SwannBuddy Video Doorbell

MSRP $150.00

“It’s not perfect, but a few software patches could make the SwannBuddy Video Doorbell a far greater option.”


  • High-resolution streaming with coloration night time imaginative and prescient
  • Included doorbell chime with six tunes
  • Impressive sensors
  • Great for residences


  • App has to reload each time you open it
  • Live view masses too slowly to catch guests
  • Needs a screwdriver to arrange

The SwannBuddy Video Doorbell is a powerful piece of know-how, with high-resolution streams, an array of sensors, and a budget-friendly value level. It serves as a powerful entry level into the world of good residence safety, particularly proper now at the beginning of the vacation season.

It competes in opposition to different merchandise equally new to the market, just like the Blink Video Doorbell. The SwannBuddy makes a reputation for itself as an ideal possibility for those that reside in residences (or simply those who aren’t the savviest with instruments) as a result of it doesn’t must be hardwired. It can run on batteries alone, whereas delivering efficiency on par with a lot higher-end video doorbells.

That stated, the SwannBuddy isn’t excellent. Although I discovered it straightforward to arrange and use, there are a number of locations the place I really feel the video doorbell might enhance.

Installation and setup

The SwannBuddy Video Doorbell isn’t arduous to arrange, however the included directions are a bit complicated. If you possibly can’t hardwire the doorbell to something, like for those who reside in an house or your doorbell doesn’t have a C-wire, don’t fear — you possibly can connect it with the included adhesive straight to your door.

You’ll must cost the battery first, a course of that may take as much as six hours. An included USB charger means you simply must plug the SwannBuddy in, and a light-weight on the entrance of the digital camera will let you already know when it’s totally charged. The battery life is fairly spectacular; after every week of frequent use with near-hourly triggers, the SwannBuddy was nonetheless at 75%.

The SwannBuddy glows red when recording.

You can even safe the bracket to your door with screws. You will want a screwdriver whatever the approach you select to mount the doorbell, although. An anti-tamper screw is inserted by means of the underside of the bracket into the video doorbell itself.

Though the {hardware} for hardwiring the doorbell is included, there aren’t any directions demonstrating methods to carry out this specific job. Of course, a fast YouTube video might additionally remedy that downside.

The SwannBuddy chime plays six different tunes.

In addition to the SwannBuddy, you’ll discover a chime within the field. This unit is powered by two AA batteries and pairs robotically to your doorbell. The second somebody rings the doorbell, the chime will play — fairly loudly the primary time, for those who haven’t already adjusted the quantity in settings.

Pairing your new SwannBuddy doorbell with the app is so simple as scanning the QR code and following the on-screen directions. There’s nothing to it, particularly for those who’ve ever arrange a wise system earlier than.

Software and efficiency

When somebody rings your doorbell and also you aren’t residence, you’ll verify your telephone to see who it’s. Right? The primary downside I had with the SwannBuddy is the load time. It takes so long as 15 seconds or extra to load the digital camera throughout the app.

Nine occasions out of ten, I’m wanting on the historical past on the app to see who got here to the door. It doesn’t load quick sufficient for me to catch them whereas they’re nonetheless on the door, particularly if it’s a supply driver or somebody in a rush. The SwannBuddy solely notifies you if movement is detected. It doesn’t really provide you with a warning to somebody ringing the doorbell except you’ve gotten already configured that setting, but it surely looks as if it needs to be enabled by default.

Even with minimal mild, the digital camera is highly effective sufficient to make out finer particulars.

These two points baffled me throughout my use of the doorbell, however they each really feel like they may simply be mounted by means of software program updates. A few patches might all however remove my primary complaints about this system. Outside of those issues, the remainder of the Swann app is intuitive. There are three modes to select from: Home, Night, and Away. You can configure the modes to have completely different ranges of movement detection, in addition to whether or not you need to obtain push notifications or not.

The Activity tab reveals an summary of all of the alerts all through the day, damaged down into two classes: Motion and System. Motion alerts happen anytime one thing passes in entrance of the doorbell, however system alerts solely crop up while you change the Mode. As far as I might inform, the SwannBuddy doesn’t make the most of geofencing, so there isn’t a automated mode shifts while you depart residence.

The Live View tab enables you to verify on any Swann digital camera you’ve gotten enabled, whether or not it’s a safety digital camera or simply the doorbell. It’s a simple approach to see your whole video feeds in a single place, however once more — it could take a number of seconds for the video to load.

From throughout the Device Settings menu, you possibly can choose your doorbell and alter its settings, however that is one other space the place I discovered efficiency to be lower than optimum. Each time I loaded the SwannBuddy, a warning would say “Some of the device information is out of date.” This would disappear after a number of seconds, however throughout this era, I couldn’t entry any of the settings. All I might do was look forward to the app to complete loading.

From inside this menu, you possibly can change the title of the system, its time zone, what Wi-Fi community it’s linked to, and look at the Wi-Fi power and the battery stage. You can even alter issues just like the digital camera date format, whether or not it makes use of coloration night time imaginative and prescient or not, and the speaker and microphone quantity.

The Swann app provides you entry to a lot of the essential stuff you want, however I discovered myself wishing there have been extra choices — like the flexibility to vary the chime, for instance. Right now, it performs a Christmas jingle that goes on for twenty seconds. I’d love to vary it to a easy doorbell sound from throughout the app. Instead, altering the tune requires urgent a bodily button on the chime unit itself. Yes, there are six choices to select from, however most simply really feel superfluous.


One space the place the SwannBuddy does excel is in movement detection. The doorbell makes use of True Detect know-how and might choose up movement and warmth for extra dependable alerts. It can even distinguish between individuals and animals.

Two-way discuss enables you to converse to guests or depart directions for supply drivers (assuming the app masses quick sufficient to speak with them), whereas a 180-degree viewing angle means you possibly can see your door in addition to what’s on the bottom in entrance of it. At this time of 12 months, this implies you possibly can control any packages delivered to your private home.

The SwannBuddy video doorbell can be hardwired or battery powered.

The SwannBuddy features a 32GB SD card that permits you to retailer footage domestically on the system. Clips are additionally saved to the cloud for simple entry. The SwannBuddy additionally integrates with Google Assistant and Alexa. You can show the feed on both of those gadgets by asking the good assistant to indicate you the display screen.

If your porch mild is off at night time, the SwannBuddy can see as much as 16 ft away with infrared imaginative and prescient. Even with minimal mild, the digital camera is highly effective sufficient to make out finer particulars about anybody that pays a go to to your door.

Finally, the SwannBuddy has an IP56 ranking. It can face up to virtually all climate situations. There’s no want to fret that direct daylight or a rainstorm will injury the system.

Our take

The SwannBuddy Video Doorbell is a good system marred by a number of minor, however supremely annoying points. At $150, it’s cheap sufficient that I can simply overlook these issues in favor of all it does proper. The doorbell’s potential might simply be met with a number of software program patches. If I had a whole setup of Swann cameras already, then including the SwannBuddy to the repertoire could be a no brainer.

All in all, it’s not a nasty doorbell, but it surely’s not the most effective I’ve ever seen, both. Its capacity to run on both batteries or by means of hardwiring, and its spectacular specs put it aside from being simply one other video doorbell within the good residence blitzkrieg.

Are there any alternate options?

If you’re on the lookout for top-of-the-line, it’s arduous to go mistaken with the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2. It’s an costly piece of {hardware} (priced at $250), but it surely comes with entry to all of Ring’s spectacular know-how, just like the birds-eye view and the automated, Alexa-powered responses.

At the opposite finish of the spectrum, the Blink Video Doorbell is barely $35, however sacrifices options within the title of financial savings. It nonetheless streams and data in 1080p, however connecting to the system is a bit much less streamlined and requires the Sync Module 2 or a membership with the Blink Subscription Plan.

How lengthy will it final?

The SwannBuddy Video Doorbell is fabricated from fairly sturdy stuff. It feels good and heavy within the hand, and is cumbersome sufficient to present the impression of high quality. With correct care, it ought to final you for years. If one thing occurs, Swann offers a one-year guarantee from the date of buy.

Should you purchase it?

Yes. Despite its issues, the SwannBuddy Video Doorbell performs properly. I hope that Swann will launch updates that may right the issues I had with it.

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