Executive Editor, TechHiveOct 17, 2023 6:00 am PDT
We haven’t heard much from Ecobee after the company was acquired by home backup generator manufacturer Generac Power Systems in December, 2021, but today the company announced its latest home security product: The Ecobee Smart Doorbell Camera.
One of the most notable things about the Ecobee Smart Doorbell Camera ($159.99) is that it depends on low-voltage wiring for power, and there apparently won’t be a battery-powered counterpart. Ecobee founder and CEO wrote in the reviewer’s guide for the product: “Unlike other doorbell cameras, it’s designed without a battery to withstand extreme weather and stand the test of time.”
Ecobee has one other camera in its product line, the $100 indoor SmartCamera, which we reviewed in July 2020. As with that wired model, Smart Doorbell Camera buyers will want to sign up for Ecobee’s Smart Security subscription service if they want video recordings; otherwise, they’ll only be able to see a 1080p live view from the camera’s lens—including live streams to Ecobee’s excellent Smart Thermostat Premium. More on that in a bit.
The Ecobee Smart Doorbell Camera offers a 175-degree vertical field of view that Ecobee says will provide users with a head-to-toe view of visitors as well as any packages left on the porch. The doorbell features radar sensing technology, and you can designate an area in the doorbell’s view as an “activity zone” that the camera will focus on for motion and person detection.
Ecobee says the doorbell is “built…with high-quality materials, including a machined-glass front and an aluminum alloy back casing.” An IP65 weatherization rating indicates the doorbell is impervious to dust ingress and that it can withstand being sprayed with water from a jet nozzle from any direction while operating in temperature extremes of minus 13 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
The new doorbell camera has a dual-band Wi-Fi adapter onboard (2.4-/5GHz) and can operate as an Ecobee Smart Security Base station, working in conjunction with Ecobee’s combo occupancy/temperature sensors for rooms, its combo motion/contact sensors for doors and windows, and the sensors in Ecobee’s other camera and in its thermostats.
When a visitor rings the bell, a chime will sound on your phone, on Ecobee’s thermostat and SmartCamera, and on any Alexa or HomeKit product equipped with a speaker. Two-way talk support will allow you to answer the door and speak with visitors via your phone, the thermostat, or your Apple Watch from anywhere you have internet access.
Smart Doorbell Camera buyers who don’t already have a subscription to one of Ecobee’s Smart Security plans will get a free two-month with their purchase. As with Ring and several other brands of home security products, Ecobee offers two tiers of subscriptions, one covering a single camera and another covering an unlimited number of cameras.
A single-camera plan costs $5 per month or $50 per year. A plan that covers an unlimited number of cameras in a single home—and which also includes professional monitoring that can dispatch an emergency response—costs $10 per month or $90 per year.
Ecobee says it will soon offer door lock integration with Yale and August Wi-Fi smart locks. When this feature is enabled, the Ecobee app will remind you to lock your door when you leave, and you’ll be able to remotely unlock the lock. We have an Ecobee Smart Doorbell Camera in house and will publish an in-depth hands-on review in the coming weeks.
Michael is TechHive's lead editor, with 30+ years of experience covering the tech industry, focusing on the smart home, home audio, and home theater. He built his own smart home in 2007 and used it as a real-world test lab for product reviews. Following a relocation to the Pacific Northwest, he is now converting his new home, an 1890 Victorian bungalow, into a modern smart home.