RemoBell S Video Doorbell Review: Small cost, big features

Video doorbells are one of the staples of the smart home, thanks to their ability to keep an eye on your packages and your home in a compact, easy to install package. Each doorbell has its own unique features and pricing structures, although they all offer some essential features. These features include 2-way communication for speaking to those at your door, notifications, and of course, video recording, and they deliver all of this from the comforts of an app.

The RemoBell S Video Doorbell is an affordable alternative to the established players on the market, offering all of the connected doorbell basics with a low up-front cost, and no subscriptions. We recently set up RemoBell's offering, and we were happy to see that it provides everything as advertised, making it one to look for if you are shopping around for connected video doorbells.

The Good

  • Low cost
  • Easy setup in app
  • Motion zone settings
  • No subscription required
  • Included installation tools

The Bad

  • Additional chime not included
  • No motion zone preview
  • Hardwired only
  • Does not support HomeKit
  • Night vision a little lacking

essentials and more

RemoBell S Video Doorbell: The features

The RemoBell S Video Doorbell features a mostly all-black design, that is similar in shape to the classic rectangular doorbell. Despite this similarity in shape, this doorbell is significantly larger than its "dumb" counterparts, and will certainly stand out to visitors as being something that is not ordinary. On the face of the device is a circular camera positioned at the top, a small microphone that enables 2-way communication, and a large silver push button with an LED ring surrounding it. During normal operation, the LED ring shines blue, giving guests a clear indication as to where the actual doorbell is, which is especially helpful at night. Even though the device is mostly made of plastic materials, the RemoBell S is weather-resistant, and is able to withstand temperatures ranging from -4 degrees all the way to 122 degrees, allowing it to perform year-round in most climates.

Overall Image quality from the RemoBell S is clean and crisp, providing an HD video feed of your front door with a resolution of 1536 x 1536. While the camera is not 4K and does not support extras such as HDR, the RemoBell S is certainly good enough for most applications, as it is mainly designed to provide images of people up close. There are 3 quality settings in the app and is set to average by default, but exact specifics surrounding the resolution of each setting are not available. The camera features a 180-degree field of view, providing a wide image that is capable of covering more than just the area directly in front of your door, and in some cases, it can show an entire porch. By default, this 180-degree view results in a circular shaped video feed, which is a little odd, but a setting to revert to a more traditional video feed view is available. Infrared illumination is also included for night vision, and the app has options to adjust "brightness regions" to help in instances where the doorbell's view may be hard to see in bright areas.

In addition to notifying you of visitors who have pressed the doorbell button, the RemoBell S can send notifications for motion events in general, which is a nice overall security feature. However, in our testing, the notifications that we received did not include a preview thumbnail of either type of event, forcing users to open the app to see who or what is at the door. Upon tapping on a notification, you are immediately sent to a live view, with options to answer or ignore the event. Answering during the live view will present an additional talk button to speak to your visitors, as well as an end button, which is simple, yet effective. Audio quality was adequate on both ends, which was good enough to be able to decipher what each party was saying, but we did notice some occasional hiccups in the form of robot-like sounds every once in a while.

low price, no subscription

RemoBell S Video Doorbell: What I like

For the most part, the RemoBell S was easy to install, coming in at less than a half an hour in our case, thanks to its easy to follow instructions and its included materials. Inside of the box was more than just the device itself, including niceties such as a handy screwdriver, drill bit, optional angle wedges, mounting screws, and wire nuts, which should cover almost all installation scenarios. The longest portion of the install was wiring up our existing door chime, which while easy, was slightly annoying as it requires using wire nuts and not a jumper set up like other video doorbells. Pairing the doorbell to the RemoBell app was also a fast and easy process, which involves creating an account and adding the doorbell to your home Wi-Fi network.

The biggest selling point for the RemoBell S is of course, its free 3-day cloud storage, which is available without entering credit card information.

The RemoBell app itself has a simple design, stuffing features and settings in a menu that is unobtrusive to the camera view. Navigating the app was as easy as it was fluid, and responsive, enabling us to jump in and out of a live camera feed, and changing settings occurs pretty much instantly. In the settings menu, additional features such as setting motion zones are available. Motion zones are one of those features that are typically hidden behind a subscription fee, but we are happy to report that this is not the case with the RemoBell S. Setting a zone is easy, with the camera's view being divided into sections, each of which turns on and off with just a tap. Our only issue with this process is that the app does not display your camera's live view when setting a zone, which makes toggling a section a guessing game of sorts, that will take some trial and error.

The biggest selling point for the RemoBell S is, of course, its free 3-day cloud storage, which is available without entering credit card information. Simply installing and registering the doorbell is enough, with no prompts to enable the feature as it is on by default. The included cloud storage allows you to download and share recordings, enabling you to save videos before deletion over the free-rolling 3-day period. There are additional plans available, such as a 30-day rolling storage option starting at $3 a month or $30 a year, but this is entirely optional, and during our testing, we never even saw a mention of this in the app, which was a pleasant surprise as we were expecting to see annoying banners or prompts. In fact, in its current form, most users will never even know that additional options are available, which is certainly nice to see.

HomeKit not included

RemoBell S Video Doorbell: What I don't like

Even though it seems to be par for the course when it comes to doorbells, it is still a little disappointing to see that the RemoBell S Video Doorbell does not support Apple's HomeKit or Siri. This means that all interactions with the doorbell take place either within Remo's app, or through integration with other platforms, such as Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant, or IFTTT. The Remo app is certainly enough to fulfill most needs, but we did notice that the app did not support full-screen mode on our iPad.

Over on the hardware side of things, we found the RemoBell S to be a little bulky and could use some additional color options to better hide its smart features and to blend in with its surroundings. As mentioned earlier, we would have also liked to have seen a jumper style wiring set up for existing door chimes. The included portion that attaches to your chime is simple in nature, but placement inside of the chime's housing may be a little tricky depending on available space, and a simple jumper design could eliminate this entirely. The only other issue that we saw was that night vision was not quite as good as competitors, limiting our view of things in the dark, and is something that may require additional lighting outside to help clear things up.

The Bottom Line

RemoBell S Video Doorbell

The RemoBell S Video Doorbell is an easy to set up option that provides all of the essentials without a high price or subscription. This doorbell offers HD quality video, night vision, 2-way audio, motion zones, and free cloud storage out of the box, making it easy to recommend for those that want the most bang for their buck. Even with its low price point, the RemoBell S includes extras such as the tools needed for installation, and its app is easy to use and doesn't nag you to upgrade to a paid storage plan. Motion alerts and doorbell notifications are sent within seconds of the event, and the live view provides a clear view of who is at your door enabling security and convenience. While it may not have the best video quality or all of the features that some of its competitors offer, the RemoBell S is definitely a good option for most, and is certainly worth considering thanks to its low price and lack of subscription.

Christopher Close

Christopher spends most of his time writing and dreaming about all things HomeKit and the Home app. Whether it is installing smart light switches, testing the latest door locks, or automating his households daily routines, Christopher has done it all.