Remo+ RemoBell S Review 2021
The RemoBell S is a super affordable doorbell camera. If you want to keep an eye out for packages, or just get footage of the neighborhood raccoons busting into your trash bins (again), the RemoBell S gives you a lot of the same features as big names like Ring—but for only about $99. (Less, if you can get it on sale.)
For a budget cam, this device has its quirks: installation is a little tricky, and it’s tough to get the motion settings exactly right. But if you want an HD video doorbell on the cheap, it’s not a bad choice.
|Product||Price||Camera definition||Field of view||Learn more|
|RemoBell S||$99.00||1536 x 1536||180º||View on Amazon|
RemoBell S features
The RemoBell S has standard doorbell cam features, but it’s missing some fancy upgrades.
The RemoBell S has a lot of the features we expect to see in any doorbell camera worth your time: night vision, two-way audio, and custom motion zones, to name a few.
|Features||RemoBell S||Ring Video Doorbell||Nest Hello||Eufy Video Doorbell|
|Free cloud storage||3 days||None||None||Local storage|
|Camera resolution||1536 x 1536||720p||1600 x 1200||2560 x 1920|
|Field of view||180º||180º||160º||160º|
|Two-way audio|| |
|Night vision|| |
|Motion zones|| |
|Smart speaker integrations||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant|
|Connection type||Hardwired||Battery OR hardwired||Hardwired||Hardwired|
|Learn more||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View at Lowe's||View on Amazon|
Image quality and two-way audio
Let’s dig into the actual RemoBell S camera. The camera does have HD streaming with 1536 x 1536 resolution. The livestream view from the Remo+ app is generally pretty crisp and clear.
One thing we noticed is that, while the livestream view gives you a square frame, clips are always recorded in a circular frame. We don’t know why that is, and it can make the edges of clips look a bit distorted sometimes. You also miss key details like seeing a package toward the back of your porch.
Weird framing aside, we liked the camera’s two-way audio function. Even though our RemoBell S told us that the Wi-Fi signal on our porch was weak (whoops), we still didn’t have a ton of lag time in the video or with using two-way audio.
We also didn’t experience one of the most dreaded doorbell cam glitches of all time: what we’ll call the back attack. Sometimes when doorbell cameras have weak Wi-Fi signals, all your video clips will show only the back of someone’s head as they’re walking away (not their face as they’re ringing your doorbell).
Our clips from the RemoBell S gave us clear images of visitors as they approached the door, not just when they left.
Night vision and motion zones
We had a bit of trouble with the night vision and motion detection features. The RemoBell S does have night vision, but it’s not the best we’ve seen. You can still see what’s happening on your porch, but everything fades to shadow pretty quickly after the porch steps.
But easily, our biggest headache with this camera was motion detection. It took us a while to figure out how to adjust the motion zones and sensitivity so that we weren’t getting alerts every time a car drove down the street in front of our house. (Seriously. Every single time.)
Some doorbell cameras let you draw specific motion zones so you can precisely set which areas you want the camera to pay attention to. The RemoBell S has a much clunkier approach where you can select preset blocks.
We found that selecting anything other than the smallest, closest motion block would give us useless notifications all day long.
Motion sensor settings on any camera, but especially a doorbell camera, can totally make or break your experience. If you get a billion notifications per day and they’re almost all just cars driving down your street or tree branches waving, then you’re going to start ignoring notifications from your camera. In which case, why bother having a doorbell camera in the first place?
Higher-end doorbell cameras, like the Arlo Video Doorbell, can give you specific notifications, so you know which one to pay attention to. For example, it can tell you that there’s a person at your door or that there’s a package on your porch. Sometimes it can even tell you who the person is through familiar face detection.
The RemoBell S doesn’t have AI features like that. You get only one type of alert from the RemoBell S, and it’s “motion detected.” What kind of motion is a mystery until you open the livestream or check the video clip later.
RemoBell S installation
The RemoBell S is moderately easy to install—with a few hiccups.
Doorbell camera installation is always a bit trickier than other smart home gadgets. It’s one thing to screw a smart light bulb into a socket and another to hardwire a camera to your doorbell wiring. You have to know where your breaker box is for this one, people.
You also have to know which breaker goes to the doorbell wiring. Or you have to find it by awkwardly shouting back and forth across rooms like we did.
Despite the electronics involved, we still got the RemoBell S up and running in about an hour. But there are some features of this particular doorbell that make installation more difficult than with other models:
1) The RemoBell S has to be hardwired. There’s no battery pack option here; you have to wire the thing. (That’s not a total drawback: if you can hardwire your doorbell camera, you should. It’s much more reliable, and you don’t have to run around charging battery packs.)
2) You have to attach your doorbell wiring to the body of the camera itself during installation. Some other doorbell cams (like those from Ring,) let you attach the wiring to the baseplate, which is way easier. The way the RemoBell S does it, it can be really tricky to maneuver the wires, especially if your doorbell has short wires like ours did.
RemoBell S pricing and plans
You can get a Remo+ storage plan for just a few bucks per month—but it’s not the best value out there.
We’ve already mentioned that the RemoBell S is a budget camera, and that’s true. At only around $100 ($99 to be exact), you’ll save some cash over more expensive models. But the up-front price of the camera isn’t the only cost video doorbells have—there’s also cloud storage.
The RemoBell S gives you three days of rolling cloud storage for free. What that really means is that you can view motion-activated clips from the last three days, even if you don’t sign up for a cloud storage subscription plan. But if you want more storage than that, you’ll need to pay a bit extra.
|Plan||Price||# days of storage||Learn more|
|Remo+ Premium||$3/mo. OR $30/yr.||30||View on Amazon|
Three bucks per month might not seem like that much (and it’s not), but the Remo+ Premium plan still isn’t the most generous cloud storage plan we’ve seen. For example, Ring gives you 60 days’ worth of video history for the same price: $3 per month or $30 per year. (Remo+ gives you only 30.)
RemoBell S home automation
The RemoBell S works with the most popular smart speakers.
Amazon Alexa lets you stream live videos from your RemoBell S and check its battery status. The Google Assistant integration is less impressive—you can basically just check battery status and ask for details of the last event.
We didn’t test the RemoBell S with Google Assistant specifically, but we can’t imagine the event details would be that detailed considering the only kind of alerts the RemoBell can give you are simple things like “motion detected.”
Recap: Is the Remo+ RemoBell S a good doorbell camera?
Overall, the RemoBell S is a pretty good budget buy. But it is just that: a budget buy.
The RemoBell S is a decent doorbell camera for the price. But if you’re willing to spend a bit more, we recommend going with something like the Nest Hello or the Eufy Video Doorbell instead. RemoBell S’s features are good on a budget, but they can’t stack up against the (more expensive) competition.
RemoBell S features: The RemoBell S gives you standard features like HD recording, night vision, and two-way audio. But you won’t see more advanced features like person detection or smart alerts.
RemoBell S installation: RemoBell S installation was a little tricky, mostly because you have to attach your doorbell wiring directly to the camera body instead of the baseplate. We still had ours up and running in about an hour.
RemoBell S pricing: The RemoBell S itself is pretty cheap at only $99. If you opt for a cloud storage subscription plan, you’ll pay $3 per month (or $30 per year).
RemoBell S home automation: The RemoBell S works with IFTTT, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. Its Alexa integration is better than its Google Assistant features.
Still not sure if this is the right doorbell camera for you? Check out our Best Video Doorbell review for more information. Or, if you want to go for a whole home security system, you can find the best options on our Best Home Security Systems review.
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