Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell is the latest from one of the largest manufacturers of home security products in Europe. It was first presented at CES 2019, so it’s been a long time. The product is now available in the US for $ 300. This makes it much more expensive up front than many of its competitors, but it could easily work cheaper over time because you don’t have to pay subscription fees for cloud-based video storage or other services.
The Netatmo device is larger than some competitors, but has a smart design, with the face evenly divided into three sections: the top is the camera, the center is the speaker, and the lower third is the bell button.
This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best video ringtones, where you’ll find reviews of your competitor’s offers, plus a buyer’s guide with features you should consider when shopping for this type of product.
Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell was not the easiest to install. I don’t know if it’s because it supports household power supply (as is the case in some European countries), but the installation requires inserting a few wires through the back of the stand and then into a connector block. The connector block is then attached to the bracket. It is not clear why it is not a single piece.
The good news is that it supports a wide range of voltages: from 8 to 24 volts AC and direct connection to a 230 V household source.
The ringtone is also the first video ringtone I’ve ever come across. Netatmo provides a fuse and a spare in the box, but I managed to blow them both and had to visit the hardware store for replacement. The problem was that I was trying to install the ringtone without a wall ringer and a wall ringer is required. If you try to install it without one, the fuse will burn.
The bell comes with a fairly thick and well-produced instruction manual in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch; unfortunately, it does not warn that the bell is mandatory. Netatmo do what you have a useful online compatibility guide that you can use to check if it will work in your home.
The mounting plate could also be a little better designed. Although I had no problems, several users in the online forums reported that they broke the board while tightening the mounting screws. The plastic that supports the screws is quite thin and should probably be a little thicker.
It is fixed to the motherboard with a small safety screw with a triangular head.
The 2 megapixel camera produced a good and clear image in a 9:16 portrait format. A user-defined section of the image is displayed in landscape mode on the Netatmo main screen and expands to full screen when selected. Netatmo says the field of view is 140 degrees and has infrared LEDs for night vision.
It connects to a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network and will not work on a 5 GHz network. The 2.4 GHz frequency band offers greater autonomy, but the 5 GHz spectrum is much less crowded.
When a visitor presses the bell button, it appears on the phone as an alert with the option to answer the call directly. Then you can see and hear the person at the front door and talk to them through the app. The latency on it is good and there is minimal sound delay between both sides.
Compared to other video ringtones, it has limited detection settings. You can set a detection area, but that’s about it. The ringer has a detection setting for the person who does a good job of warning when a person appears and ignores anything else.
Not once did he alert me when a car or animal entered my driveway. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes I end up struggling with it also many alerts; but if you rely on the bell to act as a surveillance camera, keep in mind that you will only receive alerts for people.
Privacy is one of my favorite features of Netatmo home security products. Smart Video Doorbell, like all of the company’s camera products, records images to internal memory. All videos are recorded on a microSD card, which means they are not in the cloud and there are no monthly subscription prices. Users can add a Dropbox link or FTP server for online video storage if they wish.
Smart Home support is limited to the Apple HomeKit, and even then it’s a limited set of features: the camera can be called using Siri, viewed from the Home app, and used to trigger scenes or lights. HomeKit Secure Video is not supported, but Netatmo says it will be offered in the future as an update. There is no support for Amazon Alexa or Google smart home features.
Netatmo smart video ringtone has some attractive features and is one of the most premium video ringtones that does not require a monthly subscription. In testing, it worked well, although the lack of smart support for Amazon and Google is disappointing.
It would be nice if more detection modes were offered, allowing it to be used for surveillance along with other Netatmo security products.