Wemo Smart Video Doorbell review: The new HomeKit doorbell of choice

2

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 43
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 573member, editor
    Total Fail. Need a battery version. 
    Sorry, but so many people these days do not have wires for their doorbells. No new houses in the UK have wires installed. 
    I would still say most homes have doorbells but regardless, HomeKit does not allow wireless, battery powered cameras or doorbell cameras. The one that does exist -- Arlo -- requires a hub and doesnt support HomeKit Secure Video.
    watto_cobraStrangeDays
  • Reply 22 of 43
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 573member, editor
    So the Wemo has a wider viewing angle than the Logitech, and the Logitech provides color night vision, excellent HDR (more important than many realize until it’s installed and being used), costs $50 less, and looks less like something you’d have an oncologist look at.
    Except the Logitech has had systematic overheating issues. And even if this doesn't have as good HDR, it hasn't impacted the video quality of people on my porch. Just the far background. With the wider field of view, I'd go Wemo. I mean, with the Logitech I couldn't see my doormat. I couldn't tell if there was a package here or not. That's a huge issue for the Logitech.
    watto_cobraStrangeDays
  • Reply 23 of 43
    Total Fail. Need a battery version. 
    Sorry, but so many people these days do not have wires for their doorbells. No new houses in the UK have wires installed. 
    I would still say most homes have doorbells but regardless, HomeKit does not allow wireless, battery powered cameras or doorbell cameras. The one that does exist -- Arlo -- requires a hub and doesnt support HomeKit Secure Video.
    No! As I said, Eufy do HSV battery cameras. They work well, with or without the solar power option.  
    https://support.eufylife.com/s/article/HomeKit-Secure-Video-Compatible-on-eufyCam-2-2C-2-Pro-2C-Pro

    Their PIR activates the camera when motion is detected. HomeKit processes the video stream as expected. 
    edited January 2022 watto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 43
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 573member, editor
    Total Fail. Need a battery version. 
    Sorry, but so many people these days do not have wires for their doorbells. No new houses in the UK have wires installed. 
    I would still say most homes have doorbells but regardless, HomeKit does not allow wireless, battery powered cameras or doorbell cameras. The one that does exist -- Arlo -- requires a hub and doesnt support HomeKit Secure Video.
    No! As I said, Eufy do HSV battery cameras. They work well, with or without the solar power option.  
    https://support.eufylife.com/s/article/HomeKit-Secure-Video-Compatible-on-eufyCam-2-2C-2-Pro-2C-Pro

    Their PIR activates the camera when motion is detected. HomeKit processes the video stream as expected. 
    So, Arlo doesn’t do HSV. Eufy does, but requires a hub. You can’t have a battery-powered HomeKit camera without a hub. The ones that are battery powered get around this by using that hub. Whenever HomeKit checks in, it asks the hub, not the camera. Then when the camera detects motion it sends it to the Eufy hub which then sends it to HomeKit. Most people don’t want additional hubs, so it’s a trade off at this point. Since most homes still have doorbell, this works for a lot of people 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 43
    Total Fail. Need a battery version. 
    Sorry, but so many people these days do not have wires for their doorbells. No new houses in the UK have wires installed. 
    I would still say most homes have doorbells but regardless, HomeKit does not allow wireless, battery powered cameras or doorbell cameras. The one that does exist -- Arlo -- requires a hub and doesnt support HomeKit Secure Video.
    No! As I said, Eufy do HSV battery cameras. They work well, with or without the solar power option.  
    https://support.eufylife.com/s/article/HomeKit-Secure-Video-Compatible-on-eufyCam-2-2C-2-Pro-2C-Pro

    Their PIR activates the camera when motion is detected. HomeKit processes the video stream as expected. 
    So, Arlo doesn’t do HSV. Eufy does, but requires a hub. You can’t have a battery-powered HomeKit camera without a hub. The ones that are battery powered get around this by using that hub. Whenever HomeKit checks in, it asks the hub, not the camera. Then when the camera detects motion it sends it to the Eufy hub which then sends it to HomeKit. Most people don’t want additional hubs, so it’s a trade off at this point. Since most homes still have doorbell, this works for a lot of people 
    Yup. Agreed @Andrew_OSU ;
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 43
    Appreciate the review.

    A bit clunky looking. Here Arizona, most of the houses are stucco. I would think there would be a lot of gaps and would not look good on the wall.

    Probably, have to go with a multi-camera security system instead.

    FYI: Our neighbor has a doorbell camera...UPS truck was being "followed/stalked" by package their. The UPS driver delivered a set of expensive golf clubs...The thief just parked his car in the middle of the road, when and grabbed the large package. The neighbor saw it on the camera, ran outside and go the license plat number and call the police. Haven't heard anything, but pretty the thief is toast. :)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 27 of 43
    I haven’t lived in a property with a wired doorbell for almost 20 years. Are wired doorbells normal in some countries? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 43
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,766member
    mr lizard said:
    I haven’t lived in a property with a wired doorbell for almost 20 years. Are wired doorbells normal in some countries? 
    My mother recently had her entire home rewired. And the contractor, according to local building codes, replaced her battery doorbell with a wired one. So…maybe. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 29 of 43
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,941member
    great15p said:
    How much better is this vs the Nest Hello wired doorbell? 

    Can I bypass my doorbell chime and if so what can I use to know that someone is ringing the doorbell? Will the HomePod mini work? 

    Is there a monthly fee? 
    24/7 recording or even recording only?
    Yes you can bypass the chime, it is a toggle on setup. HomePod mini and OG HomePod will also work as chimes if you want. You can to set exactly what chimes. There is no monthly fee, other than iCloud. No 24/7 recording, but will record any time there is motion.
    You can set which HomePods chime, but can you select or customize different chime sounds? As I mentioned previously, these options (or lack of options) are not visible in Home App settings without first having bought and set up a HK doorbell. I was hoping since you can see those settings you might share some detail on that, if you’re willing.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 30 of 43
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 573member, editor
    AppleZulu said:
    great15p said:
    How much better is this vs the Nest Hello wired doorbell? 

    Can I bypass my doorbell chime and if so what can I use to know that someone is ringing the doorbell? Will the HomePod mini work? 

    Is there a monthly fee? 
    24/7 recording or even recording only?
    Yes you can bypass the chime, it is a toggle on setup. HomePod mini and OG HomePod will also work as chimes if you want. You can to set exactly what chimes. There is no monthly fee, other than iCloud. No 24/7 recording, but will record any time there is motion.
    You can set which HomePods chime, but can you select or customize different chime sounds? As I mentioned previously, these options (or lack of options) are not visible in Home App settings without first having bought and set up a HK doorbell. I was hoping since you can see those settings you might share some detail on that, if you’re willing.
    Hi! At this point, Apple still doesn't allow different chimes. There is one chime option and you can toggle it on or off.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 43
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,941member
    AppleZulu said:
    great15p said:
    How much better is this vs the Nest Hello wired doorbell? 

    Can I bypass my doorbell chime and if so what can I use to know that someone is ringing the doorbell? Will the HomePod mini work? 

    Is there a monthly fee? 
    24/7 recording or even recording only?
    Yes you can bypass the chime, it is a toggle on setup. HomePod mini and OG HomePod will also work as chimes if you want. You can to set exactly what chimes. There is no monthly fee, other than iCloud. No 24/7 recording, but will record any time there is motion.
    You can set which HomePods chime, but can you select or customize different chime sounds? As I mentioned previously, these options (or lack of options) are not visible in Home App settings without first having bought and set up a HK doorbell. I was hoping since you can see those settings you might share some detail on that, if you’re willing.
    Hi! At this point, Apple still doesn't allow different chimes. There is one chime option and you can toggle it on or off.
    Darn. Thanks for reporting in on that.

    I found the Apple feedback page and made a pitch for adding options and customization for that. It's truly a "first world problem," but with years of having all the iPhone ringtone options as a thing, you would think that would be the first thought they'd have for HomePods and doorbells.

    I can't find any info on this in the HomePod/HP mini specifications, but is data storage space really tight on HomePods? Presumably a doorbell ringtone would have to live on the HP itself, but a 10 or 20-second AAC file can't be very big, and they'd only need to store the current choice on the HP. Plus, they could monetize the option. Who wouldn't pay $1 to have Samuel L. Jackson yell at you to Answer the damn door! (Don't deny it. You just heard that in Samuel L. Jackson't voice as you read it.)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 32 of 43
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 573member, editor
    AppleZulu said:
    AppleZulu said:
    great15p said:
    How much better is this vs the Nest Hello wired doorbell? 

    Can I bypass my doorbell chime and if so what can I use to know that someone is ringing the doorbell? Will the HomePod mini work? 

    Is there a monthly fee? 
    24/7 recording or even recording only?
    Yes you can bypass the chime, it is a toggle on setup. HomePod mini and OG HomePod will also work as chimes if you want. You can to set exactly what chimes. There is no monthly fee, other than iCloud. No 24/7 recording, but will record any time there is motion.
    You can set which HomePods chime, but can you select or customize different chime sounds? As I mentioned previously, these options (or lack of options) are not visible in Home App settings without first having bought and set up a HK doorbell. I was hoping since you can see those settings you might share some detail on that, if you’re willing.
    Hi! At this point, Apple still doesn't allow different chimes. There is one chime option and you can toggle it on or off.
    Darn. Thanks for reporting in on that.

    I found the Apple feedback page and made a pitch for adding options and customization for that. It's truly a "first world problem," but with years of having all the iPhone ringtone options as a thing, you would think that would be the first thought they'd have for HomePods and doorbells.

    I can't find any info on this in the HomePod/HP mini specifications, but is data storage space really tight on HomePods? Presumably a doorbell ringtone would have to live on the HP itself, but a 10 or 20-second AAC file can't be very big, and they'd only need to store the current choice on the HP. Plus, they could monetize the option. Who wouldn't pay $1 to have Samuel L. Jackson yell at you to Answer the damn door! (Don't deny it. You just heard that in Samuel L. Jackson't voice as you read it.)
    I don't think it is a storage issue, I think it is likely just a feature they've yet to build out. They just barely started releasing HomeKit-enabled doorbells so it may take time for adoption to increase before they start offering alternative or even paid doorbell options.
    AppleZuluwatto_cobra
  • Reply 33 of 43
    When I was looking at the Netatmo doorbell, they require some additional mucking about with the existing chime, adding something that looks like it adjusts or limits power.

    No mention of something like that was made in this article; does that mean no such additions to the chime, or just that every such doorbell is going to need something like that so it's left out? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 34 of 43
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,268member
    Total Fail. Need a battery version. 
    Sorry, but so many people these days do not have wires for their doorbells. No new houses in the UK have wires installed. 
    I would still say most homes have doorbells but regardless, HomeKit does not allow wireless, battery powered cameras or doorbell cameras. The one that does exist -- Arlo -- requires a hub and doesnt support HomeKit Secure Video.
    No! As I said, Eufy do HSV battery cameras. They work well, with or without the solar power option.  
    https://support.eufylife.com/s/article/HomeKit-Secure-Video-Compatible-on-eufyCam-2-2C-2-Pro-2C-Pro

    Their PIR activates the camera when motion is detected. HomeKit processes the video stream as expected. 
    So, Arlo doesn’t do HSV. Eufy does, but requires a hub. You can’t have a battery-powered HomeKit camera without a hub. The ones that are battery powered get around this by using that hub. Whenever HomeKit checks in, it asks the hub, not the camera. Then when the camera detects motion it sends it to the Eufy hub which then sends it to HomeKit. Most people don’t want additional hubs, so it’s a trade off at this point. Since most homes still have doorbell, this works for a lot of people 

    I guess it depends on where you live and how old the construction is. In my area, homes that were built in the 50s - 70s most often do not have wired doorbells.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 35 of 43
    The Logitech Circle View is highly unstable with its connection to HomeKit. A quick search of discussions on both Apple and Logitech community sites shows how the Circle View will arbitrarily disconnect from the HomeKit. Worse, there seems to be no definitive solution whether it's the transformer or the heat/direct sunlight or software bug. It really is a disruptive issue that comes in unannounced waves...so much so I'm looking at replacing my 5-month old unit with this Belkin model.
    edited January 2022 watto_cobra
  • Reply 36 of 43
    mike1 said:
    ionicle said:
    Total Fail. Need a battery version. 
    Sorry, but so many people these days do not have wires for their doorbells. No new houses in the UK have wires installed. 
    Yes and no, i currently have a wireless one and changing the battery is a chore, im willing to whip out the drill and get some
    calking/silicone and do an install….. only has to be done once and then no more battery changes!

    From where would you get power? Drilling the hole is easy. Wiring is the pain-in-the-butt part.

    I too would like a battery-operated version. I already keep a spare battery for my Ring and swap out every 4-6 weeks. I wouldn't mind doing it more often if necessary to have this camera's functionality.
    Exactly on the power.   I have a battery Ring, but I live on street with a lot of pedestrian traffic and even on the least sensitive setting, it triggers a lot so we charge it every weekend.  I would love to get an electrician to runs some wires for me -- anyone know the number of hours something like that would take?  I'm assuming rates vary quite a bit by market (I'm in SF Bay Area) but number of hours should be similar
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 37 of 43
    I’m very happy with the solar panel charger on one of my Eufy cameras. Perhaps you can get something similar for your Ring?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 38 of 43
    Japhey said:
    Like I said previously, this will probably be my first smart doorbell. And, like I asked earlier…what material is the outside casing made from? Is it metal? Is it plastic? This information should be included in the review. 
    It will always be plastic for connectivity. The only metal one is the Robin ProLine because it uses PoE rather than Wi-Fi. Every other HomeKit doorbell is plastic. The mounting plate is metal though.
    Thanks.  I actually would prefer more PoE homekit devices, but understand why they favor wifi and Bluetooth (convenience).  I don’t mind and have run my own Ethernet cables in a 2 story home, so where I can I like to run them to avoid clogging up the air waves.

    I was unaware there was a PoE doorbell… not a fan of the commercial look though of the Robin ProLine for a residence.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 39 of 43
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,274member
    AppleZulu said:
    So the Wemo has a wider viewing angle than the Logitech, and the Logitech provides color night vision, excellent HDR (more important than many realize until it’s installed and being used), costs $50 less, and looks less like something you’d have an oncologist look at.
    This is an option that I don’t think a lot of people fully understand. Color night vision is implemented by having a bright visible-light spotlight that’s either always on or turns on with a motion sensor. 

    Black-and-white night vision is achieved using infrared lighting that isn’t visible to humans or animals (but is visible to the camera, which translates it into visible B&W for you and me). Looking directly at the camera, the most you’ll see at night are some very dim red LEDs. 

    It’s personal preference, but I don’t want doorbells and security cameras that disturb the natural nighttime darkness. Depending on proximity, your neighbors might not like that, either. 

    So for some of us, cameras and doorbells with “color night vision” are a firm nope
    Disagree on you lumping security cameras and video doorbells together with respect to white light and color night vision. 

    Doorbells are provided to allow visiting humans to summon the homeowner to the door, day and night. As such doorbells are typically installed on porches and entryways that have external lighting provided so visiting humans can see the door, safely climb stairs and stoops leading to the door, and locate the doorbell itself. 

    The lighting that is already installed to accommodate visitors approaching your doors (and garage entrance) at night are sufficient to enable color night vision on video doorbells, at least they are on all of my Ring video doorbells. The Ring cameras still have IR emitters to enable imaging without the normal external lighting that many (I’d say most) homeowners provide at entryways. Just my opinion, but not providing lights at home entrances is rather creepy, for visitors at least. I typically use dusk-to-dawn bulbs/fixtures at these points. 

    The color night vision setting and processing, at least on Ring cameras and doorbells, is a user defined optional setting. I can’t think of a single reason why having the option of color night vision would dissuade anyone from purchasing a particular video doorbell or camera. If you turn it on and there is insufficient white light to detect colors, e.g., you’ve turned the porch light off, the image processing reverts to using the IR illuminated imaging alone. 

    Security cameras may be a different story, especially if you are trying to make their presence non-obvious. But as long as the color processing reverts to IR when there isn’t sufficient white light, who cares if they can also detect color when there is white light available?

    One feature that isn’t discussed frequently enough imho for security cameras is whether they support imaging and motion detection when shooting through a window, which can be useful for a lot of folks. This can be an elusive feature to find because the IR emitters needed for night vision usually don’t tolerate having a reflective surface in front of the camera lens. At least for some Ring models like the Stickup Elite cameras, there is a setting that tells the camera that it’s shooting through a window so it turns off the IR emitters and relies on external ambient light for imaging. It’s kind of a niche use case, but it works quite well if you can’t put the camera on the exterior and have enough external lighting, say a streetlight or garage or barn light in the field of view. I use it very successfully.  

    The worst buzzkill limitations for me with either video doorbells or security cameras is the reliance on batteries followed by reliance on WiFi. If at all possible I avoid these, but I understand that not everyone can run PoE to every camera. I have one WiFi camera in my garage but it’s so close to an AP that I’ve had zero connectivity issues with it. Still, I wish it were PoE instead. 

    edited January 2022
  • Reply 40 of 43
    dewme said:
    The worst buzzkill limitations for me with either video doorbells or security cameras is the reliance on batteries followed by reliance on WiFi. If at all possible I avoid these, but I understand that not everyone can run PoE to every camera. I have one WiFi camera in my garage but it’s so close to an AP that I’ve had zero connectivity issues with it. Still, I wish it were PoE instead. 
    I'll take the bait @dewme and share my experience with the battery powered 2C Pro from Eufy 😊. It's very convenient from a no worries with cables point of view. I have one on just battery where a solar panel is awkward and the camera gets loads of traffic (Front). It's going to be a pain one way or another and isn't going to last anywhere near 180 days between charges. But 700 detected activations in 17 days is high. 

    The other is located in a great spot for a (morning sun) solar panel and gets less activity — so its battery is charging even in winter. It's on a tree away from the house, looking at the house. Fab for no wires. Something went haywire around the 7th and flattened the battery in a day (Front). I think one member of the household left his phone awake watching the HomeKit Video feed continuously!

    Yes Eufy needs a hub, but that sits in the garage on house WiFi and repeats its own 'bespoke' wifi to both units. Setup was painful, but it's all been ok for nearly 4 weeks now.


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