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Review of the VOCOlinc VS1 contact sensor: Opening the door

Review of the VOCOlinc VS1 contact sensor: Opening the door

Review of the VOCOlinc VS1 contact sensor: Opening the door

Source: Christopher Close / iMore

As with the limited number of HomeKit accessories available compared to other voice assistants, Apple’s smart home ecosystem has struggled over the years to offer affordable alternatives, causing many to miss the platform’s wonderful power. Progress is taking place slowly but surely, on this front, newer sellers have recently entered the raid. However, only a few companies have provided quality, cost-effective HomeKit equipment.

One is VOCOlinc, which has been delivering cost-effective solutions for some smart home staples for several years, such as smart lighting and sockets. VOCOlinc’s latest store accessories include the first HomeKit air purifier for the North American market and a lightweight wallet contact sensor. Yes, the PureFlow Smart Air Purifier from VOCOlinc is without a doubt one of the most anticipated HomeKit accessories to date, but the company’s VS1 contact sensor is just as important. This compact sensor opens the door to affordable automation and DIY security for everyone and does so with fast, reliable times, with an easy setup process.

Opening the door


Review of the VOCOlinc VS1 contact sensor: Opening the door

VOCOlinc VS1 contact sensor

Bottom line: With a quick and easy setup process, fast response times and solid reliability, the VOCOlinc VS1 is already one of the best HomeKit contact sensors. Throw in an amazingly affordable price tag, plus a sleek design, and you’ll get a sensor that rises above all Bluetooth competitors.

good

  • Accessible price
  • Slim design
  • Fast response times
  • Accepts HomeKit
  • Magnet resistance, mounting options

The river

  • Short battery life
  • Works only with HomeKit
  • Battery difficult to access after installation

Affordable automation

VOCOlinc VS1 Contact Sensor: features

Review of the VOCOlinc VS1 contact sensor: Opening the door

Source: Christopher Close / iMore

VOCOlinc VS1 follows the test and true design language of the wireless contact sensor, which uses magnets to determine whether or not a door or window is open. The larger of the two white, plastic portions houses the smarts, the thinner part being something other than a magnet in an elegantly coordinated shell. The sensor has an LED light ring that lights up when its status is updated and is also the only button on the entire package that is used to reset it. Both pieces attach directly to doors, windows or almost anything that opens and closes, with a shell and a stick of adhesive tape included.

The VS1 is powered by a single-coin CR2032 battery, which lasts up to six months with regular use and is located on the back. The battery compartment has slots, which allows easy removal using a coin or other small tool with a twist. The sensor connects directly to the HomeKit via Bluetooth 5.0 and can be fully configured via the Apple Home application with a scan of the pairing code found in the instruction manual (the one on the device cannot be scanned). Setup should, in most cases, take less than 10 minutes in total, including disconnecting, mounting, and pairing.

Review of the VOCOlinc VS1 contact sensor: Opening the door

Source: iMore

Once paired, the VS1 can be displayed as a basic contact sensor, door, window, blinds or garage door opener, making Siri controls more natural. An example of this is “Hey Siri, is the front door open?”, But outside of playback status, there aren’t too many interactions other than automation. The automations allow the VS1 to act as a trigger for other accessories, so it can be used to turn on the lights at the entrance to the house or to turn off the thermostat when a window is opened.

Perhaps the most common use of HomeKit contact sensors is for home security without DIY, without a subscription. HomeKit contact sensors are able to send notifications when someone enters the house. They can be adapted to be delivered only at set times or when you are out of the day. The VS1 can also serve as a trigger for AirPlay 2 speakers, including the HomePod and even the Apple TV, allowing you to play a siren or alarm sound at a custom volume based on the settings you want.

Review of the VOCOlinc VS1 contact sensor: Opening the door

Source: iMore

In addition to the Home app, VS1 works with the VOCOlinc app, although only for iOS. In the VOCOlinc application, users can check the status of the sensor and perform firmware updates when available (one of which is already available). The VOCOlinc app also acts like other third-party HomeKit apps, with full control over home accessories, but the actual device-specific things for VS1 are pretty limited, so there’s no compelling reason to use it over the home app.

You want it anyway

VOCOlinc VS1 Contact Sensor: What I like

Review of the VOCOlinc VS1 contact sensor: Opening the door

Source: Christopher Close / iMore

Even though the VS1 has a typical two-piece magnetic design, it’s more than typical when it comes to placement. The VOCOlinc offer is the first contact sensor we have tested, which can lift the magnetic portion from any direction, which makes its installation quick and easy, because you don’t have to worry too much about the right place. Certainly, some sensors can detect the accompanying magnets on both sides, but VS1 can actually detect it in the upper and lower areas as well, which makes it extremely flexible. This capability also translates to the placement distance between the two in general, with VS1 having the longest range I’ve seen so far, which is great.

The design of the VOCOlinc VS1 contact sensor is also first class, apart from a tiny issue that we will talk about later. The magnetic sensations and portions are incredibly thin, which makes competing sensors such as the ecobee SmartSensor for Doors and Windows look huge compared to it. Although the size of the sensor does not affect performance, the sensor is slightly two to three times weaker than others, which allows it to fit better in the house. I also like the ring-shaped LED indicator light because it is bright enough to actually see that it is responding to an open or close event, which is not the case with other sensors.

Review of the VOCOlinc VS1 contact sensor: Opening the door

Source: Christopher Close / iMore

The magnetic sensations and portions are extremely thin, which makes competing sensors, such as the ecobee SmartSensor for Doors and Windows, look extremely much compared to it.

Moving on to current performance, the VS1, like other Bluetooth-based sensors, doesn’t offer instant response times fast enough, but it’s fast enough for most scenarios. On average, notifications sent or automations from the Home app when my kitchen door opened within two to three seconds of the event, which is equal to the course of the category. On rare occasions, we see that response times slip a little, some cases being up to six seconds, which for HomeKit is also equal to the journey, sometimes, unfortunately. In terms of reporting the current status of the Home app, I still haven’t had any issues with Unanswered and VS1, which is one of the advantages of Bluetooth, because it always works, at least for me.

The best thing about VS1, though, is the affordable price. Even at its full list price, which it hasn’t actually been since its debut, the VS1 is nearly half the cost of Bluetooth competitors, covering an entire home wallet. VOCOlinc currently offers VS1 in both single and double packaging options on Amazon, the latter offering additional savings. The savings extend to batteries, as it uses one of the most common coin battery sizes, which not only makes replacements easy to find, but can be found at prices of almost a dollar each.

Short interval

VOCOlinc VS1 Contact Sensor: What I do not like

Review of the VOCOlinc VS1 contact sensor: Opening the door

Source: Christopher Close / iMore

Despite the low price of replacement batteries, the VOCOlinc sensor does not have the highest life expectancy. With only six months to go before it needs to be replaced, VS1 lags behind competitors such as Eve Door and Window, which can go up to a year and a half. HomeKit options that use a hub, such as Abode Mini Door and Window Sensor, can easily reach two years of use before replacement.

When it comes to the actual replacement of the battery on the VS1, the design of the sensor can make things a little more difficult than you should just do if you lip and mount it. Because it uses a two-sided tape mounting system, removing the sensor down to replace the battery results in the tape no longer being usable. Now, of course, you can avoid this with a little planning before placement, but I would have preferred a velcro-style mounting tape, such as the Abode Mini, mentioned above, to make things easier.

Review of the VOCOlinc VS1 contact sensor: Opening the door

Source: Christopher Close / iMore

My last complaint is about Bluetooth in general, because it has some limitations and potential issues that you need to be aware of. Bluetooth range, in particular, is much shorter than Wi-Fi, so if you have a larger home, you may experience inconsistent response times or connectivity, and it can only be accessed locally. Both issues can be reversed by a resident HomeKit hub, such as an Apple TV or HomePod, that allows remote access and, depending on placement, can cover certain dead areas in the home. Finally, Bluetooth also limits the VS1 to work only through the VOCOlinc app and HomeKit, neither Alexa nor Google Assistant here, which I fail to write all this often.

Opening the door

VOCOlinc VS1 Contact Sensor: Bottom line

4
of 5








Battery life and Bluetooth limitations aside, the VOCOlinc VS1 contact sensor is a great addition to any HomeKit household. With a price that is almost half the cost of competitors without a hub, solid response times, slim design and easy installation, the VS1 opens its doors to automation for everyone.

Combined with a resident HomeKit hub, an AirPlay 2 speaker and automation, the VS1 can be used to create your own DIY alarm system that does not require a subscription, adding even more value. So if you are looking for a cheap way to get your toes stuck in automation water or want to cover every door and window in your home, the VOCOlinc VS1 contact sensor is definitely worth the top. of the list.

Opening the door


Review of the VOCOlinc VS1 contact sensor: Opening the door

VOCOlinc VS1 contact sensor

Bottom line: With a quick and easy setup process, fast response times and solid reliability, the VOCOlinc VS1 is already one of the best HomeKit contact sensors. Throw in an amazingly affordable price tag, plus a sleek design, and you’ll get a sensor that rises above all Bluetooth competitors.

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