Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell first look: Subscription-free security Review

A subsription-free way to monitor your doorbell and answer calls from anywhere

Verdict

Apple HomeKit support and microSD card recording make the Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell stand out from the competition.

Key Specifications

  • 1080p recording
  • 160-degree lens
  • MicroSD card recording
  • Android and iOS apps

Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell release date and price

Announced at CES 2019, the Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell is due to launch in the second half of the year for $300 (UK pricing has not been confirmed).

Related: CES 2019

What is the Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell?

For years, Ring had its own way as the only smart doorbell manufacturer; now, it’s hard to move for competitors. The Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell is the latest product to join in, although it stands out from the crowd with its subscription-free video recording and Apple HomeKit support.

Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell – Design and Features

With its rectangular body, black top and metal bottom, the Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell is both quite striking and quite different to its main competitors, the Ring Video Doorbell 2 and Nest Hello.

Although tall, the Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell isn’t too wide or thick, so it should fit on most door frames without too much trouble. To use this smart doorbell, you’ll need to have a wired doorbell already.

Fortunately, the Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell supports 8-to-24v transformers and 230v mains-powered connections, with the doorbell clipping on to the bundle backplate. That’s a good deal of flexibility and should mean that you can install this doorbell without having to upgrade your transformer, unlike with the Nest Hello.

Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell blanking plate

Once in place, the doorbell is managed and controlled through the Netatmo Security app, which also controls the Netatmo Presence camera and Netatmo Smart Smoke Alarm.

Video is recorded at 1080p, but on a doorbell push, you can answer in portrait mode, and the app takes the centre portion of the image. That makes using the system a little more natural than on Ring’s products, which push you into landscape mode.

Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell app answer call

As well as providing two-way talk, the Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell can be set to record any motion triggered by a person; there’s no general motion detection recording, so if you want to capture everything you’ll still want another security camera.

Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell app person recording

Rather than recording to the cloud, the Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell records to an 8GB microSD card, which can be replaced and upgraded to a 32GB model. You can also backup video to a Dropbox account. The freedom from subscription plans may be good news for some that don’t want to fork out extra each month.

Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell SD card

If someone tries to steal the camera, a still image is saved to your Netatmo account, and the microSD card is encrypted so that nobody can steal your video footage.

Netatmo is a big supporter of Apple HomeKit, so it’s nice to see that the Smart Video Doorbell supports the system. This will let you build rules, such as turning on a light when motion’s detected or the doorbell is pressed; there’s also IFTTT support to achieve something similar.

First impressions

Apple HomeKit support is interesting to see, but it’s the use of a microSD card that’s likely to garner the most interest. Not everybody wants to sign up for a cloud storage account, so the Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell gives people a subscription-free way of controlling their front door.

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