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The Ultimate Smart Home: Video Doorbell Showdown

Ring, Nest Hello, Arlo, Eufy, Remo+, GateLabs go head-to-head in this comparison of features, installation, and price.

October 13, 2020

Video doorbells are one of the most popular smart home devices being purchased by homeowners today. But how can your clients find out which model is right for them?

There are plenty of options on the market, ranging in price from $99 to $249. But beyond price, homeowners should consider important factors such as ongoing subscription costs, local versus cloud-based video file storage, video quality, available power supply, and other smart home products they’d like to integrate with their doorbell.

In this edition of the Ultimate Smart Home series, I’m comparing six top brands to help you and your clients decide which video doorbell is the right fit.

Ring Doorbell

Price: Ring Doorbell Pro retails for $249. However, it can often be found on sale for less than $200. The best time to buy is Amazon Prime Day or Black Friday. The Ring Doorbell 3 includes a battery and retails for $199.
Subscription/storage: A Ring Doorbell service subscription for one camera is $3 per month or $30 for one year; a subscription for all Ring Doorbells at one house is $10 per month or $100 a year. It includes cloud-based video storage of up to 60 days with a subscription.
Video quality: 1080HD at 15 frames per second; 16:9 aspect ratio.
Ecosystem: Amazon smart devices, such as the Echo and FireTV, and works with Ring-compatible devices, such as Schlage, Kwisket, and Yale locks.
Battery or hardwired: Multiple options for both.
Installation: Easy—it can be done in less than five minutes.
Detection: The hardwired version of the Ring Doorbell includes adjustable zones and sensitivity, and it can identify people. The rechargeable-battery versions of Ring allow only for the adjustment for sensitivity.

Nest Hello

Price: A front door package retails for $289, which includes a Nest Hello and Nest Hub. The Nest Hello alone is $229, but you can sometimes find it on sale in stores for about $180.
Subscription/storage: Nest Aware is $6 a month (or $60 a year) for 30 days of event video history. Nest Aware Plus is $12 a month or $120 a year for 60 days of event video history and 10 days of 24/7 video history.
Video quality: 1600x1200 HD UXGA, up to 30 frames per second; 4:3 aspect ratio.
Ecosystem: Google only.
Battery or hardwired: Hardwired only.
Installation: Easy; it can be done in about 10 minutes. Requires additional wiring for the chime.
Detection: Can identify people and packages, including “familiar faces,” with Nest Aware subscription.

Arlo Video Doorbell

Price: $149
Subscription/storage: Three months of Arlo Smart included. The Premier Plan is $3 per month for one camera ($10 a month for up to five cameras) with up to 2K quality and 30 days of video history. The Elite Plan is $5 a month for one camera ($15 per month for up to five cameras) with up to 4K quality and 30 days of video history. Continuous video recording is available for an additional fee.
Video quality: Wide, 180-degree view; 1536x1536 HD at 24 frames per second; 1:1 aspect ratio (square).
Ecosystem: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Battery or hardwired: Hardwired only.
Installation: Very easy; it can be done in less than five minutes.
Detection: Smart Detect can identify people, animals, vehicles, and packages.

eufy Video Doorbell

Price: Four models that run $119 to $199.
Subscription/storage: No monthly fees for local storage on eufy's Homebase device, which comes with 16GB of memory (approximately 180 days). Cloud storage requires subscription: $3 per month or $30 a year per device with 30 days of cloud storage; $10 a month or $100 per year for up to 10 cameras with 30 days of cloud storage.
Video quality: 2K (2560x1920) at 20-30 frames per second; 4:3 aspect ratio.
Ecosystem: eufy, Alexa, and Google Assistant.
Battery or hardwired: Wired and rechargeable battery versions available.
Installation: Both hardwired and battery models are easy to install, mainly because they use a remote plug-in chime.
Detection: Activity zones and facial snapshot notifications.

Remo+ RemoBell S

Price: $99
Subscription/storage: Three days of rolling cloud storage for free; 30-day plans cost $3 a month or $30 per year.
Video quality: 1536x1536 at up to 30 frames per second; 1:1 aspect ratio (square).
Ecosystem: Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT.
Battery or hardwired: The RemoBell S is hardwired; RemoBell is the battery version.
Installation: Very easy; it can be done in less than five minutes.
Detection: Customizable motion zones.

GateLabs Video Lock

Price: $299
Subscription/storage: Four hours of cloud storage included; subscription options are five days of video storage for $5 a month or $50 per year, and 60 days of storage for $8 per month or $80 per year.
Video quality: 720p.
Ecosystem: Gate app only.
Battery or hardwired: Rechargeable battery.
Installation: Replaces the deadbolt lock instead of the doorbell.
Detection: Motion sensitive; watch live 24/7.

The Product Breakdown

Ring is the most well-known video doorbell brand, and it’s available in both wired and battery-powered versions. It integrates well with Amazon devices and SmartThings. But if you’re looking for a more affordable alternative, eufy is a solid choice, with 16GB of local storage and comparable monthly fees. Remo+ RemoBell S is the most affordable at only $99 and includes three days of rolling cloud storage for free. For those already using other Google/Nest products, you may want to stick with their ecosystem and go with Nest Hello. While it’s more expensive and has a higher subscription cost, it does offer additional features, such as familiar faces. Arlo is capable of 4K video and is a great addition if you’ve already got other Arlo wireless cameras. It can record locally with a base station. GateLabs is the only smart lock with video doorbell included, which is great for clients who are selling their home or Airbnb hosts because you can create and edit access codes remotely. It would also work well for owners in a condo building where you don’t traditionally have a doorbell.

 

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