Wyze is one of the most innovative smart home companies on the block.
The company mission statement is “Making smart home technology accessible to everyone.” This is great news for the consumer because their goal is to ensure that their products are both efficient and cost-effective.
Wyze is managing to accomplish this lofty goal in two important ways.
The main attractor of their smart home tech is the almost unbelievably low pricing. And when we say low, we mean smart cams for $20 or $30 and smart bulbs for $10.
We know what you’re thinking: what’s the point of buying into a company that will be ruined by such a crazy pricing strategy. However, that is where Wyze is taking a longer view. We’ll touch upon this strategy below, but what about how Wyze came about?
How Did Their Story Begin?
If a lean company with low margins, high volume, and a customer-centric, value-based ethos sounds a lot like Amazon, that’s not surprising. The 4 founding members were working at Amazon when they met.
Wyze Labs is a 25-person start-up based out of Washington. VC-funded by iSeed Ventures, the company sprang into life in July 2017. The first product, Wyze Cam launched in October that same year.
While they’ve put their own spin on tactics, the overarching strategy draws upon many of Amazon’s core values. When Wyze says they put the customer first, it’s backed up with action, not just hollow marketing hype. By rolling out exceptional products at rock-bottom prices, they’re aiming to ensure smart home kit is within everyone’s reach.
And they’re succeeding so far, but how long can this micro-margin and almost altruistic approach last?
Our prediction is that this is merely the beginning. We recently took a look at smart home ecosystems and their importance not just to you but also to manufacturers. Rather than going all-in to sell you expensive one-off kit, Wyze is looking to reel you in and make their ecosystem as attractive as possible. Like all smart home success stories, they have their eye on the long game.
If this sounds too good to be true and you’re questioning whether these products deliver, we’ll highlight the range as it stands in summer 2019.
The Wyze Range 2019
We fully expect this line of products to grow rapidly. To this end, we’ll return to this snapshot and update things accordingly.
With the Cam already into its second iteration – we’ll look at that in detail for you, and we'll start with the cheapest product of them all.
If you’re new to home automation, smart bulbs are one of the most common entry points. You’ll get a product that couldn’t be easier to install or use and, in the case of Wyze, couldn’t be much cheaper either.
The Wyze Bulb is sold directly on the company website and comes in at a crazy-low $7.99 with a 4-pack available for under $30.
These WiFi-enabled bulbs work with both Alexa and Google Assistant so you can hit the lights with voice commands. You can also get your virtual butler to doctor the brightness and alter the color temperature.
Temperature range is broad spanning 2700 to 6500 Kelvin, so you can tailor the lighting to mood with total freedom. Brightness is an impressive 800 lumens, equivalent to that kicked out by a regular 60-watt incandescent bulb. As with all LEDs, you’ll be rewarded in terms of increased lifespan and reduced running costs for the double-win.
If you’re not a fan of voice control, you can also take the helm using the slick Wyze app. Set-up couldn’t be much quicker with no need at all for a third-party hub. You won’t be able to use 5GHz WiFi, so make sure you have a 2.4GHz network in place.
Unlike many basic smart bulbs, you’ll also be able to schedule your lights and activate Away Mode. Make your home look occupied when you’re on vacation so you can rest and relax fully. If you’re looking for wider-reaching automation, you can incorporate your Wyze bulb with other products in the ecosystem. This brings motion-detected lighting within reach for less than ten bucks. What more can you ask for?
Well, perhaps a cheap security camera and Wyze has that on lock, too.
Already into its second iteration, Wyze Cam v2 puts much of its pricier competition to shame by doing everything they do and more, while coming in at a scarcely credible $25.
This wireless security camera is designed explicitly for indoor use, but we imagine it won’t be long until Wyze take the party outside.
The camera is capable of 1080p video in full HD comes with a 110-degree lens so you’ll get a sweeping view recorded. When you’re live streaming in-app, you can zoom in 8x without losing clarity or focus. Night vision allows you to see at a distance of up to 30 feet even when pitch black.
Intelligent AI-fuelled person detection keeps those false triggers to a minimum and ensures you only get the notifications that count. The motion-tagging tech marks out any motion so you can see what’s up at a glance, whether you're live streaming or watching recorded footage.
What about the recorded footage? This comes with a 14-day rolling plan bundled so you won’t face any restrictive contracts or need to pay extra. Much of the competition gouges you here, so we give huge props to Wyze. You can also store footage locally on a microSD card, although this is not provided.
Tweaking zones and sensitivity settings is a cinch even if you’re not the greatest tech-lover. Wyze makes things easy every step of the way. As an inbuilt bonus, the algorithm is smart enough to listen out for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, too.
Mount the camera using the magnetic base and adhesive tape with no screws required. This makes the Wyze cam a neat fit for renters.
With some surprising but welcome flourishes like time-lapse video and two-way audio, we genuinely struggle to knock this security camera in any meaningful way.
If you didn’t think things could get any better, you’re wrong!
Wyze Cam Pan
Taking all that Wyze Cam has to offer by throwing in 360-degree room coverage, Wyze Cam Pan proves you can change a winning team.
With a 120-degree viewing angle, horizontal panning through 360 degrees and vertical tilting to 93 degrees, you’ll leave nothing unprotected.
The pan scan feature sweeps your room in just three seconds based on four customizable waypoints. You’ll get the same 1080p full HD camera as featured on Wyze Cam, so you won’t miss a thing.
6 infrared LEDs ensure you can see just as clearly at night with crisp images at distances of 30 feet, keeping your connected home protected around the clock.
With a class-K amplifier bundled, you can also engage in 2-way audio rendering Cam Pan a de facto wireless intercom for good measure.
Push notifications mean you won’t need to stay welded to the app. Any time there’s a suspected security breach, the camera alerts you and records a 12-second event video.
In all other respects, you’ll get the same exceptional specs and performance as you’ll find on Wyze Cam. That added panning flexibility making Pan Cam a no-brainer and there’s really no excuse not to add one to your smart home this summer.
We hope you now appreciate the shower of benefits served up by Wyze Labs and you’re inspired to add some of this hard-hitting tech to your automated home.
Whether you’re a bargain-hunting beginner or an old hand at home automation, Wyze offers up something for everyone at a price within everyone’s reach.
If you own any Wyze kit already, drop us a line and let us know how it's working for you.
In closing, we urge you to bookmark our blog and come back soon for more of the latest home automation news. We have a busy schedule for the summer so you can make your home safe and secure before you head off on vacation. See you soon!