SkyBell Doorbell Camera Review

If you’re reading this, I assume you’re looking for a way to improve your home security. Perhaps you’re looking for a doorbell camera that doesn’t require a receiver tucked away in a cabinet. Maybe you’re even looking for a SkyBell option, as I have been for the past several months.

While there are many positives to using a doorbell camera, there are also some significant downsides. This is why I wanted to take the time to go over the various details of the system, including the pros and the cons. Hopefully, this will help you in making the right choice if you’re considering a purchase of this kind.

Key Facts About SkyBell

As the name would suggest, SkyBell is a brand specialized in making doorbell cameras. In fact, they were originally founded back in 2010 and grew quickly after that. Since then, they have made their way into the home security industry domination. With over 500 million downloads and almost 15 million active monthly users, it’s safe to say that SkyBell is here to stay.

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have become more conscientious of safety and security issues. As a result, there has been a rise in demand for doorbell cameras and other security devices. At this point, it would be a smart move to invest in a high-quality security device for your home.

Key Facts About the Cameras

Now, let’s dive into the nitty gritty details of the actual cameras themselves. As I mentioned earlier, the brand is specialized in designing and manufacturing high-quality security cameras. As a result, you can rest assured that the images you’re about to see are of superb quality. And since these are security cameras, you can also be sure that they have ultra-high-definition (UHD) sensors and excellent night vision so that you can clearly identify anyone who enters your home even in the dark.

To that end, let’s take a look at some of the key specs of the SkyBell system.

High-Quality Imaging

Just as with any other top-notch security camera, SkyBell uses a high-quality 14 MP sensor with a 1/2.3-inch Sony IMX 371 image sensor. This combination of camera hardware delivers bright, crisp, and distinct images even in poorly-lit conditions. As a matter of fact, this camera has a much wider dynamic range than typical cameras, which makes light variations easier to see. So, even if there isn’t a lot of light, you can be sure that the images will still look incredibly natural.

High-Quality Recording

Apart from high-quality imaging hardware, the SkyBell system also relies on state-of-the-art recording technology to produce high-quality videos. Specifically, the cameras use Motion JPEG compression, which stores fewer bits of data than conventional options while still maintaining an exceptional quality. In fact, it’s one of the few options that can rival high-definition videos without hurting your mobile device’s storage capacity. In other words, this is a video format that can be stored and viewed on nearly any device.

Super-Fast & Compatible With Most Devices

One of the most significant advantages of using Motion JPEG is that it is extremely easy to use and it requires very little to no configuration at all. Specifically, all you need to do is connect your phone or tablet to the camera’s Wi-Fi network and then launch the Motion JPEG app. Then, you can start recording images and videos immediately without having to adjust any settings. This makes the process of setting up and using the camera much simpler. In addition, most devices are compatible with Motion JPEG videos, which makes it easy for anyone to view them. Finally, if you’re planning on transferring videos to another device or platform, Motion JPEG is a very practical option since it’s highly compatible with most devices and platforms. This makes it easy to transfer videos to other platforms or devices without having to run into any complications. Simply connect your device and start uploading videos.

Video Download & Sharing

If you’re a frequent traveler or have lots of friends and family that live far away, it’s often difficult to keep track of all their phone numbers and email addresses. So, if you’re planning on transferring videos to another device or platform, you’ll definitely want to make the process as simple and convenient as possible. Thankfully, the SkyBell system offers an excellent video download and sharing feature that allows you to do just that. In other words, you can use this feature to download and save videos directly to your device. As a result, you’ll never have to worry about running out of storage space or not having enough bandwidth to stream HD videos to another device. This feature also makes it easy for anyone to log in and contribute resources or ideas to your project. Plus, you can share videos with family and friends via email or social media.

Recording Without Distracting Others

Since most people have several security cameras set up around their homes already, it’s important that the new one doesn’t bother or distract anyone while they’re trying to enjoy their day. Fortunately, the SkyBell system was designed with this in mind. Especially since most people are used to having security cameras anyway and understand the necessity of maintaining a clear line of sight when recording anything remotely connected to a home or business. (For more info on this point, check out our guide on Choosing the Right Security Camera.)

For similar reasons, it’s also important that the new camera doesn’t get too much light when installing it or moving it around. This is why most security cameras are designed with a weatherproof housing and a bright LED light built into the monitor so that the user doesn’t run into any glare issues when viewing the screen. (For more info on this point, check out our guide on Choosing the Right Security Camera.)

Additional Features

The SkyBell system is also equipped with additional features that make it a bit more convenient to use. Specifically, the camera comes with a wall bracket that allows you to mount the camera to the wall so that it’s out of the way but still on the same network. (For more info on this point, check out our guide on Choosing the Right Security Camera.)

In addition, there is a motion-triggered recording feature that can be accessed through the app. This allows you to set a timestamped watermark in the video and email notifications when specific movements are detected. (For more info on this point, check out our guide on Choosing the Right Security Camera.)

Drawbacks

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the SkyBell system is definitely not without its drawbacks. To begin with, the camera is a bit on the expensive side, starting at around $250 for the base model. Plus, while some people may find using a USB to UHD converter to be sufficient, others will want to upgrade to a Micro SD card slot for more storage capacity.

Another significant downside is that not all devices are compatible with Motion JPEG videos. This can be a significant problem if you’re trying to transfer videos to other platforms or devices, as mentioned earlier. (For more info on this point, check out our guide on Choosing the Right Security Camera.)

Finally, while most people don’t have complaints about the quality of the images and recordings produced by the standard SkyBell system, there are some users who have reported trouble with the app. Specifically, some users have complained about erratic and unstable WiFi connections that cause the app to crash frequently. If you’re planning on using the app for video conferencing or just keeping track of house activities, you might want to avoid this option.

Why Should You Avoid Purchasing a Cheap or Free Security Camera?

If you’re looking for a security camera solution that is both convenient and affordable, there are some other options to consider. For example, there is the Netatmo Smart Doorbell, a.k.a. the weather-proof doorbell with a built-in camera that mounts to the wall using the Corner Pocket design. (Corner Pocket is a brand that creates mounts and wall brackets for electronic devices.)

This option is much cheaper than the SkyBell system, starting at around $60, but it also sacrifices some quality. Especially since the camera’s sensor is not of the highest quality. That being said, since this is a Netatmo product, all you need to do to use it is download their app. Then, you can connect the bell to Wi-Fi and access all its functions through the app. (For more info on this point, check out our guide on Choosing the Right Security Camera.)

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