Video doorbells (Ring vs Skybell) have proven to be a smart investment for those who put a premium on security and convenience. Finally, homeowners do not have to open their front doors to see who is knocking and can talk to visitors or callers even when they are miles away.
Ring Video Doorbell
The Ring Video Doorbell allows you to see who is at the door without actually opening it or without looking into the peephole. It gives you high-definition video with motion detection and cloud recording. Some of this video doorbell’s features include mobile access, wherein you get alerts when somebody pushes the button on your doorbell or when the sensor is activated by motion.
Even if you are not home, you can talk to the person standing at your doorstep through the smartphone app, which is available on both Android and iOS. You can even view recorded footage of your front door area from anywhere in the world.
The Ring Video Doorbell features a motion sensor that detects movements day or night. Once it does detect motion, it will start recording and if it is dark out, it will turn on the night vision HD camera.
This can help you catch any would-be burglars and know that there is somebody outside your door without them ringing your doorbell. Ring comes with four faceplate finishes: Satin Nickel, Antique Brass, Venetian Bronze, and Polished Brass.
SkyBell is also a video doorbell that functions the same way as Ring Video Doorbell. You can answer the door using your smartphone. It also has motion detectors and night vision. Further, you can watch the live feed on demand. SkyBell is round with a diameter of 2.8 inches. It is 0.8 inches thick. It has two finishes to choose from: Oil Rubbed Bronze and Silvery Brushed Aluminum.
Tale of the Tape: Comparing Ring Video Doorbell and SkyBell
Which one should you buy? Check out our comparison chart:
|Mobile app available||Yes||Yes|
|Video quality||720p HD||640×480 VGA|
|Field of view (°)||180||120|
|Dimensions (W x L x H, inches)||2.43 x 4.98 x0.87||2.8 x 2.8 x 0.8|
|Easy to set-up||Yes||No|
|Price||$$ (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)||$ (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)|
Now let us drill down on the details!
Installation and Setup
When it comes to installation, Ring Video Doorbell wins because it is very easy to install and everything you need to mount the device to your door is already included in the box. The installation process takes a few minutes to complete and you wouldn’t need to get a professional installer nor would you need special tools to do it.
Meanwhile, getting the SkyBell to work might not be as straightforward as Ring. You would need to hardwire the SkyBell to replace your current doorbell. In addition, there is not much space between the faceplate and the base plate, making it very difficult to fit in some wires. If you have big hands or are very clumsy, then you would have a difficult time securing the SkyBell in place with the small screws that go under the device.
In addition, if your current doorbell is a digital one, you would need to buy the Digital Doorbell Adapter to make it work perfectly. Without this adapter, your doorbell will just chime on and on.
Thankfully, it is fairly easy to connect both Ring and SkyBell to your Wi-Fi network and then pair it with your mobile device and app.
Design and Build Quality
Looking design, despite using different form factors – Ring is rectangular while SkyBell is circular. Ring, however, has the advantage of offering more faceplate colors than SkyBell. Ring also commands attention with its hi-tech and modern appearance, while SkyBell is designed to blend into the background and not call attention to itself.
Ring comes with rechargeable batteries and can draw power from your current doorbell’s wires. SkyBell, on the other hand, relies on the wires that your current doorbell uses, which is why it is necessary to hardwire SkyBell into these existing wires.
Alternatively, if you do not have a wire system already in place (i.e., this is the first time you have seen the need for a doorbell), then you would need to lay down the wires for SkyBell to work.
On paper, Ring wins this one with a high-definition video resolution of 720 pixels, as opposed to SkyBell’s VGA quality that gives you video resolutions of 640 pixels by 480 pixels. However, there are times when you experience some lagging with Ring’s videos while SkyBell has a more consistent feed. Still, Ring has clearer videos and images.
Moreover, the Ring Video Doorbell has a wider field of view. The camera can capture up to 180 degrees, which means you can see who is at the door no matter where they stand. SkyBell only has a field of vision of 120 degrees, meaning it has more blind spots than Ring.
Store Your Videos on the Cloud
Ring Video Doorbell gives you the option to store your videos in the cloud. With SkyBell, you can view the live feed but you can only take a snapshot of the video feed if you want to capture the activity there.
Microphone and Speaker
Both Ring and SkyBell allows for two-way communication. You can talk to the person outside your door from anywhere in the world. Ring has included a microphone that cancels noise and echoes, making sure that you get good quality sound from outside.
It also has a pair of speakers that are loud enough for your visitors to hear. SkyBell has a poorer audio quality compared to Ring, and there are rare times when talking to the person outside your door feels like being in a phone conversation with a bad signal.
SkyBell is an Apple HomeKit partner but it does not have any integration right now with Siri or any other Apple technology. It also does not integrate with third-party devices and is not IFTTT compliant.
Ring, on the other hand, may be paired with smart locks and hubs. For instance, if you have Kevo, LockState, or Kisi smart locks, you can also unlock your door when you get an alert from your doorbell.
You can also pair Ring with Wemo so that you could turn the lights on or off while integrating Ring with Wink allows you to automate tasks such as turning on the porch light when Ring detects motion.
Ring works even when you do not hardwire it to your existing doorbell. You get alerts on your smartphone when somebody presses the doorbell. If you want to make sure that you do not miss any visitor, you can opt to buy the Ring Chim (check this listing).
You can plug the Ring Chime into your power outlet and it sounds an alert when somebody presses on the doorbell. However, when you do hardwire your Ring to your existing doorbell, there is no way to shut it off. That means if you have a baby that just drifted off to sleep, then your doorbell might go off and disturb his or her sleep.
SkyBell has an option to enable or disable your doorbell chime even when your SkyBell is hardwired to your old doorbell. That means that you can prevent your SkyBell from sounding and just send an alert to your phone.
SkyBell has a good motion detector that does its work quite well. SkyBell allows you to take a photo when watching the live stream. You won’t be able to adjust the sensors’ sensitivity, though.
Ring has a similarly sensitive motion detector that can alert you when something moves outside your door. If you have cloud recording, you can record a video and watch it at a later time. Ring’s motion detector is quite good but there is a delay from the time motion is detected to the time that recording starts.
For the most part, if it detects a passing car, you would probably see the tail end of the car in the recording or absolutely nothing at all.
The Final Verdict: Ring Video Doorbell vs. SkyBell
SkyBell and Ring Video Doorbell are both great video doorbells that get the job done. There is a reason why these brands are two of the top-rated video doorbells around.
That said, Ring Video Doorbell does have a better set of features than SkyBell. It has HD quality video, cloud recording, better speaker and microphone, and has options for integration with other smart home devices. However, these features do come with a price, making Ring more expensive than SkyBell.
On the other hand, Skybell does have a more responsive motion detector and has a silent doorbell feature. What’s more, SkyBell also has better live streaming than Ring, with fewer lags.
Where to Buy?
Choosing between Ring and SkyBell will really boil down to one’s preference. You can choose to pay a premium for Ring’s features, or you can choose to save money with SkyBell. Either way, you would get a video doorbell that gives you the convenience of answering your door from anywhere in the world and helps make your home more secure.
You might, however, want to check out the next generation Ring and SkyBell: Ring Pro Video Doorbell and SkyBell HD. Both deliver 1080 pixels video quality, live video feed, motion detection, night vision, smart lock control, secure encryption, and two-way communication.
SkyBell HD now offers video recording for free, compared to Ring Pro’s paid video recording. Plus, it has better video quality and night vision. Meanwhile, Ring Pro wins with its wider field of view (160° vs. 120°), bank-grade encryption, and a smartphone app that works on Windows Phone, on top of the usual Android and iOS apps.