Testing to determine the best video doorbell is similar to testing any other home security camera.
Installation and setup process
First, a reviewer will download the corresponding app and create an account. While a lot of products include tutorial booklets in the box with your purchase, a good app includes detailed steps on the installation process, as well as how to connect to your Wi-Fi network and actually get the smart device up and running. It’s your one-stop shop for taking your doorbell setup from start to finish.
We make sure the doorbell is installed based on the manufacturer’s specifications — either a hardwired doorbell, or a battery– or solar-powered one.
Additional features and settings
As soon as it’s connected and we’re able to view the live video feed, we check the settings. We make sure features like motion detection, two-way or activity zones are enabled (they aren’t always turned on by default) to get a complete sense of what it’s like to use the product — and to see how well the device actually works as a replacement to a regular, nonsmart doorbell.
To test motion zones, we first determine the motion zone, then move around it to see when we get an alert and when we don’t. The aim is to discover how precise those zones really are. For two-way talk, we’ll have a conversation with a partner on the porch via the doorbell to listen for clarity and latency.
Like smart locks and home security cameras, many top-notch video doorbells will allow the camera to be integrated with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. We download the respective apps, connect the video doorbell and see the ease (or hassle) of using voice commands to control the doorbell camera, plus how easily the doorbell cam integrates into the wider ecosystem of smart devices.
If you want to read more about our review process, check out our in-depth article on how we test home security cameras and video doorbells.