The Eve Door & Window Contact Sensor, first released in 2015, was the first HomeKit sensor devoted entirely to reporting the open or closed status of a door, window, or anything that it could be stuck to. Since the original release, the contact sensor has only seen a minor hardware revision, which changed the logo color on the device, and a few competitors have hit the market, but the device has stood the test of time with the company providing updates to improve reliability and response time. In my home, I have deployed quite a number of these so needless to say, I have many experiences with the device. Let’s take a look at how they have performed for me over the years.
The Eve Door & Window Sensor follows the original Eve design language as it sports a rectangular white plastic frame and not the more premium aluminum design as the company’s latest offerings. The device itself is comprised of two different parts, but both are compact and are about as unobtrusive as you can get for contact sensors. The “heart” of the sensor is the larger of the two parts, and houses all of the electronic internals. The other piece is a small square, which is a magnetic that allows the device to read its current opened or closed state. Both parts feature small holes, that resemble vents if you will, and the larger portion houses the “Eve” branding written in either Gray or Green depending on which version you purchase, which is not overbearing.
Also included in the box are spacers which allow the height of the magnet portion to be adjusted to match the height of the other part. While I certainly appreciate that the company included these spacers, I did find that in almost all of my installations that they were pretty much unnecessary and could have been done away with altogether with a slight redesign of the magnet. Eve has also provided the battery used to power the sensor in the box, which the company claims will last “over a year”, which in my experiences rings true.
Unfortunately though, when it comes time to change the battery, it can be a little difficult to track down, as the company chose to use a 3.6V ER14250, 1/2 AA battery which I could only find on Amazon, with no local options being available. The battery compartment is easy to open, but close attention will need to be paid when installing the sensor, as you will need to slide the body in a certain direction in order to remove it, which could be an issue if you are working in a tight spot. As far as mounting options go, well, there is only one, which is to use the double sided tape that is pre-affixed to the both portions. Even though I have not yet had an issue with a sensor falling off due to the tape failing to hold, I still would like to see the company add the ability for the sensor to be mounted with a screw.
The Eve Door & Window Sensor, like pretty much all of Eve’s products, uses bluetooth for wireless connectivity. This means that pairing the device is a pretty simple and straight forward process, with only the native iOS Home App being required. A quick scan of the HomeKit code, which is located on the larger portion of the device, and it is ready to go. In the Home App, the device can be customized to provide a better visual representation of the installation. The default device type is set to Contact Sensor, but it can be changed to Door, Window, Blinds, or Garage Door Opener as well. The Home App will, as expected, show the current state of the device, both via text and via the actual icon itself, which is a nice touch. The Home App will also display the battery level, although I am not quite certain on just how accurate it is. Automations can be built off of the status of the sensor, and a perfect example of how handy this can be is with having the sensor installed on a door, and to have a light in the room turn on when the door is opened.
Notifications can also be set up for the device, which is also a nice feature to have for when you are out and about and want to be notified if someone is entering your home. Again, with automations, you could pontentially set up a make shift home alarm, with the sensor triggering a smart plug to turn on that has some kind of a siren or noise making device attached.
Of course, you can also use the Eve Home App, which is lauded for its power user features, but for new users, it can be a little difficult to navigate with the sheer amount of data and options available. Once, paired the Eve for HomeKit App will display the contact sensor state, either opened or closed, in both the rooms tab, and in the accessories tab. The App also features state logs, with both graphs and list views provided, each with time stamps and dates for the respective state change.
The most important aspect of the Eve for HomeKit App, with regards to the contact sensor, is that it allows for firmware updates, which the company has a good track record with. Since the release of the device, it has seen a substantial update in the form of bluetooth connectivity improvements that were provided via an iOS HomeKit update a couple of years ago.
Since the device relies on bluetooth for its connection to HomeKit, the response time of state changes can vary depending on distance from your hub or iOS device. In my case, all of my sensors are fast to respond, with notifications coming in within 1-2 seconds after opening a door, which is quite amazing considering that the device needs to power up its radio and send the signal to HomeKit. After a device is “woken up” response time is even faster, with it seemingly updating in real time, which again is quite the feat. Availability of the device has been rock solid as well, as I cannot actually recall any issues with “No Response” showing in the Home App, despite the large amount of bluetooth based HomeKit devices that I have in my home.
So as you may have guessed by now, I think pretty highly of Eve’s little contact sensor. As I mentioned, I have deployed quite a few of them over the past couple of years, as they have performed pretty much perfectly and are as reliable as it gets. While there are obviously some improvements that I would like to see for future hardware updates, such as changing the battery to something a little more common, the magnet design, and perhaps price ($39.99 which can add up if you plan on putting them on every entry point in your home), I really cannot think of anything else that would make the device even better then it already is. The Eve Door & Window Sensor is an easy device to recommend for those looking for a no-hassle way to see the status of something such as a door or window and want to do so without Wi-Fi or a connection to someone’s server in the cloud.