Hive Home Devices – Review

Hive active heating review
  • Usability
  • Design
  • Price
4.2

Summary

Hive’s Smart Home solution is a great alternative from those looking at the likes of Nest. Its simple, easy to use however a tad expensive on the pricing side.

PROS

– Great design
– Easy to use
– Lots of smart home “add-on” accessories

CONS

– The app could do with an update

Sending
User Review
3.5 (2 votes)

We fitted our “Smart Home” with a full Hive set up and here’s what we thought….

 

 

About Hive

Centrica Connected Home Limited is one of the biggest multinational utility company in U.K. and is the largest home connected providers in U.K. which provide its services by using the trademark of Hive. This company operates globally with a current customer base of over more than 350,000 customers.

Hive’s aims are to make make its customer’s life easy and comfortable and that is why Hive is the only U.K. based company that provides service of connecting homes organisation that provides end to end service which included the manufacturing and installing of devices in customers homes and office. The approach is simple, to provide a one stop shop solution for all your smart home needs and remain connected.

 

 

The Hive Product Family

  • Hive Home App
  • Hive Home Hub
  • Hive Smart Thermostat
  • Hive Door and Window Sensors
  • Hive Active Lightbulbs
  • Hive Camera

Hive Home App

 

Hive active home review
Hive active home review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hive Home App is the heartbeat to your Hive smart home. From here you can take control of your Hive ecosystem and control all of your products from one location. You do not need to be in the same Wifi zone and you can control your home whilst you’re away as you’ll have a Hive login and account to be used from anywhere.

The App is available on both Android and iOS and is very easy to set up and use. We particularly like the way the dashboard looks and found it seamless to navigate around. I quick bit of training from the professional engineer and we were away.

Things we found especially useful was the option to “copy and paste” and your preset schedules to other days rather than to sit and manually amend each days heating schedule.

If you have an android, we also like the selection of “widgets” made available to us to sit on our home screen, making it even easier to set up and change setting without even going into the app.

The one thing we were disappointed in was the number of Hive products we can have in the app in one time. For example, The app uses whats best described as a flower with each device taking up space as a petal. The issue with this is you only have 7 petals available to you. If you do not have a combi boilier for example, your heating and hot water take up one petal each. If you have 2 lightbulbs thats 2 petals( difficult for if you use a chandelier or a whole room as a smart lighting system). Grouping of products into “lighting and heating” would have been great here.

 

Hive Plug and sensors

 

Hive smart plugs allow users to turn off and on appliances from wherever place we are, that means we should not be worried about we left our iron on or off before leaving the house, just check it on your mobile through hive app and switch off it. Wireless Sensors come as a security feature as they can be set to our doors and windows and whenever any body will open it, we will be notified on our mobile, We thought this worked very well and it does give you peace of mind when leaving your house.

A good feature we like about the sensors is that it can be directly linked to your Hive Active Plug, meaning you can program any appliance to turn off/on and soon as you open and close your front door. Pretty cool if you want to get creative!

 

Sensor:
Width:23mm
Height:70mm
Depth:24mm
Weight:24g
Magnet:
Width:12mm
Height:70mm
Depth:15mm
Weight:24g

 

Hive Camera

 

 

The Hive camera is a perfect companion to the Hive family and a great security option to compliment the door and window sensors and create a fairly cost effective and easy to use camera solution for your home.

The camera itself uses its own dedicated app rather than integrate itself into the Hive home app. Whilst we would have liked to have all our eggs in one basket, the point raised above on petal-count means this isn’t a bad idea..

Within the app you can track motion and even deter would be criminals with a two way voice feature, sounds of sirens and even dogs barking. For us, we just found it fun to prank people in the house while we’re away! Its pretty loud too.

This is a wired indoor camera, being wireless would have topped it but its fine for what you’d want to use it for. A practical camera. An example of this is just using it to keep an eye on your pets.

We expect Centrica/Hive to continue to evolve the camera’s so watch this space.

 

Dimensions:97.9mm x 65mm
Weight:137g
Image Quality:Up to 1080p HD, 30fps, H.264
Lens:130 degree wide angle lens
Features:Night vision; Speaker; Microphone
Power Supply:AC power adaptor; input 5V, 2A
Memory Slot:SDXC Memory Slot (Max 128GB)
Wi Fi:802.11b/g/n (Single band)
Operating System:iOS9 or higher, Android OS 4.4 or higher

 

Hive Lightbulb

We’re big fans of the Hive Lightbulb, like everything else in the product range, its very easy to set up once you have the app loaded. The light can take a while to be “found” when setting up so be patient. Keep an eye out of the flicker which ensures its operating in pairing mode.

The light it operates is very bright and the dimming feature works well and creates a nice ambient natural looking light.

If you opt for the colour version you’re free to explore a wide of ambient lighting to suit your needs and all lightbulbs are available as Screw in and Bayonet fittings.

As we mentioned before it would be great to group say 3 lights to one room to ensure only one petal has been used. We found this rather frustrating but as its an app and not hardware, this could be a very quick an easy fix for Hive and no doubt expect this to be sorted in the near future.

If you did want to group bulbs from the get go however, you can do this with the Amazon Alexa app and this is a quick and easy solution.

 

 

Diameter:60mm
Height:120mm
Weight:80g
Brightness:806 lumens
Power Consumption:9W
Energy Rating:A+
Operating Voltage:220-240V
Colour Temperature:2700K warm white
L70 Lifetime:25,000 Hrs

 

Hive Thermostat

 

 

Hive’s core product in its range and we had to the save the best to last. We love Hive Active Heating

Installation again is quick and easy however we’d recommend you pay the installation price to ensure this all done safely by a British Gas engineer. The customer service was brilliant from start to finish as all trained engineers with not only install but also give you a full run down on how to use the app efficiently in order to help you save money.

Unfortunately we haven’t used the device long enough to show you our savings and set up, but we do plan to blog a piece in 6 months and 12 months on exactly what we did and how much we saved.

“Come back to a nice warm house, without ever having to heat an empty one. Hive Active Heating lets you control your heating from your smartphone with our beautifully designed thermostat. And if you’ve got a hot water tank, you can control that too.” Hive.

We believe the Hive Thermostat is easily one of the best looking thermostats out there. Unlike Nest, its natural box shape make it fit easily into home with a classic design who want a modern touch on their Smart Home gadgets. Its BMW iDrive style centre Knob is very easy to use and its not as in your face as Nest either. The digital display will enter rest mode during period of inactivity if you’re worried about bright numbers showing up on your wall at all times. If you did want an ultra modern feel then Hive also let you customise the shell of your Hive to different colours. A total of 12 to be exact at a cost of £19.99 each.

 

 

Hive Thermostat Frame
Hive Thermostat Frame

 

Directly from the thermostat you can quickly control the temperature of your home or simply “boost” your heating or hot water using the two buttons above the Stat.

We recommend using the app to sort out your system in depth and use the stat itself for a quick boost or heat increase/decrease if you’re walking by.

Within the app you can either Schedule, enter manual mode or simply have your heating off. We’d recommend keeping it in schedule mode and change schedules during periods of seasonality. Don’t worry about setting every day individually and consume time. Simple do one day and click the “copy” button and choose which days you want to copy this too. Easy.

The automated Geo-location feature is nice if you’re a person thats on routine. This means the heating will kick on and off as soon as you’ve stated you’re a set distance away from your house.

We love the simplicity of this thermostat and of course its Amazon Alexa integration and functionality. It’s a great go-to alternative from Nest.

At £249.99 (installed) its not the cheapest however if it can save you money long term and give you more control of your energy in a really easy and efficient way.

 

 

Width:100mm
Height:100mm
Depth:48mm (including dial)
Weight:0.212kg (excl. batteries)
Batteries:4 x AA (included)

 

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