Video doorbells are popular in the smart home industry. A lot of companies manufacture smart doorbells and promise to create the most promising, reliable and functional devices.
Skybell and Ring are two top-notch brands that lead the doorbell industry. They've released several best-selling and powerful models, and continue to amaze us with their cutting-edge innovations.
Two of their latest and most successful creations are the Skybell HD and the Ring 2 Doorbell (successor of the Ring Doorbell).
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Skybell HD vs Ring 2: Pros & Cons and Verdict
In this Ring 2 vs Skybell HD article, we'll compare, rate and evaluate the most important aspects of both video doorbells. We'll also present a few detailed charts and, lastly, we'll come up with a reasonable verdict and crown either of these two as the leading product.
1. Installation Process
The first topic we need to discuss is the setup processes of Skybell and Ring. If either were to require hours of intensive work, this would be off-putting to potential purchasers. No one likes spending hours watching YouTube guides and reading user manuals to set up their smart devices.
Firstly, Skybell HD is a wired doorbell and it can't run on batteries like the Ring 2 doorbell. In order to activate your Skybell doorbell, you need an existing doorbell wiring. Before you start the installation, make sure that Skybell fits your doorbell frame.
The setup process does take more than a few minutes, but you'll have your Skybell HD up and running in 20 minutes. The doorbell pack includes all the essential tools to complete the installation. Plus there's a visual guide to help you.
For your convenience, Skybell has uploaded a fantastic setup guide:
Although not super-easy, it should be possible to follow the instructions without professional assistance. If you have any concerns, read the user manual included in the doorbell box. Alternatively, reach out to the Skybell support team. They do a decent job and will be able to answer your queries.
Ring 2 Doorbell
Ring 2 is a DIY video doorbell that can be installed in under five minutes. Since the doorbell is battery powered (it can also work as a wired one), you don't have to do any drilling. That's a huge time-saver.
The Ring 2 pack includes all the tools required to complete the setup process. If you're interested in how to complete the wireless install, simply watch this video uploaded by Ring:
If you still have any questions, refer to the user manual included with the Ring 2 pack. Alternatively, you can reach out to the Ring support team. If you want to do a wired installation, here's an awesome guide.
It's crucial for smart devices to have an eye-catching, attractive and appropriate look. Since we'll be installing these doorbells next to our front door, they need to blend with the exterior.
If a doorbell isn't aesthetic, this would be off-putting to a lot of buyers.
Skybell HD is a beautifully-designed smart doorbell and looks quite similar to the first-generation model. Skybell has made a few improvements to the HD.
Measuring 2.8 inches by 2.8 inches and a depth of 0.9 inches, Skybell HD is available in two colours: Brushed Aluminium and Oil Rubbed Bronze.
The design is unique and characteristic. However, being around 3 inches wide, you might find it hard to mount it since it might not fit a regular doorbell frame.
Skybell HD doesn't look like a traditional doorbell, which makes it pleasingly eye-catching. We talked about the doorbell with a number of Skybell owners and everyone is in love with its design.
Ring Doorbell 2
Visually, Ring 2 is one of my favourite doorbells. It's unique, well-built and beautiful. It doesn't look like a traditional doorbell and attracts a lot of attention. Compared to the first-generation Ring, the second model hasn't changed much.
Visually, Ring 2 is just bulkier and has two interchangeable faceplates included in the pack. Measuring 4.9 by 2.4 by 0.8 inches (HWD), the upper part of the doorbell is made of black plastic.
A single touch is enough to feel the quality of the doorbell. Compared to Skybell, Ring 2's design has the edge; but, similar to Skybell, you might have trouble mounting it since it's quite bulky.
We talked with other Ring 2 owners and everyone mentioned how attractive the doorbell is. Some even noted how their guests complimented its looks and were intrigued by it.
It's crucial for these smart doorbells to have good features and for the purchaser to know exactly what they're buying in this respect.
For your information, we've created the following detailed chart which includes all the main features of Skybell HD and Ring 2 Doorbell.
Both doorbells are pretty good. They offer nice features and high durability. There's a lot of similarity between Skybell HD and Ring 2, but the main difference lies in performance capabilities.
4. Performance & Camera Capabilities
This is the most important aspect of our comparison article. The main reason why people purchase these smart doorbells is due to their performance. If Ring 2 and Skybell HD weren't able to offer anything special, there would be no reason to invest in them.
Skybell HD offers a great set of features. A 1080p HD camera, two-way audio, motion alerts and colour night-vision (unique to Skybell). However, while it might seem a worthy competitor of Ring 2, it failed to amaze us in terms of performance.
You can customize your Skybell resolution. If you don't want it to record in 1080p quality and think that it takes up too much space, you can adjust it and change it to either 480p, 720p Good and 720p Better.
The biggest advantage of Skybell HD is the free cloud storage. Unlike Ring, you can save recorded clips for free, which is a rarity in this industry.
While the company promises a functional device, tests made us see the doorbell differently. To explain the disappointment properly, I'll say that the Skybell HD only works when it wants to.
The lag time drives people crazy and the motion sensors are useless. It starts acting when the visitor is long gone. We even saw cases when the doorbell died within the first year of active usage.
The camera quality of Skybell HD isn't bad. It captures quality vids, but it's not as good as Ring 2's camera capabilities. If you're interested how well Skybell records, take a look at this:
The quality of the Wi-Fi signal is linked with the live feed quality, but comparing it side-by-side with Ring 2, Skybell HD is light years behind.
The night-vision of Skybell is decent. It's pretty cool that they decided to offer a coloured one instead of black-and-white vision.
We also tested the two-way audio and it was a bit buggy. Sometimes, it malfunctioned and visitors were unable to hear what we were saying. That's a huge issue since we might not be able to speak with guests/postman if we're not home.
One of the biggest issues of Skybell is the delayed notifications. There was a case when it sent us an alert of an event which had happened two hours before. If anything serious occurred, we would've been seriously upset.
Skybell HD supports Amazon Alexa, IFTTT and Nest integrations. We tested all, including a Nest Cam, and everything went fine. There were a few glitches and lags, though.
Skybell stores your recorded clips for seven days in the cloud. The main reason why people prefer it over Ring is due to this. As for the rest, Skybell HD fails to meet its promises.
Integration with Alexa was good. You can command your Echo to turn off the quiet mode, take a snapshot, or record a video. Skybell pretty much followed all the instructions but, a few times, it didn't work as required.
Ring 2 Doorbell
As you activate your Ring 2 doorbell from the mobile app, it's ready for use. The first-generation Ring (the original competitor of Skybell doorbell) was well-known for its bugs and glitches. Ring took stock of all the issues with their first model and has made sure the Ring 2 is free from all of them.
Ring 2 doorbell's camera capabilities are now enhanced. It has a 160-degree field of view, 1080p HD camera and customizable motion zones.
It works a battery-powered doorbell and Ring promises that the longevity is between six to twelve months. For obvious reasons, we couldn't test it for that long, but within a few weeks of active usage, we lost just 8% of the battery life.
If you don't like the idea of using your doorbell wirelessly, you can also hard-wire it. Since we couldn't test the battery life for more than a few weeks, we asked other Ring 2 owners if they had experienced any issues. The feedback was there had rarely been an issue for anyone.
Whenever Ring detects motion activity, it'll send a notification on your smartphone, and if you have a Chime installed, you'll receive an alert there too.
The two-way audio of Ring 2 works fantastically well. You can speak to your guests directly even if you're out of town. It's especially convenient if someone wants to leave a package. You can provide additional details on what to do next.
Ring 2's motion detection system is outstanding. Although you might hear people complaining about a lot of false alerts, these are mostly caused when people forget to adjust the sensitivity levels. We also got a few false triggers from trucks and tree sways, but it all settled as soon as we lowered the sensitivity.
If lowering the sensitivity doesn't seem to help, you can use the ‘customizable motion zones' to ensure the false trigger cases are minimized. If you live close to the street, it's advisable to customize your front yard area.
The biggest drawback of all Ring doorbells is the fact that they don’t offer a free cloud storage. Everyone just gets a month of a free trial and then you’re required to pay $3/monthly or $30/yearly.
We might see some updates soon on this point since Amazon has bought the Ring company.
If you're interested in how well Ring 2 records, take a look at this:
The face of the person was blurred due to privacy concerns but I assure you that it was perfectly clear. Compared to the first-generation Ring and Skybell HD, Ring 2 records much more clearly.
The night vision of Ring 2 is also nice (although it's all black-and-white [Skybell is colourized]). We experienced a few pixelated images while watching the live feed at night. While this might have been caused by Wi-Fi connectivity, it happened pretty often.
If you're having Wi-Fi issues, consider getting the Chime Pro (it extends Wi-Fi coverage). It'll enhance the live stream and overall capabilities of your Ring doorbell.
5. Mobile Application
It's essential for a smart doorbell to have a functional mobile application since we use it to control, monitor and command our video doorbells. If the app is poorly-built, it'll affect the user experience and leave a lot of people unhappy.
There's an iOS and Android application available for Skybell. You can use it to watch live feeds, view recorded footage and make adjustments to your doorbell.
The app itself is well-built and intuitive. Some buyers complained that it's more iOS focused, so we tested it on an Android device to find out if any serious bugs were present.
Skybell gives the owner a lot of freedom. You can turn the indoor and outdoor chimes on and off, activate or deactivate the motion sensors and adjust its sensitivity.
It's important to test all four video qualities to understand which one works best for you.
The difference between the 720p (Good) and 1080p is minimal, and it takes a lot longer to download 1080p videos.
What I love about the app is that as soon as it detects motion, it'll try to capture a video and take a snapshot of the visitor when they're ringing the bell.
Overall, the app is decent. It rarely crashes and doesn't freeze.
Ring's mobile application is well-built, straightforward to use and easy to understand. Compared to other doorbell apps we've tested, Ring takes the top spot.
If you already own other Ring devices, you won't need a separate app to control the Ring doorbell.
The app itself is awesome. It offers a lot of insights and control features. You can view the live feed, review recorded footage, check your device health and battery life, and adjust sensitivity levels.
You can also customize motion zones from your mobile applications which are available for iOS and Android devices.
Another useful feature of Ring is the ‘notification schedule'. You can plan it so that the sound will not interrupt at inappropriate times.
Lastly, you can grant access to your family members. If you want others to be able to monitor activity, you can simply do so using the mobile app.
6. Advantages and Disadvantages
We also need to discuss the pros and cons of Skybell HD and Ring Pro. Besides everything we've discussed, we need to be clear on any strong and weak points.
With this in mind, we've created two detailed charts which list all the advantages and disadvantages of Ring 2 and Skybell HD.
|Coloured Night-Vision||Buggy Motion Sensors|
|180-degree Field of View||Bad Two-Way Audio|
|Amazon Alexa Support|
|Straightforward Mobile Application|
|FREE Cloud Storage|
|1080p HD Camera|
|Cheap||PURCHASE SKYBELL HD|
RING 2 DOORBELL
|160-degree Field of View||Grating Notification Sound|
|Works Wired||No Free Video Storage|
|IFTTT Support||Pixelated Night Vision|
|Amazon Alexa Support|
|Straightforward Mobile Application|
|Customizable Motion Zones|
|1080p HD Camera|
|Night-Vision||PURCHASE RING 2|
Ring 2 and Skybell HD have a lot of pros and a few cons. While they share a lot of features, however, Skybell HD is more buggy and problematic. The disadvantages of Ring 2 aren't that serious and can be managed.
Comparison Chart: Skybell HD vs Ring 2 Doorbell
Lastly, before concluding our comparison article, we’d like to present a detailed chart to comprehensively compare these two video doorbells.
These doorbells are popular and best-selling devices. Skybell HD and Ring 2 are fierce competitors and both have their own pros and cons. Despite the similarity in features, they differ a lot in performance.
Skybell HD vs Ring 2: Closing Line
Skybell HD and Ring 2 are two top-notch and best-selling video doorbells on the market. Both have thousands of positive reviews and the highest ratings.
Skybell HD only works as a wired doorbell and Ring 2 is a dual-powered one (works wired and wireless). While both offer good features, they differ a lot in performance.
What we've discussed above clearly shows the superiority of the Ring 2 doorbell. If you're someone who is looking for a quality smart doorbell to improve their overall comfort and security, Ring can help you achieve it.
Skybell HD can also provide a decent service but it's light years behind Ring. Skybell often glitches, bugs and freezes. Due to its annoyance, a lot of buyers decided to try out Ring.
While comparing these two side-by-side, Ring 2 is superior in every major aspect. The only case where Skybell HD beats Ring 2 is the free cloud storage. That's it.
|Smart Doorbell Name||SKYBELL HD||RING 2|