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This $99 video doorbell is an affordable Nest Doorbell alternative with local storage

IMILAB Video Doorbell
(Image credit: IMILAB)

IMILAB isn't a brand you'd be familiar with; the Chinese manufacturer got its start back in 2014, and in recent years it has started offering its smart home products outside China. 

The brand has a few indoor and outdoor security cameras, and its latest product is a wireless video doorbell that sets its sights squarely on the Nest Doorbell. Dubbed Smart Video Doorbell, it has a 4MP module and records at up to 2.5K resolution. It has a 150-degree field of view, and the 5200mAh battery is touted to last six months on a full charge — just like the Nest Doorbell. 

There are a few areas where IMILAB's doorbell does a better job than Google. For one thing, the package includes a chime as standard, so you don't have to use an additional Nest device to get alerts when someone rings the doorbell. The second differentiator is local storage; there's a slot for an SD card, and you can locally storage footage. The video doorbell is launching in a few months for $139, but you can get it right now for $99

I used the IMILAB video doorbell for just over two weeks now, and there is a lot to like. The installation itself was very straightforward, and the doorbell has two parts: the doorbell itself that affixes outside, and the gateway that acts as the chime. 

Before installing the doorbell, you'll need to set it up with the IMILAB app. This is fairly straightforward, and it took just a few minutes to do so. After that, all that's left is slotting the doorbell outside and connecting the gateway to a wall socket. 

As for day-to-day use, the IMILAB doorbell nails the basics. It delivers alerts instantly to the phone, and the quality of the sensor itself is fantastic. The fish-eye lens does a good job covering the area immediately outside the door, and it's easy enough to set up zones and activate motion detection. Even if you miss an alert, you can look through the event history to see recorded footage. 

Best of all, the doorbell itself has IP66 water resistance — so it'll withstand inclement weather just fine. It also has a built-in mic so you can talk through the doorbell, a feature that's particularly handy for me as I get a lot of packages. I'm not sure if the doorbell will last six months on a single charge, but based on my usage, it should be good for at least four months. 

The only issue with the doorbell is that it's limited to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, so you will need a standalone SSID broadcasting over 2.4GHz to set up and use the device. IMILAB has its own cloud storage service that lets you store footage in the cloud (it uses AWS), but I went with local storage. 

All things considered, the IMILAB video doorbell is a great choice if you want a wireless video doorbell with a good image quality and local storage — in fact, this is among the best security cameras with local storage. The doorbell will retail for $139, but because it's still being crowdfunded, you can get your hands on it for $99. 

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IMILAB Video Doorbell: $139 $99 at Kickstarter (opens in new tab)

IMILAB's video doorbell gets the basics right. It has a high-quality sensor that records resolution in 2.5K, motion detection works well, there's local storage, and it has IP66 water resistance. 

Harish Jonnalagadda
Harish Jonnalagadda

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.