The Philips Hue Smart Button is a wireless controller for the Philips Hue smart lighting system. It works in a similar way to the Hue Wireless Dimmer but is smaller, offers two different mounting options, and is intended to be a quick and simple way to control a bulb, a room, or an entire home with a press.
The button can be programmed to control Hue lights in several different ways. There’s a brief tap and a longer press-and-hold, each of which can be set to do different things. It’s also possible to have the button set a scene depending on the time of day, or it can cycle through several pre-programmed scenes with each subsequent press. A long press is used to dim whatever lights the button is programmed to control.
A wall-mounting plate is included in the box, along with a small disc that's the size of the button itself. Both can be fixed to the wall with the supplied adhesive strips, and the button itself snaps magnetically into place on either plate.
Philips Hue Smart Button: specs
Philips Hue Smart Button: performance
Wireless, powered by a CR2032 coin battery
Attaches magnetically to included wall plate and adhesive disc
Soft plastic finish with discreet status LED
The Philips Hue Smart Button works very much like other Philips Hue accessories, including the Wireless Dimmer and the Tap Dial Switch. Lights respond quickly to a press, and it can be set up to either control Hue lights directly or via the optional Hue Bridge.
You don’t need a Hue Bridge to use the Smart Button, but installing one will unlock greater functionality for both your Hue lights and accessories – most notably the ability to control your lights from the Hue app when away from home.
The button itself is made from a soft-touch, slightly rubberized plastic that gives it a premium feel. It’s a nice finish but one that has a habit of attracting dust and quickly looking unclean. The clicking action feels fairly premium, and we welcome the LED that's hidden beneath the plastic surface and can only be seen when illuminated. This helps alert you to any connection problems and blinks green when the button is pressed.
The mounting plate can be stuck to any interior wall with the included adhesive strips, or mounted with screws, if you prefer. The button also comes with a much smaller mount, which is also magnetic and features adhesive strips on the back. In our opinion, opting for the latter results in a much cleaner setup and means you won’t have the Philips logo slapped across your wall.
Philips Hue Smart Button: app
Quick and easy setup
Simple to configure
Fairly limited customization options
As with other Hue accessories, adding the Philips Hue Smart Button to your lighting system is done via the Hue app. The setup process is quick and easy, giving you the opportunity to name the button (something like "Hallway") and assign it to a room of lights. Alternatively, the button can be tasked with controlling one or more specific Hue lights and lighting strips, or a specific zone similar to one that includes every Hue light in the household.
As well as Hue lights, the Smart Button can control the Hue Smart Plug in exactly the same way. This means it can be used to fire up a heater, a fan, a lamp or pretty much anything that plugs into a wall outlet.
Using the Hue app to change how the button works is easy. You can pick which lights, rooms or zones it controls (ranging from a single light to an entire home), and configure what happens to those lights when you give the button a quick press or a press-and-hold.
By default, a single press activates a time-based lighting setup. Here, your lights will adjust to a certain setting depending on the time of day, with each 24-hour period sectioned into five different lighting presets, each mimicking natural sunlight at that time of day. This means cool, bluish white light in the morning; warmer, more yellow light in the afternoon and evening; and a darker, dimmer orange glow at night. You can change the time and lighting setting for each of these to suit your needs.
Alternatively, a press can cycle your lights through a range of presets. Up to five different lighting scenes can be added, with each button press skipping to the next one.
Lastly, there’s the press-and-hold control. This is far more limited, and it can only be used to either dim a certain set of lights or turn off every Hue light in your home. The latter is pretty useful, especially if you mount the Smart Button by the front door, ready to be pressed to turn everything off on your way out.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to configure this more deeply. We’d like to have a long press turn all the lights off but also turn on a single lamp in the lounge to act as a burglar deterrent. This limitation sums up the Philips Hue Smart Button: it works very well but only if you don’t expect too much from it. More possibilities for customization would have been welcome.
Philips Hue Smart Button review: Should I buy?
Buy it if...
Don't buy it if...
Philips Hue Smart Button review: Also consider
If you want to add more smart lighting to your home, here are a couple of options to consider...
Philips Hue Smart Button review: How I tested
I added the switch to my Hue lighting system
I set up and used the switch as part of my daily routine
I fitted the Smart Button to a wall in my hallway and configured the switch to cycle a Hue light bulb in the hall through several scenes when pressed, then turn off all of my Hue lights with a long press.
I also experimented with the settings and used the Smart Button for other uses, including as a portable dimmer switch for my lounge Hue lighting. Being wireless, the button also spent time on my bedside table and at my desk where it was configured to control office lighting.
Realme GT5 is arriving on August 28, and today, the company revealed the design of the phone. It will have three cameras and an LED light on the back, but this time the island spans from one side to the other, similar to what Google has implemented in its Pixel phones in the past few generations.
Teasers also confirmed a 5,240 mAh battery with 240W fast charging and a SuperVOOC S power management chip that will take care of the cell.
The design of the camera island reminded us of the Realme GT3 with the duo of circles for the cameras. However, the LED rectangle is now sitting...
The Tecno Pova 5 Pro arrives and upgrades the Mecha design with colorful RGB lights on the back panel. And if the Free Fire special edition wasn’t enough of a clue, you should know that the Pova 5 series has a passion for gaming, which is even more pronounced on the Pro model.
The Pova 5 Pro brings more compute power to the table with a Dimensity 6080, a 6nm chip (TSMC) with 2x Cortex-A76 (2.2GHz) and 6x A55 (2.0GHz) and a Mali-G57 MC2.This replaces the Helio G99, which has an identical CPU but a weaker Mali-G52 MC2 GPU. Of course, the Dimensity also enables high-bandwidth, low-latency 5G...
The Roborock Dyad Pro may be a one-trick pony; but it performs that one trick very well. This standup mop-vacuum is perfect for anyone whose flooring comprises mainly hard floors. In particular, flooring that may not do well with standing water – as you might experience when using a traditional mop.
Is it one of the best vacuum cleaners available now? Yes, but only if you don’t need a stand-alone vacuum function; the Roborock Dyad Pro doesn’t do that. However, in terms of its mopping function, it offers a couple of settings with which you can either use it on full power to clean your floors, or conserve both water and power if you’re trying to clean a large area.
While it isn't unique in the market, this wet-only vacuum from the Chinese-based Roborock – a company that’s made a name for itself in the vacuum market over the past 10 years – has very little in the way of competition, with only some offerings from Samsung and Bissell’s CrossWave line coming to mind. In fact, having mopping functionality seems to be more prevalent in some of the best robot vacuums.
Regardless of the uniqueness of this offering, the Dyad Pro is simple to get going. Putting it together, filling it up, and docking it in its charging base will take around 10 minutes. Emptying it of dirty water and debris is just as easy. All-in-all, just about everything about the Roborock Dyad Pro is straightforward.
Of course, there are a few flaws here. It’s on the heavy side, which can make setting it in its base a bit difficult. Plus, functionality through the app is limited, especially since this isn't the kind of vacuum that you can run on its own as you would a robot vacuum. We struggled with the floor-drying mode, too, which didn't appear to work – although it didn't take long for the floors to dry naturally, so the fact that the mode was a tad lacklustre wasn’t too serious of an issue.
Having spent a week with the Roborock Dyad Pro, it’s a hardy recommendation for anyone looking to replace their mop or wanting to combine mop and vacuum duties in a single cordless vacuum. For those who have carpeting, it won’t replace a vacuum outright; but this model does make cleaning hard floors incredibly easy.
The Roborock Dyad Pro, whose official launch was in January at CES 2023, is the kind of product that you could class as expensive – if you haven’t seen the competition.
Nevertheless, at $449.99 / £489.99 / AU$799, this view could be justified when you consider it can only be used in wet mode, and when models such as the Shark Stratos Cordless with Clean Sense IQ – a Tech Radar favorite – costs around $50 / £50 more. Other options include the Samsung Bespoke Jet, which includes a dry vacuum mode, but this costs a whopping $1,035 / £629 / AU$1,299. However, unless you're happy to consider a more manual solution such as a Swiffer or traditional mop, you’ll have a hard time spending less for a cordless vacuum / mopping solution.
Roborock Dyad Pro review: Specs
The Roborock Dyad Pro comes with a vacuum and charging station.
Roborock Dyad Pro review: Design
Easy to assemble and clean
A bit bottom heavy
Comes with bright, legible LED screen
On first receiving the Roborock Dyad Pro, putting it together is as simple as plugging in the base and inserting the handle into the body of the vacuum. Next, you fill up the clean water tank and the detergent compartment, and following some time charging, it's ready to use.
The Roborock Dyad Pro cuts a striking figure in white and black, but unfortunately, it's a bit bottom heavy, as a result of the body of the vacuum containing both a clean and dirty water tank.
Thankfully, though, access to the various parts – whether that be to one of the compartments or the two rollers on the underside of the vacuum – is super easy, making cleanup and troubleshooting straightforward.
To that effect, the dirty water tank has a few components, including a filter and reservoir, that takes just a few minutes to empty and clean out. You will have to remove the filter to pour out the dirty water, where you’ll also find plenty of debris to discard.
As far as controls go, the Dyad Pro features three buttons on the handle. The top one is a self-cleaning button, which you press once the Roborock Dyad Pro is back in its charging base, while on the front side there are two more buttons: one for power and one to change modes. There are four modes available: Eco, Auto, Max, and Floor Drying.
Lastly, on the top of the vacuum body you'll find an LED screen that relays all the information you need to know. It shows the current battery charge, a blue indicator line that starts to turn red the dirtier the mess you’re cleaning up, and the mode you’re currently using. The display is simple and straightforward like everything else here, and is more than bright enough to read.
Design: 4.5 / 5
Roborock Dyad Pro review: Performance
Only has wet cleaning mode
Does a fantastic job cleaning all sorts of debris
Has multiple modes – although the floor-drying mode doesn’t work
While it’s unfortunate that the Roborock Dyad Pro doesn’t have a dry vacuum-only function, it does a wonderful job in its dual vacuum and mop guise. With its combination of detergent and water, plus those dual rollers, it quickly picks up and cleans whatever I'm clearing on its first pass.
I used the Roborock Dyad Pro to clean up cat litter that had been spread outside the litter box (and this was the clay-type litter), as well as debris left from cat-scratch toys and general accumulated dust with the odd large particle – notably a rubber band. No matter what I wanted to clean up, the floor was left spotless. Cleaning out the dirty water tank, I even noticed that it had picked up a bunch of hair that I didn’t even notice was on the floor.
Since all the controls are on the handle, switching modes – from Eco or Auto mode to Max for dirtier messes – is at your fingertips. The positioning of the LED screen at the top also makes it easy to keep an eye on battery life and the level of dirt being cleaned up.
The Roborock Dyad Pro not only does a good job of cleaning up, it’s pretty easy to use as well. Note that it's somewhat bottom-heavy, which maybe a surprise when you first grab hold of it to use. In addition, when you turn it on, it lurches forward like it has a mind of its own. However, once I'd become accustomed to this, it actually proved useful, requiring less effort on my part to push the vacuum forward to clean.
As far as the modes go, they all work as intended – although you could easily just leave the Dyad Pro in Auto mode the whole time, since it automatically adjusts power according to how dirty your surfaces. However, the floor-drying mode doesn’t appear to work as intended. While unfortunate, I found that a mopped floor would dry up within 5 to 10 minutes, so this is unlikely to be an issue – except for the fact that the Roborock Dyad Pro offers a mode that doesn’t do anything.
Note that this isn't the quietest vacuum, running at around 66dB; but it’s around the level you'd expect from a vacuum. Plus, it will verbally announce when you switch modes or set into the base for charging / self-cleaning.
Performance: 4.5 / 5
Roborock Dyad Pro review: App
Easy to install
Set up scheduled cleaning and cleaning zones
Access real-time camera, microphone and speaker
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The Roborock app, at least for use with the Dyad Pro, doesn’t seem to be all that useful. In fact, it almost seems as though it was included for the sake of being able to state tat the vacuum offers app support.
While vacuuming, the app doesn't offer any functionality that isn't doable by pressing a button on the handle. Grabbing your phone to change modes is more cumbersome than simply making the change on the vacuum itself. In addition, since the display shows the Roborock Dyad Pro's battery status, checking the app for that is pointless as well.
The only saving grace here is that you can adjust some settings for when the vacuum isn't in use. For example, you can turn on the self-cleaning function for as soon as the vacuum is docked, or continued cleaning right after the cleaning head has been unlocked. There are also some settings that refer to the drying mode, plus a Do Not Disturb mode that will turn off that LED screen during quiet hours.
Rating: 3.5 / 5
Roborock Dyad Pro review: Battery life
Enough battery life to clean a large apartment on a single charge
Takes a while to charge back up
Using the Roborock Dyad Pro for 10 minutes at max power brought battery life down from 100% to 60%. Considering the unit is doing more than just vacuuming, that’s pretty good going – especially when you consider that I was able to cover my kitchen, living room, hallway, and one bedroom, and then slowly make my way back to the charging base.
Roborock advertises that the Dyad Pro can cover 3230 square feet (in Eco mode) off a single charge – and I can believe it based on my results. If you’re using mop / vacuum to clean a large home, however, then you may have to do so in shifts. And, since the battery can take some time to charge back up, you might be left hanging for approximately an hour or so before you can use it again.
Battery: 4 /5
Should you buy the Roborock Dyad Pro?
Buy it if...
Don't buy it if...
Roborock Dyad Pro review: Also consider
If a robot vacuum isn't for you, why not consider a cordless vacuum? There's no automation, but you retain freedom from cables.
How I tested the Roborock Dyad Pro
Used for a couple weeks
Cleaned up different types of dirt and debris
Looked at its various features including the app
To test the Roborock Dyad Pro, I used the model for a couple weeks to vacuum and mop the hardwood floors in my apartment. I cleaned up various types of particles, from cat litter to even larger debris. I tried to run down the battery as much as I could, although I did run out of floor space to clean. And, I went through all the functionality of the associated app.
Buying a treadmill can be a bit of a scary proposition, with so many variables in play - do you need hand rails? What about elevation options? Can I fit the one from the gym in my house?
Thankfully, the JTX MoveLight is an excellent treadmill that’s likely to do a lot of the thinking for you, since it’s one of the best under-desk treadmills we’ve tested. It can even be used as one of the best treadmills, but it’s a little long so alcove desk spaces may struggle to take advantage of this.
Still, it’s relatively compact, and surprisingly easy to slide under some sofas or out of the way. That compact nature does have a downside, however - there’s a weight limit of 100kg, which sounds like a lot but for someone like myself, made testing feel a little uneasy.
Thankfully, the build quality is good, and the JTX MoveLight is sturdy, if unspectacular, in its design. For a low-profile treadmill to keep the blood pumping it certainly understands the assignment. In fact, I was surprised by how often (weight limit be damned) I found myself returning to the JTX MoveLight during the review process - even as the weather outside made outdoor walking much more of an option.
JTX MoveLight: Price and availability
£499 (around $620 / AU$900)
Only available in the UK so far
The JTX Movelight retails for just under £500 (around $620 / AU$900) in the UK, but it’s not available in the US at present.
That’s not cheap by any stretch, but it a far cry from the most expensive under-desk treadmills, which reach into the thousands for office-standard kit, and remains more wallet-friendly than buying most gym-sized treadmills.
JTX Movelight: Design
Flat, low-profile design
Easy to read, large LED screen
We’ve mentioned it a few times in this review, but the JTX MoveLight is made to be fairly nondescript – it’s sporting a low-profile design that doesn’t catch the eye, and that’s, well, fine.
It’s 1.43m in length, under 55 cm wide, and it’s less than 13 cm tall (53 in x 21 in x 5 in), meaning you can brush it under the sofa for the most part when you need it out of the way.
It’s also only available in black, with a matte finish on the sides. As you can probably guess, the belt is black, too, so there are no concerns with scuffs.
You’ll find a screen at the front, and it’s relatively unambitious but means there’s less to be distracted by when you’re on the move, and you can read it easily thanks to white text.
Design score: 4/5
JTX MoveLight: Features
Easy to set up
One of the JTX MoveLight’s best features is just how easy it is to put together. Plug it in with a single cord, and you’re off to the (walking) races once you press the remote.
That removes some of the friction of feeling like your workout needs a lengthy setup procedure and allows you to get moving as and when the mood strikes.
Thankfully, doing so won’t cause too much noise if you’re watching TV or listening to music while walking on the MoveLight. That’s thanks to a 1HP motor that’s almost whisper quiet, meaning if you do use it at a desk, it won’t be seen or heard in meetings.
The starting speed of 0.5kph can ramp up to 6kph, and while JTX says that’s a light jog, for taller users it’s likely to be more of a power walk. Still, it’s plenty for burning calories, and you’re likely to reach step goals much more regularly with it.
The LED display can track your steps, distance, calories and speed, meaning you can set your own goals for each to keep on track, and the remote is easy to use, too.
Features score: 4/5
JTX MoveLight: Performance
Comfortable in motion
Longer legs may need a little more runway
Easy to use
The JTX MoveLight, despite its relatively basic appearance, is impressively built for comfort and safety.
This is done through eight-piece elastic cushioning under the belt that gives a pleasing amount of feedback per step, while also helping your joints with the ongoing motions. The result is a walking surface that feels almost as sturdy as heavy-duty, handrail-offering treadmill options, and feels a little magical - like walking on a cloud.
That’s particularly useful for using as an under-desk treadmill, which JTX suggests. However, the remote doesn’t give you the values or stats from the treadmill, and under-desk, the LED display would be partially or completely hidden. It’s a minor quibble, but on worth noting. In my testing, it’s perhaps a smidge too long for smaller office spaces, and even then as a 6 ft 4 (193cm) tall user, I did feel I could have done with just a few more inches of length to really get into a stride.
That’s likely to be no trouble for many, however, and if it gets your blood pumping and your brain feeling productive, it’s likely to be a watershed moment you can’t go back from. The lack of features is almost a blessing for beginners, as it removes intimidating options paralysis. You just get on and walk at the speed you want.
We were overwhelmingly impressed with the AOC Agon Pro AG274QG last year for a plethora of reasons, from its visual performance and quality to build design and on a surface level, the AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM builds on nearly everything that made last years model so well-received.
The change to mini-LED backlighting greatly improves image quality, so1440p gaming at a 240Hz refresh rate on the AG274QZM feels better than it does on the AG274QG. That is if one stays away from HDR; the implementation here just doesn’t look good.
Colors by default look considerably washed out and a bit fuzzy and though this could be improved by changing some of the monitor’s internal settings, there’s still some issues with image quality despite being Vesa DisplayHDR 1000 certification.
This time around, there were special accommodations made toward gamers who stream often and need an extra display, namely KVM and picture-in-picture.
KVM allows individuals to switch keyboards and mouses from one display to another. Since many streamers usually need two PCs and monitors to do so, it’s best for streamlining that process. The inclusion of a USB-C port makes this possible and is one of several overall design improvements to the AG274QZM. Enhancements to the internal speakers would have been nice as well, but maybe next year. Similar to the AG274QG, they lack any real punch or bass so grab one of the best PC gaming headsets, you’ll definitely need it.
Having picture-in-picture means that those who rather use one monitor for everything can do so. Considering its 27-inch screen, there’s enough visual real-estate to game and control streaming software like OBS Studio. On the other hand, anyone who wants to do some general computing task while playing a console at their desk can do so as well through picture-in-picture. It’s a great addition overall.
Holding the AG274QZM back from being the best gaming monitor at this size and refresh rate is its price. At $1,099.99, there are 27-inch 1440p/240Hhz gaming monitors that offer similar image quality and performance for much cheaper. If the extra features don’t matter much, you’ll be better off saving the money with one of those. However, there’s much to appreciate with the AG274QZM for PC gamers with deep pockets who need the built-in extras.
AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM: Price & availability
How much does it cost? $1,099 / £999 (about AU$1,600)
When is it available? It is available now.
Where can you get it? Available in the US and UK, Australian availability forthcoming
There are a handful of respectable 27-inch gaming monitors that offer both 1440p resolution and 240Hz refresh rates, like the HyperX Armada 27, Monoprice Dark Matter, and LG UltraGear Ergo 27GN88A. Even the AG274QG is around $300 cheaper. Of course, those aren’t backlit by mini-LEDs like the AG274QZM. Most general consumers looking for great image quality and performance won’t be able to tell the absolute difference unless they’re videophiles.
For those that understand the significance of having a mini-LED display, the price is justifiable to an extent. Let’s not take into account standard features for the gaming monitor including the AOC Agon Pro Quick Switch puck for quicker access to display settings and shield cover which is great for gaming during the day. Add a boatload of features featured on the AG274QZM from KVM to picture-in-picture, there’s some real value here.
Price score: 4 / 5
AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM: Design
Generous amounts of inputs in addition to having USB-C
Customizable back lights alongside logo projector with bottom LED bar
Internal speakers are lacking
On a surface level, the AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM doesn’t look much different from the AG274QG, design wise. However, there are some small additions that make the display feel fresh enough. The most notable is there is an LED bar at the bottom of the monitor.
This, in addition to the standard back LED lights and bottom logo projector, goes a long way to providing an aggressive look. Of course, these are all customizable from the display menu alongside AOC’s G-Menu app. Many in-display options can be controlled that way as well. Despite being DTS certified, the internal speakers are a bit underpowered and lack powerful volume and bass.
We praised the AG274QG for its liberal amount of ports and this continues through the AG274QZM. The ports include two HDMI 2.1 slots, one DisplayPort 1.4, a USB Hub, four USB-A, one 3.5mm headphone jack and 3.5mm mic jack alongside a new USB-C 3.2 port. Besides upstream and power delivery for up to 65W, this is mainly for the KVM capabilities.
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Setting up the AG274QZM is a simple process as mentioned previously in the accessibility section. Be mindful that the power brick it uses is pretty big too. Having an added shield cover goes a long way in blocking out a lot of excess light and isn’t difficult to put together. The AG274QZM improves on its predecessor’s already phenomenal design while adding incremental updates that improves the look and functionality of the display in meaningful ways.
Like the AG274QG, putting the monitor together isn't too complicated, though some of the parts are heavy. The base connects to the neck and both to the display lock, it’s really simple and there’s a heaviness to it that definitely brings quality. In terms of accessibility, there are understandable complaints of the weight.
With everything together, users are going to be looking at something in the range of around 17 pounds. The process isn’t difficult but the weight distribution can be a bit tricky to deal with considering how wide the base is. Ports including the power jack point downward which could be a problem for people who have issues bending over and looking up.
Putting the lightweight shield cover together is simple as well. Coming in three parts, both right and left sides connect to the top through a long nail-like bar. One of the best features of the AOC Agon Pro line is the Quick Puck switch that connects to the rear near the display and USB ports. Once connected, it really does help making display changes remarkably easier.
Design score: 4.5 / 5
AOC Agon PRO AG274QZM : Performance
Mini-LED backlight makes SDR image quality look fantastic
Motion performance is buttery smooth
HDR image quality isn’t the best even with settings tinkering
The addition of mini-LED backlight for the display works wonders for image quality on the AG274QZM. With a brightness that maxes out at 750 nits, images look clear, crisp and vivid where it matters most. It doesn’t matter if one is playing Cyberpunk 2077 at 1440p with max settings, creating content on Adobe Suite or watching video content. Considering the competitive gaming lean of the monitor, sessions of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Halo Infinite or even racing games like Forza Horizon 5 played phenomenally.
It also helps that the in-display options have pre-made settings for shooters, racing, RTS and the like, too. When it comes to 1440p at 250Hz in SDR, this is one of the best monitors money can buy. Performance during picture-in-picture mode was fantastic too in displaying two different inputs. Switching between two displays through KVM worked as it was supposed to as well.
We couldn’t say the same thing for its HDR image quality. Default image quality in HDR looks a bit too warm even with the brightness turned all the way up. Collaborations for Windows HDR Collaboration app didn’t help much either. There’s a washed out look that simply doesn’t provide a better image over SDR.
Performance: 4 / 5
Should you buy the AOC Agon AG274QZM?
Buy it if...
Don't buy it if...
You're on a budget Though the AG274QZM may be top tier, there are cheaper gaming monitors that can match image quality and performance.
You require better HDR capabilities SDR is where the AG274QZM shines best as HDR capabilities look a bit muddy and washed.
You need better internal speakers Most PC gamers are going to have headsets but if it matters, the internal speakers on the AG274QZM are fairly weak.
AOC Agon AG274QZM: Also consider
If my AOC Agon AG274QZM review has you considering other options, here are two more 27-inch monitors to consider.
How I tested the AOC Agon AG274QZM
I spent a week testing the AOC Agon AG274QZM
Games played include Cyberpunk 2077, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, Shadow Warrior 3 and Forza Horizon 5.
Creative apps used were Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro
The AOC Agon AG274QZM was tested over a week. During that time, various games and creative applications were used in testing. Some of the games tested included Cyberpunk 2077, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, Shadow Warrior 3 and Forza Horizon 5. On the creative side, Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro were used as well.
We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.
The Proscenic P12 is a cordless vacuum cleaner that features an upgraded anti-tangle roller brush, plus something that will rival a competitor offering at the top of league.
It's certainly a vac worth considering if you’re looking for one of the best cordless vacuums that won't break the bank. Proscenic is still pretty new on the floor-cleaning scene, but this Chinese brand is trying to shake up the market with its affordable smart home appliances that include some of the best air fryers as well as some of the best robot vacuums. The Proscenic P12 cordless vacuum is the latest launch from the brand and comes loaded with upgraded features that improve upon the previous top-of-the-range Proscenic P11.
On the face of it, the Proscenic P12 looks like many other cordless vacuums. However, it boasts more features than you’re likely to see on similar low-to-mid-priced models. These include the hidden but very desirable HEPA filtration, as well as the more in-your-face features such as a large, LED display screen. Then there’s the green detection headlights, a feature that appears to be inspired by Dyson’s "Detect" laser for illuminating small particles that are invisible to the naked eye.
It comes with a removable battery and two simple accessories, which, if you’re the type of person looking for an accessory for every task, might leave you wanting more for added versatility. Or, if like me, you’re sick of your home being cluttered by unwanted accessories, you’ll welcome the paired-back approach.
On test, I found that the P12 worked pretty much as I expected, cleaning all parts of my home and picking up fine dust as well as larger particles with ease. But my carpets weren’t as thoroughly cleaned as I’d like. Plus, the unit a tad on the heavy side when using overhead, or for longer periods. All-in-all, though, I was happy with the ease of use and results. Read on for more in-depth details about how I got on.
Proscenic P12 review: price and availability
List price:$400/ £229
The newly launched Proscenic P12 is available from Amazon US and Amazon UK. It comes with one battery, a crevice tool and a 2-in-1 dusting brush.
Since cordless vacuums from the big brands such as Dyson can cost in excess of $600/ £600, this is a reasonably priced alternative. But unlike very cheap, budget models, this one still includes HEPA filtration, multiple suction levels and a display screen.
Value score: 5/5
Proscenic P12 review: specifications
Price: $400/ £229
Bin volume: 0.33 gallon/ 1.5 liters
Filtration: Five-stage sealed filtration system including two HEPA filters
Suction power: 33kPa
Battery: up to 60 minutes' runtime
Weight: 3.5lb / 1.6kg (handheld vacuum with no accessories attached)
This gray cordless vacuum is nothing special to look at. The shape and configuration is typical, and it looks similar to many other models that have come before it. It isn't until you switch it on that some of the extra features become apparent. The two most obvious being the green LED light and the LED screen.
The first fans out from the front of the floor head, illuminating the path ahead. Then there’s the LED screen, which sits on the top of the vacuum and displays the battery percentage and current suction level, so you can see these with just a quick glance. It’s easy to cycle between the four power levels by pressing a symbol on the lower part of the screen.
I'm a fan of the telescopic tube. This type of adjustable-height tube is common on canister vacuums, but often lacking in cordless models. It means you can set the height of the vacuum to a level that’s comfortable for you. The maximum height, from floor to the underside of the handle, is 41.5 inches/ 105cm, while the minimum is 31.5 inches / 80cm. Annoyingly, the Proscenic P12 doesn’t stand unsupported, or lean against a wall with any stability. This means you'll have to rest it on the floor, even when pausing for a short time to move an obstacle.
Aside from the main floor head, the P12 comes with a crevice tool and 2-in-1 dusting brush. Both appear to be of decent quality; they click satisfyingly onto the handheld unit, and don’t come off until you press the release button. This means they’re unlikely to accidentally fall off or come loose – something I’ve experienced with lesser vacuums. It's also possible to attach the floor head directly to the handled unit, for use without the tube.
Included in the box is a storage hanger that you can screw to the wall. This neat solution allows you to hang the vacuum on the wall. And, conveniently, since the battery is removable, there’s no need to locate it near a power outlet. The storage hanger includes space for the two accessories to keep everything in one place.
For fuss-free emptying, a button flips open the base of the dustbin, so the contents drop directly into the trash. And for simple maintenance, the two HEPA filters are removable and washable. Likewise, the anti-tangle roller brush can be removed from the floor head to dislodge blockages and to clean.
Design score: 4.5/5
Proscenic P12 review: performance
Tools function well
Hairs didn’t tangle in roller
The power level defaults to level two (of four) when it’s first switched on, and for me this was sufficient for general daily cleaning of my wood floors. But for carpets and rugs, I found it needed to be on the highest level of suction. Even then, my carpets weren’t immaculate; I could still see some bits of surface fluff that remained on the carpet after several passes. Having said that, I could tell from what was in the dust bin that it was picking up dust and dirt that I couldn’t see, so that’s not to say it doesn’t work on carpet.
The green light doesn't span the width of the floor head; it fans out from the central section of the vacuum. And in daylight, I wasn’t convinced that it really helped me to see anything that I couldn’t already see. On my uneven slate tiles, it simply made the undulations more apparent, and it made little to no difference to what dirt I could see on my carpet. Having said that, it comes into its own in dimly lit areas such as dark corners and under furniture. Here, the light proved a benefit – it was certainly illuminating fluff and dust that I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to see.
For general use on floors, the weight of the Proscenic P12 feels well balanced, with the floor head agile enough to maneuver around corners with ease. But I noticed it felt heavy after prolonged use and when vacuuming overhead; your arm will tire quickly.
As someone who always vacuums my sofas, I missed having a dedicated upholstery tool. The 2-in-1 tool did an okay job on my sofas, although since the nozzle isn’t very wide, it took a while. However, the crevice nozzle is a good length and useful for hard-to-reach spots. Meanwhile, the dusting brush is a generous size and I found it very useful for removing dust from ledges and shelving.
I welcomed that you don’t need to keep a finger on the P12's trigger. Instead, the trigger simply acts as an on/off switch, which makes for more comfortable vacuuming. However, personally, I found the handle a bit chunky; but it must be said that this a very subjective area and those with larger hands might find it’s just right.
The Proscenic P12 emits noise at a level of 75dB on carpet on suction level two, rising to 85dB on the highest suction. Noise on hard floors was similar on the highest suction level, but on level two it was a little louder at around 80dB. However, these noise levels are pretty typical for a vacuum, and in my experience didn’t make the Prescenic vacuum feel loud or unpleasant to use.
Emptying the dustbin was messier than expected; the dirt didn’t all fall out on its own, I had to get my hand in and pull out the remaining bits. Even after that there was quite a lot of dirt clogging the metal filter, so I had to remove the fluff and dirt from that, too. The upside is that the large capacity means it doesn’t need emptying as frequently as some other models.
Performance score: 4/5
Proscenic P12 review: battery life
Battery percentage shown on-screen
Removable battery for flexible charging
Battery life comparable to other cordless vacuums
The higher the suction level, the quicker the battery is drained. When vacuuming continuously on max suction, the vacuum lasted for 10 minutes, but this can be extended by making use of different suction levels instead of defaulting to the maximum. And since the battery percentage is clearly displayed on the screen, you’ve at least got plenty of warning when it’s getting low, enabling you to prioritize the areas that really need a clean, before the battery runs out.
Once I’d drained the battery, I timed how long a full recharge took: around 3 hours 20 minutes. If you’ve removed the battery to charge it, you’ll see a blue flashing light while it charges. The light will then remain solid once it’s fully charged. If you charge it while it’s in the vacuum, the screen displays the battery percentage as it charges, so you can see exactly what the level is.
Battery score: 4/5
Should I buy the Proscenic P12?
Buy it if...
Don’t buy it if...
If you’re not sure about the Proscenic P12, here are a couple of other options to consider...
How I tested the Proscenic P12
I vacuumed wooden floors, tiles and carpet
I used it for a week in my two-bedroom, split-level house
I tried all the tools and suction levels
I used this vacuum in place of my regular vacuum for normal dust and dirt pick-up around my home. I also used it to vacuum unexpected spills, as well as to thoroughly deep-clean carpets and remove dust from shelving and sofas. I tried out all of the power levels and timed exactly how quickly the battery was depleted when used on the highest suction level continuously.
I used a decibel meter to measure the noise level on different surfaces. In addition, I noted how easy the vacuum is to use, including the comfort of the handle, how weighty it feels while vacuuming, and how easy it is to switch between power levels. I timed how long the battery took to recharge, and checked how securely the accessories click into position.
I started reviewing vacuums in 2007 for Good Housekeeping UK and have reviewed hundreds of models in my time. I have plenty of experience to draw on when trying out a new vacuum and can quickly spot gimmicks or poor design features, as well as what’s clever and innovative.
If you’re after a fight stick for your Nintendo Switch, you should seriously consider the 8BitDo Arcade Stick. There’s no shortage of fighting and arcade games – both old and new – available on Nintendo’s current-gen console, and 8BitDo has manufactured an excellent controller, perfect for exploring these games.
8BitDo is well known for its high-quality controllers on Nintendo Switch. The 8BitDo Ultimate is a shining example that finds itself at the top of our best Nintendo Switch controllers guide. I’ve also been impressed by the 8BitDo Arcade Stick. It’s ticked all the boxes that I expect the company to offer; top build quality, robust features and customizability that throws in a retro aesthetic which is more charming than gimmicky.
Sadly, the biggest drawback of the 8BitDo Arcade Stick is that it’s not compatible with PS5 or Xbox Series X|S consoles. Still, it’s certainly one of the best fight sticks around for its targeted systems, and at its mid-range price point, it is well worth considering if you’re looking to leap from controller to stick. It’s one of the best fight sticks you can buy in 2023.
8BitDo Arcade Stick: price and availability
The official page for the 8BitDo Arcade Stick links off to the company’s Amazon store page, where you can pick one up for $90 / £82. That makes the stick pricier than 8BitDo’s other controllers and the official Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. But it’s relatively affordable in the fight stick space. As a result, I recommend it if you’re looking to break into fight sticks for the first time.
8BitDo Arcade Stick: design
Exceptional build quality for the price
Gorgeous, NES-like aesthetic
LED lighting for button layout is a nice touch
The 8BitDo Arcade Stick is an eyebrow-raiser right out of the box. Naturally, its retro look will be the first thing to catch your eye. Personally, I love it. Giving off an 80s/90s Nintendo aesthetic, it fits the stick’s target console. The color scheme works excellently here; the NES gray chassis perfectly complements the bright red face buttons and glossy black casing surrounding them.
There’s a strong color coding element here, too. Function buttons for Home, Turbo (toggle for holding a button to perform repeat inputs) and Pairing are nicely laid out at the top-left of the stick in blue, yellow and green hues, respectively. Next to these are toggle switches for X-Input and Switch button layouts and a stick toggle to assign it as a left stick, right stick or d-pad.
Lastly, a connection toggle switch lets players swap between Bluetooth or 2.4g connectivity if they plan to go wireless. The package includes a USB dongle if you want to connect via the latter. A USB-C cable is also packed in the box if you prefer wired. A thoughtful and welcome inclusion is a protective cover over the USB-C slot, too.
Let’s revisit that input toggle switch, as it has another function I really love. There’s a set of LED lights next to the stick’s face buttons, denoting which control method you’re currently using. If you’ve got Switch toggled to, the lights will display the console’s button layout. X-Input, meanwhile, will turn on a separate set of lights that show the Xbox Wireless Controller’s button layout. It’s an excellent touch that’ll surely save newcomers some headaches, especially if you’re wondering how each button is assigned.
8BitDo Arcade Stick: features
Fully customizable, letting you swap out buttons and stick
Square gate stick by default
Two macro buttons
Likely as a means to keep costs down, the 8BitDo Arcade Stick doesn’t feature Sanwa-manufactured buttons out of the box. What’s here by default certainly gets the job done, but if you’re looking to upgrade, you’re in luck. The stick is fully customizable, and can be opened with a screwdriver, meaning you can swap in your own 24mm or 30mm buttons. There’s also a universal joystick plate here, useful if you want to swap out the 8BitDo Arcade Stick’s square gate for an octagonal one, for example.
Customization goes one step further with the two macro buttons at the stick's top-right. Designated P1 and P2, you can assign additional commands to these buttons via the 8BitDo Ultimate Software app. You can, of course, assign macros to any button on the stick, but it’s nice to have two extra dedicated to this functionality. Need to do a long, tricky input string in Street Fighter 6? Those macro buttons can go a long way to saving you the frustration of a fumbled input.
8BitDo Arcade Stick: performance
Pinpoint responsiveness for both wired and wireless
30 - 40 hours of battery life when wireless
Amazingly clicky, tactile feel
The 8BitDo Arcade Stick certainly looks the part, but it plays even better. Playing a broad range of the best fighting games, including Tekken 7 and Guilty Gear Strive, I found responsiveness to be pin-sharp during play. You’ll naturally get a modicum of input lag when playing wirelessly with any device. Still, it certainly wasn’t noticeable with the 8BitDo Arcade Stick, meaning you should be comfortable playing against others regardless of your connectivity preference.
Being wireless, the 8BitDo Arcade Stick boasts some phenomenal battery life. You’ll get roughly 30 hours via Bluetooth connection and 40 with 2.6g connectivity. And when you need to charge via the USB-C cable, you’ll find it only takes 3 - 4 hours. Overall, it’s an extremely wireless-friendly stick.
Again, while you may wish to opt for higher quality Sanwa parts somewhere down the line, the 8BitDo Arcade Stick’s default buttons and sticks are certainly no slouches. The joystick itself rocks around with satisfying tactility. The face buttons, meanwhile, offer little resistance when pressed. That leads to a delightfully bouncy feel that makes repeated presses both easy and fun.
Should I buy the 8BitDo Arcade Stick?
Buy it if...
You’re looking for your first fight stick Being relatively affordable and of a very high quality, 8BitDo’s arcade stick is a fantastic entry-point for beginners.
You primary console is Nintendo Switch The 8BitDo Arcade Stick is tailor-made for Nintendo Switch but also works on PC.
You love customizability The 8BitDo Arcade Stick is customization-friendly, allowing you to easily swap out parts and faceplates.
Don't buy it if...
You’re after a PS5 / Xbox Series X stick If you primarily play on PS5 or Xbox Series X|S, you’ll need to look for another stick (like the Nacon Daija) as 8BitDo’s device doesn’t work there.
Launched in spring 2022, Samsung’s Jet Bot AI+ remains the brand's top-end and most sophisticated robot vacuum cleaner to date. Forward-thinking features include LiDAR and 3D navigation, object recognition (and avoidance), and remote-control cameras.
But before we delve into more geeky goodness, would you just look at it. Working in the interiors industry can lead to design snobbery, but I had nothing to sneer about when unboxing the Samsung Jet Bot AI+. A sleek cross between a Stormtrooper and Monster Truck, but with Porsche-grade finesse, this was undoubtedly one of the most attractive looking robot vacuums I've tested.
Back to the tech. One of my favorite features of the Jet Bot AI+ was its object recognition skills. Even if it usually failed to accurately name them – 90% of the items were recorded on the app as socks/towels or cables, which was accurate 0% of the time! However, it did go around the dogs’ toys – which have frequently stopped other robot vacuums in their tracks. Those with younger children should find they don’t have to spend time picking up toys or abandoned clothing (socks, perhaps?) before releasing their robot.
I tested the Samsung Jet Bot AI+ on a variety of floor types – carpet, wood, porcelain, terracotta and laminate – on the ground floor of our fairly open-plan family home. The overall area is approximately 100 square meters, but a fair amount of that is covered by furniture the vacuum couldn’t get underneath. So, in reality, the Samsung Jet Bot AI+ only had about 70 square meters to cover.
Over the past year, the online customer reviews from Jet Bot AI+ owners have been rather Marmite-ish. Some claim to love it more than toast, rating it one of the best robot vacuums out there. Others want to put it in the sea – not literally – and switch back to their best cordless vacuum. Read on to find out which way I swayed…
Samsung Jet Bot AI+ review: Price & Availability
List price: $999.99 / £989
Available in US & UK
There’s no doubting that the Samsung Jet Bot AI+ is an investment. If I were to draw comparisons on price in the motoring industry, this robot would be more Porsche 911 than Peugeot 307. It’s similar in spec, price and ability to iRobot’s Roomba s9+ self-emptying robot. I’ve now tested both and, if I had the salary of a Porsche owner (sadly, I don’t), I’d put my money on the iRobot.
If you’ve got money to burn, you can pick up the Samsung Jet Bot AI+ direct from Samsung, globally, as well as through major retailers such as Amazon, Argos, Currys, John Lewis and Home Depot.
THE SPECS OF OUR SAMSUNG JET BOT AI+ ROBOT VACUUM REVIEW UNIT
Price: $999.99 / £989
Power: 21.6V Li-ion battery
Bin capacity (onboard): 0.2L
Bin capacity (Clean Station): 2.5L
Noise level: 74 dBA
Run time: 90 minutes
Dimensions: W305 x H136.5 x D320mm
Samsung Jet Bot AI+ Vacuum Review: Design
A thing of beauty
LED visual light bar
Solidly built and impressively robust, this is the monster truck of robot vacuums, and its design is hard to fault – at least when it comes to looks. The Misty White livery will suit most interiors, and the bin/charging Clean Station is similarly streamlined and luxe. A light bar at the front of the robot pulses white when it’s on the move, and yellow when charging.
In Sound Effect mode, the Jet Bot plays a jolly jingle when it kicks off and returns to the charging base, providing an audible indicator that all is well. You can change the Sound Mode settings to Voice. In English, there’s a choice between Lisa or John, who sing out chipper ditties such as “it may be dusty outside, but it’s all clean in here” at the end of a clean, as well as less patronizing, more practical commentary. Both voices are annoying, and I quickly reverted back to the Sound Effect melodies (there’s also a Mute option for the seriously noise averse/grumpy).
There are precious few useful buttons on the machine itself – just stop, start and go home, plus a sliding switch at the side that turns the vacuum completely on and off. For full functionality, you’d better be app proficient. Said app is Samsung’s SmartThings home automation app, which I already use for our Frame TV and soundbar. Adding a new device was straightforward, and the Jet Bot app control section is excellently laid out for intuitive use.
While the overall looks of the Jet Bot AI+ are on fleek, its height (3.9in/136.5mm) is a major design flaw; it isn't skinny, either. It's essentially too tall to slide under plinths and too wide to get between chair legs, meaning that ditching your manual vacuum will not be an option. It did manage to wedge itself under a small side table in our living room, carrying it around on its back like a drunk snail until rescued!
Flip it upside down, and the first thing those who have experience with robot vacuums may spot is the lack of a swirling brush. These tend to protrude at one corner, directing stray debris into the central suction area. Instead, there's just the usual roller brush, which is also worryingly devoid of actual bristles. Think plush velvet roller rather than round hairbrush-style; it certainly didn’t look like it would be capable of tackling all the pet and human hair found around our home.
The top of the robot has a lift-off cover that reveals its innards– and they're more impressive, both in terms of design and functionality. There’s a pull-out fine dust filter, as well as two additional filters inside the lid of the bin, which also lifts out very easily with a handle. In total, you’re looking at five layers of filtration, meaning 99.99% of micro-dust will be trapped inside the bin, not released back into the room.
This upright vacuum also has an anti-allergen complete seal, which captures and traps 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum. Although this is difficult to test, my husband and I did notice that we weren't sneezing nor suffering watering eyes while this vacuum was in use, which is something that we can be sensitive to – so we'll take that as a win.
Samsung Jet Bot AI+ review: Performance
Vacuums well on hard floors
Object avoidance is sheer genius
Spy on pets when you’re out
I’ve been using the Samsung Jet Bot AI+ robot vacuum to clean the ground floor of our home for well over a month now, and it was only at the very end of this test period that a job was completed without issues. In fact, I had to ask if I could keep it longer than normal, just to reach this goal. Weirdly, the Jet Bot is an excellent mapper, and delivered a credible map of our ground floor faster than any other robot vacuum I’ve tested. It's packed with top-spec LiDAR and 3D sensors, and wasted no time at all working out where all our furniture sits and how to get into rooms with multiple entrances. In the first run, it had our ground floor sussed out. Unprecedented.
Sadly, these excellent mapping skills didn’t appear to aid real-life navigation. The Samsung Jet Bot AI+ was pretty rubbish at finding its charging base, the rooms I’d scheduled it to clean, or its way out of a paper bag! In the first three weeks I’d barely started the car for the school run before I’d received a notification that it couldn’t find the room it was meant to be cleaning. I tried rebooting the robot, moving the charging base (which had more than the recommended free space around it, while also being within spitting distance of our Wi-Fi router) and reinstalling the app on my iPhone. No dice.
As mentioned earlier, Object Recognition was brilliant. Or rather, navigation around said objects. Apparently, this feature was developed to deal with the issue of robot’s smearing pet excrement around the house while you’re out – yuck! Since our dogs are very well house-trained, I was simply grateful not to receive endless notifications that the robot was tangled up in something it shouldn’t be, nor did I have to waste precious time scanning all the rooms for potential hazards.
Another handy feature that worked well is the intelligent power control, which automatically adapts power according to floor type, thus saving battery life. There’s also the option to set the power to Max or Normal – but why would you when there’s a Smart button that does the thinking for you?
Navigation and speed issues aside, was the Samsung Jet Bot AI+ any good at actual cleaning? The short answer is yes, and no! Initially, I struggled with the edges of a room; the vacuum wasn’t getting close enough to suck up the drifts of dog hair our Sprocker Spaniels shed year-round.
Matters improved once I changed the cleaning mode to "Clean walls and edges first", rather than cleaning the center before the walls or moving in a zigzag pattern (which is quicker, but less effective). However, the corners were still a bit hairy (literally) and I couldn’t help wishing that the Samsung Jet Bot AI+ had a twirly corner brush to get right into those crevices.
The majority of our ground floor is covered either in engineered wood or tiles, and the suction power on the Jet Bot and, presumably, the roller-heads beneath did a fantastic job. Bigger debris such as hay and cornflakes is often pushed aside by robot vacuums; but the Jet Bot left nothing behind. It lost points on the wool carpet in the living room, where it left the girls’ hair, and feathers, stuck in the fibers of the carpet – the lack of brushes on the rollers seemed likely to blame. It appeared to be doing a good job of pulling dust from deeper in the pile, though, and when I ran over the same area with my (excellent) cordless vacuum, I was pleased to find precious little dust in the bin.
On Spot Cleaning, this robot vacuum didn’t do amazingly well. I scattered flour in a corner of the kitchen and then sent the Jet Bot in to spot clean, twice. The results were okay in the main area, but clearly demonstrate that corners really aren't its strong-suit.
Cleaning and maintaining the Jet Bot AI+ is very easy, not least because the bin automatically empties into the Clean Station when it docks. The vacuum arrives with two dust bags; and I didn’t fill the first one in the six-week trial period. These replaceable bin bags should hold up to three months’ worth of dirt, depending on the size of your home and how filthy dirty it is. Replacement dust bags cost £19 for five, which is a fair price.
All the many filters and internal dust bin can easily be whipped out and washed under the tap, and the roller is also super simple to unclip and remove for cleaning. No screwdrivers or science degree required. Not that I needed to remove the roller. It's supported by high-efficiency extractors (nubby triangular pieces at the front of the roller casing, I think) that grind up hairs to prevent them from becoming tangled around the brush, and it works brilliantly. Hair wrapped around rollers is one of the most annoying parts of owning two long-haired girls – and, for once, I didn’t have to cut a carpet-worth of hair off the rollers once a week.
The SmartThings app isn’t terribly complicated, which is a good thing. Highlights include the cleaning reports, which let you see exactly where the robot became stuck before giving up on a clean, and the Find robot vacuum, which means you don’t have to wander around aimlessly to seek it out (it was usually trapped in the cloakroom toilet, where it frequently managed to shut the door on itself).
The scheduling function is useful and easy to set up/change, and the app also includes a decent Home Monitoring system, which is great fun. You can send the vacuum around the house to check out what the pets are doing when you’re out (sleeping, mostly) and, if you download a movement sensor widget, you can also get it to detect motion and send an alert, should the vacuum detect a disturbance. Handier in high-crime areas than on the edges of Dartmoor.
Samsung Jet Bot AI+ review: Battery
Not the longest run-time on the market
Recharges when there’s still 10% left in the tank
Charges in approximately 3.5 hours
The 90 minutes of running time on offer was accurate and should have been sufficient to cover our entire ground floor. However, the Samsung Jet Bot AI+ must be especially slow – or more thorough, perhaps – than other robots I’ve tested. It could manage only three rooms before it had to return home to refuel; four rooms at a stretch. With my regular robot, I can go to the yard, muck out the pony, get the kids to school and return home to clean floors (a one-hour round trip). Alas, the Samsung Jet Bot AI+ would still be chuntering on 20 minutes after I’d fired up the work laptop. Luckily, the Jet Bot is pretty quiet. The official 74dBA rating must refer to Max power mode, as my sound meter recorded around 53dBA in the Smart cleaning mode, which isn't too distracting.
Battery: 3.5 / 5
Should you buy the Samsung Jet Bot AI+ ?
Buy it if...
Don't buy it if...
Samsung Jet Bot AI+ Robot Vacuum Review: Also consider
How I tested the Samsung Jet Bot AI+ robot vacuum
It was used to clean wood, tile, laminate, carpet and (very short pile) rugs
I used the Samsung Jet Bot AI+ as my main vacuum downstairs for six weeks
I’ve been using the Samsung Jet Bot AI+ at least once a day, sometimes more, on the ground floor of my four-bedroom Victorian home for six weeks. It has seven rooms plus a central hallway, but towards the end of the testing period I only had it clean three or four rooms, which is seemed to find more manageable. When I'm not testing a robot, I will usually only vacuum the three most frequently used rooms every day, so this was closer to reality.
I’ve used all the key features on the app, but I didn’t download the motion detection sensor. Nor did I connect it to Alexa, partly because I couldn’t work out how – but mainly because I had it set up on an automatic schedule, so there was no need.
I’ve been reviewing robot vacuums, and non-robotic vacuums, for several years now, and been testing all manner of other appliances, garden tech, bedding and fitness equipment for nigh on 20 years.
Originally founded in the US in 2006, SimpliSafe sells a range of home security products that are designed to be easy to install and easy to use. These include indoor and outdoor cameras, video doorbells and smart locks that are all available to buy online. The SimpliSafe SimpliCam indoor security camera is just one of the intuitive products in its growing lineup.
SimpliSafe offers homeowners a professional monitoring home security service alongside its systems, "with no long-term contracts and at affordable prices". Relatively new in the UK, the company has recently undergone a brand refresh, so I was keen to try out one of its latest products in my own home.
I tried out the SimpliCam indoor camera, to see how well it performed and how precisely it alerted me to any potential intruder or disturbance. I wanted to see how easy it was to use and install, and whether it could offer peace of mind when I was away from home. I’m not overly keen on the idea of having an indoor security camera in my home, but I did want to see whether the SimpliCam was as straightforward to use as other indoor cameras that I've tried in the past, such as the Ring Indoor Cam and Y-Cam.
Keep scrolling to find out how the SimpliSafe SimpliCam got on in our home then, head to our best home security cameras guide for more comparisons.
SimpliCam SimpliSafe review price & availability
List price: $99/£69
Available in US & UK
It isn't the cheapest indoor security camera you can buy online, but the SimpliSafe SimpliCam is reasonably priced for a stylishly designed indoor camera with smart functionality. It's sold both in the US and UK.
You'll need to sign up to a SimpliSafe plan to make full use of the recording functionality and for enhanced monitoring – although you can opt in or opt out at any time. Terms and conditions and prices for these plans vary in the US and UK, depending on which plan you choose. This is because emergency responses work differently in both countries.
When installing the camera in the US, you should expect to pay $9.99 per month for instant access for up to three days of recording and storage, with you able to add up to five cameras to the plan. A standard plan costs around $17.99 per month, which provides help from professional monitoring agents. The highest plan with 24/7 monitoring and police dispatch costs around $27.99 per month.
If installing this camera in the UK, you can expect to pay around £4.99 per month for a standard recording plan that includes unlimited recording, 30 days of storage and up to 10 cameras. A more comprehensive professional monitoring plan with camera recording, guard response and police response costs £24.99 per month.
The specs of our SimpliSafe SimpliCam review unit
Price: $99 / £69
Subscription plan required: Yes
WiFi set up: Yes
Viewing range: 120-degree field of vision
Live HD video and audio alerts: Yes
Optional recording plan: From £4.99 per m / $9.99 per m
These specs are the same for US and UK SimpliSafe SimpliCam models.
SimpliCam SimpliSafe review design
High-power infrared LED cut filter
In terms of aesthetics, the SimpliSafe comes neatly presented and simply styled in a navy and orange box. Inside the box you'll find the camera, cord and set of basic instructions. Finished in black, the camera is minimally styled, and the base on which you can stand it up comes attached as part of the design.
I’ve owned indoor cameras in a white finish, but I believe this black design is more discreetly hidden in a room; although the blue light that indicates the unit is powered on is quite bright. The camera arrives with a stand; there aren’t any screws in the box for mounting the camera onto the wall, but this is something that could no doubt be easily done with your own tools, should you wish.
Setting up the camera was straightforward. I simply removed the cap protecting the tip of the micro-USB cord, and slid it through the stand. You'll have to use your own plug to set it up since one isn't included in the box.
The camera was already attached to its base, so I just needed to find a decent position with flat surface for it to stand – with a plug nearby. The fact that it isn’t wireless does limit where you can position the camera, although on the plus side you won’t have to fiddle around recharging it when it runs out of power. I ended up lacing it on a sideboard, opposite the back door.
I moved it around the house a bit, trying it on a bookcase and on top of the mantlepiece, too, which all seemed to work well in terms of stability and getting a good view of the rooms in my home.
SimpliSafe SimpliCam review performance
Live feed and recording of video and audio
Wi-Fi Connection (2.4GHz)
Two-way talk and night vision
The camera doesn’t have an "on" switch, so I received an alert that said, ‘Your camera is ready for set up. You’ll find all the instructions to get you started in the Simplisafe App’, as soon as I plugged it in.
Once I'd downloaded the SimpliSafe app on my iPhone (it's both Android and iPhone compatible), I had to connect to my home Wi-Fi, get the camera to scan a QR code on my phone, and sign up with my email address to create an account. After going through the password verifying process, I could set up fingerprint and face recognition to quickly and securely log in.
There’s a choice of security plans you’ll need to sign up for to make use of unlimited recording and video storage (outlined above). I chose the entry-level plan that offers unlimited recording and 30 days of storage. Up to 10 cameras can be added to this plan, which would work well if you wanted to use it as part of a whole home security system. For those wanting to make use of voice assistants such as Alexa, you’ll need to sign up to the Pro Premium professional monitoring plan.
Within the app, you can instantly access live HD video footage from your camera, whether you’re home or away. The camera won’t follow an intruder around the room, so you're somewhat limited when it comes to being able to view the entire room. However, it does give you a 120-degree diagonal field of view, which I think works well to showcase half the room – or, for instance, if you've targeted an area such as a back door to keep a watch on.
With motion detection, the camera will pick up any movement or noise in the room and send an alert to your smart device. It comes with built-in motion detection algorithms that are calibrated to detect the unique heat signature of humans, so you won't receive unnecessary alerts – should a book fall off the shelf or a pen drops onto the floor, for example.
After adjusting it to focus on the back door, I could start to monitor any comings and goings. I used it over a month-long period to capture any action. When the camera detects motion or audio, it will send an alert to your smart device and also start recording a short clip that you can then view in a timeline on the app. These can be downloaded or shared, if desired, too.
Once set up, alerts came through to my phone when anyone walked passed the camera or entered the room. A useful feature in the app is the privacy shutter, which allows you to open and close the camera shutter remotely. This meant I could turn it off when we were at home, avoiding alerts pinging to me every time someone walked past. The only downside of using this button is that you'll need to remember to turn it back on afterwards. The app also pushed out alerts when my internet connection was poor, so I could adjust it accordingly.
I tested the effectiveness of the alerts when I was out of the house, too. I asked a family member to walk past the camera and I timed how long it took for me to receive an alert on my phone. Of course, you need a good phone signal to receive an alert, but I was suitably impressed at how quickly the alert came through. I could then go into the app and view the video recording and access live footage. I could also press the record button to start live recording myself.
In terms of picture quality, the HD footage is clear enough to see what’s going on. As mentioned, there is a button to record live footage, but I'd also have welcomed a button to capture stills. If I wanted to capture a picture or the room, I had to manually screen-grab a shot instead.
The app is basic in design and it’s easy to press watch live to view real-time footage. However, I did take some time to work out what the control icons in the app do. The clock icon took me to a timeline of previously recorded motion footage, for example. Videos captured at night when light levels were low are shot in black and white. Although relatively clear, they obviously aren't as clear as the shots captured in daylight.
I could use the mute button to switch the sound coming from the live feed off or on. Above that is the microphone control for two-way talk – this meant I could simply press it to make use of the camera’s built-in microphone to speak to anyone on the other end, shout at an intruder, or say a reassuring hi to the dog.
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How I tested the SimpliSafe SimpliCam home security camera
I used the SimpliSafe SimpliCam in my home for one month
I used it at all times of the day to see how well it performed
I set up the SimpliCam indoor home security camera in my UK home and trialled it over the course of a month. I placed it in different areas of the room – up high and low – to see how clearly it could capture different areas.
I also monitored how speedily and successfully it sent alerts to my smartphone when it detected human motion both day and night, when I was out of the house (over 4G) and also when at home (over the Wi-Fi).