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Why should a smart doorbell look just like any other doorbell? That’s certainly not what Jacob Jensen is doing with its new wireless product.
What we have here is the doorbell that science fiction writers dream of, at least when it comes to looks and first impressions.
However, does it work, is it better and just how smart is it? Those are the questions that we plan to answer in this review. Certainly we’re interested to see just how smart the doorbell can become, as designers try and cram even more features into ever smarter products.
At $149 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here), plus $39 Jacob Jensen Wireless Doorbell for an extra buzzer (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) , the Jacob Jensen Wireless Doorbell aims to be different.
According to the marketing, it comes with award winning design, but a German Plus X award, where the company has to send its product in for review, isn’t going to mean much to cutting edge smart home buyers in the States.
If the name isn’t familiar to you, then Jacob Jensen is a Danish designer primarily famous for his work on Bang and Olufsen home entertainment systems.
He passed on last year, but his company is still pushing out his latest designs, including phones, weather stations, smoke alarms and other smarter than the average gadget products.
Beyond the styling, more practical benefits include a loud and adjustable volume control, so you can set the doorbell to a level that you can hear around your home, with plenty of audio power if you have an office attic or spend most of your time in the garden.
Pros of the Jacob Jensen Wireless Doorbell
You can easily see why the Jensen wireless doorbell won its award, it does look very stark and sci-fi, something Iron Man might use to learn his guests have arrived. It is only available in one design, but with a silver and black look, the doorbell is made from steel and acrylic glass to give it a long lasting casing.
Returning to the practicalities, it has an audio range of 150 meters (450 feet), so you can place the bell unit anywhere in most homes, where it will be easiest
It can be placed on a shelf or table, or attached to a wall. If you have multiple entrances or doors, that extra buzzer (or more, if you have a crazy number of entry points) can trigger a different sound so you know where to greet people.
Pairing bells to the unit is a matter of setting a bank of dip switches, just a moment’s work. The ringer can be attached outside by double-sided tape or a backplate can be screwed into the wall.
Talking of sounds, there are five tones, including a low frequency one for the hard of hearing, plus a flashing LED for the deaf, which also doubles as a low battery indicator.
Tones are polyphonic and include a town bell, Asian bell tune, lounge tune or the sound of someone knocking at a wooden door for traditionalists, all providing a stylish announcement. The volume can be set to low, high or off.
Finally, the bell unit is weatherproof and everything comes with a two year manufacturer’s warranty.
Cons of the Jacob Jensen Wireless Doorbell
This is a lot of money for a doorbell, so this is pretty much a style and performance decision. You can stick with a less impressive, less costly looking model and it might work, for a while, it might work forever, but with the Jensen, you are guaranteed craftsmanship, quality and performance.
All this wireless power requires a lot of juice, with the system requiring six AA cells for the chime and two Lithium CR2032 cells for the button unit. They are provided and are supposed to last around two years, we’ll get back to you on that one after one of All Home Robotics’ longest ever tests.
While the unit is claimed by the makers not to interfere with any other wireless devices around the home, there are a few reports that it can cause trouble with some garage door openers, so you might want to check frequencies and compatibility before you buy.
Given most homes that would go for the Jensen would likely have a smart garage door opener, that might be worth checking out. Some users also report a random ringing which could be interference or a faulty unit.
Other than that, the obvious criticisms are that there’s no smartphone interaction, no use of a video camera in that stylish bell for identification purposes or any of the other features that we could consider typically smart of a modern doorbell.
If the wiring is old in your house, or you don’t want to mess about with drills, then a wireless doorbell solution is the way to go. Many are available dirt cheap from home supplies stores, but they are usually made of plastic, cheap and don’t last long.
The Jacob Jensen Wireless Doorbell might not be the smartest on the market but it is one of the best looking and will certainly last. It might also kick off an obsession with Jacob Jensen’s large range of home products, which could seriously damage your bank balance.
Overall, the Jensen makes a fine impression, but isn’t really going to appeal to hardcore smarthome types who want to see cutting edge technology in all their products. If you just want a doorbell, then this is one of the pricier models.
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!