SwannOne Smart Home Control Kit - Software, Usability & Verdict

Sections

SwannOne Smart Home Control Kit – Software and Usability

The delays to setting up the system would all be forgivable if it had worked properly following that arduous pairing process. Sadly, this wasn’t the case.

The

SwannOne system is controlled using a web app that works on mobile and

desktop systems. I reviewed it on Windows and Android. At first glance, it appears to be one of the better-looking smart-home control systems on the

market.

The app has an intuitive menu system that offers shortcut

icons to commonly used features, such as settings, rules and home view.

Above them are icons to set the system to one of three monitoring

levels. The At Home feature is the lightest, and out-of-the-box turns

off most of the system’s monitoring features. The Night mode

turns on the window and door monitors, while the Away option activates

everything.

This sounds great, except most of the icons don’t

work. Over half the icons I clicked on brought up “upgrade your account

to use this feature” messages.
Swannone
For example, going into the Home

Monitoring section – which activates the remote camera view – allowed you to simply watch what’s going on and record a piddly 100MB of

incident data. If you want to take advantage of the album view and

remotely pull up footage of incidents, you’ll have to pay more for cloud

storage – a privilege that will see you forking out an extra £18.99 per month.

Footage can be stored locally by attaching a hard drive to the Smart Hub.

However, it’s usefulness is questionable since you can’t remotely pull or

save footage captured on the hard drive. This means a thief simply needs to bundle in the Smart Hub with the rest of the goodies he’s making an escape with to render the footage useless.

The same is true for the camera’s smart sound-detection features, which otherwise would be a key selling point for the

system. On paper, the SwannOne is capable of detecting different types of sounds, such as

glass cracking, gunshots, “aggression”, car alarms and babies crying. As a result, the system should push

alert notifications to you only when sounds, or movements, you’ve set as

“dangerous” are detected.

However, in order to take advantage of anything but the basic glass-breaking

feature you’ll have to shell out an extra £7.50 per month.  

The

system’s habit of throwing up false-positive alerts makes the absence of the sound-detection feature out-of-the-box particularly annoying. With the

system in my lounge fully armed, the camera regularly tirggered unnecessary alerts for instances as minor as changes in the room’s

lighting.
Swannone
Even so, if it were possible to easily check the alerts remotely then I’d have coped, but again the SwannOne falls down. The app is

one of the slowest I’ve ever experienced. On both 4G and strong Wi-Fi

signals, I was waiting minutes to connect to the camera to check

what was going on. Even when connected, the camera feed regularly

dropped out and was laggy.

This is disappointing, especially given that from a

hardware perspective the SwannOne kit isn’t terrible. It’s middle-of-the-road, sitting above Panasonic but below top-end contenders such as Nest. The camera, offers a maximum resolution of 720p HD recording and a reasonably wide 76-degree viewing angle, which was more

than enough to cover my mid-sized lounge.

Picture quality was decent, and I didn’t notice any pixellation or colour disparities on

captured footage. The camera’s Night mode is also solid. Faces captured

in low light were still suitably sharp and clearly recognisable, which

is more than I can say for many smart-home cameras.Swannone

Should I buy the SwannOne Smart Home Control Kit?

No, absolutely not. It sounds like a comprehensive system and comes with lots of gear, but it’s unreliable and the features you actually want are locked behind expensive paywalls.

The likes of the Nest Cam and Y-cam HomeMonitor HD

offer significantly more robust and reliable remote-monitoring services with some monthly outlay. The Netatmo Welcome, meanwhile, offers smarter features at a fraction of the price with no monthly subscription.

Verdict

The SwannOne is a mediocre home-security system let down by poor software.

Score


Privacy Settings