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Smart video doorbells have changed the way people answer their front door. For one, you do not have to go to your front door to see who has come to visit or who is ringing the doorbell. In fact, you do not even have to be at home since you can use your smartphone to see who’s at the door.
For smart home owners and even those who just want to be more secure and to experience more convenience, opting for a smart video doorbell makes a lot of sense.
One of the most recommended smart video doorbells is the Ring Video Doorbell.
Bottom Line Up Front: If you are in a rush, I generally prefer the Ring Video Doorbell available here because it integrates better with the smart home (plays well with others).
However, continue reading for the full take…
Contents (Jump to)
Ring Video Doorbell
Ring Video Doorbell allows you to see who is at your door and connects to your Wi-Fi network so that you could view on your smartphone what the camera is seeing.
The camera has a high-definition 1280p x 720p resolution, night vision, and motion sensors. This means that you get to see clear and crisp images and videos even in low light conditions or at night.
The camera also has a wide field of vision at 180 degrees horizontal and 140 degrees vertical. This means it can capture everything in front of it, minimizing blind spots. You do not have to worry about an intruder hiding in spots that the camera cannot see.
For added protection, the Ring Video Doorbell also uses motion sensors, which will alert you via smartphone if it detects something moving.
You can also customize the motion zones by designating areas that you want to monitor, while also being able to adjust the sensitivity of your motion sensor to minimize false alerts.
Install it easily. The Ring Video Doorbell comes in a package that includes everything you need to install your doorbell. That means you do not have to go to the hardware to buy screws or even borrow a hammer or a screwdriver from your neighbor.
The company also provides simple and easy-to-follow video guides on its website as well as a printed installation guide that comes in the box.
Design matters. The Ring Video Doorbell looks like a doorbell, but with a more updated and modern look. It has four different finishes: satin nickel, polished brass, antique brass, and Venetian bronze.
That means you can choose the finish that would blend in nicely with your front door. What’s more, the doorbell has a rectangular form factor measuring 4.98 inches high, 2.43 inches wide, and 0.87 inches thick.
How do you power it? The Ring Video Doorbell uses rechargeable batteries. It can also power from your current doorbell’s wires. This makes the Ring Video Doorbell a good choice for those who have just built their house and would be installing a doorbell for the first time.
The batteries can last anywhere from six months to a year.
Video quality. The Ring Video Doorbell gives you high-definition videos with resolutions of 720 pixels and a frame rate of 30 frames per second.
View the feeds on demand. You do not have to wait for the motion sensor to be triggered or for somebody to ring your doorbell. You can turn on the mobile app and see what is happening outside whenever you want to!
Cloud storage for your videos. The Ring Video Doorbell offers you a cloud service that you can subscribe to for only $3 per month, allowing you to store your videos on the cloud.
What’s in the box
- Ring Video Doorbell
- Mounting bracket
- Micro USB changing cable
- Drill bit for anchors
- Miniature level
- Screw anchors
- Screwdriver handle
- Two-sized screwdriver bit
- User Manual and installation guide
Before you decide to buy the Ring Video Doorbell
The Ring Video Doorbell covers the basics of a smart video doorbell rather nicely and gives you great quality images and videos. However, viewing a live stream can sometimes suffer from lagging and you might not be able to make the images on the feed very clearly.
If you have people living with you, Ring Video Doorbell might not be a good idea as you would need to have your smartphone with you to be alerted that somebody is at the door.
It does not have an audible alarm, so your kids, for instance, would not know if somebody is pressing the doorbell if they do not have the smartphone with them. You can, however, connect more than one mobile device to the Ring, or you could get the Ring Chime for $30 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here).
Furthermore, Ring costs $180 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here), which might be a turn-off for the budget-conscious. Fortunately, you can buy a comparable smart video doorbell for much less, such as the $99 VueBell Smart Doorbell (For the latest prices and discounts, check here).
VueBell Smart Doorbell
VueBell Smart Doorbell (read my full review here!) has more or less the same features and functionality that you would find on the Ring Video Doorbell. But you can avail of these features on VueBell for nearly half of the Ring’s price. First, VueBell is fitted with a camera that allows you to get crisp images and videos.
It features an image resolution of 1280 by 720 pixels, the same HD clarity you get from the Ring. You can also set the camera to record videos or capture images in lower resolutions such as 640 x 360 pixels or even 320 x 180 pixels. Using lower resolution means smaller file sizes.
The VueBell camera’s focus is 1.3 mm and uses an f/n 2.5 lens speed. It can see a lot with a vertical viewing angle of 118 degrees and horizontal viewing angle of 185 degrees, allowing it to see everything in front of it.
More than that, the camera also corrects white balance automatically, as well as features automatic gain control for high quality videos and photos in the dark. If you are trying to look at something from far away, you would appreciate its 8x digital zoom.
Everyone at home can install their own mobile app and can access the images and videos that VueBell records. They also get notified when somebody presses the doorbell or if something moves by the front door.
However, if you have young kids living with you or if you have housemates who do not have their own smartphones, you would love the fact that VueBell comes with an indoor unit equipped with a chime that sounds when the doorbell is pressed.
It is very easy to see that the VueBell Smart Doorbell offers a lot of the features that the Ring Video Doorbell does. And in some aspects, these are actually better. For instance, VueBell has a wider vertical field of view that lets you see even the surrounding walls. Plus, it is more affordable, selling for only $100 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here).
However, to be able to sell doorbells at such a low price, VueBell has some trade-offs. For one, it does not have any integration with other connected devices or smart home platforms.
This means that unlike the Ring Video Doorbell, which allows you to unlock your smart lock or turn your porch lights using just one app, VueBell’s mobile app is exclusive for VueBell and you would need to close it and launch the mobile app for any connected device that you would want to operate next.
For example, when somebody rings your doorbell, you would need to first launch the VueBell mobile app to see who it is, and then open the mobile app for your smart lock to unlock your front door.
Another trade-off? VueBell looks like a budget gadget. In fact, the plastic material used for the VueBell and its boring design turn people off. It is also too bulky with its square form, measuring more than 3 inches all around.
Putting the Ring Video Doorbell side by side with the VueBell Smart Doorbell, the Ring would stand out with its modern design and top-quality materials.
Also, VueBell’s mobile app is reported to be bug-ridden and can often crash on you and thus make you miss some important notifications.
A comparison table of the Ring Video Doorbell and VueBell would make their similarities and differences a whole lot clearer:
|Mobile app available||√||√|
|Video quality||720p HD||720 HD|
|Vertical Field of view (°)||180||185|
|Horizontal Field of view (°)||140||118|
|Dimensions (W x L x H, inches)||2.43 x 4.98 x0.87||3.15 x 3.15 x 80|
|Easy to set-up||√||√|
|Price||$179.00 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)||$99.00 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)|
What should you buy: Ring Video Doorbell or VueBell Smart Doorbell?
The VueBell Smart Doorbell and the Ring Video Doorbell are great products for your home. Both video doorbells give you a great camera, and both make it convenient for you to see who is at your front door.
Both can help you become more secure and both can store videos and images of the things they see on the cloud, ready for retrieval and viewing it later on.
Bottom Line: If you are looking for an affordable video doorbell, you cannot go wrong with VueBell. This is especially true if you only want a smart doorbell and do not have any other connected devices.
But, if you do want a smart home and have home automation platforms, you may want to consider the Ring Video Doorbell, even if it is $80 more expensive. The added convenience and automation features would be worth it.
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!