Battle of the doorbell: SkyBell vs Ring
SkyBell and Ring have both been well-received by the smart home market. Each has earned a reputation for designing superior devices at an affordable cost. The simplicity of installation and use of both companies’ doorbells have garnered them business from a wide consumer base.
These are the two best brands of smart video doorbells currently on the market.
In fact, the specifications of their latest devices are similar, and many consumers have been unsure which device is the superior one. While it is tough to say that either of them has a significant advantage over the other, there are some differences that smart home shoppers need to know.
However, it is also important to note that both companies have been in the industry for a couple of years and have released more than one device, upgrading as they go.
We will compare for you the Skybell HD against the Doorbell 2, Doorbell Pro and Doorbell Elite.
The sleek looking SkyBell HD is a step-up from the company’s first attempt at a video camera doorbell. As with other video doorbell products, this one will send an alert to your smartphone when someone rings the bell.
It also allows users to see, hear and talk directly to the visitor at the door, even if you are not home at the time.
It comes in a silver or bronze color and offers users the ability to have more than one person on the account. This means that multiple users can access the HD’s video features and answer the call.
The HD comes in a circular in appearance and has a relatively traditionally styled body for a smart doorbell.
To operate the Skybell HD, it is highly recommended to have an internet upload speed of at least 1.5Mbps.
With the Skybell HD, users are able to snap photos, click in to see live video and even review videos capture by the device via the day’s activity feature.
The Skybell works in rough weather, -40 degrees Fahrenheit and 10 degrees Fahrenheit and the company offers a free replacement if the device is stolen.
Installation of the Skybell HD app follows some straightforward instructions..
Purchasers of this Doorbell get the free Skybell HD app for their smartphone which provides the user interface.
The Skybell HD connects to your home network via 2.4 Ghz Wifi.
This provides the basis of smart home connectivity and the ability to connect the Skybell HD to smart hubs such as the Samsung SmartThings. This supports related features such as voice control with Alexa and programming with IFTTT protocols.
Motion detection using infrared sensors (PIR) triggers the camera to capture video events which are kept safe with free cloud storage. These are held for 7 days before deleted unless you discard them yourself sooner.
The camera has several settings including 1080p, 720p and 480p video resolution. It has also been designed to capture video of an event a few seconds prior, which is an advantage for users needing to see someone approaching their door.
The color night vision mode of the Skybell HD different to the regular black and white images that smart security cameras normally have. This is pretty cool but shouldn’t make any impact from a practical point of view.
The box comes with a sampling of tools needed to get the device installed.
There is a 180–degree field of view and the camera also has a zoom feature.
It requires hardwiring and has no alternative power source. So, if the power goes out it will stop working.
It can take about 20 minutes to install as it needs to be hardwired. Consumers who are not comfortable connecting the wiring may prefer Ring’s battery-powered devices.
The device requires a 2.4 GHz wi-fi connection to work and it is not compatible with 5 GHz.
Unlike the Ring products, the motion sensor can only be alternated with pre-sets sensitivity levels; a low, medium and high setting.
The HD has a 5-minute recording limit at which point the app will freeze and the user will need to resort to live video.
If you are on your phone when someone approaches your door you will get a notification but will need to end your call in order to see the video in the app.
There is no web app, there is only the Skybell HD app that allows users to access the video.
The app is only available for iOS and Android users.
Ring Doorbell 2
The Doorbell 2 was Ring’s second attempt at a video camera doorbell and while it was a substantial upgrade from their first Doorbell device, they still felt the need to design a Pro and Elite version to offer more compact devices.
However, the difference between the later Ring releases is limited, with the Doorbell 2 having some spectacular specs including a 1080p resolution, night vision, and 160-degree angle.
The Doorbell 2 offers users the choice between rechargeable battery-pack or hardwiring, which can simplify the installation process and have the device up and running in about 5 minutes.
It also comes with two different faceplate colors.
Like with all Ring devices the Doorbell connects via 2.4 Ghz Wi-fi and the Ring app to provide the basis for smart home connectivity and smart home control.
One step further it can be used with voice recognition technology and smart assistants and IFTTT protocols.
As per standard with a smart video doorbell, the two-way audio feature allows users to converse with those at their door.
The Ring app is more compatible than the Skybell HD app as it works with Android, iOS, and Windows. It features a desktop app as well as the smartphone version.
Has motion alerts that can be customized for the user in the app.
The field of vision is 160 degrees horizontally, which is more than enough to be effective.
Resolution is set at 1080p, the highest standard in video doorbells currently. Going above this isn’t necessary as these are practical rather than entertainment devices.
Relies on 2.4 GHz connection, which is the same as the Skybell HD.
Basic infrared motion detection that can be set to send push notifications to your smartphone.
You can customize the Doorbell 2 to three sensitivity settings, like the Skybell HD. These are labeled as Light, Normal and Frequent.
One key difference is that you can use five preset zones to more precisely set where you want your camera to monitor motion.
Inside the box the Video Doorbell 2 comes with a handy toolkit that includes wires, a level and more to help you get it installed.
Ring charges $30/year for cloud storage while SkyBell offers it free to customers.
Somewhat bulkier appearance than other video camera doorbells on the market, including the SkyBell.
The Doorbell has a relatively “techy” design compared to the Skybell HD which may or may not be a disadvantage.
Ring Doorbell Pro
The Doorbell Pro has a more compact & classy design than the first two Ring devices and comes equipped with the specs that Ring has refined, including a two-way speaker, 1080 HD video camera and night vision setting.
There are also some solid other feature upgrades from the Doorbell 2. The slimmer design is a selling point, but also the addition of a hardwire power option and a 5 Ghz connection which is a faster Wifi protocol.
The motion detection technology has been upgraded from infrared sensors to using a camera which is relatively advanced. The motion zones are also now customizable rather than five presets.
The Pro is designed to be hardwired into a home, much like the SkyBell HD device, although you can still use a battery option.
It works with both 2.4 GHz and 5 Ghz, something the earlier Ring devices, as well as SkyBell, does not offer. .
Equipped with 1080p HD video capture, 160-degree camera, as well as additions like live view, night view and advanced motion detection vision capabilities.
With the Pro you can set your own customizable motion zones, which makes it fully customizable for each user. They are able to set up what areas of the camera view should be monitored for motion, thus allowing the device to block any unimportant motion like from vehicles in front of the home. This helps cut down on the number of false alerts users receive.#
Ring also offers a lifetime guarantee on their Doorbell products, which means if a device is stolen they will send the customer a new one at no charge.
The Ring product line also allows users to share their videos with others on the system’s platform. This helps neighbors communicate warnings and alerts with one another.
The Ring devices offer access to a web and mobile app, something that the SkyBell does not offer.
An interchangeable faceplate offers four different colors and you can change them up as much as you like.
Doorbell Pro comes with a two-way audio feature with noise cancellation and a built-in microphone and speaker.
Similar to the SkyBell, Ring’s Pro version is hardwired only and does not come with an alternative battery pack. This adds some more time on to the installation process when compared to the Doorbell 2 but is comparable to the process for installing SkyBell.
Its design is also slim and rectangular while the SkyBell is circular. Essentially it comes down to user preference.
Unlike the free SkyBell cloud service, Ring charges customers for cloud storage at rates between $3/month or $30/year.
Ring devices have a more limited temperature range when compared to the SkyBell HD. Doorbell 2 and Pro are only designed to withstand temperatures between -4 and 120–degree Fahrenheit.
Video Doorbell Elite
Ring’s top of the line is its Elite version of the Video Doorbell series. In regards to features, there is comparatively little upgraded from the Doorbell Pro to the Elite. The main benefit is the design which is very slim and minimal, but also the power through an ethernet cable (PoE) which makes it speedier and more reliable.
The Elite needs to be hardwired and has a PoE and flush-mounted install.
This Ring device has been designed to rely solely on Ethernet power, which makes it the fastest and most reliable device in the lineup.
Like with the Pro, the Elite has four removable faceplates, so users can design their own look.
Other features like 1080p HD video resolution and the standard 160-degree field of view have remained constant.
The app and related smart home features and support are the same as the other Ring products.
Elite also comes with built-in microphone and speakers, and a two-way audio system with noise cancellation.
The camera includes a live view on demand, night vision, and advanced motion detection capabilities.
The Ring Elite is yet to fully integrate with other smart home devices as it is a new product. Currently, the Elite cannot communicate with the rest of your smart home products.
This will likely be addressed soon.
|Skybell HD||Doorbell 2||Doorbell Pro||Doorbell Elite|
|1080p Camera||1080p Camera||1080p Camera||1080p Camera|
|180-degree video||160-degree video||160-degree video||160-degree video|
|Motion sensor||Motion sensor (customizable)||Motion sensor (customizable)||Motion sensor (customizable)|
|Color night vision||BW night vision||BW night vision||BW night vision|
|Two-way audio||Two-way audio with noise cancellation||Two-way audio with noise cancellation||Two-way audio with noise cancellation|
|Hardwire installation||Battery Pack or Hardwire installation||Hardwire installation||Hardwire installation|
|View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon|
SkyBell HD has designed a device to rival the Ring product line, something that is not simple to do.
All of the devices have similar video capabilities with the Doorbell Pro and Elite winning thanks to the customized motion detection feature.
However, the SkyBell HD camera captures a wider angle and offers color night vision, which is superior to the typical black and white night vision that Ring offers in all its devices.
The biggest difference between the video camera doorbells is the appearance. While the Doorbell 2 has a bulkier appearance, largely due to the removable battery pack, the Pro and Elite are more sophisticated an compact in appearance.
Yet, consumers may prefer the spherical appearance of the SkyBell HD to Ring’s rectangular devices.
Essentially, the difference between SkyBell HD and Ring’s line of Doorbells will come down to the bells and whistles that appeal to different consumers as technologically these are on the same level.
To find out more about the Ring series, including the original Doorbell, check out or Ring comparison article.