Walter Shillington writes about products he knows firsthand. His articles focus on healthcare, electronics, watches, and household items.
I am always astonished at how fast technology advances. Futuristic devices with amazing capabilities appear unexpectedly. Then, within a few years, they are priced at a point affordable to anyone. I was freshly reminded of this fact when I decided to replace my old and less than faithful doorbell.
This elderly device consisted of a simple push-button attached by wiring to an enormous plastic chime crammed with D-cell batteries.
Among a myriad of possible replacements, I noted several units equipped with video cameras, microphones, and speakers. Each of these doorbells would allow me to communicate with visitors via my smartphone, even if I were halfway across the country when they mounted my front steps.
As I am very tight with money, I ordered the cheapest video doorbell I could find on Amazon. The V6 doorbell camera—which is not the subject of this review—arrived on schedule and was easy to set up and install. Sadly, although this device worked far better than its price suggested, it couldn’t handle the job. Connectivity proved to be the biggest obstacle. Even when I added a Wi-Fi booster, the signal was often too weak for smooth video and clear voice communication. Happily, the little Wi-Fi chime that came with this device could communicate with the doorbell despite the limited signal strength.
Since I liked the concept of wireless video communications, I upgraded to the Meco 1080p Doorbell Camera.
The Meco Wireless 1080p Doorbell Camera, when fitted snugly into its case, measures 2.4 inches in width, 5.4 inches in height, and is 1.4 inches deep. While the front surface of this unit is composed of shiny black plastic, the sides, back, and case are colored gray.
A waterproof plug at the bottom of this doorbell conceals a mini-USB charging jack, a reset button, and an LED charging indicator. The tiny microphone is fitted on the right side of the unit.
Accommodated on the front surface of the doorbell are the camera, motion detector, speaker, and call button.
Two 18650 lithium batteries and a slot containing a 32 gigabyte SD memory storage card can be found beneath the device’s backplate.
Those who have a wired doorbell system in place will be interested to note that the Meco doorbell can be connected to a 12-24V AC or a 12V DC system.
A USB powered chime is included. Most users will connect it to a USB power adaptor, which can be inserted into an AC outlet.
- Name: Meco Wireless Video Doorbell Camera
- Dimensions: 6.1 x 13.7 x 3.6 centimeters (2.4 x 5.4 x 1.4 inch)
- Power supply: Two 6700mAh 18650 lithium rechargeable batteries
- Charging: USB. USB cable is supplied
- Wi-fi: 2.4GHz wi-fi network
- Video: 720p and 1080p resolution. 166-degree range of vision
- Communication: Two-way voice communication
- Alert: Phone notification when doorbell pushed
- Chime: Included
- Cloud storage: Available
- Application: Cloudedge
- SD card: 32 Gigabyte installed
- Infrared night vision: Yes
- Motion Detector: Yes
- Water resistance: IP65
Video and Motion Detection
This doorbell offers a choice of either 720p or 1080p video. Its 166-degree coverage provides a view of most of my long and narrow front porch. Despite the bright background caused by sunlight glaring through my porch’s many windows, the camera does a decent job of reproducing the features of a visitor. In normal light, the video is excellent. I can, at my leisure, also spy on unsuspecting neighbors across the street.
The Meco doorbell defaults to 720p video when first enabled. Video quality can be easily changed to 1080p by going to the live screen and tapping the SD symbol. From here, HD (1080p) can be selected. If your wi-fi signal is weak, SD may produce smoother videos.
When the sun goes down, an infrared light provides grayscale video with a range of up to sixteen feet.
A highly adaptable motion detection system can be set to automatically turn on and off on at specific times and days.
Voice communications are crisp, clear, and easy to understand. The sound sometimes lags the video, but that has more to do with Wi-Fi than the doorbell.
Up to three pre-set messages may be composed. If the door cannot immediately be opened when someone rings, the visitor may be greeted over the phone or sent a pre-recorded voice message.
1080p video transmission is smooth and, compared to my original wireless doorbell, communication is superb. Even without using the signal booster, this device rated the received signal at 78 percent. Note that the Meco doorbell requires access to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi.
I noticed a two-second delay between the time the doorbell is pressed, and the time I receive an alert on my phone. Once I respond, it takes another couple of seconds before I have access to video and sound. This delay, caused by the signal being sent via Wi-Fi, is normal and expected.
While cloud storage is available at a cost, video and sound are also recorded by the doorbell’s 32 gigabyte SD card. When filled, the SD card can be reformatted and used again.
This software package can be downloaded to a smartphone. Cloudedge is used to set up the doorbell and utilize its features.
An alert, which includes a picture of the visitor, is sent to the phone when the doorbell is pressed. At this point, the phone application can be used to communicate with the visitor, or a pre-recorded voice message can be sent to the doorbell’s speaker.
This doorbell’s application can be downloaded onto the phones of every family member. The only stipulation is that each person must set up a separate account.
While the Meco doorbell works with various types of wired systems, it is also equipped with two 6700mAh 18650 lithium rechargeable batteries. When their capacity drops below twenty percent, a warning is transmitted to the associated smartphone. It is a simple matter to unscrew the safety screw and bring the device into the house where it can be recharged via its USB connector.
This device works very well. Communication between the doorbell and smartphone is excellent, and both a phone alert and the chime provide notice of a visitor. Video is smooth, voice is clear, infrared is available, and a motion sensor can be activated. If you are searching for a doorbell that reliably gets the job done, Meco’s Wireless 1080P Doorbell Camera would be an excellent choice.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Walter Shillington