Hive Active Heating 2 review

Hive turns up the heat in the smart home wars, with a super-stylish thermostat, sensors, bulbs and camera system.

We Liked

The Hive system is a great way to get true smart home functionality in your home. It’s easy to use too - the barrier to entry is really low as Hive is run by British Gas, it doesn't let complicated features get in the way of its ease of use. 

As it’s a modular system, you can add sensors, active lights and smart plugs, smart cameras - as many or as few as you want. The standalone heating system is smart enough on its own if that’s as far as you want to go with making your home that little bit smarter. And then there’s Alexa integration - this really gives the system a voice!

We Disliked

The initial costs are quite steep and adding devices soon adds up as well - although the introduction of the new is Hive Home Check Plan is welcomed. And while the app is great to use, we were stuck a few times when it came to scheduling our heating. It just wasn't a little fiddlier to use than we would have liked, and nowhere near as easy as the auto-scheduling offered by Nest. The addition of a separate app for the Hive Camera is also a disappointment.

Where Hive also comes up short compared to Nest is its lack of a motion sensor, which with Nest allows the thermostat to automatically turn on your heating when it senses that you're home, and conversely avoid heating an empty house.

Final Verdict

Hive is a fantastic smart home system that’s only going to grow and grow, thanks to the new products Centrica is producing to add to the system - we've seen this with the addition of the Hive Camera and there's much more to come. It’s stylish and smart enough to entice the more technologically minded to the system. The addition of Alexa support also means Hive has elevated its position in the smart home market even more.