September 26, 2020 | gadget | No Comments
Gadget maker Wyze, best known for its series of low-cost security cameras, is expanding further beyond its core product line to include new devices in the audio and smart home markets. The company is announcing three new products today: a pair of over-the-ear noise-canceling headphones, a video doorbell, and a smart thermostat. Those join the company’s cameras, fitness band, and smart versions of various household appliances like a lock, lightbulb, and wall plug.
Much like how China-based gadget maker Anker used its USB charging line as a springboard into the broader consumer electronics business, Wyze is using its cameras and its extremely low prices as a way to fashion an entire family of branded products that now extend beyond just the smart home market.
And the prices for at least one of its new products are indeed competitive. The new Wyze Video Doorbell costs $29.99 and is available for preorder starting today, while the company’s new headphones and thermostat will go up for preorder on September 29th and October 6th. Wyze isn’t publicly disclosing pricing for those last two products until preorders go live, but it’s safe to say they’ll be priced quite a bit below most of the competition, as is Wyze’s consistent approach.
Wyze says its video doorbell requires a hardwired connection and it comes with 1080p video recording, night vision, IP65 weather resistance, and two-way audio. It also comes with the same set of cloud capabilities as its cameras, including full-length motion recording and person detection with a Cam Plus add-on subscription service as well as free cloud storage on a two-week rolling basis.
The doorbell also comes with Wyze’s custom wireless chime and all of the materials required for mounting, and the system supports multiple chimes in the event you want to play more than one throughout your home. (It’s not clear how much the chimes will cost when sold separately.)
As for its headphones, Wyze is targeting the midrange noise-canceling market currently occupied by the likes of buds and over-the-ear models from Apple, Bose, Sony, and others. Wyze says its model offers noise reduction of up to 40dB, which is quite a bit more than, say, Apple’s AirPods Pro but not quite on the level of Sony’s best-in-class WH-1000XM4.
The product itself is rather plain-looking, but it has a rather impressive feature set for what sounds like will be a pair of sub-$100 headphones. Wyze says it offers 20 hours of battery life (or 10 hours of calls), dual voice-isolating microphones, wear detection for pausing music when you remove the headphones, touch controls, and Amazon Alexa built in. Wyze is adding a headphones section to its main mobile app for managing the device as well.
Wyze’s new Nest thermostat competitor is a pretty no-frills device, all things considered. The company says it will do everything you expect a smart thermometer to be capable of. That includes scheduling, controlling temperature and other features remotely via the Wyze app, home and away (as well as sleep) states for saving settings presets, voice control via either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, and in-app money-saving tips to usage monitoring.
The product will come with all the necessary mounting equipment, similar to Wyze’s new video doorbell. It does have a nifty Nest-inspired color screen and a pretty lightweight design with a simple black control nob for manual adjustments. Like with the headphones, Wyze isn’t publicly disclosing pricing until the product is up for preorder. But the company is adamant in following its principles of aggressively low prices, so expect this device to similarly cost well under the competition, which tends to cost in the $100 to $250 range.