Note: There is now far more in here than just a camera review – read on:
Here’s a Wireless Video Camera Doorbell for Home Security or to give it the full title from the Banggood website: “Wireless Camera Video Doorbell Home Security WiFi Smartphone Remote Video Rainproof”. I love it.
Late in 2019 I received this wireless (433Mhz for the bell, WIFI for the APP) video doorbell and to my surprise, set-up was amongst the easiest I’ve done for some time. This update is late January 2022 for very good reason as you”ll see at the end. Do read on…
Fit your own batteries
The doorbell itself came minus 18650 (standard rechargeable Lithium) batteries – which I fitted and it seemed at first obvious that the claim of 6 months charge life was over-optimistic – a few days and the batteries were going down, anyway – I took out my regurgitated laptop batteries, fitted fully charged batteries and turned off the PIR which I don’t need – the batteries were still on full after 3 days and the actual doorbell worked a treat. I noticed the cost of the “RING” branded doorbell that on the face of it looks identical – on Amazon – is a horrendous price – so glad I spotted this alternative.
This one is interesting in that even with postage it is less expensive to get from the USA than China though how that affects any duty will be down to where you live. In the UK it seemed to be that most low-value packages from China escape duty. Update January 2022 – like a LOT of stuff from Banggood right now – this doorbell may not be currently available in the UK. If you are interested I suggest looking at Ali or Amazon for the identical model – but read on…
Ok, so I plugged the actual bell into the wall (via a US to UK adaptor (I HATE American plugs with their two-bits-of-tin connectors – but then I hate bulky UK plugs as well. Give me a nice, solid and small European connector any day). It buzzed perfectly first time.
I then turned on the camera which said in a friendly voice that it was ready for pairing. I pressed the volume control on both camera and bell and the two units connected – now for the App. In the little booklet that came with the camera/bell combo, they suggest you scan a QR code depending on which phone you have. I picked the centre Android Play Store code – and within seconds I had the app (XSH CAM) loaded and running on the phone.
With the camera next to the phone, I entered the name and password of my WIFI access point into the app (no sign-up or other nonsense) and that was it.
Quickly up and running
Now as you can see the main unit is mounted outside the front door at home in the (wet) UK (2 small screws and plastic rawlplugs) – the bell is just behind where that car is – garage direction so good range – and at the BACK of that out-building is where I just took this screenshot – could have just as easily taken it at the local pub.
I’d love to write loads about this gadget but it’s just very straight-forward, I picked a suitable spot in my office for the actual bell unit and mounted the waterproof camera/door push on the front door. The postman loves this (he knows me) – “more gadgets from China, Pete?” – and strangely enough, JUST after I fitted this.. I was on my own for the day in my (far end of the building) office and DPD delivered another new gadget – so this doorbell came in VERY handy.
It’s all working – all I have to do now is figure out how to get the camera to alert me to a visitor when I’m out and about and the phone is in my pocket (Feb 2022 – sorted).
As for mounting – the camera itself has 4 small mounting screws AND double sided adhesive options.
Did I mention USB and microSD options hiding in the top of the unit and a security bolt in the bottom (which I immediately lost). You could of course use cloud storage if you wanted to (or none). For charging, you could feed the unit with AC (16-24v). Thinking about it if the batteries only last a matter of months without charging (no PIR as this eats current) that could be problematic so if you travel a lot, consider AC.
The manual (or booklet – it is all in English and comprehensive) doesn’t suggest this but of course if you have a handy DC supply on the other side of the wall able to put out the same voltage as the lithium batteries, you could always use that. Thinking about it, leaving a Lithium battery running the show with a slow very slow Lithium charger feeding through the wall might be another way around the 6 months battery charge life.
Having said all of this, in February 2020 I put in a set of NEW (as against old reclaimed) batteries and a month later the indicator was still absolutely on FULL.
Good gadget. My idea of waterproof might vary from the standard Chinese definition so I may consider a little silicone around the back.
I’m looking for tech info on using the video stream if anyone has this (the link at the start points back to the product at Banggood). Right now, I have the spec for the camera including: 166 degree angle, 1920*1080 resolution, IR LED, 2-way audio, motion detection.
Long-Term – update April 15, 2020 – July 8, 2021
April 15, 2020: One of my readers triggered me this morning into writing this update. It is now 2 months since I fitted new rechargeable batteries to the doorpush/camera unit… and here we are with the battery indicator sitting at 80%. I think therefore that the 6 month battery-charge claim is reasonable. As you will see elsewhere I also have a 433Mhz battery-free doorbell but you can’t interact with the postman on that one. I guess I should check if this can be Tasmotized but it is working so well, I don’t want to mess with it.
July 2021: The (rechargeable) batteries are now dead in the UK-based doorbell – thanks to Covid + Brexit we’ve been here in Spain for a year – far longer than planned – the batteries only died a few weeks ago. Soon to get charged hopefully.
A friend of ours – Paul in Australia – has the same device – different colour – under the name Telstra with silver colouring. Mine came from Banggood (link at the top) and is still available – around 29 Euros inc tax – brand name is now “Aiwit” it seems.
Update January 26, 2022
The following is a big one for me:
After using this doorbell since 2019, I was just about to give it a miss BECAUSE it only has one receiver and so to hear it in the house AND my outside office is (was) impossible (the bell push itself is outside and can’t be heard inside our heavy front door) so the receiver has to be in the house…. in favour of a non-video doorbell with 2 receivers – when I spoke to my Italian friend Antonio (Mr Shark) who reminded me that I’m using Sonoff’s RFBRIDGE hardware (two of them cover the entire house and office areas) which have been Tasmotized and hence send out MQTT – which is already sending me notifications from my 433Mhz door sensor triggers (a unique code comes out of the MQTT for many different RF devices) – so I thought – why not – and brought the doorbell into my office.
I pressed the doorbell button and sure enough – something came out of RFBRIDGE reliably – and I then added that to my phone TELEGRAM notifications. As I always have the phone with me, no matter where I am, the idea being I’ll know if the doorbell rang and in the office, Amazon Polly will alert me if I’m in my home office – and of course I can choose to look at the APP (XSH Cam) to see the video (don’t ask why the APP itself does not send audio notifications to the phone). Problem solved and a new lease of life for this wireless video doorbell.
Indeed I’ve just cancelled my Amazon order for an alternative doorbell, this is working so well.
Final update February 2022
It turns out that TELEGRAM wasn’t that hot. It worked – but I’d say far from reliably, sometimes taking ages to give me the notification – from seconds to hours.
And then I stumbled on a WAY better solution- at first – taking the door and bell notification texts and feeding to MQTT – then adding TASKER to my Android phone
. If my VPN was running I’d be able to get VOICE alerts from my phone anywhere – the one downside being I live in Spain and travel to the UK and having two VPNs on at once isn’t really practical – so, I went for the HIVEMQ public MQTT broker which is free and now I can send alerts to that – and they instantly end up on my phone as voice thanks to Tasker and the MQTT client plug-in.
Something about my MIUI12-based phone, if I cold-boot the phone I have to start up Tasker and the plugin but from there on, they run ALMOST seamlessly even with the phone on standby and I’ve JUST figured out how to store the current media volume (and DND etc), set full volume and restore when done – again in Tasker (it’s trivial once you know how)… If anyone knows why a MIUI12-based phone should be less than 100% reliable with TASKER – do write to me..