IoT Reviews

Amazon Echo Review (2017)

Amazon Echo Review (2017)

Amazon couldn't have hoped for a better response when it created the smart speaker market three years ago with the original Amazon Echo. What once seemed like a vaguely creepy gimmick - a virtual assistant housed in a slender black totem - has gone on to spawn multiple models along with numerous competitors. Now, Amazon has a new version of the Echo for 2017: smaller, and - at $99.99 - more affordable, but can it impress like the original did?

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Sonos One Review: When Alexa is the DJ

Sonos One Review: When Alexa is the DJ

Smart speakers are big business now, and with Amazon's Echo and Google's Home dominating the market, Sonos had a choice: step up or slip behind. The Sonos One shows the connected speaker stalwart chose to play the game, and not just with one virtual assistant but as many as it can. Rather than making its own AI for the Sonos One, the $199 connected speaker aims to be friends with all of them.

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Google Home Mini Review: Affordability comes at a cost

Google Home Mini Review: Affordability comes at a cost

The Google Home Mini's existence is hardly a mystery: the squat little smart speaker is Google's retort to the Amazon Echo Dot. Packaging the virtues of the Google Assistant into a smaller, cheaper form factor than the existing Google Home, it's a $49 way to add the search company's smarts - and IoT support - to another room. Question is, has some of the magic been squeezed out in the process?

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August Doorbell Cam Pro Review

August Doorbell Cam Pro Review

The smart home is flourishing right now, and connected security is probably the hottest area of them all. August's Doorbell Cam Pro arrives today to bring your front door into the 21st century, replacing your dumb doorbell with a camera and floodlight toting, WiFi connected upgrade that also plays nicely with the company's smart locks. The promise is that the rough spots of the original August Doorbell Cam have been polished away; I got out my screwdriver set to find out if that was true.

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Switchmate Bright Review: No-tool smart light upgrade needs work

Switchmate Bright Review: No-tool smart light upgrade needs work

Sometimes the smart home doesn't feel very welcoming to those of us who rent, rather than own, where they live, but Switchmate wants to change all that. After its cleverly-simple first generation Bluetooth light switch upgrade comes this, the Switchmate Bright, throwing in more flexibility as well as a streamlined update to the magnetic mounting system. At $35 the promise is instant smart lighting, but does reality live up to that?

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August Smart Lock Pro Review

August Smart Lock Pro Review

When it comes to connected locks, August is rightly one of the first names that comes to mind, and now there's a new flagship aiming for a spot on your door frame. The August Smart Lock Pro may look like its predecessor, but inside it's all-change with faster components, along with Z-Wave Plus support for pro-installation alarm systems. It'll even tell you whether you've left the door ajar. Question is, does that make it worth $279?

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Chamberlain MyQ Home Bridge review: ‘Siri, open my garage door’

Chamberlain MyQ Home Bridge review: ‘Siri, open my garage door’

If Apple has its way, your entire home will someday be Siri-enabled. Between its various hardware options like the iPhone, Apple Watch and (soon) HomePod, the underlying software that is HomeKit can make your entire home controllable via voice. For many of us, the garage is a daily use portal, which makes it ripe for disruption via Siri. The underlying question is whether or not that’s even a good idea. Instead of wondering, we decided to find out using Chamberlain’s new MyQ Home Bridge.

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Nest Cam IQ Review: Impressive face-recognition comes at a price

Nest Cam IQ Review: Impressive face-recognition comes at a price

In an increasingly competitive world of connected security cameras, Nest has turned to Alphabet-sibling Google and its facial recognition tech to make the Nest Cam IQ stand out. Not just the latest in the company's sophisticated home security camera line-up, the Nest Cam IQ represents a complete platform upgrade, with an all-new sensor, lossless zooming support, and the ability to recognize and track faces. On the downside, it also commands the highest price of a Nest camera so far, so does it deliver for $299?

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Amazon Echo Show Review: Alexa’s screen shows promise

Amazon Echo Show Review: Alexa’s screen shows promise

Amazon's Echo has grown from a voice-controlled curiosity to being a legitimate home assistant, and now, with Echo Show, it's gaining a display. The latest iteration in the smart speaker series bucks the trend of spoken interactions only, adding a touchscreen so that Alexa can show & tell. At $229.99, however, it's the most expensive version so far, and at this early stage not everything has quite got to grips with the new abilities.

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LifeSpan TR1200-DT7 Treadmill Desk Review: Because sitting is killing you

LifeSpan TR1200-DT7 Treadmill Desk Review: Because sitting is killing you

Even if you're not as lazy as I am, you probably spend a lot of your time sitting down. Desk jobs may have spawned a whole industry of ergonomic seating, but getting up off your chair altogether is the newest trend. First came standing desks, initially seen as a fad but gaining traction so that no modern office is without at least a few of them; now, treadmill desks like LifeSpan's TR1200-DT7 are looking to crank up your movement even more. I may not know whether "sitting is the new cancer", but I do know I need more exercise.

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Elgato Eve Degree Review: A simple temperature & humidity HomeKit sensor

Elgato Eve Degree Review: A simple temperature & humidity HomeKit sensor

Apple's HomeKit may have had a quiet start, but third-party accessories for an iOS smart home are gradually picking up pace. Latest to store shelves is Elgato's Eve Degree, a compact temperature, humidity, and air pressure sensor, wrapped up in a simple and handsome design, and promising to be the smart trigger your connected home has been asking for.

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Cinder Grill Review: Sous-vide’s even geekier rival

Cinder Grill Review: Sous-vide’s even geekier rival

The Cinder grill really wants you to enjoy the perfect steak, and it doesn't want you to have a headache making it. As a greedy geek with a counter crammed full of kitchen gadgets and a taste for meat, that certainly appealed, as did Cinder's promise of sous-vide style cooking without the hassle of preheating water baths and bagging up your meals. Question is, at 2-3 times the price you'd pay for an entry-level sous-vide machine, does this grill do enough to justify its existence?

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