I’ve had the opportunity over the past month of reviewing the W020i Wifi Alarm System & HD Wifi Camera made by SMANOS after stopping past their booth at CES 2016, and I can honestly say I love it.
Smanos is well known for their home security products, and the W020 Wifi Alarm and IP6 WiFi camera is a whole lot more than the same. Living in an apartment, you might not think that you need a “smart home”, mainly because a lot of smart HomeKit products require installation, which may or may not be possibly without breaking some term of your lease. Not the case with Smanos products.
The IP6 camera is a means to getting a live feed of anything that is going on in the eyesight of your camera at any given moment courtesy of the IP6 companion app available in the Google Play or App Store, and your home’s Wifi. Now, sure you could possibly pay some home security company to come in and hard wire your home to catch a burglar, but this method is not only way more simplistic, but a fraction of the cost.
Smanos gives you the ability to monitor your home, as well as even communicate to those in your home through the two way microphone, be it a pet that is jumping up on the couch, or if you have children and want to make sure they are safe with the babysitter. This came in handy when I had the cleaning service I use come to clean my apartment and they were looking for a specific key, I directed them exactly where they needed to go, so they didn’t have to go rummaging through things that had no business.
With an industrial grade SONY image sensor on top of a wide angle lens, I decided to mount the IP6 camera in the corner of the room, that’s less visible to visitors, unexpected or not. The camera itself does not run off of batteries, so it will have to be plugged in at all times, but the included cable is long enough to be fixed into the crevice of a wall and plugged into a wall outlet without worry. And trust me, the overall finished product is pretty nice looking, like something you’d see in a department store.
A bonus to the IP6 camera is that it shoots in 720p so you’ll get the best picture possible, every time. Granted, I have the highest speed internet possible on my provider, but if you’re internet is fast enough to surf the web, it’s fast enough to run the IP6 camera. One downside to the camera itself though is the absence of night vision, which I honestly wish it had. Since most burglaries happen in the evening, I would like the ability to discreetly see what’s going on in my home in dim lightning. I’m sure Smanos knows this, and possibly is working on this in an updated model of the IP6.
But the Smanos IP6 Camera would only be just a home camera without the ability to be a security system. That’s where the W020i comes into play.
The W020 is essentially what will get the unwanted visitors the hell out of your home. The Hub itself is about the the size of a Roku, which is good enough to be thrown in a bag if you ever do have to move to a new home (something you can’t do with places like ADT). The whole setup process for the W020 and the IP6 camera took me about 15 minutes, downloading, and setting up the apps included. The WiFi-enabled W020 can be controlled through a separate W020i app that emits the alarm sounds you’d expect to hear when either the included door or window sensors are tripped.
I received two sets of the sensors, but you can order more on Smanos. Now, living as high up as I do, unless you’re Spider Man, I don’t really have a reason to attach the sensors to my windows so I settled for just using it on my door.
I did have a bit of trouble with with this since my buildings doors seem to leave a slight gap between where I can put the sensor on the wall, and the door itself. This caused a bit of a disturbance to my neighbors periodically because even though nobody was attempting to enter my hallways, the Smanos super sensitive sensors actually would blurt out (and alert me that they did) when someone walked by my door. I’ve since fixed the problem by putting the door sensor a bit higher up on the door itself so it will only go off when I actually open the front door to my home.
Overall the Smanos is a simple, yet effective way of protecting your home, and the people in it. If you have small children, you can set up an IP6 camera in their rooms to easily monitor them from another room, and speak to them if need be. If you leave a pet at home during the day, this is also an awesome way to make sure if they are not in their crates, you can keep a close eye to exactly what mischief they are getting into.
If you’d like more information about both, you can head over to Smanos.com today!
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit
What I Like: the ability to communicate through the app directly to the camera; seamless setup, and installation of the camera.
What Needs Improvement: the door sensor issue with sensitivity, but can be fixed by simply putting higher on the door.