SkyBell HD Tested

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Jul 13, 2016

The video doorbell is flooded with options, but sales have been strong for SkyBell, holding the #2 spot on Amazon against mega-funded Ring. Not only that, but it claims HD color video at night, more integration options, and even costs less.

But does it live up to the claims?

** ****** ******** ***** ****** ** **** ** **** ******* **** ***.

** ********* ******* ** *** **** ******** ******* ************** *********:

  • ***** *******
  • ***** *******
  • ****** *********
  • ***-***** ***********
  • *** ***********

Contrast - ******* ** **. **** ***

**** ********* ***** *** **** **** ************* - ***** ******** and *********, *** **** ***** ***** **********. *******, ***** *** tests, *** *** ****** ***** ** *******. **** *** *** major **** *********** ** * ******:

***** ******* ****** '** ***** ***** ** *****', *** ******* shows **** ** ******* *** ****** ** *** **** *** has ** ** ******. ********, ******* **'* *** ** *** reliable, *** **** *** **** ****** *********, *** ****** ********** on **** ******** ***** **********.

Test *** ********

***** ******* ******* **'* *********, **** *** *** *** ********:

  • **** *****: ***** *******'* ****** ******** ***** **********, *** ***** ******* is **** *** *** ********. ** **** *****, ***** ***** had **** **** ** **** **** ********** ***** ******* ** the ***** ** *** ***** ******. ****** ***** *********** ** a ****** ** *** * ***** ******, ** ***** ****** timeouts **** ******.
  • ****** ***: ***** ******* ****** **** **** *** **** *** *** Android *********, ****** **** ***** ** ** *** ****** ****** to ****/******** *****, *** *** *** **** *** ***** ***** playback ******** ** *****, ******, ** ****-******* ******** *****.
  • ***** *******: ******* ** **** *** ******* ***** **********, *** ***** connections **** ****** *** ********, ** *** ********* ** ***** on ************* **** ********** ***** *******.
  • ****** *********: ******* **** ******** ***** ***** ****** ********* ******** **** range **** ******* **** ********** ** ******** ** ******** ********** motion (**** ****** *******) ****** **** ** **-*******.
  • ** ***** ***-***** ***********: ******* ** ****** ***** ** ***-***** ** *********** ******** its *** ***** ***** **** *** *****. *******, **** ******* in **** ****** *********** *** *** ** * *******.

Big ***** *****

** *******, ***** ***** ******* ** **** ** ***, ***** quality ** ****. **** ** * *********, ****** * *** WiFi *******, **** **** **% ** *******'* ***** ***** ******* some **** ** ****, **** **********, ******, ** ******* ******** of *****.

*** ***** ***** ** * ******* ******* ** ***** ********:

*** ******* ***** ** ******* ** *** ****** ********. *** app ***** ***** *** ******* ** * ***** ******, *** no **** ******* ** **** ******:

*** ********** ** ******** ** ****, *** **** **** **% of *** ******* ******** **** **** ** ***** **** ** connection *****. ***** **** *** **** ******** ******, ** ******* at * **** ***** *********, ~

Daytime ******* *******

************, ******* ** ******* ******* ***** ***** ****** **** **** Pro... **** ** *******. ****'* *** ***** *****, ** ******* HD ********* ** *** ********.

*******, ** *** ******** ****** *****, ******* ******* ** ****** a **** ***** *** ****** ******* ***** **** *** **** equal:

******:

Skybell's ***** ********

******* ******** '***********' ** *** **** ** ***** ********** ** the ***** ********. ***** ************* *** ******** *** ******, ** often *** ***** ***** **** ********** ***** *** ****, ****** conversations *********.

****, ******* ** ******** *** *** **** ** '***** *** hold' *** '****' ****** ** ***** ** *****, *********** ********* in ************** *****, ***** **** *** ** **-*********** *** ******** is **** **** ***** * ********* ****** * ******-*******.

Motion **********

* *** ************ *** ******* *** *** ***** ***** ****** detection ******* - ***, ******, ** ****. ******* *** **** to '***' ******** ** ** ****** ***** ********, ***** ******* to '******' ** ******* ******** ** **** ***** ***** ****** of *******, ******* *****, ** **** ****** ** *** **********.

** ******** ** **** *** **** ****** ********* ****** ********* zones, ******* ** **** ******.

Product ********

********** ******* ** ** ~* **** ******** ******, ********** ****** to ***** ********* ** ***** ******** *****. **** ************ ** mostly *******, **** * ******* ******** ******* **** ******* ** a ****:

Hardwired *****

**** **** ***, ******* ** **** **** ** ********* ** a ******** *********** *** **** *** ******* ******* *****. *******, unlike **** ***, ******* ** **** *** ******* *** ************ to *** *********** **** *** ** ******* ** ****** ******* because ** ****.

Nighttime ********* ****

**** ** ******* **'* ********* ****** ** ***** ** ***** in *** *****. *** *** **** ** ************ ** *********** a *******, ** *** ******** **** ****** ***** **** * white ***** ***********, ******** ******* ***** **** *** ***** ** enhance *** ***-**, *** **** ******:

*******, ****** *** ****** *** *********** *** ******* *** ** with **** ***********. *** ** ******* ************* ****** **** **** Pro **** *** **** ****. ** ***** **** *** ****** to **** ** * ***** ***** *****, ******* ***** ******* will ** ******** ** *******'* '***** **' *******.

Free ***** ******* *** *** ****

****** **** *****, ******* ******* ******* ***** *** ***** *********. While **** ******* $* *** ***** *** ** ****, ******* stores * **** *** ** ****.

******* ******* ****** *** **** ** ******** ** ********** *** the ***, ****** ****'* ****** *** ****** *** ************.

Tech ******* ********, *** *********

****** ***** *** *** ****, ** ********* ******* **** ******* via *****, *** *** **** *** ******** ********. *******, *** technician ******* *** ***** *** *** ********* *** **** **** basic ******* ** *** **** ****** ************ ******, *** ***** not ****** ********* ***** ***** *** ** ****** ******** **** might ******** ***********.

*** **** ******* ******** *** *******'* ***-*** *&* *** ********* on ******* **** *****. ***** ***** *****, *** ******** ******* a ********** *** ****-******* *** ** **** **** ***** *************** issues:

Our **************: ***** *******

***** *** ***** ** ***** *** ****, ***** * ****** off ******** ******* ** ** **** *****. **** ******* ** new ****** *** ********, ** **** **-******* *******, *** *** now ***** *** ****** ** ******** ******* **** **** *** for *** **** ** ******** ******** *** ****** *** ***** performance.

Comments (8)

However, the technician working our issue was non technical and only knew basic answers to the most common installation issues...

BR: Can I see the live video feed even if the visitor doesn't press the button?

TS: Umm, I think as long as your Voltage is set to 120/1130v AC, or 220/230/240v and your AC Transformer is 8-36v AC and 8-15 VA, you should be good to go!

BR: Actually, try one more down on the left side.

TS: Thanks! Yes, SkyBell is the only video doorbell with a motion sensor which will activate...

I just installed an "August" unit for a friend. The analog door bell would not ring properly as it created a severe voltage drop! I had to up the voltage from 16vac to 24vac. Then the app indicated that the wifi signal was too low. We installed a wifi extender and the signal level came up a bit but the app still indicated a low signal strength. When the button was pushed the app had a 30 to 45 second delay in notifying there was a call - I am not sure that was due to the wifi or internet. My friend was not impressed and took it back to exchange with a Ring unit. It installed just as easy. We took the wifi extender off and tested it just to see if it would work with the existing wifi in the house. When the button was pushed calls came in within seconds. Video quality was very good, and there was a slight audio delay. They are quite happy with it.

I bought it off Groupon ($119) to test on my new house but wish I would have seen this review prior to purchase although it does say free returns. I'll give my own review once I install next month. Hopefully they iron out some issues by then.

That's helpful Paul. Thanks and I look forward to seeing it.

On the issue of free returns - SkyBell does list a $30 restocking fee when you buy direct, which is a point of anger that many have on online reviews.

However, this may be different under the terms of the Groupon deal.

Brian, nice review. Alarm.com is selling this unit as an add on to their video line. We don't do a large amount of home systems but our existing customers have been asking about this unit. We have ordered a few in and I have been burning one at my house for about a month now. While I haven't noticed any major limitations to it's IR due to our extremely bright LED street lights I have noticed the issues with the video like you indicate in your review even after having installed a AP on level below the SkyBell. We are giving a few units to some customers (friends of ours) and they will be able to give me more real world feedback to see if it is worth selling them to other customers.

Vivint sells a unit made for them by Vivotek. I tried to buy to test but they will not sell in the US.

I put one of these up yesterday on my house. People keep asking us about doorbells and I figured it was time to look into it.I do not have many of the same issues you have experianced other than poor motion and sometimes it's slow to connect. I noticed that my iphone 6S has poor preformance compaired to my ipad pro and my wifes iphone 6. I am wondering what phone you were using, app version and firmware version. Curious to know if things are improving or if they've just got some real app issues.

I tested a SkyBell HD, using the iOS app v 3.0.0 on an iPhone 6 Plus running iOS v9.3.1.

Since this test, several things have been updated, including the SkyBell app and iOS.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Directory of Video Intercoms on Nov 13, 2018
Video Intercoms, also known as Video Door-Phones or Video Entry Systems, have been growing in the past decade as more and more IP camera...
Axis 2N Intercom Tested on Nov 08, 2018
Axis expanded its video intercom business buying Czech-based 2N in 2016. Despite competing against owner Axis' intercoms, 2N recently registered as...
Ubiquiti Protect Video Surveillance Profile on Nov 07, 2018
Ubiquiti has now been in the video surveillance market for 7 years (see our first coverage back in 2011). In that time, the company's revenue has...
Dahua Dual Imager Dome Camera Tested (HDBW4231FN-E2-M) on Nov 07, 2018
Dahua has introduced a dual-imager dome model, the HDBW4231FN-E2-M, with two independently positionable sensors including integrated IR, not found...
Directory Of Video Doorbells on Nov 06, 2018
Video doorbells are one of the fastest growing categories in video surveillance, especially among residences. The optimal placement of these...
Winter 2019 IP Networking Course on Nov 05, 2018
This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance professionals.  Lots of network training exists but none of it...
Solar-Powered, Smart-Phone-Based Access Kit (VIZPin) Examined on Nov 02, 2018
Cloud-based access control company VIZPin is releasing a solar-powered and smart phone based access control system for gates and other remote...
Video Surveillance Hard Drive Failure Statistics 2018 on Nov 02, 2018
Hard drive failures can be significant service problems but how common of an issue are they in video surveillance? How long do drives last when...
IP Camera Installation Tool Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Ideal, Hanwha, Triplett, Veracity on Oct 23, 2018
Setting up IP cameras has historically been challenging, with techs often precariously using a laptop on a ladder or lift. Some options for install...
Hanwha Dual Imager Dome Camera Tested (PNM-7000VD) on Oct 18, 2018
Hanwha has introduced their first dual-imager model, the PNM-7000VD, a twin 1080p model featuring independently positionable sensors and a snap-in...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Throughtek P2P/Cloud Solution Profile on Nov 15, 2018
Many IoT manufacturers either do not have the capabilities or the interest to develop their own cloud management software for their devices....
ASIS Offering Custom Research For Manufacturers on Nov 15, 2018
Manufacturers often want to know what industry people think about trends and, in particular, the segments and product they offer.  ASIS and its...
ISC East 2018 Mini-Show Report on Nov 15, 2018
ISC East, by its own admission, is not a national or international show, billed as the "Largest Annual Northeast U.S. Security...
Hikvision Silent on "Bad Architectural Practices" Cybersecurity Report on Nov 14, 2018
A 'significant vulnerability was found in Hikvision cameras' by VDOO, a startup cybersecurity specialist. Hikvision has fixed the specific...
French Government Threatens School with $1.7M Fine For “Excessive Video Surveillance” on Nov 14, 2018
The French government has notified a high-profile Paris coding academy that it risks a fine of up to 1.5 million euros (about $1.7m) if it...
Integrator Credit Card Alternative Divvy on Nov 13, 2018
Most security integrators are small businesses but large enough that they have various employees that need to be able to expense various charges as...
Directory of Video Intercoms on Nov 13, 2018
Video Intercoms, also known as Video Door-Phones or Video Entry Systems, have been growing in the past decade as more and more IP camera...
Beware Amazon Go Store Hype (Tested) on Nov 13, 2018
IPVM's trip to and testing of Amazon Go's San Francisco store shows a number of significant operational and economic issues that undermine the...
Magos Radar Company Profile on Nov 12, 2018
Magos America General Manager Yaron Zussman admits when he first came across Magos, he asked himself: "What's innovative about radar?" Be that as...
Genetec Privacy Protector Tested on Nov 12, 2018
Genetec has built Kiwi Security's Privacy Protector into Security Center, an analytic which anonymizes individuals in cameras' fields of view...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact