Honeywell Home Smart Home Security Starter Kit review
Honeywell has a protracted history of presenting OEM sensors, manage panels and different nuts-and-bolts parts for domestic security systems. More lately, it’s received traction with some excellent smart thermostats and safety cameras, shaken wide awake in component via the success of Nest. Ahead of spinning its Honeywell Home enterprise off into a brand new enterprise, Resideo (resid-ee-o, rhymes with President), Honeywell has launched a DIY home safety system of its very own.
The Honeywell Home Smart Home Security Starter Kit is a decidedly simple all-in-one security tool with lots going for it. Much of that credit goes to the unit’s hub, which doesn’t lie about being a multi-function. This single tool consists of an integrated siren/speaker, a 1080p motion-sensing digicam, and Amazon Alexa, all packed into an available columnar device that manages to be moderately stylish. As such, it intently resembles a Canary Home Security System, which came out at approximately the same time as Amazon’s Echo (and as such, could not have supported Alexa). All that equipment may imply installing four individual portions of the gadget for other intelligent domestic structures. You can purchase the Honeywell Camera Base Station with the aid of itself for $350 on Amazon.
Setting up a clever home safety device can often be a rocky affair, specifically for a v1.0 product. Nonetheless, Honeywell hits an unprecedented domestic run with its setup recurring, which is arguably the perfect and quickest I’ve encountered in this enterprise so far. Just download and install the app, then plug the hub into wall power. (Note that the seat is solely wi-fi; there is no stressed-out ethernet alternative.) Hold a QR code displayed to your smartphone in front of the hub’s digital camera, and you’re essentially accomplished.
Up subsequent is putting in place sensors. Honeywell doesn’t provide you with lots of those inside the base kit: Two window/door sensors and an essential fob far-flung control are all that come inside the field. A standard clever home setup approach configuring every sensor, one after the other, generally through some mixture of typing in codes and pressing hidden buttons. With the Honeywell Home package, the installation of your sensors and different devices abruptly. Just pull out the plastic tabs that interact with the battery, and the app does the rest.
The only different step I had to take when putting in place all this gear was urgent and retaining two buttons on the vital thing fob to activate it, as directed by the app. The whole process took less than 15 minutes, including putting in geofencing options and linking the tool to my Alexa account. After the devices are registered, you’re directed to hitch your sensors to the doors or home windows to that you’re assigning them. Pre-loaded with sticky tape, you’ll be aware that these sensors are pretty big as compared to others in the industry—extra than 3—five inches long—although Honeywell does promise that its batteries will last for an entire year.
Once installed, Honeywell’s simple app gives you no longer the usual two; however, as a substitute, three safety modes (not along with “off”). If you’re conversant in the standard home/away rubric, this may take a bit of intellectual retraining, as Honeywell’s three modes behave a chunk in another way. “Away” works as predicted, with all sensors active; “Night” is efficiently the equivalent of most safety systems’ home mode, where door/window sensors are involved and, while movement sensing and video recording stay lively, they won’t prompt the alarm while tripping. Honeywell’s “Home” mode is somewhere between this putting and stale: Door chimes chirp when they’re opened, but all notices are disabled; video recording, in the meantime, maybe turned on or off as you pick out.
The hub makes the double duty of the lighted Alexa ring to signify while you’ve modified modes. While Honeywell says, it’s still tweaking how these work, you may note a persistent inexperienced ring if the unit is about in Away manner and a flash of purple while it adjustments to Night. I tested the Honeywell Home Smart Home Security Starter Kit notably and a number of the additional equipment to be had as accessories for the setup.
These range from an extra (however digital camera-much less) indoor motion sensor ($ forty-nine), to the indoor motion-viewer digital camera ($149), to the outside movement viewer digital camera ($199). The latest gadgets are far-off cameras that may speak with the hub to provide an extra set of eyes on some other part of your domicile. As with all components besides the corner, they’re wireless, with a two-12 months battery existence promised. (Pro tip: For first-rate effects, installation any extra equipment for the duration of your preliminary setup section, as including those sensors to the network later is needlessly convoluted.)
In checking out, I observed that the system’s core functions labored adequately, in no way lacking door or window opens, with the hub’s motion-sensing on point. The door chimes are clean and high-quality without disturbing, and the siren, while no longer all that loud (simply 90db), is ear-catching and excessively pitched enough to carry through the home. Switching among modes via either the app or the vital thing fob is straightforward and quick, and the unit offers you a 60-2d, chimed countdown before enticing Away mode. There’s even -way audio constructed into the hub so that you can use your telephone to speak in your youngsters or cats (or a burglar) in case you occur to capture them live on the digicam.
The Alexa functions at the unit also labored perfectly in my trying out. The speaker is loud and crisp, and it in no way balked at handling commands to play a tune, answer questions, or manipulate different devices in my domestic. That said, now not everything is perfect with this system, and the longer you spend with it, the extra nagging problems you start to see. Perhaps the most significant drawback to the Honeywell Home Security Kit is that there may be no professional monitoring nor cell backup to be had. To disable the alarm from sending you notices, an interloper wants best to unplug your router—although that gained’t forestall the siren from sounding. The hub does but consists of a backup battery in case the power is going out. But that received’t hold your router powered, as usual; we recommend plugging it and your broadband gateway into an uninterruptible power supply.
With no seasoned tracking option, you’re for your very own to hold tabs on the home. The way Honeywell Home deals with that is a piece bizarre—and I’d guess that it’ll be overhauled within the near future. You can software the unit to locate faces (by scanning them together with your smartphone) so that if, say, you need to be alerted. At the same time, the youngsters get home from faculty; the machine can inform you not handiest that it detected movement, but additionally who did the transferring. The catch: You must pick out a two-hour window inside the day while that is operational. And all of that is moot as the system didn’t efficiently discover my face once at some point of my testing, or even configuring the characteristic—which handiest shops look overall—is very bulky.
Honeywell stores its movies in the cloud, but most effectively, the maximum current 24 hours’ worth of clips (up to 50) are to be had. If you want more excellent, you could pay $five according to the month or $50 in step with the year to get entry to the entire current 30 days’ worth of clips (as much as 1500 clips total) or $15 per month/$150 consistent with yr for 60 days/3000 clips. In my trying out, even as the carrier changed into once in a while fast, those may be agonizingly slow to load, as can getting the stay feed from the digicam (which is usually available on demand). These vagaries may also correlate to outages in Honeywell’s cloud provider—as I turned into regularly notified through popup when launching the app—and can be a part of the growing pains concerned with a modern-day carrier.