If you need a DIY residence safety system with skilled monitoring, cease studying proper now. The $450 Honeywell Sensible Residence Safety Starter Equipment does not provide non-compulsory skilled monitoring or mobile backup — but. 

This US-only package as an alternative consists of a self-contained, all-in-one safety digicam/system (offered individually for $350), plus two door/window sensors and a key fob for fast arming and disarming ($450 whole for the starter package I examined). The safety digicam has 1080p HD dwell streaming, a built-in Alexa speaker, siren and Z-Wave hub, 24-hour free video clip storage and facial recognition, amongst different primary options. 

The factor is, for such a seemingly easy system, the Honeywell Sensible Residence Safety Starter Equipment is extremely costly — and never particularly simple to make use of. Its facial recognition was hit and miss (and, oddly, solely obtainable for a two-hour window every day), and the Alexa talent was unable to deal with primary capabilities like calling and music streaming. 

Honeywell has promised some software program updates post-launch to handle a few of these points, however that is by no means very reassuring for somebody making a purchase order proper now. This scalable Honeywell system is just too costly, too complicated to make use of and too restricted in its options to be value contemplating right this moment, even if you need a safety digicam entrance and heart in your residence monitoring wants. When and if Honeywell addresses a few of this method’s shortcomings, a revisit to this overview is likely to be warranted.

Get to know Honeywell’s Sensible Residence Safety Starter Equipment

Earlier than we dive into a number of the particular options of this Honeywell safety system, let’s check out the way it compares to DIY kits from Ring, Nest and Abode.

Evaluating sensible residence safety methods

Honeywell Sensible Residence Safety Starter Equipment

Ring Alarm Safety Equipment

Nest Safe Alarm System

Abode Necessities Starter Equipment

Hardware price





Required month-to-month charges

None; free 24-hour video clip storage and non-compulsory 30-day video clip storage for $5 per thirty days




Skilled monitoring


Elective; $10 per thirty days

Elective; $29 per thirty days

Elective; $30 per thirty days

Mobile backup


Included with skilled monitoring

Included with skilled monitoring; $5 per thirty days as a standalone characteristic

Included with skilled monitoring; $10 per thirty days as a standalone characteristic

Energy outage backup





Digital camera

Sure, included with the starter package

Not included on this package, however obtainable individually

Not included on this package, however obtainable individually

Not included on this package, however obtainable individually

Sensible residence companions

Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant


Google Assistant, Nest

Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Nest

Immediately, you will discover that the Honeywell system is the most costly of the bunch. Nest’s Safe system used to price $499, however the Google-owned model dropped the worth to $399 to be extra aggressive. 

The obvious cause the Honeywell package prices extra is its digicam, which acts because the hub of the system (and is itself a Z-Wave hub) — Honeywell calls it the “Base Station.” You should purchase the Base Station as a standalone machine for $350 — or spend the extra $100 for the starter package (including in two door/window sensors and one key fob). Both manner, you need to purchase this digicam. Not one of the different starter kits we have examined have included a digicam as a required piece of hardware.

Honeywell’s Base Station is a 1080p HD live-streaming indoor plug-in Wi-Fi digicam. It has the entire primary capabilities you’d count on, resembling evening imaginative and prescient, movement detection and alerts (you’ll be able to customise the alerts if you wish to obtain push notifications, however no emails — or vice versa). However the digicam additionally presents movement detection zones, facial recognition, a built-in Alexa speaker, and integration with Google Assistant, in addition to Honeywell Voice, Honeywell’s personal voice AI that responds to the wake phrase, “OK, Safety.”

In contrast to practically each DIY residence safety system we have reviewed, Honeywell’s Sensible Residence Safety Starter Equipment does not presently provide non-compulsory skilled monitoring or mobile backup.

‘Superior’ options

Facial recognition is simply obtainable on choose cameras, and Honeywell presents it at no cost. Free is all the time welcome, however the digicam wasn’t capable of persistently determine faces throughout my testing. It additionally has a surprisingly glitchy setup course of and odd limitations on its use. 

Whether or not you employ the safety system at no cost — or pay $5 a month for prolonged video clip storage — you presently get only a two-hour window of entry to the facial recognition characteristic daily. The $60 Have a tendency Safe Lynx digicam presents 24-7 facial recognition at no cost, whereas Nest prices a month-to-month payment for entry to its “acquainted face alerts” facial recognition characteristic. 

On condition that, I suppose it is good that Honeywell presents free facial recognition in any respect, however this two-hour window factor does not add any vital worth. 

As well as, it’s also possible to solely add two faces max to your facial recognition “database.” Honeywell steered one use case is likely to be confirming that your youngsters have gotten residence safely from faculty. The digicam would search for them solely between the hours of three and 5 p.m., after which change again to not detecting faces for the remainder of the day. 

Not solely is that odd, it did not work nicely. The app clearly instructs you the best way to scan your face into the database by taking a collection of images along with your head turned to the left, to the appropriate and so forth. But it surely took me and my colleague a number of makes an attempt for the Honeywell app to “settle for” our pictures. We stored getting error messages that stated we needed to retake one or a number of of them. 

On prime of that, the digicam solely managed to determine me as soon as throughout my two-hour testing window (and I used to be standing extraordinarily near the digicam, staring straight at it). I walked by it dozens of occasions, and so did my colleague, Chris, who was additionally within the database.


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