X-Sense Smart Video Doorbell VD2 Review: Worldly Appearance, Solid Operations


The X-Sense Smart Video Doorbell VD2 is the budding smart home brand’s second porch guardian effort (we never reviewed their previous model). The VD2 is a capable, utilitarian offering that requires low-voltage wiring (no battery option) but otherwise has a solid set of features, including on-board storage.

The rectangular device has a familiar design, all black except for a large metallic silver button with a backlit bell icon, with a variety of mounting brackets included in the box. IP65 weather resistance offers a solid level of protection, with all ports and slots covered by rubber flaps. (If you want to learn more about IP codes, read this other article on TechHive.)

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best video doorbells, where you will find reviews of competing offerings, as well as a buyer’s guide on the features to consider when purchasing this type of product.

The unit is designed to be powered by an 8-24V AC bell transformer or 5-30V USB-C power supply. X-Sense provides a short cable (less than 2 feet) in the box, which is split on the opposite end with a USB-A connector for a power supply or battery and, interestingly, an RJ45 Ethernet cable. The manual doesn’t mention what you could use the ethernet connector for, but the doorbell is equipped with a dual-band (2.4 and 5 GHz) 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter.

x sense video doorbell vd2 app 2 Christopher Null / IDG

The navigation in the app works very similar to that of any smart video camera.

Given the length of the cable, it might be assumed that it is designed to turn on the doorbell long enough for you to connect it to your Wi-Fi network before mounting the doorbell in its permanent location. The unit also has a small internal battery that provides a few minutes of backup power in the event of a power failure.

You will need to use an existing (wired) doorbell if you want an audible indication that the doorbell has been sounded. The unit itself has an onboard buzzer, but you probably won’t hear it inside your home. Without a physical doorbell in the house, you will be limited to doorbell notifications on your phone.

I added the VD2 by scanning a QR code on the back of the device. Setup was quick and uneventful, and I was soon using the Xsmartview app. (This is the same app that powers the X-Sense cameras.)

I was immediately impressed by the responsiveness of the camera. After receiving a push notification of a detected motion (quite sensitive) or someone pressing the doorbell button, launching the app immediately reveals a live feed, with virtually no delay or buffering time. At the highest quality, the camera offers a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels; The lens captures a 152 degree horizontal by 81 degree vertical wide angle image.

Operationally, the app is straightforward and works almost identically to the way it works with X-Sense security cameras. The clips, about 45 seconds long, can be saved to a microSD card (capacities up to 128GB are supported, but not included). Your other alternative is to save videos to the X-Sense cloud service. There are two cloud storage plans available, offering 7 days of video history for $ 5 / month or $ 50 / year, or 30 days of history for $ 13 / month or $ 130 / year. A 7-day trial is available.


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