When it comes to video doorbells, the first thing that comes to mind is how wonderful they are at adding a sense of security to your dwelling. There is no doubt that they have really changed the security industry and put a lot of power into the hands of the consumer. However, the other thing that typically comes to mind is the monthly fee that comes with them. Most of them at least.
With popular names like Ring, Google (Nest), and Arlo, you also get monthly or yearly fees in order to make proper use of the doorbells. Although these are sometimes reasonable, they can add up as you add cameras and other features to your setup.
Not everyone wants to be attached to a monthly bill, so we wanted to go over some alternatives that you can get plenty of use out of without any subscription.
1) Amcrest 1080P Video Doorbell Camera Pro
Amcrest is a brand that is no stranger when it comes to cameras. The brand originated from the company “Foscam”, who eventually decided that they wanted to branch into a new path within the US, rebranding in the process. Amcrest became their new child which has since then developed into a huge portfolio of products. I’d almost say that the new brand has become more recognized than Foscam originally had.
Their 1080p video doorbell has proven to be quite a hit. You can see our unboxing of it here where we dove into some sample footage and what we liked about everything. The average price (at the time of this story) is around $100, and there is no monthly fee required as you can view live from their app and store video content to an onboard SD card (accessible from the app as well). So all you need is the doorbell, an SD card, and a Wi-Fi connection.
All three of the models we are focusing on today do make use of a proprietary app that works with their own products. So they won’t work directly with other smart home setups (ie, Z-Wave, Zigbee, HomeKit, etc). However, you can make use of Amazon Alexa as a sort of bridge if the rest of your system also supports Alexa (by setting up routines within Alexa and bringing the devices together). This Amcrest doorbell also supports Amazon’s Echo Show devices for viewing of the camera with.
2) Remo+ RemoBell S WiFi Video Doorbell
Remo has also built a name for itself. I remember when their booth was one of the smaller ones at the popular trade shows/conventions. Now, they have grown their reputation quite a bit since then, and one of the products that made this possible was their RemoBell S WiFi Video Doorbell. We had an interview with them last year briefly discussing it and have since seen it in action a few times. It seems to have a lot of promise to it and their customers seem to have a lot of great things to say as well. The latter part of that is what helped it earn a place on this list.
Like the Amcrest model, this one (currently) ranges at around $100, which isn’t bad since it was originally supposed to release at $149 per our discussion with them last year. The bonus to this one is that you also get cloud storage in addition to not paying any monthly fees. The only catch is that it is only 3-days worth of video timeline and there is no local storage option. The doorbell does have an SD card slot hidden behind the faceplate, but it apparently has no function (for now).
Like the Amcrest model, it also supports Amazon Alexa. However, the RemoBell also supports Google Assistant as well as IFTTT, which allows it to integrate with others in many other ways, including various online 3rd party services and scenes (via IFTTT).
3) eufy Security 2K Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
Our final contender is the eufy Security, a video doorbell with a 2K resolution for added detail. It has better clarity when it comes to things like license plates, name badges, text on clothes, and the sort. This gives it a decent boost when it comes to popularity, however, it is also a little more expensive than the other two. We also require more experience with eufy’s products before it can climb any higher in these lists. Either way, this model has grown a lot when it comes to comments made by their customers, which (again) is what really helped it earn a place here.
The average price right now is around $169 and sometimes falls a little during sales. So as mentioned, it is a bit more in price. Where is shines is the fact that it can be installed either wirelessly or wired. So you don’t have to have wires coming out of the wall in order to install it. It can be placed anywhere near your door that makes it convenient for you. It also stores the videos on a hub instead on an SD card directly in the doorbell. So if someone were to (for some reason) rip the doorbell off the wall and run away with it, you’d still have everything stored showing what happened (hey, it’s happened before). The hub is located inside your home and looks somewhat like a decorative piece. It features 16GB of storage inside and can be accessed via the app anytime. Some of their other camera models work with the base as well, bringing all the video into one storage location.
It also supports Amazon Alexa, including Amazon’s Echo Show devices. This is where it is limited though as it has very basic support for Google Assistant (nothing worth talking about for the moment). Hopefully, they work at adding better Google support in the future. They also have to work with Amazon to get their door/window sensors to function better with Alexa, as we have heard they do not properly trigger anything when used within Alexa routines. Although, this may not be limited to eufy sensors and this doesn’t have anything to do with their doorbell directly (so it doesn’t change our opinion of the doorbell itself).