Last year, Anker’s Eufy announced a new Eufycam E wireless camera system looking to get into the home security arena. The system was eerily similar to Arlo’s lineup of cameras, minus the removable battery. Eufy quickly followed up with a Kickstarter campaign to launch the Eufycam that could last for 365 days on a single charge. The newer Eufycam also include local AI to help determine human motion and facial profiles. Both systems connected to a central hub to store video locally.
Eufy (now ‘Eufy Security’ for their security products) is back with a doorbell teased last year to rival both Ring’s products and Nest Hello. New Eufy Video Doorbell high level features include a 2K (2560 x 1920 resolution) sensor, high dynamic range (HDR), 4GB of local storage, “human” and face detection, night vision, and 160 degree viewing angle. The aspect ratio is 4:3 for the video so it’s more comparable to the Nest Hello than the Ring Pro doorbell. The doorbell is listed at $159, which is a great price for all these features.
Unboxing the new device revealed an included wireless chime and 15 degree angled bracket in case you need to adjust the viewing angle of the camera. These are typically add-one in case of the Ring pro doorbell. Nest Hello includes an angled bracket, but no wireless chime. Both Ring and Nest allow for visitor announcements via their respective voice assistants (Amazon Echo and Google Home).
The new Eufy Security doorbell requires a low voltage wire (16V AC – 24V AC transformer) to work properly. As I already had a Ring Pro doorbell installed, it was simply a matter of removing my old doorbell, and then using the supplied angled bracket and mount to install the new Eufy. The fit and finish of the new doorbell is quite nice. For now, it only comes in black with prominent branding, with no way to change the front face plate like a Ring doorbell. This might be a deal breaker for some depending on the significant other’s tolerance for such things. As for mine, she is just happy that i stopped changing the lock on her, and doesn’t really care about the doorbell. The doorbell black material itself is very glossy I might add.
Once you have the doorbell connected and powered up, it’s time for setup. You will need to download the Eufy Security app (iOS / Google Play). Once you’ve created a new account, you can then add a new product. Simply select Video Doorbell and then scan the setup code. The doorbell uses Bluetooth for the initial pairing and mine required a push of the button for 5 seconds to start that pairing mode.
Pairing was quick and I was then able to supply my WiFi credentials to complete the initial setup. The process also asks you to pair the supplied chime which was as simple as plugging it in and holding the sync button for 2 seconds. The doorbell required a new firmware (1.146) which included and update for HDR and other bugs. The firmware update took about 3 mins as suggested by the app.
With the doorbell and chime setup, it was time to dig into the settings. At the top of the doorbell setting’s page is the ability to turn the camera on/off along with allowing the paired chime to ring if the doorbell is pressed.
Moving into the motion settings, you have the ability to turn motion detection on/off along with changing the sensitivity. What’s interesting about the sensitivity that the Eufy app gives you a guide on the different levels. Choosing face only will highlight and fire motion detection if the doorbell can identify a face. You can also slide the sensitivity to allow for upper body detection, or all motion. It’s nice that Eufy visually shows you the different options for the sensitivity. It seems that the face detection AI is brought over from their latest Eufycam. You also have the ability to set activity zones. This allows you to crop out any areas that you don’t care to have motion detected. For me, I just need the main walkway up to our front porch.
Once you’ve setup your motion settings, you can then move onto video quality. You have the ability to adjust the video quality of the doorbell. This includes turning HDR on/off, allowing for distortion correction, and changing the quality and bandwidth. I’ve included screen shots of HDR on and off. We’ve seen HDR on the Nest Hello and Ring is working on bringing this feature to their cameras as well. Basically HDR allows for better picture quality in high contrast environments (sunny and shady areas together).
Next two options for the settings allow for night vision and adjusting the doorbell sounds. What’s nice about the sound settings is that you have the ability to adjust the doorbell ringtone separate from the doorbell volume itself (if you were talking via the app).
The remaining settings have to do with pairing additional chimes, changing the WiFi connection, and Secure Storage. The doorbell comes with 4GB of onboard storage. There is no way to expand or update the storage. Once you’ve reached capacity, I suspect the earliest recordings will be deleted. Something that I’ll need to test.
Sneak peak at an unexpected feature in in the Eufy Security doorbell, custom responses! Seeing as my son has a thing for watching Home Alone, thought this one was appropriate! pic.twitter.com/QIx6Dmuht0
— Adam Miarka (@adammiarka) June 16, 2019
One setting that I wanted to save for last is Quick Responses. We’ve seen this before with the Nest Hello. When someone pushes the doorbell, you have the ability to quickly respond within the app with pre-recorded responses. What sets the Eufy Security doorbell apart from other doorbells is the ability to record your own responses! With my son’s new fascination with Home Alone, I had to use this opportunity to add the “Leave on the doorstep and get the hell outta here clip”. You have the ability to add 3 custom messages. Simply label response then record your custom message. For some reason, I find this feature awesome. Others might disagree, but there is a lot of fun to be had here.
Accessing the doorbell via the Eufy Security app was fast and responsive. Going to live view of the doorbell only takes a few seconds, even though it only uses the 2.4Ghz band of WiFi. I immediately turned on HDR and set the video quality to the best. For motion detection, I’ve set it to look for upper body which is the middle setting for sensitivity. Because of the additional processing needed, notification takes around 5-10 seconds. This is similar to the Nest Hello. The app also includes a picture within the notification centered around the face, again similar to the Nest Hello.
I was able to integrate the Eufy Security doorbell with both Alexa and Google Assistant, but neither would actually stream. Both voice assistants were able to stream the Eufycam, just not the new doorbell. I suspect Eufy will update their integration to fix this soon.
Looking forward, the big announcement at WWDC was HomeKit Secure Video. Eufy Security was prominently shown along with Logitech and Netatmo. Both Logitech and Netatmo have indicated that their existing products will be updated to include HomeKit Secure Video. I’ve found in the notes of the Eufy Security app the promise of HomeKit. We’ll see if Eufy can deliver.
All in all, the Eufy Security doorbell has the potential to be a great addition to their growing ecosystem in security products. ’ll be testing it over the next few weeks, but my initial impressions is that this doorbell challenges both Ring and Nest, and even surpasses them in some areas. Those looking for a cheaper option along with local storage of video will do well with this doorbell.