Alarm.com Skybell Slimline Video Doorbell, Silver
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- Can ONLY be used with Alarm.com app (subscription required)
- Full color 180 degree video, night vision IR up to 8 feet, option to silence chime, on-demand video and recorded clips, two-way audio through built in speaker and microphone, motion sensor detects motion up to 8 feet, multiple user capability
- SkyBell Slim Line is only 1.4 inches wide -- allowing it to fit perfectly on even the slimmest of door trims and door frames
- Cloud recording included so you can download or watch video clips at any time. Also, monitor your front door remotely by starting the video from the app
- Requirements: Power: 8-30VAC, 10VA or 12VDC, 0.5 to 1.0A wired to in-home mechanical chime. Digital doorbell chime compatibility requires SkyBell Digital Doorbell Adapter - not included. Wi-Fi: Compatible with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 2.4 GHz up to 150 Mbps. Upload Bandwidth: 2Mbps required Mounting: Mounting plate affixes to flat surface, and utilizes existing doorbell wiring.
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The SkyBell Slim Line Doorbell Camera features a doorbell with an integrated camera, PIR motion sensor, digital microphone and speaker, enabling homeowners to answer the door and speak to visitors via two-way audio - all right from their app. You can also record doorbell triggered clips, set motion triggered automation rules and receive real-time alerts Designed specifically for alarm.com interactive systems and will not work unless you have an active alarm.com system
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- slim design fits wall better than round Skybell design
- live view possible without anyone pressing the button or triggering the motion sensor
- surveillance of visitors is implied, discouraging soliciting
- wide angle lens
- lag response of video
- night vision
- lack of audio in some situations
- wide angle lens
Description of attached photos:
- Because my doorbell is on a side wall 90 degrees from my door, I mounted the doorbell plate at a slight angle. Once I saw the wide angle view, this was probably not necessary.
- Size comparison of doorbell camera and old doorbell.
- Doorbell as it fits in our porch area. We have two "No soliciting" signs and still get solicitors.
- Night vision without any outdoor lighting. (The visitor is wearing a black shirt, and still shows up in the night vision view. When the doorbell is pressed, or motion sensor triggered, the LED light on the button turns white. This gives minimal lighting, but enough for this amount of night vision. The white color is seen in the doorbell size comparison photo. When the doorbell is idle, you can set the LED to any color. I chose a purple color that would be similar to the brown of the house wall; this is seen in the "No soliciting" photo.)
- Night vision with porch lights on.
- What the camera sees in the day time. (The wide angle view makes the visitor look far away. It is unlikely a stranger who commits a crime could be identified absolutely from this view. I would be happy with 1/3 the width of field of view if the lens provided a closer view of the person. I'm still considering finding a lens I might switch out to better suit my needs.)
Removed old door bell.
Wiring from old door bell is tightened under screws on wall plate.
Screws hold wall plate to wall.
Doorbell snaps on plate, two copper terminals contact screws on wall plate, small screw underneath holds doorbell to wall plate.
This took about 10 minutes.
Finding the set-up instructions on alarmdotcom took a few minutes. They hide it in sub-pages. I couldn't find "Doorbell camera" in my alarmdotcom app. I had to call my home security support to have them add it to my service plan (no additional charge over what I already pay). Then I could see the "Doorbell camera" listed in my app and set up was very user friendly from there.
This took another 20 minutes.
Live view of a video stream is possible any time I open the app. You don't have to wait for the doorbell to be pressed or the motion sensor triggered. With live view open, you also get audio. With live view open, you have two options: "End call" or "Hold to talk." When you hold to talk, the visitor can hear what you say, and you can hear what they say. You hold down the button icon on your phone the whole time you want to talk. My wife tested out this function as soon as the doorbell was set up and we had a conversation through the doorbell.
You can adjust settings to save video for any motion sensor events and/or any doorbell button pushes. I believe the default is to save a recording 3 seconds before an is triggered, so you won't just get the back of someone walking away.
Saved videos are available in the alarmdotcom app or when I log on to the alarmdotcom website. When I watch a saved video clip on the app or the website, there is no audio. When I download the video clip, then I can hear the audio of the recorded event.
The camera can record any time there is motion in front of the camera, even if no one pushes the doorbell button. Settings allow sensitivity to be set to "Low," "Medium," or "High." There is no feature to block out specific zones as with some models of the Ring doorbell. I put the setting to "High." For my set-up (where the porch is, where trees and traffic are), I have never had a false trigger of the motion sensor, though sometimes the motion sensor doesn't trigger a recording.
My indoor doorbell has small strike hammers and two xylophone bars for a good ol' *ding dong* sound. The Skybell still makes the indoor bell ring just as it did before. I'm happy with that. The Skybell unit itself also makes a sound, a digital version of the *ding dong* sound. This lets visitors know that they pushed the button enough to make it ring. Settings allow you to turn off the indoor doorbell (why you'd want to, I don't know) or the chime from the Skybell unit.
When someone rings the doorbell, I get a text notification that says, "Home: The button on Doorbell was pushed. To view live video, enter the app." I open the app, and where it says, "Doorbell Camera," I tap "Start Video." Then I can see who is at my front door, and I can talk to them through the app.
How this works in real time can be an issue. I was at home one day and heard the doorbell ring. My kids charge the door like a heard of elephants going to a peanut convention and open the door about the same time I'm getting the text notification. It's not a quick *ding dong,* "hello, can I help you?" response. They're going to wait 30-45 seconds before I can get the video running and respond. So, I wish everything were just a little faster - the text notification, and getting the live video started.
I also wish the notification was "Tap here to start doorbell video." That would be a more direct integration. Instead, the notifications are set based on my cell phone number, so I receive the text through my usual text app, the same app where I receive all other texts. There is not a notification directly from the alarmdotcom app.
Overall I am happy that I have this doorbell. While this particular model may not be a good fit for you, I recommend a doorbell camera in general over an analog doorbell. Hopefully this review can help you decide if this is the one for you.