I love the bulbs themselves and the idea of smart lighting, when they standalone. However, the manner of practical application, in regards to smart home technology by the electronics industry, irks me a little.
Mostly I take issue with the fact that us early adopters are essentially subsidizing R&D in a smart home tech race for these companies while simultaneously providing them free marketing for their products when we show them off or talk them up to our friends, family, and neighbors.
After much analysis, review, and consideration I think the price is not justified. There must be a non-supply cost related reason for such inflated product prices. I've taken these apart, hub and bulbs; what's inside of them is not expensive and mostly cheap imports. All of this fragmented smart home tech cost a ton of money for little cross-compatibility, few customizations without third-party hard or software solutions, slow (risk-adverse, cost safe) industry development, and no guarantee of support or longevity for these products. We buy these items assuming much risk ourselves and some of these companies act as if we should be forever grateful for the most basic ROI they deliver us. But after the awe factor wears off, the moment you stop caring about impressing people by telling your Echo or Siri to change your living room lights to varying colors, you realize you're getting very little beyond promises and gimmicks in return for the high dollar-tag on much of the offerings within this tech sector.
In addition, I find that the 3rd generation Hue Bulbs most obviously offers more colors. By this, I mean blues and greens are finally ACTUALLY blue and green...to the user's eye. Whereas the 2nd gen bulb's "blue" is more akin to purple and looks like a black light at night and the 2nd gen bulb's "green" is an ugly yellow-green color.
However, by playing semantics by referring to arbitrary color spectrums not defined by true human sight/perception on the packaging of those bulbs and also by upselling a "more diverse spectrum than previous generation bulbs," I feel like I was slightly duped by Philips into buying those bulbs. I settled on them begrudgingly, knowing there are few worthy alternatives, only to find a few months later my preliminary concerns became a self-fulfilling prophecy in that I had to go buy 20 new bulbs for $49.99 each if I wanted matching colors in my rooms and in general to have the blue & green color options at all.
There are no Philips-owned or sponsored programs currently to allow for discounted upgrades for early adopters, trade-ins, or any other pragmatic solutions benefiting both the return consumer and the company in terms of continued loyalty. Again, I understand the economy and how business works. Sony isn't going to just give me a new console every time they upgrade their products, same with Apple or Samsung and it's mobile devices. Albeit, Sony and Apple also have defined releases so consumers can choose which upgrades they participate in and what features they can and cannot live without. This also helps ease the pocketbook burden of buying generational tech that is constantly evolving on an exponential curve every 1-2 years.
All in all, the bulbs are nice but companies like Philips can do better on setting their prices more fairly, offering some type of upgrade program or loyalty discounts, and increasing the product's native functionality, native customization options, as well as its industry-compatibility. Do this and you'll make even the most hypercritical buyers much more happy than your current model.