Eufy SmartDrop Smart Delivery Box Review
The Eufy SmartDrop Smart Delivery Box has a few minor issues that I am not used to seeing from Eufy. However, it makes up for this by being quite a unique and incredibly useful product, which I love.
Overall - 75%
- A relatively unique product on the market
- Built in camera allows you to see who is trying to access the box so you can remote unlock it or view who has accessed it
- Lots of storage capacity
- First-generation teething issues / Not quite the usual quality I expect from Eufy
Due to the nature of my work, I get a huge number of deliveries and pickups. Thankfully, I work from home, so it is not normally a huge problem, but it can still be annoying having to wait in all day for deliveries.
Since Covid, many companies seem to be more lax with how they deliver things and will often leave things lying around. Amazon is notorious for it.
I have previously written about outdoor parcel delivery boxes but I have always wanted something a little smarter.
Earlier this year, Eufy launched the exact product I have been looking for, the SmartDrop smart delivery box.
It had been quietly launched on Amazon UK, and I had missed it, but I have finally managed to get my hands on one. Oddly, at the time of writing, it looks like Eufy has pulled it from the UK stores.
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- You've Got Mail: Get a notification and watch every package delivery with a 1080p HD camera right from your phone in real-time. You can even talk to the courier via two-way audio.
- Epic Size: Large enough to fit 99% of packages and spacious enough to fit multiple items at a time, SmartDrop will take care of all your deliveries.
- Round-the-Clock Protection: Receive packages whether you're home or out and about. SmartDrop's all-metal body will protect your parcels 24/7 from porch pirates and the elements–even if you're on vacation.
- Works with All Couriers: As your delivery approaches, SmartDrop will greet the courier with illuminated buttons and guide them on how to leave a package quickly and easily. If there isn't already a package inside, the courier can just press the open button to complete the delivery in seconds.
- Multiple Ways to Open: Access SmartDrop in 1 of 5 ways. You can let couriers, friends, and family press the Open button if there is nothing inside, or give them a PIN. Access it via your phone or through voice assistants, and if all else fails, you can also use a traditional key.
The SmartDrop box arrived a bit beaten up. When I opened the packaging up and aligned all the parts together, I realised that the front panel was deformed and didn't sit flush with the side panels. I am fairly certain this occurred during transit.
Unfortunately, my heavy-handedness bent the panel a bit too much, causing the corner sections to flare out a little. However, it wasn't too much of a problem and I managed to attach the top parts of the side, then force the bottom panel flush and screw it in.
While the panels felt flimsy individually, when the box is constructed, it was surprisingly sturdy.
You get four large screws and plugs that allow you to bolt the box down to the floor. I don't have a drill that can do this, so for the time being, I have used a pair of dumbbells to weigh it down. It may not be totally secure, but I don't imagine many thieves are going to run off with a delivery box weighing over 50kg.
It would have been good if there was some sort of anchor loop, so you secure the box with a lock and chain rather than bolts in the floor.
I had a few issues with the set up too. I was able to get the box to connect to the WiFi without too much of a problem, but I then realised that it lacks onboard storage.
It has the option to pair with the Home Base 2, but not the newer Home Base 3. However, I struggled to get it to pair.
I then used the cloud storage, and even though it accepted this as an option, it didn't appear to save any videos to the cloud. I even paid for the 10-device subscription to make sure it wasn't me just being an idiot. My Eufycam 3C and doorbell both upload videos with no problem.
I think the cloud recordings take a while to show up properly and it may have struggled with the WiFi connection as I placed the box quite far from my property. Since locating it to the front door, it has worked without issues.
For motion detection, I also had some minor niggles. Eufy normally has amazing human detection, and the box was facing away from the street at my wall, so it should only pick up someone as they walked past, but it kept triggering for no reason.
I think it fixed itself after I set the motion zone.
I set up the SmartDrop just before a press trip where I was away for nearly two weeks. It has proved to be incredibly useful for me.
The first day I was away, I received a smart bike turbo trainer. I got a motion notification from my Eufy Security Video Doorbell Dual Camera. When I saw that it was the delivery driver, I quickly opened up the box remotely so he knew he could use it. This is a physically large and heavy box, but it just about fits inside.
While I have been away, I have mainly relied on the automatic mode, where the box is unlocked when it is empty and then automatically goes to the PIN code mode.
During this time, I only received review samples, so I didn't get to assign a PIN code to drivers, but I have used the remote unlock functionality frequently.
Since getting back, I have been able to assign a PIN code to drivers successfully. I have only had one delivery use this method, but it worked as expected.
While the box isn't fully waterproof, it does do a good job of keeping your parcels dry. It has rained constantly since I left and it is not unusual for Amazon to leave things out in the rain. This has completely solved that problem.
The video footage is OK. The footage is recorded at 1024x768px for a relatively square aspect ratio of 4:3. The bit rate works out at around 666kb/s.
With the camera being located low down and facing upwards, it does sometimes miss capturing faces. It is also exposed to the elements, so when it is raining, the camera will get water on the lens.
I don't really regard this as a primary form of surveillance, and the camera does exactly what I need it to. I can work out who has tried to access the box and what was delivered.
Battery life appears to be excellent, like all Eufy products. In the two weeks, I have used it, the battery is down to 72% and there have been 37 recorded events.
What I haven't tested yet, and what I will likely find very useful, is using this for parcel pickups. I have to return a lot of review samples, and it gets very annoying waiting in all day for a courier and this will likely be a perfect solution.
Price and Alternative Options
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The Eufy SmartDrop was listed on Amazon UK but, for some reason, has been removed. It is also not on the Eufy UK website.
In the US, the Eufy SmartDrop has an RRP of $399.99, but they currently have a $200 discount, making it just $199.99, which is an absolute bargain.
There are a couple of competing solutions, but none are quite likely the Eufy SmartDrop.
|YALE SMART DELIVERY BOX - GREY/CHROME||£289.69||Buy on Amazon|
|iParcelBox v2 - Smart Parcel Delivery Box (Mains Powered)||£299.99||Buy on Amazon|
The Yale Smart Delivery Box looks like a good alternative. This lacks a camera but has PIN code access. With this box, you have a full keypad that can have pin codes between 4 and 10 digits long and up to 20 active codes. If you have a Yale bridge, you can remotely access the box as well as receive notifications. The Yale Smart Delivery Box is available on a Black Friday discount for just £246.50, with the normal price being around £290
There is also the iParcelBox which is a bit more basic. It has a single button on it, when the box is empty, this will automatically open up, but with subsequent deliveries, it will send a notification to the owner requiring you to remotely unlock it. This comes in multiple sizes and can be mains or battery-powered. The battery-powered iParcelBox v2 is priced at £300
Even though I had some issues with the condition of my sample when it arrived, and there were teething issues with video storage and motion detection, I love the SmartDrop delivery box.
At the very least, it is a significant improvement to delivery drivers leaving packages on my doorstep or in the red bin.
The metal panels do feel a bit thin, and this likely contributed to the bent front panel, but once assembled, it is a surprisingly sturdy unit.
Built-in file storage would also be good, and I am unsure why the human detection created so many false positives at first. I probably wouldn't have noticed these issues if it was not for the fact that Eufy products are consistently so good.
Minor niggles aside, there are not many competing products like this in the UK market, and none of the alternative options has a security camera built-in. Therefore I think this is superb. It is just a shame there doesn't appear to be any UK stock available at the moment.
Last update on 2023-01-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API