We have the ability to see who is calling us on our phones before we commit to answering and as a highly antisocial person I believe its only fair that we can apply the same tech to our front doors, the Wire-Free 720p Smart Video Doorbell from Swann does just that and even allows you to ignore potential visitors from anywhere in the world. One of the immediate features we were happy to notice was that it can be mounted in a completely wire-free configuration, this makes installation and location an absolute breeze, however this is also where we came across the first issue: battery life - but more on that in a bit. This doorbell records in 720p with a 112° viewing angle, offers both heat and motion sensing to activate recording even if someone doesn’t ring the bell, night vision for night visioning and two-way audio to allow you to instruct the postman as to where to leave the parcel when you are away from your home or simply freak out your mates by whispering “I can seeee you”. The video doorbell can be connected to your existing Wi-Fi network, in the app you can view up to 30 days of clips that are in the built-in memory for free, you can play back video,  download clips and share any crimes you capture with the police and any drunken stumbles to the front door on social media.

You get push notifications when a visitor presses the doorbell or when there’s activity with heat near the doorbell, expand the system by adding another Doorbell Unit to your back door, or more Chime Units around different floors of your property. The Smart Video comes with the Doorbell Unit, Mounting Bracket, Mounting Tools, Screws and Wall Plugs, USB to Micro USB, Charging Cable and Theft Deterrent Stickers, however there isn’t a chime unit included so to begin with you will have to rely on your phone to alert you to someone’s presence, not ideal if your phone is switched off, on silent or simply not in the same room as you. The unit itself is rather large, the design looks unfriendly, you are very aware there is a camera in your face when you reach for the doorbell, however it is weather resistant with an IP65 rating and feels secure when correctly attached to the anti-theft mounting. On paper this doorbell should be great, no subscriptions, no wires, however it just doesn’t perform well, with all the functions active and checking in with the live stream we were getting as little as 2 days’ battery life, you then need to take the time to remove it from the bracket and it will take about 4-5 hours to fully recharge. You can obviously avoid running the battery by wiring it in, but this defeats the main objective of the having a Wire-Free doorbell. We also found the night vision to be extremely poor quality, the motion and heat detection were hit and miss and slow to connect once activated and we even experienced ghost ringing, which is as annoying as it is scary. The idea behind the Swann Wire-Free 720p Smart Video Doorbell is great however it fails to perform as promised, even I would choose to risk opening the door to awkward small talk over dealing with this high maintenance little device. RRP £89.99

Current Cheapest Price

1.5 out of 5


Wireless connection option

Secure anti-theft mounting

Packed full of features

Subscription free

Built-in memory


Murky night vision quality

Ghost ringing

Unreliable connectivity

Battery life can quickly wear down with constant use (lots of live streaming or activation cause by animals, people walking past

4 hour recharge time

Awkward to remove from the mount to recharge

No chime box included

Large, unfriendly design