In this review we will get started with the Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell. The video doorbell lets you communicate with your visitors anytime and anywhere. You do not need a subscription with this video doorbell.
New video doorbells have been appearing rapidly in recent months. This time it is the turn of the Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell. The French company promises a video doorbell with all known functions, but without a required subscription. So you simply purchase this video doorbell for 299 euros and you’re all set. Is the Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell worth it? We’ll tell you in this review.
What is it?
The Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell enables the user to see who is at the front door and to respond via smartphone. Whether you are at home or on the other side of the world. The smart video doorbell from Netatmo has a camera with a Full HD resolution on board (1080p, portrait mode 9:16 and HDR) with a viewing angle of 140 degrees. This video doorbell also has night vision and two-way communication. So you can always communicate with the person at the front door. The video doorbell is also IP44 certified. This must guarantee watertightness. The video doorbell must therefore be resistant to weather influences.
In addition to notifications when the doorbell rings, you also have the option of receiving a notification when a person is at the front door (even if they do not ring the bell). You have the option to select an activity zone for this and the video doorbell also has people detection. The doorbell therefore knows when it is moving when a person is involved and in practice will therefore not have to rely on a spider or insect walking past the lens of the camera.
Images are stored on the supplied 16 GB micro SD card. Memory cards up to 32 GB are supported. You need the Netatmo Security app and a good WiFi connection at your front door. The app is available for Android and iOS. The Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell replaces your current wired doorbell and chime. This model does not only work on a battery as is possible with the Ring Video Doorbell 3. Apple HomeKit is also supported. HomeKit Secure Video, however, is not yet. This is expected to be launched later this year.
Design of the Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell
Netatmo calls the design of the video doorbell itself minimalist. And that’s exactly right. It is not a completely over-the-top design, but just a neat video doorbell without much adornment. This makes this model suitable for almost any front door. The rectangular design with aluminum housing is divided into three proportional squares at the front. The top black square contains the camera, the middle gray area with grill the speaker and microphone and the bottom silver square contains the push button to ring.
In the box
In the box you will find everything you need. In addition to the video doorbell itself, of course, you will find all the necessary mounting material, the back plate, an extra cover plate, the chime module, a HomeKit Setup Code, a cardboard for measuring, a wedge to place the video doorbell in a possible corner, the manual and some stickers. A complete package so you don’t have to buy anything else.
According to Netatmo, the video doorbell is easy to install by replacing your existing wired doorbell. And this indeed turned out to be the case. The smart Video Doorbell from Netatmo is compatible with most existing connections (8-24V and 230V). Basically it’s just a matter of removing the existing doorbell and inserting the bell cable into the video doorbell. A gong module is included that you can place on your existing gong. Incidentally, the video doorbell also works fine without a gong as we have also tested, but then you only have your smartphone that notifies you when someone is at the front door.
All mounting material is included and what is striking is that the screws are very long. You definitely need to drill a good three inches before you can turn the screw all the way into the hole. Now you may think, the video doorbell is also more stable, but the back plate of the video doorbell is made of hard plastic. A big tap against the video doorbell and this will break quickly. Despite the additional security screw. Where the video doorbell itself is made of sturdy material, the back plate is of lesser quality. Nowadays we regularly see plastic back plates on video doorbells, but the quality leaves a little to be desired here.
For those who want that, there is also an extra cover plate that you can use optionally, but the usefulness of this escapes me. This is probably for decoration, but it makes it less beautiful. This extra cover plate is such a bad plastic that it seems to break if you just look at it. Fortunately, you don’t have to use it.
Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell in practice
A video doorbell should make it safer for the user. Is someone ringing the doorbell and you can’t see who it is? Via the Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell you know immediately whether it is the parcel deliverer or an unknown person. As soon as the doorbell rings, you will receive a notification on your smartphone. If you click on this, you will be taken to the live stream within two seconds. That works nice and smooth. So you immediately see who is at the door. If you click on the microphone, you can communicate directly with your visitor from your smartphone.
The images are of reasonably good quality. It is not up to a good security camera, but the images are clear enough to know who is at the door. The same goes for the sound. That is not fantastic, but it is sufficient to communicate with your visitor. When it is dark outside, the video doorbell’s camera automatically switches to night vision. This works fine and even then you can clearly recognize the person in front of the front door.
One point I was concerned about is the use of a memory card. This is namely in the video doorbell itself and of course it hangs on the outside of your house. On the one hand positive that you do not have cloud storage. This benefits your privacy, as images from around the house are not stored anywhere on a server in another country. On the other hand. If someone takes the video doorbell, haven’t you also lost all the evidence? The answer to this is yes and no. Once the WiFi connection is lost, you will no longer have access to the saved videos. However, the photos taken from the person detection are accessible on your smartphone. So you do have the person on screen, although it is not a moving image.
This will change in the future. A feature that has been announced and that we have already tried on other Netatmo products is the option to also store images on your own ftp server or Dropbox account. However, that possibility is not yet available. So when someone pulls the video doorbell off the wall, you will already have the moving images stored on your own server or dropbox. So it seems that the Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell is not completely finished yet. Other features will also come at a later date, such as support for Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and HomeKit Secure Video.
Inquiries with Netatmo made it clear that these features should come in the first or second quarter of 2021. Netatmo is also working on a ‘tamper detection function’. If a burglar wants to take the doorbell with him and starts pulling it, you will immediately receive a notification on your smartphone.
A big plus is that the doorbell continues to work if the WiFi connection is lost, but the power is still on. As soon as the WiFi connection is back, the saved images will be synchronized with your smartphone again.
Netatmo Security app
The Netatmo Security app is a great app to use. Earlier we started with this app in the review of the Netatmo Smart Alarm , including the Welcome Camera. The app is not very spectacular in terms of design, but it is not necessary. It must be clear and uncluttered. You have a neat timeline of all events. From reports that a person has been detected to actual conversations with your visitor. You can look at everything again in this way.
You can easily set the person detection via the menu and choose ignore, only record and record and report. When you report you will receive a notification on your smartphone. To set the movement zone, draw a square across the screen. The detection is then active within this
Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell – Conclusion
The Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell is a good video doorbell that generally does what it is supposed to do. If someone is at the front door, you will immediately receive a notification on your smartphone and you can communicate with your visitor. Yet the product is not completely finished yet. And that is a shame with a purchase of 299 euros. There is support for HomeKit, but Secure Video will come later. The same applies to storage with your own ftp server or Dropbox and support for the virtual voice assistants. This will all come at a later time. So we are actually dealing with a product that is not completely finished yet. It’s just a basic video doorbell at a premium price right now.
And that is actually a shame. Netatmo has proven with previous products that it values privacy, gives free updates and you never ever have to sign up for a subscription. We were therefore always positive about previously tested products. With the lack of various functions, we are now only partially. So wait a while before you purchase whether the promised functions have already appeared. Does Netatmo keep all its promises? Then we are dealing with one of the better video doorbells on the market. However, it is not yet.
Pros of Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell
- Excellent image and sound
- Very clear app
- Beautiful minimalist design
- No subscription required
Negatives of Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell
- Video doorbell is not completely finished yet
- Back plate made of cheap plastic