PCR's guide to smarthome products - PC Retail

PCR's guide to smarthome products

We take a look at some of the best brands operating in the space
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TP-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug with Energy Monitoring HS110

TP-Link

0118 327 1135

Founded in 1996, TP-Link is a global provider of reliable networking devices and accessories, involved in all aspects of everyday life. The company is consistently ranked by analyst firm IDC as the No. 1 provider of WLAN and broadband CPE devices, supplying distribution to more than 120 countries and serving hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

With a proven heritage of stability, performance and value, TP-Link has curated a portfolio of products that meet the networking needs of all individuals. Now, as the connected lifestyle continues to evolve, the company is expanding today to exceed the demands of tomorrow.

But not only is TP-Link at the forefront of WLAN technologies across both consumer and business, the company was also one of the first to really focus on consumer-grade smart home solutions such as smart bulbs, smart plugs and cloud cameras. As a result, TP-Link has become a go-to choice for consumers looking to smarten up their homes.

Featured product: TP-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug  with Energy Monitoring HS110

Smarter Coffee 2.0

Smarter

0207 096 3210

Smarter has swiftly become one of the UK’s fastest growing connected home companies, pioneering the emerging ‘connected kitchen’ lifestyle, creating innovative products that can enhance our everyday lives. The award-winning London-based company first came to prominence in 2013, with the successful launch of the first ever Wi-Fi-enabled iKettle, going on to become a best-seller. The idea of connected kitchen products was first identified by Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Smarter CEO Christian Lane.

Smarter’s latest ground-breaking range of products including iKettle (3rd Gen), Smarter Coffee (2nd Gen) and FridgeCam, the world’s first wireless fridge camera, are at the forefront of delivering solutions that can save money, time, energy and food waste in our everyday lives. Smarter’s range are some of the most unique products that are now sold in over 3000 stores across the UK, Europe and North America with the retail partners including Curry’s, Amazon and Best Buy.

Featured product: Smarter Coffee 2.0

Phillips Hue White and colour ambience starter kit

Philips

0845 601 1283

Needing little introduction, Phillips is a household name that has been in the business of technology for over 125 years, producing everything from radios and TVs to medical equipment. Now in 2018, the brand’s consumer efforts are mostly focused on its smart home offerings, specifically its Hue subbrand.

When it launched the first Hue system in 2012, many cast off the product as a gimmick that’d fade away. However, unlike the halogen lightbulbs of old, Hue is shining brighter than ever. The system was marketed as the first ever iOS controlled lighting appliance, and has since become fully integrated with Alexa and Google Home.

Giving users full control over the lighting in their homes, Phillips Hue has won countless awards and now has a variety of different devices and peripherals for all around the house. In September, T3 gave Hue its award for Best Connected Lighting, saying that it is ‘a shining example of what all connected lights should aim for’.

Featured product: Phillips Hue White and colour ambience starter kit

Smartthings hub

Samsung SmartThings

01932 455 000

The South Korean tech giant has its fingers in many pies across tech, with its SmartThings category being one of the newest.

SmartThings actually started life as a $1.2 million-funded Kickstarter campaign to create a Smart Hub for with a simple ambition to add intelligence to everyday things in the home. The company would later be acquired in 2014 by Samsung for $200 million as the larger organisation looked to move into the internet of things space, but it still operates out of its California base.

Nowadays, SmartThings produces an array of sensors for the home, intelligent power outlets as well as the Smart Hub it kicked things off with.

Featured product: SmartThings Smart Hub

Hive Active Heating

Hive

0333 202 9627

Owned and operated by British Gas, Hive is the UK’s leading smart home provider and has seen huge amounts of growth since its launch in 2012 to over 360,000 customers.

As a part of the UK energy industry regulator Ofgem’s aim to convert 53 million homes and small businesses to smart gas and electricity meters by the end of 2020, the Hive Active Heating thermostat has now become commonplace in British homes. Users can control the temperature of their homes whether they are in the house or on the go with their smartphone, and can even set the temperature with their voices by using Amazon Echo or Google Home.

On top of the Active Heating Thermostat, Hive now has products including lightbulbs, motion sensors for windows and doors, and a smart plug.

Featured product: Hive Active Heating Thermostat

Logitech Harmony Elite

Logitech

0218 635 511

Some people might say that remotes and buttons are a bit old fashioned, but Logitech is a company that has always bucked the trend.

Founded in 1981 in Switzerland, the company has distribution in more than 100 countries worldwide and has grown from building mice to creating some of the most sophisticated solutions for gaming, music, home entertainment and now the home itself.

While we’re constantly being told that the future of controlling the home is through our voices, Logitech presents the combination of a remote – specifically the Logitech Harmony Elite – and a smartphone app to create universal remote that does far more than just control your TV or stereo.

Thanks to the included Harmony Home Hub, the remote can connect to a host of other Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Z-Wave, or infrared devices to control over 270,000 entertainment and smart home devices. You can even set up ‘activities’ which trigger a set of commands to create the best atmosphere for whatever you want to do, whether that’s dimming the lights and closing the curtains for a home cinema, or a routine for getting up in the morning.

Featured product: Logitech Harmony Elite

Yale Keyless Connected Smart Door Lock

Yale

0845 223 2126

Most well known as the go-to company for door, window and padlocks, Yale has quietly moved into the smart living space over the past few years to add a touch of 21st Century technology to its physical locks.

The company even made the bold decision to ditch the key altogether with its Keyless Connected Smart Door Lock that was turning heads, as well as handles when it was launched earlier this year. Compatible with most UK 60mm Backset Nightlatches, the smart lock is a breeze to install and is even easier to use with touch panel control, key card entry, key tag entry and even remote access from a smartphone.

It’s not just the locks that Yale is bringing to the home though, with smart home alarms, Wi-Fi cameras and CCTV systems all bringing industrial security all at a consumer scale and consumer price point.

Featured product: Keyless Connected Smart Door Lock

Netgear Arlo Pro

Arlo

0134 445 8200

Netgear is a brand synonymous with networking, and it is also at the forefront of smart home security technology through its Arlo brand.

Its range of top-of-the-line security cameras are easy to use and will give consumers peace of mind whenever they leave the house. The Arlo Pro is revolutionary in more ways than one, as the world’s first and only 100 per cent wire-free, weatherproof, rechargeable HD smart security camera with audio and 130° viewing angle. Arlo also gives users peace of wallet as well, with a free basic plan that gives access to motion- and audio-triggered recordings from the past 7 days.

Hacker-fearing users need not worry either, with the ability to schedule when the cameras are on and when they are off through a straightforward smartphone app. Netgear has also partnered with Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, SmartThings, Telguard, Stringify and Wink to ensure the ecosystem’s longevity and futureproof compatibility with a variety of other devices going forward.

Featured product: Arlo Pro

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