Over the years, we’ve put Vivint’s smart home security products through our rigorous testing process. Most recently, we connected their Video Doorbell Pro to our Vivint security system. We wanted to see if this doorbell cam was all that it’s cracked up to be (the company claims it can “Banish Porch Pirates”).
Right away, we liked the experience of a fully-integrated smart and secure home, starting at our doorstep. We see the device as a worthy competitor to the Ring Doorbell Pro, with the same price tag to match.
Note that the latest version of the Vivint doorbell cam offers deterrent features, HD resolution, and the widest viewing angle we’ve seen. In fact, we could see the shipping label on a package sitting at our door! Vivint also offers professional installation, which you just can’t beat. But as much as we loved the Vivint doorbell, there are some things that you must consider before making the investment. We’re sharing it all right here. So let’s dive in!
Starting at $249, we think the doorbell camera is a great deal. As mentioned, it’s the same price as the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, with a similar feature-set. It’s also worth mentioning that the device used to cost $229. It only recently bumped up to $249, but now features built-in theft deterrents and 1080p HDR. So that extra $20 is well justified in our eyes. From what we’ve seen, this doorbell camera is worth every penny. But… there’s more to the story.
You see, you can’t just purchase a Vivint doorbell cam, install it yourself, and call it a day. Unfortunately, the product is an add-on to an existing Vivint home security setup. In other words, it’s not a standalone device that you can purchase, like Arlo doorbell cameras, for instance. That’s why we only recommend this porch protector for current Vivint users, or for those already considering buying a fully-integrated Vivint smart home security system.
Remember: You can’t buy the Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro as a standalone product. If you’re not a current Vivint user, you will need to purchase a Vivint home security package and sign up for their 24/7 professional monitoring, at which point you can integrate the doorbell camera into your system.
Let’s say your finger is hovering over the ‘buy now’ button for Vivint’s security system (entryway sensors, motion sensors, SkyControl touchscreen panel, the whole bit). Here’s what the system will cost you. And brace yourself, because it’s not cheap.
On top of equipment prices, Vivint costs $39.99 per month for 24/7 monitoring, plus $5 per month for every camera installed.1 This is the Vivint ‘Smart Home’ plan, which is required to run any Vivint cameras, including the Video Doorbell Pro. You’ll also have to sign a contract, which is never fun. But keep in mind that this includes total home protection from one of the best home security companies in the industry.
So if you’re just looking for entryway protection, Vivint isn’t for you. But, if you desire high-tech equipment and uber-streamlined connectivity, then Vivint is the best in the business, and right up there with ADT. We’ve been doing this a long time, and we’ve found that you almost always get what you pay for.
Did You Know: If you’re a new Vivint customer, you might qualify for financing options that would spread the cost of the system over a few years, much like a mobile phone plan. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
One thing we didn’t love about Vivint is that you can’t just hop on their website, purchase the products, and install it yourself. You’ll first need to speak with a representative to find a “solution” that fits your home. But thankfully, we actually enjoyed chatting with a rep; they really knew the product, and they recommended devices that made sense for our situation.
We then made an appointment for professional installation for the next morning. The company typically waives the installation fee, but it could cost you up to $100.
At any rate, a licensed Smart Home Pro will install your Vivint video doorbell to blend well with your home’s exterior and link to your greater Vivint system. Of course, given the choice, we prefer DIY security equipment. But we also see the benefits and peace of mind that come with professional installation. In our experience, Vivint has always done a great job at installing our equipment.
First off, we were really impressed with the design of the new Vivint doorbell camera. It sports a fairly low-profile black and white design. Compared to most other doorbells we’ve tested, it looks like a million bucks right out-of-the-box. So if you care about aesthetics, we think you’ll like Vivint. That said, the Ring Doorbell Elite has Vivint beat in the looks department.
Now, if you’re already running a Vivint smart home setup, then there’s zero learning curve with the video doorbell. But even if you’re new to Vivint, we think you’ll catch on fast. We were able to access and control our Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro using the SkyControl touchscreen panel. We could also keep tabs on our entryway using Vivint’s award-winning mobile app, which is always our preferred controls.
We staged a few package-theft and break-in scenarios to see how the device stacks up against the competition. And a few features really stood out to us. First off, the field of view was impeccable. The 180° vertical x 180° horizontal field of view allowed us to see virtually everything at our doorstep.
Pro Tip: Field of view (FOV) matters, so always look for the best FOV. Compare Vivint’s 180-degree FOV to the Ring Video Doorbell Pro (160-degrees), the Nest Hello doorbell (also 160-degrees), or the SkyBell HD (a paltry 130-degrees), and you can see that Vivint over-delivers when it comes to viewing your entryway. And isn’t that the point of a doorbell cam?
The new generation of Vivint doorbell cameras also features something called Smart Sentry AI Package Detection. This feature detected when a package arrived, and alerted us instantly. We also received instant activity alerts when a would-be porch pirate approached our home. We appreciated these smart alerts.
The Smart Sentry feature also activates a ring of lights and can emit a siren for deterrence. The camera has a built-in LED ring and 65-dB speaker (not bad!). Of course, this isn’t jaw-dropping technology, we’ve seen theft deterrents on plenty of other security products. Vivint bills it as a crime-deterrent feature, but we don’t think that’s totally accurate. That said, it will give bad guys (or gals) something to think about.
Did You Know: The Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice controls. We like how Vivint transformed our house into a smart home. Alexa, show my front door.
As far as smartphone controls go, the Vivint mobile app experience was solid. Like other video doorbells, we were able to open the app and view live-streaming video, use two-way talk to communicate with visitors, and playback recordings.
With Vivint Playback, the cloud storage plan, we had 1 terabyte (TB) of download capacity, and we enjoyed 30 days of continuous 24/7 recording using the Vivint Smart Drive. We won’t get too deep into the technicalities here, just know that you get all of this for only $5 per camera per month (on top of other Vivint charges). Each Smart Drive can support up to four cameras. If you want to install more than four devices, you’ll have to purchase an additional Smart Drive unit for $249.
Overall, we really liked the new-and-improved Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro. In fact, it would rank higher on our list if Vivint sold it as a standalone product. But alas, we had to dock the device some points because it really only works for folks who go all-in with Vivint.
Vivint’s video doorbell comes with plenty of features and high-quality optics. Note that here is precisely where the product outshines much of the competition. We really liked the slim build, HD video, and smartphone controls. And the Smart Sentry deterrence features worked great.
But when measured up against other top-performers, like the Nest Hello doorbell cam for instance, we see that Vivint has some ground to make up. For instance, Nest Hello is $20 cheaper and comes with a sleek facial recognition feature. But still, the Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro can stand on its own merit. Keep reading to learn all about the features we liked most.
The 1080p HDR sensor offered crystal-clear video whether live-streaming or playing back recordings. Even when zooming in we could pick up fine details of people and packages.
Vivint’s super-wide field of view is 180° vertical x 180° horizontal — which is more than enough to see the face of a 7-foot man or get a closer look at that package on your doormat.
Vivint offers HD resolution even in the darkest hours of night. It includes 2 high-powered infrared LEDs. Although standard for the industry, we did get superior night-time video quality compared to other doorbell cams we’ve tried.
Vivint can either use the wiring of your existing doorbell, or you can go wireless with a battery. We prefer the wired setup; we found it’s a more stable connection without needing to switch out batteries. But we like the options.
FYI: The Vivint doorbell replaces your existing doorbell. It’s a wired device that you probably wouldn’t want to install on your own anyway.
With an elegant, understated design, this doorbell camera gets the job done without drawing too much attention to itself. All in all, we think the styling is on-point and quite attractive.
Vivint is all about customizations, so you can set up your alerts to notify you of events that matter. After all, nobody wants notifications flooding their mobile phone for no good reason.
The Doorbell Camera Pro plays well with Vivint’s entire product lineup. So if you’re looking for the safest and smartest home on the block, we think you’ll appreciate what Vivint brings to the table.
If or when a burglar or porch pirate targets your home, the motion-activated LED lights will make them take pause. If they carry on, you can sound the 65 dB alarm to send them packing.
From their white-glove installation to ongoing support, we think customer service is one of Vivint’s major selling points. Each time we called in, we had a helpful agent on the line within 1-2 minutes, which is impressive. Vivint also offers 24/7 tech support, which is something we rarely see in the industry.
Did You Know: For as long as you’re a Vivint customer, your products are under full warranty. If something breaks or you have tech issues, Vivint will fix or replace your products, no questions asked.
That said, in previous years Vivint has been a mixed bag in the service and support department. But they’ve since cleaned up their act. Most of the complaints we see today involve disputes over contract renewals. Remember, Vivint requires a long-term contract! This is never a deal-breaker for us, but it’s something to keep in mind.
In our mind, the name Vivint conjures images of a tech startup with giant beanbags, ping pong tables, all that jazz. But Vivint actually started way back in 1997 under the name APX Alarm Security Solutions.2 Then, in 2012, The Blackstone Group acquired Vivint for over $2 billion.3 It’s important to note that Vivint’s closest competitor over the years has been ADT, which is the most-recognized home security company in the world.
But one thing that sets Vivint apart from ADT and others in the field is their approach to product development. They are quick and nimble and highly-innovative — just like a tech startup! In 2017, Vivint was named one of Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies in the world.4 They also design their equipment in-house, whereas most other brands outsource their design and manufacturing to companies like General Electric or Honeywell.
Another thing worth mentioning is that Vivint has donated over 200,000 volunteer hours and over $18 million to improve the lives of children with intellectual disabilities. They do it through the Vivint Gives Back initiative5 — and we think that’s something to hang your hat on. All in all, we like Vivint and we think they’re sticking around for the long-haul.
FYI: You can’t purchase the Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro at Best Buy or order it from Amazon. But when you consider how it seamlessly links to your Vivint Smart Home setup, you’ll realize that you wouldn’t want to buy it at the same place you buy printer paper, anyway.
There is no doubt that Vivint’s video doorbell camera is an investment. In fact, if you’re not a current Vivint customer, and you’re not planning on purchasing a Vivint home security equipment, then this isn’t the doorbell camera for you. But if you’re already sold on Vivint, we think this device is a no-brainer and will be a welcome addition to your Vivint smart home security system.
If you want the latest in home automation, and you don’t mind paying for equipment upfront or signing a long-term contract, then we can say that Vivint is one of the best options on the market today (if not the best). We recommend checking out Vivint, especially if you’re a homeowner and plan to stay at the same address for a while. You won’t be disappointed.
Yes, Vivint requires a 42-60 month contract, which is one of the longest contract lengths in the industry.
Yes, Vivint offers one of the best mobile apps in the business, allowing you to receive alerts, view live video and play back recordings, and use two-way talk to speak to visitors.
Yes, to use the Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro, you must have a Vivint monitoring subscription and equipment.
If you’re already a Vivint customer, we think their doorbell camera is a good value at $249. However, if you’re new to Vivint, you have a number of costs to consider. See our pricing section toward the beginning of this review.
Vivint not only offers professional installation, they require it. That’s why we recommend Vivint to people who aren’t so handy around the home. They’ll take care of the dirty work for you.
Vivint.com. (2020). Home Security System Provider.
Vivint. Wikipedia. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
Wall Street Journal. Wursthorn, M. (2012, September 18). Blackstone to Buy Vivint in $2 Billion Deal.
Fast Company. (2017, February 3). Why Vivint Smart Home Is One Of The Most Innovative Companies Of 2017.
Vivint Gives Back. (2020). Fund to Support Children with Intellectual Disabilities.