By Jim Rossman, The Dallas Morning News
Published: September 15, 2019, 6:00am
The Eufy Video Doorbell with wireless chime. Eufy/TNS
We’ve all seen videos of porch pirates stealing packages. Most of those are captured from video doorbells, which have become more and more popular.
I’ve had a video doorbell for a few years, and when my parents saw mine, they had to have one for their house, too.
It’s job to try the new things, so I recently took the Ring Pro off my front door and installed the Eufy my Video Doorbell ($159.99 at eufylife.com). Eufy is made by Anker, which makes great charging banks, USB chargers and cables (anker.com).
The Eufy Video Doorbell looks very much like the Ring Pro it replaced, but there are some big differences.
Unlike a battery-powered doorbell, the Eufy requires existing powered doorbell wires to work.
The Eufy doorbell works with 16- to 24-volt AC wiring. If your doorbell wiring isn’t right, you’ll see a red light to indicate that the voltage is too low.
You’ll also be bypassing your home’s doorbell chime, but you’ll replace it with an external wireless chime that Eufy includes in the box.
The Eufy doorbell includes an angled mounting bracket so you can mount the doorbell to get a better view of visitors to your front door.
Other doorbell manufacturers charge extra for external chimes and angled mounting brackets. Kudos to Eufy for including everything you need in the box.
The Eufy Video Doorbell captures 2K video (2,560 x 1,920 pixels), and it also has high dynamic range and distortion correction for the 160-degree ultra-wide-angle lens.
Eufy’s doorbell does not continuously record. It records 30-second clips based on motion. In fact, the recording begins as soon as it detects motion, even if the person doesn’t ring the bell.
When the bell detects motion, you can get a push message with a snapshot of the person’s face. This worked well on my phone and on my Apple Watch.
Touch the notification on your phone, and you’ll open the clip.
There’s night vision for seeing in the dark, and you can set up your own motion zone to limit false motion alerts. If your doorbell can see the street (like mine), you can define where you’d like the doorbell to watch and adjust the motion zone to not include the street.
The doorbell has four gigabytes of onboard storage. There is no cloud storage option. All your videos are encrypted (AES-256) and can only be played through the secure app on your phone or tablet.
The clips are retrieved from the doorbell and played back on the app with very little lag.
No cloud storage means there is no ongoing cost. Eufy says the onboard storage should be enough to store 30 clips per day for 30 days before the oldest clips are overwritten.
The doorbell has a speaker and a microphone, so you can speak with people at your door even if you are thousands of miles away.
There are also prerecorded messages you can play, such as “Excuse me, can I help you?” and “Please leave it at the door.”
You can also record a quick response and play it with the touch of a button.
If you’re having a party, with lots of in and out activity, you can set the motion alerts to snooze for a set period.
The Eufy Video Doorbell can also work with your Google Home or Amazon Alexa if they have a video screen.