Amazon’s new smart thermostat and video doorbell are cheap options for smart home beginners
Upgrading your home with Internet-connected devices can be an expensive endeavor, not to mention daunting considering how many brands and ecosystems are out there. Out of all the smart home brands on the market, Amazon is arguably at the top, with its wide range of first-party Alexa-enabled products and vast ecosystem of partners. Today, the company unveiled a plethora of new smart home devices at its fall hardware event, including the Amazon Smart Thermostat and the Blink Video Doorbell. When deciding what to equip your new smart home with, a smart thermostat and video doorbell are two of the most commonly recommended products, and Amazon’s new offerings are incredibly affordable, making it easier to justify taking the plunge.
Amazon Smart Thermostat
The new Amazon Smart Thermostat costs just $59.99, which is significantly cheaper than some of the more premium smart thermostats on the market. Of course, the lower price means there are compromises. The display is pretty basic, only showing the current temperature. It doesn’t have hardware like a speaker or a microphone, so you can’t talk to it like other Alexa-enabled products.
Still, the Amazon Smart Thermostat has the basic features you’d expect from a smart thermostat, including smart temperature programming and Alexa integration, so you can remotely control the temperature and set up routines to automate your home’s climate. Thanks to Hunches, an Alexa feature that lets the smart assistant proactively act without user input, the Amazon Smart Thermostat can automatically adjust the temperature whenever Alexa detects you’re away from home or have gone to sleep.
The Amazon Smart Thermostat was designed in conjunction with Resideo, the company behind Honeywell Home thermostats. It works “with most existing 24V HVAC systems,” but you’ll have to verify your home’s compatibility before purchasing.
You can pre-order the Amazon Smart Thermostat right now from Amazon ahead of the product’s release on November 4th. You can purchase it with or without a C-Wire power adapter, though bundling the adapter with the thermostat bumps the price up to $74.99. Amazon will also help you find rebates from your local energy provider so you can buy the smart thermostat at a discounted price or at no cost.
Blink Video Doorbell
The first Blink video doorbell since Amazon bought the camera maker back in 2018 is here. The new Blink Video Doorbell is a no-frills smart video doorbell that costs just $49.99, which, of course, means it’s missing some features you’ll find in higher-end products. Still, for the price, what Amazon is offering here sounds impressive.
The Blink Video Doorbell can be installed wired or wire-free, offers 1080p day and night video recording, up to 2 years of battery life, two-way audio, chime alerts from an app, and support for connecting to your home’s existing chime. Doorbell management is handled through the Blink app, available on Google Play and the App Store. If you pay for a Blink Subscription, you can record, save, and share motion events online. If you don’t want to pay, you can save these videos locally with a Blink Sync Module 2 and a USB thumb drive.
The Blink Video Doorbell is available for pre-order on Amazon today, with a release date set for October 21, 2021. The doorbell is available in two colors: black and white. Amazon is including a free 30-day trial of a Blink Subscription with every purchase. It can optionally be bundled with the Blink Sync Module 2 at a cost of $84.98.
Blink Flood Light Cam & Solar Mount
For nighttime viewing, many security cameras have infrared sensors (including Blink’s new video doorbell), but it’s wise to purchase a flood light to better illuminate subjects at night so you can clearly see what’s going on. Today, Amazon has also unveiled a new Blink Floodlight Camera that combines a security camera with a flood light. It’s a battery-powered camera with two LEDs mounted to its sides that turn on when motion is detected, illuminating the field with 700 lumens of light.
In addition, Blink also unveiled the Blink Solar Panel Mount, which draws power from the sun to provide continuous charge for the Blink Outdoor security camera.
The Blink Floodlight Camera goes on pre-order today in the U.S. for $39.99. It can be bundled with the Blink Outdoor camera for $139.98. The Blink Solar Panel Mount, meanwhile, can be bundled with the Blink Outdoor for $129.98.