Reviewing Reolink Video Doorbell’s features, video/audio quality, and subscription benefits for home security... Read more
Test of REOLINK Video Doorbell PoE Camera
- Multiple ways to store footage
- Records in 2K quality with a 5MP sensor
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google
- Connects to both 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi
- Includes personal detection AI
- Long pre-recording feature
- Time-lapse feature
- Cannot use with existing chime
- Subscription needed for snapshot preview
- Goes to recording instead of live view
- Lacks package, animal, vehicle detection
- Firmware update needed for improved functionality
“In my personal experience, the Reolink Video Doorbell is close to perfection providing quality performance across the board, offering exceptional video and audio quality, impressive features like Rich notifications, and Time Lapse. However, it’s not without areas that require improvements – the inability to use an existing chime, and AI that only offers person detection are areas I’d like to see enhanced. All considered, I must say the device puts forth its best foot in the market, especially at a price of less than 100 bucks. A worthwhile investment indeed.”
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|Recommended Uses For Product||Outdoor Security|
|Special Feature||Motion Sensor|
Introduction to the Reolink Video Doorbell
Ever imagined a video doorbell that brings your front door security to your fingertips while sitting on your comfortable sofa? If yes, then you might want to check out the Reolink Video Doorbell. Aimed at redefining your home security experience, this compact yet invincible doorbell boasts impressive features that could challenge its competitors.
Two Intriguing Versions to Choose From
Did I mention that the Reolink Video Doorbell comes in two distinct versions? That’s right! Reolink offers both a Wi-Fi version and a Power Over Ethernet (POE) version for this video doorbell. Both versions come outfitted with almost identical features and specs, making the choice a matter of personal preference and individual use case.
The Pros and Cons
- First off, in true Reolink fashion, both versions of this Video Doorbell promise some top-notch specs and features.
- However, don’t assume they are without their drawbacks. Being unbiased and critical, there are certain areas where these doorbells slightly missed the mark, making them fall short of being the ‘perfect’ video doorbell solution.
Interestingly, Reolink sent me both versions of its video doorbell, allowing me to conduct a comprehensive and detailed review just for you. Hold on tight as we unbuckle the world of Reolink’s Video Doorbell!
What The Reolink Video Doorbell Brings to Your Front Door
- Reolink Video Doorbell offers Wi-Fi and POE versions
- Supports motion event and 24/7 recording
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google
Let’s dive into the ins and outs of this slick video doorbell and see just what it has to offer your home’s front door. I’ll be taking you through every nitty-gritty detail, from its noteworthy specs to its distinguishing features, all while maintaining an unbiased and critical perspective. Ready? Let’s get started.
A Glance at Specs and Features
First off, Reolink’s Video Doorbell is offered in two variants: a Wi-Fi version and a Power Over Ethernet (POE) version. While most of the specs and features remain the same for both versions, there are few distinct differences that I will highlight further into the review. This doorbell boasts a 5-megapixel sensor capturing video in 2K quality, with a resolution of 2560×1920 pixels at 20 frames per second.
The field of view is quite comprehensive, with 134 degrees horizontally and 97 degrees vertically, adding up to a diagonal field of view of 180 degrees. The Wi-Fi version connects to both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi, whereas the POE version connects to a POE switch on your router.
Diving Deeper into the Features
The doorbell is furnished with personal detection only as part of its AI feature. In terms of storage, you can either opt for motion event recording or 24/7 recording on a micro SD card on the doorbell itself (up to 256 gigabytes) or to Reolink’s Network Video Recorder (NVR). Plus, it’s compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google for live viewing.
An added convenience is the bundled chime that merely requires plugging in. One point to note, though, is that the included chime does not engage your existing chime. Not a deal-breaker in my opinion, but something worth mentioning.
Each variant comes with its own set of elements in the box: all the necessary paperwork, a guide for effortless setup, and very importantly (for the sticker fans out there), you won’t miss your Reolink decal as it comes right along!
A Peek into the Box
The doorbell itself has a plastic build, proving itself sturdy yet lightweight. It houses the camera lens, two microphones, an infrared LED, a status light, and the doorbell button, which is surrounded by a conspicuous ring light. For audio output, there’s a speaker attached to its lower side.
At the back, you’ll find terminal screws, a reset button, and an Ethernet port, even on the Wi-Fi version, for connection to your router or NVR if you prefer going wired. A significant feature to mention here is that though both versions require wiring for power, the POE version doesn’t call for an external power supply thanks to its POE capabilities.
To round things up, let me just say this: the preliminary impression of the Reolink Video Doorbell intrigues one with its blend of premium specs and practical features. It hints at a promise to enhance the functionality of your front door and delivers satisfactory accessories and add-ons for an out-of-the-box working experience. Now, let’s roll up our sleeves and put this thing to the test!
Getting Started: Setting Up the Reolink Video Doorbell
- Reolink Doorbell requires a proper setup process
- Initial setup includes Micro SD insertion and Wi-Fi connection
- A test run inside the house is recommended
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details of physically mounting the device onto our door, we need to get it up and running with a proper setup process. I remember feeling a bit anxious to see it work firsthand, wondering how seamless or complicated the setup process would be. Often, it’s the initial setup impression that sets the tone for the entire user experience.
A Step-By-Step Guide to Setting Up for the First Time
The setup started off quite logically with the insertion of a Micro SD card, followed by connecting a short power connector to the doorbell. Speaking candidly, the presence of clear instructions eases users into the process quite effectively. However, what I would have liked is a little more information on the ideal size or type of SD card to use. This, I felt, was missing from the package and might be worth considering for Reolink to add in the future.
Next was connecting it to the Wi-Fi. I had the choice between a direct ethernet connection to the router or using Wi-Fi. I figured Wi-Fi would be most relevant to the majority of users , hence I opted for that. The process required me to put in my Wi-Fi credentials after which a QR code was generated. The doorbell then scanned this code to secure the connection.
Testing the Doorbell Inside the House
Test run is always a good idea before you go out on the field (or in this case, outside the door). So, I decided to test the doorbell button inside the house first. I was pleasantly met with instant feedback – the chime rang, confirming the functionality of the button. The testing gave a good sense of reassurance and preparedness for the real-world setting of the device.
My first impression of this process was that the setup appeared well-thought-out, yet simplicity was its winning attribute. Any user, regardless of technical perform, can set up this doorbell with relative ease. However, the lack of certain specifics did make me wish for a more comprehensive guide.
Installation: Getting Your Reolink Video Doorbell Up and Running
- Turn off power prior to installation
- Easy, step-by-step installation process
After becoming familiar with the Reolink Video Doorbell through unboxing, it was time to get it up and running. This part of the review covers the installation process, focusing on a step-by-step approach. Safe and correct installation is crucial to ensure the device operates as intended, providing the necessary security and convenience that a video doorbell should offer.
Safety First: Turning Off Power to Your Original Doorbell
As with any installation involving electrical appliances, it’s imperative you put safety first. Prior to starting the installation, I ensured the power to my existing doorbell was turned off. This step is vital to protect against unforeseen electrical accidents, giving you a safe environment to proceed with the installation.
The Replacement Process: Out With the Old, In With the Reolink
Replacing the existing doorbell with the Reolink was quite straightforward. The box contained comprehensive instructions, but here’s what I did:
- To start, I removed my existing doorbell from the front of the house. During this process, I was careful not to disconnect or damage any of the wiring that had been previously installed.
- Once my original doorbell was removed, I threaded the doorbell wires through the hole on the mounting bracket provided in the box. Then I attached the mounting bracket to the wall.
- Now came the moment of attaching the Reolink Video Doorbell itself. The design allowed him to simply screw in either of the doorbell wires to the two terminals on the back of the Reolink device. These wires were then conveniently tucked in behind the device.
- Once the wires were secured, the top part of the doorbell was hooked onto the lip at the top of the bracket. This helped to securely affix the Reolink device into place. The bottom part needed to be pushed against the wall until it clicked into place.
- Upon completing the physical installation, I then turned the power back on. A reassuring statuslight on the device confirmed that the doorbell was getting power and was successfully installed.
Note: While the installation was straightforward for me, I would suggest seeking professional help if you’re not comfortable with DIY projects or dealing with electrical wires.
In conclusion, the process of getting the Reolink Video Doorbell up and running was pretty simple. The company has done its best to make the installation process as user-friendly and efficient as possible. I was able to get the device operational without requiring any professional help. However, as always with devices that involve electrical wiring, proceed with caution and always prioritize safety.
A Look at the Reolink Video Doorbell App
- App features includes live view, audio options, quick replies.
- User-friendly navigation, can manually trigger the siren.
- Settings allow customization of video resolution, motion sensitivity.
Now that we’ve successfully set up the Reolink Video Doorbell and have it up and running, it’s time to explore the app that pairs with it. After downloading it and getting it installed, I couldn’t wait to see what features and settings it had to offer.
App Features and Settings
Opening the app, I was greeted by a screen showing me a recent snapshot from the doorbell camera. A tap on the snapshot took me directly to a live view that loaded quite swiftly. In the live view section, you have several options at your disposal. You can pause the live view, listen to audio, take a snapshot, or even record the live view. There are also options to alter live view’s quality between ‘Clear’, ‘Balanced’, and ‘Fluent’.
One feature that stood out was the ‘quick replies’. Reolink provides three pre-recorded messages you can use, but there’s also an option to add your own custom-built message. Other than that, you can initiate a full duplex two-way talk which was quite impressive.
Setting Your Preferences
After exploring the live view, the next important thing was tweaking the settings according to my preferences . Going into the settings section, you can change the video resolution, adjust motion sensitivity, and even decide how long the motion needs to be before triggering a recording and notification.
One point worth noting is that you can also manually trigger the siren, a feature I have not seen on many doorbells, and it’s definitely a plus for Reolink. However, it was a bit disappointing that their AI only had person detection. It would be great to see other options like package or animal detection in future updates.
The all-around design of the app was user-friendly, and navigating through the settings was quite intuitive. However, I feel it would help if some directions or tips were in-built in the app for new users. Nevertheless, it’s a small hitch in an otherwise smooth and comprehensive user experience.
Overall, the Reolink Video Doorbell app gives you a wealth of options to personalize your doorbell experience. Is it perfect? No, there are definitely areas that would benefit from improvement and added features. But it’s quite comprehensive and efficient in its current state.
A Deep Dive Into Reolink’s Rich Notifications and Time Lapse Features
- Reolink doorbell features Rich Notifications and Time Lapse
- Rich Notifications is subscription-based after a free trial
- Time Lapse feature captures changes over time
As I explored the raft of features that Reolink’s video doorbell offers, two really stood out as being particularly noteworthy: their “Rich Notifications” and “Time Lapse” features. They contribute significantly to the overall user experience.
About Rich Notifications
The “Rich Notifications” feature is a standout on the Wi-Fi version device. It sends a snapshot preview alongside motion alerts to your mobile device, giving you an instant glance at the activity detected. However, something important to note here – this feature is subscription-based. Upon purchasing the video doorbell, it comes with a one-month free trial. Beyond this trial period, to continue availing this benefit, there’s a monthly subscription fee of three dollars.
Though I found this feature useful, it was a slight disappointment that it isn’t free for continued use. On the brighter side, having a subscription-based optional feature doesn’t limit basic functionality – you can reliably detect and record motion events even without subscribing.
Reviewing the Time Lapse Feature
Moving on to the “Time Lapse” feature – it’s another game-changer. If you’re like me and enjoy observing changes in your home environment over specific intervals, this feature is right up your alley. It allows you to create easy-to-view clips that show changes over time – be it the gradual rise of your blooming garden flowers or the hustle-bustle of a typical day in front of your house.
Importantly, bear in mind this feature’s compatibility. Among the few video doorbells out there boasting this feature, I noted only Reolink and Wyze have it. This certainly sets them apart from the crowd.
All in all, these two noteworthy features add distinct value, enhancing day-to-day use while providing an enriching user experience. However, there’s still room for improvement, particularly in offering Rich Notifications for free to make the package more competitive and appealing for users who shun recurring fees.
Testing the Reolink Video Doorbell’s Performance
- Reolink Video Doorbell delivers high-resolution visuals, audio
- Nighttime infrared LED performance impressive
- Swift, reliable motion alert notifications
Curious to find out whether this newfound gear lives up to the hype, I decided to push the Reolink Video Doorbell to the limits through an extensive testing phase.
Daylight Video and Audio Quality Test
To kick things off, I examined the video and audio quality in broad daylight. Given its 2K quality and 5 megapixel sensor, the Reolink indeed excels in capturing high-resolution visuals with detailed clarity – a commendable feat for a video doorbell. From various distances, the visuals remained sharp and color accurate. The doorbell’s on-board microphone lived up to expectations as well, with clear, audible sound being picked up effortlessly.
Nighttime Infrared LED Quality Test
My nighttime testing revealed that the single infrared LED performed impressively, even in nearly absolute darkness. Crucially, this performance isn’t compromised closer to or further away from the doorbell. A surprisingly clear, well-detailed black and white video was displayed with a good range of visibility. On the other end of the spectrum with the front porch lights on, visibility was only slightly enhanced.
Assessing the Motion Alert Notification Speed
In the practical world, a delayed notification misses the point of having a smart doorbell in the first place. The Reolink video doorbell did well in this area – the motion alert notification speed was swift and reliable at every attempt, ensuring I was alerted in real-time. Interestingly, the “cool off” period between notifications seemed non-existent, with the device ready to alert me multiple times within a single minute.
Testing the Doorbell Push to Notification Speed
Many doorbells struggle with the time it takes from doorbell push to notification on the user’s phone – not so with the Reolink. The notification arrived remarkably promptly, with a snapshot of the person at the door a welcome addition to the rich notifications feature. However, there was a slight issue: clicking the alert led me to the recorded footage, not the live feed, which takes away some of the immediacy.
Altogether, the Reolink doorbell performs up to par across all major performance indicators, with room for minor improvements in some areas.
The “Live” Experience: Answering the Doorbell
- Reolink doorbell has two-way communication, pre-recorded messages
- Features manually triggered siren for security
- Room for improvement in smart device compatibility
Now, let’s move onto the main event – the live experience of using the Reolink video doorbell. Here’s where things really get interesting as we dive inside the real world usage, focusing primarily on the aspect of answering the doorbell.
Interaction with the Reolink Video Doorbell
When a visitor arrived, the Reolink doorbell promptly sent a notification to the connected mobile device. This alert included the option to directly view the live feed. What struck me as a bit odd though, was that the initial click-through led me to the recording of the interaction, which was still in progress. In the first 30 seconds to a minute, it seemed more logical to be directed to the real-time live view. So, this small hiccup could potentially be improved with a firmware update.
On answering the doorbell press, I found the full duplex two-way talk feature to be very useful. It allowed smooth and clear audio transmission, enabling easy communication with the visitor, almost like an intercom system. Here, I could ask for the purpose of the visit, inform about my availability, or simply guide the person at the door.
A standout feature was the ability to use pre-recorded messages. For instances when I was unable to answer the doorbell, these preset messages came in handy. The Reolink doorbell offered three pre-recorded messages, and the best part was, I had the option to add my personalized message, tweak it according to my needs.
Another handy feature of the Reolink doorbell that caught my attention was the manually triggered siren. This feature, though not unique to Reolink, is not common in many doorbell models and is a substantial addition to the security aspect.
Room for Improvement
While the live interaction experience was fairly streamlined and efficient, there is always room for improvement. Some competitors offer functionality to use smart home devices like Amazon Echo or Google devices to make an announcement or use it as a chime. This is an area where the Reolink could potentially expand their features on the product in the future.Overall, the live experience of the Reolink video doorbell was impressive. The product boasted some neat features like two-way communication, pre-recorded messages, and a manually triggered siren – all contributing to a secure and convenient front door scenario. There were, however, a few areas that might need improvement, but that didn’t significantly impact the overall experience.
Final Thoughts: Is the Reolink Video Doorbell Worth Your Money?
So, here we are at the culmination of our in-depth review of the Reolink’s Video Doorbell. The big question looms – is this doorbell a valuable addition to your front door security solution? Let’s dissect the key takeaways from my hands-on experience.
Reolink has indeed done a commendable job in blending a multitude of features with decent video quality into their doorbell. The 2K recording quality, 24/7 recording option either on the micro SD card or the NVR, the pre-recording feature, and the compatibility with home automation systems like Alexa and Google make it a well-rounded package.
On the performance front too, it didn’t disappoint. Its motion detection was reliable and the long pre-recording ensures you don’t miss out on any crucial events. Also, the notification system worked well and was timely. The video quality is satisfactory, both during the day and after dark.
Areas for Improvement
However, no product is absolutely perfect, and the Reolink Video Doorbell isn’t an exception either. The fact that it couldn’t use the existing chime, and it can only display the live view but not make an announcement on Amazon Echo or Google devices, could be deal-breakers for some.
The other hiccup was with the doorbell push notification. It directs you to the recording rather than to the live view which sometimes causes a time-out issue. Hopefully, Reolink can easily sort this out with a firmware update.
The bundled subscription service for the Thumbnail Preview, which is only free for the first month, was another bummer. A truly compensatory feature would be free.
Adding additional AI capabilities such as package or animal detection, for instance, would also enhance its capability and edge over competitors.
The Bottom Line
Despite these areas for improvement, the Reolink Video Doorbell stands up as a strong contender in its domain. Given its under-$100 price tag and the myriad of practical features, the Video Doorbell could certainly be a worth-considering option. So, if you already have a Reolink system in your house, this could indeed be the video doorbell you’ve been anticipating. It’s not flawless, but it’s pretty close to it!
Should you buy the REOLINK Video Doorbell PoE Camera?
Buy it if…
You value video quality
The Reolink Video Doorbell boasts 2K video resolution and a 5-megapixel sensor, providing clear and detailed footage.
You appreciate multi-storage options
The product affords flexibility with multiple storage options, including a Micro SD card and linking with a Reolink NVR.
You need flexible connection options
With the choice of a Wi-Fi version or a POE (Power over Ethernet) version, you can select one that suits your home setup best.
Don’t buy it if…
You’re looking for free rich notifications
Reolink Video Doorbell’s rich notifications feature is cloud-based and requires a paid subscription.
You prefer instant live view alerts
When someone presses the doorbell, the app shows the recording instead of live view initially.
You wish to have more AI detection features
While it has person detection, it might not be your best choice if you expect package, animal, or vehicle detection features.
- What are the two versions of Reolink Video Doorbell available?
The Reolink Video Doorbell is available in Wi-Fi version and POE (Power over Ethernet) version.
- Does the Reolink Video Doorbell support Alexa and Google for live viewing?
Yes, the Reolink Video Doorbell is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google for live viewing.
- What kind of notification features does the Reolink Doorbell have?
The Reolink Doorbell offers motion alerts, rich notifications and the ability to set notification every 20 seconds.
- How does the setup process of the Reolink Doorbell work?
You would need to wire it up either via the WiFi or POE, after which you can connect it to the Reolink app, set your preferences, and install it in your preferred location.
- Does the Reolink Doorbell offer pre-recorded messages?
Yes, the Reolink Doorbell offers the option to set your own pre-recorded messages to answer without needing to be physically present.
- Is a subscription required for Reolink’s rich notifications feature?
Yes, while it comes with a one-month free trial, the rich notifications feature is part of the subscription service. The cost is three dollars per month for a single device.
- Does the Reolink Doorbell have any night vision or low light capabilities?
Yes, the Reolink Doorbell has an infrared LED that provides nighttime visibility.
- Can the Reolink Doorbell record and store footage?
Yes, the Reolink Doorbell has the option to record motion events or continuously. It can store videos up to 256 GB on a Micro SD card and also record to Reolink’s NVR.