Notion (second generation) review: Notion sensors work with Nest for whole home monitoring

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MSRP: $219.00

The Good Notion's second generation of sensors work with Nest for thermostat control and average home temperature readings.

The Bad Sensors still have restrictions on their multitasking capabilities and the price is higher than other sensors.

The Bottom Line Notion improves upon its first line of smart sensors, but these multitasking sensors aren't quite there yet in terms of flexibility.

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6.2 Overall
  • Features 6
  • Usability 5
  • Design 7
  • Performance 7

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Notion's second generation of sensors look nearly identical to the first generation, but are slightly larger and work with Nest thermostats.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Notion, a smart sensor kit we tested earlier this year, has released its second generation of sensors, which add Nest integration among other things. At $219 for three sensors and one bridge, Notion doesn't offer the cheapest sensor package out there, and though improvements have been made to this next-generation product, true multitasking options are still lacking.

The second-generation Notion sensors are noticeably larger than the first, and that's because they're powered by two AAA lithium-ion batteries. That should offer an improvement over the first generation's coin cell battery and user-reported bad battery life. It is disappointing and more than a little ironic that Notion doesn't have a way to notify you if your sensors are low on battery power.

One bridge can handle up to 15 sensors on its network. If you have a large house, you might need more. The range on these sensors is decent, but the system won't work well if the sensor and bridge are on different floors. 

A single sensor costs $49 and an additional bridge costs $80. Notion's five sensor kit with bridge costs $299, and a set of three sensors alone will cost you $139. That could quickly add up if you're outfitting an entire home or every door and window.

Notion app

The Notion app delivers clear instructions to get you started with your sensors and bridge. The bridge plugs into a wall outlet and connects to your existing Wi-Fi. Sensors are added one at a time through the Notion app, by scanning a QR code on the back of each sensor. Of the three sensors I tested, one had a QR code that the app's camera took several attempts to capture. The other two worked on the first try. 

Notion sensors adhere to your door, window or wall surface with a 3M adhesive sticker on the sensor's back. This second generation is also IP67 dust and water resistant with a new, thin seal around the sensor's base.

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