Video doorbells remove the guesswork from figuring out who is at your door. The Wi-Fi-enabled Scout Video Doorbell, for example, streams live video to your phone and/or Echo Show smart display. It also works with many third-party smart devices, including those within the Scout Alarm Home Security System. However, the doorbell doesn’t support Google Assistant or integrate with Apple’s HomeKit platform. Plus, it requires you to pay for a cloud storage plan to view video recordings. We like its $99 price, but our Editors’ Choice winner, the Ezviz DB1C, offers higher-resolution video and local storage options for the same amount of money.
Scout Doorbell Design and Features
At 4.9 by 1.6 by 1.3 inches (HWD), the Scout Video Doorbell is a bit smaller than the Arlo Essential (5.6 by 1.8 by 1.3 inches) and the Ezviz DB1C (5.0 by 1.8 by 0.8 inches), but not quite as small as the Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro (4.6 by 1.5 by 1.3 inches).
It comes with three removable faceplates (black, silver, and white), and sports a black doorbell button and camera housing. The button’s LED backlight glows green when the doorbell is working and blue during setup. Around the back and behind a rubber gasket are a reset button, a micro USB power port, and a power switch. Notably, you can choose between analog (which plays a chime via a physical mechanism) and digital models (which plays a recording of a chime).
The doorbell requires a 16V transformer and uses standard low-voltage wiring. In addition to the three faceplates, it comes with mounting hardware and a digital chime power adapter. The camera captures video at 1080p and shows a useful, wide 180-degree field of view. It uses infrared LEDs for black-and-white night vision, and has a microphone and speaker for two-way talk. The doorbell sends push alerts and records video when someone presses the button, as well as when it detects motion. It can also tell you whether a person caused the motion if you subscribe to Scout’s cloud storage plan; for $2.99 per month, you get 14 days of recordings per device.
The doorbell integrates seamlessly with the Scout Alarm Home Security System, but you can use it as a standalone device, too. It supports Alexa voice commands and can stream video to Amazon Echo Show displays. The doorbell works with lots of third-party smart home devices via IFTTT, but it doesn’t support Apple’s HomeKit platform or Google Assistant (Scout says support for the latter is on the roadmap).
It uses the same mobile app (available for Android and iOS) as the Scout Alarm Home Security System. The device appears in a video panel on the home screen, with the last captured image. Tap the panel to launch a live feed and turn your phone sideways to switch to the full-screen mode. You can press the Speak button to initiate two-way talk, but you don’t get the manual record or snapshot buttons that are common with most other doorbell cameras. Tap the gear icon in the upper right corner to enable alerts; specify video quality and night vision settings; configure Wi-Fi preferences; and rename the doorbell. It notably lacks the motion sensitivity and motion zone settings that you get with the Ring Video Doorbell 4 and the Ezviz DB1C.
Simple to Set Up and Use
Installing the Scout Video Doorbell was quick and easy, but make sure to write down the MAC address on the back of the device because you’ll need it later.
To begin, I downloaded the Scout mobile app, created an account, and selected Video Doorbell from a prompt. I chose analog as my chime type, and followed the on-screen instructions to shut off the power to the circuit that delivers power to my existing doorbell.
Next, I removed the old doorbell, connected the two wires to the Scout mounting plate, and attached the plate to the doorframe in the same location. I then flipped on the doorbell’s power switch, snapped the doorbell into place on the mounting plate, and restored power to the circuit. When the doorbell button turned blue, I entered the MAC address and used my phone’s Wi-Fi settings to connect to the doorbell. After I selected my Wi-Fi SSID and entered my password, the doorbell joined my network. To complete the installation, I tapped Next and gave the doorbell a name.
The Scout doorbell delivered solid 1080p video in testing. Daytime video footage showed good color quality, and night vision recordings looked crisp and evenly illuminated, with sharp contrast. The camera provided a wide view of both my doorstep and front yard.
Motion and doorbell alerts arrived instantly, and the camera had no trouble identifying motion caused by people. Additionally, an Alexa routine I set up for a Wyze Bulb to turn on when someone pressed the doorbell button worked without issue.
A Solid Addition to Your Scout Security System
At $99, the Scout Video Doorbell is an affordable way for you to see who is at your door before you open it. The device is a natural choice if you already use a Scout Alarm Home Security System, but it also works fine alongside third-party smart devices via Alexa and IFTTT. That said, you can’t use it with Google Assistant and the app lacks several of the settings we expect. For the same price, the Ezviz DB1C works with Google Assistant, captures 2K video, and offers local and cloud video storage options, so it remains our Editors’ Choice winner for video doorbells.
Scout Alarm Video Doorbell
The Bottom Line
The Scout Video Doorbell enables you to monitor your front door from your phone or a compatible smart display, but it forces you to pay for a cloud subscription to view any video recordings.
Like What You’re Reading?
Sign up for Lab Report to get the latest reviews and top product advice delivered right to your inbox.