Wireless Doorbell vs Smart Doorbell | Understanding Their Differences

With the recent rise of smart home technologies, there is a lot of people interested in upgrading to smart devices, especially regarding security. Of course, at the forefront of the smart home security devices is the smart video doorbells, regarding by many as one the most important inventions after the home security camera.

Yet, there is one common misconception regarding the smart doorbell by many people, especially regarding the differences between a wireless doorbell and smart doorbell.

This article will attempt to explain the differences between the two, the basic principles behind them, and in the end, help you make a better purchase decision.

To answer this question, let us first understand the different types of doorbell available in the market.

Different Types of Doorbell

Doorbell products can be differentiated in many ways, but the main way is to divide them based on how they get power, and how they are connected to their chimes. In this case, there are only two different types available:

Wired Doorbells

Wired doorbells get power from your electrical outlet, solely depending on a wired setup. Sometimes, the wired connectivity will also apply to how the doorbell unit is connected to the chime, although that is not always the case.
For example, a doorbell might rely on a power outlet but can connect to the chime via a Wi-Fi connection. In this case, mainly the doorbell is classified based on their power consumption method.

Wireless Doorbells

As you might have guessed, best wireless doorbell will not rely on your electrical outlet, mainly using built-in batteries. Some version also uses a mobile solar panel, but in the end, they will be connected to a built-in battery.
As with wired doorbells, there might also be a difference in how they are connected to their chime.

So, What is a Smart Doorbell?

After we have understood the basic principles between wired and wireless doorbells, we can come to a conclusion: wireless doorbells are not essentially smart doorbells and vice versa. So how can a doorbell be classified as ‘smart’?

Here are a few criteria:

  1. Connectivity to Smartphone – This is the main criteria for not only smart doorbells but all the smart devices out there. A ‘smart’ device should be able to connect to your smartphone and allows monitoring and control from a smartphone app.
  2. Video Feed – While sending video feed to your smartphone app used to be a secondary criterion for a smart device, it is no longer the case nowadays. Being able to send (preferably HD) video feed to the smartphone app, and alerting users in real-time is the norm.
  3. Real Time Notification – Combining the two factors above, the smart doorbell should be able to alert you in real time. A more conservative smart doorbell will alert you when somebody pushes the button, but newer doorbells nowadays are equipped with motion detection, sound detection, and even smart recognition to differentiate between your pets and a person, and even recognizing the face of your family member.

Shouldn’t All Smart Doorbells be Wireless?

Actually, that is not always the case, since as we have discussed, we based the term ‘wireless’ on how they obtain power. Many smart video doorbells require electrical outlet as their power source. On the other hand, many wireless doorbells cannot actually be classified as smart.
SkyBell HD, for example, is a fully-wired doorbell that can be classified as smart, being able to do the 3 criteria we have discussed above.

Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Smart Doorbell

Would a wireless smart doorbell be better? Absolutely! Remember, being wireless means you can eliminate all the hassle of setting up a wired system, which can be time-consuming and expensive. However, a built-in battery will always require some form of replacement of charging. The battery life of a smart doorbell can be fairly long, with 3 to 6 months battery life being the norm. However, replacing the battery can still be a hassle, especially if your doorbell is placed in a hard-to-reach area (a rare case). Regardless, here are a few considerations you should have before purchasing a smart doorbell:

Regardless, here are a few considerations you should have before purchasing a smart doorbell:

  • Video and audio quality –  Each product offers different video resolution and sound cancellation technology
  • Sensor availability – There are products offering motion detection technology, sound detection, facial recognition, and other features. Consider what’s best for your need.
  • In-demand streaming and cloud storage – Most smart doorbell brands will require you to pay a monthly subscription fee for in-demand services and cloud storage. Some others, however, offer free services. Consider whether this is an absolute necessity, and adjust your choice based on the required fee.
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