What is the best smart home app

The best smart home systems in the test comparison 2021

The best smart home system? If you want to implement home automation professionally, it is better to rely on a system that has already proven itself in practice. After all, an extensive smart home system can cost 500 euros and more. The link with Alexa, HomeKit or Philips Hue increases the scope for design. In our test comparison, we present the most popular smart home systems for retrofitting in three categories: Simplicity, flexibility and security - because in the end the best smart home system does not depend on the price, but on personal priorities.

The best smart home systems in the test comparison 2021
The best smart home systems in the test comparison 2021

The best smart home system accompanies our everyday life inconspicuously, intelligently links the individual actuators with one another and can be controlled intuitively via app, radio switch or voice assistant.

Many providers have been facing this challenge for a number of years: Magenta SmartHome, innogy or Samsung SmartThings have probably already come across most of them in the lively advertising landscape. The promise, for example: More security through smart door sensors that send an SMS in an emergency and make the linked siren wail. And more comfort thanks to an accessible heating system that heats up to save energy while we are still circling the block to get a parking space. The possible smart home scenes are innumerable, as are the smart home systems to implement them.

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In three steps to your personal smart home system

In order to find the best smart home for your own needs, it is best to ask yourself the following three questions before comparing the smart home systems:

      1. Which areas should my smart home system link?

      2. How do I want to control my smart home?

  • Intuitive app for automation
  • Smart wireless switches (permanently installed, adhesive, portable)
  • Voice assistant (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit / Siri)
  • IFTTT (more about meta apps at the end of the smart home comparison)

      3. How flexible do I want to be in terms of the system structure?

  • Closed system, with products from one manufacturer
  • Semi-open system that integrates many cooperating third-party products
  • Open system that can be freely designed with the manufacturer's own and third-party products

Tips for choosing the best smart home system


Tip 1: A closed or partially open system often has the advantage that the link is smoother and more stable. The open system, on the other hand, allows a manufacturer-independent selection of smart home products. Here, however, it can happen that devices have to be sent back because they use a different radio variant. In the following comparison of the smart home systems, we have made it clear which systems are open, semi-open or closed.

Tip 2: In order to enjoy the smart home system in the long term, you should take a closer look at the selection. Once you have decided on a system, you can first set up the smart home with an inexpensive starter package or order the control center with two components to test how the app interface is appealing and how intuitively smart home scenarios can be created. If in doubt, it is better to sell the smart home system again.

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We compare these smart home systems

The simplest smart home systems in the test

The most flexible smart home systems in the test

The best security systems tested

  • Lupusec XT1 Plus
  • Egardia alarm system
  • Gigaset elements Smart Home
  • iSmartAlarm

The simplest smart home systems in the test

systemTypeWirelessCommitment-
command
AlexaSiriHome-
Kit
Google
Home
Homematic
IP
closed868 MHz
tape
Security,
Heating
control,
Indoor climate,
Lighting control,
Household
equipment,
Shading
YesYesYesYes
AVM
Fritz! Box
openDECT ULE /
HAN FUN
Security,
Heating
control,
Indoor climate,
Lighting control,
Household
equipment,
Roller shutter
control

Yes
above
sketch

NoNoNo
Eve SystemsclosedWIRELESS INTERNET ACCESSSecurity,
Heating
control,
Indoor climate,
Lighting control,
Household
equipment
NoYesYesNo
Netatmo
Smart home
closedWIRELESS INTERNET ACCESSSecurity,
Heating
control,
Indoor climate,
Lighting control,
Shading
YesYesYesYes
Amazon
Alexa
openWIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS,
ZigBee,
Bluetooth
Security,
Heating
control,
Indoor climate,
Lighting control,
Household
equipment,
Shading
YesNoNoNo

1. EQ-3 Homematic IP in the test

EQ-3 is one of the early manufacturers of smart home components and supplies numerous smart home systems with its hardware. The own smart home system is called Homematic IP and is just as unpretentious as it is functional. In other words: Homematic IP doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, no fancy design, just solid, inexpensive smart home components with a sophisticated app. The smart home system is just as suitable for beginners as it is for advanced users.

Various entry-level sets allow a quick introduction to the smart home: For example, heating automation, smart lighting control and burglar protection. With more than 80 available components, the system can be expanded almost at will. Corresponding modules ensure that the underfloor heating and shading can also be controlled via an app or voice assistant. Concealed solutions can also be implemented with Homematic IP, so that the house can be professionally automated over the long term. When it comes to implementing a Smart Home, Homematic IP users have a large online community at their side with help and advice.

Data & facts about Homematic IP:
Type:
closed smart home system
Base station necessary:Yes / Homematic IP Access Point
Radio standard: 868 MHz band (proprietary)
Areas of application: Security system, heating control, room climate, lighting control, household appliances, shading
Voice assistants:Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit, Siri
IFTTT compatible: No
Hue compatible: Yes

advantagesdisadvantage
+ cheap components- only Homematic IP products can be integrated
+ many extensions
+ large online community


Test votes for Homematic IP:

Techtest.org. says: "A good German app, fast and uncomplicated operation / setup and a high level of security, you really can't complain about what eQ-3 has put together."

Chip.de evaluates: “Homematic IP convinces in the test as a smart entry-level system for controlling heating, sockets and more. Thanks to the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support, voice control is also possible without any problems. "

2. AVM FRITZ! Box in the test

The Berlin manufacturer AVM has considered killing two birds with one stone and has transformed its internet router, the FRITZ! Box, into a smart home center. This eliminates the additional investment in a control center, which is required for most smart home systems in comparison. The FRITZ! Box transmits particularly energy-efficiently via the DECT ULE (Ultra Low Energy) standard. Practical, so that the battery-operated smart home components only rarely have to be recharged.

Unfortunately, there are so far only a few compatible components from AVM itself: Two smart adapter plugs ensure the switching of power supply units via MyFritz! App or depending on the position of the sun, as well as the evaluation of the power consumption. The Fritz! Dect 301 radiator thermostat allows you to preheat the apartment when you are out and about - if a window is open, the heating is automatically shut down. By using an open radio standard, DECT ULE smart home devices from other manufacturers can also be integrated into the FRITZ! Box Smart Home. For example, the Magenta Smart Home devices that transmit via DECT ULE are compatible with the FRITZ! Box. More than 80 compatible components can currently be linked to one another via DECT ULE / HAN FUN.

Data & facts about FRITZ! Box Smart Home:
Type: Open Smart Home System
Base station necessary: No (if FRITZ! Box is available)
Radio standard: DECT ULE / HAN FUN
Areas of application: Security, heating control, room climate, lighting control, networking of classic household appliances
Voice assistants: Alexa via Sketch
IFTTT compatible: No
Hue compatible: No

advantagesdisadvantage
+ no gateway required if a FRITZ! Box is available- few proprietary components
+ open radio standard DECT ULE / HAN FUN- only DECT ULE devices with HAN-FUN
are compatible
+ local smart home without external
Cloud connection
- no automation depending on
GPS data
- If-then automations are only
limited possible


Test votes for FRITZ! Box Smart Home:

Teltarif.de is surprised: “The connections work and come about straight away. Contrary to expectations, we can really connect all components with the FRITZ! Box. "

3. Eve Systems Smart Home in the test

Eve Systems has set itself the task of developing a smart home system specifically for Apple HomeKit or the home app. So it's no wonder that Eve smart home devices look perfect in every Macian's home. The Eve Systems components are all reminiscent of a gleaming white iPhone icon. The manufacturer has only been active in the smart home market since 2016, so the components available so far are accordingly manageable.

Is the smart home entry with Eve Systems still worth it? For Apple fans who are ready to dig a little deeper into their pockets for high-quality components and more living comfort: definitely! You can already use Siri to control the heating (Eve Thermo), catch intruders in the act (Eve Door & Window) and illuminate the living room (Eve Flare). And of course all of this can be linked to other HomeKit-compatible devices via the Home app.

A cheap alternative to Eve Systems is the relatively new Smart Home System Aqara. Run by the Chinese Xiaomi, which is known from smartphones, the company offers inexpensive sensors. An Aqara Hub is required for this, but it can be controlled locally and integrates an alarm siren and a night light.

Data & facts about Eve Systems Smart Home:
Type: Closed smart home system
Base station necessary: No
Radio standard: WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS
Areas of application: Security, lighting control, heating control, networking of classic household appliances
Voice assistants: HomeKit, Siri
IFTTT compatible: No
Hue compatible: No

advantagesdisadvantage
+ no gateway required- iPhone or iPad required
+ Interaction with Apple HomeKit devices- high priced
+ simple plug'n'play principle- limited ecosystem


Test votes for Eve Systems:

Chip.de says: "Although Eve Systems leaves a solid impression in the test, the range of functions is still very limited."

4. Netatmo Smart Home in the test

In Smart Home circles, the Netatmo climate monitoring is a classic: temperature, humidity, air quality, CO2 and volume can be conveniently called up via the app. The French smart home system can meanwhile do much more than just warn of storms. A rain gauge and an anemometer for the weather station have been added for the garden. For indoor use there are smart thermostats, shutter / blind actuators and a smart surveillance camera that recognizes faces. An alarm siren and a smart smoke detector, which can be coupled with emergency lighting, also ensure safety. The Netatmo system also communicates directly via the more power-intensive WLAN, no extra gateway is required for this.

In contrast to Eve Systems, the Netatmo system is even more open to links. The devices can be voice-controlled via HomeKit, Amazon Echo and Google Home and integrated into various smart home automations via IFTTT. The system openness makes it easy to get over the fact that Netatmo offers not one, but four different smart home apps that control different subsystems: HomeCoach, Security, Energy and Weather.

Data & facts about Netatmo Smart Home:
Type: Closed smart home system
Base station necessary: No
Radio standard: WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS
Areas of application: Security, lighting control, heating control, climate monitoring, shading
Voice assistants: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit, Siri
IFTTT compatible: Yes
Hue compatible: No

advantagesdisadvantage
+ no gateway required- high priced
+ compatible with HomeKit, Google Assistant
and Amazon Alexa
- various smart home apps
+ simple plug'n'play principle
+ modern app design


Test votes for Netatmo Smart Home:

Androidpit.de sums up: "While the Netatmo sensors were initially more or less toys for hobby meteorologists, they have now become an important sensing instrument in a mature smart home ecosystem."

Chip.de writes: "Netatmo Welcome impresses in the test as an uncomplicated, easy-to-use smart home camera."

5. Amazon Alexa in the test

Most people know Alexa as a talkative assistant for controlling music or for querying information. However, Amazon's Alexa has developed into an interface for various smart home devices that can be controlled either via smartphone or Amazon Echo speakers. All devices with the label “works with Alexa” can easily be connected to the app. The Echo Plus and the new Echo (from 2020) even allow the direct integration of ZigBee devices, so that the selection of products is even greater. However, Alexa reaches its limits when it comes to devices that speak other common wireless languages ​​such as Z-Wave or Homematic IP. In addition, the integrated devices can usually not be programmed as flexibly as is possible via the respective product app. For example, the Philips Hue app offers a lot more fine-tuning than the Alexa app for the Hue lights. For a simple and, above all, voice-based entry into the smart home world, Alexa is currently one of the best smart home systems.

Data & facts about Amazon Alexa:
Type: Open Smart Home System
Base station necessary: Yes / Amazon Echo (Plus) or Alexa-enabled speaker
Radio standard: WLAN, Bluetooth, ZigBee
Areas of application: Security system, heating control, room climate, lighting control, household appliances, shading
Voice assistants: Amazon Alexa
IFTTT compatible: Yes
Hue compatible: Yes

advantagesdisadvantage
+ cheap components- So far, the Amazon Echo is only available with WiFi,
Bluetooth and ZigBee radio. Other radio standards
are not supported.
+ many extensions
+ large online community
+ native support from Philips Hue
(no bridge required)

Test votes for Amazon Alexa with Echo (2020) as a hub:

Computerwoche.de says: “Amazon Echo does to a large extent what I expected before buying it and the installation is really easy. The subsequent fine-tuning to set up the service for personal wishes and needs can, however, in some cases take some time. "

Computerbild.de rates the Amazon Echo 2020: “A sound miracle is not to be expected, but for the price of just under 100 euros, the Alexa ball sounds decent. In terms of price and sound, it is the same as the Google Nest Audio, but it is less compact. Useful: The integrated smart home hub, which saves the Hue bridge for Philips Hue lamps, for example "

The most flexible smart home systems in the test comparison

systemTypeWirelessCommitment-
command
AlexaSiriHome-
Kit
Google
Home
IFTTT
magentapartially openHome-
matic IP,
ZigBee,
DECT ULE
Security,
Heating
control,
Indoor climate,
Light-
control
YesNoNoYes No
Samsung
Smart
Things
partially openZ-Wave,
ZigBee
Security,
Heating
control,
Indoor climate,
Light-
control,
Household
equipment,
multimedia
YesNoNoYesYes
Innogypartially open868 MHz
Wireless
Security,
Heating
control,
Indoor climate,
Light-
control,
Shading
YesNoNoYesYes
Bosch
Smart
Home
partially open868 MHz
Wireless,
ZigBee,
Home-
matic IP
Security,
Heating
control,
Shading
YesNoNoYesYes
Homeepartially openWIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS,
ZigBee,
Z-Wave,
Enocean
Security,
Heating
control,
Indoor climate,
Light-
control,
Household
equipment,
Shading,
multimedia
n / aNoYesYesNo

1. Magenta SmartHome / Qivicon in the test

Deutsche Telekom is behind Magenta SmartHome. The large corporation has been putting a lot of energy into expanding its smart home system for a number of years, doing a lot right and only a few things wrong. Magenta offers different starter sets for every taste, each with a control center called the Qivicon Homebase. The Qivicon Homebase supports not just one, but four radio standards: Homematic, Homematic IP, ZigBee and DECT ULE. The entry-level sets can be supplemented at any time with components from Magenta SmartHome or from third-party manufacturers.

The list of compatible devices is particularly long due to the base station's many radio languages, but only manufacturers with whom Qivicon has a cooperation agreement can be included. This in turn limits the system somewhat, but also makes it more stable. What you rarely come across in the Smart Home comparison: The app for mobile control of Magenta SmartHome is chargeable (from 4.95 euros). And even if you are willing to pay for the subscription, only Telekom customers benefit from warnings via SMS. In an emergency, users of other mobile phone providers “only” get push messages sent over the Internet.