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Skybell HD SH02300BZ Review

The SkyBell HD has a unique circular visual aesthetic that makes it stand out among smart doorbells. It has a wealth of smart home options, but mostly for home security systems. We like its customizable LED button and 1080p HD video.

Our Verdict

SkyBell HD is a good video doorbell, but ultimately lacks the features and video performance to compete with Ring, August and Nest.

For

  • The SkyBell HD has free cloud video storage.

Against

  • This video doorbell can be difficult to install.
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The SkyBell HD has a unique circular visual aesthetic that makes it stand out among smart doorbells. It has a wealth of smart home options, but mostly for home security systems. We like its customizable LED button and 1080p HD video. However, this doorbell camera's limited video storage, relatively difficult installation and lack of a backup battery mean it's not nearly as capable as other products on the market.

SkyBell HD has list price of $199, which is average for the video doorbells we tested. While you can find it for as low as $150 at online retailers, it's still more expensive than the Ring Video Doorbell, our pick for best value, which only costs $100 on Amazon.

As with the August Doorbell Cam Pro, you get free basic cloud video storage for the SkyBell HD. However, it only saves the last 20 videos, which means you need to download important videos before they're automatically deleted. There are no paid plans to offer more storage, which is less convenient when you can't download videos on a regular basis.

In our tests, we found the video quality on the SkyBell HD sufficient for most homes, despite producing the second-lowest score in those tests. The daytime video wasn't nearly as sharp as the competition in capturing details on our test chart. For example, we could only read the second line with the chart five feet away, the same as the Ring Video Doorbell. In contrast, other doorbells captured details on the fourth line or higher in the same test.

SkyBell HD is one of two video doorbells we tested that uses a visible LED light instead of night vision IR LEDs. Our tests showed it wasn't nearly as effective in capturing details, but the full-color video is nice to have. The video quality was slightly better than during the day but lagged behind that of the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, Ring Video Doorbell 2 and Nest Hello.

As with other video doorbells we tested, the audio on this unit is good enough for speaking with visitors at the door. However, we had to turn up the volume on the doorbell's speaker since the default setting was too quiet for us.

When we tested how easy this doorbell is to use, it was as easy as our top pick, the Ring Video Doorbell 2. Like the Ring 2, it lacked the smart motion detection features of the Ring Pro and Nest Hello, which offer people detection and better motion detection settings. However, you can adjust the SkyBell HD's motion sensitivity to prevent it from recording when no-one's near your door.

When a visitor presses the button on the SkyBell HD, the mobile app sends you a notification, which you can tap to enter the call. You can link the SkyBell HD to the Kwikset Kevo smart lock, but letting a guest in requires leaving the SkyBell app and unlocking the door with the Kevo app. This isn't as convenient as August Doorbell Cam Pro's one-touch button that unlocks the door while still in the call.

With regards to smart home compatibility, SkyBell works with Amazon Alexa, IFTTT and Nest. Furthermore, it also works with several security systems such as iControl, Honeywell, Alarm.com and Brinks Home Security, making it one of the better options if you already have a security system.

SkyBell HD is the smallest unit we tested, less than three inches in diameter, though it might not fit on as narrow a doorframe as the Ring Video Doorbell Pro and Nest Hello, which aren't as wide.

This video doorbell takes about 15 minutes to install, though you must connect it to an existing doorbell chime since it doesn't have a built-in battery. You can connect it to mechanical chimes as well as digitals chimes, though you need to buy a $13 adapter to use the latter.

Although this smart doorbell comes with a small screwdriver, it isn't very comfortable to hold. This made it more difficult to turn, requiring more effort than a larger screwdriver. As a result, SkyBell HD was the second-most difficult video doorbell to install in our comparison. The doorbell comes in two finishes, bronze and silver, so you can match it to your home's exterior. Its one-year warranty matches that of most other smart doorbells.