The SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro is a great low-priced alternative to Ring doorbells. For just $169.99, we got a high-quality camera with a number of useful features.
Not only was the resolution (video quality) 1080p, the industry standard, but it was HDR rather than HD. HDR eliminates shadows and glare for a sharper image. In addition, the field of view was a healthy 162 degrees, so we could see packages on our porch even when the delivery person left them in unusual places.
We also had optical zoom, two-way audio, and clear infrared night vision. We signed up for the Interactive Plan, which costs $24.99 a month, and got 24/7 professional monitoring and 30 days of cloud video storage. Otherwise, we could have paid $4.99 per camera per month for 30 days of cloud storage.
NOTE: Infrared night vision creates black-and-white video.
The SimpliSafe Doorbell Pro probably isn’t for everyone. It requires a hardwired connection, for example, so it’s not particularly easy to install.
Also, this isn’t a doorbell for cold climates. Its lowest temperature rating is 14 degrees.
On the plus side, the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro is a fantastic investment for Apple users like us. We found the Apple version of the app intuitive and incredibly responsive. It’s no wonder users have rated it 4.8 out of 5.1 The SimpliSafe Pro gave us everything we needed and more.
The Lorex Video Doorbell is a solid option for simple, straightforward security.
Lorex doesn’t include a lot of extras. For instance, it doesn’t have any AI, such as person detection.
FYI: Without person detection, you’ll get alerts for movement of any kind, including movement from animals, cars, and other inanimate objects.
It doesn’t integrate with any smart platforms, like Google Assistant or Alexa, so we couldn’t control the camera with just our voices. It doesn’t offer cloud storage either. However, it came with a 16 GB micro-SD card for local storage and could handle up to a 64 GB card.
Lorex met our overall requirements for a video doorbell. It gave us 1080p HD resolution and a 160-degree field of vision. It also had two-way audio, which made it easy to chat with our mail carrier about a late piece of mail.
Best of all, it had a $129 price tag, which puts it at the low end of the market average ($129 to $169). For that price, we were satisfied with how well the Lorex let us keep an eye on our front porch.
What did we get when we ordered Vivint’s $229 doorbell camera? For one thing, we got the widest possible field of view, 180 degrees. We also got two-way audio, and digital pan and zoom. The camera included two LED sensors for infrared night vision — clear enough to make out the two raccoons helping themselves to our trash cans.
All of these capabilities almost made up for the fact that it only had 720p HD video resolution, a bit below the industry standard of 1080p HD.
That being said, we were pleased to find that we could use our voice to control the camera, through either Alexa or Google Assistant. We had the choice of hardwiring the camera or using a battery with a three- to five-year lifespan. We also had the choice to record 24/7 or just when someone approached the door.
You should know that the Vivint Doorbell Camera requires professional installation, as you can see on our Vivint pricingpage.2 Leaving that aside, we felt that the Vivint Doorbell Camera gave us more options than a lot of other doorbell cameras on the market.
Just because Ring’s video doorbells are the most popular doesn’t mean that there aren’t other fantastic options available. The three doorbells above are good choices for different needs and preferences.
Go with the SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro if you’d like …
Sharp HDR resolution
A great iPhone app
Go with the Lorex Video Doorbell if you’d like …
1080p HD resolution
Go with the Vivint Doorbell Camera if you’d like …
A 180-degree field of vision
Smart home integration with Google Assistant or Alexa
If none of these sound like the right option 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. While you’re at it, check out the best security systems as well.