As long as HomeKit was one thing, fans who shared Apple’s vision of the smart home dreamed of having a video that it just works. After many years of promises from the big players in the ringing space, delays in announced products that seemed completed and ready to go and devices available only for markets outside North America, the wait is over. Yobi B3 Video Doorbell has arrived and is actually available for purchase and delivery through stores like Amazon now.
While we may never know exactly how a small and relatively unknown offshoot of a baby monitoring company became the first to hit the HomeKit market, it’s here and that’s all that matters. I tested the B3 in the last week and a half and, although I like the fact that it is easy to install, it is incredibly fast to load and it works completely through the Home application, I can say that it was not worth the wait. Despite not being the HomeKit bell of my dreams, the Yobi B3 has some great qualities and is a simple upgrade far from being more than the first at the party.
HomeKit with a screenshot
Yobi B3 video button
Bottom line: Yobi B3 Video Doorbell offers recklessly fast response times, easy installation without an account and is the only game in town for HomeKit. However, the lack of registration is a major omission that it only does for HomeKit actions.
- -HomeKit enabled
- Easy installation and pairing process
- Extremely fast live view when loading
- No separate account or application required
- Bulky design, only golden color
- It does not record videos
- Requires existing wiring and bell
- Slightly obstructed view
All about HomeKit
Yobi B3 video button: features
The Yobi B3 video button offers a unique design in two tones of gold and black that differentiates it from its competitors. The doorbell button is easy to identify due to the color scheme and is surrounded by an LED indicator, which renders the status by a series of red and blue lights. The bell is weatherproof and is listed as having “waterproof” materials, but the specifications provided do not include an exact IP classification. Yobi mentions that it can withstand “extreme” conditions, with operating temperatures between -4 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it suitable for most locations.
Like other video bells, the B3 is quite large, measuring 5.98-inches tall x 2.44 inches wide. The B3 does not include an internal battery, so the power supply requires the connection of the existing doorbell in the open air, plus an internal rudder attached to a compatible transformer. The bell uses a standard two-wire set, like most bells, and for the wheelhouse, it includes a small power set that is installed by using a few easy-to-use harnesses that have quick nut connections.
The B3 offers a Fresnel lens and is capable of transmitting 1080p high definition images with a 180 degree field of view. The bell has four infrared LEDs on board, which can provide a black and white night vision for distances up to 29.6 meters, in addition, it supports facial illumination compensation. Since the bell is flat, Yobi includes two support pieces in the box, one that can put the B3 at an interior angle and another that positions the bell so that it can capture more of the ground in front of it. The Yobi bell also has a built-in speaker and microphone, which allows two-way listening for conversations with those in his vision.
Of course, the main thing here is that the Yobi B3 supports the Apple HomeKit. However, not only the function is accepted no more works with HomeKit and is fully managed through the Home application. Yobi do what you have an app for the doorbell, but it advises owners to build it just to provide updates and doesn’t include additional settings, although you can view the live stream from it if you really want to. Without a full app or local storage, and because the ringtone only supports standard HomeKit features, not HomeKit Secure Video features, video recording is not currently available.
B3 connects to home networks via 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, and the installation is done through the Home application, with a familiar code scan using the phone’s camera. Through the Home application, the ringtone can deliver notifications for button presses and movement events. The on-board motion sensor can also be used with other HomeKit accessories for automation, although the actual button can’t, at least not through the Home app. When the ringtone button is pressed, the Home app will send a notification along with a thumbnail image, and users can “answer” doors with just one touch.
Fast setup, fast response times
Yobi B3 video button: What I like
Installing Yobi B3 was quick and easy, as it consisted of a series of steps that are quite typical for the category. After installing a small power supply set in a caroton of the interior bell, most of the work was to attach the mounting plate and the existing bell wiring to the back of the device. The relatively simple process is made even easier, as almost everything needed for installation, including a screwdriver, drill and wire extensions, are all included right in the box. I really like touches like this because I’ve seen my fair share of video ringtones, which I assume everyone will have everything at hand.
Connecting the ringtone to my home network was just as quick and easy, the whole pairing process took place through the Apple Home app. I absolutely love how the ringtone doesn’t require a separate app or registration for another account, all it takes to get started and work is a scan of the HomeKit association code. Because it’s managed by the Home app, there are no back-and-forth jumps between apps to adjust settings, and apart from notification settings and HomeKit basics, such as camera allocation, there are no settings to find.
Each time, the live view of the B3 was available in a second, so I have no hesitation in saying that it is simply the fastest “camera” HomeKit around.
Turning to performance, I was really impressed with how quickly the B3 feed was uploaded live to the Home app. As someone who has tested quite a few HomeKit cameras, I expected the live viewing to typically take 3-5 seconds to load, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that the B3 feed comes back to life in -a second. The ultra-fast charging times were so fast that I made an effort to check it often at different times of each day and after long periods of inactivity. Each time, the live view of the B3 was available in a second, so I have no hesitation in saying that it is simply the fastest “camera” HomeKit around.
In addition to impressive response times, the B3 was also reliable-solid. In my testing, I did not encounter any situation in which the camera failed to load at all and never encountered problems in which “No Answer” appears in the Home application. Motion events and ringtone notifications sent from the Home app arrived in a second or two, and to see the action, all you need is a tap that brings a live view, which again loads extremely fast.
Talking to a visitor at the door was a little slower because I noticed a short delay, but the actual quality of the speaker and on-board microphones was good enough to have a conversation. The same goes for the doorbell visuals, which are detailed enough to determine who is at the door, both in a daytime setting and with night vision, but I found the overall quality to be a little on the soft side and with safety not as good as some competitors.
You only had one job …
Yobi B3 video button: What I do not like
As I mentioned, while it is passive, the quality of the B3 video is not the best I’ve seen, but it also suffers from a somewhat obstructed view on one side. On my bell, a thin portion of the camera frame can be seen in the corners of one side, which wouldn’t be awful in itself, as it doesn’t cover any critical area of my porch, but it doesn’t match the other side, making it protrude. in evidence.
Stuck with the hardware, the Yobi B3 is, well, pretty ugly with its golden color and is incredibly bulky. With a height of six inches, B3 is the largest video ringtone I’ve installed so far and coupled with a width of about two and a half meters, but it makes its presence known. Because it is so large, you will need to drill new holes to mount it, in addition, use four total screws to keep it secure, not two like most bells. The answer to my hardware complaints is that the bell finishes don’t seem to be very durable, because I already have a few scratches next to the lens and on the outer lining.
Despite the fact that live viewing is unsafe fast and that the light ringing is almost 100% of the time, I noticed a small problem in the Home application. For some reason, the doorbell does not automatically refresh its image in the Home app, as do other cameras. This is certainly not the biggest offer, but it’s weird to see the thumbnail of the previous day’s ringtone when you browse the Home app, and actually updating it is by touching the live view (other cameras refresh every 10 seconds).
Finally, the biggest flaw with Yobi B3 is that it does not accept registration not at all. Yes, you read that, Yobi B3, a video sound, does not have the ability to record videos. There is no micro-SD card slot, no accessible on-board memory, no Yobi cloud service and no support for Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video. This means that the only form of history you get with B3 is the image that the Home app attaches to notifications, and if you reject the notification, then it’s gone. To make matters worse, the Home app sometimes decides that it doesn’t want to include the image along with the notification, so yes …
Only for the HomeKit it is very difficult
Yobi B3 video button: Bottom line
Unlike the long wait for a HomeKit activated air purifier to finally reach the North American market, which was certainly worth it, the same cannot be said for the first video soner. The Yobi B3 video button and its lack of recording fail to meet one of the most basic reasons for having a connected solution, and its bulky design, with questionable color choice, will definitely send some runs to other options that aren’t HomeKit. This is not only a bad thing for the doorbell itself, but also for HomeKit in general, as there will no doubt be some disappointments and sour tastes left in the mouths of those who order one just because Works with Apple HomeKit badge.
However, there are some good aspects of the B3 that show that it really has the potential to be a good, if not really great, option over time. Incredibly fast real-time upload times, fantastic reliability, and a lack of a required account or app are important factors for the category. In addition, Yobi could launches a firmware update at some point that adds support for HomeKit Secure Video, which would fix the biggest flaw. Until that day comes, B3 is a video ringtone that is only for those who need to have absolutely everything under the roof of HomeKit.
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