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How we test smart doorbells

Know who's at your front door, even when you're not at home.

person_using_smart_doorbell_camera_to_check_visitor
Last updated: 27 November 2020
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Choosing the right smart video doorbell for your smart home can be mind-boggling. You need to consider a range of factors such as wireless network support, existing hardware, battery, video quality, camera, functions and price – and that's before you even get started navigating the complexities of privacy and security.

Our review of smart doorbells help you navigate these factors to make the right choice. Here's how we test them.

Our expert testers

Our testers have years of expertise in testing internet and smart devices. Their focus is looking at and assessing the device to ensure that it not only performs as claimed, but is also easy to use and set up.

In this test, we find out which smart doorbells have the best audio and video quality, and the best security and privacy features. We also consider ease of use during installation and when using the associated app.

How we choose what we test

We looked at the most readily available smart doorbells in Australia, both online and in local retailers.

Scoring

We give every smart doorbell product we test a CHOICE Expert Rating, so you can see at a glance which are the best and worst performers.

This CHOICE Expert Rating is an overall score that's based on the following criteria:

  • Video (30%)
  • Sound (20%)
  • Application (20%)
  • Installation (10%)
  • Recharging (10%)
  • Privacy and security (10%)

How we test

Video score score

We assess the quality in the following three conditions to ensure video quality under all lighting conditions:

  • Daylight
  • At night with a porch light on
  • At night with the porch light off

Sound score

  • We assess the quality of sound from the doorbell speaker
  • We assess the quality of sound in the app (from the doorbell microphone)

App score

  • We assess the intuitiveness and ease of use to see if the steps and features are well explained.
  • We look for troubleshooting assistance and whether it offers clear steps to resolve any issues

Installation score

  • We assess the ease of installing the app and creating an account
  • We assess the ease of wall-mounting the doorbell, and then registering it with the app
  • We look for automation of software updates

Recharging score

  • We assess the ease of accessing and charging the device. If the device is permanently powered, it scores 100%

Privacy & security score

  • Is there a privacy policy?
  • Does video go to offshore servers for processing or storage?
  • Do they specify where those servers are?
  • How easy is it to change your password?
  • How easy is it to update the software ?