The setup procedure for this sleek device feels just as smooth as any DIY based home alarm system. Connect the main Cube to the internet and a power outlet and your already almost done. Next you have to pull the tabs out of your new sensors and fire up their app to help guide you through the setup.
Just like you would expect from a device that uses Apple’s i in it’s name, they have a very comprehensive and easy to use app to help you customize your device however you see fit. They have tried to include every little thing that people often don’t realize are important to your safety and are frequently overlooked in most apps. Small features like the ability to customize your arming delay, dis-arming delay, and even your siren volume. You can pick between zero delay, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes for your delay times. This will obviously vary upon how long it takes you to get inside and situated before you worry about your alarm.
When this device first launched they actually had a bunch of complaints about the siren being TOO loud. This “problem” was fixed in an update by allowing users to have complete control over the volume of their siren which shows how much they actually care about and listen to their customers. The default setting is still set to high but users can now toggle their volume to their liking. They even allow users to totally shut off the door chime feature as a whole if they do not think they need it. Personally I think this feature is rather important and would leave it on but not everyone has the same needs!
The app comes with 4 basic modes it can operate in: arm, disarm, home, and panic mode. You can customize these modes a little bit but the functionality of that is still a bit limited right now. Your user created custom mode will also replace the panic mode if you so choose to make one. Some people might not like this but most will realize after a week of using this system you will really only use the 2 main modes anyway.
1. You will not have to manually add all your sensors to your device which is pretty awesome. Pull the tabs on the equipment you want to connect and iSmart will find and add them all in one quick process.
2. They will now test call you. This assures you that you don’t have to assume you set everything up correctly, they will literally call you and tell you if everything is working as it should or if you made a mistake somewhere in the process. This provides a nice confident boost that most other companies do not provide.
3. Automatic updates. I have played with dozens of other self-monitored systems that required the user to manually download and install firmware updates for their devices. Both iSmart and SmartThings make this process easier with their auto-updates and also give you the option to opt out if you wish. The updates are not forced but are obviously recommended.
The application is a free download available on both the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store. There is currently no download available for Blackberry or Windows Phones. The app consists of 4 different tabs on the bottom; Control, Monitor, iCamera and More. More contains settings like “My Profile” where you can edit your profile information or your family settings to add or remove members to your iSmartAlarm and enter your notification phone number. There is also a “Device Settings” tab where you are able to add new equipment to your setup by clicking “Add.” This tab will also show you the battery level of all your devices. The next setting is “Alarm Settings” where you can choose whether you want an audible countdown timer when you arm or disarm your system. This tab also gives you the ability to turn on or off your main siren and you may also adjust the decibels of it between low, medium and high.
Contact Sensors – These common sensors can be placed on virtually any doors or windows. A notification will be sent to your phone when an event is triggered such as a door opening or closing.
iCameraKEEP – What is this? This nifty little feature gives you the ability to pan and tilt the surveillance camera remotely from your mobile app. The camera also features night vision along with it’s audio and motion detectors. The app will show you a live stream of what your surveillance camera is currently seeing. You can also take quick snapshots that will be saved to your phone if you need to for any reason.
Motion Sensor – The motion sensors do not send alerts to your mobile device like your contact sensors will. The reason for this is that your phone could potentially be bombarded with an annoying amount of notifications if you have pets or other people in your home when your away. However, they have stated that they may provide an update in the future where you will be able to turn on notifications from your motion sensor.
No Subscription is Required
One of the most enticing aspects of this device for most new customers is that you get this whole setup and monitoring for just a single payment, no monthly costs or any of that stuff. Being that their are no monthly fees or contracts, this is definitely one of the most cost-effective home alarm devices on the market. The iCamera provides you with a live stream feed of visitors arriving and leaving your home.
There a few little accessories that can also be purchased separately. Things like extra motion, door, or window sensors and the Smart Switch.
Notable iSmartAlarm Specs:
- Compatible with almost all Apple and Android devices
- No monthly fee
- Receive text or e-mail notifications when events are triggered
- Control your entire setup from your mobile device using the app
- Super easy DIY wireless installation
- Additional accessories are available making it easy to potentially enhance your system at a later date
- Includes 2 door and window sensors, 2 remote tags, the iCamera, the CubeOne, 1 motion sensor, and a yard sign or window decal
- Real-time live footage streamable from your device no matter where you are
Like I had mentioned earlier, iSmartAlarm’s setup and user experience is definitely one of the best and easiest in the industry right now. The system’s main controller, the CubeOne, is ridiculously easy to install. Just plug it in the wall, connect it to your router or Ethernet cord and let the app guide you through the rest of this super easy setup. At this point, the contact sensors, motion detectors, and any extra devices will all connect to your new system in a couple seconds. Most people will have this system up and running a few minutes after opening the box.
Aside from the initial dodgy iCamera performance, the iSmartAlarm package has left me extremely impressed. After the incredibly easy and quick setup process, everything worked perfectly just the way it was supposed to. The motion detector and contact sensors were easy to install, and they performed flawlessly, never failing to alert me when they detected something.
The remote tags are also a pretty big plus, they make the system a whole lot easier to enable or disable without actually having to always take out your phone and open their mobile app. Actually, after you set your system up, you don’t ever really need to use the app again if you don’t feel like it, you can just press the arm button on your remote when you leave your house and then press the home button once you return to your residence. If someone attempts to break in, you should receive a phone call almost immediately. The whole point of this device is to make your life easier and it certainly accomplishes that goal.
Customer Service and Support
iSmartAlarm offers a 1-year limited warranty on every device they sell. In addition to that, systems that were purchased directly through their website can be returned in their original packaging for a complete refund for up to 30 days if you find out this isn’t the right system for you.
Customer service and technical support is available through both e-mail and through their website. You can open up a support ticket at any time on their website and your questions should be answered in a timely manner. This type of support is nice because it also allows to keep records of and track all your previous problems in case you need to go back and reread something.
Many people don’t bother with home protection because they see it as a luxury and often times think it is too expensive. After adding up all the random costs and fee’s of professional systems even the most basic plans can catapult well over $1,000 in just the initial year or two. Do people really need to pay that much for safety? DIY options are becoming more and more popular today and can provide the same protection that these expensive professional models do. The iSmartAlarm is definitely one of the top-tier options when it comes to DIY monitoring. They offer very competitive features when comparing to SimpliSafe, Canary, PiperNV, Scout, etc. Just having the peace of mind knowing your home is much safer is worth the couple hundred bucks to most people. People who think they can’t afford home protection finally have an awesome, fully functioning alternative to this dilemma.