There's no shortage of smart home hubs, but every once in a while, we come across a product that seems to be a cut above the rest. That was our impression of the new and improved Homey Pro, which brings some meaningful upgrades over its predecessor. So, let's take a closer look at this Homey Pro review to see whether it meets those expectations.
The Homey Pro is a full-fledged smart home system, that allows you to easily control, monitor, and automate devices from a large variety of brands in a single app and system. It supports Zigbee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth, 433MHz, Wi-Fi, and infrared. Matter devices that work over Wi-Fi integrate with the hub, and it's expected that Matter over Thread support will be added to the device in due course.
The hardware upgrades in the new Homey Pro increase the Zigbee and Z-Wave wireless range by up to 1.5x compared to the 2019 Homey Pro. The infrared range has been increased by up to 4.5x, whereas 433 Mhz range sees an up to 1.2x increase. The CPU speed gets improved by a whopping 3.6x while there's also twice the amount of memory and storage in the latest iteration.
This device is a big upgrade over another smart home hub from the company, called the Homey Bridge, in that it prioritizes local control and isn't reliant on the cloud. The Homey Bridge requires a paid Homey Premium subscription if you want to connect more than 5 devices, but it has unique benefits, though. Its more competitive pricing makes it a suitable product for those who can't maximize the potential of the Homey Pro.
Data privacy is at the heart of these Homey hubs, with the Homey Pro providing the extra benefit of enabling your devices to run even during an internet outage, provided those connected devices don't need to sync with the cloud.
Advantages of Homey Pro
The device itself looks quite premium in keeping with its price tag. The app also has a similarly polished look and feel. It provides incredible insights and detailed graphs so you can fine-tune your setup even further. You're also shown the battery status of all connected devices in the app which is very useful. All of the controls feel very intuitive, and it's also great that you can keep an eye on the estimated energy your smart home is using in real-time.
Modern homes tend to be very energy-intensive, and it's only with data that we can visualize the trends and make adjustments where necessary to achieve greater efficiency. Homey Energy does just that by providing you with real-time insights into the power usage of your home. You can even check the usage by zone in the app.
For example, you could see how much energy your living room uses and then use those insights to create Flows that help you conserve energy. If you have solar panels connected to Homey Pro through an inverter, you can also keep an eye on the energy yield of your home from within the app.
Setting up the Homey Pro smart home hub is relatively easy. Power it up, download the app on your phone, and go through the simple setup process. The company claims that the hub supports over 50,000 smart devices, and while we don't have nearly as many of them to test that claim, we were able to connect to nearly all smart home devices that we did have during the test. That's impressive and makes for a very easy setup experience. All of the data is stored locally on the device so you can rest assured that the Homey Pro ensures total privacy.
Perhaps what was most impressive to see was all of the additional functionality that Homey Pro offers compared to Samsung's SmartThings Station. It's one of the most potent alternatives to the SmartThings hub.
There's a lot that you can accomplish through this platform but in our view, Advanced Flow is one of the most impressive features that's accessible through the web app. It's like a canvas for infinite automation possibilities. You can configure it to start either from a voice assistant or another Flow and link together infinite permutations that accomplish one task after another seamlessly.
Flows are like IFTTT functions but with more complex logic based on the “When – and – Then” approach. You can also have Flows triggering other Flows and even add delays in between so that a set time elapses between subsequent Flows.
Allow me to explain how I make the most of Homey Flow. Since I travel long distances frequently, my Calendar is connected to the Google API, which subsequently notifies me when there's going to be more traffic on my route, for example. It's a lifesaver for me in the mornings!
I also appreciate receiving an alert when the motion cameras I have installed detect a movement. Homey Pro sends me an image with the alert as well so I can see what was causing the movement and also triggers the smart lights installed outdoors to light up the property.
It just makes life easy in more ways than one. For example, It sends alerts on where I can charge my electric car in the neighborhood to remind me that I've forgotten to lock the car. If the laundry is done or the washing machine stops for some reason, I get an alert to see what might be the case.
There's endless potential here that you can unlock with Flows, and it's only made possible by Homey Pro's support for over 50,000 smart home devices from 1000+ brands. So it's not just your smart lights. You can connect other smart home devices from Nest, Ring, IKEA, Aqara, and more. This is just how the smart home was intended to function.
Where Homey Pro has room for improvement
We feel that the device and the app have room for improvement in some areas. For example, the app is slow to launch, so this is something that the developers can work on to improve the user experience. We also felt that Home and Away detection is often not as reliable as it could be, but again, this seems like something that could be fixed through an update.
It would have been better if first-party dashboards were available, as that's something we miss. While many first-party apps are available from different brands, it would be nice to see this selection grow in the near future, as it doesn't feel quite as comprehensive as it should. The fact that you can't get live video from connected devices, only camera snapshots, is another area where we must dock some points. This is one of those things that could be made possible if they wanted to.
Homey Pro should allow backup through mobile devices, but it's only possible by connecting the device directly to the PC. However, you can opt for the cloud-based backup service if you want to make this easier. It's a similar process for the Insights as well. We understand the reluctance to rely on cloud-based services here, but there are instances where they can be very helpful as well.
Ultimately, the Homey Pro is a great starting point for both those who are only just starting out on their smart home journey and those who are looking for a solution that binds all of their connected devices and makes them work seamlessly together. One can reasonably expect that Homey Pro will go from strength to strength in the future, so it will be interesting to see how the software is improved over time to elevate the smart home experience further. We loved the Homey Pro, and so will every smart home user!