Review: iSmartAlarm Home Security System with iCamera

Review: iSmartAlarm Home Security System with iCamera
February 11 20:41 2014 Print This Article

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Recently I’ve had the amazing chance to review the iSmartAlarm Home Security System with iCamera. As you may or may not know, iSmartAlarm was the result of an amazing Indiegogo campaign over a year ago. I’ve been following them ever since and I am extremely impressed with their products. They have an amazing team supporting that is supporting and constantly looking to improve their product. Zac from iSmartAlarm has been amazing and I want to say thanks again for allowing TrustedNerd.com to review this fabulous product!

There are two main packages with iSmartAlarm that are currently offered. Preferred Package includes 1 CubeOne, 2 Door/Windows Sensors, 1 Motion Sensor, 2 Remote Tags, 1 iSmartAlarm sign for your yard or window. Premium Package includes 1 CubeOne, 1 iCamera, 2 Door/Windows Sensors, 1 Motion Sensor, 2 Remote Tags, 1 iSmartAlarm sign for your yard or window. I personally don’t like the iSmartAlarm sign and the window decals cause it says you have iSmartAlarm. I wish it was more generic cause you know, burglars aren’t stupid, well not ALL of them.

The preferred package goes for $199 USD and the premium package costs $349 USD. iSmartAlarm supplied me with the premium package.

The packaging for iSmartAlarm is freaking amazing and just stands out. A lot of effort was put into the beautiful packaging and it certainly shows so well done iSmartAlarm! The packaging for the iCamera though, is really bland. I do suggest iSmartAlarm to improve their packaging.

The specifications of the contact sensor are as follows:

1. Model: DWS3
2. Classification: Internally-powered
3. Device dimensions: 50mm*50mm*13mm
4. Weight: 27.4g
5. Power: 1*3V (CR2032)
6. Frequency: 908MHZ
7. Distance: <100m ( Outdoor, open space)
8. Operating temperature: -10℃~50℃ (14°F ~122°F)
9. Operating humidity: 30℃±2 ≤85%±5
10. Storage and transport temperature: -40℃~55℃ (-40°F~131°F)
11. Storage and transport humidity: 40℃≤90%
12. Magnetic gap (Open to Close): <20mm
13. Magnetic gap (Close to Open): <20mm

The specifications of the motion sensor are as follows:

1. Model: PIR3
2. Classification: Internally-powered
3. Device dimensions: 100mm*69mm*50mm
4. Weight: 80.1g
5. Power: 3*1.5V(AA)
6. Frequency: 908MHZ
7. Distance: <100m ( Outdoor, open space)
8. Operating temperature: -10℃~50℃ (14°F ~122°F)
9. Operating humidity: 30℃±2 ≤85%±5
10. Storage and transport temperature: -40℃~55℃ (-40°F~131°F)
11. Storage and transport humidity: 40℃≤90%
12. PIR detection angle: 90° 10M mounted @ Approximately 6 1/2′ from the floor

The specifications of the remote tag are:

1. Model: RC3
2. Classification: Internally-powered
3. Device dimensions: 60mm*30mm*10mm
4. Weight: 12.8g
5. Power: 1*3V (CR2032)
6. Frequency: 908MHZ
7. Distance: <100m ( Outdoor)
8. Operating temperature: -10℃ ~50℃ (14°F ~122°F)
9. Operating humidity: 30℃±2 ≤85%±5
10. Storage and transport temperature: -40℃~55℃ (-40°F~131°F)
11. Storage and transport humidity: 40℃≤90%

The specificiations of the CubeOne are as follows:

1. Model: iPU3
2. Classification: External power
3. Device dimensions: 100mm*100mm*105mm
4. Weight: 370g
5. Power: 5V1A adapter 100-240V~50/60Hz 0.2A
6. Frequency: 908MHZ
7. Distance: <100m (Outdoor, open space)
8. Connection and Expansion:
USB port 2.0;
10/100 BASE-T Ethernet (RJ-45 connector)
9. Operating temperatures: -10℃~50℃ (14°F ~122°F)
10. Operating humidity: 30℃±2 ≤85%±5
11. Storage and transport temperature: -40℃~55℃ (-40°F~131°F)
12. Storage and transport humidity: 40℃≤90%
13. Alarm Sound Level: ≥100dB

Let’s start off with the CubeOne. The one thing that stood out to me was the design, it’s freaking sexy as hell. It really has that “iDevice” look and feel to it and it doesn’t look like a security system at all. It really fits in well with any decor. What bothers me though about the CubeOne is that it isn’t wireless nor is there any backup power. You are required to have an Ethernet connection from CubeOne to your router which is unfortunate as the trend of devices these days is to go wireless. The other caveat is that there is no battery backup in case of a power outage. A simple addition of adding some rechargeable batteries or some non-rechargeable batteries into CubeOne would make a huge difference. iCamera is wireless however, which is a nice addition.

CubeOne has a siren built inside of it which is loud, but isn’t loud enough to get attention except for possibly scaring away an intruder. I wish the AC adapter for iSmartAlarm was branded to say iSmartAlarm.

The contact sensors are branded, but I found them difficult to install on the window as they are a bit bulky for my setup and my windows are only 9 years old.  However, installing them on the doors was a breeze. I found the sensors to work effectively.  My suggestion to iSmartAlarm is to make the sensors a bit thinner so they can be applied on windows that are older and newer. I also suggest iSmartAlarm to have contact sensors available in different colours to match window frames.

The motion sensor that comes with both packages looks like a traditional motion sensor and acts like one. I did find though that it wasn’t able to pick up motion on the sides of the sensor, only if the motion is detected straight in front. I also had a few issues with it detecting my dog and setting off the alarm. In order to remediate this issue, the sensor had to be tilted higher up.

The other issue that I found with all of the accessories is that if you add the accessories to your system and then try to remove them, and then re-add them, it won’t work. You are required to remove the batteries and re-insert them in order to add them back to your system. This is easy on most things, except for the motion sensor which you are required to open using a screwdriver.

The system comes with two remote tags which allow you to arm, disarm, put the system in home mode (like stay mode on most alarm systems), as well as a panic button. The remote tag is small, easy to carry around and works like a charm.

The iCamera is absolutely stunning. It has full tilt and pan capabilities as well as night vision. As I mentioned earlier, it’s also wireless. On the back of the iCamera is an Ethernet port, which is used to set up the iCamera as well as power of course. There is also a port that I don’t quite recognize but it looks like you’re able to connect it to a 3rd party alarm system. It also seems to support TF cards, but that port is closed off. I found it super easy to setup with the iSmartAlarm application. The only thing that the iCamera is missing is the ability to record sound.

There are self-monitored alarm systems out there, like Piper, that are able to monitor low/high temps, loud sounds and ambient light. It would be beneficial for iSmartAlarm to add these features in later iterations of their product.

The application for the iSmartAlarm is a free download on the Google Play and iTunes App Stores. There is no download available for Blackberry devices nor Windows Phone devices. The application consists of four tabs on the bottom that are Control, Monitor, iCamera and “More.”  More has things such as “My Profile” where the user can edit their profile, Family settings to add new members to your iSmartAlarm and set your alert phone number. There is also an option for “Device Settings” and this is where you add new devices to your iSmartAlarm system by clicking “Add.” This section also shows battery status of all your devices. The next section is “Alarm Settings” and here you can select if you want an audible countdown when arming your system or disarming it. You can also set your alarm arming delay with 30 seconds, 1 minute, 3 minute and 5 minute options until the system is officially armed. The same applies for alarm disarming delay. You can also select here if you want to turn on/off your siren and the loudness of it between low, medium and high.  App settings is the next option which allows you to turn on/off the safety monitor notifications. I found that these can be annoying, so I turned it off on occasion.

The control tab allows you to arm, disarm, put the system in home mode as well as press the panic button. Monitor allows you to see all the family members that entered your home as well as see what they’ve done. Safety monitor shows you a status of all the devices if a sensor was opened or closed or if motion was detected. iCamera shows you the camera and connects to it relatively quickly and allows you to tilt, pan and take a snapshot. Unfortunately, there is no zoom functionality in the app however, I don’t see why the iCamera wouldn’t support it with a firmware update. You also have the ability to take a snapshot of what the camera sees, directly from the app. There is a bug that when taking a snapshot in portrait mode and accessing that snapshot and rotating your device into landscape mode, the app crashes. Hopefully iSmartAlarm fixes this issue shortly!

UPDATE: the engineers have fixed the snapshot bug for the next app update/firmware release.

Overall, I was quite impressed with the iSmartAlarm system. There are some updates that they need to do on the next version to make this a perfect system. But the price of the packages fits in well with what they are offering, in other words, you do get what you pay for in a good way. I do suggest getting an iSmartAlarm system if your seeking to protect your home with a self-monitored solution, on a budget. Go pick one up today at iSmartAlarm.com!! {rating}

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About Article Author

Jonathan Yaniv
Jonathan Yaniv

Jonathan is the founder and editor-in-chief of TrustedNerd.com. Covering major tech shows such as CES, Jonathan is always there for the latest tech news. Want your gadget to be reviewed or have a release you'd like to be considered for publishing? Send Jonathan an email, jonathan [at] trustednerd.com

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