IoT Reviews

Philips Hue Motion Sensor Review

Philips Hue Motion Sensor Review

You can control your connected lighting by app, from your smartwatch, by voice, and even by a good old-fashioned button, but Philips' latest addition to Hue only cares when you're around. The Hue Motion Sensor takes a hands-off approach to smart lighting, triggering scenes across any of Philips' bulbs, lamps, or luminaires when you walk past, either for convenience, security, or both.

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Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Gen) Review: Alexa goes everywhere

Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Gen) Review: Alexa goes everywhere

Amazon may have all-but stumbled onto its hit Echo speaker and the smart Alexa assistant that powers it, but the new $49.99 Echo Dot proves the retailer has no intention of letting that momentum slip. Resembling a hockey puck rather than the column of its sibling Echo, the smaller, cheaper Echo Dot actually has two goals: be the new entry-level device for those just getting started with Alexa, as well as making it affordable for existing users to spread her skills around the home.

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bObsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum review

bObsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum review

I've been cohabiting with a robot slave, and though bObsweep claims its eponymous PetHair Plus vacuum doesn't mind hard labor, I wasn't convinced it would necessarily be the key to domestic bliss. My experiences with robot cleaners have led me to conclude that they have just as much of an appetite for stray cables and rugs as they do dust and dirt, but with one messy, frequently-shedding kitty in the house and a natural disinclination to vacuum myself, it seemed worth a try.

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Nest Cam Outdoor Review

Nest Cam Outdoor Review

Streaming security cameras are probably the most popular gadget in the connected home, and Nest the best known today. After a fairly slow start after its Dropcam acquisition in 2014, Nest finally has an outdoor model, the unimaginatively titled Nest Cam Outdoor. Like the Nest Cam - designed for indoor use - it's $199.99, though for the full range of features you'll need to cough up a monthly or annual subscription.

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Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link Review: Cleaned air, emptied wallet

Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link Review: Cleaned air, emptied wallet

Dyson is known for its distinctive home appliances, and yet nothing quite looks as strange as its "bladeless" fans, like the latest Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Link. $599.99 gets you the pinnacle of the British engineering firm's HVAC technology, a fan which can not only manage the temperature in your home but promises to make the air cleaner too, complete with app integration.

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Logitech Pop Review: A smarter button for the IoT

Logitech Pop Review: A smarter button for the IoT

It's an awkward fact of life: the smart home, and the Internet of Things in general, is meant to make life more streamlined but can often just leave us poking at our phones more frequently. Want to turn the lights on? There's an app for that. Want to play your favorite new album? There's an app for that too. Sometimes you yearn for the halcyon days of a switch, and that's just what Logitech is offering with Pop, a programable shortcut button.

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Ring Stick Up Cam Review: Solar-powered security

Ring Stick Up Cam Review: Solar-powered security

There’s a tricky balance to be struck when you’re designing an outdoor security camera: do you go with the convenience of battery power, or the performance of wired? Ring’s Stick Up Cam attempts to straddle the two, offering the flexibility of a built-in rechargeable battery with the option of an add-on solar panel for truly off-the-grid use - well, just as long as your WiFi is within range. Question is, has quality taken a back-seat in the hunt for easy installation?

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Switchmate Review – The easiest IoT light upgrade ever

Switchmate Review – The easiest IoT light upgrade ever

If embracing the smart home has a common first step, it's often remotely-controlled lights, but that can be an expensive, time-consuming, or technical upgrade. Wireless bulbs switch out for their dumb cousins, but equipping every lamp can get expensive; swapping dumb wall switches for wireless versions looks clean but requires screwdrivers and dealing with mains electricity, not to mention potentially incurring landlord wrath. Step forward Switchmate, then, with an alternative that's up and running in mere minutes.

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Amazon Tap Review – Alexa’s not listening

Amazon Tap Review – Alexa’s not listening

Amazon landed with a splash in the smart home space, the Echo smart speaker opening our eyes to the potential of voice control, and Alexa hasn't stopped accelerating since. Now Echo has a baby sibling, Amazon Tap, a Bluetooth speaker that allows you to take Alexa on the move with you. At $129.99 it's fifty bucks cheaper than Echo, not to mention untethered from an outlet, though there have been some compromises made along the way.

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August Smart Keypad Review

August Smart Keypad Review

The smartphone may be the remote control for your smart home, but there are times when a simple button makes a lot of sense. August's Smart Keypad has eleven of them, a $79 add-on to the company's Smart Lock that allows you to unlock the door with a PIN code as well as grant access to visitors who might not have an iPhone or Android device.

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August Doorbell Cam Review

August Doorbell Cam Review

Home security is one of the cornerstones of the Internet of Things, and seeing who is at the door - and then optionally letting them in - is a growing market. August is following up its popular Smart Lock with the August Doorbell Cam, a handsome WiFi-connected streaming video camera which gives you a sneaky eye on the front door frame. At $199, though, before you've even bought the Smart Lock, it's not a cheap upgrade for your home security, but does the convenience make it worth it?

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Sentri All-In-One Home Monitor Review

Sentri All-In-One Home Monitor Review

Smart home security is a growing business, and some of the most interesting ideas are coming from start-ups. Sentri is one such example, raising almost $400k after wooing crowdfunding fans with its vision of a touchscreen-based streaming video and home monitoring system. The $299 result aims to be a hub in your home, not just a silent eye on the front door.

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