IoT Reviews

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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Pivotal Living Smart Scale Review

Pivotal Living Smart Scale Review

Of all the times Pivotal Living could've launched its body-fat measuring Smart Scale, the gluttonous period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is probably the most painful. Still, minimal sticker shock does at least temper some of the discomfort of seeing the results of your excess writ large across your smartphone display.

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Anova Precision Cooker WiFi Review

Anova Precision Cooker WiFi Review

Anova's first consumer sous-vide was a touchscreen-topped wand both credited with helping the fashionable cooking style broach a broader market and criticized for being a little confusing. The follow-up Precision Cooker Bluetooth dialed back the display to a couple of temperature read-outs, added a literal dial for local control, and threw in short-range wireless to link with your phone. Now there's the Precision Cooker WiFi.

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D-Link 180-degree WiFi Camera Review

D-Link 180-degree WiFi Camera Review

WiFi security cameras like Nest Cam have brought home monitoring within the reach of the mainstream, but all too often come with a subscription sting. Not so for the D-Link Full HD Ultra-Wide View WiFi Camera (DCS-2630L), which eschews the cloud in favor of a one-off price of $199.99 and the convenience of a microSD card. It also promises to fill that storage with a lot more of your home or office, courtesy of a full 180-degree lens.

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Nest Thermostat 3rd-gen Review (2015)

Nest Thermostat 3rd-gen Review (2015)

Nest created the smart thermostat market, and now it's under attack. Turns out the appeal of home temperature control without requiring programming more complex than a graduate degree, and more flexible than "on" or "off", is enough to lure in not only customers but competitors. After granular improvements since the 2011 launch, Nest's third-generation hardware bumps up the most eye-catching aspect of the thermostat: the display.

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Breville Grind Control Review – Smarter Coffee

Breville Grind Control Review – Smarter Coffee

Coffee is a serious matter, and a lot of what you get in the cup is about timing. Breville's Grind Control brewer may not have the steaming bells and whistles of an espresso machine, but it proves that drip coffee needn't be dull - or anything other than delicious. It's also the first full-sized brewer I've seen that's just as happy preparing coffee for one cup as it is for twelve.

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