ADT is one of our favorite brands for total home security, so naturally I was curious to see how their DIY doorbell camera performed. Hold the phone … ADT is now do-it-yourself? Well, their new Blue by ADT line of products are. Among those products is a powerful doorbell camera with a $200 price tag. I picked one up and tried it out at home. The result: I was (mostly) happy with its advanced features, which you typically only see in top-rated doorbell cameras.
The doorbell’s most impressive features are its 180-degree field of view and its custom motion detection zones. Another bonus is that the doorbell is quick and easy to install. Plus, if you’re a current ADT customer, you can easily integrate the doorbell into your ADT home security system, extending your protection to your entryway.
There are a few pain points you should know about, but in many cases, these won’t be deal-breakers. Let’s take a closer look so you can decide if the Blue by ADT doorbell camera is worth your time and money.
ADT hardly needs an introduction. They’re a customer favorite, and well-deserving of their popularity. ADT has been in business since the 1800s,1 way back when Honest Abe was president. Over the years, they’ve offered reliable products and services to keep Americans safe and secure.
ADT is synonymous with high-quality devices, tailor-made packages, and stellar customer service. But no brand is perfect — not even this pioneer in home security. As you’ll see, their video doorbells are a little pricey and could use some attention in the looks department.
Did You Know: ADT has launched a new partnership with Ring, which ranks number one on our list of best video doorbell cameras. You can now connect a Ring video doorbell to your ADT security system for whole-home integration. It’s a match made in home security heaven. Here’s a rundown of Ring Doorbell costs if you’re curious
The Blue by ADT video doorbell lists for $199.99. That’s a bit on the high end, but not outrageous. If you’re going to spend $200 (or more) on a doorbell camera, just be sure it comes stacked with advanced features. Otherwise, there are more affordable options out there. I especially like the Arlo Pro 3, starting at $169.99 (check out our Arlo review), and Ring’s various doorbell models that fall in the sub-$200 range.
With respect to Blue by ADT, I do think it’s worth the price for its advanced features, like facial recognition, and for its backing by the trusted ADT name.2
FYI: You can have ADT professionally monitor your doorbell camera 24/7, but it’ll cost you. Their video monitoring plan runs $19.99 per month, but it connects you to the nationwide network of ADT monitoring centers. There’s no contract, and you’ll get a free month of service when you sign up.
One other cost to consider is the monthly fee for cloud video storage. Thankfully, ADT only charges $2.99 per month for 60 days of video storage. This is a pretty good deal. I sprung for it, and was able to safely store up to 60 days’ worth of visitor footage, package deliveries, and any suspicious activity that took place in the entryway. A cloud subscription is optional. Without it, you’ll get free basic cloud storage, which saves your videos to the cloud for 24 hours.
Head over to our full roundup of ADT plans and prices to find out if they have options that work in your budget.
Blue by ADT has its own website and special branding, which is ADT’s way of differentiating their DIY home security products from their traditional systems. The Blue by ADT logo and website are modern in design, like what you see with Ring, Nest, Arlo, and other popular DIY brands.
Ordering is easy, but delivery will take seven days, so you may want to pay for expedited shipping. You’ll get a 30-day, money-back guarantee on your purchase. This isn’t bad, but it’s a shorter guarantee than you’ll get with some other companies. SimpliSafe, for example, gives you a full 60 days to try them out. Read our SimpliSafe video doorbell review for the full scoop on our in-home experience.
Did You Know: The Blue doorbell is a rebranded version of ADT’s old video doorbell, which only offered 720p HD resolution, and none of the advanced features like custom motion zones and facial recognition. Needless to say, you’ll like the rebrand.
Blue by ADT is a hardwired doorbell camera. This means you’ll have to hook it up to your existing doorbell wiring; it requires 16- to 24-volt AC power, which is standard. Installation is fairly straightforward, and ADT has an easy-installation guide to help you along. I’ve installed plenty of doorbell cams over the years, so I had my Blue up and running in about five minutes. But the average person can expect installation to take about 10 minutes. No sweat.
One thing that’s different about Blue by ADT is the mounting hardware. Most video doorbells snap right into the mounting bracket, but Blue has a built-in battery in their bracket. This nifty little addition will ensure the doorbell keeps working even if your power happens to fail. That’s some nice innovation!
Once the bracket is screwed into the wall, a little LED lights up to show you have power. Then you’ll connect to your Wi-Fi by scanning the QR code on the device using the Blue by ADT app. And that’s it.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to turn on your device. There’s a small on/off toggle on the back of the Blue by ADT doorbell. It’s not a feature you commonly see, so I almost missed it. Keep your eyes peeled.
So what’s it like using Blue by ADT? Overall, I enjoyed using the video doorbell, and it certainly added an extra layer of protection to my home. But I did run into a couple of minor snags, which I’ll touch on soon.
Once the doorbell was installed, I began testing it with simulated package theft (porch pirate!) scenarios. Like other doorbell cams, Blue sent me instant alerts whenever it sensed motion. I could then open the smartphone app and view a live video stream of my entryway. Live video from a doorbell camera is a pretty standard feature nowadays, along with night vision, two-way talk, and 1080p HD resolution. So Blue by ADT is in line with the competition here.
However, Blue by ADT does stand out with its custom motion detection settings, which you’ll find right there in the app. You can completely disable motion alerts if you want, or you can choose from three motion detection modes: 1) Detect Everything (including passing cars), 2) Person Detection (ignores vehicles), or 3) Custom Detection Zone. I went for option three. I’m a big fan of custom motion zones, because … really … who needs to know about every squirrel in the neighborhood?
Pro Tip: Custom motion zones are an advanced feature — and one that you typically only see with top-rated brands like Vivint. It’s not cheap, but if you have the budget to work with, check out our Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro review. Though ADT doesn’t charge a monthly subscription to access this advanced feature, many other brands do.
I also appreciated Blue’s ultra-wide 180-degree field of view. The wider the field of view, the more of your entryway you’ll be able to see. This can help you see packages left at your doorstep and prowlers crouching in the corner. Most doorbell cameras offer viewing angles in the 120- to 160-degree range, so 180-degrees is quite impressive!
One of the things I didn’t like about Blue by ADT was its facial recognition feature. Though the artificial intelligence technology is pretty solid, I found that Google Nest Hello and Vivint doorbell cameras were more accurate when it came to recognizing familiar faces. Also, the night vision could use improving. It’s a bit grainy and only records in greyscale rather than color. Most security cameras come with color night vision these days.
Finally, there’s room for growth in the design department. The Blue by ADT doorbell is kind of clunky; it doesn’t elicit “oohs” and “ahhs” like we found in our Skybell HD review or the August View doorbell by award-winning Swiss designer Yves Béhar.
If you purchase a Blue by ADT doorbell camera, you’ll most likely get the quality customer service that ADT is known for. You have the option of calling directly, perusing how-to guides in their online support center, or getting help via email or live chat.
Also, if you’re looking for a complete home security system, note that ADT has one of the best field tech teams. They continually rank high in our guide to the best professionally installed home security systems. DIY installation is great, but for some things, you just can’t beat an expert’s touch.
Did You Know: You can enjoy hands-free voice control of your Blue by ADT video doorbell using Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. You can also integrate the doorbell into your smart home system using IFTTT.
The Blue by ADT equipment lineup is still fairly limited, but they’ve been adding products over time. They currently offer both an indoor and outdoor camera, a range extender and an extra camera battery. Peculiarly, their indoor, outdoor and doorbell cameras are all priced the same at $199. Each of these cameras integrates with ADT’s traditional home security equipment, giving you loads of options for whole-home protection.
|Blue Wireless Outdoor Camera||HD Outdoor Surveillance||$199.99|
|Blue Indoor Camera||HD Indoor Surveillance||$199.99|
|Blue Extender + Chime||Range Extender/Chime||$49.99|
|Extra Battery Pack for Blue Wireless Outdoor Camera||Camera Battery||$39.99|
|ADT Home Alarm Equipment||Door/Window Sensors, Environmental Sensors, Etc.||Varies|
From the built-in battery charger to the custom motion zones, I found a lot to appreciate about the Blue by ADT video doorbell. If you already use ADT home security equipment, this doorbell camera will make a solid addition to your system. On the other hand, if you’re just looking for a stand-alone doorbell camera, I think there are better options out there. For help choosing a model, check out our doorbell camera buying guide.
In the end, I didn’t love the clunky design. And the grainy, greyscale night vision didn’t give me the image quality I was hoping for. Overall, Blue by ADT is a decent doorbell camera, but there’s some room for improvement.
No, thankfully, Blue by ADT doorbell cameras do not require a contract.
Yes, Blue by ADT offers 1080p HD resolution.
Yes, the Blue doorbell camera offers easy DIY installation. It’s a hardwired camera, but you only need a screwdriver and about 10 minutes to set it up.
No. Although it integrates seamlessly into an existing ADT home security system, you can also use it as a stand-alone camera.
Yes, it comes with 24-hour video history for free; you can upgrade to 60 days of cloud recording for $2.99 per month.
CompaniesHistory.com. (2021). ADT Corporation history, profile and history video.
Trustpilot: ADT Reviews. (Accessed June 28, 2021). ADT Home Security User Reviews.
As Managing Editor for SafeHome.org, Rob Gabriele has written and edited over 1,000 articles in home security. His expertise is in smart home automation and home protection with thousands of hours of testing and research under his belt. Formerly a reporter and producer for the USAToday network, Rob has been a writer and editor for over 10 years. He holds a Master’s of Science with an emphasis on writing from the University of Montana, and he currently lives in the Reno/Tahoe area of Nevada.