We’ve spent the past 6 months reviewing every SkyBell doorbell along with many other video doorbells on the market today. The competition is fierce, but SkyBell has positioned itself at the top. We’ll examine their flagship models, the SkyBell HD and the SkyBell Trim Plus, to see which is best for you.
Skybell HD and Skybell Trim Plus Key Features
Both the SkyBell HD and SkyBell Trim Plus offer a similar experience. The critical difference between the two is the design. The high definition model is a bit larger and has a circular shape that can limit where you can install the doorbell. Skybell Trim Plus, on the other hand, is built more like a traditional doorbell, which makes it easier when you replace your existing doorbell.
Both units offer motion sensor technology; however, the Trim Plus provides higher sensitivity control. The Trim Plus, Skybell’s newer model, has video quality of 1920 x 1080p HD. While both smart doorbell models are good, the Trim Plus is our choice as the better of the two.
- 1080P Color Video Camera
- Activity History
- Round Shape
- Can withstand bad weather
- 2-way audio
- Slim design
In-Depth Comparison: Skybell HD vs Trim Plus
Ease of Use
Both the HD and the Trim rank similarly in terms of ease of use. They both work with the SkyBell App so that you can control and monitor the doorbell remotely. Each also works using WiFi, so there is no need for a monthly subscription. The Trim comes out slightly ahead in terms of ease of use only because the shape of the unit makes it easier to install.
Winner: Trim Plus
Frames Per Second
The SkyBell HD wins when it comes to the Frames Per Second (FPS). The FPS is the number of frames, or single images, that a camera can capture in a single second (1). The higher the FPS, the more smooth the video will appear. The HD records at 30 FPS and the Trim at 15 FPS mean the HD model will have cleaner video. During our review of both products, we didn’t find this to be an issue.
Winner: SkyBell HD
Both models have high definition video resolution, which means they record in 1080p (2). We found the video resolution to be extremely clear during our testing of the two cameras with both doorbell cameras. Because of the difference in frames per second, the video quality is better with the SkyBell High Definition.
Winner: Skybell HD
Night Vision and Zoom
Both video doorbell cameras have color night vision video. With other digital doorbell cameras, such as the Ring Video Doorbell, night time footage can be grainy. Both the SkyBell HD and the Trim have 5x zoom. This, combined with the night vision camera, is enough for you to get an extremely clear close up regardless of the time of day. You can control this from the SkyBell App.
SkyBell offers two-way audio in both of their doorbell camera models. With two-way audio, you can quickly respond to a doorbell chime even if you aren’t at the house. This can come in handy when dealing with individuals you don’t want to open the door for. During our testing, we found the audio to be easy to hear and understand. This feature will work in all weather conditions, including rain and windy conditions.
The SkyBell Trim Plus comes in at a better price point than the HD model. It also comes in at a much better price point than other video doorbells such as the Ring Pro. SkyBell doorbell cameras can vary in price depending on which home security provider you purchase from. Alarm.com, for example, has slightly different rates from Honeywell and other home security providers. The costs for SkyBell video doorbells are usually as follows:
Both the SkyBell HD and the Trim have built-in motion sensor technology. During our testing, we found that the Trim worked a bit better. The reason for this was that we received fewer notifications in the SkyBell App from things like dogs and people walking in front of the testing site. The SkyBell HD was overly sensitive, which caused many false alarms that inevitably led to shutting off notifications on the phone. False alarms are a significant issue with home security equipment and can lead to desensitization to alerts and notifications (3).
Winner: Trim Plus
When it comes to the SkyBell HD vs Skybell Trim Plus, the latter is the winner. It is shaped more like a traditional doorbell making the installation process more manageable. You can swap out your old doorbell and insert your new video doorbell without rearranging the wiring.
The Skybell HD has a round shape making the places you can install it limited. With many homes, the area the doorbell is currently installed is likely between the door frame and a corner. Therefore, with the high definition version, you may need to cut a hole and drop new wiring in a better location.
Winner: Trim Plus
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Field of View
Both video doorbell camera models have a 180-degree field of view. This means you can see everything in front of the camera running from side to side. Your actual range may be impacted by the way your home is structured. If, for example, your front door is surrounded by walls on either side, your field of view will be more limited than if the door is flush against the front of the home. You will need to consider this when installing your SkyBell video doorbell to make sure you get the full range.
Two main accessories come with both video doorbells. The first is a wedge that allows you to angle your doorbell to place it more evenly. This is helpful if your home has siding or other angular slats that may direct the video upwards. The wedge will provide a flat surface so that your doorbell is even. Skybell also offers a digital doorbell adapter that lets you use your traditional doorbell chime.
One other feature that both models utilize is the SkyBell mobile app. This will let you control all aspects of your doorbell, including the zoom feature. You can also set the unit into “silent mode,” which will turn off the indoor chime and instead only send notifications to your phone. The app lets you access cloud storage to see any video recording saved in the past seven days free of charge. During these seven days, you can download any video you need and save on either your mobile device or an external hard drive for later viewing and archiving.
Look and Feel
This is where the most significant differences occur between both SkyBell video doorbell models. The SkyBell HD has a circular design resembling a puck. The SkyBell Trim has a look similar to a traditional doorbell and more like other doorbell camera models such as the Ring Pro. We found the circular shape of the HD model to be difficult to work with during installation, and we had to rewire the front door to install it for testing. For this reason, the SkyBell Trim Plus has the advantage when it comes to design.
Winner: Trim Plus
“I love this camera. For so long I thought I would install a Ring but found this when looking for a slim form. It was easily installed where the old doorbell was and works perfectly with ZERO monthly fees. I can change the LED color to whatever I want. The video quality is impeccable and the audio is good.”
- Sonya, Verified SkyBell Trim Customer
The SkyBell Trim Plus works with Alexa and can be used both with the Amazon Echo and the Echo Dot. You can use simple voice commands to do tasks like checking the video feed or reviewing past recordings.
SkyBell is better than the Ring doorbell if you are looking for just a video doorbell. The Ring Pro doorbell works in conjunction with your other security equipment. If you are just looking to purchase a smart home doorbell, SkyBell HD and Skybell Trim Plus can be a better option as it’s easier to set up and install.
SkyBell does not require a subscription. All of the SkyBell video doorbells operate using your home WiFi. So, you only need to pay the one time cost of the equipment. The only other fees may come from professional installation if you hire someone to do this.
SkyBell is not owned by Honeywell. SkyBell is a privately held company founded in 2013 that produces HD video doorbell technology. They provide equipment to work with a variety of companies, including Honeywell, Alarm.com, Nest, Comcast, Monitronics, and numerous other home security system companies.
SkyBell Technologies Inc. makes SkyBell cameras. They manufacture video doorbell equipment for a variety of major security equipment providers and consumer sales. Their main competitor is the Ring Pro video doorbell owned by Amazon. Many people look at the Ring vs Skybell when shopping for an inexpensive doorbell camera.
Our Recommendation Is ...
The bottom line is both models are incredibly similar. So, it comes down to two key differences, frames per second and design. After extensive testing of both, we found the SkyBell Trim Plus to be the better option. The HD model is awkwardly shaped, which can make it more challenging to install.
While the HD does have a better FPS rate, both offer advanced video quality with similar features. We think the easier installation from the better design of the Skybell Trim Plus far outweighs the extra 15 FPS you get with the SkyBell HD.