Eufy Video Doorbell Dual review: Double the fun?

There’s been something of an arms race in the video doorbell world lately, with companies vying to add all sorts of weird and wonderful features in a bid to outshine the competition. The Eufy Video Doorbell Dual, however, marks the first time I’ve seen the company do something really different – ​​and useful – by adding an additional downward-facing camera.

The idea is that, in addition to being able to monitor, record and speak to the caller from your smartphone screen, you’ll also be able to see any packages that might have been left on the doorstep. The Eufy Video Doorbell Dual goes one step further and can even automatically alert you when a package has been forgotten and when it’s gone.

Eufy Video Doorbell Dual review: What do you get for the money?

If this sounds like something you’ve been waiting for, know that you’ll pay for the privilege. At £229, it’s £50 more than the standard Eufy Video Doorbell (battery powered) (£179). It’s also more expensive than most of the other rivals, so it’s worth considering if you really need that extra camera before taking the plunge. Even the Nest Doorbell (battery) is cheaper at £180.

Just like its rivals, the Doorbell Dual comes with all the accessories you need to install it yourself. In the box is the doorbell – a fairly chunky 53 x 28 x 165mm (WDH) unit – plus a mounting bracket and wedge to point the camera inwards if you’re corner mounting it. You also get screws and anchors, a pair of wires with spade connectors to extend any existing doorbell wiring, and a tool to release the doorbell from its mounting plate when you need to recharge it.

Also included in the box is a Eufy HomeBase 2, which acts as a chime for the doorbell and local storage for video clips. Just like the standard Eufy Video Doorbell, you don’t have to pay a monthly subscription if you don’t want to and none of the camera’s features are limited if you choose to.

As this is a battery-powered doorbell, setup is simple. Once Doorbell Dual is charged, all you need to do is attach the bracket to your door frame using the included screws – and shim if necessary – download the Eufy Security app and set up the HomeBase 2 and doorbell, then attach it to the stand.

Eufy says the battery will last between three and six months, depending on how often the video recording is triggered, which isn’t too bad considering it records from two cameras whenever a video recording event occurs. movement or doorbell is triggered. The main camera records at 2K resolution (1920 x 2560) with a 160 degree field of view; the downward-facing camera captures at 1,600 x 1,200 and has a 97-degree field of view.

Of course, the best way to connect any video doorbell is through the mains and Eufy Video Doorbell Dual supports it. If you install it this way, you’ll never be without a doorbell while you wait for it to charge, and you can also hook it up to a traditional mechanical chime, for that classic “Ding Dong” doorbell ring. . If you don’t already have the wiring to do this, however, you will have to pay an electrician to install it for you and that will add significantly to the cost.

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Eufy Video Doorbell Dual review: What does it do well?

Without a doubt, the star feature here is the secondary “package” camera. This is tilted towards the ground and captures video alongside the main camera, so you can see if a courier has left a package at your doorstep – or if someone has stolen one left there. previously. Most regular video doorbells don’t have a wide enough view to see all the way to the doorstep, so it’s super useful if you have couriers who call frequently and need proof of what they’ve done. .

When you call up the video feed, that camera’s view is pasted below the front camera’s view so you can see both at once, and any packages left by the door are highlighted with a blue icon.

That’s not Eufy’s only useful feature, though – there are a host of other handy features you can enable. The first is stray detection, which will alert you if someone is hanging around outside your home for a set period of time. You can even play a custom or recorded message on the doorbell to potential intruders, though this doesn’t always work as intended (see below).

There’s also facial recognition for familiar faces and also human detection, which helps minimize false positives by only recording when people are detected. You can set motion zones for the doorbell to ignore motion in certain areas of the frame – handy if you live on a patio where you don’t want your neighbor’s visitors triggering recordings. There’s also an “advanced detection mode”, which lets you adjust the sensitivity in any direction using a radar-based motion sensor.

Overall responsiveness is good, with doorbell ringtones only skipping around a second after being pressed and there’s not too much lag on audio streaming either. There’s decent clarity on the doorbell speaker and microphone, so you can have a conversation with remote visitors without too much frustration.

Add the ability to set the doorbell to announce and ring through your Alexa-enabled smart speaker and you have a very impressive all-round security camera.

Eufy Video Doorbell Dual review: What could be improved

Alas, despite a slew of features, there are a few that could do with a bit of work and that starts with the night vision recording quality. The center-strung array of infrared LEDs doesn’t seem to have a particularly good range, only illuminating the area two or three meters from your front door. It’s good enough to be able to identify callers who are right at the door, but anyone who might be hanging around a bit further is a bit of a blur.

Also, while the camera supports Alexa speakers, it doesn’t work with Apple HomeKit or Google Home.

A bigger issue, however, is how well some of the more advanced features actually work in real life. Packet detection, in particular, needs serious improvement. I tested it with a number of different package types and the only ones that reliably triggered package alerts were those in brown boxes and the cardboard envelopes favored by Amazon. The white and colored boxes have simply been ignored and this is less than ideal.

The operation of the wander detection is also obtuse. The app only lets you set periods of up to 60 seconds of wandering before sending an alert; it’s not long enough. And it activates regardless of whether your “visitor” has pressed the doorbell or not, so you end up with double notifications.

However, I disabled the feature for a different reason. Despite the fact that the app gives you the option to turn off the audio warning and only send the notification to your phone, the doorbell insisted on playing the audio warning regardless. In fact, this behavior kept resurfacing even after disabling the feature, to the extent that I had to completely reset the doorbell to prevent it from happening.

Finally, the facial recognition function does not seem to work at all; not once during the tests did it recognize my face or that of my wife or children, or prompt me to tag unfamiliar faces. It failed even when I started it by taking selfies of each family member through the mobile app. To be fair to Eufy, it says the feature is currently in beta and “experimental”, so maybe don’t base your buying decision on that until it’s up and running properly.

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Eufy Video Doorbell Dual review: Verdict

The extra camera adds an extra dimension to this smart doorbell and performs the essential functions of announcing visitors and lets you communicate with them remotely very well. It won’t cost you any money to run either, which is nice.

However, I ran into quite a few issues with this Eufy doorbell during testing, so it’s not going to go away with a price tag and a handful of stars. It’s expensive too, and that extra camera doesn’t, in my opinion, justify the premium.

The good news is that if you’re willing to give up on that camera, the cheaper Eufy Video Doorbell is still available, does the job just as well, and is also free to run. This is the doorbell that I would advise you to buy instead.

Lance B. Holton