After releasing its first HomeKit indoor camera in 2021, smart thermostat leader Ecobee today released its first outdoor product: the Smart Doorbell Camera. With a sharp design, HomeKit support, wide-angle display and unique integrations with the Smart Thermostat Premium, follow us for our full review.
Ecobee Smart Doorbell Camera Specifications
Installing the Ecobee Smart Doorbell Camera
Here's everything that comes in the box, including the Smart Doorbell Camera, an angled optional backplate, a bell adapter, and necessary hardware. While the idea of installing a smart doorbell may sound intimidating to some, Ecobee makes the process super smooth with very clear directions in the Ecobee app. There are 6 main steps to install it. I have some experience installing doorbells and doing light electrical work, but for reference, this took me about 40 minutes. If you have to pay someone to do the work, it shouldn't take more than an hour or two of labor, as long as your existing doorbell setup is compatible (16-24 VAC, 10-40 VA, 60 Hz).
In terms of design and appearance, I really like this smart doorbell. It's clean and simple with a solid black and white construction. The button is raised and surrounded by an LED, so there is no confusion about where to press. I found the 1080p video quality to be sharp both day and night, and the field of view is generous, allowing me to see most of our porch. I also found that the microphone and speaker quality of the doorbell work well for talking to visitors. While this smart doorbell is great for HomeKit users, you get more value when paired with an Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium.
Smart Thermostat Premium integration and more
One of the unique features is that you get a live stream from your doorbell camera directly on the Smart Thermostat Premium. And it appears automatically when someone rings the doorbell – you can even speak through the thermostat. The usefulness of this depends on where your thermostat is placed in your home. But I think it's a handy feature since mine is right next to my office and I can immediately see who's at the door. When you use Ecobee SmartSensors and the Smart Thermostat Premium (requires Smart Security subscription $5 or 10/month or $50 or 90/year), you have a home security system that pairs with the Smart Doorbell Camera. That gives you motion and entry alerts, as well as professional surveillance and video recording. With that setup, the Smart Thermostat Premium is the hub/keypad of the security system. Another smart integration with the Smart Thermostat Premium and Smart Security is that heating/cooling can be paused when it detects that doors/windows have been left open.
Back specifically to the new Smart Doorbell Camera, I have two constructive criticisms. First, there is sometimes some additional distortion/pixelization when looking at the doorbell camera feed preview in the Apple Home app. Additional distortion in the image of the veranda at the top left, fixed at the bottom left. This will disappear after you tap to view the doorbell's camera feed directly and then return to the main Home app screen. However, after you close the app and reopen it, the distortion returns. Ecobee is aware of the issue in the Home app and is working with Apple on a solution. The second constructive thought is that this would be such a great smart doorbell if it included HomeKit Secure Video. I asked Ecobee about that and all they could confirm is that it is not supported at this time.
Conclusion of the Ecobee Smart Doorbell Camera review
After testing the Ecobee Smart Doorbell Camera, I thought it was fantastic on its own, but it is even better when combined with the Smart Thermostat Premium and the company's SmartSensors for doors and windows. With strong integration into the Ecobee and HomeKit system, this means you can set up automation and alerts so you can easily stay informed about what's happening in your home and keep it safe. Once the distortion bug is fixed with an update, I'll rate the Ecobee Smart Doorbell Camera 4.5/5 stars – and if they add HomeKit Secure Video at some point in the future, that would be a full 5/5 for me. The Smart Doorbell Camera is available now for $159.99 directly from Ecobee, as well as from Amazon, and soon at Best Buy and Lowe's.
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