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EZVIZ DB1C Wi-Fi video doorbell review: Affordable, no-subscription security

Written by Eileen Brown on
EZVIZ DB1C WI-Fi video doorbell review complex installation but permanent peace of mind with no subscription fees zdnet

EZVIZ DB1C video doorbell

Very good
  • No cloud storage needed
  • Works over dual 2.4/5GHz Wi-Fi
  • Motion detection for humans, cars and animals
  • Complex to wire up to home electrics

The EZVIZ DB1C video doorbell is hardwired into your home electrics to give you peace of mind without worrying about the battery life of your doorbell.

The outer packaging box contains three other boxes, all individually packaged, which is a nice touch. These boxes contain the DB1C doorbell, the chime, and the transformer for power.

The boxes are individually wrapped in plastic -- which is unnecessary if you are trying to reduce the amount of plastic in your lives. The outer box protects all of the inner boxes adequately enough.

The camera box contains the camera, two plastic mounting plates, one angled so you can mount the camera at an oblique angle, a sticky pad to stabilise the camera when mounting on rough surfaces such as brick, and a huge quick start guide in 15 languages. Fortunately, there are only about 12 pages of setup per language. 

There is also a bag containing a power kit -- a small white box with a tiny connector port if you need to connect it to existing doorbell wiring - a drill bit, a useful double-ended screwdriver, screws and wall plugs, wire connectors and fixing screws.

The camera's body is small at 128 x 46 x 20mm, and it weighs 102g. A panel covers the microSD card slot, so you will need to use the small end of the screwdriver to open up the slot to add your SD card to the camera.

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You also need to initialise the SD card using the EZVIZ app before it can be used.

I was very nervous about the transformer box. The box contains the transformer, mounting base and a quick start guide.

The guide told me to shut off the power at the fuse box, disconnect my existing transformer, connect the wires from the old transformer, and add the new transformer. I was really uncomfortable doing this myself, so I had to get professional help.

I needed to make sure that 12V power reached the doorbell as the doorbell does not have Wi-Fi capability like the 360 X3 video doorbell I looked at in September.

It also has no battery capability, so I had to go through the rigmarole of hardwiring it into my house before I could test any of its features.

The camera is an FHD unit with a max 1536 x 1536p resolution at 15fps and a 170 vertical field of view. It works over both 2.4 and 5GHZ WI-FI which is really useful. It will detect motion even at night up to 16ft away.

The image sensor is a 1/2.4 inch progressive scan CMOS with a 2.1mm f2.4 lens.

The camera is rated IP65, so it is weatherproof. You can use a micro SD card up to 256GB or choose the cloud storage option. Alternatively, you can connect it to an NVR unit.

Once I had power to the unit, which took considerable thought and fiddling, setting up the video doorbell itself was easy. I scanned the QR code on both items and connected to the camera. Then I installed the EZVIZ app and connected the camera to the app.

Motion detection is enabled by default, and you can select whether to receive notifications when a person moves -- or set alerts for when an animal or a car triggers movement. Every time the camera detects motion, it sends a notification to the app and the chime sounds. 

The motion detector is really sensitive and triggers if branches move in the breeze. Animals trigger the detector too, so if you want it to detect humans, reduce the sensitivity. You can set areas where motion detection does not occur if you are close to a busy street.

You can select a fisheye or horizontal view to get the best view for your space. Two-way talk is clear and effective. Unlike the monthly charge for a ring doorbell, you do not need to pay for a subscription to use the doorbell.

All in all, for $70, the EZVIZ DB1C video doorbell is a smart camera and app that will give you peace of mind.

Make certain that you wire it up correctly, getting professional help if you need it, and you will never have to worry about your doorbell running out of battery again.


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