Nexx Smart Wi-Fi Garage Door Controller NXG-200 review: Sophisticated, but very expensive

We dig the features, but not the price tag.

Nexx NXG-200 garage door controller
Nexx

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At a Glance

The Nexx Smart Wi-Fi Garage Door Controller NXG-200 is a sophisticated control upgrade for your garage door opener, but it’s also a very expensive one.

Before you consider buying one, pay a visit to the company’s website and use its online compatibility tool to ensure your garage door controller is compatible (you’ll need the name of the manufacturer and the specific model number). If it is, the tool will provide specific instructions on how to wire the NXG-200 to your opener.

I have three LiftMaster openers in my home, but each is a different model, and only one was compatible with the NXG-200 right out of the box. To wire up the other two, I was informed (via a roughly presented webpage with various overlapping text) that I’d need an additional $25 adapter to make the system work. So for this review, I installed the system on the opener that did not need the adapter.

nexx2 Christopher Null / IDG

Nexx’s compatibility tool is a bit wonky, but ultimately useful.

The NXG-200 is a small device—it’s a bit larger than an Altoids tin—that plugs into the second power outlet adjacent to your garage door opener. (Hope you have one.) As well, a pair of bare wires must be connected directly to your garage door opener. You’ll follow the web-based instructions you received during the compatibility test to determine exactly how to do this. The other main component of the NXG-200 is the door sensor, a wireless device about the size of a Zippo lighter that attaches to the garage door via tape and Velcro. The sensor communicates with the controller to tell it whether the door is closed (when the sensor is vertical) or open (horizontal).

Aside from having to climb an 8-foot ladder and stretch to reach the top of our vaulted garage ceiling in order to plug in the NXG-200, I had little trouble with the hardware installation, which only required connecting the wiring leads to two screw terminals on the back of my opener. (Many newer openers have spring-loaded terminals that let you connect sans screwdriver.) I quickly found out that there was nowhere to put the controller on top of the opener because of the exposed chain there, so I left the controller dangling to one side of the opener. For a more secure placement, Nexx includes some double-sided tape in the kit.

nexx NXG-200 installed on liftmaster door opener Christopher Null / IDG

The Nexx NXG-200 must be attached to your garage door opener via wires, and space can be tight depending on your ceiling height.

I did run into a hiccup in trying to pair the wireless sensor with the Nexx controller, and quickly deduced that either the sensor was faulty or its battery was dead. As 23A 12V alkaline batteries are hardly commonplace, I waited a few days for Nexx to send a replacement controller. While pairing took some trial and error, it eventually completed successfully.

nexx app Christopher Null / IDG

Once the Nexx NXG-200 is installed, you can open or close the door from anywhere with a simple tap.

Beyond that, setup takes place via your phone. A lengthy firmware update was required in my testing, followed by the usual pairing operation to connect to my Wi-Fi network. Again, after a few fits and starts, Nexx finally connected and began to work without complaint: At last, I could open and close my garage door via my phone.

This, of course, is the main draw of the smart garage door opener: letting you (or, say, a child who’s forgotten their key) get in and out of the house without the classic, visor-clipped wireless controller. Since you can open the garage door from anywhere, it’s also a handy option for times when a delivery arrives and you’re not home, or when a house guest beats you to the house and you want to let them inside. It’s worth noting, however, that Nexx is not currently participating in the Amazon Key in-garage delivery program.

Beyond on-demand opening and closing of the door, Nexx has a few other goodies built into the app. The app can be set to send a push notification whenever the door is opened or closed (by any means, not just through the app), and a detailed history keeps a log of all activity. I found this more reliable than Notion’s garage door sensors, which often go offline without warning. By default, a reminder system will send another push notification every 15 minutes that the door is left open, although there’s no way to have the door automatically close after a set amount of time if it’s been inadvertently left ajar.

Arguably less helpful are a scheduling and timer system, so you can have your door open and close at set times or, for example, after 30 minutes have passed. (Note that it’s not 30 minutes after the door was last opened, it’s 30 minutes from the time you manually start the countdown.) If the door is attached to a commercial garage that has set operating hours, this might find more use, but I haven’t found any use for either feature in a home setting. If you want to open and shut the door via voice, the system also hooks into Alexa and Google Assistant. IFTTT is also supported, but it only supports open and close actions for triggers.

The NXG-200 is a pretty great product, but at $100—plus a potential additional $25 if you need the adapter—the NXG-200 is very much on the pricy side, particularly when compared with the $30 Chamberlain myQ and various generic retrofit kits that run half its price. Considering you can buy an entirely new garage door opener with Wi-Fi built in for less than $200, the NXG-200 is quite a hard sell at its current price tag.

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At a Glance
  • This capable smart garage door controller lets you remotely control a wide range of garage door openers, but it’s not cheap.

    Pros

    • Broad compatibility with a wide range of openers
    • Impressive mobile app with plenty of features and good stability
    • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

    Cons

    • Wired installation may require more effort than some are willing to exert
    • Some setup hiccups
    • You might also need a $25 adapter
  
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