We live in a world that demands simplicity, streamlining and combining many of our favorite products like home security cameras (and some of our not-so-favorites, like smoke alarms) into single, seamless systems. The Novi 4-in-1 HD home security system is just such a product, mashing some of the most key parts of our home together in a bid to help you protect you and your family from break-ins, fire, and burglary all at once.
The basic Novi home security kit comes with four components installed in one device: a smoke alarm, a motion sensor, a 170° 720p camera, and 90dB siren. The idea is that you can install the Novi in place of a normal smoke detector, and the unit will knock out several birds with one stone, giving you a “birds-eye” view of your entire home while also providing you with a sense of security while you’re away.
The unit itself is designed with a fairly basic black-on-white aesthetic in mind, and isn’t really meant to draw attention to itself as anything but a plain old smoke alarm, which is sort of the point. Unlike other home security cameras and devices which are plainly obvious to the naked eye, most burglars wouldn’t think twice about robbing a house if all they saw inside was a smoke alarm to guard the premises. This allows the Novi to hide in plain sight, and ensures that your home will be kept safe from the “smash and crash” methods that other home security systems fall prey to all too often.
From opening the box to the system being fully functional, it took me about 15 minutes to get the Novi Security system up and running, thanks in due part to its highly intuitive and easy-to-use app.
After that it was only a matter of finding a spot to mount the unit, and while I didn’t actually mount it (this was just a review, after all), the mounting kit was a standard size and would have clipped in easily to my pre-existing smoke alarm spots without much hassle.
The Novi Security app for iOS and Android is where all the magic of this device happens, and it’s where you can manage how the alarm reacts to certain events, as well as the same place you’ll respond in case of an event.
The app itself was well designed and simple to use, but perhaps a little bit too simple. Honestly beyond the actual functions there wasn’t much more to the security aspect than a barebones camera shot, and the option to save any captured images to your phone’s onboard gallery.
Although the Novi 4-in-1 HD home security system isn’t designed to be a full-fledged security option with add-ons like door sensors or glass break detectors available, we still wanted to test it against standard protocol that we’ve used for other similar devices in this category.
Unfortunately, the Novi HD still seems like it has a few kinks that need to get worked out, as it only caught our movements about 80% of the time. We tried placing it in various parts of the house and tried burglary scenarios like opening the front door or coming in through the window, and at least in the latter case, we could barely get it to register on the app that we had broken in at all.
The same was true for telling the system to take a picture of the event. Half the time the camera would simply hang in limbo before the app crashed, while the other half it would only take a picture way after we had pressed the button on our phones. For a device that’s supposed to catch potential thieves in the act, this device might not even get a snap of them until they’ve long since left the building with all your valuable possessions.
One upside to the Novi is that unlike some other security systems, professional monitoring services are offered on a completely a’la carte basis. After paying the $235.24 upfront cost for one unit (additional units are available for $152.96 a pop), you can either opt out of recurring fees altogether, or choose from a number of different time limits for when you want your home to stay under watch.
This includes daily monitoring for one 24-hour period ($3.99), weekly ($5.99), monthly ($11.99), or buy for a full year at $124.99. This is a nice way to mix things up, because if you’re going on a trip where you know you’ll lose cell service like on a plane, this can pick up the slack for much less than what you would pay for monitoring on competing systems.
When it works, the Novi HD 4-in-1 home security system is a novel, if slightly buggy way to keep your home free of unwanted intruders.
Its unassuming design and integrated app make it perfect for anyone who wants to really catch burglars in the act, and its simple set up makes it easy for anyone of any technical skill level to get it installed in a matter of 20 minutes or less.
That said, its app wasn’t as reliable as we would like if you plan on using the Novi as your one and only home security system, but hopefully the team behind this smoke alarm/motion sensor/camera will be able to patch things up in a few months and get everything running up to the standard we demand for keeping our living spaces secure.