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Customer ratings & reviews
Not Ready For Prime TimePosted
I really wanted to like this thing. It started out great with easy set-up, but as time went by it slowly went down hill. The Honeywell Smart Home Security Starter Kit comes with the basics.a camera base station (that you need to plug into AC power which might limit placement of the unit for some people), two access sensors that mount to doors or windows, and a remote-control key fob (which is what you would give to someone you don't want to have control of the system via the smartphone app). A rudimentary Quick-Start Guide is the only included documentation, and is sufficient to get things up and running, but doesn't really help with questions that are bound to arise as you deal with the system on a day-by-day basis. I wish I knew if my experiences with this device were due to hardware defects in my unit, or if the problems I encountered are software based and will end up being corrected with a future update (which I believe happens automatically, as the unit did install an update during the initial setup). The base station itself is a nice looking design and your options to interact with it work pretty good for the most part. It has Amazon's Alexa integrated into it and this is our first experience with Alexa as I have been hesitant to give Amazon access to our daily lives. Besides being able to talk to Alexa, the base unit also communicates with you via a variety of chimes and colors of light that emanate from the bottom of the unit when you give it commands from the phone app. The base unit has a ring at the top that turns to cover the camera if you want to be assured of privacy and a button on the top of the unit to mute the built-in microphone. To adjust the volume from the built-in speaker, there is a "rotary" touch surface around the perimeter of the top (nothing actually moves) and as you adjust the volume, the light at the bottom increases or decreases in intensity to let you know where you are setting the volume, then the light goes out. The base station also has a built-in rechargeable battery to power the unit in the event of a power failure (although the package states that it provides only about a 30-minute reserve). If you have a power failure, you will most likely lose your Wi-Fi and thus the base station's ability to save video clips to the cloud and it's ability to warn you via your phone app of any issues. The free app for your phone (I used the iOS version) is pretty thorough with a variety of settings and features. Following the Quick-Start Guide, the app helps you to set up the accessories that come with the camera base station. The Get Help section of the app is pretty lame just like Honeywell's web site for this product. Other than the Quick-Start Guide that comes in the box, the only other documentation or resources I can find are FAQs, calling, email, live chat, and Twitter. I'm not sure if they expect any printed material to quickly be obsolete with changes that are in the pipeline for this system, or if they are just too lazy to put together a full set of instructions for this product. If you want access to stored video clips that are taken when the motion sensor is tripped, you have to have a $5 per month subscription, than can be cancelled at any time after the initial free 1-month trial period. A couple days after I received this system, we left for a five day trip. I was able to easily get the system set up before we left. During the trip we (my wife also installed the app on her phone and set up an account) both started receiving a bunch of "Motion Detected" notifications - many times, minutes apart. Looking at the "Live View" on the camera showed nothing out of the ordinary. This happened multiple days and continues to this day.only during the day however, and never at night. And only on sunny days, never on cloudy days. Of course the Quick-Start Guide is no help. There is not a FAQ on the web site about this topic, and I can find no detailed User Guide on Honeywell's web site. We have no pets to cause motion and in the camera's field of view there is nothing that moves (like a ceiling fan) or can be moved by a small breeze such as from an HVAC vent. The sun is not streaming through the window and directly into the camera lens - the window is at a 90 degree angle to the camera and the camera is a good 16 feet away from the window, thus not in any direct sunlight. And the television is not on for the camera to "see". Sometimes when I try to use the Live View to see what is happening at the house, it fails to load - we have a really solid Wi-Fi signal at home with good broadband speed and at work I'm on Wi-Fi with a fast business connection. The solution seems to be to close the app and relaunch it. If I had to do this occasionally it might be bearable, but I have to do it more than 50 percent of the time. The camera has a night vision mode and can be set to automatically toggle between regular, full-color and monochrome, night vision depending on available light. Quite often Live View will show in night mode during the day when the room is well lit. I have had it change to and from night vision during the day while I'm looking at the live feed from the camera on my phone. Since with this system you are basically "self-monitoring" your home, you depend on the technology to warn you of any intrusions and to not beat you down with false alarms. My wife and I have started referring to the base station as "Shep". as in the story of the shepherd boy who cried "wolf" too many times. The things that work well, and consistently well are the door/window sensors, the geofencing function which sets the system to "Away" mode once both my wife and myself get far enough away from the house with our phones (this distance is adjustable via the app), and using the app to set the system to Home, Away, or Night modes. Notifications work well but are annoying when the base station is sending false "Motion Detected" notices every five minutes on sunny days. I will probably get a few more access sensors and place them on the other doors to the house and garage since their functionality is pretty solid. I was planning on getting an outdoor camera and motion sensor, but will probably hold off on that to see if the flakiness of the original camera base unit improves as software updates (hopefully) get rolled out. Amazon's Alexa really provides no usefulness to me other than the entertainment value when she tries having a conversation with the radio sitting next to her during one of the radio shows my wife listens to, the Jason and Alexis show as someone quite regularly says "Alexis" and Alexa perks right up to see what is wanted of her. This system states that it can connect with other smart devices. We have a Honeywell Wi-Fi enabled thermostat that is controlled through another Honeywell smartphone app, but it does NOT work with this security system. Honeywell's "Lyric" branded thermostats are supposed to work, but our thermostat is not a Lyric device. I would suggest doing some pre-purchase homework if you have other devices that you are hoping to integrate with this system. Would I recommend the Smart Home Security system.at this time, no, as it has too many inherent flaws that really need to be addressed before this can become a truly useful device that you can rely on rather than a cute piece of buggy technology that you just play with. I will try moving the base station around the room to see if the false alarm problem can be alleviated, but looking at where I have it currently sitting, I cannot fathom how sunlight can be causing this problem. And if it's indeed caused by sunlight, the whole system has bigger problems than I think it does. Honeywell.try harder, you used to be a top notch company years ago.
No, I would not recommend this to a friend
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HONEYWELL Steppin' UpPosted
For a number of years, I have been anxious to cut the cord to eliminate the annually rising cost of my conventional security subscription service. Although Honeywell doesn't allow a full divorce from the expense of a monitoring solution, the monthly subscription is a fraction of what I currently pay. And, so far, I don't see a need to subscribe for full cloud storage; so, I subscribed for a trial period to test features available on the Honeywell basic plan ~ $14.95/mth. Depending on the status of your psyche about emails and tech related tasks, the increase in independence from an expensive monitoring service requires an increased level of interaction to establish parameters and preferences. To minimize frustration, I scheduled a block of time to integrate this new set of app management duties into my already hectic life. As happened to me, a couple of snags required calls to customer service. New tech is always a trade off when we sacrifice our privacy for convenience. So, I was pleased that when I did not want 147 degrees of 1080p HD coverage of my activities, I was able to rotate the cuff over the camera to protect my privacy and turn off the microphone. But, I found that when the base station is unplugged, the back-up battery keeps coverage running for hours, good for when there's a power outage but not good if you want to disable the base station or the very intense alarm and don't have time for a 911 tech call. And, when the battery fully discharges, your solar/wind install kicks on that power wall for the'total smart home prepper few'. LoL! Though I have 3 doors I'd like to cover, I mounted the set of 2 access sensors that come with the unit at my back and front doors to compare to my existing service. Voice recognition of humans is already afforded via Alexa and Amazon; but, looking forward to a fix so I can stream music and cell phone service. For those with animal companions, I learned a forthcoming upgrade will deliver 'audio detection analysis' to give barking dogs a pass and, I suspect, your birds, cats, komodo dragons, et al. Moreover, I learned another new upgrade will be able to segregate the audio of your smoke and radon alarm as 'not intruder'. But, for those sensitive to EMFs (electro magnetic fields), bear in mind that, to quote the manual: "the system complies with FCC radiation exposure limits set forth for an uncontrolled environment. This equipment should be installed and operated with a minimum distance of 20 cm between the radiator and your body." But, every "body", dependent on blood type genetics and your current load of environmental toxins, has variances in tolerance for EMFs. So, know your limits before adding another load, especially if you are trying to sleep near the base station. The price point is ball park with the competition; but, looking forward to the updates that will make the base station compatible with other expandables such as the Apple Home Kit and other popular potentials. With the promised downloads installed, the start-up price is worth getting off the my more expensive monthly contract, especially with included features i.e. facial recognition, geofencing, sounds and lights to deter intruders and the ability to support multiple viewers via the app from any location. To side step the expense of add-ons, I have to evaluate the compatibility of cameras I have on hand with the Honeywell platform, something I should have thought about before signing on. But, when fully integrated with the basics, the separate purchases required for 1 additional door contact and 2 windows may still be a better deal than my long term contract.
I would recommend this to a friend
Potentially most comprehensive security systemPosted
There's a lot of DIY home security on the market now but many rely on the cloud and other devices in a smart home ecosystem. The Honeywell Smart Home Security System is a good start into consolidating devices but there's still a lot of room for improvement. +Setup is simple and still relies heavily on your smartphone, in fact you need a smartphone to not only set this system up, but to also get the most out of the system. +Good motion detection, facial recognition and alerting. You will want to make sure you have facial recognition for all household members as well as setting up their phones with the Honeywell Home app. +Geofence allows the Security Hub to change settings based on proximity of your smartphone, so if you leave the house it will change to away mode once all household members have left. The downside is if you leave your phone at home, it may not turn on to away mode. +Alexa and Security voice commands work well giving you another $50 echo dot type device in the House. +Video resolution is good and not too laggy. There's still a lot of negatives and kinks that need to be ironed out. -When manually changing modes, you can't cancel or interrupt the process. You can reduce the default 60s but it's annoying you can't cancel the change and switch modes. -Expensive, the security hub is a nice unit but the key fob is too large to be useful and has the same functions as the phone app. The entry detection sensors are nothing special and competitors sell 2 for the same price. -Lights on the base are obnoxious and constantly flash green. May be able I change this but I didn't see how. -Alexa music is not enabled yet. The hub recognizes the commands but no music plays and the app says the feature will be available later. -Storing video requires a $5 per month or $50 per year subscription. Local network storage options (NAS) would be ideal. -No mounting hardware or mounting holders like Linksys Velop. Honeywell clearly recommends mounting on a shelf or table but the option to sit it on a wall fixture would be ideal. I expect Honeywell will continue to make improvements as this is clearly one of the most advanced Security Hubs with the most upgradability and functionality on the market with Alexa and Google Home enabled. It will be interesting to see if other options come out that are as good or better.
I would recommend this to a friend
Like it, but want to love it….Posted
As the review title indicates, there are a lot of good things to like about this DIY home security system, but at the price point, I want to (and need to) love it, and I'm not there yet. The cost is a lot for what is a bit of a middling security experience. Packaged components out of the box are the base station, keyfob remote, a pair of sensors and power cord. Bear in mind this is a starter kit, and after installing the two door sensors, it feels short for my small house in terms of parts. The base unit itself is a stationary 1080p camera on top of an Alexa Z-wave hub and speaker unit, including a light feature base (colors and strobing for various modes and functions) and decently loud siren functionality. Well-constructed and sleek, but with its own shortcomings (see below). The key fob has four buttons covering the basic security modes- a little large for a keychain, and too small to be a real remote, this unit lies somewhere between. The door/window sensors are well made, and were easy to apply to both a standard front door and a sliding patio door. The setup was a breeze after downloading the intuitive looking app and essentially identifying and registering all of the aforementioned pieces. Everything went as advertised, and within no more than 10 minutes, we were ready to experiment and learn the system. This is where we started to identify what felt like shortcomings for the end user. This base unit is great looking, but as a stationary camera unit, the only place that made any sense for security purposes in my house was on top of a china cabinet, where it could capture both front and rear door. I love the 140+ degree angle of view, it really does well getting the whole house front to back in, but as a cylinder-based design, this really begged for some ability to pan or move the camera. I have a much lower end camera in my basement to watch my dog when we are at work, and for less than $40, I can pan almost a full 360 in most directions. This at least could look at left-to-right action. Night vision and motion detection were pretty spot on, although I was getting more than a few random motion alerts during the day with no corresponding video capture of anything of use, indicating a false alarm. The live-streaming was a good experience, but the feed would have difficulty loading about 25% of the time. Overall ability to review 15000 video clips over 30 days for free is great. In general, we loved the capability to peek in during the day while at work, whether to check on the house or see my kids get home from school. The two way mic works good as well, good for a quick hello to a child just home from school. The sensors worked spot on every time, and although the alerts seemed cumbersome to me at first (you can customize when and what type of alerts you get. @@@@@@@ , I really started to get a sense of personal security while away when I received indication that the front door opened and closed just when I expected the kids home from school, or my wife home from work. Facial recognition was not the opportunity it should have been, and isn't close to there yet. It (mostly) recognizes my face, not so much my wife, and only allows for two profiles in total. I could set up the kids, but the odd ability to only use the facial recognition for a two hour window has me ignoring the feature completely at this point. At the price point, it should be a home run feature, not a lingering unfinished detail. Another great feature is the Geofencing ability, which creates a circular zone around your phone location to auto-enable the away mode once you get out of a certain range. This starts with a 60 second countdown (beeps) before arming that allows family members without phones (kids) to hit the fob and let the system know they are still home. My only issue with this feature is that the smallest zone is still a little too large, I can be out at the convenience store getting milk and I'm still 'home'. I also happen to own an Amazon Alexa tall speaker, and was really hoping to retire that one to another room, but the Alexa functionality in this unit is so limited (at this time, Honeywell has promised it is seeking to expand this) it really offers no real reason to get rid of the other one yet. Outside of the basic command functions that allow you to set the level of security you want, it is otherwise really basic in scope, and misses some real opportunities with SMS, music streaming, etc. Some of those to come, from what I have read, but it doesn't live up to the price point. Some real shortcomings out of the box that may have you reconsider your choices is a lack of professional monitoring as an option, or cellular backup. It is really a simple self-contained solution, but one that is really small in its offering for the asking price, and a bit of a mixed bag for what you get. To feel complete for a small house, I will need another camera for a separate level, an exterior camera and at least two more sensors for other doors to complete a 'base' package, but that would bump the costs to almost $900. There are too many vendors offering similar parts and pieces or entire packages for less that are more feature-rich, I'm not sure that the benefits exist yet with this particular system to justify the costs. Honeywell could provide some software updates that unlock some of this potential and erase some of the doubt over lack of features, or polish to the features it has, but it isn't there yet. I like it enough to use it, but I should love it at the cost required to get in the door. Not recommending at this time, but I'm hoping time and updates to the overall software allow me to revisit my first impression. It really is a great base to start from, but not at the asking cost and 'alpha test phase' feeling. Needs some maturing.
No, I would not recommend this to a friend