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Posts Tagged ‘Smart Home Reviews’

Cielo Breez review: Smartening up your air conditioner, the easy way

Sunday, June 17th, 2018

Depending on where you live, most houses could be built with central heating and thermostats in mind or not. Even in houses that have a fully ducted system, getting a small expansion done like a bigger garage, an additional room, or a guest house could require you start looking at other options for heating and cooling. Ductless systems, whether they're split air conditioner units, window ACs, portable or floor standing units, or heat pumps, are the go-to solution then.

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Cielo Breez review: Smartening up your air conditioner, the easy way was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor review: A must-have for Nest fans but too expensive for everyone else

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

Nest started by making thermostats, but following a Google acquisition and some reshuffling, it makes plenty of other smart home products. Having devoured Dropcam, Nest is one of the leaders in home security cameras with products like the Nest Cam and smarter Cam IQ. It had a "regular" outdoor camera previously, but now you can get an outdoor version of the IQ. The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor packs a 4K image sensor, a wide field-of-view, facial recognition, and incredibly sharp video.

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Nest Cam IQ Outdoor review: A must-have for Nest fans but too expensive for everyone else was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

SwitchBot review: Simple automation for any switch or button in your home

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

Getting into home automation can be very daunting. Different protocols, different compatibilities, and different requirements for every product don't make things easy. Add into the mix the price tag of changing an existing product into a smart one, or the electrical requirements and installation processes of not-so-standard items like smart switches, and you have all the ingredients for deterring people from venturing into this whole ordeal. But what if there was a product that didn't cost much, didn't have any weird requirements, was super easy to install and use, and could retrofit any existing thing to make it smarter?

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SwitchBot review: Simple automation for any switch or button in your home was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Logitech Circle 2 wired camera review: A feature-packed premium camera

Monday, March 26th, 2018

Logitech has been making webcams for many years, and a while back it turned its attention to the burgeoning home security market with the Logitech Circle camera. I thought that device was a surprisingly good value that competed well with established players like Netgear and Nest. There's a second generation camera now, and it improves on that first camera in almost every way. If you don't mind a few minor foibles, this could be the right camera to keep an eye on your humble abode.

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Logitech Circle 2 wired camera review: A feature-packed premium camera was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

JBL Link smart speakers review: Offering several great alternatives to the Google Home

Saturday, February 17th, 2018

After the Google Home was announced, it was only a matter of time before Google, like Amazon, made it possible for other brands to create their own Assistant-enabled speakers. We've already reviewed the TicHome Mini, a small portable alternative to the Home Mini, and today we're taking a look at JBL's line-up of Google Homesque speakers: the Link series. In this review, I will focus on the portable IPX7-rated cylindrical Link 20 and the larger stationary Link 300.

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JBL Link smart speakers review: Offering several great alternatives to the Google Home was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Amazon Cloud Cam review: A good value, but missing some features

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

Amazon offers various cloud services to consumers as well as businesses. In fact, some makers of home security cameras use Amazon's web services to store video. It only makes sense for Amazon to get into this market as it increasingly pushes home automation with Alexa. The Cloud Cam is a 1080p indoor security camera with a competitive price point of $120 when it's not on sale. This camera has a lot going for it, but it's clear Amazon is still just getting started with home security—the Cloud Cam is missing just enough that other cameras might be better options, even if they're more expensive.

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Amazon Cloud Cam review: A good value, but missing some features was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Anker Roav Viva review: It’s a car charger with Alexa

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

Many things come to mind when I think of smart home accessories: speakers, locks, displays, TVs, or maybe wall plugs. The list continues to grow each day it seems, but here comes Anker with a car charger that, while itself not unique for the company, features Alexa as a defining feature. Don't want to fork over the money to get Assistant in your car? Here's the next best thing... kinda.

I will admit, when I first heard of this, I was dubious if not outright skeptical.

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Anker Roav Viva review: It's a car charger with Alexa was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

S?LIS SO-3000 and SO-6000 review: Both great Chromecast speakers, but one is a questionable bargain

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

SōLIS is, in the grand scheme of things, a company new to the audio business. Centering around its oddly stylized name and its slogan "Leave no note unheard," SōLIS focuses on building hi-res audio products that do not necessarily break the bank. For some of us, that line sounds a bit familiar. The recent line of speakers, including these two, is aimed at wireless streaming aficionados. This market is currently dominated by Sonos and for good reason, but I like to see new players enter the field to test their hand.

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S?LIS SO-3000 and SO-6000 review: Both great Chromecast speakers, but one is a questionable bargain was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Belkin WeMo switches review: A good idea held back by connectivity and software issues

Saturday, January 6th, 2018

With a couple of months of use behind me, my feelings about the Belkin WeMo switches are just as conflicted now as they were when I unpacked these. On paper, the idea of a switch that you can plug anything in to make it smart is fantastic. In reality, I struggled to find many, if any honestly, devices I wanted to use the WeMo with. But that's not even the meat of my issue with WeMo's switches.

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Belkin WeMo switches review: A good idea held back by connectivity and software issues was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Google Home Max review: The best (and most expensive) smart speaker

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

The chances are almost 100% that everyone reading this has some way to access the Google Assistant. You might even have more than one Assistant device now that most phone released in the last few years have support and Google is handing out Home Minis like they're going to expire. The original Google Home has a respectable speaker for the size, and many people use it to listen to music. Yet, for anyone who's serious about their tunes, the Home and Home Mini just don't cut it.

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Google Home Max review: The best (and most expensive) smart speaker was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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