The Bottom Line
Arlo is an ecosystem I bought into years back with Arlo Pro 2. Since then, a lot of new products have emerged in the Arlo portfolio, but I never really found time to order them and install. This changed when I upgraded my Arlo Pro 2 to an Arlo Pro 4 last month and have now added a few Arlo Essential products to my ecosystem. The first was the wire-free doorbell model AVD2001B.
Specifications of the Doorbell are rather simple; first, we have a relatively modest HD image sensor that supports HDR at a resolution of 1536x1536 with a wide 180-degree viewing angle. The Doorbell connects directly to Wi-Fi and the Arlo App, so no need for a hub at all.
Additionally, while this Wire-Free model does include a rechargeable battery, consumers that have existing doorbell wiring can use it to charge the Doorbell. Arlo Essential Doorbell is compatible with Alexa, OK Google, and Samsung SmartThings, along with IFTTT. It offers two-way audio, an audible siren, and is UV and Weather Resistant with an operating range of -20 to 45c.
MSRP of the Arlo Essential Doorbell Wire-Free comes in at $199.99 with a one-year warranty.
The kit I picked up for my home was the white model; Arlo does offer an all-black colorway as well. I also picked up the Chime 2 for in-home notifications.
Included in our kit, we find the Doorbell, battery, and angle bracket. Along with wire leads for tagging into existing wiring, charge cable down below.
The Doorbell has a traditional form factor though a bit bulkier. The large button at the bottom activates the chime and notification to the Arlo app. The camera sensor sits up top with the motion sensor.
The backside houses the mounting bracket that detaches with the included pin release.
The battery is a 6500mAh solution that Arlo estimates can last six months on a charge.
Opening the Doorbell, you can see the wiring points on the backplate and the battery cavity on the Doorbell.
Essential Doorbell Setup
The doorbell setup is quite simple through the app. Once set up, you can configure it via the settings. Options include network, time zones, and melody, along with silent mode and options for the LED. Further down, you can set up a traditional chime that would be wired to the Doorbell.
You can opt to change the Doorbell LED behavior when it detects motion or when a call is accepted.
We then have video settings that allow you to change HDR and Night Vision settings along with brightness.
Audio settings allow you to enable or disable the mic and speaker along with adjusting the volume.
When the Doorbell is pressed, you can adjust settings here for the speaker and mic.
While not as good as the 2K sensor in Arlo Pro 4, the Essential Doorbell does offer a good FOV and up-close clarity.
Essential Doorbell is a fantastic addition for anyone already in the Arlo ecosystem; though a bit pricey at $199.99 for the Wire-Free model, consumers that have existing wiring can save a good chunk of change by picking up the wired version for $119.99.
Video clarity is quite a good viewing through the app or on incoming calls and messages, though one downfall for some could be the initialization time, which for me was eight seconds on Wi-Fi and ten seconds over LTE on my iPhone. Adding to this, I did have some trouble or confusion with notification zones in the app which resulted in me creating too many without a way to delete them. Outside of that, the app was flawless and does include a solid set of value-added features, such as package detection and emergency response alongside its Smart Notifications.
Overall, I find the Essential Doorbell to be a fantastic way to communicate with would-be visitors without them knowing you are unavailable or not at the premises; it's a simple solution to set up even for a novice user to tech.
Essential Doorbell is great option for users in the market for DIY home security, and bolsters Arlo's portfolio with a Wire-Free option.