Smart Home Product Reviews & Smart Home Product Comparisons
Smart home enthusiast. Travel junkie. Baseball fan. When he’s not writing about smart home automation, Joseph enjoys playing with statistics in excel spreadsheets — boring for most, fun for him. Note: He did not write this bio.
While August might not have the huge lineup of products that some of their competitors bring to the table, there’s some truth to the saying that quality is more important than quantity — and quality is an area where the brand excels. With the release of each successive generation, August has introduced new features, better performance, and smarter control to their products.
If you’re looking to save time cleaning with a convenient and intelligent solution, there’s no doubt about it: Roombas are absolutely worth the cost.
Since the Roomba first came on the market, there have been a huge number of models at varying price points — ensuring that pretty much any homeowner should be able to add a smart vacuum into their home.
Say goodbye to spending hours sucking up the dust and debris in your home, and allow your little robot friend to take care of the tidying with scheduled cleanings while you’re away at work. Whether you’re in the market for an entry level model that still manages a thorough cleaning, or a top-of-the-line device with all the bells and whistles, there’s a Roomba product for you.
There’s no denying that carpet is more challenging for vacuums to work on than hard surfaces like wood or laminate. It’s important that your vacuum be able to tackle all different types of flooring, and you can rest assured that all Roomba models will perform quite well on both carpet and hardwoods.
With that said, there are some Roombas that do a better job of cleaning carpets than others. The iRobot Roomba 960 and 980 models both feature Carpet Boost mode, which will automatically ratchet up the suction when the vacuum detects carpet. With the extra power kicking in where it counts, these models will do just as well on soft surfaces like carpet as they will on more solid ground.
Take advantage of Amazon Prime Day! It begins this Monday, July 15th at 12 a.m. PST (3 a.m. EST) and lasts up to 48 hours. It’s an exclusive event to Prime subscribers. Although you can sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime just to enjoy smart home deals and more. We’ve put together some smart home deals for you to take a quick look and pick what’s best for your home.
Have you ever thought about turning your home into a James Bond-esque gadget automation setup? Imagine walking into your home on a dark winter’s evening, and by merely saying the word “lights,” suddenly, your home is lit up in an instant.
And, what if adding such features increases your home’s value and its appeal to future buyers?
Let’s explore some ways in which home automation can increase your home’s value and whether it’s a viable option for you.
When it comes to producing quality smart speakers, Sonos has been in the game for quite some time. They have produced a large line of well-respected products that provide excellent audio quality and useful smart features, and that sort of dominance has attracted the attention of other brands. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but Sonos’ competitor Denon takes that imitation to a whole new extreme.
In addition to copying the same sort of naming mechanism with the addition of their HEOS 3, HEOS 5 and HEOS 7 speakers, they also mirrored Sonos’ strategy of offering different sizes of speakers for different types of situations.
It’s clear that Sonos didn’t appreciate the “flattery”, as they’ve responded to Denon’s imitation with a lawsuit that Denon is still trying to fight. However, rather than adjusting their strategy, Denon has doubled down on their imitation by continuing to expand their product line at an impressive pace. In just two years, the brand has managed to introduce four stand-alone speakers, a soundbar/subwoofer combo, two different wireless receivers, a wireless range extender, and more. Recently, the company also revamped pretty much every single product in their lineup in order to add Bluetooth and hi-res audio support with a designation known as HS2 (make sure you’re looking for that label to find the newest models!)
Sonos, on the other hand, has taken a much more conservative approach to expansion with just one new product and the introduction of the Trueplay feature that allows you to tweak EQ settings using a smartphone mic.
Is this a situation where the imitation will surpass the original? Sonos at this point remains the top dog, but the gap continues to grow smaller and smaller.
When it comes to home security, few names are more recognizable with ADT. The company has a great reputation, and for the most part, that popularity is well deserved. The features of the system are pretty solid overall, but the brand is held back by expensive prices and varying levels of customer service at their local retail locations. While ADT monitoring is certainly a viable option for home security, it’s likely not a great pick for homeowners on a budget.
Some of the most notable features that ADT brings to the table are the mobile control and alerts through the ADT Pulse app, as well as the CellGuard wireless monitoring service that protects your home through six different monitoring services — all without a landline.
The system is held back from its full potential due to its high monthly fees and strict contract requirements. If you opt for ADT security, you’ll be looking at a 3-year commitment at a minimum, with early cancellation charging you 75% of your remaining contract.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen a large number of startups come up with their own take on smart security. Frontpoint is an exception to this rule, as a more established company than similar competitors like abode and Scout. The experience of Frontpoint shines through in their product, with smooth and effective protection and more reliable alerts.
Frontpoint does not offer the ability for standalone self-monitoring, but that’s not it’s goal. When you buy Frontpoint, you’re buying responsive protection with quick police, fire, and medical dispatch when needed.
With excellent customer service, cellular monitoring, adjustable plans and wireless equipment, Frontpoint’s versatility and flexibility are a major strong point. However, with so many security systems out there, you’ll want to take a look at Frontpoint Security reviews to make sure it’s the best fit for your home. Read on below for our take on what Frontpoint brings to the table.
Vivint is perhaps best known for products like solar panels and high-speed internet, but Vivint Home Security is a more recent entry into the alarm system industry that offers a more unique approach to keeping your home protected. Rather than opting for a traditional plan that is restrictive and with pre-determined packages, Vivint is all about user choice. Choose as many sensors, cameras or smoke detectors as you’d like and create the security system best suited for your home. Home automation is also a major priority for the brand, and you’ll be able to remotely control all the features that Vivint has to offer.
When compared to some competing brands, Vivint is pretty expensive. For homeowners looking for more basic protection, the equipment and fees may be cost-prohibitive. However, the brand remains a competitive option for those looking for a system that revolves around home automation and comprehensive protection.