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Pebble Time is an interesting smartwatch. This is a bit different from anything else out there in the sense that it’s super low-tech. There’s absolutely nothing flashy about it. As far as smartwatches go, this is as barebones as it gets, but is that bad thing?

I’ve been wearing Pebble Time for about a week now and being an owner of the last generation, this was extremely easy to get used to. Pebble Time’s design is thinner, lighter, and more comfortable to use than its predecessor. It definitely feels like a second generation product, but still feels a bit behind in certain areas when compared to Apple Watch or Android Wear. The materials being used are mostly plastic, but there is a nice metal bezel around the outside (of the inner bezel) and Gorilla Glass covering the screen. Pebble Time is also water-resistant and feels quite durable.

Pebble Time features a colored backlit e-paper display, that’s easy on the eyes and works good enough to make your way through the menus and options Pebble Time has to offer. The company’s new Time OS is a re-imagining of the software you’ll use to navigate it. Everything on Pebble Time is controlled with four buttons. Animations are snappy and fun and the interface is very smooth, but you won’t find any touch screen here.

Check out our Pebble Time review video below:

One of the main features here is Pebble’s Timeline. This is accessed from the main screen using the up and down buttons on the right side. This is essentially just a look into the past and future based on your calendar events. From an event you can dig deeper to find out more information about it or you can remove it. I never found much use for it, but it’s a handy feature to have.

Within the Pebble Time companion app, you’ll find additional watch faces that can be downloaded, along with third-party apps for things like Twitter, Philips Hue, and Nest to name a few. The companion app is very straight forward and easy to use and apps can be arranged in a custom order. Pebble’s developer community is pretty strong and there’s a lot to discover here, but I really only ever cared about having notifications on my wrist.

The main reason I used Pebble Time was for notifications. When each notification arrive, you’ll feel a solid short vibration on your wrist. Unfortunately, it’s quite limited when compared to native smartwatch solutions on both iOS and Android, but one thing is clear: Pebble Time is much more useful if you’re using an Android device. A lot of what makes this a good smartwatch is currently unavailable for iOS users.

Three major things about Pebble Time and iOS that are extremely annoying:

There’s no granular control of notifications on iOS. It’s all or nothing here, unless you’d like to disable those app’s notifications on your iPhone as well.

There’s no way to prevent your iPhone from buzzing if notifications are being displayed on Pebble Time.

There are currently no voice replies using Pebble Time’s build in microphone.

To be fair, I think these limitations might have to do with restrictions in iOS. Pebble notes that voice replies to Gmail notifications are coming soon, but currently there’s nothing else to look forward to with Pebble Time on iOS. On Android, this is a completely different experience. Everything I’ve mentioned works great across all compatible apps and services. Pebble Time’s voice dictation feature will work with hundreds of apps already available on Android.

The best feature Pebble Time has to offer is its battery life. I used Pebble for four days straight and still had 40% battery life. Regardless of anything that’s limiting Pebble Time’s functionality, there’s definitely nothing standing in the way of battery life.

The real story here centers around the new hardware and software design. It’s nice for sure, but not the prettiest looking smartwatch available. Here’s the bottom line: Is Pebble Time a must-have smartwatch? Nope. Are there better solutions available? Yep. Pebble Time only set me back around $180, but I’d rather pay a bit more (or less in the case of certain Android Wear devices) for something that offers native integration on either iOS or Android. I’m sure software updates will improve Pebble Time in the future, but as for now, it feels like it’s stuck in the past.

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Meet Pebble 2 And Pebble Time 2, The Smartwatch Contrarians

Meet Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2, the smartwatch contrarians

Pebble is revamping its smartwatch range, launching two new wearables – Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2 – along with a new, time-saving Actions interface. As Google’s Android Wear and Apple’s WatchOS both compete to add more complexity and standalone functionality, Pebble is steadfastly going the other way: trying, company co-founder and CEO Eric Migicovsky explained to me, to figure out how to help people spend as little time as possible interacting with their watch.

For Pebble, it’s a return to Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform where the startup set records for the amount of money raised for a project.

Pebble 2 replaces the original Pebble – which has stuck around for an impressive three years, selling more than a million units in that time – with a more refined, but still affordable, upgrade. On the outside the rough design is similar, only now the low-power display is optically bonded to a sheet of toughened, scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass.

There’s also a microphone for sending voice messages, among other things, and a heart rate monitor on the back. 30 meter water resistance is included, but if you’ve already got a collection of Pebble straps you’ll be pleased to hear the standard 22mm attachment is the same.

Inside, there’s the guts of the original Pebble Time, along with a week’s worth of battery life. It’ll be offered in five colors and priced at $99, and will ship in September 2024.

For those looking for something a little smarter, there’s Pebble Time 2. Identical in size to the existing Pebble Time, the biggest change is the much larger display to address criticisms about oversized bezels. It’s still color e-paper, but now more than 50-percent larger than before, and with 80-percent more pixels. That means, though it’s still compatible with all the existing Pebble apps, you can read twice as much text on-screen at a time.

The casing is still stainless steel – available in black, gold, or silver – and there’s a microphone and heart rate monitor, but thanks to switching exclusively to Bluetooth LE, battery life is 10 days even with the bigger display.

It’s priced at $169, and is expected to ship in November 2024.

Both watches get a new version of Pebble OS, intended to make everyday interactions more streamlined. In fact, the improvements in the update are focused entirely on addressing the big question Pebble remains preoccupied with: just how much can you do from your wrist before you need to pull out your phone?

“How do we do more on the watch without the complexity rising?” Pebble’s Eric Migicovsky asked, rhetorically, when he walked me through the new wearables. The answer is Actions, effectively singular-purpose shortcuts that are the proactive “do” counterpart to the “tell” of the Pebble Timeline UI.

Hit the top button on the right side of the smartwatch, and you get a list of Actions: each the primary function of an app. The texting app might default to sending a message to a single person – Migocovsky says Pebble’s research suggests most wearers have a single individual they contact with their watch the most – while the Uber app might summon a car to your current location.

“I think [contextual organization] is going to be the primary interface for wearables,” Migocovsky predicts.

Actions themselves are Javascript web calls, and will be publishable in the Pebble app store. Exactly what they’re preset to do will be customizable in each app, but the idea is to keep things super-simple: after all, Migocovsky argues, at a certain point it just becomes easier to “take out your phone.”

NOW READ: Pebble Core packs Spotify in a tiny wearable for runners

It’s a starkly different strategy to that of Google and Apple, which have each been working to make their wearable platforms operate in more of a standalone manner. Android Wear 2.0’s addition of an on-screen keyboard, for instance, along with support for native cellular connectivity position smartwatches running the OS as independent devices; in contrast, Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2 each remain dependent on your phone, albeit with support for periods of independence such as when exercising.

Which strategy will succeed remains to be seen, though Pebble’s approach does have benefits: when your primary mobile computing is left to a smartphone, your watch can be simpler, cheaper, and have a longer-lasting battery.

You can order the Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2 now, through the company’s Kickstarter page. Retail pricing will be $129 for Pebble 2 and $199 for Pebble Time 2.

MORE Pebble

Zeaplus Watch Dm360 Review: Finally A Proper Chinese Smartwatch?

But now it finally looks like Chinese smartwatches are on the rise. Out of a sudden, Chinese companies start creating well-built watches that do not only look nice but also offer better specs and look like decent alternatives to those expensive Android Wear watches and Pebbles out there. Currently there are two very important devices competing with each other. Those are the No.1 Sun S2 (currently on the way to us) and the Zeaplus Watch DM360. The latter one has been with us for a full month of testing, and now we are ready to tell you about our experience.

Zeaplus Watch DM360 Review: The Specs

The Zeaplus Watch DM360 might look like a device running Android Wear, yet it isn’t. The wearable is actually running the Mediatek Nucleus OS, which most Chinese wearables use. The chipset it is based on is a Mediatek MT2502A, which most of you probably know better as the Mediatek Aster chipset. Yes, this is the SoC they unveiled earlier this year as the world’s smallest wearable chipset, and as far as we know this title still is valid. The chipset is supported by 32MB of RAM, 128MB of memory and drives a round LCD display with 240 x 240 resolution and 1.44-inches in size. The whole thing is driven by a 320mAh battery and packed into a quality stainless steel body along various sensors including an optical heart rate sensor and one speaker.

Zeaplus Watch DM360 Review: The Unboxing

Positive surprise number one was the unboxing process. We expected some cheap paper packaging, yet have been greeted by a nice box designed in the style of a book, very similar to Meizu phone boxes. The watch is placed inside, well protected, along a magnetic charging cable and a replacement screen protector.

Zeaplus Watch DM360 Review: The Design

The stainless steel body of the watch is very tough and survived lots of collisions till now without showing any marks. Despite the bulgy plastic rear the watch actually looks very thin as soon as you wear it and isn’t really distinguishable from any real watch, also due to the crown-like hardware button on one side. The openings for the speaker and microphone are drilled in the body, yet so thin you almost can’t see them when looking at the watch from a normal distance.

And regarding the strap we don’t like that it can’t be replaced in an easy way. You have to take the watch apart to replace the wristband and so far we haven’t seen Zeaplus offering replacement bands. The band itself is supposed to be made from calfskin. While we cannot confirm that, we also do not want to deny it and just leave that question open. As a matter of fact: quality appears to be good and the band survived pretty much everything to date – even longer contact with water. We only spotted a few rubbing-traces from the table.

Zeaplus Watch DM360 Review: The Display

As mentioned before, the Zeaplus Watch DM360 doesn’t come with an OLED panel but a LCD screen instead. The quality of the screen is ok but not outstanding. The colors are quite OK and the brightness is extremely high, but the contrast obviously could be a little better and so could be the pixel density. Still, those flaws never make the display unusable and it actually is quite easy to read even under bright sunlight, which is important when it comes to a smartwatch. The glass apparently is some tempered one since we didn’t managed to get any huge scratches into it yet despite removing the protector from day one. There only are a few tiny scratches that are almost invisible. The touch panel works well but could be more sensitive / precise from time to time. Also it can be sensitive to water, which doesn’t make sense considering the water proofing of the watch. A few drops are OK, but larger or a huge amount of drops will cause the screen to go nuts.

Zeaplus Watch DM360: The Software

As mentioned previously, the Zeaplus Watch DM360 doesn’t run Android Wear but Nucleus OS. Still, the way you control the watch is very similar to Android Wear, so in case you already used an Android-based smartwatch you will find your way through the system immediately. The home screen consists of a watch face which you can change with several pre-installed options by holding your finger on the screen for about one second. There are both analog and digital watch faces available. If you swipe down from the top to the bottom, the quick settings menu will appear. Here you can change the speaker volume, screen brightness, enable / disable Bluetooth, quick-access your SMS inbox and see the charging level of the battery. Swiping from right to left on the watch face opens up the “app drawer” through which you can scroll using either your finger or by tilting the watch upwards or downwards.

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To pair the watch with your phone you first need to install the app. For this you need to head towards the app drawer and look for the QR code icon. Once you open it up, the watch will display a QR code. Scan this with your phone and you can download the APK file. After you installed it, make sure to enable Bluetooth on both the watch and your phone. You then will be able to pair the watch directly from within the app. Your phone needs to support Bluetooth 4.0 to do so. Support for Bluetooth LE is even better since this cuts down on energy consumption.

Once the watch is paired you can easily set applications that are allowed to push notifications to the watch from within the app. You also can keep track of the pedometer, your sleeping cycles and your heart frequency. There also is an option to enable an alert in case the connection to the watch is lost, preventing you from losing either the watch or phone.

Three more main features are the pedometer, heart rate sensor and sleep tracker. The pedometer works very well and is extremely precise. It displays the taken steps, the moved distance and your burned calories. To enhance precision you can enter your size and weight inside the watch settings. There also is an option to set a daily target for the taken steps. The heart rate sensor is a nice gimmick but not working so well. It often has a hard time deciding about the actual heart rate. If it works, it is fairly precise, but since it isn’t very reliable we never really used it. Maybe this can be improved with a future firmware update. The sleep tracker is a better working feature again. Enable it before you go to sleep and the watch will display you for how long you slept and even tracks your deep-sleep time, indicating your sleep quality. This works very well and again very precise, though we have no idea how that stuff is actually being tracked.

Besides of those main features there are tons of more options embedded. The watch gives you detailed settings to configure its behavior and look of the UI to your likings. You even are able to select from a large amount of languages, including English, German and Italian. There also are some apps available like alarm, a calendar, a calculator, a stopwatch and an audio recorder. The recordings you created with the latter one can be transferred to your PC through the USB charging cable.

Zeaplus Watch DM360 Review: The Bugs

Overall, the watch works just like it should and we didn’t find a lot of bugs within the firmware itself. The only significant bugs are some translation mistakes, the buggy heart rate sensor and the calendar app, which needs to be improved since the month-view isn’t working properly and you don’t see an indicator showing your upcoming appointments yet. The application running on the phone however has to be improved. Right now it isn’t compatible with some Android custom ROMs like ColorOS, and we also had some issues with the notifications using Android 5.0 Lollipop where most notifications didn’t arrive at the watch. Right now the Zeaplus Watch DM360 works best with Android KitKat vanilla ROMs. Something we’d wish to see as well is support for Google Fit. It really is a pity that you can not sync the data of the pedometer with your Google Fit account.

Zeaplus Watch DM360 Review: The Audio Quality

We’ve been very impressed with the audio quality of the smartwatch. In such a small device you wouldn’t expect to find a good speaker, yet this is exactly what Zeaplus built inside of it. It is very loud, doesn’t distort up until about 90% of the maximum volume and offers an insane amount of bass. Believe it or not, but you can actually use the watch as a decent Bluetooth speaker for sport activities or under the shower.

Zeaplus Watch DM360 Review: The Battery Life Zeaplus Watch DM360 Review: The Verdict

After the letdown with the WeLoop Tommy we have been pleasantly surprised while using the Zeaplus Watch DM360 which is the proof that finally Chinese smartwatches grow up. The build quality is perfect for the price tag, and the large amount of features makes the watch a really useful gadget we didn’t want to miss anymore after a few days. Despite regular contact with water and a few drops, the watch still works perfectly after a month of usage and doesn’t show any significant traces of usage on the body and strap. Yes, there are some bugs left, but those are not an issue for everyone and are likely to be fixed, since both the watch app and the firmware can be updated. Putting all that together we recommend you to have a very close look at the Zeaplus Watch DM360 in case you look for an affordable smartwatch from China. The next watch we will review is the No.1 Sun S2, stay tuned!

Thanks to Zeaplus for providing us with the review sample.

The Bug Within The Beetle That’s Causing A Coffee Crisis

Coffee is one of if not the most popular drinks worldwide. Over half of Americans drink the black, bitter liquid, spending $40 billion on it every year. As such, the supply is a matter not only for food but also economic security.

But coffee has a rather vicious enemy, the coffee berry borer. It’s an insect that was once limited to Africa but has spread across the world. Currently, losses account $500 million annually, though it is expected to rise as the insect’s range expands.

The borer’s success relies on a unique ability to resist one of the most successful toxins made by the coffee plant, caffeine. For humans, it’s a stimulant but for smaller organisms, it is a lethal neurotoxin. This allows plants to defend themselves against being consumed and eventually killed.

Many insects can metabolize low concentrations of caffeine. But the borer appears to have developed the ability to withstand levels normally considered to be lethal. How it accomplishes this, however, has been for the most part a mystery.

Now there may be an answer that lies not in the bug but in its bacteria. Last week, an international team of researchers revealed that degradation of caffeine may be mediated primarily by the beetle’s gut microbiota. Their findings open the door to a new avenue of treatment where the target isn’t the insect, but the microbes found within. Check out this video animation from Berkeley Lab summarizing the findings:

The group collected specimens of the berry borer from Kenya, Indonesia, India, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Guatemala, and Mexico. All of these regions have seen an increase in the presence of the insect and are suffering losses. When they arrived at the lab, they were first tested to see if they could break down caffeine in the gut. Some insects were fed the caffeine immediately while others were fed after an antibiotic treatment to reduce the number of microbes.

As expected, adding caffeine to the diet had little impact on the control insects as the chemical was broken down. But in those given antibiotics, there was a 95% decline in eggs and larvae. Without the bacteria in the gut, the population dropped.

Though this was enough to provide proof of gut microbiota involvement in caffeine resistance, the researchers wanted to go further. They split the insects into two groups. One was kept alive while the other was washed, killed, and eventually broken down such that the genetic material could be isolated.

From here, the goal was to identify the bacteria found in the gut. The first route was to physically isolate and culture bacterial species from within the live animals. The second was to use genetic identification to determine all of the species. This dual-pronged strategy could ensure any molecular results could be backed up by actual visual observation.

The next step was for the scientists to prove their gut feelings by putting the bacteria to the test. They attempted to grow all the species on agar containing caffeine as the sole carbon and nitrogen source. Several species were able to survive including a non-pseudomonad, Pantoea vagans, a bacterium used in plant biocontrol. But the best survivor was Pseudomonas fulva. It’s a potential human pathogen, but in the insect, it’s a part of the normal microbial flora.

The final stage was to re-instate the caffeine depleting activity. They took antibiotic-treated insects and fed them P. fulva for a week. Although they were able to deplete the caffeine, they were unable to reproduce. This suggested the loss of the bacterium can irreversibly lead to reduction of the species by preventing proper reproduction.

The combined results suggested targeting P. fulva might be a viable option in controlling the borer. The authors suggested focusing on changing the microbiome of the insect could be an excellent means to naturally alter the insect’s population dynamics. How that could be accomplished, however, is up for debate.

Although antibiotics were used in the study, the concept of mass dissemination of these drugs in the wild is not recommended as this could lead to more resistance in the future. Other options include antimicrobial peptides and the use of competitive species of bacteria such as Pantoea vagans. But this will require future research to specifically determine the effect of these strategies. With more studies in this area, a viable option will eventually be found and everyone will be able to enjoy their cup of joe knowing the supply and security are assured.

Ethereum Price Surges Past Us$4,500! Is It The Right Time To Invest?

The sudden ethereum price has put its market valuation at US$2.7 trillion

The first and foremost altcoin,

Ethereum Price Prediction

According to a previous report submitted by a panel of 42 cryptocurrency experts in October, etherum price was anticipated to breach the US$4,500 mark by the end of 2023 and reach US$10,000 by 2023. However, things have changed upside down now. Even previously some enthusiasts have boosted ethereum’s value to reach the US$10k mark before the end of 2023. However, not many were very positive about the anticipation and thought it was overvalued. But the recent price rally and ethereum’s capability to part away from bitcoin and perform well has brought value to its stance.  

Anticipations and Expectations on Ether

According to some analysts, bitcoin and ethereum were predicted to double their value before the end of the year. While an analyst behind Plan B handle on Twitter has said that bitcoin will reach US$98,000 this month, it also indicated an upcoming ethereum price rally. However, ether has proved that the cryptocurrency can grow on its own without bitcoin’s help. Ethereum is the first altcoin that emerged out of bitcoin’s existence. Usually, ether follows bitcoin’s trend and keeps up with it. Whether it is a price surge or plummet, ethereum will follow the same path as Bitcoin does. But the recent price rally has indicated otherwise. Without a bitcoin price rally, ethereum has experienced a value surge. According to Goldman Sachs, ethereum network could well jump 80% to US$8,000 in the next two months if it keeps tracking inflations expectations. However, they also warned that central banks won’t let inflation rise sharply. JPMorgan has also said that they have seen signs of inflation in the cryptocurrency market. It has driven many investors to hold on to bitcoin and others rather than a gold investment. On the other hand, billionaire investor Mark Cuban has said that ethereum has the most upside as an investment model. He added that because according to him, ethereum blockchain, smart contracts, or collection of code has changed a lot in the cryptocurrency market.  

Why Ethereum 2.0 is a Big Success?

Many anticipated that Ethereum 2.0 could be a big success and might outperform bitcoin soon. They are not wrong. Ethereum saw the difference between the number of tokens issued and destroyed turn negative in the last seven days on aggregate for the first time. This is a tactic that bitcoin has used to trade its digital token since its inception. Bitcoin started its supply with a cap of 21 million. Once this number is reached, we can’t mine anymore bitcoins. The scarcity of the digital token has kept its value in the virtual currency ecosystem. Now, ethereum has boarded the same train with its update to 2.0. Ether is gaining value from a process called burning, where coins are taken out of circulation. Whenever an ether transaction is made, a small quantity of the coin is burned. As more transactions take place, it puts more ether at the cost of burning, which could eventually drive its price. On the other hand, Etherem ETF is also approaching the government approval stage. Although Bitcoin ETF is already on the radar, US regulators are more likely to approve ethereum ETF before giving a green signal to bitcoin.  

So, Is it the Right Time to Invest?

The first and foremost altcoin, ethereum , has skyrocketed to an all-time high with the coin hitting a value of US$4,470 yesterday. At the time of writing, the cryptocurrency’s value has surged even more and was being traded at US$4,556.70 with a 5% 24-hour growth. The sudden growth has put ether ’s market valuation at US$2.7 trillion, giving a stronghold to the second most adopted digital token in the cryptocurrency market. But what triggered the ethereum price when bitcoin is still maintaining a moderate value for a week straight? It is the metaverse and NFT announcements. Ethereum is expected to expand its service range to the metaverse. Metaverse is a digital space where you can work, play, or even create a community in the digital environment just like the physical one. On the other hand, ethereum has also come forward to tell that its technology is being used to sell the digital craze, non-fungible tokens (NFTs). In a nutshell, ethereum price has gained over 1,000% in the past year. Owing to the increasing adoption of disruptive methods, ethereum price is predicted to skyrocket to further highs in the coming days. Some enthusiasts even suggest that ether will breach its US$10,000 resistance by this year-end. In this article, we explore the price predictions of ether and talk about the right time to invest in a profitable cryptocurrency.According to a previous report submitted by a panel of 42 cryptocurrency experts in October, etherum price was anticipated to breach the US$4,500 mark by the end of 2023 and reach US$10,000 by 2023. However, things have changed upside down now. Even previously some enthusiasts have boosted ethereum’s value to reach the US$10k mark before the end of 2023. However, not many were very positive about the anticipation and thought it was overvalued. But the recent price rally and ethereum’s capability to part away from bitcoin and perform well has brought value to its stance.According to some analysts, bitcoin and ethereum were predicted to double their value before the end of the year. While an analyst behind Plan B handle on Twitter has said that bitcoin will reach US$98,000 this month, it also indicated an upcoming ethereum price rally. However, ether has proved that the cryptocurrency can grow on its own without bitcoin’s help. Ethereum is the first altcoin that emerged out of bitcoin’s existence. Usually, ether follows bitcoin’s trend and keeps up with it. Whether it is a price surge or plummet, ethereum will follow the same path as Bitcoin does. But the recent price rally has indicated otherwise. Without a bitcoin price rally, ethereum has experienced a value surge. According to Goldman Sachs, ethereum network could well jump 80% to US$8,000 in the next two months if it keeps tracking inflations expectations. However, they also warned that central banks won’t let inflation rise sharply. JPMorgan has also said that they have seen signs of inflation in the cryptocurrency market. It has driven many investors to hold on to bitcoin and others rather than a gold investment. On the other hand, billionaire investor Mark Cuban has said that ethereum has the most upside as an investment model. He added that because according to him, ethereum blockchain, smart contracts, or collection of code has changed a lot in the cryptocurrency chúng tôi anticipated that Ethereum 2.0 could be a big success and might outperform bitcoin soon. They are not wrong. Ethereum saw the difference between the number of tokens issued and destroyed turn negative in the last seven days on aggregate for the first time. This is a tactic that bitcoin has used to trade its digital token since its inception. Bitcoin started its supply with a cap of 21 million. Once this number is reached, we can’t mine anymore bitcoins. The scarcity of the digital token has kept its value in the virtual currency ecosystem. Now, ethereum has boarded the same train with its update to 2.0. Ether is gaining value from a process called burning, where coins are taken out of circulation. Whenever an ether transaction is made, a small quantity of the coin is burned. As more transactions take place, it puts more ether at the cost of burning, which could eventually drive its price. On the other hand, Etherem ETF is also approaching the government approval stage. Although Bitcoin ETF is already on the radar, US regulators are more likely to approve ethereum ETF before giving a green signal to bitcoin.There is no time as the right time when it comes to cryptocurrency investment. Even investing in the dip is not a wise method. So if you are planning to try your hand on ehtereum, you can do it right away. But make sure you invest an amount that can be handled in case of value decrease.

Eufy Security Video Doorbell Review: The Private Option

Eufy Security Video Doorbell review: A ‘Eu’-nique angle

Security for our homes is the primary reason we might buy a video doorbell. We use them to keep tabs on visitors, deliveries, and sometimes strangers lurking through the neighborhood late at night. But privacy is also part of the equation. We expect at least some degree of privacy with everything we do in the connected world. Some corporations are better at delivering on that promise than others. Ring, for example, got tripped up last year when ne’er-do-wells hijacked a little girl’s bedroom camera.

Eufy’s notion of privacy has to do with the ownership of video generated by the doorbell. Rather than upload and store everything in the cloud, Eufy’s video doorbell stores everything on a hard drive in your home. You quite literally maintain ownership of the video, as it never leaves your house. This may be appealing to those who would rather not send all that personal data to a random server where it might be analyzed.

Is that enough to sell a video doorbell? Here’s the scoop.

See also: What is a smart home?

Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus review: Pushing all the right buttons

Eufy suggests you plug the hard drive in first, then download/install the app, and only after you’ve created an account bother with mounting the doorbell. I suggest you charge the doorbell first, as it takes six hours to charge fully. Then tackle the other stuff.

The kit includes a mounting plate, wedge, and all the screws you might need to install the doorbell outside your door. You’ll need to supply basic tools, such as a drill and screwdriver. The actual act of screwing the doorbell next to my door took less than 10 minutes.

How is the Eufy doorbell app?

Eufy’s app is free to download from the Google Play Store (or iTunes App Store) and requires you to set up an account to get started.

Much like the mobile apps from Ring and Arlo, the Eufy app walks you through the setup process hand-in-hand. It’s dead simple to follow the steps needed to get up and running, such as configuring Wi-Fi and getting the base and the bell to talk to one another.

Once you’ve done that, the app allows you to manage the two devices, quickly assess the health of your bell, and dive into settings. Basics such as video quality, motion zones, and notifications are a cinch to control.

It’s a fine app that gets the job done.

See also: Best smart home gadgets

The live video tool is particularly helpful. It’s dead simple to take snapshots, which are saved to your camera roll, or capture video, send a pre-canned voice message, and more. Everything about the user interface makes sense.

Eufy allows you to tweak the zones where motion will activate the bell. For example, you can choose to have only human motion activate the camera, and then adjust the sensitivity to be sure you don’t miss anything. I also like that Eufy offers modes for when you’re home and when you’re away, allows you to set geofences, and even set automated behaviors, such as triggering lights or secondary cameras when motion is detected at one.

All your video is saved in the base for safekeeping. You can access your video at any time, delete it, share it, move it around, and so on. Video is kept safe via 256-bit encryption. I appreciate this unique flexibility.

Bottom line, the Eufy video doorbell gets the job done.

How much do the Eufy doorbell plans cost?

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

$0. Yep. There’s no cost because there are no plans. The doorbell subscription plans offered by the likes of Arlo and Ring are to manage video storage. The Eufy stores all your video locally on the included hard drive. The company pitches its solution as a “one-time purchase” that doesn’t require yearly or monthly fees. Nice.

The only downside is that the hard drive is another thing sitting on your home network.

See also: Best smart security cameras

Eufy Security Video Doorbell

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