A week ago Switchbot launched the Kickstarter for their all new smart blind tilt device. Here at Mark’s Tech Blogs we shared our review after having this device for a month before launch and we loved it…but having previously reviews the SOMA Tilt 2 we thought it was about time we did a Soma Tilt 2 and Switchbot Blind Tilt compared post for you. So, read on to see which device is the best one to pick up and make your existing Venetian blinds smart.
Switchbot Blind Tilt vs SOMA Tilt 2 – Price Guide
Let’s kick off with how much these devices are going to set you back.
When purchasing either of these devices it’s important to remember that for out-of-home control and compatibility with services such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT and other services you’re going to need a Switchbot Hub Mini for the Switchbot Blind Tilt or a SOMA Connect for the SOMA Tilt 2.
The actual Switchbot Blind Tilt will set you back £70 (with discounts for multiple purchases) whereas the SOMA Tilt 2 costs £130.
For the Hubs the Switchbot Hub Mini will cost you £30 compared to £60 for the SOMA Connect. It’s worth noting that the SOMA Connect is a Raspberry Pi so if you have your own you can download the software free from the SOMA website.
SOMA Tilt 2 and Switchbot Blind Tilt – The Designs
Both have very different designs thanks to how they work.
The SOMA Tilt has a block rectangular design with rounded edges and is designed to stick to your wall or window frame. It has a flexible rod that connects to your blinds and an included solar panel which sticks to your window. The cable with the solar panel is pretty long which means you’ll need to work out some cable management.
The Switchbot Blind Tilt on the other hand is made up of two cylinders with the aim of matching the shape of your blind rod as it attaches to that. Much like the SOMA Tilt 2 it’s completely white but looks far more hidden than the Tilt 2 thanks to it attaching to your blinds. The Blind Tilt also has a solar panel but with a shorter cable and built in cable management it looks much tidier.
This means that whilst design is subjective and down to personal opinion we actually prefer the Switchbot Blind Tilt thanks to it blending in a bit more and excellent cable management.
SOMA Tilt 2 and Switchbot Blind Tilt Compared – Features
A lot of the features between the two devices are very similar and some key features for both include:
- They both work with a large variety of blinds (Switchbot work with more thanks to using the existing rod rather than hook adapters).
- Both have solar panels included to minimise or completely reduce the need to charge
- Both connect to their hubs and apps via bluetooth
- Both are Apple and Android Compatible
- Both work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT (Hubs required).
- If not plugged into the solar panel the Switchbot Blind Tilt has up to 10 months battery compared to 30 days with the SOMA Tilt 2.
The SOMA Tilt 2 has the edge thanks to it’s Apple HomeKit compatibility.
However, the Switchbot App is so much better and more user friendly.
How easy are they to setup?
Due to the way they function both are setup slightly differently.
The SOMA Tilt is setup by removing your existing blind rod, attaching the correct attachment and then mounting your SOMA Tilt on the wall. From there you then use the app to configure them. The whole process of calibrating is quite painful as the process requires you to slowly adjust the motor until you’ve set fully closed down, open and fully closed open position. In total setup is around 15 minutes.
The Switchbot Blind Tilt is setup slightly differently and whilst Switchbot claim you can set it up in less than a minute we found it took us 5-10 minutes. Attaching it to your existing blind rod requires measuring its thickness with the included tool, finding the right adapter and then attaching the motor and solar panel. Calibrating takes place in the Switchbot app and takes 30 seconds as you just twist the rod closed down, closed up and open as instructed.
Overall, the Switchbot is a physically more tricky device to setup but so much less frustrating to calibrate.
How reliable are the Switchbot Blind Tilt and SOMA Tilt 2 to use every day?
When it comes to daily use we’ve been using the Switchbot Blind Tilt for a month and the SOMA Tilt 2 for just over a year and both let you control your blinds based on schedules (e.g. times of day, sunset, other devices etc.), you can set up automations with IFTTT, use voice control (we use Alexa) and using their smartphone apps.
Whilst both work we’ve found that roughly once a month the SOMA Tilt seems to lose its connection to the hub and automations just stop working. Our hub is close to the devices and wifi signal is strong so this is clearly a bug. It can be resolved by opening the SOMA app and operating them once via the app but it’s a little frustrating.
In addition to that the SOMA App only has a visual slider for your blinds which is really tricky to get used to especially for fully opening them. The Switchbot app offers a similar visualiser but also simple open/close buttons and buttons you can personalise.
The Switchbot app also lets you open and close your blinds based on light levels received by the device itself or the solar panel. This is a nice feature but still in BETA and still a little buggy (especially when using the device to detect light).
Soma Tilt 2 and Switchbot Blind Tilt Compared – Which should you buy?
In our opinion the Switchbot Blind Tilt is the clear winner. It’s more affordable, has a great app, works well every single time and has the nice addition of allowing you to still operate your blinds using the existing rod.