Ring Doorbell Alternatives
If Ring's video doorbells aren't for you, here are three more options from Nest, SkyBell and August.
There’s no doubt that Ring’s video doorbells, (i.e the Ring Video Doorbell 2, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, and the Ring Peephole Cam, and more), are the best-known on the market, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other fantastic options. Many other companies make video doorbells that let us see and speak to guests as soon as they sauntered up to our front door. Let’s check out some Ring video doorbell alternatives, namely the Nest Hello, the SkyBell HD and the August Doorbell Cam Pro.
The Nest Hello is Google Nest’s one and only video doorbell option, and it impressed us overall. Working in temperatures from five to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, the Nest Hello needed to be hardwired into our home, requiring a wired doorbell and chime (although you can also use a power adapter to plug it into an indoor outlet). As far as footage went, the camera was one of the highest quality we’ve seen from a doorbell camera, shooting in 1600 HD with a wide, 160 degree field of view.
That meant that we saw our guests clearly, to say the least, and we could even zoom in on them eight times! Even at night the video didn’t fail due to the camera’s infrared LED sensors, which showed our guests clearly in black and white. We don’t have too many night time visitors, but when we got a package that we had been waiting all day for, it was nice to be able to see exactly when it happened.
It goes without saying that we could talk to our friends through the Nest Hello’s speaker and microphone anywhere in the world from the Nest app. For example, when our neighbors stopped by to ask for sugar, we got notified via Nest’s person detection AI and told them our passcode to run into the kitchen. To make our notifications even more specific, we paid a monthly fee for Nest Aware, which actually recognized our friends and family over a period of time. So we weren’t just notified that a person was detected, but that our neighbor Ann is at our front door. This was definitely worth the price, which Nest reduced recently.
|Nest Free||Nest Aware||Nest Aware Plus|
|Event video history (in days)||3 hours||30||60|
|24/7 video history (in days)||0||0||10|
With so many premium features, we had to spend a bit more on the Nest Hello than we did on some of Ring’s options, $229 total, but overall, it’s one of our favorite video doorbells available today.
SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Doorbell
The SkyBell HD is the most durable video doorbell we’ve ever tested, lasting in temperatures all the way from negative 40 to 140 degrees. In other words? It’s a great option for those in extreme climates. Like the Nest Hello, we hardwired the SkyBell HD using a power drill, wire stripper, and digital doorbell adapter. Once the doorbell camera was installed, we could see our front yard clearly in 1080p HD, with a nice, 120 degree field of view. Plus, we zoomed in five times to help us see exactly what Amazon packages we got, which was helpful, even speaking to the delivery men via the camera’s two-way audio.
Now, when it comes to the night vision, the SkyBell HD shows footage in color due to its bright white light. All the footage is stored locally, with a week of free cloud storage to boot. But note that, like most of Ring’s video doorbells, the SkyBell HD doesn’t have any artificial intelligence features; rather, we were notified whenever there was motion of any kind, which led to a whole lot of alerts throughout the day, not all of them necessary. Plus, we couldn’t control the SkyBell HD with our voice assistants Alexa or Google Assistant, another drawback if you already have a smart home ecosystem setup. Still, at $199, the SkyBell HD is one of the more affordable video doorbells available, good news for our wallets!
August Doorbell Cam Pro
Our third and final Ring video doorbell alternative is the August Doorbell Cam Pro, which comes in silver and dark gray. At $199, it’s the same price as the SkyBell HD, but one area it succeeds in is smart platform integrations. Not only could we command the August Doorbell Cam Pro using Alexa and Google Assistant, but it also worked with a ton of other IoT devices from companies like Nest, IFTTT, Honeywell, SimpliSafe, Logitech, Yonomi, Wink, Xfinity, Stringify, Z-Wave, Brilliant, Leviton, SmartThings, and Control4. So even though August doesn’t offer complete security systems, we were able to have our SimpliSafe entry sensors trigger our August Doorbell Cam Pro so whenever the sensors were armed, so was the doorbell camera. We loved how easy it was to integrate this video doorbell into our existing smart home, which is pretty extensive.
Of course, there’s a lot more to know about the August Doorbell Cam Pro, and not all of it is so good. For example, with only 960p HD video quality, our footage wasn’t as clear as we wanted it to be, especially at night, although it was nice that it was in color. While we could speak to whoever was visiting us, the doorbell itself didn’t have a slot for a micro-SD card, and we had to pay for cloud storage, although monthly it was only $2.99 for 15 days or $3.99 for 30 days. And like the SkyBell HD, the August Doorbell Cam Pro lacks person detection, leading to many unneeded alerts throughout the day. But overall, this hardwired video doorbell is a great option for a pretty low price.
Just because Ring’s video doorbells are the most popular doesn’t mean that there aren’t other fantastic options available. To recap…
Go with the Nest Hello if you’d like…
- Highest quality video
- Person detection
- Integrations with Google Assistant and Alexa
Go with the SkyBell HD if you’d like…
- Durable design
- Week of free cloud storage
- 1080p HD video
Go with the August Doorbell Cam Pro if you’d like…
- Hardwired setup
- Affordable price
- Many smart platform integrations.
If none of these sound like the right options for you, have no fear! We recommend reading our review of the year’s best video doorbells. You’ll be answering your door remotely in no time.