Honeywell recently introduced a Smart Home Security starter kit with a lot of desirable features: it’s easy to install, has Alexa built in, and comes with facial recognition technology. Honeywell is also one of the only home security brands to offer a camera as part of its basic package, not as just an add-on.
Honeywell doesn’t offer professional monitoring. You’ll have to monitor the system yourself from a smartphone app.
But Honeywell doesn’t offer professional monitoring. You’ll have to monitor the system yourself from a smartphone app. Some other self-monitored security systems—such as Nest Secure, SimpliSafe, and Abode—offer optional professional monitoring for extra security.
Plus, many users report that the facial recognition feature is glitchy and doesn’t do much, well, recognizing. That’s a limited amount of usability for a kit that is much more expensive than its competitors.
While the Honeywell security system is much pricier than its competitors, that’s likely because its homebase includes an HD 1080p camera—making it one of the few home security systems that include a camera in its lowest-tier package.
Still, you’re not getting much with the starter kit. A lot of homes will require at least a few add-ons to the starter kit, which could get expensive.
Honeywell offers two other kits—the Starter Kit with C1 Camera bundle and the Super Smart Home Security bundle—but they’re both essentially the Starter Kit with a couple of bells and whistles.
|Kit||Smart Home Security Starter Kit||Starter Kit with C1 Camera Bundle||Super Smart Home Security Bundle|
|Camera base station with Alexa|
|Two access sensors|
|Remote control key fob|
|C1 Wi-Fi security camera|
|T5 smart thermostat|
|Wi-Fi water and freeze detector|
|Learn more||View Kit||View Kit||View Kit|
Data effective 1/8/2019. Offers subject to change.
Although the camera is included in all the kits, storage for the camera footage is not. Here’s a full breakdown of the video membership plans:
- Free: 24 hours (50 clips) of storage for one camera
- Standard: 30 days (1,500 clips) of storage for one camera—$4.99/mo.
- Premium: 60 days (3,000 clips) of storage for an unlimited number of cameras—$14.99/mo.
Say you wanted to purchase a couple of Honeywell security cameras to boost your starter kit. Each security camera would cost you $99, and you’d also pay $149.99 a year to use an unlimited number of cameras in your home. It can add up pretty quickly.
Unfortunately, Honeywell’s facial recognition technology has a lot of room for improvement—it recognizes just two different faces during a two-hour window each day. But the Honeywell security system offers a couple of other features worth getting excited about.
First, there’s the optional geofencing feature. You can set it up for free through Honeywell’s mobile app, setting your address and a radius around your home.
When your phone—presumably on your person—goes beyond that threshold, the Honeywell homebase automatically switches to Away mode. When you come back home, it automatically switches back to Home mode.
It’s a convenient get for users, especially if you’re fond of the set-and-forget model.
Expand your system
If you want to add on to your home security package, Honeywell offers many useful home automation products. There are plenty of high-quality Honeywell-brand thermostats, doorbells, and water detectors to choose from.
Honeywell’s starter kit also offers what they call an Enhanced Deterrence feature.
You’ll need to purchase an outdoor MotionViewer (basically a smart motion sensor) for it to work, but essentially, you can set the base station speaker to play sounds—laughing guests, a dog barking—when it detects motion. That way, it seems like you’re home when you’re not.
The Honeywell security system is compatible with Amazon Alexa, and having a camera base station you can talk to is nifty. But it’s not the Alexa you might be used to: you won’t be able to stream music or make phone calls. Honeywell’s starter kit also offers Google Assistant integration, but it’s limited to Z-Wave lights and dimmers.
Honeywell’s base package comes with a small set of equipment to get you going:
- Camera base station
- Sensors (2)
- Remote-control key fob
Depending on the size of your home, you’ll likely want to add more sensors to cover all your windows and entryways. Beyond that, Honeywell offers a huge assortment of gadgets you can get separately to customize your system.
Honeywell recently updated both its offerings and its mobile apps, and the brand is going through some growing pains. So it’s no surprise that customers’ experience with Honeywell’s customer service has been mixed.
Honeywell has a customer service line that’s responsible only for its smart home products, starter kit included. It also has a live chat, and if you’re not in a rush, you can email and someone will get back to you in 48 hours.
Customer service hours
- Customer service line: Monday to Sunday, 8 a.m.–10 p.m. CST
- Live chat: every day, 8 a.m.–10 p.m. CST
What customers are saying about Honeywell
Most customers agree that although the product looks nice, it’s not very intuitive. These customers complain of long wait times with chat and phone support.
Some have eventually been able to solve their problems with the help of a customer service representative. Others have been referred to online instructions or told that certain features aren’t yet available but will be coming soon in a future update. It seems that for now, the communication just isn’t there.
The new Honeywell security bundle has a lot of potential and some unique features. But with so much room for improvement, it’s just not worth the price for most.
When Honeywell works out some of its growing pains, it could be a real contender. Until then, we suggest a security system like Frontpoint for a more comprehensive DIY home automation experience.
Looking for a home security system more in your price range? Learn more about our top home security brands here.