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Lifewire / Erika Rawes
Good video quality
Accurate motion detection
The RemoBell S hits the mark aesthetically, but extra installation steps and a lackluster app make the doorbell less desirable.
The RemoBell S is a stylish video doorbell that sells for $99, which is a small price to pay for the ability to see and speak to visitors without having to get up and answer the door. Although the RemoBell S doesn’t appear to have too many standout features, it’s supposed to provide security for your home and property in a fast and easy to use device. I tested the RemoBell S for a week to see if its installation process, design, app, and features make it a worthwhile option compared to the numerous alternatives on the market.
The RemoBell looks expensive. When I first saw the unit, I actually thought the RemoBell S was a higher tier model based on its design. It has a modern design, and it doesn’t look flimsy or bulky. A lot of video doorbells have a glossy, plastic look, which makes the doorbell look outdated and cheap. The RemoBell S has a matte silver and slate color scheme, so even though it’s plastic, the housing looks metallic.
The RemoBell S is similar in length to the Ring 2, but it’s thinner and slimmer. It measures 5.1 by 1.8 by 0.84 inches, one of the thinnest profiles I’ve seen.
The installation process was a bit of a pain, mainly because you have to connect your own terminal screws and remove the faceplate to mount the unit. If you don’t install the power kit, you also have to install a fuse kit on the doorbell itself, another step I typically haven’t had to undertake with other video doorbells.
Other than the screw terminals, faceplate, and fuse kit, the setup process was similar to that of other wired video doorbells. If you can switch out a light fixture or wall outlet, you can install a wired video doorbell. Before installing the RemoBell S, it’s a good idea to make sure your existing wiring meets the power requirements (16-24 VAC).
The RemoBell comes with two angled plates, which were helpful because they gave me the option to install on a 5-degree or 15-degree angle or in different directions. Connecting to the app was simple. Once I had the doorbell powered, it even spoke out loud and said it was ready to connect to Wi-Fi. After it successfully connected to the network, it spoke again indicating it was connected.
The RemoBell S doesn’t have some of the advanced features like package detection, person detection, or advanced motion zones. It has motion detection, and you can adjust the sensitivity. But, the motion zones come in the form of large pre-positioned blocks that you can turn on or off. You can’t customize the zone, nor can you zone off a specific area you create.
Naturally, the RemoBell S has two-way talk, night vision, and a live feed. You can also have multiple users (up to five), and you get three days of free cloud recording without the subscription. If you purchase the $3 per month ($30 annual) subscription, you get 30 days of cloud recording. A 30-day trial subscription comes with the RemoBell S.
The RemoBell S has 1536x1536 resolution at up to 30 frames per second. The picture is pretty good. It’s not quite as bright and clear as the picture on the Nest Hello or Arlo, but it’s more than good enough to be able to see a detailed view of someone’s face. The camera has a 180-degree field of view (horizontally and vertically), so you can see a good amount of your porch and front yard. The night vision provides enough light to see up to 7.5 meters out according to the specs. But, during testing on my pitch dark street, I was only able to see about 3 meters out.
The two-way audio operates on a slight delay. It also sounds quiet on the app’s end. The person on the porch could hear me loud and clear, but they sounded quiet even when I turned the mic and speaker on full volume.
The app is pretty rudimentary—it’s slow and a bit choppy. The live view doesn’t load on the main screen, and there’s not even a recent still shot on the main screen to click on. You click on an image of the doorbell, as opposed to a recent still shot. When I load the live feed, it’s in landscape orientation, and I have to wiggle my phone or press a button in the corner to get the live feed to position to portrait orientation.
The main settings menu isn’t easy to find either. It takes three steps to access, instead of just having a settings menu button on the main screen. You can see recent activity on the main screen though, so that’s one plus.
I’ve tested about a dozen video doorbells, and $150 seems to be the magic price that separates the best from the rest. Now, when I say $150, I’m referring to the MSRP (retail) price, not a marked-down price. Most of the time, a video doorbell under $150 retail is lacking in a few key areas. The RemoBell S is no exception, as it’s feature set is limited, its app isn’t intuitive, and it’s a pain to install. Most people would be better off going with an older Ring for around the same price, or paying around $50 more for an Arlo video Doorbell.
The Eufy Video Doorbell retails for $160, and it’s superior to the RemoBell in a lot of ways. The Eufy comes with a chime, it’s easier to install, it has 2K resolution, it has built-in storage, it has more advanced motion features, and it only costs $60 more.
A budget video doorbell that looks better than it performs.
The RemoBell S is functional, but most people will be happier with an affordable Eufy, Arlo, or Ring Video Doorbell.