Honeywell essential guide: Everything you need to know

The legacy home brand is now smart

Honeywell essential guide
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Nest and Ecobee might be bigger names in the world of smart thermostats, but it would be unwise to completely write off Honeywell - especially in the US.

Honeywell got its start making thermostats for coal furnaces way back in 1906. It has over a hundred years of experience in the world of homes, and it's now venturing into the future of smart home.

Read this: Getting started with Nest: Your missing manual

In fact, Honeywell believes so much in the future of the smart home that it spun off its home business into a new company called Resideo (that's the word you get when you smash residence and presideo together).

Resideo will specialize in home products, with a focus on smart home, but it'll also utilize the longstanding Honeywell brand to do it. So, if you're keeping track: Honeywell spun off a company called Resideo that will make products under the name Honeywell, which it licenses from the company that just spun it off.

But that's only a brief glimpse at the background of the Honeywell smart home. Let's dive a little deeper.

Honeywell missing manual: Everything you need to know

Honeywell: The compatible services

One of the good things about Honeywell is that its devices work with a wide range of services. To help with that, it launched Works with Honeywell. Similar to Works with Nest, Works with Honeywell is a quick and easy way for you to see whether your Honeywell product works with a range of hubs and services.

The big three - Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit - are all represented here. It's important to note that Honeywell's smart thermostats feature the most smart home support, while its newer smart home devices, like its security system, still have a way to go.

It's also much easier to name what smart home services and hubs don't work with Honeywell. Like hey, Nest is not a compatible system here, probably because Nest and Honeywell are direct competitors.

If you use any of the following hubs or services, you'll be good to go. Just note that the majority of these work with the thermostats, only some of them work with the security systems.

Here we go: Amazon Dash (for air filters), Cortana, SmartThings, IFTTT, Yeti, Yonomi, Logitech Harmony, Panasonic Smart Home, Zonoff, Wink, Stringify, Iris by Lowes, MyKnock, Compass, Home8, EnergyHub, SimpleControl, UniKey, Encycle, Lutron, ClareControls, HomeBeaver, Lunera, Viaroom, Stratis, TiO Home, and Elan. Phew.

Honeywell missing manual: Everything you need to know

Honeywell: Beyond thermostats

Sure, Honeywell has been making thermostats for a long, long time, but it has plans beyond that. It's looking to expand into other parts of the home, and security is the big one.

Honeywell has a number of smart cameras available, but its most ambitious project is definitely its smart security station. It debuted the system back at CES, and then promptly put it on Indiegogo to raise some funds. A curious move indeed, but the crowdfunding was a success and that security system is now available to buy.

What's clear is that Honeywell is chasing opponents like Nest to establish itself as a recognized smart home name.

Honeywell: The devices

Like Ecobee, Honeywell is a thermostat company that's expanding into other areas. Smart thermostats are still its bread and butter, but the other devices are no afterthought.

Honeywell missing manual: Everything you need to know

Round Smart Thermostat

$249 Amazon

The Round is the flagship of the Honeywell lineup. It's definitely the best-looking thermostat it has, with a sleek circular look with easy-to-read touchscreen displays. It'll also light up when you walk past it.

It also uses the outside temperature and your smartphone's location to determine what the perfect temperature inside your home should be. You'll even get notifications when the humidity changes and if the weather is too low or too high.

The best part though is that it's compatible with HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings and more.

Honeywell essential guide: Everything you need to know

T Series Thermostat

From $169 Amazon

Honeywell's more affordable line of thermostats is also a little more traditional. Yes, they're smart and Wi-Fi-connected, but they're not as fancy as the Round. The biggest smart feature here is geofencing, which tells your thermostat when you're home and when you're away, letting it automatically control the temperature in your home.

The latest in the series are the T9 and T10 Pro thermostats, which have the option of adding wireless room sensors that allow the thermostat to read the climate of individual rooms, not just the hallway where it's planted.

There are also notifications that let you know when conditions in your home have changed, scheduling so you don't have to worry about a thing and the ability to learn your habits and automatically turn on and off. As for the T10 Pro requires professional installation, so you'll need to get a quote for that one. Both the T9 and T10 Pro are also compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit.

Honeywell essential guide: Everything you need to know

Honeywell Evohome

£215 Amazon

Depending on whether you live in the US or UK, the range of Honeywell devices available to you will vary. But whereas the Brits don't get the T9, they do get the Evohome, a smart multi-zone thermostat and heating system. The Evohome is far less attractive than the above thermostats, but does the job of saving money - and integrates with Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT and smart buttons like Flic.

Read this: Honeywell Evohome review

As part of the Evohome system, you'll need to install (or better, have a professional install) the thermostatic radiator valves, which let you set specific target temperatures for each individual zone. In our testing we found we missed the superior smarts of Nest and Ecobee, although some of these gaps can be filled with smart assistants and IFTTT.

Honeywell missing manual: Everything you need to know

Honeywell C1 and C2 Smart Cameras

From $119.99 Amazon

Honeywell has two indoor security cameras that work with Alexa and integrate with its smart home security system - the Lyric C1 and Lyric C2. For the most part, they carry the same features.

They both have adjustable alert zones (two on the C1 and four on the C2), they both have free cloud storage for the past 24 hours, they both have live look-in video via the smartphone app, they both have geofencing, and they both have intelligent sound detection.

Read this: Honeywell Lyric C2 review

Both will listen for carbon monoxide and smoke alarms and let you know what's going on, but the C2 will also keep an ear out for crying babies. The C2 is versatile in a few other ways too: You're getting 145-degree wide angle view rather than 135, 1080p rather than 720p, 10m night vision range rather than 5m, and ceiling mounting in addition to wall and table mounting.

The most obvious difference, however, is that they look different. The C1 looks like a rather generic smart camera, while the C2 looks like the Eye of Sauron on a hinge.

Honeywell missing manual: Everything you need to know

Honeywell Home Security System

From $349 Amazon

Honeywell's Camera Base Station is only one part of its larger security system, but it's a good one, combining an Alexa smart speaker and security camera in one device that also listens out for unexpected activity.

Like the C2, you're getting 145-degree field of view and 24 hours of free cloud storage. You can upgrade to a membership plan that gets you 30 days storage for $4.99 a month or 60 days storage for $14.99 a month.

You can buy the base station solo for $349, but the system is also expandable, and you can drive up the price of your bundle depending on how many additional sensors you need or want. The $449 bundle gets you two window/door sensors and a key fob.

TAGGED    smart home

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