Remo+ RemoBell W video doorbell review: High-end features, but not best in class Credit: RemoSupplied Art
Business Management

Remo+ RemoBell W video doorbell review: High-end features, but not best in class

Remo+ jumped into the video doorbell product with both feet, so to speak, launching not one but two doorbell cameras at very different price points. We generally panned the budget-priced RemoBell S ($99). The $199 RemoBell W is significantly better, but it’s still not best in class.

Both Remo+ video doorbells depend on the presence of low-voltage wiring, so neither is an easy-to-recommend candidate if your home doesn’t already have a doorbell. If your home does, or if you’re willing to pull wire to the location you want to install it, the RemoBell W is the far better of the two. It’s much less expensive than our top pick in this category, the Nest Hello ($279), but it’s the same price as our second-favorite, the wireless Ring Video Doorbell 2, and it’s more expensive than the higher-rated Hanwha Techwin Wisenet SmartCam D1.

The RemoBell W does offer some advanced features to justify its higher price tag, starting with a passive infrared motion sensor. This type of sensor is much less likely to generate spurious visitor notifications because whatever comes within range of its motion detector must radiate heat. That means people (and animals, unfortunately) will set off an alert, but bushes and trees swaying in the breeze won’t.

RemoBell W with wireless chime Remo+

The RemoBell W’s wireless remote chime is a great idea that we’d like to see with more video doorbells.

The RemoBell W does not support facial recognition, but that’s a relatively rare feature in this type of product (and it’s not always reliable, as we found with the Wisenet SmartCam D1). Remo+ also bundles a wireless remote chime with the RemoBell W, which you can deploy in a room where you might not be able to hear your legacy chime.

When shopping for any type of security camera, it’s worth noting if you’ll need a subscription to use it. The Ring family of video doorbells and cameras, for instance, don’t store any video unless you pay for a subscription. You can view a live feed from Ring cameras, but that’s all. Remo+ provides a service plan that stores an unlimited number of video clips recorded over a rolling three-day period in the cloud at no additional cost. If you need more storage than that, it will cost $3 per month ($30 per year if paid annually) per device to increase storage to 30 days.

RemoBell W Jason D’Aprile

The RemoBell W delivers excellent image quality, but the uncorrected fisheye distortion still has us scratching our heads.

The RemoBell W installation experience is typical for wired doorbells: The product comes with a wiring block that you attach inline to your existing doorbell’s chime (only transformers delivering 16 to 24 volts AC are supported). The one Remo+ provides, however, is a bit odd: It’s an exposed circuit board—not much bigger than a quarter—with no housing covering it. I suppose this isn’t a big deal, since you’re dealing with low voltage and the wiring block will be hidden inside your original doorbell chime’s housing anyway; it’s just that the exposed circuit board leaves you’re with the sense that you’re working with an unfinished product.

Remo+ provides two optional mounts for the doorbell itself: One adjusts the doorbell camera’s field of view to the side by 15 degrees, and the other tilts the camera’s field of view up by five degrees. The provided guide does a good job of guiding you through the entire process, and the company has produced an informative YouTube video if you need extra help.

RemoBell W Jason D’Aprile

The exposed circuit board that you’ll need to wire to your existing doorbell chime lends an unfinished feel to the RemoBell W.

The camera itself has a narrower field of view than the RemoBell S (160 degrees versus 180 degrees), but it captures video at the same resolution: 1080p and it supports night vision. The doorbell offers two-way voice communication with very minimal delay, so you can speak with visitors who come to your door. Remo+ has made a few minor improvements to its app since I reviewed the RemoBell S, but the app still doesn’t correct for the camera lens’s fisheye distortion when you view recorded video. If you’re looking for a doorbell you can integrate into your smart home system, the RemoBell W supports Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT.

The RemoBell W is a good wired video doorbell that offers several great features, including a passive infrared motion sensor and a wireless chime that you can deploy in another part of your home. The Remo+ app, and the way it handles video, remains problematic. Both the less-expensive Wisenet SmartCam D1 and the similarly priced battery-powered Ring Video Doorbell 2 are better values, but both of those companies will charge you for video storage where Remo+ offers three days of video storage for free.

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