Best Wireless Smart Video Doorbell Cameras – 2021 Recommendations

One of the hottest developments to hit the smart home market has been smart video doorbells. Not only are they handy to stop parcel thieves, they also add that cool factor to your smart home.

Until that is, you find that many wireless doorbells are useless without a paid cloud subscription. Can you believe it – some doorbells that are sold as ‘smart doorbells’ are anything but smart unless you pay a monthly fee forever. No thank you! So here are my picks for the best wireless smart video doorbells without a monthly fee.

Amcrest AD110
1080p (2MP)
2.4GHz Wi-Fi, SD card, PIR
RTSP, Blue Iris, Alexa

EZVIZ DB1
3MP
2.4/5GHz Wi-Fi, SD card, PIR
RTSP, Blue Iris, Alexa

XTU J5
3MP
2.4GHz Wi-Fi, SD card, PIR
ONVIF, RTSP, Blue Iris, Alexa

A quick note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post contains affiliate link(s). An affiliate link means I may earn advertising or referral fees if you make a purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you.

Why have a video doorbell at all?

The inherent advantage a doorbell has in becoming a smart video enabled device is the excellent vantage point. The doorbell is typically at the right height to get a clear face shot of anybody who shows up at your door. They are also then in good proximity for 2-way audio.

So you could answer your door as if you were at home, but without being at home! This is what a good smart video doorbell should be able to do. The experience should be so seamless that it should never occur to your visitors that you may actually not be in the house. What better way to scare of potential intruders casing your home and checking whether someone is at home.

All the doorbell cameras featured below support RTSP video streams, so you can add them to Blue Iris or other surveillance software to integrate with your own DIY CCTV or Home Automation System.

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Best Wireless Smart Video Doorbells with no monthly fee – 2021 Recommendations

Amcrest SmartHome Video Doorbell Camera (AD110)


Features

  • 2MP (1080p) resolution
  • 140° viewing angle
  • 2-way audio
  • Infrared LEDs, 16 feet range
  • 2.4GHz Wi-Fi
  • PIR sensor
  • Supports microSD card
  • Free mobile app
  • Supports RTSP, Blue Iris
  • IP55 weather-rated

VueVille Smart Home Verdict

  • Local storage available: Yes
  • Advanced motion detection: PIR, Blue Iris
  • Cloud reliant: Only initial setup
  • Battery backup: No
  • Self-monitoring works without Power or Internet? Yes
  • Smart home compatibility: Alexa, Amcrest SmartHome


It was only a matter of time before Amcrest ventured outside of security cameras. They have built up a solid reputation for their IP cameras, and look set to repeat this with their smart home product line. This new product line is a bit sparse at the moment, with just some battery powered cameras and this Wi-Fi doorbell available at the moment.

The reason I like this wireless video doorbell is that it doesn’t force you to pay a monthly fee for storing and viewing video clips or motion detection events (unlike Ring, Zmodo, Simplisafe, Eufy and the Remobell). Cloud storage is fully optional, and for some may be a decent off-site backup solution. I still don’t like storing footage from my home on the cloud, so the local storage option is a must-have in my book.

Amcrest generally re-brands Dahua cameras, and they seem to have stuck to the winning formula again. The similarities between this Amcrest doorbell and the Dahua DHI-DB11 are unmistakable. Both doorbells are 1080p, have a viewing angle of 140°, have an SD card for local storage, and are IP55 weather-rated. They also share 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi support.

For 2021, Amcrest has the much vaunted PIR sensor that detects heat signatures for true motion detection. Not the software based method that is set off by clouds, shadows, trees another inanimate objects.

On the smart home front, you can pull an RTSP video stream from the camera. But sadly, ONVIF is not enabled (just like the Dahua it is based on) and even the Amcrest API is not supported. Happily though, this Amcrest doorbell officially supports Blue Iris and allows 2-way audio through that interface too. So you can use Blue Iris to perform advanced motion detection. Here’s hoping Amcrest adds ONVIF support so that you can detect the bell push also.

There are no alarm out ports for home automation integration. But there’s a far simpler way to integrate any doorbell with your HA system – just wire a relay in parallel. When the doorbell is pressed, the voltage drop will trigger the relay. Use a Z-Wave sensor to detect this and fire off an event to your HA controller.

You can also access the doorbell from Alexa but Google Home and Google Assistant are not supported.

If there’s one reason to go for the Amcrest and not the Dahua it is based on, it’s because Dahua doesn’t support retail customers like Amcrest does. Dahua’s customers are primarily integrators and installers, not people like you and me. But if you are willing to brave it, you can buy the Dahua doorbell from B&H Photo who are official retailers of the device.

PROS:
  • Easy to install and setup
  • Works without a paid subscription/cloud connection
  • Local storage of video
  • RTSP supported
  • Blue Iris compatible
  • PIR sensor for better motion detection
  • Great customer support

CONS:
  • No ONVIF support
  • No Ethernet or PoE
  • Some features available only in the Amcrest Smart Home app
  • No built-in/standalone web admin page
  • No alarm in/out connections

View price on Amazon

 



 

EZVIZ DB1 Video Doorbell Camera (Rebranded Hikvision DS-HD1)


Features

  • 3MP (2048×1536) resolution
  • 105° horizontal, 180° vertical viewing angle
  • 2-way audio
  • Infrared LEDs, 16 feet range
  • 2.4/5GHz Wi-Fi
  • PIR sensor
  • Supports microSD card
  • Free mobile app
  • Supports RTSP, Blue Iris, IFTTT, Google Home
  • IP65 weather-rated

VueVille Smart Home Verdict

  • Local storage available: Yes
  • Advanced motion detection: PIR, Blue Iris
  • Cloud reliant: Only initial setup
  • Battery backup: No
  • Self-monitoring works without Power or Internet? Yes
  • Smart home compatibility: Yes, RTSP, Blue Iris, IFTTT, Alexa, Google Home


While doorbells with RTSP, ONVIF and API support have been around for some time (think Doorbird), Hikvision took their time to launch a wireless video doorbell. But DIY enthusiasts all over the world were rewarded by their patience with the Hikvision DS-HD1.

The retail version of the DS-HD1 is the EZVIZ DB1 – EZVIZ being the retail brand of Hikvision and the one that they want people like you and me to buy. It has a very high pixel count for a video doorbell, 3 MP at a resolution of 2048×1536. The lens used is 2.2 mm @ f2.4. As more people fall prey to parcel theft, its important to get a full 180 degree view. Manufacturers have realised this and so the EZVIZ DB1 has a vertical viewing angle of 180°, and a decent horizontal viewing angle of 105°.

Importantly, it has a PIR sensor to reduce false motion alerts and recordings. The night vision range of 16 feet is pretty good and you can define custom motion detection zones.

How about local streaming of video? The DB1 supports RTSP and so you can pull the video feeds using the standard Hikvision URL format in Blue Iris or any other software that can accept an RTSP stream. You also get onboard microSD card storage as well.

Sadly there is no ONVIF support but you can get it by flashing the LaView firmware. This also lets you use the PIR motion sensor of the DB1 as a recording trigger in Blue Iris or other supported software. You can also grab JPEGs the same way you would with any other Hikvision camera.

Google Home and Echo Show support has also been added. Interestingly using Monocle the Echo Show can directly pull the camera video stream without routing it through the cloud. Of course I have no interest in letting an Echo device into my home, so I won’t be testing that.

The Hikvision DS-HD1 has also been re-branded as the RCA HSDB2A, Nelly’s Security NSC-DB2, LaView One Halo, Winic NDB313-W, and LTS LTH-7132-WIFI (now discontinued).

All of them are virtually the same Hikvision OEM camera and even the firmware are interchangeable. They all support RTSP and flashing the LaView One firmware adds ONVIF. But I would strongly recommend going with the EZVIZ brand if you can, simply because it is the official Hikvision retail brand.

PROS:
  • Easy to install and setup
  • PIR sensor to reduce false alerts
  • Works without a paid subscription/cloud connection
  • Local storage of video
  • RTSP supported
  • Blue Iris compatible
  • PIR sensor for better motion detection

CONS:
  • No ONVIF support officially
  • No Ethernet or PoE
  • Some features available only in the EZVIZ app
  • No built-in/standalone web admin page
  • No alarm in/out connections

View price on Amazon

 



 

Hikvision DS-HD1

Hikvision DS-HD1 - VueVille
Hikvision DS-HD1 Connections - VueVille

The Hikvision DS-HD1 is the model that the EZVIZ DB1 above is based on, so it has the same features. You won’t get retail support from Hikvision on this one though.

View price on Amazon

 
 
 

XTU Smart Video Doorbell Camera (J5)


Features

  • 3MP resolution
  • 166° viewing angle
  • 2-way audio
  • Infrared LEDs, 16 feet range
  • 2.4GHz Wi-Fi
  • PIR sensor
  • Supports microSD card
  • Free mobile app
  • Supports ONVIF, RTSP, Blue Iris, Alexa
  • IP65 weather-rated

VueVille Smart Home Verdict

  • Local storage available: Yes
  • Advanced motion detection: PIR, Blue Iris
  • Cloud reliant: Only initial setup
  • Battery backup: No
  • Self-monitoring works without Power or Internet? Yes
  • Smart home compatibility: ONVIF supported


XTU is a new market entrant and differentiates its J5 doorbell camera by supporting both ONVIF and RTSP officially. This is the only decent doorbell on the market that supports ONVIF officially.

The J5 has a 3MP sensor which is my preferred resolution for security purposes. Video quality is excellent and the Cloudedge mobile app is better than the rest. Physical installation and the app-based setup is easy and the J5 scores points here because this can be a challenge with other doorbells.

On the smart home front, the J5 officially supports ONVIF and you can pull an RTSP video stream from the camera.
Main stream rtsp://::8554/Streaming/Channels/101
Sub-stream rtsp://::8554/Streaming/Channels/102

The J5 works with QNAP & Synology Surveillance centre, and you can also use Blue Iris to perform advanced motion detection.

There are no alarm out ports for home automation integration. But there’s a far simpler way to integrate any doorbell with your HA system – just wire a relay in parallel. When the doorbell is pressed, the voltage drop will trigger the relay. Use a Z-Wave sensor to detect this and fire off an event to your HA controller. If you want to do it wirelessly, the bel push actually sends a 433MHz signal that you can pick up using a Sonoff bridge flashed with Tasmota.

While the XTU brand is a bit new on the doorbell scene, there are enough reviews on Amazon to suggest this is a quality video doorbell.

PROS:
  • Easy to install and setup
  • Works without a paid subscription/cloud connection
  • Local storage of video
  • ONVIF, RTSP supported
  • QNAP, Synology, Blue Iris compatible
  • PIR sensor for better motion detection

CONS:
  • No Ethernet or PoE
  • No built-in/standalone web admin page
  • No alarm in/out connections

View price on Amazon

 



 

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The wireless doorbells that didn’t make the cut

Doorbird WiFi Video Doorbell – A feature-packed PoE but cloud-reliant doorbell

The Doorbird is a very interesting doorbell that is developed, engineered and manufactured in Germany. It differentiates itself from the rest by having an insane amount of features. It has an RTSP stream, and can work with any app that can receive an RTSP stream (like tinyCam Monitor Pro). The RTSP stream can be accessed at rtsp://<device-ip>:<device-rtsp-port>/mpeg/media.amp

It also has an Ethernet port which supports Power over Ethernet (PoE 802.3af Mode-A) so is the perfect choice if you want to add a video doorbell to your existing standards compliant CCTV system (Synology or QNAP NAS/Hikvision NVR, Blue Iris etc.).

The camera is only 720p which is only average, however it has a hemispheric lens which provides a brilliant 180 degree field of view just like the Skybell video doorbell. The vertical field of view is also a very good 90 degrees. 12 InfraRed LEDs provide very good night vision with a true IR cut filter.

Two-way audio is standard along with noise cancellation and echo reduction features.

On the communications front, it has WiFi, Bluetooth (optional) and uniquely an RFID system using a 433 MHz transceiver. This adds compatibility with Volkswagen, digitalStrom, Control4, RTI, Elan, URC, Nuki, and Zipato. It also has its own API which should be of interest to home automation fans.

Cloud features

Just as most of these smart video doorbells, the Doorbird is reliant on the cloud for advanced operations:

“Our products are cloud-based solutions (see also NEST, Dropbox, etc.). For reasons of reliability and security no port forwarding is conducted through the internet (using NAT or DynDNS). Our products establish an encrypted VPN tunnel connection to our cloud server (located in a highly secured data centre in Germany). Our products rely on the same secure communications technology used by financial institutions for online banking (SSL). The remote access via our cloud-server is free of charge. It is not technically possible to use our products autonomously without internet access or without access to our cloud servers, as otherwise key functionality like, for example, push notifications (special server security certificates required by Apple and Google), remote access, periodic free software updates etc. would not be available.”

PROS:
  • 1080p Full HD video resolution
  • 12 InfraRed LEDs for true night vision with true IR cut filter
  • Fish-eye lens with 180 degree field of view
  • IP54 weather rating
  • WiFi supported
  • Continuous recording feature
  • PIR motion sensor
  • Ethernet port with PoE
  • ONVIF and RTSP support
  • Has a 433 MHz transceiver
  • API for interfacing with home automation controllers
  • Supports a wide range of Home Automation protocols

CONS:
  • No local storage/SD card slot
  • Reliant on the cloud for operation/motion detection
  • No internal battery

Ring Video Doorbell Pro – A popular yet flawed 1080p cloud doorbell

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is the latest model in the Ring family of doorbells and was launched in March 2016. It is dependent on a power supply. It differs from the standard Ring WiFi doorbell in that it doesn’t have a battery but has an upgraded 1080p sensor. It can also send you motion detection alerts to your email or smartphone if it detects motion in front of it. However it cannot record video continuously.

PROS:
  • 1080p Full HD video resolution
  • InfraRed LEDs for true night vision, true IR cut filter
  • Wide-angle lens with 160° field of view
  • 2.4/5 GHz WiFi supported

CONS:
  • No weather-proof or water-proof rating
  • No continuous recording feature
  • No local storage/SD card slot
  • Reliant on the cloud for operation
  • No PIR motion sensor
  • No Ethernet port/No PoE
  • No ONVIF support, not RTSP stream capable
  • No API for interfacing with home automation controllers

Check out my review below for more information:

7.5
Review: Ring Video Doorbell Pro

Review: Ring Video Doorbell Pro

Video doorbells are a great addition to your home security arsenal. I am just about to embark on my home automation ...

I do not recommend the original Ring WiFi doorbell either because it works only on an internal battery and is limited to a 720p resolution.

One point to note is that Ring doesn’t claim any weatherproof rating for its doorbells, which is one of my biggest bugbears with their video doorbells. The company seems to have been overwhelmed by the incredible popularity of its products, with customer service being less than stellar of late.

Skybell Wi-Fi Video Doorbell – Another Full HD 1080p cloud doorbell

The Skybell is one of those rare products that is designed and manufactured in the USA. California to be exact. For many, that itself is a great advantage when buying a tech gadget.

The Skybell HD is a very small unit at 2.8 inches across and just 0.9 inches deep. It is a straight replacement for your existing wired doorbell if it uses a transformer. It comes with a mounting plate, so it is quiet easy to install to any surface.

The camera of the doorbell can do up to 1080p Full HD video, which is very good. It also has a class-leading 180 degree field of view. It has the standard features you would expect such 2-way audio using a microphone and a speaker. It has a unique multi-colour bell push button that can do 16 million colours, a nice personalisation touch to make your doorbell truly yours. Additionally it has a real PIR sensor which should aid massively with motion detection.

Alas the doorbell doesn’t have true night vision because it doesn’t have Infrared LEDs. Instead it has a standard white LED light to light up the person in front of the doorbell. This is fine if its a person standing right in front of the doorbell, but limited by the 15 feet range of the PIR sensor for triggering an alert at night. It doesn’t have a local storage option such as an SD card so all video is routed through their cloud servers. This means you need a decent internet connection with an upload speed of at least 1.5 Mbps.

The Skybell HD has an IPX4 weather proof rating, which means it is not rated for solid ingress but is protected against splash water from any direction. It is claimed to work between -40 and 140 degrees F.

So how does it work? There are 3 ways you can use the Skybell HD video doorbell:

  1. A visitor presses the bell button and you get a call on your smartphone.
  2. A visitor doesn’t press the button, but the PIR motion sensor detects motion and alerts you.
  3. Live view – you can check in any time to see what’s going on at your front door.

This image below should explain the details:

Skybell HD Video Doorbell - VueVille.com

How about compatibility with home automation? It supports IFTTT, Alexa, Nest and many other home automation protocols and controllers.

PROS:
  • 1080p Full HD video resolution
  • Field of view not mentioned
  • IPX4 weather rating
  • WiFi supported
  • PIR motion sensor
  • Supports a wide range of Home Automation protocols

CONS:
  • No InfraRed LEDs for true night vision
  • No weather-proof or water-proof rating
  • No continuous recording feature
  • No local storage/SD card slot
  • Reliant on the cloud for operation/motion detection
  • No ethernet port/No PoE
  • No internal battery
  • No ONVIF support, not RTSP stream capable
  • No API for interfacing with home automation controllers

Vuebell WiFi Video Doorbell (Hardwired) – A cheap 720p doorbell that is cloud-reliant

Vuebell is a brand owned by the Chinese manufacturer, Netview Technologies (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd. They have been in business since June 2010 and their camera are sole on Amazon and HomeDepot.

The Vuebell consists of an outdoor unit and an optional indoor chime unit. At just over 3.1 inches x 3.1 inches, the Vuebell’s outdoor unit has a very attractive design and looks very much a premium device. It is smaller than the standard video doorbell. Even so, it sports Infrared LED lights, a microphone, a speaker, and a Passive InfraRed (PIR) detector.

The video sensor has a max resolution of 720p which is about par for video doorbells but has an outstanding 185 degrees field of view. You can get a live view on your smartphone whenever somebody presses the doorbell, when the PIR detects motion within its range of 3 metres or you can simply check in any time to watch. It can send you motion detection alerts and save clips on either a micro SD card or on the free cloud storage account.

The outdoor unit of the Vuebell is very easy to install as it is a straight replacement for your existing hardwired doorbell. It just uses your existing hardwired doorbell transformer.

The indoor unit is a great touch and has a range of chimes. The chime volume can be adjusted and can be very loud if you need it to be.

There are several disadvantages but the biggest one is the lack of a weather-proof rating.

The optional cloud service is based on Amazon Web Services and costs $2 per month which is the lowest I have come across.

PROS:
  • InfraRed LEDs for true night vision, true IR cut filter
  • Fish-eye lens with 185° field of view
  • WiFi supported
  • Not reliant on the cloud for operation
  • PIR motion sensor

CONS:
  • Only 720p resolution
  • No local storage, cloud-reliant
  • No weather-proof or water-proof rating
  • No continuous recording feature
  • No Ethernet port/No PoE
  • No internal battery
  • No ONVIF support, not RTSP stream capable
  • No API for interfacing with home automation controllers

August Wi-Fi Video Doorbell – Style over substance

The August Wi-Fi Video doorbell was one of the first smart video doorbells to hit the market. So its features now look a bit dated compared to the latest gen models such as the Ring and Skybell doorbells. It is designed to work with the optional Smart Lock so that you can answer the door and then unlock it if desired. With its smart industrial design and sleek looks, it won over many looking for a stylish and smart video doorbell.

The August Wi-Fi Video doorbell was selected by Fortune magazine as the Best Doorbell. However I find that very strange because it doesn’t have Infrared LEDs, it relies on a standard white LED for lighting the scene at night. This is fine for lighting up somebody right in front of the camera but in the absence of a PIR motion sensor, makes the camera very poor at detecting motion in the night.

PROS:
  • Needs a cloud subscription for recording and playing back videos
  • 960p HD video resolution
  • WiFi supported

CONS:
  • No InfraRed LEDs for night vision
  • No weather-proof rating
  • No continuous recording feature
  • No local storage/SD card slot
  • Reliant on the cloud for operation/motion detection
  • No PIR motion sensor
  • No ethernet port/No PoE (Power over Ethernet)
  • No internal battery
  • No ONVIF support, not RTSP stream capable
  • No API for interfacing with home automation controllers

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Wireless Video Doorbells – What to look for

The features to look for in a wireless smart video doorbell are:

  1. Video Resolution – You should aim for at least a 1080p resolution. Also called FullHD / 2MP resolution, the higher level of details captured increases the chance of law enforcement making a positive identification of faces
  2. Night vision – An absolute must in a security camera, it should have InfraRed LEDs for true night vision. A true IR cut filter is good to have because this will ensure good night vision and true daytime colours (you don’t want that cheap looking purple hue!)
  3. Field of view – Measured horizontally, it should be at least 90 degrees. This depends on the focal length of the camera lens. Increasingly vertical field of view is also important to catch parcel thieves.
  4. Weather proofing – Good doorbells will have an IP rating which indicates its resistance to water ingress. Worth getting one with a rating as then you know your smart doorbell won’t fail in a particularly bad storm and become a very dumb and very dead doorbell.
  5. Audio – A smart doorbell should have a microphone and speaker built-in
  6. Local storage – in the form of a microSD card slot, or internal flash storage is very desirable because it means you don’t need to necessarily pay for a cloud storage subscription.
  7. Software features – Live streaming capability is pretty much standard these days but the continuous recording feature is not. Email alerts on motion detection are essential, push notifications to smartphone app is ideal so that you know as soon as somebody is at your door regarldess of whether they actually push the button.
  8. Cloud reliance – ideally not reliant on the cloud for operation, mainly because it introduces lag into your conversation.
  9. Motion detection method – PIR motion sensor preferable to cut down on false alerts
  10. Power source – Ethernet port preferable with PoE (Power over Ethernet) support, internal battery is good for power backup purposes
  11. Wireless – Support for WiFi, Bluetooth
  12. Advanced features:
    • Preferably API available for interfacing with home automation controllers
    • Preferably RTSP stream capable so that you can use 3rd party applications such as tinyCam Monitor Pro. ONVIF support is ideal as it means it can interface with home automation controllers such as my Vera Plus, and my existing DIY home NVR security system.
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Conclusion

I researched dozens of wireless smart video doorbells and rejected most of them before arriving at the list above. Sadly, the trend of not letting customers watch recorded clips without a cloud subscription is increasing.

Another rising trend is locking away smart features behind a monthly subscription. This is simply unacceptable as more and more homes are getting smarter with a multitude of smart devices that all need to communicate with each other. That’s why I always check whether a product can work locally without cloud reliance and supports industry standards such as RTSP or ONVIF.

So the smart doorbell market still has some way to go before it catches up with proper security cameras when it comes to integrating with a smart home. But now is as great a time as any to get your toes wet. So please let me know which smart doorbell you are going for, I would love to hear from you!

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I am Daniel and VueVille is where I document my DIY smart home journey. I focus on 100% local-processing and local-storage because that’s the only way to secure my family’s safety and privacy. Oh and I don’t like monthly subscriptions!

31 Comments
  1. Hey Daniel, do you know anything about digital chime support for existing chimes? Specifically the NewTone LA600WH. The Amcrest, for example, can support up to a 10 second chime, set in the app interface (though it’s more like 8 seconds in practice). My Amcrest fried itself (burnt wires inside!) so I am looking at the XTU next, but can’t seem to get an answer on supporting my digital chime.

  2. Hi Daniel,

    Interesting that Doorbird didn’t make the cut. Surely if one adds it to a NAS based Surveillance Station (Synology / QNAP) then it does effectively have local on-premise storage as well as motion detection – as a CCTV camera at least. I presume the actual doorbell 2-way conversation role as well as access via their own app are the parts that are reliant on cloud connectivity?

    • Thanks for the comment, yes I was also disappointed that such a solid product hardware and spec-wise was crippled with cloud-reliance. Quoting the company’s quote from my article, “It is not technically possible to use our products autonomously without internet access or without access to our cloud servers, as otherwise key functionality like, for example, push notifications (special server security certificates required by Apple and Google), remote access, periodic free software updates etc. would not be available.”

      What’s worse, the device will be offline if there’s no active Internet connection. So no Internet means the device is useless.

  3. Hi, congrats for the reviews and opinions, I’ve found them particularly helpful. What about the current Hikvision doorbell DS-KB8112-IM? What is your opinion? I saw that is has a worst video quality and vision angle but on the other hand it has poe and it only costs $140 compared to Doorbird $400.

    • Thank you! I didn’t recommend the Hikvision because they do not support retail customers – so I went with their EZVIZ retail model instead. Hikvision have quite a few models but the DS-KB8112-IM is only 720p resolution as you said – that rules it out for me I am afraid.

      Instead try these other Hikvision models which are 1080p and PoE: DS-KD8003-IME1 and the same model with flush mount. Far more expensive though.

      • Unfortunately that model (and all the others from Hikvision) require an indoor station for fully integration with mobile devices. I was hopping to find a standalone model preferably with POE.
        From the reviews I’ve read regarding the EZVIZ DB1 there are a lot of complaints. Apparently the device stops working after a few days or gets very hot and shuts down. I don’t know if it has something to do with the voltage differences in US/EU…

  4. Hi Daniel,

    Nice work detailing these smart doorbell capabilities! I agree with all your points in how you narrowed it down to your recommendations. I started with the first Ring, then on to a Skybell, and am now using the Amcrest AD110 – all have been integrated with Home Assistant.

    How did you determine the Amcrest AD110 has no PIR motion detector? All the Amcrest literature and support info says it does. Yeah, it does throw a lot of false positives that you wouldn’t expect of a PIR. It also has limited support for the Amcrest/Dahua API but definitely not for device configurations which must be done via the Smarthome app.

    The Skybell Trim Plus does have a battery, but normally operated via transformer. Skybell also provides an official Skybell Connect API, but only to specific partners, such as Nest, Amazon, SmartThings. There is also an unofficial python API on Github that Home Assistant uses. I replaced it because it has no RTSP support and quite slow response from the cloud.

  5. Daniel,

    FYI, your Amazon link for the LaView ONE Halo shows “Currently unavailable”, and “We don’t know when or if this item will be back in stock.”

    Thanks for your review. The EZVIZ DB1’s Android app has respectable reviews, but not the same on the Apple side, which is gonna make selling this product to my wife harder. Still, the more important feature to me is that I don’t get vendor lock-in, forced into the cloud, forced into subscription, etc.

    Dave

    • Thanks Dave, I have updated the link. Yeah, local storage, local processing and free inter-operability are my priorities too!

  6. How do you incorporate a relay to trigger HA.

  7. Have you looked at the Eufy doorbell yet? It looks promising with no fees all though I hear the two drawbacks at this time are no RTSP at this time and it loads to an sd card in the unit so if it is stolen there goes your evidence but I would love to know your thoughts.

    • Yes I rejected the Eufy from this list because it requires an active Internet connection to work. Not just to register like some doorbells, but to simply work. If your Internet fails or if Eufy’s cloud setup fails (more likely), you will mist notifications and it won’t record anything. Also I don’t like my video footage being sent to a cloud server, and then back to me in their app. It’s ridiculous how these companies design their products in such a way that we are locked into using their ‘free’ cloud service. And then at some point they entice us to upgrade to a monthly subscription for better cloud features. There’s more money to be made in a subscription service than a one-time purchase – so that’s what they are all doing now. Ring, Nest, Arlo,…. and these Chinese manufacturers learn these tricks from the big boys.

  8. Hi all,

    I apologize if this isn’t the best place to post this, but am curious if anyone has found a way to setup any of the Hikvision doorbells (Laview ONE, EZVIZ DB1, RCA) without a login? I know they can feed to an SD card or NVR, but I’ve found comments stating that they call out to IPs in China anyway. Is this just an intentional gap in the video doorbell market to gain money or data instead of letting DYI folks set them up standalone? I cannot believe someone hasn’t figured out how to set them up like any other IP cam without a login.

    Thoughts or suggestions anyone?
    Jeff

  9. What do you think of Hello Nest? It seems a pretty smart bell even if it depends on the cloud

    • Nest Aware may have smart features but it is a 100% cloud and Internet reliant doorbell: 1) it has no local storage so you need to pay for the Nest Aware monthly cloud subscription if you want to record and review clips 2) if there is no Internet, the doorbell becomes just a useless paperweight.

      I hate it when manufacturers call these doorbells smart but knock out the Internet connection/cloud server goes down and they are absolutely useless. Even if you have an unbreakable Internet connection (impossible), you are still reliant on the cloud servers staying up 24/7 (also impossible). For home security, simply do not reply on the cloud. Use local data storage and if you must, the cloud as a backup.

  10. Hi Daniel,

    Have you taken a peek at the Laview ONE Halo Doorbell yet? I am seeing some say that it will have ONVIF support soon. I’d love to know how to configure that without using the cloud account to do it.

    Thanks for all you do,
    Jeff

    • Thanks! All the Hikvision OEM doorbell products such as the LaView ONE Halo now support ONVIF. I will have a look at the non-cloud setup process.

  11. The Ring Video Elite offers RJ45 ethernet port / POE. It is overpriced at $499, but I would like to see that one reviewed next time.

  12. I see that there is a Hikvision under several OEM names out now, Uniden U-Bell Video Doorbell-DB (Homedepot), NSC-DB1 Onvif Compatible Wifi Doorbell, Hikvision Doorbell Wifi Camera – DS-KB6003-WIP to name a few. Have you tried this one yet under any of the OEM names?

  13. Hi Daniel,

    Good to see your blog, and I thought, I will get a good suggestion from you, and hence this mail. Hope you will share your opinion.

    I have a typical problem for my house. I need a good Video doorbell for my home. I found some very good like SKYBELL Trim Plus which I thought is feature rich and value for money. But again it is having it’s own short comings which are must for me.
    Let me explain my requirements.
    1. We are 3 members in my house. Myself, wife and my mother aged 82.
    2. Though myself and my wife are confident of the features of SKYBELL video doorbell,
    I am pretty well sure my mother cannot operate a smartphone, and installing a SKYBELL or any other similar product will be useless for her, and again she has to rely on the traditional, open the door and see or talk to the one at the door.
    3. My requirement is simple, I would like to have the features of motion activated/bell activated video recording along with a live stream of the person at the door on a small (say a 7 inch) monitor(just like video door phone monitor) in addition to the features of SKYBELL Trim plus (Smartphone controlled). And of course no monthly fee. If required I can use NVR to record the images/videos.
    One such product I found with these features is Panasonic VL SVN511EX, but I presume it cannot record automatically on presence of motion. I think taking of photos is manual in this model.
    Keeping in view, my requirements, can you suggest a good product.

    Thanks and Appreciate
    Jayaram

  14. Hi, I have recently built a new home and I wired cat 5e cabling to each floor so that I could put lcd displays to connect to a video doorbell.
    As you know, the doorbell camera is ever evolving at present and I quite like the idea of adding wifi calling to this function. But I haven’t seen an option that allows both fixed wire (is this RJ45 cabling?) and wifi calling.

    Which set-up would allow me to connect 4/5 fixed lcd screens as well as having the ability to call remotely to a couple of mobiles?

    Some key must haves: IP54 or greater; 720p min; night vision; ability to record

    Thanks
    Din

  15. Any review of the dbell HD Live and how it compares?

  16. Any input on the dbell HD live (dbell.ca)? It does ONVIF but reviews are hard to come by.

  17. I’m the developer behind tinyCam Monitor Android app and just found your article. The next update of tinyCam Monitor will add support for 2-w audio and RTSP for DoorBird into the app.

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