In my never-ending quest to improve home security, I think I have solved the problem of porch pirates, or rather, Eufy has solved the problem of porch pirates!
The Eufy SmartDrop, smart delivery box ($399.99 USD) is a very attractive, over-engineered strong box that deploys motion sensors, cameras, passcodes and 2 way voice communication system to ensure that your packages are delivered safely and stay secure until you pick them up. This might be the coolest product I’ve ever reviewed. Nah, it definitely is the coolest thing I’ve ever reviewed.
First of all, it’s worth noting that this is not the only smart delivery box on the market. Yale’s Smart delivery box offers a less expensive option that connects to your home wifi and provides push notifications when a package is delivered. But it does not include a camera, motion detection or two-way voice communications and requires an add-on keypad to access without your smartphone. Danby’s Parcel Guard ($399.99 USD) is another competitor with many similar features to the SmartDrop, but with a very serious design flaw. It must be connected to external power and only provides a battery as backup power. Which means, the easiest way for thieves to foil the Parcel Guard is to cut the power supply and temporarily disable all of its security features.
The Eufy SmartDrop comes in a large, 45lb box and must be assembled before use. Everything you need for assembly is included along with a giant easy to follow visual diagram. Assembling the SmartDrop gives you a real appreciation for how incredibly tough this product is. My only advice when assembling this is, take care and go extra slow when drilling the large anchor bolts into the ground/porch or whatever you are securing it to. In all my excitement to get playing with this, I wound up stripping a screw and losing an entire day trying to remove it before making a trip to the hardware store for a new one. The hardware store employee’s advice, when securing large 4 inch screws is to spray first with a little WD40 and go slow.
I had no doubts that it would not only stand up to daily use, but also handle our Canadian winters with ease. Built with cold-rolled carbon steel, it’s not only anti-corrosive, but coated to make it waterproof and protect itself from the elements. In addition to this, Eufy has designed the SmartDrop to redirect rain and snow so that even the most intense weather conditions won’t get to your packages. Everything is powered by a Lithium ion battery installed inside the box and secured with screws. Eufy also includes an optional power port for a connection to an external power source. In the event of a dead battery, the SmartDrop includes keys for access without power. While I can’t comment on exactly how long the battery lasts, I can say that I installed the battery with only half a charge and after a few weeks of heavy use, I am currently sitting at 30%. So it’s safe to say that the battery is more than capable of going for months on a single charge. Charging the battery is also as easy as opening the box and removing it with a single screw and plugging it in with the micro USB cable. The battery is then easily replaced using the included set of keys.
I installed the Smartdrop underneath our wall mounted mailbox next to the front door. Its front facing camera doubles as a security camera by alerting to anything or anyone passing by or coming close. Using the Eufy security app (iOS/Android) you can control all of the features of the SmartDrop. You can also link the SmartDrop with any of your other Eufy security products.
The app’s main screen shows you a live feed from the SmartDrop’s camera, as well as how many deliveries were made to the box and its current status (Open/closed). Further into the app, a screen will give you more detailed information on events, such as when the box was last closed and any button presses.
One particular feature I really appreciate about the SmartDrop is the ability to set specific pins (along with a master pin) for different delivery companies or even friends. For example, if I know I am expecting multiple deliveries from Amazon, UPS and Fedex, all I have to do is generate pins for each service and label them as such within the Eufy security app and then include them in my delivery information at the time of ordering. Eufy includes a large adhesive sticker with simple instructions on how to open the box. When the box is empty, simply pressing “open” will trigger the door. If packages are inside, a pin is required. Once the pin is entered, I get a push notification saying that my Amazon delivery has been successfully made. This can also be useful for selling items on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Simply place your item in your SmartDrop, set a pin, let the person who is picking up the item know how to access the package with their own pin.
Within the settings, everything is customisable from various levels of motion sensitivity to video quality, power management settings and different door triggering options. I appreciated the three volume settings for the box’s voice prompt. As soon as movement is detected, the SmartDrop can be set to activate voice instructions explaining what to do through the box’s speaker.
My experience so far has been very good. Without even setting unique pin codes, half of my deliveries were made to the box without any specific instructions on my orders. The open button on the front of the box begins pulsing blue as soon as motion is detected so it’s very easy to understand what should happen next. Although that did not stop Amazon from leaving my first order of packages on top of the SmartDrop without so much as even trying to press the open button. It’s also worth noting that as soon as motion is detected, the SmartDrop sends push notifications to your Security app that it has detected movement, so if the box reports an incorrect pin code has been entered or the delivery person is having trouble understanding what to do, all you have to do is push a button and talk directly through the SmartDrop to the delivery person instructing them to enter their code, or pushing the remote open button on your screen to open the box for them.
The SmartDrop can even up your Halloween game, not home for halloween this year? Fill it full of Candy and trigger it remotely!
Live streaming is included within Eufy’s security app, so you are able to view everything as it happens. Eufy also offers a premium service starting at $2.99USD/month to allow storage of delivery videos for 30 days.
Do I recommend the Eufy SmartDrop? Yes, a thousand times yes! The $399.99 USD price tag pays for itself the very first time you are away from home and receive a delivery to your SmartDrop. The peace of mind knowing that your packages are safe not only from porch pirates, but also safe from the elements is priceless. If you are away for an extended period of time, you can also share access to the SmartDrop with a friend who can monitor your package deliveries for you. Going forward, I believe this is only the beginning of internet connected smart mail and delivery boxes. Kudos to Eufy for blazing this trail!
Note: Our reviews are always 100% independent but Gearadical receives a small affiliate amount if you purchase the product on Amazon.