The Wyze Video Doorbell Pro Is Both Cheap and Smart

The square 150-degree view is enough to cover most of my porch. There is a blind spot directly below the doorbell, but the Eufy Video Doorbell Dual (7/10, WIRED Recommends) is the only alternative I’ve tested that doesn’t have the same problem. Unfortunately, that expansive view comes at the cost of a pronounced fish-eye effect that almost makes you feel like you’re looking through a peephole. I like that I can zoom in, but there is pixelation, even at the highest video quality.

The audio is good enough to get an idea of what is going on, and you can have a two-way conversation, albeit with some lag. But it does sound tinny, and any distant noises sound distorted. I like the quick responses—you can tap to tell visitors you’ll be there shortly or tell a courier to leave a package, but it would be nice to have the option to record custom responses in your own voice.

Smart Performance

Wyze via Simon Hill

Testing a variety of scenarios, I have been impressed with the accuracy and responsiveness of the Wyze Video Doorbell Pro. It never missed a visitor, the chime triggered immediately on button presses, and alerts came through to my phone relatively swiftly. There was some delay when I was away from home and some occasional lag, but Wi-Fi or data signal strength is a factor wherever you are.

Loading the live view takes between three and five seconds. I like the clear timeline underneath that shows events as blocks. Video is stored in the cloud, and playback is quick, provided you have a decent connection. You can set sensitivity and create a detection zone to reduce false positives.

With a Cam Plus subscription, you get smart detection and can choose when notifications should trigger. The smart detection AI can accurately determine whether a person, pet, vehicle, package, or some combination is at your door, and video events sport the relevant icons. There is support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa too. I found the doorbell feed relatively quick to load on a Nest Hub (it compared favorably with the Eufy).

The Catch

You get one month of Cam Plus free with the doorbell. Without it, there is a 5-minute cooldown between recordings and a 12-second limit on videos. You get free cloud storage, but there is no local storage option. It also enables smart detection and the option to filter alerts. If you don’t have a subscription, any motion will trigger alerts. Without the subscription, the limits on the camera would be a deal breaker for me. Thankfully, it only costs $2 per month, or $15 ($1.25/month) if you pay for a year up front.

Another question with the Wyze Video Doorbell Pro is the battery life. Wyze says up to six months, but my testing suggests more like six weeks. My porch is quite busy, and I have set it to the highest quality with no cooldown and up to 30 seconds for recordings, so your mileage may vary. You also have to remove the doorbell to charge it. Wired doorbells generally have better performance, so it’s much better to wire it in if you can.

My final concern is Wyze’s lax attitude toward security and software updates. For three years, the company did not fix a major bug that may have let attackers remotely access videos and other images stored on device memory cards. It would have required a local network breach, which is unlikely (here’s the Wyze response), but still. Privacy-conscious folks may also balk at the cloud-only video storage, although Wyze has stated that it won’t share footage without a warrant or court order.

Then there’s the fact that Wyze discontinued support for the first version of the Wyze Cam shy of its fifth birthday, giving customers scant notice. Sadly, none of this is especially unusual for the industry, and Wyze has beefed up its security team since, but it may still give you pause.

Ultimately, the Wyze brand is all about value. At $94 plus shipping, the Video Doorbell Pro delivers on that front with an impressive range of features and solid performance. It easily surpasses the other budget video doorbells I have tested, so for folks on a strict budget, I don’t see a better option right now.

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