Eufy Security Video Doorbell review: Why pay more?
“Pin-sharp UHD video, responsive performance, and no subscriptions make the Eufy Security Video Doorbell a great value pick.”
- High-quality UHD video
- Straightforward installation
- Compact design
- Easy-to- use app
- No ongoing subscriptions
- Easy to scuff and scratch
- Hardware runs hot
- Some app stability issues with livestreaming
The Eufy Security Video Doorbell is Anker’s first attempt to crack the rapidly growing smart doorbell market. It’s priced at $160 — significantly cheaper than leading doorbells like Nest Hello ($229) and Ring Video Doorbell Pro ($249). While you may anticipate a device with an “entry-level” price point to be short on features or performance, this new model actually offers some advantages over pricier competitors in some areas.
An integrated camera supporting 2K UHD video (2560 x 1920 resolution) and High Dynamic Range tops both Nest and Ring on image quality. A wide, 160-degree field of view, night vision, and person detection are standard features we’d expect to find on a smart doorbell and they are included here. But where most smart doorbells send recorded video clips to the cloud (with accompanying access subscription), the Eufy Video Doorbell supports local storage. An embedded 4GB eMMC storage module offers up to 30-days of video clips with no subscription required.
If you’re concerned, as we were initially, that a lack of cloud storage prevents remote access to live video streaming, recorded clips, and caller notifications, then relax. The Eufy Security Video Doorbell is available whether you’re at home, at the office, or on the road.
Slim hardware scratches easily
Wired doorbells are typically slimmer and more stylish than their battery-powered counterparts, and the Eufy Security Video Doorbell is no exception. That said, while solidly built, the black, candy bar-like design is less graceful than the curvy Nest Hello, and we’re not fans of the large logo that dominates the center of the device. The glossy, piano-black front face of the device adds a touch of class, but we were disappointed to see scuffs and scratches appear quickly, despite careful handling.
Local storage option complements its no subscription required service.
Installation of a wired doorbell is more complicated than wireless devices. Anyone with basic home improvement experience should find the job straightforward, thanks to the clear instructions and in-app guidance. But if you’re uncomfortable working with electrical cable and a drill, a wireless doorbell like the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is a more convenient choice.
The Eufy doorbell connects to existing 16-24V AC doorbell wiring, which is common to most North American homes. Unlike Nest Hello, which connects to and uses your existing mechanical doorbell chime, Anker supplies a stand-alone electronic chime that sounds (a little too quietly) when the doorbell button is pressed. Clearly labeled packs of jumper cables and screws ease the complexity of installation, but you may prefer to hire a qualified electrician for the job, particularly if your home is equipped with multiple chimes.
Despite its budget price, Anker hasn’t scrimped on the accessories required to get you up and running. A flat metal rear bracket and 15-degree angled wedge mount are included to allow you to find an optimal position for the doorbell. We were also pleased to see the inclusion of cable extensions and wire nuts in the box to simplify connecting the doorbell to our existing wiring. Once the bell is connected and powered on, the accompanying electronic chime conveniently plugs into a power outlet and communicates wirelessly with the doorbell. Our installation took around 15 minutes and was issue-free.
Responsive notifications and high-quality imaging
In use, we found the Eufy Security Video Doorbell to work reasonably well, although we did encounter some connectivity issues during our tests. When the doorbell button was pressed, or the camera detected motion, we received a notification on our phone almost immediately. When tapped, a live video stream opens, supporting two-way audio or a small selection of canned messages, which can be triggered to respond to callers. As we find with most smart doorbells, the audio quality from Eufy’s integrated microphone and speaker was limited, but reasonably clear, without lag or echo.
The rear-mounted bracket is equipped with thermal pads to dissipate heat.
We were impressed by the doorbell’s sharp daytime imaging and accurate colors. Even on a dark, stormy day, Eufy’s HDR-enabled camera was able to produce well-illuminated video of our covered porchway, with decent contrast. The camera’s night vision feature also impressed, delivering bright images at long range, although we’d like to have seen a little more contrast.
Compared to most smart doorbells we’ve tested, we noticed that Anker’s hardware runs quite hot. So much so that the rear mounted bracket is equipped with thermal pads to dissipate the heat, which gives a slight cause for concern. During tests, we did encounter some reliability issues with the Eufy Security app when viewing live video from the doorbell. On some occasions, audio was available, but live video refused to stream. Other times, the app simply crashed when the livestream was triggered.
Easy-to-use app with some rough edges
The Eufy Security app itself is mostly well designed and simple to use, although we did notice a number of poorly translated sentences in the user interface that should have been cleaned up during testing. Aside from these issues, which we’d expect to be resolved quickly in a future update, we found the app easy to use, with captured clips neatly laid out in a timeline view and available to download and share with just a couple of taps.
We were also pleased to see a comprehensive selection of settings that can be used to tweak the doorbell’s features and performance. You can adjust motion sensitivity, configure activity zones to reduce false notifications, tweak video quality and bandwidth requirements, adjust notification content to reduce delays, and much more. While most users may prefer to “set and forget” their system, smart home administrators who like to personalize or optimize the performance of their kit can tinker with glee.
Anker supports all Eufy smart home products with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The Eufy Security Video Doorbell is further protected by a 1-year limited warranty.
The Eufy Security Video Doorbell is an attractive choice for those seeking to upgrade doorstep security without breaking the bank. Straightforward installation, responsive performance, and high-quality imaging ensure the device competes effectively against class-leading doorbells, while a low price and no ongoing subscription requirements guarantee good value.
As with other Eufy smart home products we’ve reviewed, the hardware and accompanying app arrive with a couple of rough edges and reliability concerns, such as heat output and live video connectivity, some of which should be fixable in future updates. Overall, the Eufy Security Video Doorbell is a solid debut for Anker and a strong choice for bargain-hunters.
Is there a better alternative?
If you’re concerned about installing a wired doorbell, or your home lacks the necessary wiring, the wireless Ring Video Doorbell 2 is an easy pick. Then again, its cheap construction and chunky form factor make it less stylish than a wired device. Those seeking a premium blend of style, sophistication, and intelligence should look no further than Nest Hello, which offers a more attractive design and advanced features like facial recognition.
How long will it last?
We have a couple of concerns with the longevity and reliability of this debut Eufy doorbell. We believe the app connectivity issues we encountered can be fixed with software updates, but Anker’s hardware runs much hotter than other doorbells we’ve tested, requiring the inclusion of thermal pads on the doorbell’s rear bracket. We also found that the glossy front face of the device scuffed easily during installation, leaving visible marks despite careful handling.
Should you buy it?
Despite a few minor issues, the Eufy Security Video Doorbell is a great value upgrade for your porch.
- Eufy to update its video doorbell and smart security cameras
- Arlo Pro 3 review: A smart choice
- The best smart locks for 2019
- Amazon discounts Ring video doorbells by up to 52% off for Cyber Week
- Nest Hello adds spooky chimes to greet trick-or-treaters this Halloween