Raise your hand if you agree with this: You love the idea of a smart video doorbell, but don't want to pay a cloud-storage subscription fee from now until the end of time.
I feel the same. Thankfully, there's a fee-free option: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Newegg has the RemoBell S Smart Video Doorbell for $89 with promo code NEWEGGCNET2. That's an extra $10 off the already-compelling regular price.
You can also get the RemoBell W for $149 with promo code NEWEGGCNET1. That's a savings of $50, and while it's arguably the better of the two products, I'm going to focus on the S, because it's the one I've been testing for the past couple weeks.
The RemoBell S is an attractive, hardwired doorbell (much better-looking than the W, actually), designed to take the place of your existing bell. Installation was a little tricky because I couldn't tell if ours was mechanical or electronic, but ultimately I got everything working.
I'll start with the good stuff. It takes just two taps to access a live video feed on your phone or tablet, and I was impressed at how quickly the feed appeared. While puttering in my basement one day, my phone pinged when someone rang the doorbell, and within about four seconds I was able to see who was there and carry on a two-way conversation.
So as a basic video doorbell, the RemoBell S does what it sets out to do. Plus, you get three days of unlimited rolling cloud storage at no extra charge. That's awfully compelling, as virtually every other video doorbell either requires a subscription or limits you to just a few hours' worth of free recordings. Remo does have a premium option as well: For $3 per month (or $30 annually), you can bump the storage to 30 days.
However, I do have some complaints. For starters, the camera provides only a square or fish-eye view, and cloud recordings are strictly fish-eye. That's ludicrous, though Remo claims it's intentional in order to let you see more of what's going on. In reality, it actually makes it much harder to see the action on the sides or farther away. Let me choose which view I prefer, Remo!
Also, the camera is extremely sensitive to motion, even when the detection settings are cranked all the way to low. My activity list is populated with lots of recordings that show absolutely no movement. That's one big point in favor of the RemoBell W, which employs a passive IR sensor that's less likely to trigger these false detections.
I feel like both these problems could be solved by software tweaks -- but will they? A Remo rep told me the company is "actively" working to improve the product, but wouldn't specify when or whether these issues would be addressed.
I'll say this: $89 is a very attractive price for an attractive video doorbell that quickly sends a live feed to your phone or tablet -- and includes free cloud storage. It's far from perfect, but it might be good enough for your needs.
Bonus deal: Get a Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro fitness watch for $80
I've long admired the design of Samsung's Gear Fit watches, which have long, curved, beautiful screens and tons of great features -- fitness and otherwise. If I owned an Android phone, I'd definitely be using a Gear Fit with it.
Deals have been rare of late, especially on the newer models. But for a limited time, and while supplies last, Best Buy has the Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro in black or red for $79.99. It originally sold for $200.
CNET hasn't reviewed this model, but you can. Among the Fit 2 Pro's highlights: built-in GPS, continuous heart-rate monitoring, a battery that's good for an estimated five days, and 4GB of onboard storage -- with support for Spotify downloads.
And as I said, the 1.5-inch curved AMOLED display is gorgeous. You can choose from a huge selection of faces, too. It's amazing to me that this is new, not refurbished. For $80, it gets my highest "buy" recommendation.
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