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HomeLifestyleEufy Security Video Doorbell E340 review: My favorite front-door security system

Eufy Security Video Doorbell E340 review: My favorite front-door security system

Most smart video doorbells face the same challenge: How best to capture the “doormat area” (where packages typically land) while still showing you a full view of the porch, driveway or sidewalk? Some employ a fish-eye lens, which has limitations and looks weird if there’s too much of it. Eufy’s clever solution: two cameras, one pointed ahead and one pointed down. Also clever: The doorbell conveniently runs on either battery power or existing wiring, and it doesn’t saddle you with a monthly fee for things like video storage and package detection. On paper, then, this already ranks as one of the best video doorbells you can get. But how is it in reality? Here’s my Eufy Video Doorbell E340 review.

Rick Broida/Yahoo News

VERDICT: With its dual cameras, onboard storage, smart detection capabilities and subscription-free operation, there’s currently no better bell to put on your porch.

Pros

  • Comes with an actual printed instruction guide
  • Can run on battery power or existing doorbell wiring
  • Easy-to-use app
  • Crisp 2K video
  • Built-in video storage, no monthly fees
  • Good at package- and person-detection
Cons

  • Big, bulky design
  • Doesn’t support Apple HomeKit
  • A few glitches when used with smart screens

$180 at Amazon

Priced at $180 but routinely discounted to $140, the E340 costs more than competing products like the Arlo Video Doorbell HD ($80) and Wyze Video Doorbell V2 ($45). Remember, though, that unlike the Arlo, the E340 captures 2K video. (Same as the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, which costs $230.) And unlike the Wyze, it doesn’t require a wired connection; it also a battery, which affords it a wider variety of installation options.

Oh, and did I mention the E340 sports two cameras? Better still, there’s no subscription required; this doorbell stores video locally, recognizes people and packages and provides a full range of notifications, all without a monthly charge. So although you’ll pay a bit more up front, in the long run it’s much cheaper.

Good news for novices: Eufy supplies a printed quick-start guide that’s far more detailed than most. So many modern tech products come with little more than a cryptic leaflet and QR code to scan. Here, you get detailed instructions on choosing between wired and battery installations and illustrated instructions for both.

An unboxing photo of the Eufy Video Doorbell E340.

The Eufy Video Doorbell E340 comes with a genuinely helpful printed installation guide and a “protected by Eufy” sticker to put on your door or window. (Rick Broida/Yahoo)

Because I have a wired doorbell already and didn’t want to deal with recharging a battery every four months (based on Eufy’s estimate, which is about average for battery-powered doorbells), I opted for that installation method. Everything went quickly and smoothly, though I did run into a snafu with chime setup: While the doorbell can utilize my existing chime, there’s a bit of wiring required that’s not even mentioned in the print guide. Thankfully, the Eufy app offers detailed instructions in its chime-settings section.

In fact, that’s where I learned the E340 can also leverage Alexa devices for chime purposes, so I followed the step-by-step instructions there to enable the necessary Alexa skill. Now, when someone rings the bell, every Echo speaker in my house announces, “Someone is at the door.” Very convenient.

Speaking of the Eufy app, be prepared for steps like Eufy account creation, two-factor authentication setup and, if you have an iPhone, enabling Face ID. From there you add the doorbell by scanning a couple QR codes and connecting to your home Wi-Fi network. All told it took me only about five minutes, including a post-setup firmware update. The app also offers up a few videos related to doorbell installation and Eufy’s Delivery Guard feature, plus useful explanations of features like facial recognition, “porch view cards,” device sharing and more. This is some of the most novice-friendly help I’ve seen from any video-doorbell app.

I also like that it has text labels below its icons, saving you having to guess what does what. (Note to all other app developers: text labels!) Another seemingly minor thing that I like: There’s a “protected by Eufy” sticker included in the box. If I’m a thief and I see that sticker near the door, there’s a good chance I’m moving on to the next house.

The E340 captures 2K video (2,048 x 1,536 pixels) from its main camera and 1080p (1,920 x 1,080) from the down-facing one; both support color night-vision. It can detect bodies, faces and packages, though not pets. And it offers two-way audio so you can converse with someone who’s at your door (even when you’re away from home).

Miscellaneous screenshots from the Eufy Security app.

Miscellaneous screenshots from the well-organized, clearly labeled Eufy Security app. (Rick Broida/Yahoo)

Most notably, the doorbell features 8GB of onboard storage, which Eufy says will hold 60 days’ worth of event recordings (though that number will vary depending on the number and length of them). Should you want more, the optional Eufy HomeBase S380 adds another 16GB and can accommodate up to 1TB. It also adds facial recognition, an alarm siren and multi-camera tracking — something to consider if you decide to expand your home security with more Eufy devices.

There are optional cloud-storage plans as well, starting at just $3 per month, if you want a backup for your videos or you’re worried about the actual doorbell getting stolen (and your recordings along with it). That’s reasonable pricing; many cloud plans cost $5 monthly or even more. (Arlo’s start at $8.) But I’d try living with the doorbell for a month or two to see if you really feel like cloud storage is necessary.

In my multi-week tests of the E340, I found that it worked very well overall. The app loads quickly and takes just a few seconds to display a live feed of both cameras. That 2K video looks sharp under all kinds of lighting conditions while keeping the fisheye effect to a minimum, and the 1080p down-facing camera is more than sufficient for looking at packages.

One annoyance I have with many doorbells is repeated notifications. Suppose you’re standing outside chatting with a neighbor; you don’t want a “human detected” alert every 10 seconds. Eufy has a workaround for this, but it’s buried in the Power Manager settings: You can set up an “interval between triggers,” ostensibly to help preserve battery life (which isn’t a factor for my wired setup). Alas, the maximum interval is 60 seconds — better, but still not ideal.

Also, while the app labels most of its icons (as noted above), there’s one that, inexplicably, isn’t labeled: the Package Live Check Assistance toggle, represented by a weird-looking hexagon with little antennas. When enabled, this feature provides package-delivery reminders during the day and can notify you when someone approaches the package.

A photo of the live video feed from the E340, as displayed on a Google Pixel Tablet.

Here’s the colorful, detailed live feed from the Eufy Video Doorbell E340, as shown on a Google Pixel Tablet — but sometimes the tablet flat-out refused to show it. And I couldn’t get it to work at all with an Amazon Echo Hub. (Rick Broida/Yahoo)

The only technical problem I encountered was trying to view a live feed on an Amazon Echo Hub and Google Pixel Tablet. The former repeatedly informed me the doorbell “wasn’t responding,” while the latter worked inconsistently: Sometimes it showed the feed, sometimes it said, “Sorry, the Pixel Tablet doesn’t support streaming from the Eufy Doorbell.” At press time I was still working with Eufy tech support to resolve this issue.

That wrinkle would give me pause if I was planning to use a smart assistant to display video from the E340. Personally, I rely solely on the app, which has proven both reliable and easy to use.

Indeed, in all other respects, I have no qualms about recommending Eufy’s doorbell. It’s reasonably priced given its dual-camera design, and even more so when on sale, which is often. Plus, features like video storage and person/package detection don’t cost extra; there’s no monthly subscription required.

That freedom from fees, plus those two cameras, give the E340 a fairly substantial edge over competing products. If you want to keep a closer eye on your packages, especially if they’re at risk of getting stolen, this video doorbell should be at the top of your list.

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