SkyBell has been one of the pioneering manufacturers of smart video doorbells, along with the now-defunct Doorbot, and the popular Ring. Their latest product, SkyBell HD, has been available for a while since early 2016 -which is a long time for today’s standard of electronics and devices- and is still one of the most popular smart video doorbells today.
There are definitely many reasons to buy SkyBell HD: it features a full-HD 1080 video feed resolution, still a rarity among competitors, it offers one of the best third-party integration and much more. So, this article will not be about why you should buy it.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy The SkyBell HD
Instead, here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t buy it, which can be a good consideration for your purchase decision. Let us begin with the first one.
- A Rather Obsolete SkyBell – App Don’t get us wrong, SkyBell’s App gets the job done, at least for the basic functionalities of a smart doorbell. However, compared to other apps, such as Ring’s or Nest, there are many lackluster and missing features. The simplest examples are how you are unable to customize the push alert settings in the app, and you also can’t tweak the video resolution.
- No Web App for PC/Mac – Yes, in this era of mobile apps, PC or Mac software might not be an absolute necessity. However, some of us still prefer working in front of a computer screen, especially for delicate tasks like first installation and custom tweaks. This might not be a major downside but gives you fewer options anyways.
- SkyBell HD is a WIRED Doorbell – This might be the most common misconception for SkyBell HD. Yes, the SkyBell HD is a smart doorbell, in fact, one of the smartest. Yet, it is NOT a wireless doorbell at all. You will need to install the SkyBell HD in a hard-wired system, preferably replacing your wired traditional doorbell. Also, it can only natively work with a traditional mechanical chime. If you want to use a digital chime, you will need to purchase an additional adapter from SkyBell, which further complicates the installation process (and adds to the overall cost).
- Not The Easiest To Install – Here is the thing, the SkyBell HD might look nice on photos, but a lot of buyers fail to realize that it is nearly 3-inches wide before buying. It is relatively wider than most traditional doorbells, and even other smart doorbells, and simply will not fit every door frame. Remember, it also requires a hard-wired setup, so you will need to do a permanent install unless the SkyBell will be hanging into your doorway. As mentioned, if you want to use your digital chime, you will also need to install an adapter (available also from Skybell), and again it will need a hard-wired installation between the SkyBell HD and the chime. It is still relatively simple compared to installing traditional doorbells, but it is not the easiest among other smart doorbell products.
- The Motion Sensor Is Also Not The Best – The motion sensor is, on paper, a very nice feature to have on smart doorbells, further enhancing the automated features. However, the motion sensor on the SkyBell HD often sends false alarms, which can be a major headache especially when it happens at night during your sleep. This is not an issue exclusively for SkyBell HD, as many other smart doorbell products are also experiencing a similar problem. However, it will be nice if they improve it in the future.
- There Will Be a Newer SkyBell In a Very Near Future – Last September, SkyBell has announced the SkyBell Trim Plus, which is essentially an upgraded SkyBell HD. The SkyBell Trim Plus tackles the width issue by only being 1.39-inch wide. Also, it will feature a built-in battery, effectively eliminating the hard-wired installation of the SkyBell HD. Sadly, no official release date has been announced, but we can expect that it will be during 2017. So, if you are currently considering to buy a SkyBell HD, it might just be a good idea to wait.
Is the SkyBell HD a bad product? Not at all! Depending on your needs, it might still be the best option for you. However, all the reasons we have stated above might help you to make a better purchase decision and also don’t forget to check our Skybell HD review.