Lorex 2K QHD Wired Video Doorbell review: Onboard storage and better video quality are the highlights

But this new product suffers from the same motion-detection flaws of Lorex's older 1080p model.

2k doorbell outside
Jason D'Aprile / IDG

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At a Glance
  • Lorex 2K QHD Wired Doorbell (model B451AJD)

Lorex’s 2K QHD Wired Doorbell offers some major improvements over the Lorex Wi-Fi Video Doorbell we reviewed in 2020. Chief among them is 2K resolution with a 4:3 aspect ratio, compared to the 1080p resolution of the older model. But with a price tag that’s nearly twice as big, we didn’t expect to encounter many of the same motion-detection issues we complained about with the earlier model.

While the increased resolution is a welcome feature—especially at this price—the Lorex’s image quality isn’t the sharpest we’ve seen. The inclusion of HDR, however, does help colors pop, and this new model’s night vision is noticeably more detailed—and in color. The camera’s 164-degree field of view, on the other hand, is only slightly better than the previous model’s 160 degrees.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best video doorbells, where you’ll find reviews of the competition’s offerings, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping for this type of product.

Lorex says its 2K QHD supports person detection, but in my experience after enabling the feature, the camera consistently failed to distinguish between people and cats—just like Lorex’s less-expensive 1080p model did. I received a motion notification every time a cat walked with in its field of view. The only way I could reduce the false alarms was to edit the motion-detection zone to ignore the area close to the floor of my porch. But the cats still triggered motion events when they jumped on the porch rail.

lorex app 04 Jason D’Aprile / IDG

Despite Lorex’s person-detection promises, you’ll want to define zones where motion should and should not be detected. You’ll get buried in notifications if you don’t.

As its name indicates, this doorbell depends on the presence of low-voltage wiring (specifically, 16-24V) at the location where it will be installed. You’ll connect a small wiring kit to your existing doorbell chime—it will work with both mechanical and electronic models—and then connect the wires at the wall to the new doorbell. Lorex conveniently includes three mounting brackets for this purpose: One for installation on a flat wall, one that tilts the doorbell’s camera on its vertical axis, and a third that tilts it horizontally.

Everything else is set up via the mobile app, and the overall installation was simple and quick overall.

lorex 2k video doorbell installed Jason D’Aprile / IDG

Lorex provides three mounting brackets to accommodate various installation needs.

Features and performance

The Lorex 2K features a surprisingly bright LED nightlight that shines down from the bottom of the doorbell. This can be scheduled to turn on at a given time, or you can program it to light up—or even flash—when motion is detected. There’s also a button in the app that will sound a local siren if you wish to deter unwelcome visitors.

The Lorex 2K QHD Wired Doorbell is also compatible with Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers and displays, so you can see and talk with visitors at your door. Lorex’s app performed well in this area, there was little lag in loading the camera view, and just a second or so lag in real-time communication using both cellular and Wi-Fi communications.

Alternatively, you can turn on the doorbell’s canned voice responses—or record your own message—and ignore your visitors altogether. When someone rings your bell, the doorbell can respond with phrases such as “We’ll be right there” or “Please leave the package at the door.” Unlike the latest Ring/Amazon Alexa partnership, however, Lorex’s doorbell won’t interact with visitors in real time.

lorex app 03 Jason D’Aprile / IDG

The Lorex 2K QHD Wired Video Doorbell’s video quality is a big step up from the company’s 1080p model.

Video doorbell and security camera manufacturers are fond of forcing buyers to sign up for subscription services, offering only live feeds to those who decline. Yeah, we’re looking at you, Ring. That’s not the case here. Lorex not only builds a microSD card slot into its 2K QHD Wired Doorbell, it includes a 32GB card in the package. This can be upgraded all the way to 256GB, but 32GB should be plenty for most people. There is a flipside to this feature, though; if someone steals the doorbell, they’ll take the forensic evidence of the crime with them.

The verdict

The Lorex 2K QHD Wired Doorbell is a big step up from the company’s previous effort and delivers good video, sound, and night-vision quality. Local storage—and the resulting absence of any need for a subscription—is welcome, too. All that said, this isn’t the most impressive offering for the money that we’ve encountered in this space, and the camera’s motion detection performance is disappointing.

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At a Glance
  • This is a big improvement over the 1080p Lorex doorbell we reviewed in May, 2020, but its inability to distinguish between the movements of people, animals, and other objects holds it back.

    Pros

    • Integrated LED downlight
    • Upgradeable local storage renders a subscription for cloud storage uneccesary
    • Can play pre-recorded greetings

    Cons

    • Person detection just doesn’t work
    • Video image quality isn't the sharpest we've seen
    • A bit expensive for what's delivered
  
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