Review : DoorBird, an alternative to Ring Video Doorbell
We are sure at some point of time, you may have came across the Ring Video Doorbell or even the Pro version. Ring is one of the most popular wireless doorbells available on the market. Previously known as the Doorbot, had a huge rebranding and climbed its name to the top. It is reasonably priced, easy for self-install and feature-packed. However, the one greatest drawback is that you have to keep charging your doorbell. The Pro version remove the hassle of recharging at a higher cost. On top of that, it allows some form of integration to Wink, Kevo etc. The main reason you want a video doorbell is that you can view the visitor and open the door!
So why are we bringing Ring into picture when we are reviewing DoorBird. We want a video doorbell with the following features:
- Doesn’t require constant recharging.
- Able to have to unlock ANY smartlock (or connect to any magnetic doorlocks, autogate etc) after viewing the visitor
- Able to use the inbuilt sensor as trigger events in ANY existing home automation system
- Able double up as an IP camera and stream the video to existing systems
And the above reasons are the ones that drew us to DoorBird despite the higher price-tag compared to the Ring or Ring Pro. DoorBird is designed and made in Berlin, Germany and available in a variety of configurations. The one that we are reviewing is the entry level DoorBird D101.
The review unit is made of reinforced polycarbonate with a stainless steel faceplate and button. It has an HD camera with an infrared sensor, below which is a microphone/speaker grille and the stainless steel button. Other versions of the doorbell even allow installers to flush to a wall (though it involves carving your wall up), which actually makes for a neater solution, suitable for those with an autogate. Similar to Ring, DoorBird comes with a proprietary screw for securing the device while preventing theft of the device.
Since the DoorBird reuses your existing wires for your doorbell, DIY installation may not be so straightforward. Setting it up would require some wiring, waterproofing (at the backplate) and drilling before you even turn it on. The DoorBird can either to your home network via ethernet cable or wifi. If you are doing renovation anyway, it is good to lay power over ethernet cable to the mounting location. The DoorBird also provide connectors for existing door chimes and electric door opener.
The DoorBird connects to existing smart security products, including Control 4, Kisi, August, Kevo, digitalStrom, Lockstate, Volkswagen and Liftmaster Chamberlain, plus there’s an open API available for developers. Since we have in-house development capability, we are also proud to announce that we have also integrated it to the Fibaro and Vera for now 🙂 Technically, even though it does not have an IFTTT channel, triggering to other devices via IFTTT is also made possible from our integration
Here’s a video on how the integration works. In this video, when someone presses the bell, notification is sent to the mobile phone, we can speak to the guest at the door and unlock the Z-Wave doorlock from the DoorBird app directly. Alternatively, we could also setup the notification to be sent to the Fibaro app, switches the screen to the Fibaro video gate, use the Fibaro app to view the guest and allow unlocking the Z-Wave doorlock.
If you are simply looking for simple a wireless video doorbell for retrofitting and are willing to recharge your doorbell every now and then, probably Ring (USD199/249) will be a better choice. The DoorBird (USD 349) requires more work to install but for maintenance free operation. If you already or planning to have a smart home system, integrating the DoorBird would be a plus as you do not need to switch to different app just to open the door after checking on the visitor. On top of that, the DoorBird can double up a 24/7 wide angle security camera pointing to your doorway. With connectors for existing door chimes and electric door opener, it is ideal for offices and shops with magnetic door locks. The DoorBird is also available here.