Honeywell’s Smart Home Security Starter Kit is way too expensive, complicated

    If you need a DIY home security system with professional monitoring, cease studying proper now. The $450 Honeywell Sensible House Safety Starter Equipment does not provide elective skilled monitoring or mobile backup — but. 

    This US-only package as a substitute consists of a self-contained, all-in-one safety digicam/system (offered individually for $350), plus two door/window sensors and a key fob for fast arming and disarming ($450 whole for the starter package I examined). The safety digicam has 1080p HD dwell streaming, a built-in Alexa speaker, siren and Z-Wave hub, 24-hour free video clip storage and facial recognition, amongst different primary options. 

    The factor is, for such a seemingly easy system, the Honeywell Sensible House Safety Starter Equipment is extremely costly — and never particularly simple to make use of. Its facial recognition was hit and miss (and, oddly, solely out there for a two-hour window every day), and the Alexa ability was unable to deal with primary features like calling and music streaming. 

    Honeywell has promised some software program updates post-launch to deal with a few of these points, however that is by no means very reassuring for somebody making a purchase order proper now. This scalable Honeywell system is just too costly, too complicated to make use of and too restricted in its options to be value contemplating in the present day, even if you’d like a safety digicam entrance and heart in your residence monitoring wants. When and if Honeywell addresses a few of this technique’s shortcomings, a revisit to this evaluation may be warranted.

    Get to know Honeywell’s Sensible House Safety Starter Equipment

    Earlier than we dive into among the particular options of this Honeywell security system, let’s check out the way it compares to DIY kits from Ring, Nest and Abode.

    Evaluating sensible residence safety methods

    Honeywell Sensible House Safety Starter Equipment Ring Alarm Safety Equipment Nest Safe Alarm System Abode Necessities Starter Equipment
    price $450 $199 $399 $229
    Required month-to-month charges None; free 24-hour video clip storage and elective 30-day video clip storage for $5 monthly None None None
    Skilled monitoring No Optionally available; $10 monthly Optionally available; $29 monthly Optionally available; $30 monthly
    Mobile backup No Included with skilled monitoring Included with skilled monitoring; $5 monthly as a standalone function Included with skilled monitoring; $10 monthly as a standalone function
    Energy outage backup Sure Sure Sure Sure
    Digicam Sure, included with the starter package Not included on this package, however out there individually Not included on this package, however out there individually Not included on this package, however out there individually
    Sensible residence companions Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant None Google Assistant, Nest Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Nest

    Immediately, you may discover that the Honeywell system is the most costly of the bunch. Nest’s Safe system used to price $499, however the Google-owned brand dropped the worth to $399 to be extra aggressive. 

    The obvious purpose the Honeywell package prices extra is its digicam, which acts because the hub of the system (and is itself a Z-Wave hub) — Honeywell calls it the “Base Station.” You should purchase the Base Station as a standalone gadget for $350 — or spend the extra $100 for the starter package (including in two door/window sensors and one key fob). Both method, you need to purchase this digicam. Not one of the different starter kits we have examined have included a digicam as a required piece of .

    Honeywell’s Base Station is a 1080p HD live-streaming indoor plug-in Wi-Fi digicam. It has the entire primary features you’d count on, reminiscent of evening imaginative and prescient, movement detection and alerts (you may customise the alerts if you wish to obtain push notifications, however no emails — or vice versa). However the digicam additionally presents movement detection zones, facial recognition, a built-in Alexa speaker, and integration with Google Assistant, in addition to Honeywell Voice, Honeywell’s personal voice AI that responds to the wake phrase, “OK, Safety.”

    Not like practically each DIY residence safety system we have reviewed, Honeywell’s Sensible House Safety Starter Equipment does not presently provide elective skilled monitoring or mobile backup.

    ‘Superior’ options

    Facial recognition is just out there on choose cameras, and Honeywell presents it without cost. Free is at all times welcome, however the digicam wasn’t capable of persistently determine faces throughout my testing. It additionally has a unusually glitchy setup course of and odd limitations on its use. 

    Whether or not you utilize the safety system without cost — or pay $5 a month for prolonged video clip storage — you presently get only a two-hour window of entry to the facial recognition function day by day. The $60 Tend Secure Lynx camera presents 24-7 facial recognition without cost, whereas Nest fees a month-to-month charge for entry to its “acquainted face alerts” facial recognition function. 

    Provided that, I suppose it is good that Honeywell presents free facial recognition in any respect, however this two-hour window factor does not add any important worth. 

    As well as, you can even solely add two faces max to your facial recognition “database.” Honeywell prompt one use case may be confirming that your youngsters have gotten residence safely from college. The digicam would search for them solely between the hours of three and 5 p.m., after which change again to not detecting faces for the remainder of the day. 

    Not solely is that odd, it did not work effectively. The app clearly instructs you learn how to scan your face into the database by taking a sequence of images along with your head turned to the left, to the appropriate and so forth. But it surely took me and my colleague a number of makes an attempt for the Honeywell app to “settle for” our photographs. We saved getting error messages that mentioned we needed to retake one or a number of of them. 

    On prime of that, the digicam solely managed to determine me as soon as throughout my two-hour testing window (and I used to be standing extraordinarily near the digicam, staring straight at it). I walked by it dozens of occasions, and so did my colleague, Chris, who was additionally within the database.

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