Gadget Review: Yet another WiFi enabled smoke alarm


After reviewing the X-Sense Home Security Kit, I decided to also review their wireless smoke alarms. As I said at the time, the interlinked alarms were great - but didn't connect to the hub. That means you have to be physically present in the home in order to hear the alarm.

Well, X-Sense were listening! They've sent me the X-Sense Mini - it's a WiFi smoke alarm which integrates with the X-Sense app. That means that your phone receives a push notification when it is triggered.

A small smoke alarm in the palm of someone's hand.

It connects to your 2.4GHz WiFi network and sends push notifications to your phone via an app.

Why is this useful?

On first thought, it may be a bit silly to get a notification if you're not home. I mean, you won't be there to stop the fire, right?

But it is more complicated than that. If you receive a notification, you can get home, or ring a neighbour, or check if your partner is accidentally burning toast, or - if necessary - call the fire brigade.

In app screenshot showing smoke alarm in the control panel.

You can also share the smoke alarm with someone else. For example, if you have an elderly relative who consents to remote monitoring of their environment.

Installation

Dead simple. It comes with some screws - so just shove it on a wall or ceiling somewhere.

It integrates well with the app. Press a button on the alarm, scan a QR code, then the app transmits your WiFi details via Bluetooth.
In app screenshot showing how to scan the QR code on the device.

The whole setup process took about a minute.

Positives

It's a small, fairly neutral looking alarm. It isn't as big as the Nest, nor does it take as many batteries! It's also pretty loud, you should be able to hear the alarm in an average sized house.

If the device ever falls offline, it can send you a notification when it is back online.

You can fine-tune the notifications - so you can choose not to get pinged whenever it is tested, for example.

In app screenshot showing all the notifications which can be toggled.

And, finally, the notifications come in pretty quickly.

Downsides

There are a few things that you need to be aware of.

Firstly, this is only a smoke alarm. It won't detect carbon monoxide - so you'll need a different alarm for that.

Secondly, it is WiFi only. Despite X-Sense having a hub which uses the low-power LoRaWAN standard, this thing only connects via 2.4GHz WiFi. So your hub is redundant in this situation. The battery is likely to last for about a year. I suspect it could last a lot longer if it used a lower-power radio protocol.

Thirdly, there is no API. So it may be hard to integrate with your homebrew home automation kit.

Finally, it only comes with a screw-mounting. You get a few screws and rawlplugs, but it would have been nice to have some double-sided stickers for mounting.

Final Verdict

The XS03-WX is a cheaper alternative to the Nest and other expensive alarms. It lacks CO detection, and I'd like to see better integration into the hub - but, for the price, I can't complain too much.

Verdict

2 thoughts on “Gadget Review: Yet another WiFi enabled smoke alarm

  1. The wireless interconnect on the nest is the killer feature for me. The office is a converted garage and you can't hear the alarm from there...


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *