Remo+ Adds Two Video Doorbells To Their RemoBell LineUpBy - 02/28/2019
Remo+ isn’t a brand you often hear about in the video doorbell market, likely because their first video doorbell, launched in 2017, wasn’t as talked about as Nest or Ring. Two years later, they’re improving on their first doorbell with two new video doorbells: RemoBell S and RemoBell W.
The Basics and Differences
RemoBell S and RemoBell W are both hardwired video doorbells that require an existing doorbell setup, so they won’t work for renters whose landlords don’t allow modifications to their property. I note this distinction because it is a departure from RemoBell’s current line of renter-focused products. For example, Door Cam (hands-on review here) is a video doorbell that fits over your doorframe, no drilling required.
Beyond sharing the commonality of being hardwired, the two doorbells have several differences. Let’s start with the price.
The primary difference between the two doorbells is price. If you’re looking for a sub-$100 doorbell, RemoBell S is for you. It retails for $99. If you want a doorbell that’s closer to Ring Video Doorbell Pro or Nest Hello‘s price range, the $199 RemoBell W is for you.
Typically, if a device cost more, it offers more, and that’s the case with RemoBell W. However, keep the price gap in mind as we continue to compare the two. RemoBell W may offer superior features, but it’s also $100 more expensive. When deciding between the two, it’s not just a question of price, but value.
As for the design, the two doorbells look nothing alike. RemoBell S (pictured left) has a simplistic and minimalist look with nothing but the camera lens, doorbell button, and the Remo+ logo on its face. On the other hand, RemoBell W (pictured right) is more video doorbell-like.
Which of them looks better? I’ll leave that for you to decide, but one thing’s for sure: They both look better than the original RemoBell. They’re also slimmer and thus easier to install. RemoBell S measures 5.1″ x 1.8″ x 0.84″ while RemoBell W measures 5.4″ x 1.7″ x 1″.
Getting into the more technical stuff, RemoBell S and W each offers a different viewing experience.
For starters, RemoBell S offers a 180° viewing angle both vertically and horizontally. Its vertical viewing angle allows you to see guests from head-to-toe whether they’re standing a few feet away or close to your front door. The doorbell’s horizontal field of view allows you to see what’s on both sides of the doorbell, which is a blind spot for most video doorbells. Because of its extremely wide viewing angle, RemoBell S offers a 1536 x 1536 FHD resolution. However, also due to its wide angle FOV, the images created by RemoBell S have a fisheye effect. Fortunately, the Remo+ app offers a dewarping option for live videos.
RemoBell W offers a 160° viewing angle. Its resolution is 1080p.
The most important difference you should be aware of is how the two video doorbells detect motion. RemoBell S uses computer vision, while RemoBell W has a PIR motion sensor. What’s the difference?
Computer vision compares subsequent frames captured by the camera to find movement. In this case, “movement” refers to changes in the pixel level. If a cluster of pixels changes color or position, that means there’s motion, irrespective of whether it’s a human, car, or shadow. A PIR motion sensor is hardware-based. It’s embedded into the device and detects movement caused by subjects that produce infrared radiation. A good example of this would be the human body. If a person crosses the sensor’s detection range, the sensor will sense a change in temp and trigger an alert.
Usually, I recommend cameras that use a PIR motion sensor over cameras that use computer vision. However, RemoBell S has an additional feature that convinced me to reconsider my recommendation: Motion Zones.
Motion Zones allow you to limit the area in which the computer vision detects motion. For example, you can program it only to detect motion that occurs on your property. This is a better solution than using a PIR motion sensor that alerts you whenever a jogger or car passes by.
So what’s my recommendation? Both methods of detection are effective, but the best will depend on your situation. For example, if your front porch is close to a sidewalk, computer vision with Motion Zones might be better. However, if there’s a lot of insignificant movement occurring on your property (e.g., falling leaves, shadows, etc.), a PIR motion sensor will provide a better experience.
Finally, while both doorbells will most likely work with your existing chime, RemoBell W comes with a wireless indoor chime. Just plug it into a power outlet, pair it with the doorbell, and it will sound whenever RemoBell W’s doorbell button is pressed.
Most of the features shared by RemoBell S and RemoBell W are software-related. These features are found within the Remo+ smartphone app, the app used to view live and recorded videos, control settings, and receive notifications.
On-Demand Live Streaming
Both video doorbells can stream video to your smartphone wherever you are, so long as the doorbell is connected to Wi-Fi and your phone has internet access via Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G (or even 5G). The live stream is encrypted to ensure a secure transmission. Only you and your family members can watch the stream. Up to five users can be added to a single account.
Another shared feature made possible by the app is push notification. When someone rings the doorbell or when motion is detected, the cameras will send you an alert. Opening the notification will take you to the app and start a live stream. From there, you can also enable two-way audio to talk to your guest.
RemoBell S and W are the first Remo+ cameras to offer free cloud storage for alert videos. If motion is detected or if someone rings the doorbell, they will record a short clip and save it in the cloud for three days. During this time, you can watch recorded videos via the app and download the important ones.
Three days is limited, so if you want to add more cloud storage space, you can upgrade your cloud subscription. The Standard cloud plan for RemoBell is $3 per month or $30 per year. This plan covers one device, but it increases the cloud storage space to 30 days. To compare, Ring’s cloud storage subscription is also $3 per month per camera, but it gives you access to 60 days of cloud storage.
Smart Home Integrations
Their integration with Alexa allows you to stream videos from your camera to your Alexa-enabled speaker with a screen, such as Echo Show or Echo Spot. They can also stream to Fire TV screens and Fire Tablets. When using this integration, be sure to enable the Remo+ Show skill, not Remo+ Voice.
RemoBell’s integration with Google Assistant offers fewer features. So far, you can only ask Google Assistant about RemoBell’s recent activities (i.e., doorbell rings, motion alerts) and your camera’s network status.
The final similarity between the two video doorbells is how they are installed. As mentioned earlier, both are hardwired video doorbells, so you’ll need to hook them up to your existing doorbell wires. Both doorbells come with a power kit. However, you should note that the power rating of the two doorbells is different. RemoBell S supports 16 to 24 VAC setups, while RemoBell W supports a wider range of 8 to 24 VAC.
As for mounting, both video doorbells ship with a mounting kit that includes several mounting edges so you can angle the camera and get the perfect view.
RemoBell’s new doorbells look promising. Both offer high-end features that put them on par with more established brands like Ring.
With a $99 price tag, RemoBell S seems to be a real value. It sells for the same price as the original Ring Video Doorbell, but it offers a better image quality and better look. The catch is that it lacks batteries wherein Ring is dual-power (can be hardwired or battery-powered).
RemoBell W is more expensive and has better features than RemoBell S, but I’m not fully convinced that it’s better than its Ring counterpart, Ring Pro.
Photo Credit: Remo