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Scout Video Doorbell Review

Derek Hales

Written By: Derek Hales

Published on:

Digital or Analong Smart Doorbell

Scout doorbell

Scout Doorbell

The Scout Doorbell can be a standalone smart doorbell or be integrated into the Scout security system. It comes with 3 different faceplates, 1080p video resolution, and can be sold in analong or digital configurations—depending on your existing home setup. The doorbell can also be wired-in or battery powered, which provides great versatility and more flexible installs. In our tests we found it easy to install / setup and convenient to use.Check Price

Pros

  • Comes as an analog or digital doorbell
  • Integrates well with Scout security system
  • 1080p video resolution with a wide 180° field of view

Cons

  • Occasional moments of spotty connection, but that could be because of our local wifi network
  • Limited motion setting configurations

Scoring

Digital or Analog, Solid Buy
  • Design - 95%
    95%
  • Performance - 92%
    92%
  • Quality - 93%
    93%
  • Usability - 93%
    93%
  • Value - 95%
    95%
94%

Summary

The Scout doorbell can be used as a standalone smart doorbell or synced up with the Scout Alarm security system. It comes in digital or analog configurations and can be wired-in or battery-powered. The video quality is 1080p with a 180° field of view, which I found to be more than sufficient for clear pictures, video, and screenshots. If you want videos saved up to 14 days, you can enroll in the subscription plan for only $2.99/mo, which is a great option for affordable monitoring. Overall, I was happy with the performance of this doorbell and it’s a solid option for flexible surveillance of your front door.

Performance

Video: Day

Great

Video: Night

Good

Audio

Good

App

Good

10 SECOND SUMMARY: The video quality of the Scout doorbell is pretty good. At 1080p, the resolution is clear for both day and night shots. It does have a bit of a fisheye wide-angle lens, which tends to distort the view for people or activity that occurs along the outer edges.

Scout Doorbell daytime
Scout Doorbell daytime

But also, this isn’t really that uncommon for most video doorbells and with a 180° field of view, I would expect to see some distortion.

Video: Day vs. Night

As mentioned above, the video quality of the Scout doorbell is solid. The picture was clear and I didn’t notice a huge amount of overexposure or problems with clarity. Overall, this is just a nice screenshot.

Scout doorbell daytime video quality
Video quality of the Scout doorbell app

The quality isn’t quite as crisp at night, given the lighting. When there is ambient / security lighting (as you see the photo below) the quality is great.

Scout doorbell with security lighting
Scout doorbell with security lighting

However, when it’s in pitch darkness as it is in the image below, the clarity isn’t nearly as good. Faces, animals, and objects are a bit muddied. Even so, relative to other similar night mode cameras we’ve tested I’d say this is still pretty good

Scout doorbell at night (no lighting)
Scout doorbell at night (no lighting)

If at all possible, leaving a security light on near the doorbell will make a big difference.

Audio

The Scout doorbell has duplex 2-way audio, which allows you to hear activity that is happening at the doorbell itself, as well as transmit audio messages from a remote location if needed.

Scout doorbell audio interface
Scout doorbell audio interface

This audio can be live or pre-recorded and set to play automatically, as needed.

How clear is it?

Audio quality is surprisingly really good. I say surprisingly because 2-way talk over wifi devices has been extremely hit or miss in our experience.

However, the voices were reasonably loud and clear. Not perfect, but more than acceptable at this price point.

The Scout App

The Scout app is easy to use and has all of the main features you’d likely be looking for. The app used with the Scout doorbell is the same app you’ll use for the Scout Alarm system if you are considering a complete home security package.

Scout doorbell app on smartphone
Scout doorbell app on smartphone

Depending on your device and membership plan, you may use the app to:

  • Enable / disable motion alerts
  • Talk with your guests at the door
  • Play pre-recorded videos for guests at the door
  • See all the recent activity
  • Watch back recorded video
  • Sync the doorbell with an existing Scout Alarm system

RELATED Ring security system review

The Connection

As with most smart home stuff, the better your wifi coverage, the better performance you’ll get from the device.

In general, the Scout Doorbell connected to the video stream without issue. But we did have times where it just kept spinning while trying to load.

Scout Design

The design of the Scout doorbell looks pretty advanced and has some notable bells and whistles.

It has a silver body style with black accents around the lens and sensors.

Scout doorbell design

The doorbell connects to your existing 16V digital and analog doorbell wiring so you don’t have to worry about charging a battery.

Scout doorbell depth
Scout doorbell depth

However, if you prefer the convenience of a battery that works too as the Scout doorbell can run exclusively off the battery or via hardwire.

Analog or Digital

Scout also offers two versions of their doorbell—analog or digital. This is a nice feature for existing installs and allows multiple setups to works with Scout.

Scout doorbell chime settings
Scout doorbell chime settings

You can install using wires into a classic doorbell physical chime system or you can simply have it chime on the doorbell and your phone itself (that’s what we did)

What’s the difference between the Analog and Digital options?

Your doorbell’s sound:

  • If it sounds like a classic “ding dong” or real chimes, then it’s Analog.
  • If it sounds like a computer-generated melody or recording, then it’s Digital.

Your doorbell’s chiming mechanism:

  • If it’s a physical mechanism, such as a mallet, then it’s Analog.
  • If it’s a speaker, then it’s Digital.

RELATED: If you need the digital setup, be sure to purchase this digital doorbell adapter with it. You’ll need it for install.

Top Features

Here’s a quick list of some of the best features offered on the Scout doorbell:

  • 1080p video resolution
  • Person detection
  • 2-way audio
  • 180° field of view
  • Motion detection
  • Night vision
  • App control and instant notifications
  • Removable faceplates

What’s in the box?

Parts & accessories include:

  • Scout video doorbell
  • Removable faceplates (silver, black, and white)
  • Mounting bracket
  • Mounting screws
  • Doorbell wiring
Parts included with the Scout doorbell
Parts included with the Scout doorbell

With the parts included, you have quite a bit of flexibility with this doorbell. The flexible faceplates make it easy to swap out colors and you can also swap between battery-powered and wired-in installation.

When you’re purchasing the Scout, you can choose between an analog or a digital doorbell setup.

Setup

Setup of the Scout doorbell is easy and quick. After unboxing, there is a bit of install and then setup to connect the doorbell to the app.

Scout doorbell charging plug & reset
Scout doorbell charging plug & reset

Here’s the rundown of what you need to do upon unboxing.

First things first, unbox the Scout doorbell. Lay out all of the parts and make sure that the system you purchased is compatible with the system you’re replacing (ex: digital vs. analog and wired-in connections vs. battery).

The Install

As mentioned above, you can install the Scout doorbell using existing doorbell wiring or just a battery install.

Scout doorbell installed

The wired system will undoubedly take longer to install, but it’s also generally less maintenance since you don’t have to worry about replacing the battery.

For our install, we opted for a battery install, which was incredibly simple and quick.

Our Process

We charged up the battery, stuck a piece of 3M dual lock on the back and on our wall, and then placed it on the exterior wall.

Scout daytime video quality
Scout daytime video quality

The way we install really isn’t recommended, as it would be easy to steal (but it works for us since we’re constantly taking them up and down).

Scout doorbell at night (no lighting)
Scout doorbell at night (no lighting)

For a more permanent install, screw anchors are included, so you just need a couple of screw holes to attach the mounting bracket more securely. All in all, the Scout was pretty easy to get up and running.

In-App Features

Installing on the app is super easy as well. The steps take about 5 minutes and break down as follows:

  1. Install the app on your smartphone.
  2. Take a scan of the QR code and allow it to connect to your wifi.
  3. Enter your password.

At this point, you’re basically done.

Scout app doorbell settings
Scout app doorbell settings

Once setup in the app you can view the camera, adjust settings, notifications, etc.

Custom Settings

The motion setting configurations are pretty limited. It’s basically on / off motion, and on / off for people motion. If the road or sidewalk is close, this could lead to lots of notifications. 

Usability

During our testing, I found the Scout doorbell to be user-friendly. The setup was quick and install didn’t take long either. Even with a wired install, I wouldn’t suspect that it would take more than 15-20 minutes or so.

The app doesn’t have a ton of features, but there are enough for most of the things we wanted to do.

Scout doorbell app notification
Scout doorbell app notification

Pairing the doorbell with the Scout Alarm further adds to the user-experience of this system and provide more features.

Does the Scout doorbell require a subscription?

No. A subscription is not required, but without one, you cannot store video history.

You can opt-in for 14-day cloud storage for $2.99/month per doorbell.

You can also subscribe to Scout’s Always On+ plan for $20/month. This makes more sense if you have the Scout Alarm security system since the cost of one camera’s or doorbell’s Cloud Storage is included with your subscription.

Scout alarm devices
Scout alarm devices

Is the Scout a good value?

The Scout doorbell is a pretty good value since it comes in at a lower price point. But that being said, it really is designed to pair with the Scout Alarm security system.

If you’re looking to buy an alarm system at the same time, the Scout Alarm is a great DIY option.

Scout doorbell installed
Scout doorbell installed

As a standalone doorbell, the Scout is still of good quality, but the value further increases if you decide to pair it up with the security system.

Scout Specifications

SpecsScout
Resolution1080p
PowerBattery or Hardwired
Field of View180°
Avg. Install Time5-20 minutes
Dimensions4.96" x 1.68" x 1.39"
AudioTwo-Way; Duplex
AlertsMotion-Activated
FaceplatesYes; 3 included
Check PriceCheck Price

Should you buy the Scout doorbell?

I would recommend the Scout if you’re looking for the following in a doorbell:

  • Options between analog or digital: It is nice that the Scout offers digital or analog configurations, depending on what setup you currently have. This makes the doorbell compatible with more homes and also more user-friendly as well.
  • High-resolution: This doorbell has 1080p video resolution and a wide 180° field of view. The picture was clear and visibility is good.
  • Seamless compatibility with an alarm system: If you’re looking for a doorbell that pairs easily with a security system, the Scout is a solid option. The Scout Alarm is based on the same interface and app control as the doorbell so if you already have the alarm or are looking to purchase the doorbell and alarm at the same time, Scout may be able to check both boxes at once.

Click here to learn more about or to buy the Scout doorbell.

Updates

  • March 17, 2021 – Initial version of the page was published.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ModernCastle.com. He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider, Realtor.com, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

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