Ever since we reviewed the first Wyze Cam back in 2017, we’ve been impressed with the company’s ability to deliver reliable, feature-rich smart home devices at a fraction of the cost of the competition. With its $19.99 Sense Starter Kit, Wyze once again takes aim at budget-conscious consumers looking to add smart security to their home without spending a bundle, and once again it hits the mark. The kit comes with a couple of tiny contact sensors and an equally small motion sensor and bridge, all of which are easy to install, work flawlessly, and integrate with other smart devicess. You’ll need a Wyze Cam or Wyze Cam Pan camera to make it all work, but both of those cameras are also affordable and have earned our Editors’ Choice, as does the Sense Starter Kit.
The Sense Starter Kit comes with two small contact sensors, a motion sensor, and a bridge. The contact sensors measure 1.1 by 1.2 by 0.9 inches (HWD) when the sensor and magnet are lined up. Both components come with double-sided tape for easy installation, and there’s a tiny LED indicator on the face of the sensor that blinks red when it has been triggered. The sensor is powered by a CR1632 button battery that is rated to last up to a year before needing a replacement. Additional contact sensors can be purchased for $19.99 for a two-pack.
The motion sensor measures 1.2 by 1.2 by 0.9 inches (HWD). It too has a tiny red LED status indicator but is powered by a bigger CR2450 button battery that should last up to one year. There’s a black circular sensor on the face that provides 120 degrees of motion detection at up to 26 feet. Both sensors have a small reset hole on the side that can be activated using the included reset pin tool. Additional motion sensors go for $5.99 each.
The bridge plugs into the back USB port of a Wyze Cam or Wyze Cam Pan camera (not included). It measures 1.2 by 1.2 by 0.7 inches (HWD) and has a USB Type A connector on one side and a pull tab on the other that is used to remove it from the camera. Its LED indicator blinks blue when the bridge is in pairing mode, is solid blue when it is working properly, and blinks yellow and blue when trying to connect.
When you install the bridge onto a camera, you can have the sensors trigger the camera to begin recording and have the video stored for free in the cloud for four days. Or, you can install a microSD card in the camera to store video locally. The sensors can also be used to trigger third-party smart devices such as cameras and lights using IFTTT applets and Alexa Routines. Apple Home Kit isn’t supported, however.
The sensors use the same Wyze mobile app (for Android and iOS) as the Wyze Cam and Wyze Cam Pan cameras. It opens to a home screen that contains tabs for all installed Wyze devices with their name and status (Online, Offline). Tap any sensor to view a list of activities with details such as when the sensor was opened and for how long, or when motion was detected, along with a video clip thumbnail if you’ve configured the Sensor Video Settings. Tap the thumbnail to play the clip.
A gear icon in the upper right corner of each sensor provides access to settings where you can enable Notifications, configure Sensor Video settings (choose a camera to begin recording when a sensor is triggered), and create Rules to have the sensor trigger other Wyze devices. Here you can also create schedules to enable or disable notifications during specific hours of the day and create a shortcut to mute or un-mute notifications with the tap of a button. Missing are motion-sensitivity settings for the motion sensor.
To update the sensor’s firmware, reset your password and email address, enable Two-Factor Authentication, and access help files, tap the Account button on the bottom of the screen.
The Wyze Sense Kit is a cinch install. If you don’t already have a Wyze Cam or a Wyze Cam Pan installed, you’ll have to download the mobile app, create an account, and install the camera. Once the camera was up and running using the latest firmware, I inserted the bridge into the USB slot on the back of the camera. After 15 seconds or so the bridge LED turned solid blue and I tapped Add a Product in the app. I selected Contact Sensor and selected the camera name for it to link to, then followed the instructions to insert the included pin tool into the reset hole on the side of the sensor. I kept the pin inserted until the LED flashed red three times (about five seconds) and was informed by the camera’s voice prompt that the connection was successful. I gave the sensor a name and repeated the process for the second contact sensor.
Installing the motion sensor was just as easy; I selected it from the Add a Product list, pressed the reset button for a few seconds, and it was immediately connected.
The sensors worked perfectly in my testing. Both the contact sensors and the motion sensor responded instantly when triggered, and push alerts arrived within seconds. They also worked seamlessly with other Wyze devices; the Wyze Cam never failed to record video of triggered events, and they had no trouble turning the recently released Wyze Bulbs on and off when triggered. Additionally, my IFTTT applet to have Philips Hue lights turn on when a sensor was triggered worked flawlessly.
One minor gripe: One of the contact sensors fell off a cabinet door after two weeks of use, but I was able to reattach it using my own double-sided tape. However, the other sensor had no such issues.
With the Wyze Sense Starter Kit, you can add smart security sensors to your home or apartment for less than $20. The kit gives you a pair of small contact sensors that can be installed on doors, windows, cabinets, cookie jars, or anything that opens and closes, a motion sensor that is small enough to place out in the open without attracting much attention, and a tiny bridge that plugs into the back of your camera. The sensors will trigger the camera to record video and will also trigger other smart devices using IFTTT applets. The contact sensor’s adhesive could be stronger, but this kit’s rock-bottom price, support for IFTTT applets and Alexa voice commands, and excellent performance earn it an Editors’ Choice.