Texecom Connect SmartCom review Texecom Connect SmartCom is Texecom’s latest replacement of their ComIP product, and is what they’re betting on as th
Texecom Connect SmartCom review
Texecom Connect SmartCom is Texecom’s latest replacement of their ComIP product, and is what they’re betting on as the core to the future of the Texecom’s smart alarm and home automation product suite.
With the SmartCom comes the Texecom Connect App, which is the all important software that sits on top of the hardware. As the success of the Apple model proves, well integrated hardware and software is the key to hardware sales success. To date, Texecom has had a terrible consumer-facing app, so the arrival of the Connect App is Texecom’s long-awaited software / hardware integration bet.
The good news for Texecom, is that the wait seems to have been worth it, as there new SmartCom and Connect App products seem easy-to-install, robust and feature-rich – and the perfect future-proof smart alarm.
To get the full skinny, here’s our review of the Texecom Connect SmartCom (CEL-0001) – along with a mini review of the Texecom Connect app (we’re writing a full review of the Connect App next).
Texecom SmartCom review
For this review of the SmartCom our engineer considered x4 main factors: ease of install, ease of set-up, build quality & support.
SmartCom installation review
We found the actual physical installation of the SmartCom module very simple. All you need to do is connect the SmartCom to x2 ports on your Premier panel, and then connect the SmartCom to the internet (either via Wifi or Ethernet / physical wire).
For ease of install, we’d say that the Texecom SmartCom is very easy to install, and give it a rating of 9/10
SmartCom set-up / configuration
So once you’ve got the SmartCom physically installed, you need to configure it – connecting it to the Texecom Connect App. The configuration process is again relatively simple. There are various levels of security to go through (which slows things down a little, but is necessary) and then then the requirement to set-up devices and rooms in the Connect App – which on bigger systems with lots of devices is the thing that takes the longest.
N.B. one key thing to remember here is that you are required to set-up home security devices per EACH mobile device (if that makes sense!). So if a customer wants their alarm set-up on x4 different mobile devices (e.g. his / hers mobiles and iPads) then you have to go through this process for each mobile device. Other settings are shared across devices by a central app configuration, but not device / room mapping.
One problem we did encounter when setting up the SmartCom was outage issues with the Texecom Cloud i.e. whilst we were trying to configure the SmartCom Texecom were at the same time updating their servers, which meant that we failed (repeatedly) to connect. Texecom explained this was early teething troubles – which we believe (ish).
For ease of configuration, we’d give the Texecom SmartCom an 8/10. It’s fairly easy, but still quite an involved process that may take 20 / 30 mins to set up.
The physical unit itself is well-designed and well-built. It’s visually very simple, with x4 blue lights communicating various status’s of the system (from left to right: connection to the Texecom Cloud Server 2) Wifi Connection 3) Ethernet connection 4) Power).
Having said all of this, on the first test of the SmartCom we did manage to break the ethernet port – resulting in a loose connection. Whether that was our engineer’s fat fingers or early production issues, only time will tell as we test / install more.
Overall, we’d give the SmartCom 8/10 for build-quality.
SmartCom technical Support
For the installation of the SmartCom itself, Texecom have provided a couple of really good videos that help. That said, the installation is pretty self-explanatory (for a seasoned alarm engineer).
What isn’t so well documented is the Texecom Connect App, which doesn’t come with comprehensive documentation (as yet). According to Texecom, the app itself should provide tips / a guide as to how the app works. Whilst this is true to a point, the app is actually quite sophisticated and therefore there’s a fair amount to learn / understand about how it works.
Because of our experience setting up the Connect App, we’ve created our own (fairly in-depth) user guide – which we’ll be posting live online soon.
Because of the problems we had with the Texecom Cloud going down, we needed to call Texecom’s telephone support desk – as we had no idea why we couldn’t connect the SmartCom to the Cloud. 30 minutes of waiting on the phone, we managed to get through to someone – who (by all accounts) was in fact very helpful. But that was 30 minutes of our engineer’s life he’ll never get back.
For SmartCom technical Support, we’ll give Texecom a score of 7/10. Yes, installation of the SmartCom is easy but the complexities of the Connect App mean that more in-depth user guides would be useful (oh, and having to wait 30 mins to solve a problem caused by Texecom themselves wasn’t great!)
Overall review score: 8.5/10
Our overall review of the Texecom SmartCom is 8.5/10. We could well have given it 9/10 but for the issues we had around the Texecom Cloud server going offline during the set-up process, along with a little lack of support documentation around the Connect App.
From a branding perspective, we also find the ungainly full name of ‘Texecom Connect SmartCom’ pretty overwhelming. Why not just go for Texecom SmartCom instead? (that’s nitpicking though).
Enough said, the SmartCom is a great bit of kit and x1000 times better that its predecessor the ill-fated ComIP. Long Live SmartCom! Adios the headache that was the Texecom ComIP 😉
Technical specifications of the Texecom SmartCom
Full official name: Texecom Connect SmartCom Ethernet and Wifi Intelligent Communicator
Texecom product code: CEL-0001