From Ring to Kasa, the best doorbells at CES are a knock to last - 100.7 San Diego - True Variety -

From Ring to Kasa, the best doorbells at CES are a knock to last year’s models

By Clayton Moore

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Man, “video doorbell” really needs to be shorter because we’ve been typing it a lot this week. “Vidbell,” maybe. Anyway, there look to be more than a dozen video doorbells set to debut at CES 2019 this year, or — as our Home Editor Kim Wetzel put it last week, “This year, it’s all about ding-dongs.” Straight faces, everybody.

She notes that many of these devices are taking flight after seeing the success of Ring security‘s lineup of video doorbells, as well as Nest’s Hello doorbell. They are many, they oscillate wildly in cost, style, and connectivity, and they are coming whether you’re ready or not. Here are our picks for the most anticipated video doorbell devices for this year’s smart homes at CES 2019. Let the Video Doorbell-Palooza commence.

1. Replace your peephole with the Ring Door View Cam

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Ring has been in the smart home game about as long as anyone, and the firm is really getting good at making them. At CES 2019, the company announced its fifth video doorbell, branded the Ring Door View Cam, a wire-free video doorbell that transforms any analog door view (read: peephole) into a smart security device. A lot of companies are trying to differentiate their video doorbells with a variety of bells and whistles, but this is a great base device, with two-way talk, HD video, battery power, door activity detection, and night vision.

The Ring Door View Cam will be available in the U.S. later this year for $199.

2. Apple friendly: The Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell

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Most video doorbell products are already friendly with Alexa and Google Assistant, but Netatmo’s new Smart Video Doorbell is the first one compatible with Apple HomeKit, enabling control via the Apple Home App or Siri. This one won a CES 2019 Innovation Award, and it features a number of customizations, like alert zones that might appeal to the security-conscious smart home owner. It’s also a generous package that includes all features, including subscription -free video storage.

No word on price yet, but similar products from manufacturers like Ring and Nest range from $100 to $250. Netatmo says the Smart Video Doorbell will be available for purchase in the second half of 2019.

3. A jewel of a device: Kasa’s Smart Video Doorbell

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Kasa released a whole bunch of new products at CES 2019, ranging from security cameras to light switches, but one of the highlights is the new KD100 Kasa Smart Video Doorbell. It has a 2K HDR camera with infrared night vision, two-way audio, and echo and noise suppression. The video doorbell connects to existing doorbell wires and rings the existing chime. The camera and integrated A.I. detect faces to notify owners when family members or strangers are at the door.

Pricing has not been set for the KD100, which is planned for availability in the first half of 2019.

4. Watching the doorways: The Ezviz DB1 Video Doorbell

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Most video doorbell manufacturers pride themselves on having the widest possible field of vision, so it’s interesting that Ezviz’s first foray into the video doorbell market is designed specifically to watch doorways, with a moderate 105-degree horizontal field of vision but an excellent 180-degree field of vision. The extreme vertical FOV means you have a much better chance of seeing visitors from head to toe when viewing the streaming images on a smartphone or other device.

The DB1 is listed on on Amazon for $220 and is friendly with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

5. The Doorbell that knows who you are: Tuya Smart’s Smart Home 2.0

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At time of writing, we don’t know exactly what Tuya’s video doorbell is called, but we’ve seen a picture of it. More importantly, the device is part of a big rollout of Tuya Smart’s new home security system that uses artificial intelligence and facial recognition software to recognize any member of a family or community based on a photograph. The device is just one component in Tuya Smart’s Smart Home 2.0 package, which includes a security hub that combines 10 products. In short, we don’t know too much about price or release date, but we like the idea of A.I. embedded into a doorbell.

6. All hail: Maximus brings a dual-camera video doorbell to market

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One of the major risks of video surveillance is blind spots that can be taken advantage of by porch pirates. Maximus addresses that risk with a new dual camera smart doorbell, the first of its kind, augmented by a new floodlight. The Maximus Answer DualCam Video Doorbell uses two cameras to provide a wider field of vision, enables two-way communication via speaker, and uses less power than other video doorbells. This one also talks to Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa and will retail for $200 when it hits the smart home market sometime in 2019.

These are our favorites so far, but little birds are always whispering that surprises might be afoot. If we get wind of any additional announcements to add to Video Doorbell-Palooza 2019, we’ll update this post, so if video doorbells are your jam, keep an eye out.

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