SpotCam Video Doorbell 2 review: Not the easiest, not the worst

The SpotCam Video Doorbell 2 is the newest in a line of residence surveillance merchandise from Taiwan’s SpotCam. The doorbell is hundreds chunkier than just a few of its opponents, measuring 2.7 x 5.7 x 1.5 inches (WxHxD), nevertheless it offers the selection to doc to a neighborhood microSD card, which is unusual.

In our assessments, we found the camera produced an outstanding image, nevertheless the final experience was let down by the app, which was sluggish. Moreover, whereas the doorbell offers a barebones experience besides you pay for a month-to-month subscription: You’re anticipated to pay for added choices similar to explicit individual detection and facial recognition, and that’s on prime of the elective cloud storage fees.

Using the SpotCam Video Doorbell 2

The SpotCam Video Doorbell 2 capabilities like most of its opponents. It’ll protect watch on the world by way of which it is put in and ship push notifications when motion is detected. When any person includes the door and presses the button, the AC-powered wi-fi chime you’ll plug in inside the house sounds off and a two-way video dialog is possible by way of the app.

The doorbell can ship alerts to the app and/or an e-mail deal with. A schedule will even be set for the alerts, to avoid them being acquired at certain situations, and the camera itself could also be disabled and enabled on a schedule.

This review is part of TechHive’s safety of the easiest video doorbells, the place you’ll uncover reviews of the rivals’s decisions, plus a purchaser’s info to the choices it is best to consider when buying for this type of product.

The 1080p video from the sensor is sweet, and the unit has infrared evening time imaginative and prescient and a very huge 180-degree space of view. I found the camera’s motion detection to be comparatively good, although it did fail a variety of situations to establish me strolling in route of it.

The camera can doc video to the cloud along with to an interior microSD card, making it one in all many few doorbells to have a neighborhood storage chance. There’s moreover a traditional cloud-storage plan that options seven days of free cloud storage, and there are three ranges of premium service with 30 days, 180 days and one 12 months of storage. The latter two are among the many many longest storage decisions offered by any video doorbell maker.

spotcam video doorbell 2 back plate Martyn Williams / IDG

The rear of the SpotCam Video Doorbell 2, exhibiting its vitality connectors and microSD card slot.

Subscription decisions

Additional sophisticated sensing decisions could be discovered with diverse paid subscriptions: Pay $9.99 per thirty days or $99 per 12 months—on prime of regardless of cloud storage plan you be a part of—and in addition you’ll get human detection (which is ready to ignore animals and totally different shifting objects), automobile detection, a digital fence which will warn you solely when motion is detected all through the boundaries of that house, and missing object detection which will warn you when an object has been far from the camera’s space of view. Face recognition costs an extra $9.99 per thirty days/$99 per 12 months. You even have the selection to purchase these specialised detection choices on an a la carte basis. This hyperlink will take you to that net web page on SpotCam’s website online. It’s worth rigorously figuring out what choices it’s your decision and the best way lots it’s going to all worth sooner than deciding if the SpotCam is an efficient buy.

The app

My largest criticism of the SpotCam Video Doorbell 2 entails the time it took to see the video after an alert. It takes spherical 10 seconds for the app to launch and log in after the alert is pressed. Nonetheless the video should not be launched immediately; instead, you get a list of cameras, even within the occasion you merely have one. You’ll need to click on on the doorbell cam to get into the next show, after which click on on the “events” button to see recorded clips after which, lastly, click on on the clip.

Each time I tried it took spherical 20 seconds from start to finish and each time I was lastly greeted with a “Importing of this video should not be accomplished however, please try as soon as extra later.” It is a should to attend a variety of additional seconds until the video is available on the market, which is pretty poor by current necessities.

Spotcam updated the doorbell firmware and the app after our review was revealed, so we decided to take a re-examination. The {{hardware}} was the an identical nevertheless we used mannequin 6.2.6.3 of the Android app and firmware mannequin 134 on the doorbell.

Actually one in all our principal complaints was the time it took to start out out having fun with a recording after an alert had been triggered. Inside the new mannequin of the app, the delay between an alert being triggers and having fun with once more a recorded video has been been diminished from 20 seconds to spherical 7 seconds, nevertheless I nonetheless confronted the difficulty of the video not on a regular basis being on the market. 

The app does have an attention-grabbing operate known as “Now on Air.” Click on on that button and in addition you’ll purchase entry to security cameras made public by their owners. The an identical video is available on the market on the SpotCam website online, the place it clarifies that all streams are private by default and some owners have chosen to make theirs public.

spotcam video doorbell 2 screenshots Martyn Williams / IDG

Three screens from the SpotCam app, one exhibiting arrange points, one exhibiting the Now On Air operate, and one exhibiting the show seen when any person rings the doorbell.

Arrange

Placing within the doorbell camera was comparatively simple, nevertheless I did face just a few hiccups.

The unit attaches to a bracket that should be related with screws or a outfitted sticky pad. I first tried to screw it proper right into a picket submit near my entrance door and the best of the screw sheared off whereas I was hand tightening it. I tried as soon as extra, this time with a small pilot hole to make it easier, nevertheless the second screw sheared too. I’ve not at all had a screw shear like that and to have it happen twice in a row made me conclude the outfitted screws have been weak or poorly made.

spotcam video doorbell 2  chime speaker 1 SpotCam

You’ll plug this wi-fi chime into an outlet someplace in your own home, so that you just simply’ll hear when any person presses the doorbell button, even within the occasion you don’t have your phone with you.

As soon as I lastly purchased it related, it took a variety of tries to attach with my Wi-Fi. The hotspot should not be far-off from the unit inside the house, nevertheless the doorbell had points connecting and this stage in setup took about quarter-hour. As quickly as associated it appeared regular, nevertheless it on a regular basis confirmed a weak signal the place totally different doorbells usually indicated a strong connection. Wi-Fi connectivity continued to be a problem with the model new firmware and the model new mannequin of the Android app.

The SpotCam Video Doorbell 2 could also be powered by battery or a traditional 8-24 volts AC doorbell vitality present or 5 volts DC. Battery life will depend upon the amount of use the doorbell will get and the number of situations it detects movement, nevertheless SpotCam claims this can be as long as six months. After two weeks of testing, the battery was down from three bars to 1 bar. The battery is interior and could also be recharged by way of a USB socket on the rear of the gadget, nevertheless the battery should not be removable.

The SpotCam Video Doorbell 2 should not be a strong price

The SpotCam Video Doorbell 2 isn’t the worst video doorbell we’ve reviewed nevertheless it moreover isn’t the easiest. If you want native storage fairly than relying on the cloud, it is best to consider this along with the Netatmo Good Video Doorbell. A free cloud storage plan is nice, nevertheless that is turning into the norm (with the notable exception of Ring). Given the lag with accessing video on the app and the added costs to unlock all its choices, this doorbell camera merely isn’t a strong price.

Updated September 13, 2021 to report our experience with the SpotCam Video Doorbell’s new firmware—mannequin 134—and a more moderen mannequin—6.2.6.3—of SpotCam’s Android app. Whereas the doorbell’s effectivity has improved, the change wasn’t necessary enough for us to change our bottom-line opinion.

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