On a recent Internet of Things Podcast, we took a voicemail from Marianne. She has Amazon and Google devices in her smart home and she’s looking for a new video doorbell. The main requirement? Marianne wants a doorbell with low latency as she plans to access the feed both at and away from home. She expects to pay a subscription fee but would like to keep that cost down, if possible.
Since the new Matter specification doesn’t include support for video of any kind, there’s nothing new on the horizon that would impact a video doorbell choice in 2023. And there are a range of options that we can suggest, depending on what features you want and how much you’re willing to pay for monthly fees.
Stacey has the $199 Eufy Doorbell 2K, which actually doesn’t have a subscription fee. It also has a higher resolution camera than most others and includes 16 GB of video storage on the doorbell itself.
Although Eufy has been in the news lately for overlooking key security aspects in its devices, we’ll keep in our list of suggestions. If we were looking at interior cameras, that wouldn’t be the case. However, a video doorbell looks away from the house, so it’s an option. Regardless of your thoughts on the Eufy security situation, we think you’ll get the lowest video latency if you stick with the brand of your smart home ecosystem.
For Google Nest Hub owners, that means the Nest Video Doorbell is your best bet. We’ve tried other doorbells with Google’s smart displays and Google Home app only to find it can take several seconds before viewing the feed. At $179, the Google Nest Video Doorbell isn’t too expensive compared to its peers. And it’s available in either wired or a wireless option.
Just keep in mind that if you want some of the advanced features, you’ll need to pony up $60 a year for the Nest Aware subscription plan. That lets you view your live feed, video highlights, 30 days of history, sound detection and familiar face recognition. If you want double the video history and 24/7 recordings, you’ll have to double up on the cost for Nest Aware Plus.
Folks with Amazon Echo devices are best suited to choosing a Ring Video Doorbell. And there’s a wide range of those to choose from, costing between $65 and $350. Unless you need some very specific features, we recommend finding an option from the middle of the price range.
Since there are so many different Ring Video Doorbells (8 at our last count), check the comparison page at the above link and see which would best meet your needs. If you need any advanced features that require a subscription, the Ring Protect basic plan starts at a reasonable $3.99 a month.
Arlo is another option to consider as the latency tends to be lower than other third-party doorbells. Unlike Ring, there are only two to choose from and both are priced less than $100 right now. It really depends on if you want a wired or wireless option. The Arlo Secure subscription plans are also priced a little lower than average, starting at $4.99 a month. This adds intelligent features such as smart activity zones, object detection and 30 days of video history.
One last thought, even though it won’t help Marianne: I use the Logitech Circle View Video Doorbell with Homekit Secure Video and it’s excellent. I’m comfortable with the security of my video feeds and latency is practically non-existent on my iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.
To hear Marianne’s question in full, as well as our discussion on the topic, tune in to the Internet of Things Podcast below:
I second the Logitech for Apple Siri homes. I have it myself and I’m pretty satisfied, especially since the cloud storage fee is covered by the Apple One bundle I’m already paying for. It is a bit irritating that all of my video cameras go offline randomly (as the Wirecutter complained), but privacy is the most important part of security for me. But the doorbell notifies me every time we have a visitor or a package anyway.