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SwitchBot Curtain Review: A little bot that makes life easier

SwitchBot Curtain

Want to have the sun wake you up in the morning? Program the SwitchBot Curtain to open at the same time as your alarm.

Techaeris Rated 8.7/10

The SwitchBot Curtain is one of those products that are designed to make your life easier. It’s a motorized smart bot that will open and close your curtains for you. You can even program the SwitchBot Curtain to open and close your curtains at pre-programed times. 

Want to have the sun wake you up in the morning? Program the SwitchBot Curtain to open at the same time as your alarm. Getting home late and want your curtains closed when you get there? Just open the app and activate the SwitchBot Curtain from wherever you are (Hub required). Read on for the full review of the SwitchBot Curtain and see if it really is as handy as it sounds.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Specifications

  • Colors: White or Black
  • Material: ABS plastic with UV-resistant coating
  • Main body size: 42mm x 51mm x 110mm
  • Main body weight: 135g
  • Power Type: C, 5V=1A, Lithium-ion battery, or solar panel
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, light sensor
  • Max runway: 3 meters
  • Voice control: (Hub required) Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, SmartThings, IFTTT, and LINE Clova

What’s In The Box

  • SwitchBot Curtain
  • Hook pair (rod)
  • Top lid (rod)
  • USB Type-C charging cable
  • Clip
  • Rod connector
SwitchBot Curtain

Design

The SwitchBot Curtain is made of ABS plastic and is about 6.5 inches in height, 2.5 inches in width, and 3 inches deep when fully assembled and ready for action. That is just a bit larger than a can of soda for reference. It is rather large, but it helps to hide it behind the curtain. The plastic is high quality and resistant to drops. I tested its resistance to drops when it accidentally fell as I set it up for testing in our kitchen. The SwitchBot Curtain hit the table, bounced off a chair, and landed on the floor with a heart-sinking thud. Yeah, I drop things, so you don’t have to. And thankfully, it survived the fall without a scratch.

It is available in black or white. There is a charging port, reset button, and a light sensor on the back. There really isn’t much to say about the design of the SwitchBot Curtain. It’s not meant to be a showcase piece of technology. It has a specific job that it is intended to do, without being seen if that is how you want to set it up. There is not much more on the unit, it is meant to be controlled by the app or the available remote, so there are no control buttons on the unit.

SwitchBot also has plenty of accessories that you can purchase if you would like. There is a button that will operate the SwitchBot Curtain without the need to use your phone. Solar panels will keep the SwitchBot Curtain’s battery fully charged and a mini-hub that will allow the SwitchBot Curtain to be controlled from anywhere.

Setup

Setting up the SwitchBot Curtain starts with making sure you order your particular curtain rod’s correct configuration. You can order one for use on curtain rods, U rails, or I rail rods. There are pictures on the SwitchBot website that show you the difference between the rods and rails should you need help.

SwitchBot claims that you can make your curtain smart in 30 seconds. I received two units for this review. I think it took me less than 30 seconds to get both of the SwitchBot Curtain units hooked onto the rods and ready to go. Setting the unit up for use on a standard curtain rod was simple. Just hook it on, clamp it shut against the rod, and you are done. I set the SwitchBot Curtain up behind my curtains so that the unit would be out of sight, but if you want to see the little bot in action, you can also set it up in front of the curtain. The next step would be downloading the app and calibrating the SwitchBot Curtain.

Software/App

The SwitchBot Curtain app can be download from the App Store or Google Play, depending on which phone you use. The app allows you to control the SwitchBot Curtain with your mobile phone. You can open the curtain with the app or program them to open or close at specific times of the day. A light-sensing mode is in beta that will open or close them according to the amount of light from outside that the sensor picks up. You can also set the SwitchBot Curtain to open faster in performance mode or slower in silent mode. If you add on a SwitchBot Hub Mini, you can operate the SwitchBot Curtain from anywhere.

Once you download the app, you will need to pair the app to each unit. Pairing is easy and is done within the app. Just add a new device. You then need to calibrate the SwitchBot Curtain to know how far to travel along the rod to open your curtain correctly. Calibration is simple, and the app walks you through it. Start with closed curtains, and with the SwitchBot Curtain in place, press open. Once the SwitchBot Curtain is in the position that you want to set as open, press pause. Then do the same while closing the curtains. It is very simple and quick to set up.

Performance

I tested the SwitchBot Curtain on two different curtain rods in my home. The first curtain rod was thinner than the minimum-sized rod that SwitchBot recommends for using the SwitchBot Curtain. They have rod diameter requirements listed as between 15mm and 40mm. One of the rods I have is 13mm, so please make sure to measure before you order. Undaunted by this discrepancy, I went ahead and installed it on the curtain rod, and thankfully it worked just fine.

The SwitchBot Curtain worked great. Even in performance mode, it was very quiet. It only took about 20 seconds to open the curtains on which I was testing it. This time will vary depending on how far your curtains have to travel to close. I also set up the SwitchBot remote because my wife didn’t want to download the app. The remote worked fine. Press it once to open the curtains, then press again to close them.

SwitchBot Curtain

Battery Life

I tested the battery, with one unit running solely on battery power and the other hooked into a SwitchBot solar panel. SwitchBot claims that the SwitchBot Curtain’s battery can last up to 8 months. I tested the SwitchBot Curtain for two weeks, so I can’t attest to how it will hold up for 8 months. In the two weeks that I had them set up for testing, the battery indicator went from a 100% charge to 98% charge on the unit running battery only. The solar-powered unit stayed fully charged. That is a great result, especially since in the process of testing them, I was opening and closing my curtains many more times a day than an average consumer would.

Price/Value

The SwitchBot Curtain costs $US99.00 for the rod variant and $US89.00 for the U, and I rails versions. The SwitchBot remote costs $US19.00. The solar panel and mini-hub are available for pre-order and cost $US25.00 and $US39.00, respectively. This a reasonable price if you only need one or two. However, the cost will add up quickly the more curtains that you choose to automate.

Wrap Up

About a week before I got the call asking if I would review this gadget, I wished that there were some way to program curtains to open and close when I wanted them to. I was excited when I heard there was such a solution. So, if you, like me, are looking to automate your curtains, make sure to check out the SwitchBot Curtain. Just be aware that the price can get steep the more bots you buy. But at least you’ll never forget to close those curtains again.

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SwitchBot Curtain

$US99.00

Design

8.0/10

Setup

9.0/10

Software/App

9.0/10

Performance

9.0/10

Battery Life

10.0/10

Price/Value

7.0/10

Nailed it

  • Opens quickly and quietly
  • Great battery life
  • App is easy to use
  • Makes life a bit easier

Needs work

  • May be pricey for some
  • The unit is rather large
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