Smart home company Wyze has revealed its latest category-breaking device, and this time, it’s going straight for Ring’s lunch with an impressive-sounding video doorbell that checks pretty much all the right boxes. Except maybe the “cool style and nice design” one.
Available for preorders on October 19th and shipping in December, the Wyze Video Doorbell Pro costs $65 (plus shipping), can be installed fully wired or wire-free, has up to six months of battery life, and a 1:1 aspect ratio that can take in your entire front porch. It records and streams video in 1440 x 1440 HD and offers 12-second clip playback for motion and sound events for free. The recordings are stored in Wyze’s cloud; there is no local storage option.
The doorbell comes with a Wyze wireless Chime, which offers 20 different ringtones. In addition, the Doorbell Pro will work on 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi. If you want smart notifications — like person, animal, or package detection — you will need to sign up for Wyze’s Cam Plus service (which starts from $1.49 a month). This also adds unlimited video length recording and takes away the 5-minute cool-down period (during which time the camera won’t record after it finished the last recording).
The downside here is that because the battery is built in, you will have to take it down to charge it (via a USB cable). But if you are able to hard-wire it, with 16- to 24-volt wiring, the doorbell will work off wired power, rather than just trickle-charging from the battery. This adds the ability to capture an extra 3-6 seconds of pre-roll video before an event, meaning you’re less likely to miss a visitor who buzzes and runs.
Also, Wyze told me that the doorbell won’t work with existing electronic doorbell chimes; you have to use the included wireless one. And the company says certifications for Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility are under development.
Wyze’s current video doorbell costs $50 (plus shipping) and offers 1080p HD video with a 3:4 aspect ratio. It is hard-wired only and doesn’t support 5GHz Wi-Fi. The closest Ring comparison is the Ring Video Doorbell Wired, which costs $79.99 with a wireless Chime included but doesn’t have the option of battery power. For a battery-powered Ring, the next option is $100 without the Chime — but Ring’s doorbells will work with an existing mechanical chime.
However, Wyze hasn’t managed to be the cheapest in the market this time. Blink announced a $50 wired and battery-powered doorbell last month that can run for up to two years on two AA lithium batteries.