and the moment you could watch live via the Ring app. However, this only happened a few times: usually, there was no fault with the connection. Also, there was no delay when talking to visitors.
The Ring app itself is solid and well organized. You can, for example, see live who is at the door, see how full the battery is still, and, for example, switch the motion sensors on / off. The smart doorbell also has a night function and sees the difference between, for example, an animal and a human. This means you will not be constantly disturbed with unnecessary notifications when the neighbor’s cat walks by again.
Finally, we must make a significant comment on this recommendation. The ring is wholly owned by Amazon, and this company has a miserable reputation for privacy. Customer data has already been leaked several times, the doorbells turned out to be relatively easy to crack due to the lack of security and keep in mind that stored images are stored on Amazon servers.
All in all, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 is a neat smart doorbell without any real flaws and therefore the best choice for most people. It is a pity that HomeKit integration is still missing. For Apple owners, this means that you have to control the doorbell via the Ring app, which, incidentally, works well.
The biggest disadvantages of the Ring Video Doorbell 3 are the security problems and the uncertainty surrounding privacy. Do you currently have a Ring 2 hanging? Then you probably don’t need to upgrade. The Ring 3 has larger movement zones and can handle dual-band WiFi, but is otherwise identical to its predecessor.
2. Hombli Smart Doorbell
Are you looking for a cheap smart doorbell with a camera without too much fuss? Then the Hombli Smart Doorbell is worth considering. This doorbell is competitively priced, works very well and installation is a piece of cake if you can speak of ‘installation’ at all. As comprehensive as the manuals were with the Ring Video Doorbell 3, the Hombli Smart Doorbell is delivered as minimalist.
The doorbell comes in a tiny box with some screws, plugs, and a charging cable. Attaching is done with the supplied wall bracket or with the (self-adhesive) tape. The Hombli doorbell is completely wireless, so you don’t have to mess around with connecting to the electricity network. Linking with the Hombli app is also a breeze. Make sure your iPhone and the doorbell are on the same WiFi network, scan the QR code on your phone with the video doorbell and you’re done.
The app itself is also very clearly structured. You can immediately watch the camera images live and contact people at the door. Above all, the iOS app starts up quickly and there was virtually no delay on the line.
For the record: the Hombli doorbell can not handle Apple HomeKit, but thanks to the solid app, this does not bother you in practice. It seems that Hombli wants to make its own HomeKit because the app serves as a central control panel for other Hombli smart home products.
Another advantage is that the Hombli Smart Doorbell is a smart doorbell without a subscription. You can use a micro SD card to store images. As a result, you do not have to rely on paid storage (which is offered by Hombli itself) to look back at registrations later. Naturally, the housing is waterproof so that the SD card does not get wet.
You need to charge the battery
Furthermore, an affordable video doorbell has all the usual functions that you can expect. You can talk to the visitor in two directions, it has a motion sensor so that you get notifications when someone is at the door and the full-HD resolution is at the same level as competitors. The Hombli doorbell also has a night function so that you can still see who rings the bell in the evenings. This works reasonably well, but slightly less well than that of Ring.
A disadvantage of the smart Hombli doorbell is that you have to charge the battery yourself every now and then. With its capacity of 3600 mAh, you do not have to do this weekly, but keep it in mind. On the other hand, some people will find this an advantage again because you do not have to connect the doorbell to the electricity network.
In conclusion, the Hombli Smart Doorbell is ideal for people who are looking for a competitively priced smart doorbell without too many bells and whistles. Again, it is a pity that he cannot handle HomeKit, so you have to operate it completely via the accompanying app. That app also functions nicely. Do you want to purchase the Hombli doorbell with a gong (for the sound)? Then you will lose about 20 euros extra.
3. Ezviz DB1
Ezviz’s DB1 doorbell has the same elongated design as the Hombli doorbell and is offered for about the same price. Still, we are less enthusiastic about this doorbell and that is mainly due to the difficult installation and the accompanying iOS app. The manual should have been clearer. Of all the doorbells I tested for this article, I had the most trouble with Ezviz’s.
This is because I needed a separate relay to connect my gong (which would be compatible according to the Ezviz website). After the DB1 doorbell was installed I found out that the iOS app has some flaws. I found the most annoying random delay in image and sound. As a result, you sometimes hear the visitor a little later and miscommunication lurks.
I have also experienced several times that the iOS app from Ezviz crashed randomly, or restarted on its own. In addition, it often took a few seconds before you can see live who is at your door. The Ezviz DB1 does have its affairs in order in that area. There is no fault with the image and audio quality.
The same applies to the night vision function: it works surprisingly well. I saw people in the dark even better than with the Ring doorbells. It is also nice that you can put an SD card in the doorbell so that you do not need an expensive subscription to save videos.
All in all, Ezviz DB1 is not recommended. I honestly admit that I am not a handy Harry, but I managed to get the other doorbells from this list up and running without too much trouble. That kite didn’t work for the Ezviz doorbell. The biggest flaw, however, is the flawed iOS app. This performs significantly less than the other smart doorbell apps from this list. During testing, I encountered problems with the signal several times.
What about doorbell subscriptions?
A smart doorbell with a camera continuously records what is happening. All doorbells from the list above have the option to receive a notification when someone is at your door. Checking who is at your door live is always free of charge.
However, this does not apply to save images. Would you like to look back at what your doorbell saw that day? Then both Ring, Hombli, and Ezviz offer a paid subscription.
The video images are stored in the cloud so that you can watch them anywhere, anytime. The advantage of such a subscription is that you do not have to worry about it. You do not have to synchronize the doorbell with a hard disk, for example. The disadvantage of such a contact, such as the Ring Protect subscription, is that it costs money.
With both the Smart Hombli Doorbell and Ezviz DB1 it is possible to insert your own micro-SD card. This allows you to save images and look back later, without being tied to a monthly contract. So you save compared to a Ring Aware subscription, but you do get more work on your neck. After all, you have to take the SD card out of the doorbell every now and then to put the images on your hard drive (if you want to keep everything).
Best of HomeKit
In the category Best of HomeKit feel iPhone smart home products to the tooth coped with HomeKit, Apple’s system for smart devices in and around the house. The aim of these articles is to provide a clear answer to which smart speaker, doorbell, thermostat, or robot vacuum cleaner you can best buy without unnecessary fuss.
We will be testing more smart products in the coming months, but one edition is already online. We looked at the best smart speaker for HomeKit. Would you like to be kept informed of subsequent editions?