Product Review: Toucan Wireless Video Doorbell
Toucan started with quality, budget-friendly home security cameras, but has now expanded into video doorbells as well. Similar to their Wireless Outdoor/Indoor Security Camera we reviewed, the Toucan Wireless Video Doorbell focuses on simplicity of installation and a solid execution of standard features.
The biggest difference in Toucan’s video doorbell compared to similar competitors is camera’s range of view. Boasting an impressive 180-degree fisheye lens, it was easy to see our whole doorway top to bottom. The whole device is battery powered, making it a breeze for even new DIYers to install in their home, or for renters who need a device that is minimally intrusive. A separate, wireless chime device (requiring two AA batteries) is also included and can be set up anywhere in the home for convenience.
According to the manufacturer, the doorbell’s 6500mAh battery should last about six months in standby time but will be less with more frequent use. Battery levels for each device are displayed on the companion app. The doorbell can be easily charged by sliding it out of the mount and connecting it to a power source with the included USB cable.
Toucan offers a free Basic subscription that includes only 24 hours of recording, with up to one minute of event recording time, and five video downloads per month. The Pro plan expands recording time up to 90 minutes with a full week of video history and unlimited video downloads and costs $3 a month. For $10 a month, the Elite plan includes all features plus a 90-day period history. A single subscription will cover all Toucan devices on your account.
Toucan’s video doorbell requires no hub, just download the app onto your smartphone and set up an account. The app will prompt you to select the device you want to sync, which took less than a minute. I used the app’s feed to determine the best placement for the doorbell (and to make sure I had a solid Wi-Fi connection), but you will also want to consider a spot that is convenient for visitors to your home to press easily.
The device has an International Protection (IP) 56 rating, which means it can withstand water jets from all directions and is protected against dust that would interfere with the doorbell’s internal functions.
The box came with everything needed for physical installation, except a screwdriver, and if needed, a drill. Altogether, I had the doorbell fully set up and ready to go in less than ten minutes. The device is relatively low-profile but is slightly larger (5.5x2”) than some other video doorbells.
The 180-degree 1080p camera fully encapsulated everything we wanted to see. While fisheye cameras can have distortion to the actual image, there was no way to sneak around the camera and the video was crisp and clear with accurate colors. It was easy to see packages by the doorway as well, which for many people is the main point of installing a video doorbell. Visitor faces were easy to see and identify.
The camera automatically triggers night mode in low lighting conditions (which can be changed in settings), which was high quality for close up objects and people, featuring a bright image and high contrast, but wasn't as clear for details further away. However, given the main function of a video doorbell is to monitor an entryway instead of a whole property, this did not become an issue during our test.
The camera’s passive infrared (PIR) motion sensing prompts automatic event recording. There are a couple of motion settings to choose from, so I recommend walking around the property or keeping note of what sets off your device (cars, pedestrians, etc.) to settle on a setting that meets your needs. Frequent event recording will lower the length of the battery’s charge, which is another factor to keep in mind when finding your balance.
When moved to a property with a busy street, even the lowest setting would trigger event recording if a large vehicle went by, but night mode was more accurate and only picked up people who actually approached the front door. There is also an option to set alert times if you are only interested in monitoring specific hours of the day and you can choose specific motion zones to track as well.
The app was easy to use with clear buttons and features. Besides live feed and video history, you can speak to visitors through two-way audio, trigger an alarm, call an emergency contact, or choose from seven pre-recorded messages. You can also pinch in to zoom on a specific spot on the video, pan back and forth by swiping, or view a larger image in landscape mode (portrait mode will crop the video to fit the screen). The doorbell features six different chime sounds to choose from as well.
As with Toucan’s security camera, the doorbell is compatible with Amazon Alexa or Google Home smart displays. Your home’s live feed is easily accessed with the two-way talk feature conveniently included, as well as other features.
Toucan’s Wireless Video Doorbell is a great addition to the home that provides peace of mind for packages, unexpected visitors, and general security. The design is attractive and modern, though the shiny finish might need to be cleaned from time to time as it will show fingerprints. We were impressed with the range of vision, easily beating out other devices in this price range. While the battery life could be improved upon if you live in a busy area, for basic needs this doorbell gets the job done.