The video doorbells are, without a doubt, a must have for the Alexians. Also called “smart camera doorbell”, these devices allow you to monitor your front door and even communicate with your visitors. Even if you are absent, you will not miss any more visits to your home!
After the somewhat unsuccessful presentation of Amazon’s most popular product, Ring 2, we decided to present you with a more affordable, but just as effective alternative on paper. In this case, it is the SpotCam Video Doorbell Pro that we presented to you in our file on camera doorbells. After two months of use, the arrival of the skill on the store is a perfect opportunity to finally introduce it to you….
SpotCam: an accessible and pleasant smart camera doorbell
Delivered in a white packaging of good quality, the SpotCam doorbell is presented on the front panel with its chime. Two models are offered by the Taiwanese company: SpotCam Doorbell and SpotCam Doorbell Pro. It is the latter that we will discover.
At the opening, we discover a bell in anthracite grey with a metallic effect. Essentially made of plastic, its finish is however of the most beautiful effect and you really have to touch it to realize that it is not metallic.
In the centre, in a rather classic way, you will find a large square button (2.5cm on each side) accompanied by a pictogram indicating its function, which is none other than to ring the doorbell. At the top of the camera, the lens shows the presence of a camera that blends elegantly into the mass.
One point often raised by customers is the generally large size of this type of device. The SpotCam Video Doorbell Pro is in the average range, measuring 12.9 cm x 6.3 cm for a thickness of 2.2 cm once installed (measurements taken by us, those of its Amazon.fr technical sheet being a little more important…). A very reasonable format when you know that this connected doorphone is wireless, and must therefore house within it the batteries necessary for its power supply, in this case four alkaline batteries in AA 1.5V format (be careful not to use zinc-carbon salt batteries). In the end, this camera doorbell fits in a perfectly reasonable sized hand – neither too small nor too large – and will blend in well with the doorframe, not to mention that it won’t weigh too much on your door either, since it only displays 112 grams on the scale (without the batteries, of course).
But what about our famous carillon? Almost cubic in shape, the latter measures 4.4 cm on each side when inserted into a socket. It has a classic E/F type plug without grounding. So no worries for our installations.
A small blue LED, which does not stay on all the time (it is rather appreciable, it must be recognized) shows on the front of the carillon the good connection of the carillon to your home Wi-Fi.
Your discerning eyes will probably have noticed two buttons: one for the device’s Wi-Fi pairing, the other for intelligently turning off the chimes and not disturbing them on evenings and weekends, for example.
Finally, and this is one of SpotCam’s big strengths: their camera doorbells all have a micro-SD slot that allows you to store a memory card of the same name, with a capacity of up to 32GB for those who prefer to avoid the cloud. Note that the manufacturer also had the brilliant idea to place this storage on the chime, and therefore inside your home! Its compactness allows you to place it on any socket. But before that, let’s take a look at his technical data sheet…
Technical data sheet
- Video resolution 1080p at 30 fps
- Panoramic fisheye viewing angle 180°
- Protection class IP54 (dust and water splashes)
- Infrared night vision
- Bidirectional Audio
- Cloud storage (free for 30 days) + microSD
- Wireless power supply (4 AA batteries) and 220V for the chime
Alexa becomes your doorman
You probably know it, but if we chose this model, it’s because it’s compatible with Alexa!
Activate the skill
To activate the skill, nothing could be easier! Just go, as always, either to your Alexa application and search for the SpotCam skill, or activate it from Amazon.com
- Echo Show 2,
- Echo Show 5,
- Echo Spot,
- Fire TV Stick (from the second generation),
- Fire tablets.
Unfortunately, the display is only on demand and you will have to solicit Alexa. We would have liked it to display the feed by itself, but is that possible? At this time, we have not yet found the answer, but it seems that Alexa’s API does not allow it yet.
Another nice feature we would like to see coming soon is the ringing of the Echo devices. That would undoubtedly be a big plus. In principle, this is now possible, Ring suggested. Unless Amazon reserves this exclusivity for itself, it would also be interesting to benefit from this feature, although the chime already fulfils this function. Yes, the Alexians are demanding!
The SpotCam Doorbell Pro is a great surprise! With a very competitive price positioning, this last one allows you to benefit from very qualitative services. Full HD 1080p video, night vision, email and mobile device alerts: almost nothing is missing.
The only downside is the limited nature of his skill, but can we really use SpotCam? No, because Amazon does not yet allow, to date, to go much further with our Alexa. As the APIs of our favorite voice assistant continue to evolve, we are nevertheless confident that SpotCam will update its skill when all the features will finally be available.
In the meantime, visualizing the image on its Alexa devices equipped with screens is still very enjoyable and it always has its little effect when you have fun with your guests to make the latecomers run wild in front of your door.
While, like most devices connected today, the solution is based on the cloud, we also appreciated the fact that the subscription is not essential, but also the very reasonable prices charged by the brand. Indeed, it will only cost you $2.95 per month (or $29 per year) to store all your videos indefinitely for 6 months, or $4.95 per month ($49 per year) to benefit from a full year of storage. For those who are cautious about the cloud, finally, the presence of a microSD port is an excellent idea and will allow you not to spend another euro.
IN SHORT, THIS DOORBELL PRO VIDEO SPOTCAM APPEARS AS A SERIOUS AND ECONOMICAL ALTERNATIVE TO THE FAMOUS BUT EXPENSIVE AMAZON RING. A WISE CHOICE THAT WILL CERTAINLY INTEREST MANY ALEXIANS, THAT’S FOR SURE.