If you’re looking for the latest in home security systems with cameras, you’ve probably considered doorbell cameras as an option to watch over your front door.
And, if you’ve been weighing your options, it’s likely you’ve come across two of the most popular brands in on the market — the SkyBell Trim Plus and the Ring Video Doorbell Pro. To help you make an educated evaluation, we’ll compare the two video doorbells side-by-side.
What is a Doorbell Camera?
With technological advancements, even an average feature of the home—the doorbell—has evolved to include clear HD video recording and high-quality picture capturing. These incredible devices are the next step in home security and accessibility.
A doorbell camera is mounted where the doorbell would normally be. These vary in size but are commonly small enough to be about the size of an average doorbell.
Depending on the settings of the device, customers can program the doorbell camera to activate when its sensor detects motion or simply when someone presses the button.
Once your doorbell is pressed or the motion sensor is activated, your smartphone will alert you that your doorbell has detected activity. Upon opening the app, you can view a live video of your guest, who can leave a message that can also be saved for later.
Most doorbell cameras also feature two-way communication so that you can also answer the door from locations far away from your home using your phone. Additionally, most video doorbells can tie into your home security alarm system so that you can control all of your devices using the same app.
For the elderly and disabled, doorbell cameras also offer incredible convenience by allowing the homeowner to check on knocks at the door without having to get up.
Things to Consider When Choosing Between the SkyBell Trim Plus or the Ring Pro
Homeowners have different needs and expectations when it comes to protecting their home. Here are a few key questions to ask:
Are you worried about capturing video footage at night?
What technology should your doorbell be compatible with?
How often do people approach your door on an average day?
How many people in your home will want access to answering the door bell camera?
SkyBell Trim Plus
SkyBell is a company that specializes in video doorbells. Several of their products have patents unique to their company which has caused tension between SkyBell and Ring.
There are several reports of lawsuits between the two because Ring Pro has been accused of infringing on SkyBell’s patented features.
The SkyBell Trim Plus has a sleek design that is only slightly larger than the base of a doorbell. There are two available colors: brushed aluminum and the dark, oil-rubbed bronze. The style of the SkyBell Trim Plus is thin and can match practically any home design.
- 180 Degree View. With a viewing range of 180 degrees, the SkyBell Trim Plus displays a panoramic view to ensure total video coverage of the front door area.
- 5X Zoom. Even with a high-quality camera, some details can be distorted. SkyBell offers zoom capabilities up to 5X so that you can can easily distinguish name tags, license plates, or package details.
- Motion Sensor. Motion sensors will notify you as soon as any movement is detected, or a visitor approaches your door. Even if they do not ring the doorbell, you can keep an eye on whatever activity is happening in the vicinity of your door.
- HD Photograph. The SkyBell Trim Plus can also captures an HD photograph of your visitors.
- Easy Installation. The entire installation process can be done at home without the help of a professional (although you may prefer one if you’re not a big fan of DIY projects).
- Cloud Video Storage. SkyBell Trim Plus records and stores video footage in the cloud which means criminals can’t get access to the footage by stealing the device. SkyBell cloud storage is also free and has no monthly cost.
- Weather and Rain-Proof. The Trim Plus can withstand hot summer days, chilly winter nights, and every storm that mother nature can muster.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro
Ring Pro has built powerful name recognition in the market through effective advertising and also makes a complete security system designed to integrate with the video doorbell.
The faceplates are interchangeable on this modern design doorbell camera. It is thin and fits comfortably on your door frame without becoming an eyesore.
- 160 Degree View. A 160-degree view will easily capture anything approaching the camera. However, it will not be able to see something if it gets too close to the wall on which it is mounted. Generally this is not an issue, but in certain situations, you could miss something that the SkyBell’s 180-degree view would capture.
- Zoning Settings. This is one of the more impressive features of the Ring doorbell. While motion sensors are convenient because they allow your camera to activate automatically, the Ring Pro takes this technology a step further with zone settings that allow you to determine what areas or times the sensor is activated.
For instance, you can set your sensor to only cover the walkway so that it isn’t tripped each time the dog goes out or when the garbage is picked up.
- Web Application. Ring Pro has an app that notifies users of activity via their smartphone or tablet. This same app can also be opened from any web browser.
Comparing the SkyBell Trim Plus and the Ring Pro
Ease of Use
Regardless of which device you choose, your doorbell cameras are guaranteed to be compatible with your smartphone, tablet, or PC. The SkyBell Trim Plus and the Ring Pro are compatible with Android, iOS, Windows, and MacOS.
Both doorbell cameras can be installed by the customer without hiring a professional. However, the process of installing the Ring Pro is slightly more complicated. Either way, you must have pre-existing doorbell hardwiring. Otherwise, you’ll probably need to contact an alarm company to send out a technician.
The Ring Pro requires a subscription that includes many add-ons like alerts. SkyBell Trim Plus records and stores your videos in the cloud for easy access at no additional cost over the initial retail price.
Without an active subscription, videos on the Ring Pro cannot be saved, only actively viewed live. While the Ring Pro is competitively priced—with options and additional features available from $30 to $100 dollars per year—the fact that SkyBell has no additional charges is a big plus.
This is a quality most might overlook because you would of course assume that you would receive instant notifications from the camera when it detects activity. However, this is not always the case.
The Ring Pro has received some complaints over its delayed notification to the user, which ranges between three and seven seconds. The SkyBell on the other hand will notify you the very moment someone arrives.
Both the SkyBell Trim Plus and the Ring Pro are durable enough to make it through the the various seasons. In freezing conditions, however, the SkyBell does withstand lower temperatures, capable of functioning at -40 degrees Fahrenheit.
The SkyBell Trim Plus and the Ring Pro both record high video quality of 1080p. The difference is that the SkyBell Trim Plus comes with a setting to allow for 720p video recording.
The higher the video quality, the more bandwidth it requires to stream. By having the ability to downgrade the video quality, SkyBell made their doorbell more effective in homes with slower internet plans.
When video quality is lowered, the resulting recording takes up less storage space. This can come in handy if you have many recordings that you want to keep on file.
For those who want their video doorbell to be more discrete, the Ring Pro’s mounted camera has an advantage as it is less discernible as a video recording device.
However, some may prefer that visitors are fully aware that they are being recorded. The SkyBell camera is much more easily noticeable and is even labeled on the doorbell “SkyBell”, so it may serve as a better deterrent. While the Ring Pro is also labeled, the branding is minimal and easily overlooked.
The SkyBell Trim Plus as well as the Ring Pro stream live video of your doorway at a frame rate of 15 fps, allowing them both to record without static or lagging. On this criteria, both brands are equal.
This is another aspect in which the SkyBell and Ring Pro are neck and neck. Unlike conventional doorbells, you can turn this doorbell off so it remains quiet while the camera continues to record.
Both devices run smoothly without creating any disturbance, which makes it easy to transition seamlessly between their active and inactive modes. When you don’t want to be bothered by visitors or especially the doorbell, this is an excellent feature.
Is a Doorbell Camera Right for Me?
Doorbell cameras can offer some powerful advantages when it comes to home security. Knowing who is at the front door at any time and without having to get up to answer it or look through a peephole or window is a great convenience.
With so many news stories of holiday package theft or other criminal activities, the peace of mind knowing that your front steps are under constant monitoring make doorbell cameras a welcome relief for many homeowners. Talk to a security system company near you to see what doorbell cameras they offer and which ones are compatible with your home.
The Ring Pro and SkyBell doorbell cameras are both top of the line products that boast similar features to show off their technological prowess.
- One of the aspects that boosts SkyBell Trim just ahead of Ring Pro is that SkyBell Trim Plus has the night vision camera in full color vision. While this feature is not mandatory for effective monitoring, having the ability to record video in color at night can be advantageous in identifying visitors near your door.
- SkyBell also has the edge on viewing capabilities with twenty more degrees seen from the door. This gives a slightly more comprehensive view of the surroundings.
- The Ring Pro has convenient web browser capabilities while the SkyBell Trim Plus does not. But, since most consumers will be viewing activity on a tablet or smartphone, this isn’t a particularly big advantage.
- The Ring Pro’s zoning feature is handy, but many users could easily get overwhelmed by the complexity of customizing the settings for a system that is simply “set and forget.”
The SkyBell Trim Plus and Ring Pro are both are viable options for home security, however, we think the SkyBell Trim Plus comes out on top because of its reliability, ease for everyday use, and lower added costs fees.