Home automation has become a popular trend.
There are lots of products that can help you with automating certain home features and functions but only a few that are sufficiently cutting edge as to be a good investment and create genuine convenience.
If we want to automate and secure our homes, buying a smart doorbell can be a good investment.
The smart doorbell industry is improving steadily and more advanced gadgets are becoming available. There are hundreds of smart doorbells on the market and, on the surface, most of them look lucrative.
However, there are only a few that work really well. In this comparison article, we’ll be comparing three doorbells that are worth buying.
With their unique features, good designs and high longevity, there aren’t any other products at this level.
Before we start comparing these doorbells, I’d like to say a few words about them.
- Ring Video Doorbell Pro is the latest product of the famous startup called Ring. Ring’s products are well-known and they’ve been leading the market for some time now. Their newest doorbell has some really interesting features and has quickly gained recognition
- Skybell HD is a product from another startup that specializes in smart doorbells. Skybell is a famous manufacturer that, from day one, has been the main competitor of Ring. It’s true that Skybell 2.0 wasn’t a huge success but the Skybell HD is in a different league
- August Doorbell Cam is a great doorbell and was made by smart-home giant August. August is known for its Smart Locks and August Connect. August decided to join a new market stream and introduced a well-crafted smart doorbell – the August Doorbell Cam.
That information should be enough to know who’s who and what’s what. Now it’s time to start comparing these doorbells and find out which one takes the #1 spot.
We’ll create interesting charts, analyze the smart doorbells’ features, rate their design and overall performance. Lastly, we’ll come up with a reasonable verdict and one of them will be crowned as the industry-leading smart doorbell.
- Skybell HD vs Ring Pro vs August Doorbell: Pros & Cons and Verdict
Skybell HD vs Ring Pro vs August Doorbell: Pros & Cons and Verdict
In order to make the comparisons more clear, we’ll focus on the most important aspects and compare and discuss them, so the strong and weak points of all three doorbells will be made clear.
We’ll discuss everything from the doorbell’s packages to their features and capabilities. So let’s start the review with the basics:
1. Installation Process
Ring Video Doorbell Pro: Ring Pro is a wired doorbell. So to set it up, you have to connect it to your current doorbell’s wires.
Some people might think that installing a wired doorbell takes a long time. However, installing this wired doorbell, if done as written in the user’s manual, takes 5 minutes or so.
I won’t write a step-by-step guide because Ring has uploaded a really good video guide that perfectly explains the installation process.
So, if you purchase the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, this video will guide you through the process.
As for the package, Ring Pro includes everything you’ll need for the installation process. Plus, it comes with four interchangeable faceplates (we’ll talk more about this later in the article).
Skybell HD: Like Ring Pro, Skybell HD is a wired doorbell. Skybell HD will need to be connected to the wires used by your current doorbell.
I won’t waste your time on this. I’ll just drop the video that was uploaded by Skybell. It’s a perfect guide and it explains the installation process with maximum detail.
If you need further guidance, Skybell HD provides a great user’s manual in its package. Like Ring Pro, Skybell HD includes everything that is necessary for the installation.
August Doorbell Cam: August is also a wired doorbell. It should be installed like any other doorbell but there’s an important detail you need to know.
August Doorbell Cam has unusual dimensions (it’s a square). August wanted to create a doorbell that didn’t look like any other. They did succeed in this but it comes with a drawback as August Doorbell Cam might not fit the space available.
Before you buy yourself an August Doorbell Cam, make sure that you measure the space available for your doorbell. If it fits with August’s dimensions, you can hit the order button. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to find an alternative doorbell.
As for the installation process, I couldn’t find a video I could drop but there’s a great guide on August’s website. It’s pretty good and I’m sure it’ll serve as well as a video guide. You can check it out here: August Doorbell Cam Installation Guide.
Here’s a plan of how we can rate the smart doorbells as we proceed: When we compare certain aspects of these doorbells, we’ll give the winner(s) a single point. It’s a great way to keep track.
So, yes, all three doorbells are wired, and installing them is pretty easy; but because of August’s weird dimensions, we should list Skybell HD and Ring Video Doorbell Pro as the winners.
Points: Ring Video Doorbell Pro – 1, Skybell HD –1, August Doorbell Cam – 0.
One more thing: a lot of people are concerned about their doorbells getting stolen. I’ve heard phrases like, “I’m paying a lot of money for this and what if someone steals it?” Skybell and Ring have already thought about this and both offer a theft replacement guarantee. In other words, if your doorbell gets stolen, you’ll get a new one for free.
I can’t comment on August regarding this point because I couldn’t find any information about a theft policy.
Smart doorbells aren’t cheap and, for their investment, smart home shoppers will want something that enhances the visual aspect of their home. It’s obvious that no one will want a naff-looking doorbell, especially when it’s one of the first things that visitors will see.
If we take a look at August Doorbell Cam, Ring Video Doorbell Pro and Skybell HD, they all look gorgeous.
This part of our article is mostly based on personal tastes but there are several things that can be discussed.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro: I won’t lie to you. I like Ring Pro’s design the most and I’d say that it’s the best-looking doorbell around. The majority of buyers and the general consensus have rated Ring Pro as the most beautiful doorbell on the market.
In terms of its dimensions and appearance, I am confident that Ring Video Doorbell Pro’s design is a good choice if you want a smart doorbell to fit well with your home.
On top of this, Ring Video Doorbell Pro has four interchangeable faceplates. In other words, you can change your Ring Pro’s colour anytime you want; and, unlike other doorbells (for example, black August Doorbell Cam costs more than the silver one), Ring Pro lets you do this for free by including the interchangeable faceplates with the product package.
Skybell HD: I’ve said some good things about Ring Pro and now it’s time to praise the Skybell HD. Skybell HD is my second favourite doorbell. Skybell 2.0 was my first smart doorbell.
What I like about Skybell HD’s design is that the company has paid a lot of attention to improving the smallest details. Just by touching it, you can sense the quality of Skybell HD.
Skybell HD is offered in two colours (either silver or black). Lots of people have talked about how good Skybell HD looks at the entrance to their homes and how visitors love to comment on it.
Frankly speaking, Skybell HD is a doorbell with a wonderful design and it attracts a lot of positive attention. Plus, it’ll noticeably improve your home’s looks.
Just look at it, doesn’t it look gorgeous? I wouldn’t rate it as highly as Ring Pro but Skybell HD surely is one of the best-looking doorbells.
August Doorbell Cam: August Doorbell Cam has a unique design. August has worked really hard to make their doorbell extraordinary. They did succeed and created one of the best-looking doorbells.
August Doorbell Cam can be bought in two colours (black or silver) and, unlike traditional doorbells, August is square-shaped. Owners of the August Doorbell Cam have reported that their visitors love to compliment it.
I’ve read numerous reviews, and one thing the buyers seem to have in common is that they love August’s design.
I would even be tempted to rate August Doorbell Cam above Ring Video Doorbell Pro but what stops me is August’s dimensions. So I’ll just rank August as the #2 best-looking doorbell.
Points: Ring Video Doorbell Pro – 2, Skybell HD – 1, August Doorbell Cam – 0.5.
Now that we’ve talked about the design and the installation process, it’s time to compare the features of these doorbells. We’ve created a great chart that covers the most important aspects of all three.
This chart clearly shows how well equipped the doorbells are and whether they truly deserve the praise they’re all getting.
This pretty much sums up our comparison chart. It’s full of valuable information and helps the buyer to choose a doorbell that’ll fit their needs the most.
We’ll discuss more features separately because some parts deserve more attention and need to analyzed more deeply.
For now, I’ll mention that all three doorbells have a really good audio system. Their sounds are pure and you’ll have zero problems hearing what your visitor is saying.
If we still have to choose between them, I’d go with Ring Video Doorbell Pro. I’ve seen it work and know for sure that it has a quality sound system.
4. Advantages and Disadvantages
Before we continue rating other features of these doorbells, let’s create some small charts and talk about the pros and cons of these products.
It’s important to know their strong and weak sides to fully understand their capabilities and to know if there’s still some room for improvement.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro: Pros and Cons
|Two-way audio and one-way video (for privacy concerns)||160-degree field of view|
|Easy to use|
|HD video and audio quality|
|Built-in night vision and LED technology|
|Lifetime protection (if someone steals the doorbell, it will be replaced for free)|
|Enhanced Wi-Fi connection|
|VIP customer service|
Skybell HD: Pros and Cons
|1080p video||Installation can be a bit complicated for novices|
|Motion alert||Motion sensor sometimes sends false alerts|
|iOS and Android support|
|Flexible mobile application|
|Long range Wi-Fi capability|
|Motion sensor activation|
|Two-way audio and video streaming|
August Doorbell Cam: Pros and Cons
|Speak with the visitor straight from your phone||No motion detection system|
|Easy to use||No cloud recording system|
|HD video and audio quality|
|Integration with other August products|
|Great mobile app|
|Comes in 2 colours|
One of the primary reasons people purchase smart doorbells is the camera. It’s really important for the camera to be high quality because our security is heavily dependent on it.
In order to monitor outdoor activity, having a good camera is important. Skybell HD, August Doorbell Cam and Ring Video Doorbell Pro have HD cameras and all of them capture quality pics and vids.
It’s still important to know which of them is superior and if they offer recording features or any kind of perks.
Let’s see what these doorbells can offer and find out which of them takes the highest quality pics and vids.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro: Ring Pro has a 1080p HD camera and takes really good pictures. Today, Ring Pro has one of the best cameras and also offers a cloud recording feature (there’s a monthly fee for this but it’s really cheap).
Ring Video Doorbell Pro takes clear images in daylight and the pictures captured at night are also good. If you take a look at the picture posted below, you’ll clearly see that Ring Video Doorbell Pro takes one of the clearest shots, and you can view the footage on tablets, smartphones and PC.
In addition, Ring Pro has a 160-degree field of view. It’s has shrunk a bit (the first generation Ring has a 180-degree field of view) but don’t let this put you off. A 160-degree field of view is more than enough and you’ll have full control over your surroundings. In other words, there won’t be any blind spots.
Skybell HD: Skybell HD also has a 1080p HD camera and takes the best shots. Yes, better than Ring Pro and August Doorbell Cam. Skybell HD took the camera game to another level and besides having the best capabilities, Skybell HD has also introduced a cloud storage for free.
Let’s take a look at pics taken with Skybell HD’s camera. Vids and pics captured by Skybell HD are nearly perfect. What’s more, Skybell HD has a zoom feature (using the on-demand video, you can zoom in or out while talking with someone).
We also need to mention Skybell HD’s night vision. Unlike other doorbells, Skybell HD has a smart system and you don’t have to adjust the camera for day and night.
Skybell HD has a 180-degree field of view and, judging from the image, the angle is really wide and the whole area is visible.
August Doorbell Cam: August Doorbell Cam also has a really good camera. August Doorbell has a 960p HD camera and takes some nice pics. As you can see from the pic posted below, August Doorbell Camera takes clear shots.
The only drawback of August Doorbell is that it can’t record vids because August Doorbell doesn’t support cloud recording.
So the only way we can test the video’s quality is to use the on-demand live stream. In short, the quality of the pics and vids is more than acceptable. Plus, it won’t take long for August to introduce the cloud recording feature.
August Doorbell Cam has a 120-degree field of view. As you see from the picture posted above, the angle is a bit short and there are some blind spots.
If you have a big yard, August Doorbell won’t be able to monitor the full area. It might miss some things and if, for example, a burglar takes advantage of this, you might get robbed without noticing it.
Points: Ring Video Doorbell Pro – 2.5, Skybell HD – 2, August Doorbell Cam – 1.
6. Motion Sensor
Like the camera, the motion sensor is an important aspect of your security. If we think more deeply about it, it can be considered the most important aspect of security.
Here’s why: Motion detection system alerts us when outdoor activity is detected. The motion sensor can alert us when someone is standing next to our door or alert us when someone is trying to rob our house.
For example, if we’re out of the country and someone tries to rob us, the motion sensor will alert and we can use the on-demand video stream to check who’s there and scare them away.
Frankly speaking, it’s really important for a smart doorbell to have an advanced motion detection system. Skybell HD and Ring Video Doorbell Pro have the motion detection system and it’s pretty advanced.
Unfortunately, August Doorbell Cam doesn’t have one but the company made a promise that they’d introduce one in the very near future.
Let’s talk more about the motion sensors and gauge which doorbell has the best one.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro: Ring Pro has the most advanced motion sensor on the market. Ring knew they had to make their latest doorbell special and it had to have some unique specifications. It’s true that motion detection systems have some flaws, and right now we don’t have a doorbell on the market that has a perfect motion sensor.
Motion Sensors frequently send false alerts and it’s really annoying. Ring knew about this and came up with an interesting solution. They created the “customizable alert zones”.
Considering that motion sensors aren’t smart enough to differentiate, for example, vehicle movement from human activity, Ring had to create something that would minimize the false alerts.
So they succeeded in creating the “customizable alert zones”. With this feature, you can set a focus on certain areas and the motion sensor will only trigger if it detects activity in that motion zone.
This is a really good feature and it’s unique to Ring. Currently, no other doorbell has anything this good. This could be called the primary reason why Ring Video Doorbell Pro is considered as the industry-leading doorbell.
Skybell HD: Skybell HD also has a really good motion sensor. It’s not as good as Ring but it works pretty well.
Skybell HD has three levels of sensitivity and if the doorbell is sending a lot of false alerts, you can simply change the sensitivity level from high to low.
In short, Skybell HD has a really good motion detection system. It’s not perfect but it’s improving. Some buyers have reported having problems with it, but overall there are more satisfied customers than unhappy ones.
August Doorbell Cam: Currently, August Doorbell Cam doesn’t have a motion detection system but the company made a promise that they’d introduce this feature really soon.
It’s really important they do so simply because today a smart doorbell without a motion sensor is very limited. We’ve already said that one of the primary reasons people buy smart doorbells is security purposes and if August Doorbell can’t offer it, a lot of customers will seek out alternatives.
Points: Ring Video Doorbell Pro – 3.5, Skybell HD – 2.5, August Doorbell Cam – 1.
Another important aspect of our review is to find out if these doorbells can be integrated with other smart gadgets.
Lots of people have various smart gadgets and almost everyone wants to connect them. Let’s see what products our doorbells support.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro: Ring Pro can be paired with smart locks like Lockitron, Kevo, Lockstate and Kisi. Ring Pro can also be connected with Wemo and Wink, which will let you control the light switches and outlets.
I’ve also read that Ring Pro will soon support Amazon Echo and IFTTT. That would be a really nice update and I’m sure a lot of people are looking forward to it.
Skybell HD: Skybell HD is more supportive and can be connected with more products than Ring Pro. Skybell HD can be paired with Nest’s security cameras and smoke alarms. Plus, it can also work with famous smart lock manufacturers such as Lockitron, Kevo, Lockstate and Kisi. On top of this, Skybell HD supports IFTTT, and that’s a huge advantage.
August Doorbell Cam: August’s doorbell is quite friendly and can be paired with August’s own Smart Locks, August Keypad and August Connect. In addition, August supports Nest integration and Harmony home systems.
Points: Ring Video Doorbell Pro – 4, Skybell HD – 3.5, August Doorbell Cam – 1.5.
All three doorbells have their own mobile applications. We need them to receive notifications, answer doorbells, talk with visitors, review footage and lots of other things besides.
Let’s talk a little more about the apps and find out which doorbell has the most advanced mobile application.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro: Ring’s mobile application is flexible and has a lot of great features. If you have several Ring doorbells, you can connect them all in a single application. You can also use the app to integrate your Ring Pro to Wemo, Lockstate, Kevo, Wink, Kisi, and Lockitron.
On top of this, Ring’s app offers a full history of your visitors, recordings and motion triggers. In other words, you can check any activity recorded over the previous 6 months.
Ring offers a 30-day free cloud recording trial; when it ends, you’ll have to pay $3/month to continue using the feature.
Skybell HD: Skybell HD also has a nice mobile application. Skybell HD has a dedicated app and it’s different from Skybell 2.0’s.
Skybell HD’s application lets you do things like this: change the image quality (480p, 720p (good), 720p (better) and 1080p), integrate your doorbell with Nest, IFTTT, and Kevo, manage several Skybell HD doorbells, review activity from the last 7 days, change the LED color and change sensitivity levels of your motion sensors (you can also turn it off).
But the app has some issues and it doesn’t work as smoothly as Ring’s app. There are some glitches and it could use some improvement.
August Doorbell Cam: August Doorbell has a nice mobile application that gives you a lot of freedom. You can control your August Doorbell, August Keypad, August Connect and August Smart Locks. You can also pair these products (if you already have August’s other products) and make your home even more secure & smart.
You can use the August’s app to do the following: control several August Doorbells, give your family members access to the Smart Locks, integrate it with Nest Cameras, Thermostats, Airbnb and other popular smart products; you can review the whole activity, use the on-demand video to talk with your visitors and get notifications when, for example, your doorbell goes offline.
Points: Ring Video Doorbell Pro – 5, Skybell HD – 4, August Doorbell Cam – 2.5.
It’s a hard decision to make because all three doorbells have something that makes them desirable. If we take a look at our points chart, Ring Video Doorbell Pro leads the race with 5 points and second is the Skybell HD with 4 points.
If you search these doorbells on Amazon, Ring Pro has more satisfied customers than any other doorbell. Skybell HD has successful products but it’s quite common to find unsatisfied customers.
As for the August Doorbell Cam, it can’t keep up with Ring Pro and Skybell HD. It’s a nice doorbell but it lacks the most important features, the motion sensor and the cloud recording. If August introduces these features, then it could be re-evaluated.
Ring Pro has a better audio quality, enhanced motion sensor, flexible mobile application, good integrations, outstanding design and interchangeable faceplates.
The only things Skybell HD has are the free cloud recording feature and the best camera capabilities. That’s pretty much everything that we can select from Skybell HD’s features. Oh, and Skybell HD supports IFTTT.
As for the August Doorbell Cam, the only thing I like about it is that August can be integrated with the company’s other products. That’s a huge plus if you already own any August products.
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If you want an advice from a professional, you should choose between Skybell HD and Ring Video Doorbell Pro.
I myself own Ring Pro, and I’m really happy with it. From word of mouth, I’ve heard positive reports from other Ring Pro owners in my neighbourhood.
I’ve heard reports of some Skybell HD purchasers having to return the model because it was damaged or nonfunctional – but as soon as they got a free exchange, Skybell worked flawlessly.
I’ll put it this way. Right now, Ring Video Doorbell Pro leads the doorbell industry and the Skybell HD is the second best product.
The prices of these doorbells are nearly identical. But don’t make a mistake by sparing $10-20 – pay a little extra and get yourself the best smart doorbell on the market.
So, to sum up: Ring Video Doorbell Pro is the highest-rated doorbell on the market and is a best-selling product on Amazon. It beats Skybell HD in most respects and works flawlessly. If Ring Pro’s camera capabilities are acceptable for you (and the quality is really good), you should opt for the Ring Video Doorbell Pro.
But if you want a doorbell with the BEST camera, free cloud storage and better integrations, go for the Skybell HD. I’ll create a separate chart where I’ll compare Ring Video Doorbell Pro with Skybell HD. You can use it to make the final decision.