Consumer Electronics, Gadgets & Accessories

Reolink Video Doorbell Test: Better than Ring and Co.

Want to make your home a little smarter? Then a smart doorbell is probably one of the first gadgets you should retrofit. Why? With a smart doorbell, you benefit from many advantages. For example, you can access the intercom function via smartphone from anywhere. The parcel delivery man is at the door with a big delivery and you’re at work? No problem. Simply ask him to leave the package on the stairs using the app. The modern doorbells are also an exciting security gadget. After all, you can effectively monitor your home entrance with the help of the integrated camera. In view of the immense increase in demand, more and more manufacturers are now entering the market. Reolink has recently joined the party. The expert for smart security technology offers two different models with WiFi and PoE versions. What these have up their sleeve, we check today in the Reolink Video Doorbell test.

Two different models

Reolink offers its smart doorbell in two different versions. The WiFi model will certainly be the most popular. This is not least because you can install this uncomplicated on an existing doorbell system. On top of that, the installation effort is less than for the PoE model. The PoE model does not receive its power supply via a conventional power cable, but instead draws its energy from a LAN cable. This might be much easier when connecting the device itself. However, you would first have to install a suitable LAN port on your house wall before the PoE variant can even find a place.

reolink video doorbell test

In the case of existing buildings, many will probably not be able to avoid a small reconstruction with the laying of new cables in this case. It is easier with new buildings. If you are building a house and are already looking into smart doorbells, the PoE variant could be very interesting. After all, you can ask your electrician to make the necessary adjustments during the construction phase. Experience shows that the costs for such structural measures are significantly lower during the construction phase. Both models have one thing in common. They rely on a classic power supply and come without a battery.

Aqara smart video doorbell g4 test
The Aqara Smart Video Doorbell G4 allows for operation with 6x AA batteries.

This is a bit surprising. If Reolink is already launching several models, why not one with a built-in rechargeable battery or the ability to use batteries like the Aqara G4 (test) allows. But while the smart doorbells can be accused of lacking flexibility in this regard, they make up for it with their smart home features. They can be linked to many common systems and offer a local storage option. On top of that, there is a good camera quality including a large field of view. That sounds like some sunny as well as shady sides. In the following review, I check what the technical data means in practice.

Technical data

Resolution 2,560 x 1,920 pixels
Internet connection 2.4 GHz/5 GHz (dual-band WLAN) or LAN
Intercom function Yes
Night vision Infrared (color only with sufficient lighting)
Application Indoor and outdoor
Data storage Local (microSD with max. 256GB) or Cloud
Power Power cable, bell wire or PoE
Price WiFi version: € 139.99 * PoE version: € 119.99 *

Reolink Video Doorbell review: scope of delivery

Both versions of the smart doorbell come in a white-blue colored cardboard box. Despite the identical package size, it is immediately noticeable that the WiFi model is significantly heavier than the PoE version. A look at the scope of delivery makes it clear why this is the case. Both versions already offer suitable mounting material with screws and dowels in addition to the smart bell itself.

reolink video doorbell test
Scope of delivery of WiFi version

On top of that, as an alternative to the flat backplate, there is also an angled one (15°). A jumper cable is included in the scope of delivery, as is a practical gong for the power socket. While both models come with a suitable network cable, the WiFi model also offers a practical power supply including an extension cable. This also explains the extra weight of the WiFi version.

Reolink Video Doorbell Test: Design and Workmanship

I really like the look of the Reolink Video Doorbell. In its matte black housing, it makes a high-quality impression. The elongated housing is rounded at the top and bottom. While the camera unit is located on the upper side, the bell button is located as a counterpart in the lower area. It impresses with a very pleasant pressure point. The manufacturer’s logo is emblazoned in the center between the two areas. A look at the bottom reveals the speaker, which is used for the intercom function. On the back, we find some technology.

reolink video doorbell test

In addition to LAN port and connection for the bell wires, the slot for the SD card is also located here. The Reolink Video Doorbell allows local storage of video recordings. Furthermore, the manufacturer places a QR code on the back, which is used to set up the doorbell. Reolink convinces in terms of design and workmanship. The layout reminds me a bit of the Ezviz DB1C Doorbell Kit (test), which has been available on the market for much longer. So the company isn’t really reinventing the design wheel, yet I feel the look is much more modern.

Reolink Video Doorbell review: technology

Let’s take a quick look at the storage technology of the Reolink Video Doorbell. Here you can save the data locally. An SD card of up to 256 GB serves as the storage location. Unfortunately, Reolink does not include one in the scope of delivery. Netatmo, for example, takes a different approach with its Smart Video Doorbell (test). An SD card was already included ex-works. However, since the purchase of a microSD does not cost too much, we do not want to weigh that too negatively. Those who decide against an SD card can also access Reolink’s cloud service. A fact that should put a smile on the faces of data privacy fans: The company stores all data on European servers. Furthermore, it is pleasing that you can use the Reolink Video Doorbell free of charge with Cloud.

reolink video doorbell test

Unless you have other security gadgets from the manufacturer. In fact, the free Basic plan covers one camera from the manufacturer. However, you then have to be satisfied with the rather low storage space offer of 1 GB and a storage period of 7 days. If that is not enough, you can upgrade accordingly. The standard plan, which covers a total of 5 cameras and offers 30 GB of storage, costs just under 4 euros per month. You can find the complete list of subscription models and corresponding features on the official website. By the way, you can also use a network video recorder as a third storage option. This enables compatibility with Onvif.

Reolink Video Doorbell Test: Setup

Of course, the user comfort of a smart doorbell also includes the setup. And this is quite uncomplicated with the WiFi version. Incidentally, the latter uses both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Reolink is pleasantly versatile here, which makes it clear that the smart doorbell is still quite new on the market. For the setup, it is recommended to use the included power adapter. This way, you can conveniently set up the doorbell and don’t always have to awkwardly remove it from the wall mount.

reolink video doorbell test
Power supply of the WiFi version.

You simply plug the power supply into your household socket. Once connected, the uncomplicated setup via the Reolink app follows. Once again, the focus is on integrating the device into the home wireless network. The manufacturer scores with a clear step-by-step guide that makes a problem-free setup possible even for non-professionals. Once you are done with the setup, you still have to plug the included chime into a suitable socket and pair it. Similar to the Chime known from the Ring models, this one has a permanently installed power plug.

reolink video doorbell test
Power supply of the PoE version.

After setup, you can mount the doorbell on the wall and connect the bell wire. Those who had already connected a lamp will have no problems with this. Everyone else should get an expert or handy buddy on their side. In the absence of a PoE switch, I only used the WiFi version to set up the device for testing purposes. However, we’ll just assume the version with power via LAN works fine when set up as well.

Reolink Video Doorbell Test: Smart Home Features

Of course, a doorbell only earns the adjective “smart” if smart home features are also offered. Compatibility with common voice assistants also plays a major role. This is where Reolink scores. You can control the smart doorbell with Amazon Alexa as well as Google Assistant. This is especially exciting for those who own a smart screen from Amazon or Google. After all, you can then use this as an indicator when someone is at the door or have a live video played without further ado.

reolink video doorbell test
The desired ringtone is output via the Chime

On top of that, the Smart Doorbell supports the Onvif system. This makes it compatible with many control centers for smart home solutions. In particular, friends of effective monitoring systems will be pleased with the possibilities of links with other devices. However, Onvif’s support has another advantage that should by no means be ignored. Namely, should Reolink stop supporting its smart doorbell at some point, you’ll be on the safe side thanks to Onvif and can continue to use it without any restrictions.

Reolink Video Doorbell Test: Practical Experiences

In theory, this all sounds promising. But how does it actually look in everyday use? That’s what we want to check in the following section. In addition to the app, the quality of the camera and intercom function naturally play a major role.

Reolink app

Within the app, you can make many different settings. In particular, I really liked the fine-tuning of the recording image. For example, the smartphone application offers a special privacy setting. Here you have the option of selecting 3 zones in which the camera is blind, so to speak. You should do this with public roads, for example, but also with neighboring properties. If you don’t want to store moving images of you and your family in any cloud, you can of course “black out” areas of your garden to remain unseen. In practice, setting the zones works very well. Like many other smart doorbells, the Reolink naturally offers a motion alarm. You can then receive this via push message on your cell phone if you wish.

Especially on busy and/or frequented roads, this can be annoying sooner or later, of course. Fortunately, you can also make regulations here. You can determine the range in which movements are to be detected. You can also set a minimum and maximum size. You will then only receive an alarm when the corresponding size is reached. Furthermore, you can set times and days for alarm messages. If you are at home on weekends and in the evenings anyway, you don’t need to be notified about movements. The many setting options ensure that you can minimize the risk of false alarms in advance. Still, I would have been happy to see a reliable person detection like Ring Battery Doorbell Plus (test) offers.

What I think is cool is the automatic voice prompts. These remind me of Ring’s Alexa Greetings feature. Here you can record a voice message up to 10 seconds long, which is played automatically when the doorbell rings unanswered. The whole thing then functions like a kind of answering machine. For example, you can let your parcel delivery person know when the doorbell rings that he or she can leave the package on the stairs. In addition to these features, the app also offers many other settings. For example, you can also set the ringtone of the chime and its volume. In general, the app scores with a very good overview. I was able to find the items I was looking for right away.

Camera and intercom function

The intercom function is an elementary feature of every smart doorbell. After all, this allows contact between you and the person ringing the bell. Thanks to Internet connection, you can communicate with your visitor via Reolink doorbell even when you are not at home. This is especially convenient when you are at work and an important package is being delivered. Here, you simply talk to your parcel carrier via the app and discuss where the delivery should be dropped off. In testing, both the speaker and microphone of the doorbell worked flawlessly, allowing for hassle-free communication.

In terms of camera quality, the Reolink also comes with a good performance. Thanks to the 1,920p resolution, you get sufficiently sharp images delivered to the display. This does not only apply to pictures taken in broad daylight. At night, the image quality is also impressive thanks to the night vision feature. This is due to the IR LEDs inside the camera unit. The large field of view also leaves a positive impression. A horizontal field of view of 180° ensures that you always have your front yard in view. The vertical field of view is also solid, but can’t keep up with that of the premium models from Ring.

Conclusion

The Reolink Video Doorbell is certainly one of the best smart doorbells I’ve had the pleasure of testing recently. This is not only due to the pretty design and a high build quality. On top of that, I like the freedom of choice between WiFi and PoE models. Especially the compatibility with Onvif allows reliable integration into your existing network of security gadgets. The data storage on European servers even ensures a high level of protection for your recordings. The solid image quality should also not be swept under the carpet. Here, not only the resolution of 1,920p is right, but also the large field of view, which provides a great overview.

The app also scores with its overview and setting options. However, we do have to complain a bit. For example, I would have liked Reolink to integrate a “real” person recognition. That would make it easier to adjust the motion detection in detail. On top of that, a night shot in color would have been desirable as well. Apart from that, you get a really good smart doorbell at a fair price with the Reolink Video Doorbell.

Reolink Video Doorbell

Workmanship & design
Hardware
Usability
Value for money

91/100

The Reolink Video Doorbell is a smart doorbell that scores especially with its smart home compatibility, memory flexibility and a good price-performance ratio.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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Want to make your home a little smarter? Then a smart doorbell is probably one of the first gadgets you should retrofit. Why? With a smart doorbell, you benefit from many advantages. For example, you can access the intercom function via smartphone from anywhere. The parcel delivery man is at the door with a big delivery and you’re at work? No problem. Simply ask him to leave the package on the stairs using the app. The modern doorbells are also an exciting security gadget. After all, you can effectively monitor your home entrance with the help of the integrated camera. … (Weiterlesen...)

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