The technological advances exhibited in best doorbell cameras are not only amazing but also provide a breakthrough in maintaining security for homes and business premises alike. Well, whether you are at home or not, imagine being in a position to see who is at your front door or when a parcel is delivered? Moreover, irrespective of whether you are expecting visitors or not, doorbells equipped with video cameras can record videos of any activities of visitors at your front porch or entryway.
I was not at home when my dad paid me a visit a couple of months ago, however, driving home from miles away, I was able to have a reliable two-way conversation with him courtesy of the new Skybell HD Video Doorbell I installed. Something that took me hours to explain to him when I got back. The old man is enthusiastic about new gadgets on home automation and smart doorbells, a field which happens to be my area of expertize and profession.
To make him understand everything about the smart doorbell, I came up with this detailed Skybell HD Review.
- 1 How It Works
- 2 Installation
- 3 Video Quality
- 4 Audio Quality
- 5 Skybell HD Review: Key Features and Specifications
- 6 Pros & Cons
- 7 Conclusion
How It Works
The unit is one of the best currently in the market, if not the very best. This is because of its impressive features and simple working mechanism devoid of bugs. An explanation of how the Skybell HD works is summarized in the following five simple and easy to understand processes;
- Someone presses the doorbell or walks around your front porch/entryway. The device starts to record a video when the LED indicator activates the camera either by the motion sensors or the pressing of the doorbell.
- The signal and detected motion goes to your WiFi router
- The WiFi router relays the signal to the cell tower. In fact, it is important to note that the WiFi router is the link between your mobile phone and the door bell through the cell tower and the internet server.
- Just as with calls, the cell tower, upon receiving the signal, sends the signal to your cellphone device
- Your mobile device, through the Skybell app which is already installed in your phone, sends you an alert with the notification, “Your Skybell is calling which you can choose to answer or ignore. Just like in video calls, you can communicate with the person through your cellphone. The only difference is that they cannot see you as you see them on your cellphone screen.
This process is not only simple but is also convenient and highly reliable. Isn’t it?
Skybell HD is a wired doorbell. However, installing it is not as difficult as some people tend to insinuate. To make it easier, it comes in a trendy square box with accessories such as a couple of screws, an Allen wrench and a getting started manually.
The following steps make installation of the device a breeze;
Finding a Power Source
Being a wired doorbell, Skybell HD WiFi Video Doorbell needs a connection to a power source. This can either be done on an existing regular doorbell wiring or through a power adapter, with a resistor to protect the device from the possible power surge. The positioning of the device is similar to that of regular or standard doorbells.
Choose and Attach the Right Mounting Plates
Upon finding your power source and making a safe wiring to the desired location, choose the correct mounting plate and position correctly on the wall. Depending on where you want to position the smart bell, it comes with three mounting plates which include a flush, a wedge, and a doorframe. Carefully mark spots for the two screws then use a drill to make holes on the wall. Pull the two wires through the center of the mounting plate and firmly fix the plate on the wall using the two screws with the help of the Allen key.
Attach the Doorbell
This is one of the most important steps of this installation, and it is important to remember to connect the two wires of your external wiring to the to the two wires on the doorbell. Done? Secure the doorbell to the mounting plate with a screw discreetly positioned underneath to ensure that the doorbell does not fall off.
Skybell HD app
The fourth step involves downloading and installing the app on your smartphone. Which app? Well, this is a question asked by many prospective buyers of this security device. Skybell company created the “Skybell HD app” which is available in both iTunes store and Google play store for iOS and Android devices respectively. Whichever the system for your phone, simply download and install the app.
Configure the Skybell HD and the app
This is fast and easy. Just like other apps, launch or open the Skybell HD app to configure it to your doorbell. The app will ask for your name, email address which I bet you already have and a password of your preference. To complete the configuration, enter the device ID which is found both on the packaging box and the. Finally, connect the Skybell to your existing WiFi by entering your WiFi password. Effortless!!
Test the Device
This does not seem to be a step in the installation process. However, it is an ideal step that helps to confirm that all the previous steps were done correctly. Press the bell and see what happens!! Your Skybell HD is installed, configured and ready for use!
The HD camera of this particular doorbell provides exceptional quality videos and picture images. With a powerful resolution of 1080p/720p, 180 views complete with automatic scaling and a zoom variation of up to x5, no aspect of video quality is compromised.
Despite video delays of up to 2 seconds, this can be minimized by adjusting the LED as well as with strong internet and a powerful WiFi router. This ensures clearer and more accurate streaming.
I have not had any problems with the audio quality of my Skybell device. In fact, most Skybell HD reviews highlight this as one of the most important points where it wins really big. The device has a speak and listens feature with an enhanced omnidirectional; powerful microphone facilitates an audible two-way conversation between the owner and whoever is at the door. Smart doorbells cannot get more interesting than this equipment.
Skybell HD Review: Key Features and Specifications
After reading many reviews, my tests and experience with this device, I would like to note in this Skybell HD review that motion detection is one of the most exciting features of the doorbell. The HD version is a remarkable improvement of the original Skybell 2.0 doorbell which had weaker motion sensors.
As a matter of fact, these motion sensors are essentially activated by any movements in your entryway or towards your front door or porch. You, therefore, do not have to worry about invaders trying to get into your home without pressing the doorbell. The signal from the motion sensors will activate the camera for a live recording.
Just so that you know, the nearly perfect motion sensitivity is configured into three levels namely low, medium and high. Whereas the low sensitivity is more accurate but slower, the high level is faster and recognizes any motion hence can send false alerts resulting from the slightest of movements.
Overall, Skybell has continued to improve the Skybell app which has, in turn, led to transmission of more accurate and faster alerts.
Compatibility with Multiple Devices
Again, Skybell HD gives you the opportunity to integrate other security devices in your home. For example, it is compatible with popular security devices such as Nest Cam, IFTTT, Dot and Amazon Echo. You can also connect it to services search as Web services or SmartThings.
Look at it this way. If your baby is asleep, or you do not want interruptions from the noisy ringing of the doorbell, simply connect your Amazon echo to the device and instruct Amazon echo to set the doorbell in silent mode for convenience.
Connecting the app to your Nest Security Camera enables it to record and stream to you videos from the Nest camera instead of from the doorbell. Finally, just as usually advertised, connecting your configured app to an IFTTT enables you to take pictures, record a video, change the LED color and turn the chime on or off with Alexa. Upon receiving alerts from your app, IFTTT can be programmed to send instant messages as soon as Skybell detects motions.
One of the reasons why Skybell HD beat its competitors and became a leader in the industry is because it offers free cloud storage. You can keep a lot of pictures or videos for a very long time without them getting deleted.
This is an exemplary feature that is not offered by other leading smart doorbells, and those that offer it do it on an annual subscription basis which is deemed costly by most users and potential clients.
High-quality night vision is an integral feature of doorbells that makes them a good anti-theft device in your home. The Skybell HD WiFi video doorbell has the capability of recording high quality, full color and clear videos at night. This feature not only makes the doorbell alert you when people invade your home at night but also ensures that you receive a clear live stream complete with clear and full-color pictures.
Previous doorbells from Skybell had an incredible look. Well, the new Skybell HD doorbell is in a class of its own. It is attractive, modern and has a sleek, compelling design. The device is an absolute symbol of unrivaled style and an outstanding look which is a sure addition to the decor of your porch and an outstanding attractiveness for your friends and visitors.
Another great safety feature of this security equipment that ends this section of this Skybell HD review is its snapping ability. Take photos of your intruders and visitors and store for later use or viewing. With all these features, what extra feature do you think would come in handy?
Specifications and Requirements:
- Size; 2.8 inches wide, 0.9 inches thick
- Colors: Bronze and Silver
- Warranty: One year
- Weight: 1.9 ounce
- LED light indicator: color combo, 16 mil
- Power input: 10VA with 0.5-1.0 amp rate and 8 -36VAC
- Mobile Device: Apple iOS and Android compatible
- WiFi Compatibility: 802. 12 b/g/n, from 2.4 GHz to a massive 150 Mbps
Pros & Cons
- The HD camera is a big bonus as no other doorbell offers that currently.
- On-demand, video option enables you to monitor the happenings at your front door anytime and from anywhere
- Two-way audio conversation and accurate video streaming
- Satisfactory customer service and support from Skybell
- Weatherproof hence ideal for both hot and cold environments
- Comes with a user manual and assembly accessories
- Can differentiate human movements from movements of other objects
- A considerably longer WiFi capability range
- The app is simple and easy to operate
- Flexible cellphone application
- Installation is complicated and may take time particularly if you do not follow the user manual
- Motion sensor sometimes sends false alerts, particularly when set on high sensitivity level as it can sense and transmit signals of any movements.
It is needless to say that a good smart doorbell should give the homeowner an upper hand against intruders and visitors. This is exactly what the Skybell HD WiFi video doorbell offers. Imagine opening your door at night just to find burglars waiting by? Your guess must be as good as mine, and this device reliably saves you from this situation.
My father found this Skybell HD review very helpful and purchased the doorbell for his house. According to him, this device is not just a simple doorbell but a compulsory device for anyone who wants to monitor what happens by your house.
Of all the available smart doorbells currently in the market, Skybell HD WiFi video doorbell has the widest angle of view, greatest combination of features and the highest video quality. Also, this device offers cloud storage at no costs, motion sensing, and a flawless night vision. The only down side of this home security equipment is video delay of about 1 or 2 seconds which the Skybell team have remarkably continued to fix by updating the app.
Overall, it currently stands out as the beat buys for tech geeks and anyone who wants to keep a close eye on their home without compromising their safety!