Lorex delivers laser-sharp 2K video and color night vision in their latest wired doorbell.
Lorex has a list of cameras about a mile long, so whatever you need to keep an eye on, it may have a camera just for that. We’ve also tested a lot of those cameras, from the professional-grade NVR system to simple wireless and wire-free cameras. Its versatility as a brand is one of the many reasons why we rank Lorex so highly.
Today, however, we’ll narrow our focus and talk about one specific Lorex camera that we tested recently: a video doorbell. Doorbell cameras, video doorbells, or smart doorbells1 – whatever you prefer to call them – have experienced a meteoric rise over the last decade. And while Ring is the industry leader, Lorex presents an attractive alternative due to the fact that its cameras offer advanced features such as person detection.
For a brand as large as Lorex, though, it doesn’t offer as many video doorbell options as we initially thought. They started with a 1080p model, which comes in a wired version. After that, they launched the Lorex 2K QHD Wired video doorbell, and then followed up with a battery-operated version of the same device. Recently, Lorex also introduced the Wi-Fi Chimebox, which works with all Lorex doorbells. Aside from chiming when someone rings your doorbell, it sends customizable notifications to your Lorex Home app.
In this review, we’re turning our attention to the Canada-based brand’s Lorex 2K QHD Wired Video Doorbell.
We did find some minor pain points here and there with Lorex, particularly in the installation stage. No deal-breakers, but we like to give the full picture, good and bad.
To give you the best idea if a Lorex Doorbell is right for you, we spent several days testing it, assessing the installation experience, comparing it to the rest of our lineup, and unpacking everything we could. Stay tuned for all of that, but first, here are a few quick pros and cons:
Check out more recommendations from the SafeHome team:
Right off the bat, one of the better things about the 2K version of the Lorex video doorbell over its 1080p cousin — other than the resolution, of course — is that it’s available in black or white. Since we have a white-framed door, we appreciated that option.
That being said, the doorbell’s design itself is a bit bland. At first glance, you wouldn’t think that this device has a 2K resolution or that it offers smart features like person detection. It looks just like a plain old video doorbell with its rectangular shape, square camera face that stands out against its white backdrop, and ring button that glows green ever so subtly. Our first thought was that it looked a bit like the Wyze Video Doorbell Pro from the budget-friendly brand Wyze.
Pro Tip: If you’re into “trendy” security equipment, there may be better options out there. Lorex is a pretty no-frills brand when it comes to features and tech. If you’d prefer something with a bit more character, check out our review of the Google Nest Doorbell, the smart doorbell with the backing of Google.
Once we had the device in-hand, we were impressed with how much smaller and slimmer it was than other video doorbells on the market today — looking at you, Ring. When we reviewed Ring’s Video Doorbell 3, one of things that turned us off a little was how big and bulky the unit was.
To be fair, there are two schools of thought on this. Some people think that outdoor security equipment needs to be highly noticeable to ward off would-be intruders. Other folks prefer to have smaller, more discrete equipment. We think Lorex does a good job with this, but if you’re interested in checking out another doorbell that walks the line well, check out our review of the Blink video doorbell.
Finally, we were immediately struck by the fact that Lorex didn’t make us sign a contract or pay a monthly monitoring fee, even to store video. That’s largerly because Lorex doesn’t offer Cloud subscriptions. Instead, this particular camera uses a pre-inserted micro SD card2 to save our footage. We’re so used to being locked into long-term commitments by security companies. There’s something refreshing about Lorex’s approach.
We have plenty of experience setting up Lorex cameras, so right off the bat, we knew to look for the camera’s QR code. We’d need to scan the QR code using the very intuitive Lorex app to sync up the camera with our home Wi-Fi.
We found the QR code in two convenient locations. First, it was on the backplate of the doorbell itself. The second location was inside the box. From there, it was pretty self-explanatory. We scanned the code, entered our Wi-Fi credentials, and followed the prompts until the end. In just a couple of minutes, the doorbell was all synced up and connected to Wi-Fi.
Syncing was easy enough, but how was the installation process? We were pleased to see everything we needed for the job right there in the box, including a detailed instruction manual. (That manual, we learned, is also available on Lorex’s website.)
FYI: Lorex Doorbell is wired, which means you will have to handle electrical wiring. It wasn’t a huge deal for us, but if you’d rather skip a wired installation, consider a wireless doorbell camera with batteries instead.
Now obviously hardwiring a doorbell is a bit more challenging than mounting a battery-operated one. And our install process didn’t exactly go as smoothly as we would have liked. To be honest, though, that wasn’t the unit’s fault. Our house is pretty old and the existing doorbell cables aren’t really in the best shape. If you’re in the same boat, or don’t know what boat you’re even in, carve out some time in your day for this installation. It’s not the hardest DIY project out there, but it can be a little difficult.
Since the unit is so narrow and needed to be flush with our door frame, we had to do some strange hand contortions to secure our cables to the camera, and then bend and twist all those cables between the camera and the mounting plate. From there, we endured a couple more hits and misses before we had power going from the chime to the doorbell.
Having small hands proved very helpful here; so did the extra cable connectors that Lorex includes in the box. Might we (strongly) suggest, though, that you turn off the power to your doorbell before you get to the wiring? Electrical shocks are no fun. Better yet, call in an electrician.
Since this unit comes with a chime kit, we knew it would require getting into our chime box as well. Of course, we could have skipped this step and continued using our existing doorbell chime, if we were pressed for time. But we decided our old, mechanical chime could use an upgrade.
This portion of the installation, thankfully, was more straightforward. We simply opened the chime box on our wall, disconnected our old chime, and wired in the included Lorex Chime Kit. In fact, armed with Lorex’s thorough instructions, this part was easier than what we’ve experienced connecting other doorbell chimes.
We’ve tested (and installed) dozens of video doorbells, so we’re aware that the installation process can vary wildly. We’ve installed battery-powered doorbells that snapped right into place in mere seconds, but mostly, for video doorbells that require even just a little bit of wiring, we set aside a whole afternoon for the installation. To its credit, though, Lorex made an effort to make installing the Lorex 2K as easy as possible by including a detailed manual and providing all the parts we needed for the installation.
Even sticking close to the manual and pulling up the troubleshooting section of the Lorex website, getting the whole thing installed took some dedication and no small amount of patience. What do they say? No pain, no gain. If we had it to do all over again, though, we’d definitely spend a few bucks to get it professionally installed by a handyman.
Pro Tip: Most video doorbells run on Wi-Fi, but do you really know how wireless internet works? Or how safe it is? Check out our guide to the potential hazards of Wi-Fi – particularly for children.
All in all, we spent just under two hours getting the whole system online. That’s definitely longer than the time we spent installing Ring’s Doorbell Elite, namely because Ring’s hardware was sturdier and popped into place more easily.
And we can’t say we’re 100% cool with no battery backup, either. Without this, the camera won’t work in a power outage. We were forced to dock Lorex a few points for this, since the device is pretty much useless without power – but don’t worry, as you’ll see, Lorex mostly makes up for it in the end.
Happy that the installation process was completed, we turned our attention to Lorex’s equipment and technology and found that they are both solid. Next, we ran through our customary tests of the Lorex Doorbell. We got mostly what we expected: A camera that gave us instant insight into who’s at our door, each and every time.
Because we live in an area that has seen a lot of package theft, we knew we needed a camera that would respond quickly. We didn’t want to compromise on this – and if you’ve been through the frustrating process of trying to replace a stolen package, you’ll understand why. We, of course, also wanted to avoid the much-worse scenario of a break-in, too!
Fortunately, the video quality was exceptional with our Lorex 2K video doorbell. In fact, its resolution is more than two times that of Lorex’s 1080p doorbell.
We’ve personally tested dozens of doorbell cameras from all the best brands, and as surprising as it sounds, there’s only a handful of 2K and 4K video doorbells. The other big names in the industry – Ring, Arlo, Google Nest, SkyBell, etc. – use 1080p HD or the slightly higher 1560p resolution. That automatically makes the Lorex 2K video doorbell one of the best in terms of video quality.
Of course, there’s this one caveat that because the Lorex 2K doorbells are still tied to a Wi-Fi signal, their video footage is set to fluctuate between standard and high definition to avoid overloading the network. We also saw this when we reviewed SkyBell’s Video Doorbell – a pretty good picture most of the time, but not always.
The audio quality passed our test, too. The video doorbell uses full duplex two-way audio.
As an aside, our tests of the Lorex device happened to coincide with a pretty legit snowstorm in our neck of the woods, leaving us with 6-8 inches of pretty white stuff when all was said and done. We thought the scene would make for some calming, tranquil footage, even without a human involved. We think we were right.
Of course, it helped that the doorbell is rated to temperatures as low as four degrees below zero Fahrenheit. For those in warmer climates, it’s also rated up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. As a bonus, it also has an IP65 rating. That means it’s dust tight and can resist low-pressure water jets. In other words, it could have handled much worse than our weather.
Check out this short video of the Lorex doorbell:
Like the wireless Lorex security cameras we reviewed previously, we were pleased that Lorex Doorbell, too, includes a mode for person detection. In our years of testing video doorbells, person detection is a feature we’re always excited to see. It’s just one of those features that greatly enhances the security value video doorbells provide.
With person detection turned on, we were alerted only when someone was at the door. Not when a car passed by, not when a tree branch blew in the wind, not when a stray cat crept across the walkway looking for food. This is crucial if you’re like us and want to use the doorbell strictly as it’s intended. We used person detection most frequently, though, because we already have a pair of cameras set up elsewhere in the yard to keep tabs on those outliers.
Of course, we did spend some time testing out the other three modes, too. In each test, Lorex didn’t miss a beat. So Lorex definitely impresses when it comes to advanced features like person, motion, and vehicle detection.
How much coverage we get from our doorbell cameras depends largely on the camera’s viewing angle. This varies brand-by-brand, but we’d say Lorex Doorbell is just slightly above average with their 164-degree angle. It’s not quite as wide as the view we got when we reviewed Blue by ADT’s doorbell, which really opened things up for us at 180 degrees.
Having a nice, wide video is certainly a plus — especially when you’re trying to track packages and other deliveries. In that regard, Lorex really nails it. Note that you will need to fiddle with it some to get the angle just right. You do want it to be pointing down slightly so you can see when items arrive:
But to put things in perspective, we’re used to seeing 120- to 140-degree fields of view from Lorex’s competitors, so 164-degrees felt like a luxury to have.
As a brand with a huge selection, Lorex has been in our testing repertoire many times over. Their outdoor Wi-Fi camera was an early favorite of ours, namely due to the impressive color night vision.
We’ve found that in most cameras, the higher the video resolution, the better the night vision. Keep in mind, then, that Lorex’s outdoor cam maxes out at 1080p resolution, which is still excellent HD quality but not quite as spectacular as the Lorex Doorbell.
With the doorbell cam, we get a picture that’s not only in full color, but that’s also sharper than some daytime camera footage we’ve seen. It’s a far better picture than the one we got from SimpliSafe’s 720p SimpliCam, for instance, which doesn’t have color night vision and maxes out at standard definition. But honestly, SimpliSafe is better known for their affordable DIY security system — so if you’re interested in total home security, see our SimpliSafe review.
Of course, some folks aren’t all that concerned with video quality or night vision in a doorbell cam; they just want a quality device to monitor visitors and help them feel safer in their homes. Lorex delivered that for us easily, but check out our full doorbell camera buying guide for even more ideas.
Testing out Lorex Doorbell’s compatibility with the smart home gave us one more minor gripe with this device: It doesn’t integrate with Apple HomeKit or IFTTT platforms. We had no trouble, though, pulling up the live feed on our Amazon Echo Show, one of the Alexa-enabled devices in our home, to get a quick peek at who was at our door.
Of course, you can also integrate the doorbell into Lorex’s own proprietary Smart Home Security System. With a centralized hub, that system lets you view and record footage, talk to visitors, and turn cameras on and off with just the tap of a finger. The system also now includes facial detection technology for added security. Plus, you can use bluetooth to connect your home speakers for streaming music throughout your home.
Still, Lorex’s relatively limited capabilities when it comes to integration was a definite disappointment in relation to competitors like Arlo. As we noted in our Arlo Video Doorbell review, Arlo supports pairing with all of the major smart home platforms. So if you’re a smart home aficionado, you might want to look at Arlo instead.
So overall, the Lorex 2K video doorbell does offer intriguing features. We summarized and ranked the features here in order of their importance and usefulness. If you agree that these are the best features to look for, then the Lorex 2K video doorbell will likely work great for you.
|Avoids false alarms by ignoring motion not caused by humans
|Alerts you when motion is detected
|Full-duplex two-way audio
|Clear two-way audio for communicating with guests
|Produces clear-quality videos day and night
|Captures a wide area for better coverage
The brand’s aversion to monthly fees and contracts4 makes Lorex a great pick for the budget-conscious, and this rings true with their video doorbell, too. Even with an upgrade in video resolution, Lorex still prices their latest doorbell fairly at $199.99. And, it was on sale for $150 at the time of this writing. (They also have a 1080p option for $79.99, if you’re interested.) For all of that without monthly fees, we’d say this is a pretty decent deal.
It’s certainly not the cheapest way to keep tabs on your front door while you’re at work, though. Then again, most doorbells don’t have 2K HDR video. We don’t necessarily need 2K in a doorbell cam, but we do admit it’s a nice picture.
For what it’s worth, Lorex Doorbell is only $10 more than SimpliSafe’s Video Doorbell Pro. We’d consider both devices around the middle range in pricing. You could always go bigger, like the more advanced Vivint Doorbell Pro, for $249; you’ll get a pretty mind-blowing set of features, not to mention an even slimmer design that’s ideal for apartments and small spaces.
And if you’re interested in keeping an eye on more than just your entryway, here’s a quick breakdown of some of Lorex’s security camera offerings:
|Smart Indoor Wi-Fi 1080p Standalone Camera
|Smart Outdoor Wi-Fi 1080p Standalone Camera
|Wireless/MPX Security Cameras
|Starting at $89.99
|Lorex PTZ Security Cameras
|Starting at $199.99
|Lorex Wired IP Cameras
|Starting at $169.99
When all was said and done, we found a few trouble spots in the installation and hardwiring stage to keep us from fully falling in love with the Lorex 2K QHD Wired Video Doorbell. For older homes like ours, hardwiring is already a challenge. But on top of that, Lorex’s equipment didn’t snap into place very easily, so by the time it was all done, we knew we had spent much more time installing this device than other doorbell cams we’ve used.
That said, Lorex still managed to pack plenty of power into its wired doorbell cam, giving us an overall smooth and hassle-free experience monitoring everyone entering and leaving our home.3 More than that, though, we were intrigued by the 2K resolution. This, after all, is not something we see every day, even in the industry’s best doorbell cameras. Combined with color night vision, we enjoyed the view each time we peeked over at our live feed.
We have little doubt this device would give you the peace of mind you’re looking for in a doorbell cam – but prepare for a tricky installation (or hire a handyman!).
With Lorex, you’re not required to sign up for any monthly cloud storage fees or subscriptions to use the cameras. The Lorex Doorbell comes with a pre-inserted 32GB micro SD card to store footage.
The vast majority of Lorex cameras come with either an IP66 or IP67 weatherproof rating, Lorex Doorbell included. Lorex cameras with these ratings are completely protected from dust and can withstand low pressure jets of water.
Yes. Lorex cameras are compatible with both Amazon Alexa devices and the Google Assistant to display our doorbell cam’s footage or use voice commands to “answer” the door. To do this, we went into your Alexa app, searched for the Lorex skill, and linked the accounts.
Lorex Doorbell comes in either infrared (black and white) or colorized night vision. Both handled well in our tests, but naturally we saw a clearer, more detailed picture in full color.
Lorex is a pretty massive company, and it’s had its share of critics in the customer service department. Some users report getting ignored after multiple attempts to reach an agent; others say the agent they spoke to was uninformed or unhelpful. When we inquired about a new camera release through Lorex’s phone support, we waited a couple of minutes on hold, and got the answer we needed pretty easily.
Weinschenk, C. (2020, Feb. 14). Video Doorbell Research: Amazon Ring Tops in Market Share with 16% of Households Opting In. Telecompetitor.
Pinto, Y. (2020) The Impact of the SD Card Then & Now. Western Digital Blog.
Woollaston, V. (2020, Aug. 27). Back at work? So are burglars. Here's how to keep your home safe. Wired.