Everything great about video doorbells, without the high price and subscription.
Original Link:Eufy Video Doorbell Review: No strings attached | iMore
15 Jul 2019 1
Smart video doorbells have gone mainstream over the course of the last few years, becoming the poster child of the connected home. These doorbells offer the convenience of being able to see and speak to whoever is at your door through your phone, when either the doorbell button is pressed or when motion is sensed. Security is also a large part of the appeal of connected doorbells, with package theft becoming all too common, allowing owners to fight back when it comes to their precious deliveries.
ABOVE AND BEYOND
Eufy Video Doorbell: The features
The Eufy Video Doorbell features a compact, all-black, design, somewhat resembling the shape of a traditional doorbell. A large circular button illuminated by a ring of light sits toward the bottom of the unit, which makes it easy for guests to identify that it is in fact, a doorbell. The camera portion of the doorbell sits near the top of the device and the lens is clearly visible, with Eufy making no attempts to hide the fact that someone is watching your every move toward the front door. Since the doorbell was made for outdoor placement, it was designed with weather resistance in mind, allowing it to withstand temperatures ranging from -4 all the way up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, and has an IP65 weatherproof rating.
Image quality from the built-in camera is clear, and visitors are easily identifiable thanks to its native 2K resolution (2560 x 1920) and 4:3 aspect ratio. The camera also supports HDR and infrared illumination, which helps to ensure that your front door area is visible in all parts of the day. In testing, toggling HDR on instantly cleared up an issue that I saw after the initial installation with part of our view due to a high level of brightness. Using the HDR option did produce instances where an “outline” was visible around people or objects, due to the varying levels of brightness, but it is a small price to pay to have video in a somewhat difficult spot. Another image setting is available for distortion correction, which removes some of the fish-eye view that doorbell cameras are notorious for. In our case, this setting removed a couple of spots near the corner of the camera view that you could clearly see the camera housing in, making the view much cleaner.
When a motion event occurs, either just from someone passing by or when someone rings the doorbell, notifications were sent almost instantly. Rich notifications are sent from the iOS App, with a thumbnail being provided along with the type of alert. In most cases, the Eufy Security App attempts to crop the thumbnail image in the notification so that only the face of the person at your door is shown, but for whatever reason, this was not always the case. Tapping on an alert brings you immediately to the live camera view, with it loading in just a second or two, which was quite impressive. By default, the microphone option is inactive during the live view, requiring a tap on the associated icon to start the conversation. Audio coming from the doorbell’s speaker was loud and clear, as well as with the audio being routed from the microphone outdoors to the App.
Eufy Video Doorbell: What I like
The Eufy Video Doorbell was incredibly simple to install, thanks in part to clearly labeled packaging inside the box that referred to specific steps in the included instruction manual. The entire installation took me around 20 minutes, but I could easily see this taking half the time if installing it on a wood surface where the only tool needed is a screwdriver. Pairing the doorbell to the Eufy Security iOS App was also surprisingly fast and easy, just requiring creating an account and connecting it to Wi-Fi.
Eufy even managed to include customizable motion zones and AI-based recognition technology that can determine who or what passed by the camera.
I was also pleasantly surprised to see a plug-in chime unit included with the video doorbell, which are optional purchases with other products on the market. Just like with pairing the doorbell, the chime synced quickly after plugging it in. Speaking of audio, I really enjoyed the quick response feature that is available when viewing your doorbells video feed. This feature allows you to “talk” to whoever is at your door using 3 preset responses, such as “leave it at the door” or “we will be right there” with just a tap. The most interesting part of this is that you can record up to 3 additional quick responses within the Eufy Security App. I can certainly imagine some “creative” uses for this feature, and I will admit, I have already set up some that I can use with close friends or family.
Of course, the most compelling feature is that the Eufy Video Doorbell does not require a subscription, something that has unfortunately become synonymous with this type of device. In fact, there are no subscription options at all, as video events are stored on the doorbell’s 4gb of built-in memory, and sent securely to the accompanying App when you are ready to view. Eufy even managed to include customizable motion zones and AI-based recognition technology that can determine who or what passed by the camera. This prevents nuisance notifications from being sent for things such as cars or pets, all included for free.
HEY SIRI, WHERE ARE YOU?
Eufy Video Doorbell: What I don’t like
Even though Eufy was part of the announcement for Apple’s upcoming HomeKit Secure Video feature, this video doorbell does not support HomeKit or Siri in any fashion. This means that all interactions with the doorbell must go through the Eufy Security App, and it is not available to use with HomeKit’s powerful automation features. While the Eufy Security App is easy to navigate and offers a plethora of features, it was not made for iPad, forcing users to use a blown-up iPhone view which limits video and the user interface to a much smaller size and just feels all sorts of wrong. Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant are compatible, with voice commands summoning a live view of the doorbell’s camera on eligible devices which offers some consolation, but HomeKit support is sorely missed.
On the hardware side of things, the eufy Security doorbell only comes in one color, black. This is understandable, as it is neutral and will work with most outdoor decor, but I would have liked to have seen a few more color choices. To install the doorbell, existing doorbell wiring must be available as eufy’s offering does not have an internal battery, which could limit its potential audience. I also did not like having to place a jumper on my existing doorbell chime as it forces all of the doorbell’s sounds to come directly from the camera and the included chime. Finally, I would have liked to have seen drill bits included for installation on surfaces other than wood. Some of eufy’s competitors offer these inside the box, ensuring you have everything you need.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Eufy Video Doorbell
4.5 out of 5
The Eufy Video Doorbell is an easy to install solution that offers all of the same features that the best doorbells on the market provide, without the high price and subscription. This doorbell offers high definition 2K video, HDR, facial recognition technology, two-way audio, and includes a chime that works anywhere around the home ensuring that you never miss a visitor. Alerts are sent almost instantly to connected devices when a motion event occurs, and the live view is fast and responsive, making it visible within a matter of seconds. Lack of HomeKit support aside, the Eufy Video Doorbell is without a doubt one of the best options around and is easy to recommend to anyone looking for high-quality features with no strings attached.