I have never permanently installed a video doorbell. I have always wanted to, and so will the new Eufy E340 video doorbell be the one?
A dual-camera device that records both visitors and package deliveries, the Eufy E340 is a smart way of monitoring your front door but relies on a compatible smart home ecosystem.
Showcasing the limitations of smart technology, we had a power outage recently. At the time of writing this review, my internet was out, which meant the video doorbell didn’t work. With functioning internet, however, the doorbell has some helpful features but its Google Home integration is limited.
Australians further embraced online shopping during COVID. Delivery trucks in their thousands patrol our streets delivering parcels. Indeed, the most likely visitor to your door will be a delivery driver. Most deliveries are now left at your door; as for the driver, time is money, and they do not want to wait for you to answer the door. Some will ring the doorbell, some will not. A video doorbell can detect someone at the door irrespective of whether they ring or knock. With a video doorbell, we can potentially talk to the driver at the door and ask for the package to be left. We can keep an eye on our package and make sure someone else does not help themselves to it.
A video doorbell also allows us to be alerted when a visitor approaches. This may be a friend or a foe. We can open the door knowing who is there or alternatively ask someone to leave. We don’t have to be home to achieve this as long as we have an internet connection.
There are also reasons why a video doorbell does not make sense. If you have no internet or reliable Wi-Fi at your front door, then the doorbell will not work. If you find yourself with an outage, as I did at the time of writing, the doorbell alert does not work. Lastly and most importantly, how will you be alerted if someone is at the door? If you rely on an alert from your smartphone and do not have the phone on you, it will not work. An example would be if you do not keep your smartphone in your bedroom at night and have no other means of notification, you will not know someone is at your door.
How do they work?
Most wireless video doorbells will have a battery, although some also allow a wired solution. The doorbell has a camera, a doorbell button and Wi-Fi connectivity. It can connect to an in-home wireless hub or direct to the internet. Alerts arrive via your smartphone, smart device such as a Google Hub or a simple wireless chime. Pictures captured from the doorbell can be stored on internal storage, a hub, or the cloud.
Alerts are generated following a doorbell press or by movement detection from the camera. It then sends an alert to which you can either view a live feed or review recorded footage.
Eufy E340video doorbell features
The Eufy E340 video doorbell is a 2K HD dual-camera battery-powered wireless doorbell with a light. It does not require cloud storage to operate but does have the option for a fee. Instead, the E340 has 8GB of internal storage to record images of movement. You would subscribe to the cloud storage to ensure you had a video record in case someone stole your video doorbell with its recorded footage. Cloud storage costs around $6/month for one device, allowing you to store video for 30 days.
Eufy’s dual camera design is specifically targeted at the parcel delivery age, so two images can be captured: one of the person standing at your front door and the second camera capturing a parcel placed on the ground in front of your door.
The video quality (2K) that the top camera captures is sharper than the HD picture you can receive on free-to-air TV, meaning you can easily zoom in on people’s faces or a numberplate if in the field of view. The lower camera resolution is slightly less. Assuming there is no separate spotlight, a small LED on top and under the doorbell will provide colour images up to five meters from the camera for night viewing. These same lights illuminate whenever motion is detected, which helps you see as you approach at night.
What’s in the box?
The small box the E340 comes in has several parts, mainly for installation options.
A paper quick start guide takes you through the physical installation of the doorbell, after which you follow setup instructions via the Eufy security app.
A paper hole position card helps you position screws to install the mounting bracket. You can attach an included 15-degree adaptor, which angles the camera doorbell 15 degrees left or right of centre.
If you are replacing an old-style wired doorbell, wires are included to help you pull power from the original installation to charge the included lithium battery; alternatively, a USB-C cable is provided to charge the battery periodically.
A special security pin allows you to remove the doorbell for charging. This deters easy removal of the doorbell and the images it contains.
A security sticker rounds out the inclusions, warning people they are under video surveillance.
The camera quality is excellent, and the time delay between motion detection or a physical press of the doorbell to a smartphone is around one second. In the past, this delay has been an issue with some brands. This short delay also means that a two-way conversation between someone at the door and you on your smartphone is very realistic.
Often, a front door faces the street, so false notifications can be an issue. The Eufy deals with this by allowing adjustments in sensitivity, an AI filter for humans and an adjustable six-dot grid that allows you to specify the motion activation area within the camera’s field of view.
Beyond an instant notification on your phone, you can review all camera activations with date time, a small video snapshot and an estimation of what the camera saw. For example, I saved my face in the app, and it indicated Angus was at the door. It can also recognise a package and thus list the package as part of that notification.
A feature referred to as Delivery Guard, I thought at first was a gimmick, but it turns out to make a lot of sense. Once the camera has identified a package that has been left, any further movement near that package will activate a voice recording. You can choose a prerecorded response, but I made my own. I recorded “WHAT ARE YOU DOING – I am recording you on video – don’t even think about it.” A potential would-be thief of my package is now hopefully having second thoughts.
Control of your video doorbell is via an app with many options to change settings, add users, and switch features on and off
You need a smartphone, an old wired doorbell, or an Amazon Alexa device to recieve a chime notification in your house. The app can be loaded onto multiple smartphones so others in your household also receive door notifications. Wires and instructions to wire the doorbell to an old physical doorbell are also included in the box. Suppose you have Amazon Alexa devices in your home. In that case, the alert can be programmed to come through as either a tone or image on appropriate Alexa devices. A wireless door chime mentioned in the Eufy documentation is unavailable in Australia.
Who is the Eufy E340 video doorbell for?
I really like this doorbell, but unfortunately, as I have Google Home throughout my house, which will not broadcast a chime with the Eufy video doorbell, this will not be a solution for me. As my smartphone is often left in other rooms while I am at home: how will I know someone is at the door? For Google-reliant households, potential alternatives include Ring’s video doorbells and a similar device from Arlo.
If, however, your smartphone never leaves your side or you have an old wired door ball or Amazon Alexa, then this is not only a great way to see and communicate with people at your door irrespective of whether you are home or not, but it also is a great guard dog to watch over your packages left at your front door.
Eufy video doorbell E340
A dual-camera video doorbell, the Eufy E340 records visitors and packages in 2K with plenty of smarts that depend on your current devices.
Value for money
Ease of use
Fast response time of notification and two-way speech