More affordable than other doorbells
Timely smart alerts
Paid access to smart assistants
No two-way talk
No live video
About the Kangaroo Video Doorbell
Here are the Kangaroo Doorbell Camera specs:
- Price: $19.99
- Colors: Black
- Connectivity 2.4GHz WiFi
- Smart assistants: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant (available with a paid subscription plan)
- Hardwire or battery-powered: Battery
- Operating temperature: -4 degrees Fahrenheit to 122 degrees Fahrenheit
- Image resolution: 640 x 480 pixels
- Dimensions: 4.57” H x 1.97” W x 0.71” D
Kangaroo's first-ever Doorbell Camera isn't your average video doorbell. Instead of capturing videos, the doorbell stitches together GIF-like images when motion is detected or the doorbell is pressed.
While Kanagroo's doorbell comes with basic features like motion detection, smart alerts, and night vision it lacks two very common smart doorbell functions: two-way talk and live video. For those reasons, comparing Kangaroo's doorbell to other smart doorbells is a bit like comparing apples to oranges, as it's designed to be a simple smart doorbell with limited features. It's still worth noting that the 70-degree field of view is narrow when compared to the 160-degree angles of other top doorbells we’ve tested from Nest and Eufy.
The doorbell connects over a 2.4GHz WiFi connection and runs on three lithium AA batteries that are included with your purchase. Kangaroo says to expect about one year from the batteries with regular use. One thing to note is that, since it’s not hardwired, you won’t be able to use it with your existing doorbell chime. However, Kangaroo’s doorbell comes with a compatible chime that plugs into an electrical outlet and plays a ringing tone when pressed, and you’ll also receive a smartphone notification when the doorbell rings.
What we like
More affordable than other video doorbells
Kangaroo's Doorbell Camera is the cheapest smart doorbell we’ve ever tested. For comparison’s sake, most video doorbells cost somewhere in the ballpark of $100 to $200, so Kangaroo is a lot cheaper than what we’re used to seeing.
While Kangaroo’s doorbell camera isn’t nearly as feature-rich as doorbells from more expensive brands like Nest and Ring, it does offer good value for about the same price as lunch. It does the basics like detecting motion and sending push notifications to your phone, and the Kangaroo Security app is easy to use, but that’s it.
Quick and easy installation
I’ve installed my fair share of smart doorbells during my time here at Reviewed, and I can confidently say that the Kangaroo Doorbell Camera is the easiest install I’ve done yet. Most doorbell cameras, even the battery-operated ones, require a drill and new screws, but the Kangaroo doorbell allows you to install with an adhesive sticker to keep it securely in place. I wiped off a small section of my front door with warm water, made sure it was dry before peeling the large adhesive strip off the back of the doorbell and pressed it against the front door.
Since the installation is so simple, the doorbell makes for a great portable security option for travelers. The doorbell comes with an extra adhesive backing, since over time it may lose its stickiness if it’s moved too many times.
Alternatively, two screws and screw mounts are included with the doorbell if you prefer to set it up that way. There’s also an optional tamper-proof security screw that can be installed for additional security.
Timely smart alerts
The Kangaroo Video Doorbell detected motion and sent push notifications to my iPhone just as fast as my Nest Hello Video Doorbell did. While the two smart doorbells aren’t truly comparable feature-wise, it's impressive that the Kangaroo doorbell kept up with my $200 Nest doorbell when it came to sensing motion and sending out smart alerts.
I also like the ease of which alerts can be previewed on my smartphone and Apple Watch without opening the Kangaroo Security app. Not every smart camera offers preview alerts, and it’s a handy feature I appreciate when I’m busy with something else and want to quickly glance down to see what’s going on, so I love to see it here.
What we don’t like
No live video or audio capabilities
I wasn’t expecting much from a low-cost doorbell camera, but no live video or two-way talk functionality is a bit of a dealbreaker for me. While I understand the price point is low, I’d happily pay a little bit more to stream live video or at least be able to talk and hear the person at my front door. Most smart video doorbells offer live video feeds, mics, and speakers, which drive up the cost, but in my doorbell testing experience, these are features worth paying extra for.
Smart assistant integration comes at a cost
Of all the many doorbells I’ve tested for Reviewed, I’ve never come across one that requires you to pay for integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. I even tried to pair the Kangaroo with the Amazon Alexa and Google Home apps to see if it would work, but it does not. To access these two popular smart assistants, you’ll need to buy Kangaroo's Complete Annual Protection Plan, which costs $98.99 annually or can be broken down into payments of $8.24 a month. The plan also gives you access to up to $300 in package theft coverage and 365-day cloud storage.
There’s also the Porch Protection Plan for $1.99 a month (or $23.88 annually) that gives you access to one year of cloud storage and up to $300 in package theft coverage. However, this particular plan does not include integration with Alexa or Google Assistant.
Features are lacking compared to other video doorbells
Many video doorbells and outdoor cameras are becoming increasingly smart, able to differentiate between people, packages, and pets. But the Kangaroo Doorbell Camera only detects motion within a roughly 16-foot range.
If you’re OK with motion-only alerts, then this will be a nonissue for you. If you want more intelligent smart alerts that can tell the difference between a person and a package, we recommend our top smart video doorbell pick, the Nest Hello Video Doorbell.
Another gripe about the Kangaroo doorbell is that the motion zone control is pretty limited as there are only two options (average and extra) for adjusting the sensitivity of the doorbell’s motion detector (or you can shut it off entirely). Motion control is one of the most important factors for receiving accurate notifications. You may have a tree of a flag outside your front door that triggers your doorbell’s motion detection every time the wind blows. With customizable motion zones (like those offered on the Nest Hello) you can click and drag around known trigger spots to prevent false motion alerts.
Finally, let’s not forget it lacks basic video doorbell features like access to live video and two-way talk functionality, which are offered on the majority of smart doorbells these days.
Should you buy it?
No, you’re better off paying up for a smarter doorbell.
Kangaroo's smart doorbell appears to be a decent option for anyone looking for a more affordable alternative to a smart video doorbell without all of the bells and whistles. But after spending some time using the Kangaroo Doorbell Camera, I wouldn’t recommend it as your only line of defense for home security. And, if you plan to pay for Kangaroo's Complete Annual Protection Plan, your $20-30 doorbell is now a $120 doorbell without access to common features like live video and two-way talk.
For a more affordable, feature-rich video doorbell, we recommend our best value pick, the Eufy Security WiFi Video Doorbell. It includes free local storage, 2K live video, two-way talk, and more. While it retails for $159.99, but you can typically find it on sale at Amazon for around $30 less, and it comes with a slew of handy features that you’ll find yourself using on a daily basis (including free integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant).
The adhesive Kangaroo Doorbell Camera feels most ideal for a non-permanent living setup like a dorm or apartment building. It could even be placed on a teen’s bedroom door if they’re looking for more privacy at home. However, I wouldn’t recommend the Kangaroo doorbell as a general home security measure since it lacks important safety features like access to live video and two-way talk.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Senior Staff Writer@rachel_murphy
Rachel Murphy covers smart home for Reviewed. She holds a journalism degree from the University of Central Florida. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer for several major outlets and as an associate editorial producer for ABC News' Good Morning America.
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