It may not be the fastest or have the longest range, but the $200 Securifi Almond+ is the first router that combines Wi-Fi and smart home automation in one. With ZigBee and Z-Wave antennas, this router lets you connect to and control hundreds of smart home devices, from light bulbs to garage door openers, right from your smartphone. It’s the router for those who want wireless data and feel the need to command a slew of household devices.
One of the most successful Kickstarter crowdsourcing projects to date, Securifi’s Almond+ updates the household router with a sleek black rectangular device with no antennas sticking out. At 7.3 x 5.4 x 1.3 inches, it’s about the size of a paperback book, but is 50 percent larger than Amped Wireless’ TAP-R2, which also has a touch-screen display. It includes plastic brackets for wall mounting or sitting on a shelf.
The center of attention is the Almond+’s 3.5-inch touch screen. It has a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels (matching the TAP-R2’s display), with vivid colors and sharp text. Unfortunately, like the TAP-R2, a recessed screen about 0.1 inches below the surface makes it hard for users to navigate and tap in the corners. Fortunately, it includes a stylus that fits into a slot on the device.
The beauty of having a touch screen is that you can configure the Almond+ by tapping it or by using a connected computer. Either way, the process takes about 5 minutes. That’s a little longer than the claimed “3-minute touch-screen setup,” but it’s still impressive. The Almond+ comes with an AC adapter, a flat Ethernet cable and mounting hardware, but no CD.
Full review: Securifi Almond + Router Review