Millions of homes now contain a smart assistant speaker of some variety and sales of IoT products continue to grow as the market matures and prices come down across the sector. With so many options available, it's hard to know what to buy, and that's where we come in — this is a selection of our favorite smart home gadgets. Whether you want to just dip your toes in the water with a cheap Google Nest Mini or dive into the deep end with smart lights, cameras, thermostats, doorbells, and so on — we’ve got you covered.
Netatmo may not be the first brand that comes to your mind when you think about smart home security, but the French company does a lot of things right. Its cameras come with no hidden fees, but offer local storage, backups to Dropbox and an FTP server, face recognition (though not super reliable), alarm detection, Google Assistant integration — perks that usually cost a lot with competitor products. However, in my review of the Welcome camera, one of the aspects I lamented most was the sluggish Android app. Two years later, it's finally received a big refresh.
Smart doorbells are hardly novel at this point, with options available from several manufacturers. Many, like those from Google's Nest and Amazon's Ring, require subscription fees to unlock their full feature set. Not so with the new offering from Netatmo, which will do everything it can do right out of the box, no fees required.
French gadget-maker Netatmo has announced that its Presence and Welcome security cameras have added support for Google Assistant. Using voice commands, users are able to control a few of the cameras' functions.
Netatmo's approach to security cameras is refreshing. In a market that's filled with companies limiting what you can do with the hardware you bought just in order to get you to sign up for a monthly subscription, Netatmo asks only that you purchase its camera. Video storage is free thanks to MicroSD card support as well as optional Dropbox and FTP uploads. Face recognition is free and gets better with time as it learns. A web app is provided so you can monitor everything from your computer, not just your phone. And privacy is respected because nothing other than a backup screenshot is sent to the Netatmo Cloud.
I've been using a Netatmo Welcome camera for the past month or so (review coming soon) and enjoying its facial recognition features, its completely free plans which save everything to an SD card and can connect to your Dropbox, and its neat little cylinder design. What I haven't liked, however, is the fact that it doesn't integrate with anything else I own. SmartThings? Nope. Google Home? Nada. Echo/Alexa? Niet. There's an IFTTT channel but that's about it. The cams are like the bastard children of Netatmo's ecosystem. Whereas the thermostat and weather station have Assistant and Alexa integrations, the cams aren't supported in either of these.