[Review] Anker’s Eufy video doorbell is a smart home security upgrade you’ll want |


Anker’s Eufy brand builds a ton of smart home products, including some security devices. Whether you’re looking for wireless cameras or robot vacuums, they’ve got plenty of gadgets to stay competitive in today’s crowded market.

We reviewed their wireless video cameras, but the sister product to those cameras is the wireless video doorbell that promises high-resolution video recording, smart alerts, and peace of mind. But is it worth the investment next to the likes of Ring, Arlo, and Nest? Let’s find out.

Eufy Video Doorbell

The Eufy Security video doorbell takes a no-frills approach to high-performance. There’s no wireless, battery powered option here, so Anker is able to squeeze higher-resolution recording and better, more consistent alerts, and no extra headaches or wires to manage. That also means that it’s not quite plug-and-play, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The doorbell itself is pretty plain, offering a black design with a large button for visitors to ring. It lights up with a blue halo when it’s active, and offers two-way audio for both listening and communicating.

An extra chime is included, which is important since you’ll be disconnecting your existing doorbells to make this work. You’re also getting the usual suite of extra features like activity zones, automatic night switching, and more.

Installation

Installing a doorbell isn’t the worst thing in the world, but I’m not going to call it fun. There’s no option to plug in a battery that you recharge every six months, so you’ll have to rip your existing doorbell off, place a jumper in the transformer in your house to power everything, and get your wiring back in order. There’s no soldering required, but yanking wiring in and out of the hole for my existing doorbell was a bit of a headache.

You won’t need any kind of base station with the doorbell, which instead connects directly to your router and is set up via the Eufy Security app. If you happen to have other Eufy cameras, like their wireless security cameras, you’ll be able to see everything in one screen.

Total I probably spent about an hour getting everything straightened out, with the app setup obviously being the quickest part. But keep in mind that if you don’t have an existing doorbell in your house, you’re in for a much rougher time than I had. Anker doesn’t offer a battery powered video doorbell just yet.

Video and streaming performance

The video doorbell streams at 2560 x 1920 resolution, which is extremely crisp for a doorbell. You can scale that down to just full HD or a more space efficient full HD codec, just in case you’re trying to save storage space or don’t have a phone that handles 2K video very well. There’s 4GB of internal storage here, which shouldn’t fill up too quickly, but that does depend on how often people are ringing your doorbell or setting off alerts.

On top of the higher resolution, you’re also getting an HDR mode that can help brighten up images and keep everything totally visible, and even a distortion correction feature that fixes the fish-eye effect you get with some of these streams.

So yes, the recorded clips look fantastic from this doorbell. But where it really shines is how flexible it is when you set up how often it should be recording and alerting you. You can adjust tons of features in the app’s motion detection settings, including creating activity zones so you only get alerted when people are specifically coming to your door and not just passing by on the street. You can also control how sensitive it should be, so it will only try to pick up humans instead of animals or other objects. I kept that setting on 3/5 and got very few false positives, including no alerts for passing cars and only a couple of alerts for lawnmowers. No complaints there.

The night vision works very well, and it’s a very responsive doorbell. Once someone hits the button your indoor chime will play loud and clear, and you’ll immediately see an alert on your phone. And yes, you can use Google Assistant to sling the video stream up to your Android TV/Chromecast device. At least, assuming the doorbell stays connected.

For whatever reason, the Eufy Security app seems to give me some fits of random sign-outs and disconnects. It’s not common, but it does happen with seemingly no rhyme or reason. At first it was because I was trying to share my login with someone else, because it turns out that you have to create guest accounts to let someone else view your cameras. Easy fix, though.

But I have run into issues where the doorbell will sporadically be unable to stream, and I haven’t been able to pin it down. I’ve reached out to Anker about it and will update whenever I hear something back, but I also don’t think it’s a big enough detractor to not enjoy the doorbell. It also could just be a quirk with the doorbell trying to exist on my mesh network. Fortunately it’s not a common occurrence, happening maybe once a month, or twice on a bad month.

Eufy Video Doorbell: Worth it?

Once it’s all set up, it’s hard to dislike Eufy’s doorbell, even considering the few issues with the required app. The resolution and recording is excellent, and it’s very smart about not recording too much useless footage, if any at all. It’s easily accessible from other devices in your family, and it’s extremely easy to look back through a calendar of alerts should you ever need to pull any old video. Being stored locally also means that it never touches any cloud storage services anywhere, which is a plus for privacy and security. No external storage is unfortunate, but the 4GB of storage seems like it’ll last for several months before things start to overwrite, so that’s easy to look past.

At $159 it’s priced very aggressively next to Nest and Ring doorbells, too, especially considering the resolution. If you’re trying to tie it into another ecosystem then obviously something from Amazon or Google could make more sense, but it’s hard not to recommend Anker’s option when you consider everything else it has going for it.

Eufy Video Doorbell | $159 | EufyLife, Amazon


Born in southern Alabama, Jared spends his working time selling phones and his spare time writing about them. The Android enthusiasm started with the original Motorola Droid, but the tech enthusiasm currently covers just about everything. He likes PC gaming, Lenovo’s Moto Z line, and a good productivity app.




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