X-Sense XS01-WT Wi-Fi smoke alarm review: A svelte smoke alarm with IoT features

It’s smart enough, but its low price is its biggest selling point.

xsense xs01 wt with app
X-Sense

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At a Glance

X-Sense’s new Wi-Fi connected smoke alarm (model XS01-WT) looks identical to the interconnected model XS01-WR we reviewed in 2020, but it adds a key feature that alarm lacks: Wi-Fi connectivity, with all the trimmings included.

This attractively designed, pint-sized device—it measures just 3.1 inches across—connects to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks (i.e., it’s incompatible with a 5GHz network) and is connected via the ubiquitous Smart Life app and Tuya IoT platform, a management system that offers wide support of all manner of smart products from various vendors. The idea, of course, is that in addition to a piercing 85dB alarm (measured at 10 feet), you also get notified on your smartphone if there’s smoke in the room.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best smart smoke detectors, where you’ll find reviews of the competition’s offerings, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping for this type of product.
X-Sense XS01-WT battery X-Sense

The X-Sense XS01-WT smoke detector is powered by a lithium CR123A battery that will need to be replaced annually.

The X-Sense XS01-WT offers a photoelectric sensor that only detects smoke, not carbon monoxide. It’s powered by a single, replaceable 3-volt lithium CR123A battery (included), but the Wi-Fi radio drains it much more quickly than the non-Wi-Fi unit. X-Sense specifies a battery life of only one year for the cell here, compared to five years for the interconnected detector (both have a useful life of 10 years). In my testing, I found the sensor to be responsive to smoke and the alarm to be plenty loud. It’s easy to silence via the onboard mute button or through the app.

X-Sense XS01WT app Christopher Null / IDG

Alerts are pushed through the app and your phone’s notifications.

The Smart Life app is nothing special, but smoke detectors really shouldn’t require a whole lot of app-based management. What you really want is a push notification if smoke is detected, the ability to silence false alarms without requiring a ladder, an activity log, and maybe an occasional self-testing system.

While it’s not much to look at, the Smart Life app provides all of these features and acquits itself well enough in doing them. I had no trouble quickly setting the unit up and encountered no operational issues with it during my testing.

If you need multi-room alerting, note that the X-Sense Wi-Fi does not offer any interconnectivity features outside of its Wi-Fi capabilities, though a single unit will probably be audible anywhere, even in a large home. While some Smart Life devices are compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, the X-Sense XS01-WT is not.

The best news is that the X-Sense Wi-Fi is cheap. While a competing product like the Nest Protect will run you $119, the X-Sense Wi-Fi is just $40 when purchased individually (pre-coupon), and as low as $34 each when purchased in a five-pack. Sure, you give up some level of sophistication here, but at one-third the price of the Nest and much of the same functionality, it’s hard not to recommend.

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At a Glance
  • X-Sense adds Wi-Fi to its stylish smoke detector and keeps the price tag well within any budget.

    Pros

    • Handsome, petite design
    • Easy setup and intuitive operation
    • Compellingly low price

    Cons

    • Does not detect carbon monoxide
    • Units cannot be interconnected
    • No support for voice assistants
 
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