Summary List Placement
- The Eufy 2K Video Doorbell offers local storage for video and no hidden costs lurk here.
- With the ability to capture high-resolution video, this doorbell boasts excellent picture clarity.
- You can find this doorbell and some alternatives in our guide to the best smart doorbells.
2K Video Doorbell with HomeBase (small)
Big brands like Ring, Nest, and Arlo have dominated the smart doorbell landscape, but they all require you to sign up for a subscription plan if you want to record video and access the full range of smart features. If you don’t like the idea of a monthly fee, or you have privacy concerns about your video being stored in the cloud, then Eufy’s 2K Video Doorbell could be what you’re looking for.
There’s no need to compromise on features because the Eufy 2K Video Doorbell matches most of the competition and boasts truly excellent image quality. It comes with a speedy app and offers two-way audio, human detection, and customizable zones. The HomeBase has ample storage and doubles as a chime.
I installed the Eufy 2K Video Doorbell a few weeks ago, and I’m impressed with its performance. There is some room for improvement, as the audio quality disappoints.
Eufy 2K Video Doorbell Specifications
The Eufy 2K Video Doorbell is quite a chunky device, though it’s tall and slim compared to other smart doorbells. Encased in an unobtrusive, rounded, matte-black plastic casing with a glossy front panel, this is a simple design. The circular camera lens and sensors are at the top, there’s a Eufy logo in the middle, and the button you press to ring is at the bottom. An LED ring around the button can light up blue when it senses someone approaching. It also lights up when someone presses the button.
While the Eufy 2K Video Doorbell should blend in fine with most surroundings, there are no customizable faceplates to change its look. But it is clearly identifiable as a doorbell when you approach, so there won’t be any confusion for visitors.
It doesn’t take long to set up the Eufy 2K Video Doorbell. You get a HomeBase in the box with it, which is Eufy’s second-generation security camera hub. Plug the HomeBase directly into your router with the supplied Ethernet cable, and it connects wirelessly to your Eufy doorbell and any other Eufy security cameras you have. It offers 16GB of storage to record video, and you can access and replay footage remotely via the EufySecurity app on your phone. The HomeBase also doubles as a doorbell chime.
Install the EufySecurity app on your phone, and it’s quick and easy to connect your new doorbell. Do this before fixing the doorbell to your door frame, so that you can watch the live view on your phone and choose a suitable position for the doorbell that provides good coverage of your front door.
The box also includes all of the cables, fixtures, and fittings that you need. There are a couple of wedges to help you angle the doorbell, should you need to. The basic bracket requires two screws.
You do have the option of connecting your Eufy 2K Video Doorbell to your existing doorbell wiring, provided it has a transformer rated at 8-24 VAC, which is a standard doorbell system. I’ve been using the battery, so with the bracket installed all I had to do was snap the doorbell into place. Eufy provides a tool, so when you need to remove the doorbell to recharge the battery you stick it in the pinhole in the bottom and it pops out of the bracket.
Theft may be a concern for some people, especially if you opt for the cheapest wired model, which has 4GB of storage on the doorbell itself. The Eufy 2K Video Doorbell wouldn’t be too difficult for a thief to remove and make off with. By contrast, the last device I tested, the Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus, was fixed with four screws and required an unusual special tool to open. It also came with Ring’s promise to replace your doorbell if it’s stolen within the first year.
The only thing to worry about with the setup is the strength of your Wi-Fi at your front door. The Eufy 2K Video Doorbell only connects via the longer-range 2.4GHz frequency, rather than the faster 5GHz frequency. If your router is far away from your front door, you can always place the HomeBase somewhere a bit closer, as long as the ethernet cable stretches.
The EufySecurity app
Open the EufySecurity app and you’ll see your doorbell and any other cameras you have listed on the home screen, showing a frame from the last alert. There’s a quick option to snooze the device, an icon for unseen event recordings, and a settings cog where you can delve into extras.
This default view is the Devices tab and there are three other tabs along the bottom. Events is a timeline you can filter and search. Security gives you access to modes for all devices connected to the HomeBase, so you can set different behavior when you’re at home or away, for example. The Explore tab is just ads and special offers for Eufy’s security devices and services.
If you tap the cog next to your doorbell, you can configure everything from the video and audio quality to the power management and chime sound. I found the default settings mostly suited me. With the motion detection, you can choose to flag any movement or only record when a human is detected. You can also tweak the sensitivity and define an activity zone.
The timeline is a list of events for each day, and you can apply various filters if you’re looking for something specific. Each one has a thumbnail and it will highlight the human it has detected and try to highlight the face. These thumbnails also appear in your notifications, making it really easy to see who’s there at a glance and decide whether you need to open the app or go to the door. If you set notifications to text only, they are supposed to come through a bit faster, but I find the screenshot valuable and it didn’t add more than a fraction of a second when I tested.
If you tap the hamburger menu (three vertical lines) at the top left, you can access some further settings, including your account settings. That’s where you’ll find two-factor authentication, which you should definitely turn on. This means anyone trying to access your camera or videos needs to have a randomly generated code sent to your phone number via SMS, as well as your username and password.
Performance and features
The picture quality of the Eufy 2K Video Doorbell is very impressive. You can set the video quality in the app or allow it to choose based on available bandwidth. You also have the option of turning WDR (wide dynamic range) on, which serves the same purpose as HDR. It helps to bring detail back in mixed lighting, where bright areas might get blown out or dark areas might be hard to see. If the person at your door typically has the sun directly behind them, which is the case with my front door, then this can really help you see their face better.
The camera lens offers a wide 160-degree field of view and at the recommended height of 1.2 meters (about four feet), you should be able to see your whole porch. Fixing mine straight on the frame without a wedge, I can see any visitor’s face, even if they stand very close to the door, but I can’t see the porch floor for packages. There’s a slight fisheye effect at the corners and noticeable distortion if people stand very close, but at normal distances, it offers a wonderfully clear view.
When night falls, the infrared mode kicks in and you get black and white footage, but the clarity is still very good and it’s easy to recognize people. If you have bright porch lighting or street lighting, the night mode won’t kick in and you’ll continue to get color footage.
Configurable motion detection
My door faces a street, and my front garden sees a lot of cat traffic, so I set my Eufy 2K Video Doorbell to only detect humans and defined the activity zone to start at the end of my driveway. Before I did this, any passing cat or pedestrian would trigger an alert, so it’s a vital feature. You can drag the activity zone into a kind of trapezoid, but you are limited to a single zone. This is a shame, as competitors like Arlo offer support for multiple activity zones.
In my early testing, the Eufy 2K Video Doorbell was frequently triggered by passing neighbors, but since I configured the motion detection, I haven’t had a single false alert in the last two weeks. While it’s not the most versatile system, it has been working very well for me. I would warn people against buying any doorbell that doesn’t allow you to filter notifications and set a detection zone.
Response times and alerts
The lag between motion being detected and the alert hitting your phone is a major annoyance with all smart doorbells. It always takes a few seconds. Comparatively, the Eufy 2K Video Doorbell is speedy and the EufySecurity app loads very quickly for me. If someone rings the bell, I can tap the notification to jump straight to the camera view and I already have an idea who it is from the thumbnail.
On average it takes me three seconds to connect to the Eufy 2K Video Doorbell on my Android phone if I’m at home. It tends to take longer, sometimes a lot longer, when I’m out and about. This is going to depend on the strength of your connection wherever you happen to be. I have occasionally loaded up the app in time to see someone disappearing down the driveway, which can be frustrating. It’s worth noting here that the wired model offers a three-second buffer, so it’s a little better at catching a person’s approach.
Though it’s not as important, I like the fact that it’s similarly fast for me to play a recorded video from the HomeBase when I’m at home, because the cloud services I’ve tested tended to take significantly longer to load old videos.
Audio is a letdown
While the video feed is quick to load, there’s a discernible lag to the audio with the Eufy 2K Video Doorbell. Conversations can be tricky sometimes because four or five seconds pass between you speaking and the visitor hearing you, and vice versa. I also find the microphone picks up a lot of weird background noise. I have been able to carry on conversations, but audio quality is a definite weakness.
A feature that’s handy for cutting down on the problems lag creates is the option to prerecord and set up your own audio responses, such as “Be right there.” This is also great when you get an alert and you’re in a noisy environment. One thing to note is that video recordings only pick up the audio from your visitor, so you can’t hear your side of the conversation when you replay them.
The Eufy 2K Video Doorbell supports Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s easy to add via the Amazon Alexa or Google Home app. I was able to employ an Amazon Echo as a secondary chime and bring up the doorbell feed on a Nest Hub. However, streaming to smart displays is comparatively slow; it took nearly ten seconds for me. You can dip into the video quality settings and set it to prioritize smart display streams, but it was still quite slow to bring up the feed on the Nest Hub for me compared to my phone.
Sadly, there isn’t any support for HomeKit yet, even although some of Eufy’s other security cameras offer it.
Security and privacy
Local storage for your video means that you don’t have to pay any subscription fee, but it also means you aren’t uploading videos to the cloud. All recorded footage is stored on the HomeBase in your house. If you access videos from elsewhere, there’s end-to-end encryption to ensure that no one else can watch them. Eufy has also built its AI smarts, for things like human detection, into the devices themselves, so there’s no need for processing in the cloud.
Eufy has added two-factor authentication, so that you need time-limited codes sent by SMS to your phone, as well as your username and password, before you can log in and view your doorbell or recorded videos on a new device. This is an essential feature for security cameras. For more details read Eufy’s privacy and security policy.
Should you buy it?
Yes, the Eufy 2K Video Doorbell is a featured-packed bargain that’s perfect for people who want local video storage.
Which model should you get?
I would go for the Eufy 2K Video Doorbell (Battery-Powered) for $199.99. It comes with the HomeBase, which has an ample 16GB of storage. The wired version is a bit smaller, comes with a plug-in chime device, and has that three-second buffer, but it only has 4GB of storage and it’s on the doorbell itself, which is a problem if someone steals the doorbell.
What are your alternatives?
While popular smart doorbells from the likes of Nest and Ring offer very limited functionality without a monthly fee, the Eufy 2K Video Doorbell does it all for the purchase price.
The Nest Hello ($229) is widely considered to be the smartest doorbell around, largely thanks to its unmatched facial detection and high reliability, but it requires a wired connection and an expensive subscription starting from $6 per month.
If you need a battery-powered option, then the Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wire-Free is also $199.99. It offers good quality video with HDR and a wider 180-degree field of view, and it connects directly to your router. But you’ll need a subscription from $3 per month to record video to the cloud, and there’s no local storage.
The bottom line
The Eufy 2K Video Doorbell is a great device for the money, and the lack of hidden costs is refreshing. Lag, particularly with the audio, makes it a little frustrating, but the local storage will be enough to tempt many people. The video quality is also excellent, and the human detection is reliable.
Pros: High-resolution video, local storage, speedy app, Alexa and Google Assistant support, wired or rechargeable battery options
Cons: Audio quality disappoints, lag on audio, sometimes slow to connect
2K Video Doorbell with HomeBase (button)