Friday, 4 March 2022

Eufy Security announces a new doorbell camera that is also a smart lock

 Anker’s smart home brand, Eufy Security, launched its latest product on Kickstarter today. The $399 Eufy Security Video Smart Lock is a video doorbell and smart lock in one and is expected to ship to backers in May 2022, with a general release in June. Notably, the somewhat unique two-in-one security device uses a fingerprint reader to unlock the door and, according to the company, can send alerts when certain people arrive or leave with facial recognition.

An apparent amalgamation of Eufy’s $260 Eufy Smart Lock Touch & WiFi and $200 Eufy Video Doorbell 2K, the Video Smart Lock offers a small bargain compared to shelling out for two devices, but there are obvious issues with a duplicate product here.

For starters, most people struggle with video doorbells, often not realizing that they have to press the camera somewhere to alert the owner that someone is at the door. With this product, the call button is on the door lock, in the place where a key normally belongs. That probably causes confusion.

Plus, you can’t corner a door lock to get a better view of your porch, and from my testing of the main competitor in this space — the $399 Lockly Vision — the view you get from a camera in your door lock only good for seeing people, not for parcels.



There is also no mention of the expected battery life. Powering both a door lock and a security camera over Wi-Fi will be a serious hit. As with Eufy’s current door lock, the Video Smart Lock is powered by a rechargeable 10,000 mAh lithium battery, but we’ll have to see how long it lasts.

But Eufy is nothing but innovative – the latest standalone doorbell camera has two lenses for looking from top to bottom. So it’s possible that the company has some tricks up its sleeve for better viewing angles and longer battery life.

For now, the details available show that the video doorbell section will have a 2K night vision camera with a 160-degree field of view and a standard 4:3 rectangular aspect ratio, plus a speaker and microphone for two-way conversations. Motion detection is powered by both PiR and radar, and Eufy’s “Human Detection” AI should filter out alerts caused by cars, trees, and animals.

The lock is operated by a fingerprint reader or keyboard and has app and voice control. There is no physical lock with key as with the other lock. It can also be locked automatically.



The company also claims that fingerprint recognition in this lock will be much improved over the existing option (which I tested and found very reliable), recognizing your print in less than 0.3 seconds, and using AI to capture your family’s prints. to learn for an even faster response time.

There is no charge to view recorded images from the doorbell; as with all Eufy camera products, recordings are stored locally. There’s no mention of compatibility with Eufy’s Home Base 2, so it looks like it won’t be a requirement (which it is for the Eufy Dual doorbell). The lock presumably works directly over Wi-Fi and stores footage on the device (we’ve reached out to Eufy for clarification).

As a battery-operated doorbell, it won’t work with an existing doorbell, but Eufy comes with a plug-in digital doorbell.

The company launched the product today on Kickstarter, a launch strategy it has used in the past. The super early bird special is $199 for the first 2,000 backers, which is half the expected launch price of $399. It will be available in June on Amazon and Eufy’s own store.