There are times when we open our front doors to intruders simply because we do not know who is on the other side. How do we make sure this does not happen? The answer is simple: get a Doorbird.
Say it is late at night and someone’s ringing the doorbell. You hesitate opening the door without first knowing who it is, so you get your smartphone and launch the Doorbird app and you see that it’s your friend.
The Doorbird definitely helps keep us safe, but is it worth the price tag (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)?
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How does the Doorbird D101 work?
The Doorbird replaces your current doorbell. When somebody pushes your Doorbird doorbell, you will get an instant alerts on your tablet or smartphone and you will see who’s outside. You can even talk to your caller.
In fact, you do not even have to be at home to do all these. You can be anywhere in the world and still know who have come to visit you.
Doorbird is also becomes very useful if you are expecting some deliveries and you can tell the delivery guy to just leave the items in the shed or perhaps leave them with your next-door neighbors.
Some installation is definitely required and plug and play is the last adjective you’d use when describing the Doorbird. Depending on your current door bell and where you want to set up Doorbird, installation could take a while for
You would need to solder it, get junction boxes that are waterproof, drill and other stuff. It works with Wi-Fi, but otherwise the company recommends that you use power over Ethernet if you have it. If you do not want to bother with these all, the company can point you to trusted installers.
Features of the Doorbird D101
- Styling: The Doorbird D101 has a reinforced polycarbonate body and a wide variety of faceplates that allow you to get a matching look for your home. You can order brass, silver and black body, as well as different form factors and mounts, including fence mount, flush mount and postbox mount. It comes with a high definition doorbell camera that gives you 720 pixels and a 180-degree viewing angle.
- Visuals: At night, you can make use of 12 infrared LEDs. The night vision can illuminate people and things for up to 26 feet. Under the camera, you would find the motion detection sensor that can detect motion for 1800 degrees, a microphone intercom, the doorbell button that helpfully glows at night, and a light sensor that turns the camera’s night vision mode on.
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi connectivity. The Doorbird D101 connects to your Wi-Fi network using the 802.11 b/g/n protocol or it can connect to your home network via wired Ethernet. Power is provided using an AC power supply or power over Ethernet. The package includes the mounting plate, screws, wire connectors, terminal wires and cable ties, as well as the manuals and QR code to make authentication easier.
Features at a Glance
|Camera||720p, dynamic VGA – HDTV|
|Lens||High-end ultra wide-angle Hemispheric Lens
90° vertical, 180° horizontal
|Night vision||Automatic infrared-curt filter|
|Audio Components||Speaker and microphone with noise and echo cancellation technologies|
|Audio||Two-way streaming audio|
|Motion Sensor||Passive infrared|
|Operating Conditions||Can withstand temperatures of -20 to +40°C, and humidity of 10 to 85% RH. Waterproof according to IP54 industry standards|
|Dimensions||6.2 inches high x 2.9 inches wide x 1.4 inches thick|
|Doorbell Button||Stainless-steel button with illuminated LED Ring|
|Visitor History||Last 20 visitors|
There is a Doorbird app that you can download to use with your Android or iOS device. You can also use your desktop computer or laptop to access an HTML 5 page to do basically the same things that you can do with the apps.
Connecting your Doorbird with your network is pretty easy and straightforward using the app. And you can view the streaming video to see who is at your door. It also allows you to take a photo with just a press of a button.
Other features of the live view screen:
- Wi-Fi signal status: You would see the Wi-Fi signal status that lights up green when you have a good connection, yellow or red when the signal is weak or bad.
- Talk button: Allows you to talk to whoever is at the door.
- Infra-red button: Lights up the LED lights on the Doorbird doorbell and forces the camera to go into night vision mode.
- Door strike button: Activates the door strike if you have installed it.
Aside from the Live View screen, you also have the History Screen that shows you the last 20 visitors that you had, complete with a date and time stamp. You have the option to download these images to your mobile device or send them as an attachment to an e-mail.
The Settings screen allows you to activate the hands-free mode or to add a device. This is also where you could administer the devices and change your passwords, delete devices, add users who can see the live video or check the History screen, and set the tone that would sound when motion is detected.
Do more with Doorbird
Doorbird also comes with other optional attachments such as a door chime, window and door sensors, PIR Motion Sensor, smoke detector, and a 100 dB siren. What’s more, the Doorbird can work with your current smart systems such as an electric door opener and garage opener.
Already, the Doorbird has easy integrations with connected smarthome products such as Kisi, Kevo, digitalStrom, Volkswagen, Liftmaster Chamberlain or Control4. They also have an API available for other companies to follow suit.
What could make it better
The ability to record videos, on top of capturing a photo, would be a great addition. This way, the Doorbird could easily be used as a security camera as well.
Most security camera firms recommend having a security camera trained at your front doors as most home intrusions happen here, and having the Doorbird plus a separate security camera manning the same area separately is redundant and costly.
While the doorbell camera is one of the best you would find on a smart doorbell, the Doorbird really needs to upgrade its microphone and speaker intercom as there are times when communication is difficult because of poor audio.
While the Doorbird D101 promises meaningful integrations with other smart home components, you might have a hard time pairing your Doorbird with an IP camera network or other smart security products other than the ones mentioned above. And these products are usually niche security products.
An Alternative for the Doorbird
Ring Video Doorbellis one of the most popular Wi-Fi enabled doorbells available in the market today. And it presents a really great alternative to the Doorbird D101. For one, it is priced better (check this listing), significantly cheaper than the Doorbird.
It is also very easy to install with everything you need already included in the package. It also has a 720 pixel HD camera, but for some reason the images have lower resolutions and lower picture quality than the Doorbird.
It also uses up more upstream bandwidth (1,000 mbit per second vs. only 500 mbit/s
Moreover, if you have an existing doorbell door station system on your front door and garage door, the Ring doorbell won’t be able to work with them. You can check out my full review of the Ring here.
Yes, it is. The times when you are wondering who is in front of the door is finally over. This model uses wifi to display a photo of whoever is in front waiting for you to open, and that’s a really good investment especially if you have kids, and you want them to be safe when you are not at home.
Unfortunately no. While there are some video doorbells that also record a video and you can watch it later, this one lacks this feature for sure.
No, this model is doesn’t work with Alexa, so you will not be able to open the door by using the vocal command. However, the company is working on it, and this technology will be presented in their next models for sure.
The Final Verdict on the Doorbird D101
Video doorbells make your home safer and more secure by allowing you to see who’s at the door without having to open it. The Doorbird D101 , as seen from our Doorbird review, is a great product to consider as it has the best camera with sharp live feeds and a well-designed app, even when it is very basic and rudimentary.
It also has the most potential for more integration with other smart home systems in the future.
However, you really would have to be very patient when you’re installing it and it does feel like you are paying a premium for promised functionalities and integrations that may or may not come.
You could not help but think that if you are going to pay that much, the company behind Doorbird would have put in extra effort to make its product more enticing, easier to install, and have better features.
If you are in the market for a no-nonsense video doorbell, then Ring Doorbell with video is worth considering. But then, if you are into smart anything, then you might want to get the Doorbird with its expandability and integration potential with other smart systems in the future.
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!