Wink Relay smart home control pad falls short of its potentialThe benefits of an in-wall smart home control panel seem obvious, but too many limitations and still in-development features hold this one back.
[MUSIC] Hi this is [UNKNOWN] for CNet today we're gonna take a look at the [UNKNOWN] Relay Smart Home Control Panel. So here's the panel right here. This is a $300 smart home accessory. The idea is you hardwire it into your wall where you have a light switch. And then anything on that circuit becomes a smart device. So we've got some hard buttons here. They control the lights that are out on my back porch there. So anything that is on the Wink Smart Home Network that I maybe control through an app on my phone I can now control from this one place here built into my wall. To install the relay, you need to take over a light switch on your wall and it has to have a neutral wire. That might be a problem for older homes too. It's relatively straightforward. You do kinda have to mess with the wiring setup, particularly if you have a double light switch box like this one is here. But the idea is you shut off the power, undo the light switch, tie those wires into the relay. It shouldn't be too hard to handle, though, if you're basically competent with home. Maintenance. So there are a wide range of devises that work with the Wink network. All kinds of lights and locks and different sensors and all kinds of things. It's actually pretty broad. So that Wink is useful. So scroll around on the screen, and you can see some of the devises connected to this relay hub. So I've got a [UNKNOWN] cam here. I've got some lights. Got a Nest Thermostat programming on here and clicking through to those will give me access to any of those smart home components. Thermostat integration is pretty good and I've gotten direct control here of the thermostat settings. I can go home, away. I can set it to heating mode, cooling mode. It's not quite as in depth as what you get on the Nest itself but for basic interaction with a thermostat, it's pretty useful. In it's resting mode, you can see the time, a weather display. It also has some short cut buttons that you program through your phone that show up on here. And you can kind of program all different smart home behaviors into short cuts here. So overall Wink really works pretty well. We had a few connection issues but nothing that we couldn't circumvent. There seems to be a lot of potential in the. Product. Particularly if you have a whole lot of smart home things that you're looking to kind of, wrangle into one easy to control spot. The benefit of everything else on the circuit becoming smart is useful. They're tied into these two switches here. But that said, you can get other in wall units that bring other things online for much less than this. But if you're just getting started with the smart home and you only have a handful of devices. This probably won't give you that much value. Particularly since most of the controls you'll find in the Wink app for free. So thanks for watching. I'm Rich Brown. This is the Wink Relay Smart Home control panel. [MUSIC]