Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell
“The Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell is a great video doorbell with a few small flaws and one big one – the price.”
Intelligent AI camera detection
Clear video day and night
Narrow field of view
Blocky design collides with some decor
When asked to review the Netatmo security camera a few months ago, I was impressed with the functionality but not the design. Fortunately, Netatmo has made some progress in this category with its Smart Video Doorbell. The wired doorbell from Netatmo brings person recognition and the known functions of artificial intelligence (AI) to a thankfully smaller form factor.
Netatmo hasn’t quite shaken off its blocky roots yet, however, as the design of this doorbell reminds me of something you might see in Minecraft. The doorbell consists of three squares stacked on top of each other. The top square has the camera and Netatmo branding, the middle square has a loudspeaker grille for bidirectional communication, and the bottom square has the button with a bell symbol. Overall, the aesthetic works for me. It looks modern so it looks a little different on a brick home, but you can go upstairs well.
The installation is very easy. Netatmo even included a silicone lock that you slide the doorbell wires through for additional sealing. It’s a nice touch that I’ve never seen before. You can also use a 25 degree offset to see if your house is mine and the door is set back from the brick siding. A carillon module is included in the scope of delivery, which you must also connect to your transformer. So make sure you know where that is. Netatmo also includes an additional backup, which is a first in my career as a doorbell checker. Better to have it and not need it, I suppose.
The video feed is very good. My backyard in Chicago is currently a snowy landscape so I can’t comment on the color rendering, but I can tell you the white balance is spot on. A fish-eye effect can be seen at the edges of the field of view with a diagonal of 140 degrees. The infrared image is also quite good at night. There’s a lot of camera in this doorbell.
Netatmo has some work to do on its aesthetics, but this is a solid step in the right direction.
The speaker built into the camera is loud and clear. Netatmo doesn’t list an official specification for speaker’s volume, but it certainly is clear enough for a conversation to take place. Both the two-way conversation and video feed are pretty lag-free, so you don’t get awkward pauses in which you say something and then wait for the voice to go through.
The doorbell also works with Apple’s HomeKit, although I mainly used the Netatmo Security app for my tests. After my review of the Logitech video doorbell, it was a nice change of pace. Netatmo is still doing smart things with AI, like focusing and cropping on the themes of motion in the thumbnails of saved events. Of course, a floodlight in the frame was identified as a person for the first few days, but that’s why detection zones are important.
The software has some special features that are difficult to reconcile with one another. For example, to view the live camera, you need to press a phone icon in the middle of the screen. To terminate the connection, you must also press a hang-up key. While watching the live feed, you can unmute the speaker and microphone on the doorbell to have a conversation with whoever is there. I’ve got the thinking behind it – you “call” the camera to have a conversation with whoever is at the door.
Netatmo doubles the “phone call” metaphor when the doorbell rings. The app not only rings your interior, but also initiates a call between you and the doorbell. Other doorbells, like our recently tested Wyze video doorbell, simply send you a notification and you can choose whether or not to respond. This feature follows the Netatmo video calling metaphor, but just because I can streamline it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.
One of the few that support HomeKit
The addition of Apple’s HomeKit brings a nice new level of automation that we explored in the Logitech video doorbell. You can use the motion sensor on the doorbell to trigger other actions around the house, although I haven’t found one that makes sense yet. The video feed also works more intuitively through HomeKit. You don’t have to ring the doorbell to see what’s going on outside. With the Netatmo app, Android users can also enjoy the doorbell.
Overall, this is a solid entry into the video doorbell space. Netatmo has some work to do on its aesthetics, but this is a solid step in the right direction. In all fairness, the blocky doorbell doesn’t suit every type of home. Integration with Apple HomeKit is easy without excluding Android users. The video feed is great and has a slightly narrower field of view than others on the market.
As a stand-alone doorbell, this is exactly the right thing for you. It does everything it needs to be a video doorbell and uses intelligent AI to figure out what’s important in a particular clip. I would love to test this out during a non-winter month to see animals running across my deck so I can really put this AI through its paces, but my review of the Netatmo video camera gave me a good idea of what to expect. When putting your smart home piece together this is a good addition as long as you like the look.
Is there a better alternative?
The Netatmo video doorbell does a lot of things right, but Netatmo is charging nearly $ 300, and there are other options worth considering. From a design perspective, I prefer the rounded look of the Arlo Video doorbell or the Nest Hello. From the point of view of the field of view, 140 degrees is the center of the road. Doorbells like the Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro give you full 180-degree top, bottom, left, and right angles. Simply put, for its price, the Netatmo should be the best of all, and it really isn’t.
Will it take?
The Netatmo video doorbell works between -10 and 40 degrees Celsius and is IP44 compliant. Netatmo products are guaranteed for two years. The silicon barrier keeps water out of the electronics, so I see no reason why this doorbell shouldn’t last long.
Should you buy it?
No. At $ 300 there are other options that do a better job. See the Wyze Video Doorbell at 1/10 the price. It is true that Netatmo does not charge a subscription service and that all videos are stored locally on an included SD card. However, at this price point, it’s hard to recommend, especially when video doorbell prices are generally falling.