There’s a new contender for the title of best smart doorbell. The new Logitech Circle View Doorbell is a wired video doorbell that’s been designed for Apple’s HomeKit, and it’s a very strong rival to the Amazon-owned Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus. It’s part of a wider product range that also includes wired and wireless home security cameras.
A smart camera with major privacy
HomeKit integration means that Logitech’s doorbell can use HomeKit Secure Video. This stores your camera footage on Apple’s servers, but that footage is encrypted so that it can only be viewed by you. Even Apple can’t see what your doorbell’s been seeing, because the encryption happens before the video is uploaded.
Of course, there’s no point in securely storing video if the quality isn’t good, but the Logitech doorbell delivers on the quality front. It’s got a 5MP sensor that records HDR video at 1600x1200, and the camera has a wide 160-degree field of view with a 3:4 portrait aspect ratio so you can get a head-to-toe view of your visitors.
In a nice touch, there’s an integrated light strip that not only makes the doorbell easier to spot but which also illuminates anybody who comes within two metres of your door.
The Logitech Circle View doorbell has face recognition based on your iPhone Photos library, so its smartphone alerts can tell you who’s at the door if it's someone you know, and you can choose which device(s) you want to be notified on – so for example you can have your Apple TV display a pop-up message or just get your HomePod mini to ping. You can also create Activity Zones to focus on particular areas around your front door.
HomeKit means you'll need an Apple Home Hub
The downside to HomeKit integration is that you’re going to need specific Apple devices. The Logitech Circle View Doorbell needs to connect to an Apple Home Hub device in order to deliver all its features, and that means you’ll need an Apple TV, iPad, HomePod or HomePod mini.
Your choice of iCloud plan affects how many cameras you can use for the secure video storage. If you have a 200GB plan, you can add one camera; if you have 2TB, you can have up to five cameras. Your cameras’ video doesn’t reduce your iCloud storage, though.
Logitech’s doorbell connects to 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi, with support for 802.11a/b/g/n/ac networks. A home internet connection of 2.5Gbps or above is recommended.
Logitech Circle View Doorbell: price and availability
As with most smart security devices there are two prices: one with installation and one without. If you’re happy to hook up your own Logitech Circle View doorbell – which shouldn’t be hard, as it uses your existing doorbell’s wiring – it’s $199.99; if you want installation too, that’s an extra $100.
You can order directly from Logitech or from the Apple Store. For now the Logitech Circle View Doorbell is only available in the US – we'll let you know if we hear UK pricing.
The downside to it (apart from only work with Apple gear) is that it's only available in a wired version – there's no battery-powered option here, which can be pretty limiting. Right now, Ring remains the best totally wireless smart doorbell option.