One feature SkyBell lacks is the ability to mark “activity zones.” You can’t tell the camera to ignore certain areas, so you might end up with quite a few false alarms if, for example, the camera spots your neighbor’s kids playing in their own yard. Only the camera’s motion sensitivity can be customized.
If you live in an area with extreme temperatures, you need a doorbell camera that won’t conk out in such conditions. SkyBell delivers on that front: it continues to work in temperatures as low as -40° F and as high as 140° F.
SkyBell also has an IPX4 weather rating, which means it can withstand “water splashes,” but won’t necessarily survive being blasted by a fire hose or make it through a hurricane unscathed. We’re pretty sure that the integrity of your doorbell camera will be the least of your concerns in the event of a hurricane or house fire, though, so this weather rating seems fair.
SkyBell’s installation requirements and limitations are standard compared to other wired doorbell cameras:
- You should already have a hardwired mechanical doorbell.
- If you have a digital doorbell, you need to install an adapter.
- If you have a battery-operated doorbell, you’ll need to call an electrician to set up the correct power supply.
However, we hesitate to agree with other reviews that say the SkyBell installation process is DIY-friendly. Installing a battery-powered stick-and-peel doorbell is absolutely DIY-friendly, but wiring a doorbell like SkyBell? It depends. There’s always a risk of electrical shock, among other hazards, if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Check out SkyBell’s wiring guide to see what’s involved.
Beware of another potential installation hiccup: the round HD camera doesn’t fit on all door frames due to its wide design. Measure the location of your current doorbell before deciding which SkyBell model to purchase. Door frames less than 2.8 inches wide can only accommodate the SkyBell Trim Plus.
Before you hop on Amazon and purchase the most affordable SkyBell model you find, take note: some SkyBell dealers require a subscription. Without a subscription, you won’t be able to activate the doorbell and view it through an app.
If SkyBell is the only piece of home security equipment you have, a monitoring subscription may be too expensive. Fortunately, it can be purchased as a standalone product if you know where to go.
It took us far too long to decipher the different purchase options, and we can only assume that consumers are equally confused by the conflicting information available on the web. We give the brand a solid thumbs-down for setting unclear expectations.
If you do want the SkyBell doorbell camera, here are your purchasing options:
- SkyBell: Use the free SkyBell app on the App Store or Google Play store. This requires no monitoring plan.
- Honeywell: Use the free SkyBell app. This requires no monitoring plan, but you’ll need to call a local pro to complete your purchase.
- Amazon.com: Sign up for an Alarm.com interactive residential services plan starting at $12.95 per month.
- Frontpoint: Pay a $49.99 per month monitoring fee.
- Brinks: pay a $39 per month monitoring fee.
Only Alarm.com currently offers the round SkyBell HD camera. All other providers exclusively sell the SkyBell Trim Plus.
Keep in mind that your experience with this doorbell camera depends on how well the provider’s app works. For example, if the app is slow, the push notifications might arrive 30 seconds after the doorbell rings. Pay attention to app reviews and warranties before choosing a SkyBell dealer.
SkyBell’s customer service number is +1-888-423-9194. However, their site also lists two incorrect numbers, which is confusing and frustrating. The correct number took us to an automated menu and failed to connect us to a representative within 15 minutes.
We didn’t leave a message for a callback but received one anyway about 90 minutes later. The SkyBell representative was friendly and helpful in answering our questions about purchasing a SkyBell.
But most people don’t want to wait nearly two hours for assistance. If you have an issue with your SkyBell HD or SkyBell Trim and purchased it from a dealer, we recommend contacting the dealer for assistance.