Where some smart home gadgets can be described as somewhat frivolous, a smart doorbell is anything but. Not only do they act as security cameras, they allow you to answer the door even if you’re not home and instruct anyone making a delivery on what to do in your absence.

You can spend an awful lot on a doorbell these days but Ring’s Video Doorbell Wired shows that you it’s possible to get all the features you need without breaking the bank.

It keeps costs down by including only the essentials in the box, meaning you’re not wasting money on accessories that you don’t need. You can buy them, of course, if you do need them, but in many cases you won’t.

As the name suggests, the doorbell requires wires for power. But even if you don’t have a powered doorbell already, Ring sells a plug-in adaptor which makes installation easy if you have a mains socket somewhere near your front door.

The same Ring app is used for all its doorbells, so the experience is just as good as if you had the most expensive model and, surprisingly, the Doorbell Wired supports pre-roll just like the Doorbell Pro 2. That captures movement before motion was first detected, or the doorbell was pressed, so you get to see more of the event, unlike doorbells which only start recording the moment (or seconds after) something happened.

Smart Home Product of the Year: Ring Video Doorbell Wired

In between events, you can specify in the app that ‘photos’ are taken regularly which, again, helps you know what’s going on in the absence of a continuous recording option.

To record at all you’ll need to subscribe to Ring Protect, but it’s only a couple of pounds or dollars per month, and even less if you pay annually.

If you have an Amazon Echo Show, or a Fire TV Stick 4K Max, you can pair them up so the video feed appears when someone presses the doorbell, and Amazon Echo smart speakers can double up as chimes to alert anyone at home that someone’s at the door.

With a nice, wide field of view and decent HD image quality, the Video Doorbell Wired is easy to recommend and that’s why it lands the title of Best Smart Home Product of the Year 2021.

If you’re tempted to pick one up, you can buy the Ring Video Doorbell Wired right now:

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The Echo Show 10, Amazon’s most advanced smart display, has a rotating screen which faces you as you move around your room, and the camera keeps you centred on video calls. You can use it to watch video, listen to music and Alexa can answer questions and control your smart home devices.

Of the smart coffee machines we’ve seen and tested, the Lavazza Voicy is the first one that actually makes sense. It has a built-in smart speaker with Alexa, which at first sounds odd but if you’re limited on space and want to have a coffee machine and Amazon Echo, this compact unit uses just one mains socket.

Check out the rest of the Tech Advisor Awards for 2021.