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Video doorbells can make your home safer and more secure by allowing you to see who is at the opposite side of your door even without opening it. They also allow you to see who’s at the door even when you are not home. The VueBell Smart Doorbell might be a solution, but let’s see. What if you have a smart lock?
And if you have a smart lock, you can open the door for your visitor even if you are still on your way home.
How much is this kind of security and convenience worth to you? The good news is that there are now capable video doorbells that are under $100. One example is the VueBell Smart Doorbell.
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Features of VueBell Smart Doorbell
The main features of the VueBell Smart Doorbell include:
High-definition camera. The VueBell Smart Doorbell produces high-definition images of 1280 X 720 pixels. You can also set it to lower resolutions at 640 x 360 pixels or 320 x 180 pixels to reduce the file sizes of your photos and videos. You can also set the resolution in auto mode.
It also has a focus of 1.3 mm while lens speed is at f/n 2.5. The camera on the VueBell Smart Doorbell has a wide view at 185 degrees. It has a vertical viewing angle of 118 degrees.
That means that the camera can see a man standing six feet in height as well as small child. It also ensures that you can see anybody and anything standing outside your front door.
The camera also has automatic white balance adjustment and automatic gain control, which is responsible for better quality photos and videos even in low light conditions. Furthermore, the camera has a maximum of 8x digital zoom.
Powerful Wi-Fi. You can install the VueBell doorbell within 100 meters from your Wi-Fi router if there is no interference in between.
Sharing. You and everybody in your home will be able to get notifications if somebody presses on your doorbell. This is secured and will ensure that you and the rest of your housemates will get notified when somebody’s at the door.
Weatherproof. The VueBell has an IP54 weatherproof rating, which means that it is protected from water spray from any direction and that it can withstand a little bit of dust.
Indoor unit. The VueBell Smart Doorbell includes an indoor unit that will sound if somebody presses your doorbell. This way, you do not only rely on your smartphone to know if there is somebody there.
This is perfect for households with small children and those who do not own a smartphone. It also means that you do not have to carry your smartphone around the house and at all times.
Passive infrared sensor and motion detector. The VueBell Smart Doorbell can detect movements within three meters outside your door.
Infrared night vision. The doorbell also has eight infrared LEDs that can help you see things even at night. You can capture a clear photo at night within five meters.
Video and audio formats. The camera records videos on H.264 MPEG-4 AVC format with AAC full duplex audio. It can stream videos at 30 frames per second with a maximum bit rate of 2 Mbp.
What you would like about the VueBell Smart Doorbell
The VueBell Smart Doorbell has everything that you would expect from a top-of-the-line video doorbell, including an HD camera that is designed to deliver sharp and clear images even at night or in low light conditions.
It has a motion detector and PIR, adding another layer of protection by alerting you (even sending you a snapshot) when somebody’s at the door even without them ringing the doorbell.
It has a one-way video stream and two-way audio, allowing you to talk to people outside your door without you needing to open it first.
And yes, you can have your cake and eat it too! The VueBell Smart Doorbell, with all of its features, is available on Amazon for only $99.
What could be better?
For a video doorbell, it does not have the modern look that you would expect. It looks like the insides of an old CD player and people might have a hard time figuring out that it is a doorbell.
Also, it does have an indoor unit that does not have a screen. While it has an indoor chime that would tell you if somebody’s at the door ringing your doorbell, you would still need to have your smartphone with you if you want to see who it is.
It would have been better if the VueBell included a screen that would also stream what the camera sees outside.
The VueBell Smart Doorbell allows you to see people who are at the door, even before they ring the doorbell. However, it does not come with easy integrations with other connected devices.
For instance, if you get an alert that your friend is at the door, you would have to open another mobile app in order to unlock your smart lock to let your friend in. Conversely, if the doorbell detects movements, it will send you a notification and a snapshot of what’s moving outside.
But, for instance, if you want to turn on your smart porch lights, you would again have to open yet another mobile app to do so.
Measuring slightly more than 3 inches on all sides and more than an inch thick, the VueBell Smart Doorbell takes up a lot of real estate.
Furthermore, the mobile app is prone to crashes and bugs. While the company is continuously improving on the app experience, this may affect notifications that you get on your mobile phone as well as cast doubts on the reliability of the doorbell itself.
Lastly, the installation process can be quite complicated, considering that you are replacing your current doorbell. Fortunately, the company has provided an easy-to-follow installation guide.
Alternatives to Consider
Reviewing the VueBell Smart Doorbell begs a comparison with the top video doorbells in the market today: Ring Video Doorbell and SkyBell.
VueBell, Ring, and Skybell all have an accompanying mobile app that allows you to see video feeds from your front door and alerts you if somebody pressed on your doorbell or if movements are detected outside your door. All three also have two-way communication and are weather-resistant.
Price-wise, however, VueBell is the cheapest, with Ring Video Doorbell costing $179 on Amazon and SkyBell being priced at $199, also on Amazon, against VueBell’s less than $100. Yet, it delivers the same HD video resolutions at 720 pixels, and even topping SkyBell’s 640 x 480 pixels VGA resolution.
It also has a wider field of view at 185 degrees, as compared against Ring Video Doorbell’s 180 degrees and SkyBell’s 120 degrees. In sum, VueBell’s camera has better specs than both the more expensive SkyBell and Ring Video Doorbell.
However, if you are concerned about aesthetics, you should consider Ring Video Doorbell or SkyBell. Ring Video Doorbell has that polished and elegant look, with four finishes to choose from: satin nickel, polished brass, antique brass, and Venetian bronze. Meanwhile, SkyBell is available in bronze or silver finish.
VueBell Smart Doorbell is only available in white and suffers from the bland design and cheap-looking plastic construction. Also, Ring has a rectangular form factor that is 2.43 inches wide and 4.98 high, while SkyBell has a round form factor with a diameter of 2.8 inches. Both of them are less than an inch thick.
In short, if you currently have a doorbell that is close to your door jamb, VueBell might not fit properly because of the bigger space it occupies and its square form factor that’s more than three inches at all sides. If this is the case, choose between the smaller Ring and SkyBell.
Furthermore, both the Ring Video Doorbell and the VueBell offer cloud access that allows you to access past recordings and photos, although you would need to pay for it. SkyBell, on the other hand, relies on live video streaming.
However, SkyBell is compatible with Apple HomeKit, while Ring can easily be paired with smart hubs and smart locks such as LockState, Kisi, or Kevo, allowing you to see who is outside your door and then unlock your front door using just one app. Ring is also compatible with Wemo and Wink. As mentioned above, VueBell does not have that kind of integration.
Here’s a side by side comparison of Ring Video Doorbell, SkyBell and VueBell Smart Doorbell:
|Ring Video Doorbell||VueBell Smart Doorbell||SkyBell|
|Mobile app available||√||√||√|
|Video quality||720p HD||720 HD||640×480 VGA|
|Field of view (°)||180||185||120|
|Dimensions (W x L x H, inches)||2.43 x 4.98 x0.87||3.15 x 3.15 x 80||2.8 x 2.8 x 0.8|
|Easy to set-up||√||√||√|
|Price||$179.00 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)||$99.00 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)||$199.00 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)|
If you are looking for a lower-priced smart doorbell that delivers just the same features as the VueBell, consider getting a Zmodo Greet Wi-Fi Video Doorbell. Zmodo also has 720 pixel HD resolutions, is weatherproof, has a wide viewing angle of 155 degrees, and delivers pretty much what VueBell gives you.
But Zmodo has a more polished look that looks a lot like a futuristic doorbell and comes with a Wi-Fi extender that could help boost your Wi-Fi signals.
It also has an 8 GB flash storage so you do not need a cloud service to see your past videos and photos. But what really puts it over VueBell is its price: $86 on Amazon.
VueBell Smart Doorbell is a good budget alternative to the pricier Ring Video Doorbell and SkyBell, delivering a better camera and features set and being easy on the wallet. But if these are all you need, you might want to consider the cheaperZmodo Greet.
If you are a hardcore smart home enthusiast, take a look at Doorbird, too, which offers an API for home automation.
Overall, VueBell Smart Doorbell is a good buy that’s packed with features and has an affordable price to boot.
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!