Package theft has become a phenomenon in the past few years. Vivint set out to try and curb that behavior with a new SmartSentry deter mode that actively protects your packages from thieves. It put that new deter mode into its new video Doorbell Camera Pro that integrates with the rest of the Vivint package. I put the doorbell through its paces for the past month, and this is what I’ve learned.
Right off the bat, the Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro comes with the same caveat as the rest of the Vivint family of devices. You need a Vivint security system installed in your home to use the doorbell. If you are only looking for a video doorbell, you can stop reading at this point. But if you’re interested in the Vivint system, then read on because the doorbell does some awesome things.
The Doorbell Camera Pro hardware is slim compared to most other doorbell cameras out there. It still very much looks like a video doorbell, but some options like Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus are chunky. The Vivint Doorbell is much more svelte, which homeowners should appreciate. The black face of the doorbell starts with subtle branding at the top, with the camera lens just below and the doorbell button at the bottom. A ring light surrounds the doorbell button. The rest of the casing is white.
This doorbell comes with two hero features, the first being a 180-degree field of view from left to right and from top to bottom. This is similar to the Arlo Video Doorbell. The advantage here is obvious – even a package left on your doormat is visible. The wide field of view allows you to survey your entire front porch as well. This is really impressive in practice. My front door is recessed into the brick, so I can’t take full advantage of the left-to-right view, but certainly the 180 degrees top and bottom are advantageous.
The other hero feature is similar to the one I tested with the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro and comes in the form of SmartSentry deter mode, powered by artificial intelligence (A.I.). Vivint really wanted to focus on package delivery and porch pilfering, so the doorbell comes with sentry mode. When the camera detects a package being delivered, it notifies you on your phone. From there you can turn deter mode on. When someone else approaches your front porch, it plays the deter tone.
Video quality from the 180-degree camera is adequate for its purpose. Its quality is something you’d expect to get from a mid-range phone, for example. That’s fine for identifying visitors, bad for selfies at the club. The center of the frame is quite clear with a bit of a fisheye effect as you get out toward the edges of the frame.
The Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro suffers the same downside as its Outdoor Camera Pro counterpart. The doorbell only detects packages and people. It does not detect other motion or sound like the Nest Hello Video Doorbell and I miss that.
This is a doorbell camera with a specific mission, which is in its own way refreshing. These days it seems like smart tech wants to be everything for everyone. This doorbell was designed to protect your packages, which is arguably the best reason to have a video doorbell. Plus, unlike many others, Vivint uses A.I. to proactively protect packages. A video doorbell may help you catch thieves, but SmartSentry stops them before you lose your stuff. It wouldn’t surprise me to see more doorbell cameras adopt a similar feature in the years to come.