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Relatively easy to install
Limited audio and video lag
Good audio quality on both ends—from device and app
Difficult to set up on some Wi-Fi
HD image, but not as high definition as many competitors
No tools included in the kit
The Zmodo Greet Smart Doorbell is a well-designed video doorbell and relatively easy to install, set up, and use. Since it’s no longer the brand’s newest offering, it can be had at a discount, which makes it a compelling option. That is if you don’t need true 1080p HD video.
You’ve watched the viral internet videos of mysterious sightings, criminals caught in the act, and car crashes all caught by video doorbells. With those tantalizing images in mind, the decision to step into the 21st century and install a smart doorbell at your front door starts looking less like a luxury and more like a necessity.
Now, shopping for the right smart doorbell begins. Although there are many options on the market, each is subtly but importantly different. One of the most affordable options, however, is the Zmodo Greet Smart Doorbell, but it is it any good? I recently installed one on the front of my home to find out. Over several weeks of testing, the results—and its bona fides—became clear.
As I mentioned in the intro, there's no shortage of entrants in the smart doorbell market, some of which have embraced an Apple-like white color scheme. Others go for a darker motif with piano-black gloss plastic bodies. The Zmodo Greet, however, has a nice simulated brushed steel face, which makes it look substantial and premium by comparison.
Despite its looks, the Greet is actually fairly lightweight, tipping the scales at just 0.36 pounds. I was initially worried, based upon its looks, that the heft of the thing might overwhelm my wood siding. However, it’s such a featherweight that it was barely heavier than the standard non-smart doorbell that it replaced.
Before the install, I was also worried that visitors wouldn’t instinctively know which feature on the face of the Zmodo Greet to push in order to ring my bell. The always-on camera looks a bit like a button. However, when it’s powered up, the doorbell button has an illuminated ring, drawing the user’s eyes away from the sizeable camera and to the bell button itself. Crisis averted.
The smart doorbell is one of the few crossover tech items that require the user to be both somewhat tech-savvy as well as proficient with home repair and tools. This can be a deterrent or annoyance for those who are not both. I happen to be, so it wasn’t too much of a hassle for me. I know not everyone is, though, so take into consideration your own interest/skill level in messing with home wiring.
First of all, you must have a doorbell switch hardwired to a physical bell chime with a range of 10 to 36 AC volts. If you don’t, the standard Zmodo Greet setup will not work for you. If you do, you can proceed as normal.
Past the prolonged setup process, I found the Zmodo app and the Greet performed well.
Turn off power to your doorbell at your home’s fuse box. Unscrew your traditional doorbell from the wall. Measure and drill holes for the Zmodo Greet mounts. Attach it to the wall with the supplied screws, then slide the body onto the mount plate. Flip power back on to your doorbell and test it. If it all works, you’re ready to move to the next step. And this is where it can get tricky—it did for me.
My standard Wi-Fi router connection is a 5-gigahertz network connection. The Greet requires a 2.4ghz network connection—no more, no less. No problem, I have one of those, too. However, the name of mine includes a “!” and that threw off the Greet’s connectivity.
This forced me to call my landlord, who controls my Wi-Fi and alter the network name and settings. This was an annoyance for everyone involved. Even when the Wi-Fi network was appropriately named and calibrated to Zmodo’s preferences, connecting the Greet to my Wi-Fi network wasn’t super fast and required several attempts.
Like considering if you want to mess with home wiring before you purchase a smart doorbell, you’ll want to take into account your home Wi-Fi network and its available bands and settings. If you don’t have a 2.4ghz network, the Greet is probably worth skipping.
While the Zmodo app isn't particularly user-friendly or intuitive, I didn't find it onerous enough to merit it's current 2.1 star rating on the Apple App Store. Past the prolonged Wi-Fi setup process, I found the Zmodo app and the Greet performed well. When motion is detected, the Greet sends an alert to the user’s phone and records 10 seconds of video, which the user can review at any time.
When someone rings the bell, a push notification is sent to the user’s device. From the app, they can remotely speak with the person at the door through the Greet’s built-in microphone and speaker.
Of our eight favorite smart doorbells, the Greet is one of the cheapest options.
There’s very little lag between audio and video. Both I on the smartphone app and visitors to my front door found the audio quality fairly clear and audible with few exceptions (occurring only when there was excessive background noise).
The first 8GB of video recordings are saved in cloud storage by Zmodo. If you wish to access video further back, you'll need to upgrade to a monthly subscription.
The Zmodo Greet is no longer new and been replaced in the marketplace by recent models with higher resolution and broader connectivity options. However, if you don’t need the newest and highest resolution smart doorbell on the market, the Greet is a good, inexpensive choice. Although it once retailed for well above $100, it can frequently be purchased on Amazon for around $99.
Of our eight favorite smart doorbells, the Greet is one of the cheapest options. Aside from lacking 1080p, it offers virtually the same features and options as other contenders for two thirds of the price.
Comparing these two smart doorbells is a question of paying now or paying later. Let me explain. The RCA Doorbell Video Camera can be had on Amazon for around $129. The Zmodo Greet, however, can be purchased for $99. The RCA is true HD, with 1080p HD images, and can attach to either a 2.4 or 5-ghz Wi-Fi connection. It also comes with a 16GB micro SD card.
The Greet, as we discussed, only outputs 720p images and can only connect to 2.4ghz Wi-Fi networks. All of its video is stored in the Zmodo cloud, and that last factor is what will get you in the long run.
Although the Greet is cheaper upfront, it may cost you more throughout ownership. That’s because if you want to store more than a dozen hours on the Zmodo cloud, you’ll need to pay a monthly subscription fee. By comparison, the RCA can be upgraded by the owner from the included 16GB to a 128GB micro SD card and stores all video data onboard (though that too is an additional expense).
A strong contender, but outdated in the marketplace
The Zmodo Greet Smart Doorbell is a strong offering in the video doorbell segment. It’s relatively easy to use, affordable, and it’s not too difficult to install, granted you have a 2.4 ghz Wi-Fi network and own a power drill. However, as it ages, and the competition gets stronger and cheaper to purchase, the Greet’s bona fides quickly fade. If initial cost is your chief concern, the Greet is a great choice. Otherwise, you might be better suited looking to one of its higher-powered, more expensive competitors.