Arlo and Eufy offer some really compelling smart doorbell products. But the list of features and levels of smart home compatibility can be really confusing.
- Will they work with Google Home or Amazon Alexa?
- Do they come with chimes?
- How long do the batteries last?
- What about the video quality?
- And many more…
This article is written from the perspective of someone who’s owned products from both of these impressive brands. It will lay out the most compelling features of either smart door bell and then I’ll give you my recommendation on which to buy. But if you’re in a rush, heres the quick answer…
I have both the Arlo and Eufy smart home doorbell, which did I Pick? The choice between the two is a very tough one. Arlo performed more than I expected and had many features that I love, while Eufy offers a battery powered option, meaning it was super easy to install. With the addition of a base station with 16gb of storage – I picked Eufy.
That’s the quick answer. But there’s WAY MORE to it than a short answer paragraph. Keep reading and I lay out the pro’s and cons of each brand and what features stand out. I’ll also give an honourable mention to another brand that you may not have consider….
The Eufy Smarthome Doorbell
Eufy is already known for its smart home cameras. Now they’ve added another product to complement their surveillance cameras in the market. Looking at the Eufy video doorbell website, I realized that there are two options to choose from.
You have a wired version (which is the one I have) and also a wireless version. Both versions have the same key features, with only minor differences.
The Key Features
- 2k video
- High Dynamic Range support
- No Monthly subscriptions
- Two Way Audio
- 4:3 aspect ratio
- 160 degree field of view
- 4gb internal memory
I’ll be enumerating the reasons why Eufy caught my attention. Based on the website and a few review articles I’ve read and video reviews I’ve watched, Eufy is a contender for video doorbells because of its features.
According to the website, it records crystal-clear 2K images at 2560×1920 resolution. It is equipped with HDR, so videos and pictures are more crisp and detailed. Add the built-in distortion correction feature, and Eufy promises better video and image quality.
The company also promises that this product is a one-time purchase with no monthly subscription fees doorbell. Yep! Ladies and gentlemen, there are no hidden fees when you buy this video doorbell. (This is what actually caught my attention.)
Furthermore, its two-way audio feature lets you respond in real-time. Answer your visitor without really going out of your door. Kinda nifty, if you ask me. And especially now that we have a pandemic issue, I think this is an excellent way to keep safe and maintain social distancing rules.
Eufy also prides itself with its A.I that automatically scans your visitor’s figure and facial feature to determine if it is a human. This human detection feature is responsible for receiving notifications that really matters.
This doorbell also gives a larger display than most video doorbells in the market at a 4:3 aspect ratio. The camera also has a 160 degrees wide-angle view, so you don’t miss anything important. The Eufy doorbell A.I is also responsible for sending you phone notifications with a snapshot of the person at the door. I am loving this feature because the picture forwarded along with the notification is a zoomed-in facial photograph of the person outside your door.
Eufy included other usual features you’d see on a typical video doorbell like having the ability to customize the activity zones that are important to you, instant responses pre-programmed with the video doorbell or you can pre-record up to three instant responses for you to use, the capability to connect with Google Voice Assistant and Alexa, IP65 weatherproof rating, adjustable motion detector, and night vision.
The neat thing about Eufy is that the doorbell is built with a 4GB internal memory for the wired version, while the wireless version has a 16GB capacity. The built-in internal memory is very useful since Eufy also records 5 seconds before someone rings the doorbell. These recorded few seconds allow you to see more of what happened during a critical incident.
Both the wired and wireless video doorbell comes with a chime, and the good part about this is you can connect up to four chimes with one doorbell. To be more specific, the wired version comes with a chime that you plug in an outlet, and the wireless version comes with a smart hub that doubles as a chime. Both the wired and wireless versions have multiple chimes to choose from.
Amazon tagged the wired version at $160 without shipping and the wireless version for $200 direct from the Eufy website without shipping cost. The wireless version has a very long battery life at 180 days per full charge, according to Eufy. But I think the battery life will depend mostly on how much activity your doorbell will detect daily, just like any other battery-powered gadget.
- No 24/7 recording feature
- Hub capacity limited to 16GB
- 6 hours to fully charge
- Smart Hub required
- Audio delay
With all the wonderful features the Eufy doorbell has, some things may be considered a downside for purchasing this product. I have an existing doorbell chime; that is why I opted for the wired version. When I read the features of this product, I saw that it can only work with its own mechanical chime that comes with the doorbell itself.
It’s not a big deal, but some might find this off-putting. Some will also find the wired connection off-putting too, which is why the company came up with the wireless battery-powered version of this doorbell.
Before I purchased my Eufy doorbell, I already knew about its many features, so the cons are not that big of a deal to me. Some of the most often complaints I’ve read are the video doorbell’s limited, un-upgradeable internal storage, and the internal memory is built into the doorbell itself. I guess this is a trade-off because you are not really getting any kind of cloud storage since you are not paying a monthly subscription fee.
Following that issue is the video doorbell’s inability to record 24/7, again, this is because of the limited storage. The wireless version answered the security concern for the unit’s built-in memory by transferring the memory into the hub that comes with the wireless version and even raising the memory capacity to 16GB.
As for the wireless battery-powered version, the number one concern is you have to physically remove the camera to charge it back up. It takes about 6 hours for the battery to be fully charged, so you are looking at one full night of no video doorbell security. Also, this battery-powered version needs a smart hub for it to connect your wi-fi.
Some find it ridiculous to give up a port on their router just for a doorbell. However, this hub can connect other Eufy2 series cameras in the future if you ever decide to upgrade your security system.
Both the wired and wireless versions seem to suffer from some audio delay during live sessions or when answering the door in real-time. And although it boasts HDR and clear visuals, I still think that the video output is not as clear as it should be. Upon testing, I also found that when you record a conversation with the person at the door, you are only recording the visitor’s voice and not yours.
Why You May Want It
My verdict for the Eufy video doorbell is that it is the perfect product to buy if you are starting to convert your home into a smart home. The Eufy wireless video doorbell allows you to add up to 16 Eufy devices with the hub that comes with the unit.
It is also perfect for renters who cannot tamper with the existing doorbell installed in their unit. It’s easy to install and remove. The amount of control Eufy offers to the user is a selling factor for any DIYers looking for a video doorbell too.
The Arlo Video Doorbell
Now, let’s move on to another video doorbell I own – the Arlo video doorbell. Looking at the Arlo, at first glance, you’ll immediately notice the sleek and smooth finish it has. It’s a beauty alright, and the plethora of features have really complimented the look of this doorbell.
I have an old-fashioned existing doorbell that I wanted to replace. I wanted to see which video doorbells in the market would allow me to use my existing chime. Arlo piqued my interest very much.
The Key Features
- 1:1 ratio
- 1.5k video resolution
- Strong weather proofing
- Google And Alexa Compatible
- Built in siren
- Cloud Storage
- Excellent Audio
Arlo lives up to its claim when it comes to video quality. You get a vivid picture with plenty of details because of it’s HDR and HD video features. It has your regular motion detector that sends phone notification when movement is detected and the night vision to let you see in low-light settings.
The feature I love the most is how wide and tall the video angle is. You get a 180 degrees viewing range in a 1:1 ratio, which allows you to see more (like the package that is on the floor). The highest video resolution is 1536×1536, which is pretty awesome if you ask me.
Just like other video doorbells in the market, you can answer in real-time with the two-way audio feature. But just in case you cannot answer the door right away, there are a few pre-programmed instant responses you can choose from. It works with OK Google and Alexa.
It is weather-resistant and is built to withstand heat, cold, rain, and sun. Arlo did step-up their game with recording both the visitor’s voice and your voice, so you get the whole picture of the conversation and not just a one-sided story.
One of this doorbell’s cool features is that it calls your phone when someone presses the doorbell button. You can then answer your phone and have a two-way conversation with your visitor. This is again very useful nowadays, especially when we are talking about the Covid-19 pandemic.
This next feature is something that the Eufy does not have – a built-in siren that can be activated remotely. I do like this feature too because it is an added level of security for us homeowners. The unit is also tamper-resistant and is priced at $150 per unit on its official website.
One reason why I looked at Arlo is that it can work with your existing chime. Even if the package includes a chime, you can forgo that and work with your existing one if you want to. I have to mention that if you live in an area where it gets cold frequently, you have to stay away from battery-operated video doorbells. The colder the temperature is, the faster any battery drains. Hence, the reason why I prefer wired doorbells too.
Videos are saved in cloud storage, where you can access it at any time. The quality of the recorded videos is very satisfying. You can see the HDR working its magic in very bright settings.
I commend Arlo for delivering a more than expected video quality both for its night vision using IR and also during low light environments. And since your videos are saved in cloud storage, you are assured that each can be accessed even if the doorbell is taken or tampered.
You can set up activity zones to let you specify which areas the motion detector needs to monitor. This doorbell also records 24/7. Now another neat thing about Arlo is its voicemail feature that allows your visitor to leave a voicemail for you. The audio quality is excellent both on the recordings and the live feed. The delay is very minimal both on the audio and video, which really impressed me.
Arlo has different pre-programmed motion detection settings – armed, disarmed, schedule, and geofencing. The last one is pretty cool. It automatically senses if your phone is within range and disables the motion detection feature of the doorbell. You can also put your Arlo notification in silent mode, which stops incoming calls to your phone.
- Subscription for $3 per month
- Obtrusive and not covert
- No customisable responses
I am all for the wired version because I just want to replace my old-fashioned doorbell, some will not like the wires involved in setting this video doorbell up. But the most off-putting aspect for Arlo is that you have to subscribe to a monthly subscription to get full access to all the features of this video doorbell. The subscription starts at $3 per month, which lets you access more features and save your videos in their cloud storage.
Another bad part is that you cannot really enjoy the video doorbell’s features if you do not have a whole Arlo security system set up in your home. Other things I don’t like about Arlo are its fixed motion detector sensitivity and the having no offsetting for the voicemail feature.
Also, there are pre-programmed responses, but you cannot record a response of your own. So you basically have less control over some of the settings for this video doorbell.
Even if Arlo designed their video doorbell with minimalistic ideas in mind, it is still pretty large compared to other video doorbell contenders. Measuring at 5 inches in height, 1.7 inches in width, and 1 inch in depth, Arlo video doorbell cannot be considered subtle.
People will instantly know that you have a video doorbell in place, and I think that is a good thing. Letting people know that they are being watched and recorded will surely deter any funny actions or criminal acts.
If you’re interested in learning more about smart doorbells then Houshia has many more articles, here’s a few you should read:
Why You May Want It
I recommend this video doorbell to people who already have an Arlo security system in place. The video doorbell will be a significant security addition to the system and let the homeowners have a more thorough security system.
You can still get just the video doorbell if you are willing to pay extra for their monthly subscription to their cloud storage. Again, if you are not a fan of a subscription fee, I’d suggest looking for a different video doorbell.
It is pricier compared to other video doorbells at $150 without shipping fees. That can be a factor you may want to consider, but if you have the funds to cover the cost plus the monthly subscription fees, then Arlo’s doorbell can be the right fit for you.
The Verdict: I Chose The…
After considering every little detail of both Arlo and Eufy video doorbells, I realized that I have to do some personal checks of what I am willing to give up versus my non-negotiables and was able to end up choosing Eufy video doorbells. I did try both and gave it a few weeks of use at first, but Arlo’s requirement to pay a monthly subscription fee is what really made me decide to pick Eufy.
It may be a little more expensive than Arlo, but I am willing to shell out some cash now rather than have a fixed monthly fee in the next few years. Both are easy to install, and Arlo did work with my old chime box, but I was willing to trade that off and let Eufy’s electronic chime box work for me.
As you can see, both video doorbells are an excellent choice for anyone who is looking for an upgrade in their smart home security system. It just literally boils down to personal preference when choosing which one will work best.
I ended up with Eufy because I am not willing to pay a monthly subscription fee, but I was ready to have a video doorbell that does not record 24/7 and will only record 5 seconds before someone pushes the button. It may not be the same for you and for others.
It is vital to work on your must-haves and negotiable list to make sure that you pick a doorbell that you will love up to its last ring.
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