Kangaroo Doorbell Camera Review
Founded in 2018, Kangaroo is one of the newer home security companies out there and just debuted its very first doorbell camera. Priding itself on making easy to use, secure equipment at an affordable price, Kangaroo is working to create home security products that are accessible to everyone. We were excited to learn about Kangaroo’s new product, the Doorbell Camera + Chime, and couldn’t wait to get our hands on it. So, did the doorbell camera meet our needs and Kangaroo’s mission of affordability? Here’s what we thought after testing it.
Features That Met Our Needs… and Those That Didn’t
When looking for a doorbell camera, we needed one that didn’t cost us an outrageous amount of money. That being said, even though we wanted something inexpensive, we didn’t want the quality to be cheap. That meant we wanted a doorbell camera with notifications, night vision and video features, to name a few.
Here’s how Kangaroo stacked up when it came to the features we liked:
- Affordable: Kangaroo’s biggest selling point was its price point. At just $19.99 the brand new Doorbell Camera + Chime is one the most affordable doorbell cameras on the market.1 Other doorbell cameras like the Nest Hello we reviewed and the Ring doorbells we reviewed cost anywhere from $99.99 to $229.99. Because we were saving money to buy a house in Brooklyn and didn’t want to spend a lot on a doorbell, the Kangaroo’s affordability stuck out to us.
- Easy to Install: Installing the Doorbell Camera + Chime was very easy. The doorbell came with an adhesive backing as well as a screw mount. We were happy to have the peel and stick option, which is how we chose to install our camera.
- Battery-Operated: Another feature that stood out to us was that this doorbell was battery-operated, meaning we didn’t have to worry about hardwiring. Our home is rented and if there was any damage when we moved out, we wouldn’t get our security deposit back. Therefore, having the option to have a doorbell without having to hardwiring was a bonus.
Here’s what features fell short:
- Video Option: It’s important to note this doorbell camera did not come with a live video option, or any video option for that matter. The camera only took still pictures when motion was detected. Those pictures were pieced together in a sequence that looked like a flip book. While we thought it was a cool concept, it wasn’t as useful as actual video footage.
- Two-Way Audio: Because the doorbell camera had no speaker or microphone built in, we couldn’t communicate with the person outside through the Kangaroo app. Two-way audio is a pretty standard feature for other doorbells so we were disappointed the Kangaroo didn’t offer that as an option.
- Narrow Field of View: This doorbell camera had a 60-degree field of view, so we only got pictures of what was taking place directly in front of our door. For example, when we got a package dropped off directly on our doorstep, we got a picture of the UPS delivery person. But if the package was delivered at the bottom of our steps, there was a chance it would be out of the field of view and we wouldn’t get a picture. Basically, the images we got were equivalent in width of taking a photo on our smartphones, so if the movement wasn’t directly within that field of view, we wouldn’t be notified.
- Smart Platform Integration: The Kangaroo Doorbell + Chime didn’t integrate with other smart home platforms meaning that we couldn’t connect it to Alexa or Google Assistant. That being said, the company is working to make that a possibility in the future as a feature that would be included with the Porch Protection Plan upgrade.
You Should Know: The Kangaroo Doorbell Camera + Chime takes pictures and sends those screenshots to the user. This is not a video camera and only still photos were taken.
Our Experience Using The Kangaroo Doorbell Camera + Chime
Ordering the Kangaroo Doorbell Camera + Chime was easy; we added it to our cart online and we were on our way. Our box came with the doorbell and the chime, which we received after just a couple of days. For setup, all we had to do was peel away the sticker on the back of the doorbell and stick it to the side of our front door. We set the chime up indoors because it acted as the audible interior ring and was helpful for when we didn’t have easy access to our phones. After downloading the Kangaroo app, connecting the doorbell to our Wi-Fi network and pairing it with the app, we were good to go. The entire setup process took about five minutes and required no hardwiring.
For just $19.99, we weren’t sure what to expect from this new doorbell. Here’s what we thought about the various features after we set it up.
- Battery Powered: The doorbell wasn’t huge and looked like other video doorbells. What was different from other doorbells though was the fact it was powered by three AA batteries, which came in our box. Those batteries last about a year before needing to be replaced; we’ve had the doorbell for six months and it’s working off the first set of batteries that came with our device.
- Withstands the Elements: Because we live where the weather varies, we needed a camera that could withstand both hot and cold weather. With an IP rating of 54, the Kangaroo Doorbell Camera + Charm checked off that box and was protected from dirt, dust, oil, and splashing water. It also worked in any temperature ranging from negative four to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Photo Quality: As we mentioned above, this doorbell camera didn’t offer video; instead, it took photos that we got sent to our phones when there was movement outside or when someone rang the doorbell (or both if we changed the settings). The picture quality was 480p, meaning our images weren’t very sharp or clear. We’re used to image quality that’s 1080p HD or higher, so this was well below our standards.2
- Notifications: We got ring and motion alerts through the Kangaroo app. Any time a person rang the doorbell, any time there was motion detected in front of the camera or anytime both actions took place we got a photo or a photo stitch, which was a sequence of images put together into a video-like package, sort of like old-fashioned stop motion graphics. We got a lot of packages delivered while we were at work so it was beneficial to have these alerts to know when our packages were dropped off. That being said, there were times we got unnecessary notifications because there was no person detection. We live on a busy street and there were times we got notifications that someone was at our door when it was really just someone walking by on the sidewalk. At times, it also took images a while to load, which wasn’t ideal.
- Night Vision: With infrared night vision, we were alerted to motion outdoors even when it was dark. Any time there was movement, we got black and white photos sent to our phones. This was great for when we got takeout because we could see the image and recognize who was at the door. If the doorbell rang and it wasn’t the delivery person, we could choose to ignore it without ever having to get up from the couch.
- Storage: The free storage package that came with our camera allowed us to access images from the cloud for 24 hours. During those 24 hours, we downloaded whatever images we wanted before they disappeared. We also had the option to upgrade to the Porch Protection Plan for $1.99 a month. With that upgrade, we got 365 days of cloud storage.
FYI: Anytime the doorbell detected motion outside or someone rang the door, we got a notification and a screenshotted image would be uploaded to our cloud storage.
Kangaroo Doorbell Camera Video Review
Kangaroo isn’t your typical video doorbell; in fact, it’s not a video doorbell, technically, but a doorbell camera. To see what we mean by that, watch the below video, which shows exactly what our Kangaroo Doorbell Camera captured.
How We Accessed Our Doorbell Camera Images
The Kangaroo Doorbell Camera + Chime came with free 24-hour cloud storage. After receiving the notifications, we viewed our photos in the Kangaroo app through cloud storage. Within those 24 hours, we had the option to download any of the pictures to our phone so we could save them, but they disappeared from the cloud after 24 hours. While we quickly received notifications, we noticed it sometimes took a while for the picture clips to process. That was frustrating when we needed to immediately see who was at the door.
Here’s a breakdown of the optional packages we could upgrade to when using a Kangaroo doorbell.
|Kangaroo Complete||$10.00 per month or $99 per year||365-day cloud storage
$300 package theft reimbursement
Security kit features include 24/7 professional monitoring, 90-day activity history and text/voice call notifications
Privacy Camera features include 30-day cloud storage, person detection and full motion capture
|Porch Protection Plan||$1.99 per month||365-day cloud storage
$300 package theft reimbursement
The Kangaroo Doorbell Camera + Chime cost us just $19.99. The price was a huge selling point for us because we felt even if we only used it for a few months we got our money’s worth. As renters, we are constantly moving and we didn’t want a camera we needed to take with us when we moved homes. An inexpensive doorbell camera that gave us some peace of mind when we were out fit our needs. And this isn’t Kangaroo’s only affordable device, the company is known for affordable home security, which is made clear on our Kangaroo’s pricing page.
If 24-hour storage wasn’t enough, we had the option to purchase Kangaroo’s Porch Protection Plan for $1.99 a month. The upgrade included 365 days of cloud storage and package theft protection, which meant a reimbursement plan of up to $300 in the event a package was stolen. We opted for the Porch Protection Plan considering how common package theft is, especially nowadays when online shopping is so prevalent in our lives.
Like the many in the world, we’ve spent many months at home and relied on delivery services to get what we needed. While we haven’t been victim to package theft ourselves, we recently conducted a study on package theft and found those with a doorbell camera are more likely to report theft than those without. After doing the math, the $24 a year investment for this added layer of protection felt worth it considering how common porch piracy can be.
Did You Know: For $1.99 a month, you have the option to upgrade to the Porch Protection plan that includes 365 days of cloud storage and package theft reimbursement of up to $300. If you have multiple Kangaroo security devices, we recommend going with the Kangaroo Complete Package for $99 a year, which offers a variety of additional features for other Kangaroo products in addition to the doorbell camera.
Our Last Words
In our opinion, the Kangaroo Doorbell Camera + Charm was a common case of getting what you pay for in terms of quality. While the doorbell camera offered a handful of features for an inexpensive price point including image capturing, night vision and alert notifications, it did not offer video or two-way audio, unlike most of the best doorbell cameras on the market.
However, because we had other security cameras outside our home, this doorbell worked well for us and we didn’t mind the lack of video. We needed it mostly because we wanted a simple way to see who was at our door without having to constantly get up to answer it, and Kangaroo fulfilled that need.
EinPressWire. (2020). Maximus Yaney's Kangaroo Introduces Affordable Doorbell Camera.
iTechtics. (2018). Difference Between 480p, 720p, 1080p And 4K Resolutions.