Video Door Intercom: Review & Recommendations

Everyone knows this moment: You are alone at home, the doorbell rings and you don’t know who is at the front door. Do you want to know who is outside before you open it? Then you should think about buying a video door phone. You can see the guest before you open the door and talk to them or just ask who is ringing. Can you also use your system as an alarm system? What different types of video door phones are available for you to purchase?

Answers to the most frequently asked questions can be found here in the large video door intercom test 2020, where we present various video door intercoms to help you with your purchase decision. You will also find helpful tips and tricks in our guide on the additional functions a video door intercom system has. Whether you choose a video door phone via wifi, wireless, or cable, we will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each model.

The most important facts in brief

  • Video door phones make your home safer and allow you to see your visitor before you open the door.
  • Basically, a distinction is made between radio, cable and Wlan video door intercom systems, the latter being the most modern type.
  • With all three types, it is possible to use them with several families simultaneously. There are many or few additional functions depending on your wishes.

Video door intercom system test: Favourites of the editorial staff

  • The best video door phone with night vision camera
  • The best video door phone with door opener function
  • The best video door phone with app function
  • The best video door phone with intercom

The best video door phone with night vision camera

The TMEZON Video door phone is a model with two 7 inch indoor monitors and a camera with included night vision and 100° viewing angle. The camera is mounted via a 4-wire connection and is weatherproof.

When a visitor rings the doorbell or triggers the motion sensor, a snapshot is automatically taken and stored. The doorbell with camera has an intercom system and a door opener function.

The doorbell is operated via the power supply. Customers of this model praise above all the good price-performance ratio.

The best video door phone with door opener function

The Somikon Video door intercom system consists of an internal monitor and an external bell. The inside monitor has a 4.3 inch LCD display and a resolution of 480 x 272 pixels. The outer bell is made of an aluminium housing and is water resistant.

The system is equipped with a door opener function that can open up to two doors or gates. However, the opening unit for the door would have to be ordered for this purpose. You can switch between 16 different ring tones and adjust the colour, brightness and volume individually.

The best video door phone with app function

The doorbell with camera from AWOW runs completely without cable and is operated childlike via your mobile phone. All you need is the corresponding CloudEdge app. You can also play an automatic message if you are not at home.

The door intercom is both waterproof and immune to dust, heat and cold. After the first charging, the battery of the device lasts up to 3 months before it needs to be recharged.

The best video door phone with intercom

The 1 by one video intercom system consists of an external bell and an internal monitor. Through an intercom system you hear your visitors and can also talk to them. Through an infrared night vision camera this is also possible in the evening and without a separate door light.

The outdoor system is waterproof and the camera has a 92 degree viewing angle. You can switch between different ring tones and a door opener function is also built into the system.

Guide: Questions to consider before buying a video door phone

What are the advantages of video door intercoms over pure audio door intercoms?

The intercom system with camera has the positive aspect that it records everything that happens in front of your door. This is why it is especially suitable for children and elderly people.

Especially for children, who are often too young to look through the spyhole, it is easy to see on the monitor who is in front of the door before they open it and possibly put themselves in danger.
Thus the video door intercom is a very good replacement for the door viewer.
This type of intercom also gives elderly people the necessary sense of security as guards of the house, which they need when they live alone.
There are also a number of additional features that you can install at the beginning of the installation or improve your video intercom afterwards.

Which additional functions are available with video door intercoms?

The modern intercom systems with cameras offer extras ranging from door opener functions to code locks and integrated image storage, making your home even more secure.
Code locks or fingerprint sensors are particularly suitable if you have children, as they do not need a key to the house and therefore cannot lose it.
Some video doorphones also have a handy picture storage feature built in. This allows you to track exactly who was at your front door at what time and can also be used as evidence in the event of burglary.
All these additional functions are compatible with the three different signal transmission options and are also suitable for several residential units. When buying one of these systems, you can often decide for yourself which and how many additional functions your intercom system should have.
To give you an overview, we have compiled a table.

Can I synchronize a video intercom with my mobile phone or tablet?

Basically, it is possible to connect the video intercom to a mobile phone or tablet and use these devices as the actual indoor station or additionally.
With many modern intercom systems, synchronizing the system with the mobile phone or tablet is no problem, especially if they send their signal via WLAN. In this way, it is very easy to connect to the smartphone, as it can also pick up the signals via WLAN or the Internet.
It is also very practical that by connecting your mobile phone or tablet to the system, you can also access it when you are not in the house. So if you are on holiday, you can still control who rings at your house.
You should always check with the manufacturer to see if it is really possible to synchronize your system to save yourself unnecessary trouble.

Expert SecuritySecurity experts
The smartphone can be coupled with the video intercom.
Some video door phones have a telephone interface, so it can also be connected to the Internet. This makes it possible to connect the system to a mobile phone, computer or television. So you have a view of the entrance door even when you are on the road. In addition, the system should be made of robust material, so that it is protected against wilful destruction.
(Source: expert-security.de)

Can I connect additional cameras to the video door intercom?

With some, but unfortunately not all systems, it is possible to install an additional camera in order to view the house from different perspectives and thus have an even better view of what is happening on the doorstep.
An additional camera can be especially helpful if the area in front of the door is very angled or if you also have a garden gate. If this is the case, it can be useful to mount a camera on this gate as well.
However, you should also make sure that the external camera is not too far away from the indoor unit, as the signals may not be transmitted or the cable is simply too short to transmit the data.
So if you want to install an additional camera to your video intercom system, you should check with the manufacturer or seller before buying to see if an external camera can be installed and connected to the system.

Benny BraunExpert for safety engineering and security
“Many devices offer an image storage function, which is particularly recommended when there is a high volume of guests and/or customers. The screen size is a matter of taste, but in general, the bigger the screen, the more you can see. Especially for the evening hours alone in the house, door intercoms with camera and night vision function are advisable.

Can I also use my system as an alarm system?

If you want a good alarm system, you should choose a model that fits your house exactly, to secure all doors and windows. But if you don’t want to buy an extra system, you can in some cases use the video surveillance of your door intercom as a guard to make your house more secure.
In most cases it is unfortunately not possible for the intercom system to make a loud noise like an alarm system. A picture storage function is therefore highly recommended. Although this is not automatically a burglary protection, the device does store the images and you can use them as evidence in case of a burglary. In most cases, a camera on the outside of the house or a video intercom system will deter many burglars from choosing your family home for a break-in.

How robust should the system be?

The robustness of your video intercom system should be matched to where it is located and what weather conditions it is exposed to.
You do not have to pay attention to any special features of the indoor station of your system, as it is located in the house. It does not matter whether it is made of glass, metal or plastic, as the material is only exposed to room temperature.
The outdoor unit of your system is of course different. Here you have to pay attention if rain and hail could hit the system. If this is the case, a particularly robust material such as metal should be chosen.
You must also bear in mind that the outdoor unit is exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations. The unit should therefore be able to withstand temperatures as low as minus 20 °C as well as heat up to 40 °C. Therefore, the outdoor unit should not be made of plastic, as it can easily bend and deform due to extreme temperature fluctuations.

In most cases it will be advisable to choose a very robust material, as you can never be sure that the device is protected from wind and weather.

What is the legal situation with video door intercoms?

Although there are many practical functions in the recording area, as an observer with your outdoor unit you are not allowed to record any strangers outside your property.
This means that you may only adjust the cameras to ensure your own safety and to protect your rights as a householder, but not to film other people. You are therefore not allowed to monitor public areas such as streets, adjacent playgrounds or department stores.

Did you know that video door phones are also used by large companies? And not only for the entrance door, but also to monitor individual departments within the company.

Where can I buy a video door intercom?

Door intercoms can be purchased online as well as from local retailers. However, you should be aware that there is a wider choice on the internet and that it is easier to compare prices from different manufacturers.
In a specialist shop, on the other hand, you can take a closer look at the various devices and get advice on the spot. Which of the two options you choose is of course up to you. According to our research, most video door phones are currently sold by the following manufacturers and shops:

amazon.com
Bauhaus
Saturn
Sony
Smartwares
Pentatech
Panasonic
Obi
Hornbach
Media Markt

How much does a video door intercom system cost?

Meanwhile there are modern video intercoms in various price ranges. The prices of intercoms with camera range from two-digit to four-digit.
Wireless intercoms and door intercoms with cable are basically cheaper than intercoms connected to Wlan. The latter can cost up to over 3,500 euros. However, the prices depend very much on the equipment and additional functions of the intercom system.

Especially video door intercoms for apartment buildings or residential buildings can often be very expensive, as the system has to differentiate between the individual apartments.

Decision: What types of video door phones are there and which one is right for you?

The video door stations differ mainly in their transmission form. There are:

  • Video door intercoms by radio
  • Video door intercoms by cable
  • Video door intercoms via WLAN

Depending on the living situation you find yourself in and which additional functions are important to you, one of these variants might suit you better than the others.

In the following section we would like to help you to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of these three options, find out which video intercom system suits you best and thus find the best solution for your individual situation.

Video door intercom by radio

The special thing about the radio intercom system is that it is wireless, can be installed very easily and is therefore also very inexpensive. Because of the radio connection this type of intercom is very well suited for rented apartments, because you do not need to give your consent

Advantages

Easy installation
No cable laying necessary
Comparatively cheap
Well suited for rental apartments

Disadvantages

Possibly poor reception
Inner element with only short battery life
Especially video signals difficult to transmit
Other radio equipment may interfere

However, a radio intercom system is not equally suitable for all houses or apartments. The radio signals can be disturbed by too thick walls or other radio equipment. Especially video signals are affected and the device cannot provide full performance.

In addition, the inner element of the intercom system is only equipped with a rechargeable battery, which does not last very long and must be recharged again and again.

Video door intercom by cable

The big advantage of the door intercom with wire is that through the wire there is a very good quality audio and video transmission. Here you can use the already existing wires in your house and up to 32 devices can be connected, which makes it especially recommendable for an apartment building.

Advantages

Very good transmission quality
Connections for up to 32 devices
Existing lines are used
Relatively inexpensive

Disadvantages

Complex mounting by flush mounting
High installation effort

With this type of surface mounting, the video intercom system is a very inexpensive variant. However, if you have to lay the cables first, additional costs can arise due to the complex flush mounting and the installation effort increases enormously.

Video door intercom via WLAN

If the intercom system is connected to the WLAN, many possibilities open up for you that are not compatible with the other two options. Since you can also operate the video door phone with your mobile phone or tablet, it can even be controlled while you are on vacation.

Advantages

Can be operated by mobile phone / tablet
Almost unlimited number of users possible
Connected to own router
Very good transmission quality
Communication from on the road possible

Disadvantages

Relatively high acquisition costs
Internet access required

However, the many advantages are offset by relatively high purchase prices and, of course, unrestricted Internet access is also required for this variant.

Purchase criteria: You can compare and rate video door phones based on these factors

In the following we want to show you how you can compare video door intercoms optimally and which factors you should consider. This will make it easier for you to decide which intercom system fits your individual life situation and which does not.

These are in particular these factors:

  • Material
  • Design
  • Mobile phone / tablet synchronization
  • Number of indoor stations
  • Image storage function
  • Resolution of camera and monitor
  • Montage
  • Extra equipment

In the following paragraphs you can read what is meant by the individual purchase criteria and what you should pay particular attention to when purchasing a video door intercom.

Material

The material is a very important point, as the outdoor unit of your intercom may be exposed to rain, ice and heat. Therefore, you should make sure that your unit is protected against all weather conditions.

Materials such as aluminium, stainless steel or tempered glass are best suited, as these are very resistant to a wide range of weather conditions. Unlike the cheaper plastic variant, these materials do not crack or bend when exposed to temperature fluctuations.

Although they are initially a little more expensive to buy than the cheap plastic model, they last correspondingly longer. Of course, you can use a plastic device for the indoor stations of your door phone without hesitation, as there are not such strong temperature differences in your home.

Gestaltung

As is well known, one can argue about taste. That’s why you should choose a design for your door intercom that suits you and your home, and check its user-friendliness, especially if older people or children live in your house.

First ask yourself whether your wish list includes a classic intercom with telephone or a modern intercom with touch screen. Remember that a telephone is much easier to use than a touchscreen, especially for older people who didn’t grow up with mobile phones and tablets.

You should also consider which screen size fits best. Even with a very good camera on the outdoor unit, if the screen is too small, you may not be able to see the person in front of your door.

Mobile Phone / Tablet Synchronization

If you are familiar with mobile phones or tablets and use these devices frequently, it can be an advantage to connect them to your video door phone. This way you can also control what is happening on your doorstep when you are out and about.

Video intercoms connected to your own WLAN sometimes don’t even have their own indoor station, as you can control the device directly with your mobile phone or tablet and play the video material.

But often the synchronization with mobile phone or tablet is only offered as an additional possibility to operate your device. Unfortunately, this is often only possible with intercoms that are connected to your router, but not with door phones that use wired connections or radio signals.

Number of indoor stations

Multiple indoor stations can be an advantage especially if you live in a big house, in a big apartment or with other people. The most common application of multiple indoor stations is in apartment buildings.

There are different variations of this. With most of them the visitor can decide directly in front of the door at whom he wants to ring and the signal is then only forwarded to one apartment. In this way only you can see who wants to visit you and your neighbours remain undisturbed.

You can also have the monitors for the video door phone installed in different rooms of your home so that you can access the device from almost anywhere.

Image storage function

The image storage function is particularly useful if you want to save yourself the trouble of having to install extra surveillance cameras with the video intercom. This way, your intercom camera simply records the relevant situations and you can watch them later.

With some devices, you can even install one or two additional cameras to record your apartment entrance or entrances from different angles with the video intercom system.

It is especially important that you pay attention to what storage capacity your system has. Some products can only store a certain number of images and will automatically delete them when the memory is full and new material is to be recorded.

It is also essential for video surveillance to have a good camera at your disposal, on which burglars or other unwanted guests can really be identified in case of an emergency. The main role in this context is played by the camera’s night vision, so that high-quality recordings can be made even in the dark.

Resolution of camera and monitor

Since you also want to recognize your visitors on the screen, a good resolution of the camera but also of the monitor is especially important.

This goes hand in hand with the image storage function, because without good resolution of the camera, no images can be taken that can help you recognize people. The resolution and screen size of the monitor on your indoor station are also important.

Based on the following two values, you can estimate approximately in which resolution your desired door intercom system will play the video:

Montage

The type of installation should also play an important role in your purchase decision. Because not all variants of the video door intercom system are equally suitable for every living situation. First of all, you should consider where you want to mount the outdoor station of your intercom and which section the camera can really capture.

Depending on that, you may even need a wide-angle camera to capture the entire area in front of your front door. However, if you don’t want to afford such a special camera, most devices offer the option of adding a second or even third camera to capture the entire area.

In addition to correct positioning, the distance between the apartment and the outdoor unit also plays an important role. Because a wireless door intercom is wireless, special care must be taken to ensure that the radio signal can actually still be picked up by the indoor units and that the distance between the two units is not too great.

There is a similar problem when installing a WLAN intercom system. Here it must be ensured that the WLAN signal actually reaches the outstation in order to be able to forward the signals. If you have a cable connection, you should make sure that the wire is long enough to reach from the outstation to the indoor station in your home.

Extra equipment

A number of additional functions can be particularly convenient, such as an electronic door opener or a large selection of ring tones, which make the use of the device easier and more pleasant. The door opener function proves to be particularly practical, as you can open the door electronically from all indoor stations in the house.

It is also possible to open the door from your mobile phone or tablet if you connect it to your video door phone. Also very pleasant is that some devices offer you several choices regarding the ring tone and you can choose it according to your individual preferences.

This function is often accompanied by a corresponding adjustment of the volume. For example, if you are often in the garden or like to listen to loud music, you can increase the volume o

With some devices, the new video intercom can be connected to existing doorbells. In this way you avoid spending unnecessary money on a new doorbell.

Trivia: Worth knowing facts about video door intercom

Where are video door intercoms most often used?

In the past, intercoms with cameras were only used in areas with high security. Now, however, they are increasingly being installed in private homes.

Very few people nowadays want to do without the latest technology. Added to this is the desire for security in one’s own home, which means that more and more people prefer door intercoms with cameras.

What alternatives are there to video door intercoms?

However, if you don’t want to get a video intercom, a surveillance camera, a good audio intercom or a door viewer would be alternatives, depending on your needs. The cameras have the advantage that you can connect the video surveillance directly to an alarm system and film and store everything around your house.

A good audio intercom system cannot replace a door intercom with camera, but the good sound quality makes it easier to see who is behind your door.

The well-known door viewer in your family home would be the cheapest alternative, but it is out of reach for small children. A small monitor connected to a camera in the door viewer can help to solve this problem.

Table of Contents