xsh doorbell / smart doorbell 889251362774 teardown

Got this doorbell on ebay for about $60AUD. I think it's pretty cool.

The build quality looks appropriate to the price. The unboxing was a nice experience, incidentally. The device is an all plastic body, with a nice exterior. The bracket shoe looks like a tough dense sort of plastic.

The device is setup and operated via an app, like other contemporary wifi cameras, no browser friendly web server. On the app store search for "xsh" (link). Setup pairing is done an audio signal, so you need to be next to it. Sharing with other devices seems to be done via a QR code, and I assume the password will be required [to be tested].

The operating experience looks solid. The app is friendly enough.

Few notes:
  • xsh doorbell
  • Batteries are not included, so BYO 2x 18650. There is a microUSB socket on the body, for charging I assume. The spec says a full charge should last for about 6 months. Alternatively there is a provision for wired power, but there is no voltage reference anywhere that I could find.
  • MicroSD card is not included. It is not essential for normal operation, but if you want CCTV style automatic recording then you will need to open the device (6 screws), locate the slot, and click in the card. The spec says max 32GB; I will be using 8, and not expecting much activity at all.
  • The app has a battery and WIFI signal status indicator on the live view.
  • CPU: HI3518E ARM926
  • app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=cn.ubia.xshcam

Verdict:
  • It kind of works. Do you get a miracle? Yes. What it does do looks like a miracle. Is there value for money? Depends.
  • This doorbell needs a receiver ding dong module that can be mounted inside the house, like any simple $10 wireless doorbell. So it work independently from the internet, adding no brainer reliability.
  • No loop recording, apparently. This means that you have to keep an eye on the memory card and format every few days, depending on your settings.
  • Does not integrate with Google Home
  • Does not have a web interface, app only
  • Is it a piece of crap? Maybe. Is it a time waster? I would say so. If you are thinking about getting a Smart doorbell, then do get something that is supported by a reputable company like Ring ($$) or Nest ($$$), something that integrates with your smart home IOT ecosystem rather than a cheap standalone gadget. The premium that you would pay for a reputable unit will pay back with saving you from accumulated frustration and regret later on.

Anyway, here's what's inside.












Update 26 Nov 2018

Decided that battery operation is too much trouble, with needing to recharge every few weeks depending on usage to every few days. So I opted to connect the unit to a power supply. The power terminals are the round structures where the screws attach.

Turns out that it runs off 12V fine, not fussy about polarity. Incidentally it fails with 5V, 6V, but works with 2x 18650 in series. After looking inside, I found a diode rectifier bridge power input, probably intended to work with existing house bell wiring as a nifty retrofit.






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