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 quite 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 that has 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 unmarried, columnar tool that manages to be moderately stylish. As such, it intently resembles a Canary Home Security System, which came out at approximately the identical time as Amazon’s Echo (and as such, could not have supported Alexa). For other smart domestic structures, all that equipment may want to imply installing 4 unique portions of the gadget. 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, that 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 hub 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 a key fob far-flung control are all that come inside the field. A standard clever home setup approach configuring every sensor, one after the other, normally through some mixture of typing in codes and pressing hidden buttons. With the Honeywell Home package, your installation your sensors and different devices abruptly. Just pull out the plastic tabs that have interaction 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 important thing fob to activate it, as directed by the app. The whole process took less than 15 mins, which include 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 a complete year.
Once installation, Honeywell’s spartan app gives you with no longer the usual two however as a substitute 3 safety modes (not along with “off”). If you’re conversant in the standard home/away rubric, this may take a little intellectual retraining, as Honeywell’s 3 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 active and, whilst 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 alarms are disabled; video recording, in the meantime, may be turned on or off as you pick out.
The hub makes 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 mode, and a flash of purple whilst it adjustments to Night.
I tested the Honeywell Home Smart Home Security Starter Kit notably, together with 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 latter gadgets are basically 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 for the hub, they’re absolutely 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 core functions of the system labored properly, 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 being disturbing, and the siren, while no longer all that loud (simply 90db), is ear-catching and excessive-pitched enough to carry through the home. Switching among modes via either the app or the important 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 important 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 unplug your router—although that gained’t forestall the siren from sounding. The hub does, but, consist 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 clever phone) so that if, say, you need to be alerted whilst 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, actually, as the system didn’t efficiently discover my face once at some point of my testing, or even configuring the characteristic—which handiest shops faces overall—is very bulky.
Honeywell stores its movies in the cloud, but most effective the maximum current 24 hours’ really worth of clips (up to 50) are to be had. If you want greater, you could pay $five according to the month or $50 in step with the year to get entry to the maximum current 30 days’ really 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.