It’s not often we celebrate features missing from a product, but a new video doorbell from Netatmo comes without a common one: additional monthly fees.
The new Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell features a microSD card slot and records all video locally instead of sending it to the cloud.
That’s great news for anyone trying to avoid paying monthly fees for video cloud storage, which quickly add up. The Nest doorbell costs $229, for example, but after five years of use it will have cost you an additional $250 in cloud storage.
Even though Netatmo’s video is stored locally, it can still be accessed remotely. When you start up the Netatmo app and look at stored clips, you’re accessing the doorbell and playing the clips from there rather than via a cloud storage service.
Users can also set the camera to automatically upload all stored clips to a personal Dropbox account or to an FTP server.
It has all of the other features you’d expect on a video doorbell, including high-definition video, night-vision, passive infrared motion alerts, and two-way talk.
The doorbell is IP65-rated and one of the first with Apple HomeKit support. It is also compatible with If This Then That (IFTTT).
Something else that’s notable is its wide range of electrical voltage support. Most doorbell cameras are designed to work on the 16-24 volts that is typical in American homes, but Netatmo’s roots as a French company have prompted it to expand support for everything from the 8 volts common in Finland to line-level 230 volts sometimes used in France.
During a demonstration at CES in Las Vegas this week, the doorbell performed well. The video picture and audio were both clear and response was fast.
Netatmo says it plans on putting the doorbell on sale in the second half of this year. It will cost between $250 and $300.
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Martyn Williams produces technology news and product reviews in text and video for PC World, Macworld, and TechHive from his home outside Washington D.C.. He previously worked for IDG News Service as a correspondent in San Francisco and Tokyo and has reported on technology news from across Asia and Europe.