Swann has sold DIY security kits globally for nearly 30 years and today marks the latest addition to the company's roster -- the $500 Smart Series system.
Packed with four 1080p HD cameras, an outdoor siren, two door/window sensors, a key fob and an 8-channel digital video recorder (DVR) with a 1TB storage drive, it certainly seems like a great value. For a quick comparison, popular standalone 1080p security cameras like Nest Cam cost $200 each. You could only get 2.5 Nest Cams with the same amount of money you'd spend on Swann's complete Smart Series system, so why am I not rushing out to buy one?
The sheer number of accessories makes Smart Series seem tempting, but I'm not sure about its quality.
"Swann is a forward thinking DIY security and smart home technology company that provides innovative yet cost effective solutions for consumers," a Swann spokesperson told me in an email.
Not so fast, Swann. The previous Swann systems we've gotten our hands on feel cheaply made. One Swann system I began testing, SwannOne, was so difficult to get online that I ultimately gave up on it. SwannOne also had limited overlap with the burgeoning smart-home market. That means it didn't play well with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, or any other mainstream connected platforms.
The new Smart Series system seems more connected to the broader automation industry than SwannOne, though. It claims compatibility with devices from brands like Kwikset, Yale, Philips, Nest and Samsung's SmartThings platform. Smart Series also offers a related Android and iPhone app for remote access to the system's basic functions.
Here's an overview of the Smart Series' accessories, features and specs:
- Four 1080p live streaming night vision cameras
- One outdoor siren
- Two door/window sensors
- One key fob
- 8-channel 1TB DVR
- Optional 24-7 professional monitoring
- Android and iPhone app
- Motion notifications
Swann has some convincing to do to prove that its systems add anything innovative to the security and smart-home space, but I'll reserve final judgment until I get my hands on a Smart Series.