The Wyze Smart Home Starter Pack appears to be a complete kit for anyone getting started with a smart home transformation.
There aren’t too many starter kits out there, so it’s refreshing to see companies come up with different products, or at least packages to help get that first step into the world of smart homes.
I set up the Wyze Starter Pack as its own home, in order to test and review it on its own merits, as opposed to integrating it with the rest of my smart home, which is already pretty comprehensive.
I did a brief video and review of my first impressions and unboxing of this kit, which went over just a few of the nuances, so if you’re interested in those thoughts, go ahead and give that a quick view.
As I mentioned in that review, the Wyze Smart Home Starter pack comes with 3 lights, 2 smart plugs, a camera, 2 contact sensors, a motion sensor, a bridge, and a 32gb microSD Card for the camera.
Wyze Smart Home Starter Pack Setup
The setup process for Wyze devices is basically the same as it is with any other WiFi based devices.
You download the app and and create an account with Wyze.
Setting up each device wasn’t unexpected but was still tedious. Since they’re WiFi based devices they need your phone to connect to the network.
I would really like to see some sort of implementation for only one WiFi connection and then for the settings to be shared between the devices.
With 6 WiFi devices to connect, it does become a somewhat tedious process. It may only take several minutes, but any repetitive task like that isn’t particularly fun.
The process of setting up the Sense devices was a bit easier since they just connect to the Sense Bridge plugged into the back of the Wyze Cam. These involve a simple press of the setup button using the provided pin.
I mentioned in my unboxing and first impressions video / article that I wish all of the WiFi devices (bulbs / plugs / camera) also had Wyze’s proprietary Sense connection as well.
This would allow for the same amount of functionality, but would mean that you would only need the Wyze Cam to be connected to WiFi and all the rest would connect to the Sense bridge, making it so your network isn’t bogged down with tons of connections.
Wyze App Overview
The Wyze App has enough functionality to get you started, but like with any other manufacturer smart home app, it should really just be left for software updates or maybe device specific settings.
The home page of the Wyze App gives you an immediate overview of your devices and allows you to toggle their state as well.
Oddly enough you don’t have the option of creating rooms for your devices in the Wyze App. You can obviously name each device but you don’t have the ability to sort them into their own rooms.
You can create groups but only of the same devices. Meaning you can group together all your bulbs or all your plugs but not a bulb and a plug, which is really strange.
Wyze Voice Assistant Integrations
I’m sure that adds a bunch of complexity and cost so I understand why a small startup would opt to forgo that, but it would still be nice to see HomeKit compatibility down the line, which they say they are working on.
Integration with GA and Alexa is straight forward. In both situations you link your Wyze account with Alexa, or GA in their own apps, and it will then search for your devices.
Adding to Alexa was very straightforward as I have grown accustomed to, however Google Home presented some issues.
I was able to link my account no problem, but it would never add the motion sensor.
I have unlinked and relinked the account multiple times and it is never able to find all of the devices.
I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt to Wyze and assume this is a Google Home issue since it is one of the absolute worst smart home apps for iPhone so im 99% the problem lies with that app and not with Wyze. Especially also since it doesn’t appear to be a widespread problem.
Alexa was also great in terms of adding devices after linking accounts.
As soon as you add another device to your system, Alexa immediately alerted me that it found another device, and prompted me to add it to a group and complete its setup in the Alexa App.
In my opinion reliability of these devices is the most important aspect. What I mean by reliability is how quickly does the device react to commands, and how often do you get any sort of connectivity errors.
In that regard, I did not have any issues with slow or delayed responses from the devices and I never got any errors with connectivity or anything like that.
I would place these devices on par with any other top brand smart home device, such as Philips Hue, or TP-Link, in terms of having great responsiveness. Though to be fair it has only been a couple of weeks.
How good of a Starter Pack is this?
Overall the contents of this starter pack are solid. Smart lights and smart plugs seem to be the most common device people get to dip their toes into smart homes.
The Sense Kit with the motion and contact sensors is also great for integrating all sorts of automations and notifications, especially if you don’t necessarily want to use location based automations.
The Wyze Cam is certainly the unique device in this bunch, as home security cameras are often much more expensive and typically are neglected in beginner smart homes.
It’s one of those devices that you get and really hope to never have to interact with. In an ideal world you never have to worry about getting your footage or anything like that.
Of course you can easily access a live feed of your camera, and choose whether or not it starts recording based on motion, sound, or both.
You can set up continuous recording to the SD card so you can always check on what happened throughout the day.
Events can be set up to be triggered by motion, sound, or both. This will trigger a 12 second recording that will be saved to your SD Card and also to your Wyze Cloud account for two weeks.
Like I mentioned above, the Wyze App is sufficient to get things running, but I suspect that everyone will use GA, Alexa, or IFTTT exclusively to control these devices.
With the devices in the Starter Pack there’s not much missing. The only thing I would like to see included is some sort of smart button.
I’m a big proponent of keeping things simple and not removing any functionality.
As an example, if you were to put two of the smart bulbs into a lamp that was the primary light source in a room, having to pull out your phone or shout a command at Alexa would get pretty old pretty fast.
But just having a small button you can stick on the wall that would toggle the lights on or off adds simplicity and functionality into your home.
Other than that, I think the Starter Pack is a very complete set of devices to get anyone started with a Smart Home, and for many people they may not need much else to have a complete smart home.
All of this brings us to the Golden Question:
Should you buy this?
Let’s start with the price. At $99 you get a lot of smart home devices, certainly enough to feel like you’re getting your money’s worth.
As far as value for money goes, I will give them their credit there. Considering how inexpensive their devices are, they feel good and perform great as well, which is all you are really asking from these devices.
If you’re an Android user it’s easy to recommend Wyze devices, as it natively integrates with Google Assistant.
If you primarily use Alexa at home to do your smart home bidding, then it’s an easy recommendation this for you as well, since Alexa integrates perfectly with the Wyze devices.
If you’re an iPhone user, that’s where it gets a little tricky since it isn’t natively supported by Siri or the iPhone’s Home app.
If you don’t use the Home App on your phone anyways, or are ok using a third party app to control the devices, then the Wyze Smart Home Starter Pack is a good choice for you as well.
However there is an issue with the pricing. Typically packs or kits cost less than the sum of their parts, since you’re buying a larger quantity of things. This is standard for basically everything ever. But if you add up the price of everything in the Starter Pack on Wyze’s own website, you’ll see that the sum of everything is actually $93, meaning it is more expensive to buy the starter pack, than it is to just buy everything individually. For that reason alone I wouldn’t recommend the Starter Pack, but rather pick out the things you want and buy them all individually.
[UPDATE 4/11/20]: It turns out that the pricing actually works out when you account for shipping (I haven’t paid for shipping in many years so it completely slipped my mind). The $99 Wyze Starter Pack includes shipping, whereas there is a shipping fee for all other devices. In which case the devices individually added up cost around $116.
For this reason, I can happily recommend the Wyze Smart Home Starter Pack as opposed to buying each device on its own.
Buy Wyze Devices: Here (Amazon)
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