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This HomeKit Secure Video Doorbell symbolizes Apple’s smart home device. Let’s take a closer look at the recently announced Belkin Wemo smart video doorbell.
Revealed in time At the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Belkin continues its push for homekit-first items.
The Belkin Vemo Smart Video Doorbell measures 4.9 inches tall and 1.7 inches wide. Many have questioned how thick the doorbell is, and it is slightly thicker than its closest competitor – the Logitech Circle View wired doorbell. The Wemo is 1.4 inches deep, while the Logitech is 1.1 inches. If you use an angled wedge plate, it extends up to 2.1 inches on the thick side.
It has a 4MP sensor that captures 1200×1600 videos with 178-degree field of view. It works exclusively with Apple HomeKit and supports HomeKit secure video, which means all cloud recordings are stored securely within iCloud.
Like most HomeKit doorbells, it connects via Wi-Fi and supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz connections. The doorbell also includes infrared sophisticated night vision for low light, speed detection and two-way communication.
Belkin Wemo Smart Video Doorbell Review – Installation
Most people will have no problem installing Wemo doorbells. The doorbell connects only to a pair of wires so that even the most novice users will not have problems. That said, if you’re hesitant or are buying it as a gift, Belkin offers a commercially installed version via OnTech – for a 99 fee, of course.
It takes a little more tinkering to connect to your chime, but we knocked out our installation in less than 15 minutes.
If this is your first smart doorbell, you may need to use a drill bit to drill pilot holes in your door frame. The Wemo doorbell is slightly larger than a normal doorbell button and does not fit into existing holes.
When power off, remove your existing doorbell or video doorbell. We then used a Phillips screw driver to secure the two wires to the mounting plate. By connecting the wires, we glued the plate to the wall.
The screws are longer, lending to a safer installation than the usual half-inch screws on other devices. Alternatively, you can install a wedge mount, which angles the camera and fits left or right.
Two spring pins are located in front of the plate and pressed against the two contact points behind the doorbell. Slide the doorbell over the top pin and tighten the bottom screw.
The doorbell is fitted with Torx screws instead of Phillips, which helps to strengthen the security. If you do not have Torx drivers at work, there is one included.
Once the installation is complete, it’s time to return to HomeKit setup.
Belkin Wemo Smart Video Doorbell – HomeKit support
A sticker bearing your unique HomeKit pairing code rests on the back of the camera, which is easy to access but not convenient during the setup process. You can plug the camera into a micro USB cable and connect it before the installation is complete, or you can install it and scan the code on the back pages of the setup manual.
A modal dialog sequence takes you through the basics of adding a new HomeKit assistant. Give your assistant a name, locate it in your home, and choose when your camera will record, stream, or set it privately. You are also able to determine who has access to these streams or recordings in your home.
After that, you can turn facial recognition on or off and set access control.
The last few steps of setup include choosing your Chime preferences and enabling any automation suggested by HomeKit.
At this point, the camera is largely good for moving. If you dive deeper into the features, you’ll be able to tailor the experience to your needs.
For example, HomeKit allows you to set custom activity zones. Without the activity area, any motion will trigger the camera. Any car running on the road will send unnecessary alerts to our phone. By setting up limited activity areas on our driveways and porches, we only get the information we need.
Alternatively, you can set notifications in filters based on the activity type. You can only filter notifications of vehicles, people, animals, packages, or any combination of many to allow. This ensures that information does not hit you with fatigue and ignores incoming alerts.
Other benefits of HomeKit include rich notifications that can stream live feeds from your doorstep, your notifications Apple TV, And the bell will ring on your designated HomePods or HomePod minis.
We have a homekit wall switch that controls our porch light for our setup. This allows us to create an automated routine of turning on the porch light when the Wemo Smart Video Doorbell detects motion.
Homekits are more of a concern than any of our doorbells. Apple’s interface for watching video clips is a bit weak, and there’s no way to quickly change the camera’s privacy mode with Visual or Siri.
At least firmware updates can now be done via the home app, with Belkin being the first to take advantage of it.
Belkin Wemo Smart Video Doorbell – Video Quality
The quality of the video captured by the doorbell is as important as the deep integration in the homekit. As mentioned, this camera captures 1200 by 1600 videos. As it is taller than wide, it is suitable for viewing on mobile.
The 178-degree field of view is also quite wide. We can see both the network and our door to the left of our doorbell. We can see above the dormitory and the doorframe. There is no way that anyone will be able to reach the door without being spotted.
Belkin digs deep into the HDR list of its glasses, but the background was just blown out. Compared to the Earlo Doorbell Cam, the Belkin Vemo loses some detail and variation on our shady porch against the sunlight driveway.
How it works for you will be different. If you are a southern face, the sun can be an issue in parts of the day. You may need to fiddle with mounting angles to get it right.
HomeKit limits the resolution of video capture from the camera. With any luck, the maximum resolution will see a boost in future updates to iCloud. However, we need new hardware to support higher resolutions.
Should You Buy a Belkin Wemo Smart Video Doorbell?
As it stands, if you want the best HomeKit video doorbell, Wemo is what you want. On the market, there are a handful of video doorbells that currently take full advantage of HomeKit by supporting HomeKit Secure video.
You can choose between Logitech Circle View, Robin Proline, or Robin Proline Compact. If you’re just fine with the Vanilla Homekit support, you can opt for the Netatmo Safe Video Doorbell, Arlo Wired Video Doorbell, or the Yobi B3 – although that last is basically steamware at this point.
Its closest competitor is the Logitech Circle view. Still, Wemo has two advantages over its wide field view and the ability to manually perform firmware updates in the home app. So judging between the two, we have to give it a go at Belkin Wemo Smart Video Doorbell.
We appreciate how easy it was to install Wemo Doorbell, and its HomeKit support is top notch. HomeKit has become the biggest problem in the doorbell category, and Apple has addressed it periodically in iOS updates.
As it stands, if you want the best smart video doorbell to work with HomeKit today, Wemo should be your choice. Tomorrow is another story, because the class has not yet fully matured.
Belkin Wemo Smart Video Doorbell Pro
- Support for Apple HomeKit and works with HomeKit Safe Video
- Motion and doorbell notifications on Apple TV
- Chime on HomePod and HomePod mini
- Ultra-wide 178-degree visual field
- Both 2.4GHz and 5GHz support Wi-Fi unlike most smart home devices
- Infrared night vision
- No additional subscription required outside iCloud
Belkin Wemo Smart Video Doorbell Opposition
- With wedges, it’s much thicker
- Does not support Alexa or Google Assistant – your mileage may be different if it is actually confirmed, though
- HomeKit does not have a wireless version
HDR is weak
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Where to buy
You can order Belkin Vemo Smart Video Doorbell right now Belkin’s website for 249. Shipping is expected to begin in February or March.