Honeywell Smart Home Security Review

We spent three days researching and reviewing Honeywell Smart Home Security. Here's what we think.
Honeywell Smart Home Security
Honeywell Smart Home Security Starter Kit
3 out of 5 stars
3
  • Built-in Alexa voice controls
  • No professional monitoring
John Carlsen
Staff Writer, Security & Smart Home
Read More
Published on February 12, 2021

Bottom line: Not a top contender

We'll be honest, Honeywell Smart Home Security (about $170) seemed like a good DIY security system in 2018, but time was not kind. Even after a massive drop from its original $450 sticker price, it can't keep up with competitors like SimpliSafe, Abode, and Wyze—especially since it lacks professional monitoring.

Our three days researching this system were as follows: learn about a cool feature and then find out it's too expensive (paid cloud storage) or unimpressive (facial recognition). Overall, we think the system is good enough for most folks who want to self-monitor a security system, but better options are available—with and without professional monitoring.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Camera in the base station
Pro Bullet Free 24-hour cloud video storage
Pro Bullet Amazon Alexa built-in
Pro Bullet Excellent customer support
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No professional monitoring
Con Bullet Pricey paid cloud storage plans
Con Bullet Fewer accessories than rivals
Con Bullet Limited Z-Wave device support

Compare Honeywell Home Membership plans

FreeStandard MembershipPremium Membership
Monthly price
Annual price
Number of cameras$1.00$1.00Unlimited
Cloud video storage1 day30 days60 days
Number of videos50 clips1,500 clips3,000 clips
Resideo store discountNone5% off15% off

Info current as of 02/12/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

What's in the box

  • Camera Base Station
  • Door and window sensors (2)
  • Key fob remote
Honeywell Smart Home Security Starter Kit

How we reviewed

We weren't able to test Honeywell Smart Home Security in person, so we devoted our time to research as much as possible. Our primary focus was customer reviews, which helped us know what kinds of issues to look for and how practical the customer support is.

We also researched the Honeywell Home website to learn more about the product and evaluate the support resources. Ultimately, we spent about three days researching and writing our review. Check out our ranking ranking methodology for more information about how we review products and services.

Features

Base station

Honeywell Smart Home Security's most prominent aspects are the base station's built-in security camera and Amazon Alexa voice assistant. While the camera isn't a unique feature—Canary and Abode Iota offer similar features—the built-in Alexa controls offer more options.

Because the unit has Alexa, you can use it as an Echo smart speaker to play music, ask questions, and control smart home devices. Considering the device costs more than a standard Echo and doesn’t play music as clearly, this is underwhelming, but the Alexa speaker aspect is still secondary to its security functions.

Light Bulb
Light-up base

The Camera Base Station has colored lights on the bottom to show you the system's status. Green lights show that the system is active in away mode, while purple indicates night mode (which only monitors door and window sensors). Other colors and regular flashes share additional information about your system.

No professional monitoring

Honeywell Smart Home Security doesn't have a professional monitoring option to contact the police when someone triggers the system. While it used to be the norm for DIY security systems to forego professional monitoring, it's increasingly uncommon now.

Without professional monitoring, you need to stay on top of everything in your home. The system can help you know when to call for help, but the responsibility—and pressure—is yours.

Mobile app

The Honeywell Home mobile app works well enough but doesn't stand out. It includes many useful features like arming controls, geofencing, two-way audio, and facial recognition. Of these, we like the geofencing for automatically arming and disarming the system as you leave or arrive at home. Geofencing isn't as revolutionary as it was five years ago, but it seems to be the best Honeywell Home has to offer.

Honeywell's facial recognition feature is cool in concept, but it has severe limitations. It doesn't store more than two faces and tracks those faces for just two hours each day, making for an underwhelming experience. We're not even sure if facial recognition could be helpful under these conditions.

Based on user reviews in the App Store and on Google Play, the app can sometimes be unstable, with Android users offering more criticism on average. A bright spot is that Honeywell Home's parent company—Resideo—takes an active role in addressing issues that users bring up in reviews. This is something we immediately saw when we started reading through user reviews.

Camera

The camera in the Honeywell Smart Home Security sports 1080p video resolution, live video streaming, and records a 30-second video clip when it detects motion. It doesn't offer other recording modes like scheduled recording and continuous recording.

Even without other recording modes, the camera allows you to set up custom zones to help you monitor a particular door, window, or high-traffic area. Setting up a zone can reduce false alerts from pets or ceiling fans. The motion-sensing feature also has an adjustable sensitivity setting to ignore small movements like a cat grooming on the couch in favor of larger actions like an uninvited guest walking through the room.

The video quality of daytime and night vision recordings is clear enough to distinguish details, but it's average among security cameras. We like that the camera has a privacy ring around the top that you can rotate to prevent the camera from recording video. It can keep the camera from slowing down your Wi-Fi network with unnecessary recordings.

Bell
Alerts and siren

Depending on how you arm the system, the Honeywell Smart Home Security can send a push notification to your smartphone or sound a siren to deter intruders.

Cloud storage

The free cloud storage is useful, but its 24-hour video history is probably a bit too short for folks who don't want to peruse recordings once a day. If you want a more hands-off storage option, you can upgrade to a Honeywell Home Membership for significantly more storage.

Although the Standard Membership comes with 30 days of cloud storage, it covers only a single camera for $4.99 a month, which is pricey compared to single-camera plans from Arlo and Wyze that clock in at around $3 or less per month. Honeywell Home also lags behind competitors by restricting video clips to 30 seconds—even on the paid plan—instead of recording all activity from start to finish.

You can have unlimited cameras (and 60 days of storage) if you upgrade to the pricier Premium Membership for $14.99 a month, but that doesn't hold up to similar offerings like Nest Aware ($6 a month) and Ring Protect Plus ($10 a month).

Overall, Honeywell Home can't keep up with other competitors on cloud storage, which puts it at a huge disadvantage. We think a price drop or added features could close the gap, but it's not worth the extra cost for now.

Accessories in the starter kit

Although the Camera Base Station is the heart of the system, we like that you can link it to external accessories and sensors to improve your security. The starter kit comes with two such accessories—an access sensor and a key fob.

  • The access sensor attaches to doors and windows to track when they open and close—allowing an automatic alarm to trigger a siren and send alerts. The starter kit includes two access sensors.
  • The key fob is a small remote that you use to arm the system, similar to most cars' key fobs. It's handy for quickly adjusting the system settings without reaching for your phone.

Additional accessories

Depending on the size of your home and family, you can buy additional access sensors and key fobs. Compared to other security systems, these add-ons are comparable in price.

You can also expand the system with three other devices:

The Smart Home Security Outdoor MotionViewer pairs with your camera base station and allows you to place additional cameras around your home. It's a little pricey (around $200) compared to other outdoor security cameras with better recording capabilities, so you might consider something like the Ring Stick Up Cam or Arlo Essential Spotlight instead.

Smart home compatibility

The Honeywell Home app is the foundation of Honeywell's smart home platform. It controls various Honeywell smart devices, including a Wi-Fi security camera, smart thermostat, and a water leak detector.

You can also connect to a few third-party smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT (IF This Then That). Aside from arming and disarming the system, there aren't many ways to control the Honeywell Smart Home Security system with these platforms. But it's nice to bring the Honeywell devices under the umbrella of a larger smart home.

The Camera Base Station has a built-in Z-Wave radio, but it doesn't support all types of Z-Wave devices. That said, you can connect the unit to third-party light switches and smart bulbs.

This limited functionality hampers Honeywell's ability to compete with other Z-Wave-compatible hubs like Abode and Samsung SmartThings, which support hundreds of third-party Z-Wave sensors, switches, plugs, smoke detectors, and thermostats.

Installation

Installing the Honeywell Smart Home Security is a simple process thanks to step-by-step instructions in the Honeywell Home mobile app. In a nutshell, you create or sign in to a Honeywell Home account, plug in the Camera Base Station, connect it to Wi-Fi to set your preferences, and mount sensors in place before pairing to the base station.

Some printed installation documentation comes with the system, but it contains little information beyond telling you to use the app and some useful tips. Of these tips, we like the small sections on voice commands and what the different colors on the camera's LED base mean.

Customer service

If you need help with your Honeywell security system, you can reach out to Honeywell Home support through its website and Twitter account.

The support website has a great selection of Honeywell Smart Home Security articles. It can be challenging to navigate because it categorizes products like a search engine rather than putting all of the relevant items on one page.

The Twitter profile has a ton of activity, with representatives usually following up with customers within minutes. We especially liked that the representatives were knowledgeable and answered questions directly—without passing users on to the main support website by default.

Final word

On the whole, Honeywell Smart Home Security is a passable DIY security system. But its lack of professional monitoring holds it back from truly competing with brands like SimpliSafe and Ring.

We like the easy setup, strong customer service, and built-in Alexa capabilities. But the paid plans, limited facial recognition, and abysmal Z-Wave support keep it on the sidelines. Head over to our DIY security systems review to see some excellent alternatives.

FAQ

The starter kit currently costs around $170 on Amazon, and there are no monthly fees to use it. But you can expand your cloud storage by signing up for a Honeywell Home Membership.

Honeywell Smart Home Security is purely a DIY home security solution without professional monitoring. Honeywell's other security systems are the exact opposite in that they require professional installation and work with professional monitoring—making them a favorite of local security companies.

Related articles


Disclaimers

*Amazon.com list price as of 02/12/2021 at 10:37 a.m. (MT). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

†Google, Google Nest, Google Assistant, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

John Carlsen
Written by
John Carlsen
John is a technology journalist specializing in smart home devices, security cameras, and home security systems. He has over eight years of experience researching, testing, and reviewing the latest tech—he was the Smart Home Editor for Top Ten Reviews and wrote for ASecureLife before joining SafeWise as a Staff Writer in 2020. John holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications, Journalism emphasis from Utah Valley University. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, photography, cooking, and starting countless DIY projects he has yet to complete.