Blurams Smart Video Doorbell review: Living with a budget smart doorbell

A cheap smart doorbell that does the basics well

Blurams Smart Video Doorbell
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It’s fairly easy to make a cheap smart doorbell that covers the basics, but Blurams has gone the extra mile.

Beyond letting you simply answer your front door from anywhere, the Blurams Smart Video Doorbell has facial recognition, a choice of voice replies and free cloud video, all for $149.

Think of it as a cut-price Nest Hello and you’ve got the picture.

You can currently pre-order the doorbell on Indiegogo, with discount prices making it even cheaper. I got hold of an early release sample to see how good this product really is.

There are a few known bugs with the version that I had, so there’s no star rating for this hands-on, living with, review.

Blurams Smart Video Doorbell: Design

A chunky slab of curved white plastic, the Blurams Smart Video Doorbell is one of the biggest that I’ve reviewed.

You don’t get a corner plate in the box, either, so you’ll need to make sure that you’ve got enough room on your door frame to fit it.

It’s not the best looking doorbell that I’ve seen, but it’s hard to miss and the bell button is massive, making it easy for visitors to find. In a way, that’s exactly what you want from a smart doorbell.

Blurams Smart Video Doorbell review: Living with a budget smart doorbell

Part of the reason that the doorbell is so big is that it has a battery. You have the option of running off this internal battery (in which case you have to take the camera off of its mounting plate and bring it inside), or you can wire it into your existing doorbell (16-to-24V adaptors are supported).

The sample that I was provided with is an early one, and the battery runs out within a couple of weeks, but I’m told that shipping versions will last for up to six months

Once you’ve got the mounting plate screwed into place and, if you need to, wired up, the Smart Doorbell just drops into position. There’s a screw-hole underneath to lock the doorbell into position and to make it harder to steal.

Blurams Smart Video Doorbell review: Living with a budget smart doorbell

At the front of the camera is the lens, which has a wide-angle 160-degree field of view. There’s also a 1080p Full HD sensor.

Once in place, you can then use the app to connect the doorbell to your wireless network. Only 2.4GHz connections are supported, but that makes sense for an external device, as this type of wireless can more easily punch through walls.

There’s one more thing in the box: an internal chime. This comes pre-paired with the doorbell and should be plugged in as close as you can get. Again, it’s a slightly cheap looking device, but it’s essential, particularly as I couldn’t get the Smart Doorbell to ring my wired-in chime.

Blurams Smart Video Doorbell: Features

Once hooked up, it’s pretty much business as normal for a smart doorbell. From the home screen, you can tap the thumbnail preview to go to the video history screen.

If you’ve used any Nest products before, this interface will be very familiar, using a similar timeline view that lets you scroll through recorded events.

Each Smart Doorbell has 72-hours of rolling cloud storage, which should be enough for most people, although you can upgrade to 15-days of storage if you need more ($5.99 a month or $59.90 a year).

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Any clip that you select can be downloaded and saved to your phone, although not from this view; instead, you have to go to the Library section of the app.

In many ways, the Library area is better, as you can filter by type of event (missed ring, answered ring, human face, human shape and motion to name a few), as well as picking a date.

Choose Human faces, and you can tap the thumbnail of someone to view just their footage.

This is where the Blurams Smart Video Doorbell gets really clever, adding in facial recognition into the mix. Much like the system in the Nest Hello, the Smart Doorbell builds up profiles of people, letting you name them in the app, so that you can not only get a notification when someone approaches the door but who they are.

You can categorise people, putting them into your family, but there are a few more choice options, including Suspicious person, Dangerous person and Stranger.

Facial recognition is pretty good, and at least as good as the Nest Hello’s. Over a few weeks, the camera never failed to spot me and my family. If you do get a mistake and the camera spots someone you know as someone new, you can merge the information together to improve the training.

As you’d expect, you can also use Live View to see what’s going on at the moment and activate two-way talk.

By default, the Smart Doorbell will record any time its PIR motion sensor is activated. There’s only a distance control, that lets you set how far away motion has to be: Near (1m), Normal (2m) or Far (3m). With no sensitivity control, I found that I got constant alerts from people walking past the front of my house, even with Distance set to 1m.

Blurams Smart Video Doorbell review: Living with a budget smart doorbell

There are some options to decrease notifications, including changing the notification frequency, and adding in a schedule to control when notifications can and can’t be sent.

Even so, if you live near a busy road, you may want to turn off motion detection altogether to improve battery life. Ring handles PIR motion detection much better with its products, such as the Video Doorbell 3 Plus, with more granular control over how the sensor works.

Blurams has got one feature that Ring has on its newer doorbells: privacy zones. You can mark out part of the image to blur, giving your neighbors some privacy. Just be careful how much of the image you block out, and be aware that motion in a privacy zone will still trigger a recording but you won’t be able to see what’s going on.

Blurams Smart Video Doorbell review: Living with a budget smart doorbell

As this is a video doorbell, the main way that you’re likely to use the camera is when someone presses the doorbell. It can take a good 30-seconds or so for the Smart Doorbell to ping a notification to your phone, although the indoor chime rings faster.

You get a default ring tone on the chime, but tap the button on the front, and you can choose from 32 tones. Some are pretty naff, and it’s like a throwback to those terrible doorbells of the ‘80s, but you’re bound to find something that you like.

From your phone, you can tap the option to send a quick voice reply to someone; there are no default messages, but you can record your own, say telling a courier to leave a package behind. If you do want to talk to the person, then the audio is clear both ways, and there’s little delay.

Don’t want to answer the door at all? There’s a Quiet time option (also borrowed from Nest), that lets you turn off ring and motion alerts for 30-minutes, two-hours or four hours.

Blurams has an Alexa and Google Assistant Skill, which lets you stream video from the doorbell to a smart display. There’s currently no broadcast option, so your smart speakers won’t announce when the doorbell has been pressed.

It’s nice to see IFTTT rules, and you can use the Smart Doorbell to trigger actions. There’s a lot of triggers to choose from including motion, when the doorbell is pressed, when a person is spotted and, even, when a specific face is detected. The latter’s great if you want to only do something when you come home, for example.

Blurams Smart Video Doorbell: Video quality

As I’ve seen from recent budget security cameras, cheap no longers poor quality. Sharp, detailed and well exposed, with just a touch of softness around faces, the footage from the Blurams Smart Video Doorbell is really very good and holds up well to most of the competition; only the Arlo Video Doorbell is better with its 2K resolution.

At night, the Smart Doorbell has to use IR, switching to black and white vision. The image is noticeably softer and you don’t get as much range, with objects further away from the camera harder to see. Close-up and you can see people clearly enough.

There’s one minor issue for the camera: although it has a wide viewing angle, the field of view isn’t very high, so the camera can crop off the top of people’s heads.

Blurams Smart Video Doorbell review: Living with a budget smart doorbell

Blurams Smart Video Doorbell: Early verdict

With such a huge range of features, including facial recognition and free cloud storage, at a comparably low price, the 1080p Blurams Smart Video Doorbell is something of a bargain. It largely gets everything right, too, with quality video and clear two-way talk.

Motion detection is a bit energetic and it’s hard to reduce the number of recordings you get as a result, and both Ring and Nest handle this better.

It’s also not the prettiest doorbell going, but if you’re looking for a well-priced alternative to the big boys, this is a great choice with some advanced features.


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