It’s been a few weeks since I received my flic smart button and I’ve had chance to put it through its paces. I thought I’d report back to the community and let you know my thoughts. The button has been tested mainly with smart home products so far.
Positives of the flic smart button
One of the major advantages of using a flic button is that it reduces the need to get your phone out of your pocket. We have connected lights and an electric fireplace to smart plugs, with one click of our flic they both turn on. This sets the mood for sitting down to watch the TV in the evening. This is instead of getting your phone out, locating the relevant app, turning each device on.
You can also connect to a wide range of devices using IFTTT, this allows many of your existing devices such as SmartThings or LIFX bulbs to be controlled.
Negatives of the flic smart button
One of negatives of the flic smart button is that it needs a Bluetooth connection. As we use our phones for various uses and with Bluetooth activated, it’s a big battery drain. If your phone runs out of battery and you have no other synced devices, the button becomes redundant.
To overcome the battery drain issues, you can pair several devices to the button, and possibly a fixed device such as a tablet connected to the wall.
In regards to price, although it’s cheaper than alternatives on the market, it still seems a little expensive for a small rubber button.
Alternatives of the flic smart button
Amazon Echo allows you to take control of your devices via voice, this makes it even easier as you don’t have to walk over to the switch itself. Considering the price of a single flic smart button is £27.57 (without delivery) and the amazon echo dot is £50.00 but capable of much more. It might be worth weighing up the pros and cons.
Logitech Pop, although we are yet to test the Logitech Pop, they have developed a similar button which can connect to a hub. This allows the hub to talk to your Wi-Fi connection and communicate with the buttons via Bluetooth. Potentially overcoming the issues you might have with flic button not working when your phone/tablet is off.
A button which reduces the need to constantly use your phone is a great idea. The main issue flic has is it’s connectivity via Bluetooth. If they could possibly find a way to connect to a hub that remembers your actions it would improve. When your phone is away from the buttons, maybe it could connect over WiFi/4G. This will allow others to use the button without the need for a connected device to be active.
The price point still seems expensive, especially if you wish to start adding buttons for more things in different rooms. The convenience doesn’t seem to outweigh the current expenditure.
If they can overcome some slight issues and possibly reduce the price point, they can find their way into many smart homes.