In the past few years, there has been a rising trend for smart doorbell products in the market. While other smart home devices like thermostats, security cameras, and of course the smart home hubs have also seen a similar increase in popularity, we can argue that smart doorbells are the center of attention, providing more combined values compared to other smart home devices.
With that being said, the smart doorbell market is dominated by big players such as Ring Pro, Skybell HD, and August Doorbell Cam, all of which we have reviewed in the past. So, is there still any room for new players to enter the emerging smart doorbell market?
Apparently, the answer is yes, as proven by a successful Kickstarter campaign for Ding smart doorbell.
In this article, we will take a quick look at the Ding smart doorbell, and whether it’s worth buying when it will be released in August 2017. First, let us begin this Ding Smart Doorbell review by taking a quick look at the concept.
The Concept Behind Ding Smart Doorbell
So, what is the deal about Ding Smart Doorbell? What differentiates it from so many smart doorbell products out there? The answer is simplicity.
On their own Ding Doorbell Kickstarter campaign, the team behind Ding Smart Doorbell mentioned that in their opinion, the ‘smart’ doorbells available in the market today are either ‘dumb’ or overly smart. Overly smart in the way that they offer you far more features than you could ever use.
While we do not completely agree with that statement, there is a fraction of truth in there. Many ‘smart’ doorbells available in the market today are hybrids between intercoms and security cameras with doorbell buttons. If you are familiar with how a smart doorbell operates, I’m sure the question has crossed your mind: do you need all those features?
Almost every smart doorbell products out there work like this:
- Your visitor pushes the buttonThe doorbell rings, then send an alert to your phone
- You can view live video feed from your app
- Use the two-way communication feature to speak with the visitor
So, which step does the Ding eliminates? It is the video functionality. Yes, Ding is a ‘smart’ doorbell without any video camera. Instead, when someone pushes the Ding button, you will get an alert on your phone where you can do two-way voice communication, not unlike an ordinary phone call.
The decision not to include video functionality is interesting. However, there are indeed questions whether smart doorbells need the video functionality, a feature that sometimes clashes with other devices such as intercoms or security cameras. For example, Ring Smart Doorbell and Stick Up Cam are very similar to each other minus the doorbell button.
As a result, the Ding Smart Doorbell is indeed, relatively more affordable compared to most popular options available today.
Communicating through voice calls might be less exciting than spying your visitors through an app. However, it gets the job done.
Let us continue this Ding Doorbell review by discussing the technical specs and key features.
Ding Doorbell Key Features
Now, we have discussed how the Ding Smart Doorbell is, essentially, a smart doorbell without video functionality. So how will the other features fare? Here are the key values of the Ding Smart Doorbell.
The Ding Button and Chime
Unique to Ding Smart Doorbell is an inclusion of a digital chime, which is connected to the button with a wireless connection. This is a very nice feature, since most smart doorbell products, even high-end ones need wired connection to the chime. Even then, many can only connect to traditional, mechanical chime and will need an additional adapter for digital chimes. The chime can sound an 80dB siren which is sufficient. It is unclear whether the chime can play non-preprogrammed audio files.
The Ding button measured at 36 mm (W) x 103 mm (H) x 19mm (D), which is relatively small. The chime, on the other hand, is measured at 72mm (W) x177mm(H) x 32mm (D). The chime is fabric-covered with several textile choices based on your Kickstarter pledge. There are the basic ‘charcoal’ fabric, a selection of colorful fabrics, and ‘brass’ fabric.
The button part of the Ding Smart Doorbell features a built-in battery, which is very nice. As we all know, built-in battery allows installation in difficult-to-reach places and makes the installation process significantly easier. The chime part uses a USB adapter, but since it can connect to the button through your Wi-Fi network, the dependency to power outlet shouldn’t be a problem.
The button unit of the Ding Smart Doorbell is IP65 weatherproof, which is very nice considering the small size and the affordable price.
Since the button and the chime are connected through a wireless network, there will be a question about the connectivity. The technology to connect both devices is similar to cordless telephones, which is called DECT. As a result, the button and the chime can connect to each other within a 40-meter range. The DECT connection is also excellent with thick walls, so the connectivity is pretty good.
Since Ding is designed as a smart doorbell, of course, there is a companion app for iOS and Android. The app can receive calls from the button, and you can use the app to silent the interior chime when needed. Nothing groundbreaking, but does the job.
Pros & Cons
Let us end this Ding doorbell review with a verdict, and here are what we liked from the product.
- Very simple approach both in installation and performance
- Ease of installation
- Decent connection between the button and the chime unit
- Sophisticated design with various color and fabric selections
- No news of third-party integration, including to popular smart home controllers
- No video functionality
If you want a simple (and working) smart doorbell without the video feed, the Ding Smart Doorbell might be a very decent option and might be a serious contender to the smart doorbell market.
There is currently no support for third-party integration, including for popular smart home controllers like Wink or Samsung SmartThings. If you already own other smart home devices, the Ding Smart Doorbell might not be a good idea. However, an excellent choice for smart home beginners to test the water.