The Dutch company Marmitek has recently launched its own smart home platform, called Marmitek Smart Me. The system is based on the Tuya platform, which allows you to combine a lot of different products. How are you liking this iteration of that platform?
The Dutch company Marmitek, part of Vogel, recently launched its own smart home platform , called Marmitek Smart Me. The system is based on the Tuya platform, which allows you to combine a lot of different products. How are you liking this iteration of that platform?
Setting up and managing a smart home can be a daunting task for some people, who are not that tech savvy . The interest is there, but where do you start? We usually recommend starting with a smart lamp, smart speaker or perhaps a smart doorbell and expanding from there. But sometimes it is useful if you immediately choose a fixed system or own platform. In the past we have looked more often at such systems, such as KlikAanKlikUit , LSC Smart Connect ,and recently also Woox .
Tuya Smart as a basis
The four parties mentioned have in common that these are smart home platforms, albeit of different degrees. However, LSC Smart Connect, Woox and Smart Me have one more thing in common: they run on the same platform called Tuya Smart. This is a Chinese system that makes it possible to create your own smart home environment. Manufacturers can have all kinds of smart home devices made themselves and connect them to the internet. This is done via the Internet of Things , which is also referred to by the abbreviation IoT.
You can all connect the different Marmitek products that we discuss below via your WiFi network. There is therefore no separate hub, as is the case with KlikAanKlikUit and Fibaro. That has its advantages and disadvantages. There is also support for Amazon Alexa , Siri and Google Assistant , which makes voice control possible. The big difference between the different manufacturers that use Tuya is often in the type of products that are offered, as well as the interface and possibilities of the application.
Since Tuya is the underlying platform, it is possible to add products from different manufacturers to an app. At the time of writing, for example, we still have Woox’s stuff on the editorial board. With an extra installation step, we could, for example, easily integrate the power strip into the Smart Me setup. How that works exactly differs per product. Because you have to return it to pairing mode and that works differently per manufacturer. But it does work – that’s important to know.
Marmitek Smart Me: the products
In this review we look at a number of Marmitek Smart Me products. For example, we test different lamps, two types of power plugs (smart sockets), the motion sensor, door / window sensor and two different cameras. Within the app we can turn this into a complete smart home system. The products work on their own, of course, but can also be linked together. Is Marmitek Smart Me a good system to start with when you are considering setting up a smart home?
The products themselves are of good quality, but not always special. That is not crazy. The Tuya Smart platform offers the same resources for each manufacturer and there are few unique features to implement in terms of hardware. During our testing period we did not encounter any hardware problems, except with the window / door sensor. For the rest, you can assume that all products work as advertised. They are often slightly more expensive than, for example, Woox, which is something to take with you.
For example, the filament lamps are unique to Smart me. This is the old light bulb, but reinvented. Other manufacturers, such as Innr , have also released such lamps. You can, for example, connect those lamps to your Philips Hue bridge and include them in that network. Unfortunately, because the Marmitek Smart Me filament lamps are directly connected to WiFi, this is unfortunately not possible here. Of course they work fully with your Smart Me network, so there are many possibilities when we look at the software.
Application of Marmitek Smart Me
Software is an important part of the platform’s experience and, in many cases, the means to differentiate yourself. Now Smart Me is already doing that in terms of hardware, for example by offering those filament lamps, but we also see software functions that we have not encountered with Woox, for example. For example, it is possible to group products, so that they can be operated at the touch of a button. Think of your lamps in the living room or on one floor: with a simple tap on the touchscreen, they all turn on.
And then it also works very simple. You select a product for the group, press edit in the top right corner (that pencil) and choose the option create group. Now select the remaining products and you’re done. You can only merge products within the same category. So lamps at the lamps and smart sockets and plugs at the sockets and plugs. And yes, the grouping function also works with products outside the Smart Me portfolio, even if those apps don’t offer the option.
The grouping function is an important difference. It provides extreme convenience, while you gain access to more options. For example, you can switch off lights and power strips with the push of a button. You can also make groups part of automated processes, so you don’t even have to press that button. If someone passes a motion sensor, for example several lights can switch on. The possibilities are not endless, but also not very limited.
Creating automated processes (called Scenarios in the app) works as you are used to from services such as IFTTT , Yonomi and similar built-in options. You first choose a condition (the trigger), such as manual operation, the weather (including sunset and sunrise), the time or a product status. Then you choose the activity (the outcome). This can be operating a product, but also activating a scenario, sending a notification or activating a delay.
It is a simple yet comprehensive system. The first time you have to look carefully, but once you have done it, the options speak for themselves. That is basically the strength of the Tuya Smart platform, but in these cases the question is of course how well manufacturers deal with it. In our experience, Marmitek Smart Me does that much better than, for example, Woox (again: the system that we have installed here), because there are more options and a wider range of products available.
Another difference is the camera view. We have received both an indoor and outdoor camera. We can easily see the live images from those cameras in one overview by tapping the camera icon at the top right of the home screen. From there we can view the image in full screen and access the functions of the cameras. Incidentally, cameras can also be included in Scenarios. For example, you can switch on lights when motion is detected.
Hub or not?
Before looking at the individual products of the brand, we would like to emphasize that Marmitek Smart Me works without a smart home hub. You connect the lights directly to your WiFi network. This has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that you do not have an extra box, the disadvantage is that your WiFi network becomes very busy and cluttered (especially if you manage your network through an app for your mesh network ). Usually, linking is also easier with such a hub, although we have had little trouble with that now.
Power SI and Power SE (smart sockets)
The first products we look at are the smart sockets: the Marmitek Smart Me Power SI and Power SE. Both sockets have many similarities. Fortunately, they can be switched on and off manually, so you are not at the mercy of the app. They support timers and Scenarios and only Wi-Fi on 2.4 GHz. They can also both handle a maximum power of 3450 watts. Unfortunately, both sockets are not compact enough to place two of them next to each other.
The Power SE is a simple socket with simple options and works as you would expect. The Power SI is a bit more extensive. In addition to a smart socket, we also see two USB ports. So you can connect devices with a USB cable here. It is striking that you cannot switch off the USB ports. There is also an energy meter in the Power SI. With this you can see how much energy you use with the connected device. You can also include this in a Scenario: if a device turns on, you can receive a notification.
View ME and View MO (cameras)
The two Marmitek Smart Me cameras have the same basis. They record videos in 1080p and have motion detection, two-way audio, night vision and a slot for a micro SD card. You can save videos and photos on your mobile device, but also on a micro SD card (later there will be cloud storage, which is not mandatory). The night vision of the View ME indoor camera can see up to ten meters in the dark, while the View MO outdoor camera can see up to fifteen meters. In addition, that camera is fortunately splash-proof.
The image quality is good. The images sometimes look a bit out of focus, but you make a good distinction between people, objects and animals. The live images are sometimes a bit choppy, but do offer enough color and a nice viewing angle. This is especially useful for the outdoor camera. The quality of the built-in speaker is good; you can understand each other perfectly. You can zoom in digitally via the app, but that is rarely recommended. The quality is declining, just like with most security cameras.
A striking aspect is the way the camera handles the app. When you open the camera in your own overview and therefore view one camera at a time, you get access to a much better image quality. This applies to the indoor and outdoor camera. The images here look sharper, more colorful and more detailed than when you look at the overview (with all your cameras in and around your house). Why this is exactly the case is also a mystery to us. But that certainly makes the overview screen less interesting.
Six different types of lamps
Marmitek’s package contains all types of lamps that the brand offers. We tested the Glow MO, Glow SE, Glow MI, Glow LI, Glow XLI and the Glow XLI. We also received the recessed spotlights (the Glow XSO), but unfortunately we were not able to test them. Nevertheless, we do not expect strange things from that, we say based on the experience with the other lamps. The Glow MO and Glow XSO are capable of rendering sixteen million colors and both warm and cool shades of white in the home.
We have not tested all sixteen million colors, of course, but in general we are pleased with the quality of all lamps. The Glow MO has a maximum lumen of 806, while the SE and XSO achieve 380 and the other lamps have 650 lumens. The Glow SE is an E14 lamp, while the rest, except for the commercial, has an E27 connection. The Glow SE is a candle-shaped lamp that only supports warm and cool white tones. The other lamps are all filament lamps and only have a warm, white glow.
You can group the lamps as you wish. It doesn’t matter what kind of lamp it is. You can have them respond to sensors or the cameras and you can have them switch on at fixed times. This can be done at a fixed time or, for example, when the sun sets. Compared to Philips Hue, that is a lot less pleasant. Where Hue can let the lamps go on softly half an hour in advance, Marmitek Smart Me cannot do that. This results in a dark room for a long time, whereby the lamps switch on in one go.
It is not entirely fair to compare this system with Philips Hue, mainly because of the price difference. That system is much more developed than Smart Me. But if you offer similar functionality, then everyone will quickly make such a comparison. In addition, Philips Hue also offers more and more types of lamps and products, so the comparison on paper is not out of place. Although many functions correspond and the system itself works, we notice that there is room for improvement.
Sense SE and Sense SI (motion sensors)
Then we have the two motion sensors from the package. These are the Sense SE (the motion sensor) and the Sense SI (the window / door sensor). Both products can be used in the same way, but in different situations. You hang the door / window sensor of course near a door or window. You can then set what happens when motion is detected (when a window or door opens). You can switch on lights or receive a notification, things like that.
A striking feature of the door / window sensor is that it must be used in a specific way. The system works one way. For example, if you place the small magnet on the wrong side of the sensor, then no movement will be recorded and the system will not work. That’s something that didn’t stand out when trying out, but once installed it came out clearly. So pay attention to how you hang the sensors, because that prevents a lot of irritation and question marks. Fortunately, the sensor will eventually work.
The separate motion sensor works without doors or windows, of course. You place it in a place where it is important that you measure movement. This can be for security purposes, but also, for example, to quickly switch on a lamp somewhere. We have set the latter for the kitchen. Unfortunately, it takes more than six seconds for the lamp to switch on with this system. Sometimes the lamp only came on when we were out of the kitchen. That is of little use, but fortunately there are also other options available.
Marmitek Smart Me – conclusion
It should be clear that Marmitek has put more work into its own smart home platform than, for example, Woox or LSC Smart Connect. All those platforms run on Tuya Smart and therefore have many similarities. Smart Me is one of the extensive Tuya systems that we have tested so far, without compromising on accessibility. Unfortunately, the prices of the products are structurally higher than those of similar manufacturers, but you also pay for the app development.
We just said it in our experiences about the lamps: it works, but there is room for improvement. We now extend that conclusion to the entire system. Marmitek Smart Me works, but there is clearly room for improvement. That’s not to say it’s bad. It is comprehensive and accessible and the app offers more options than we have encountered on other Tuya platforms so far. Let’s hope that Marmitek will add more options to the app in the future and improve some parts of products.