6 Month Review | Sky Bell HD

Sky Bell HD replaces your traditional doorbell ringer with an HD camera packed with a motion detector & night vision, video feed, and two-way audio all to your smart phone. Tired of answering the door for solicitors? Want to see who keeps crapping on your lawn? Sky Bell HD can help with that.

Cost: $199.99 on www.skybell.com

First Impression Pros

  • HD video Feed
  • Auto record motion detector
  • Night vision
  • Two way audio
  • Changeable LED colors
  • Multiple color options to match home trim
  • Uses old doorbell wiring for power (most homes)
  • Compatible with Nest Cam and other smart home products
  • No fee to save recordings to the cloud
  • Looks like a doorbell
  • Super wide angle view

First Impression Cons

  • Pricier than other popular video door bells such as the ring

Install 

Easy. The skybell HD comes with all the necessary hardware and tools (a drill bit and screwdriver are included, with the exception of a drill) to install this product. The mounting bracket shows exactly where to drill. If you can mount something on to dry wall, this is a piece of cake.

Setup

Setup involves downloading the skybell HD app, and walks you through a step by step process. The app establishes the WiFi network your skybell will be connected.

Ease of use

The apps and use is really easy. Just open the app, and you can see a “live” snap shot of your front entry. You can also install the app on multiple phones. All the phones will receive the alert of button press or motion detection (if you have it setup that way). It’s so easy, even my mother in law can use it!

6 Months of Real World Testing 

The Good: I’ve traveled halfway across the world, and was able to get a live feed on a foreign cellular network. I even answered a door bell press. I rarely receive false alerts, and it does what I need it do. Capture movement in the front entry way, and allow us to answer the door without actually having to open it. Need to check if your package actually arrived? Skybell will alert you. It’s also very hard to sneak around. I’ve tried to get past the auto detect a few times to see if I could avoid setting it off. I was crawling on my bell directly underneath the skybell HD and it still detected motion. Not bad. Skybell can also sync with a nest cam. When the skybell is activated either by motion or button press, it will also wake up the nest cam and start recording. Beneficial if you want to keep your nest cam off, and only turn on when motion is detected.

The Bad: Despite being able to travel across the globe, and still connect, I’ve had issues here too. There’s a good chance it’s my router (a TP LINK Archer C9) since I was running into issues of my WiFi dropping with other products (Nest CAM, Sonos, etc.) This one I’m still trying to figure out. The other issue I’ve had is a strange buzzing noise that comes on. Sounds like there’s static playing out of the built-in speaker. After connecting on the app, and clicking on the live view it goes away. Speaking of live view, that can be hit or miss too. I’ve had a few instances where it failed to connect after a simultaneous motion detect and button press. I have it set to automatically record for both, and it seems like the app is trying to record and connect at the same time, but can’t. At least it saves the recording for you to view after the fact if needed. Lastly, there is a delay when using the two-way. You can’t really hold full on conversations with someone on the other end. While you may not be able to hear them loud and clear, you can be heard. So telling some one you’re not interested or to leave the package under the mat will be heard on the other end.

The Verdict: 6 Months later, I would buy it again, and recommend this to friends. Despite the issues, it’s a solid product and delivers on what I wanted it to do.

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