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Review : Vera Edge

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Review : Vera Edge

On January 20, 2015, Posted by , In Articles,Reviews, With No Comments

Once again, apologies for the long absence of post. I’ve previously posted some pictures of the new Vera Edge on Home Automation Geeks but took a while to follow up a review. Considering many of the readers may be already familiar with Vera Lite and Vera 3, or may have researched a bit on Vera. Here a quick review of the Vera Edge.

First Impression

Vera Edge 1

Our first impression is the small form factor and more polished design of the Vera Edge. We can see clearly that it is way smaller than the Vera Lite. The Vera Edge has a price between the Vera Lite and Vera 3 and the manufacturer have also announced that the older 2 Vera will be discontinued. To me, the Vera Edge is more of a successor of Vera 3 as it also can double up as a wifi access point just like the Vera 3.

Vera Edge 2Vera Edge 3 Vera Edge 5Vera Edge 4

That being said, the difference is that the Vera3 by default, broadcasts an wifi SSID  “vera_<serial number>” and you can connect directly with the wifi password printed on the underside of the Vera 3 even before setting up anything. For Vera Edge, it broadcast an ssid “mios_<serial_number>” and the wifi password cannot be found on the underside of the device. This means that unlike Vera 3, there is no way you can access the Vera Edge wifi until you’ve done the setup. We’ll come to how to get this wifi password later.

Unlike the Vera 3 (which comes with a separate battery pack) and Vera Lite (which comes with a battery compartment), it seems that Vera Edge does not need batteries to operate. We were pondering how do we move Vera Edge within a meter of light switches to perform inclusion and we realised later that the reason it didn’t need battery is that it is now doing a full power (long range) inclusion by default! Gone were the days you have to move your Vera to close to your Z-Wave device to perform and inclusion.

Setting Up

Another thing to note is that there isn’t any quick start guide or manual in the box. It simply ask users to go to home.getvera.com to begin setting up the Vera Edge. The wizard is a standard UI6/UI7 setup that we are familiar with but for new users, it can be improved as the wizard took quite some time to redirect users to the Vera Edge dashboard. The Vera Edge also performed an upgrade to the latest firmware which the wizard didn’t highlight.

Vera Edge Password

Now here’s how you can get the wifi password of the Vera Edge. Once you had created an account in home.getvera.com, logout and login again. You will be presented with the following dashboard. Click on the “eye” icon to reveal the wifi password. This is also the ssh password should you need to perform a direct ssh into the Vera Edge (there is no reason you need to do this unless you are doing a factory reset or develop some plugins).

Compatibility

We have tested the Vera Edge and noted that even though it is running on the dreaded UI7, it is already working fine with Fibaro, Aeonlabs, Everspring and MCO Home devices. We previously had problem with the aircon controller Remotec ZXT-120 but now it is also working perfectly as it was in UI5. Although we didn’t like UI7 initially but we can really see that they are working hard to improve the compatibility. Do check on the latest UI7 release notes if you are not sure if certain device is working on UI7. Else you can always check back with us so that we can do a test. 🙂

Usage and Mobile Apps

We are not going to go through the UI, so here’s a video from Vera Control to give you a better idea.

Another thing we feel it can be improved on UI7 is that constant spinning green indicator for every action we did. The delay we get when we use the default mobile app Vera UI7 Mobile (both Android and iOS) is terrible (we keep seeing the spinning green indicator), so we recommend third party apps that are tested to work with UI7, such as, Imperihome for Android and Homewave or Veramate for iOS.

Plugins and Downgrad-ability

We also tested with some of the plugins that used to only work in UI5 and are pleasantly surprised that the Autovera, Milight and Sonos plugins are already working in UI7! We also tried to downgrade the Vera Edge to UI5 but with no success. The UI simply reject the UI5 firmware, so we guessed we really have to say goodbye to UI5 with Vera Edge.

Conclusion

Even though we didn’t like UI7, it seems that Vera Control (used to call Micasaverde) is working hard to make Vera Edge a more end user friendly product and yet has the flexibility of the old UI5. Documentation on Vera Edge and UI7 is quite limited but they have created a YouTube channel to guide new users. It is already working well for normal usage (i.e controlling of lights, curtains and aircons etc) but more lacking for advanced users. Give them half a year to improve or you can also consider getting a Fibaro Home Center Lite just to play safe.

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