And this is a big reason why Wyze invested in an alternative and got rid of these sensors.
They identified a design flaw, so they took steps to help people prevent the issue as much as possible (check the LEDs and get battery low notifications), and then they looked for alternatives, and after they secured an alternative, they deprecated the product with the problem, and only offered the newer more reliable one that resolved the issue.
I agree that Wyze could’ve done some things differently here with better communication.
The issue is actually with Texas Instruments design of the chip used:
Wyze also didn’t design the sensor, they just made new firmware alterations for it. When they learned about the brown-out issue from low voltage they did communicate how we could learn when the battery starts to get low (the led lights), and then they created a firmware and software update so that the app and notifications could alert us and tell us when the battery starts to get low so we could replace the batteries before the brownout occurred. This is certainly taking action. Again, it’s fair to believe they could’ve done more communication, but it would be disingenuous to say they did nothing and were just trying to “get away with it” or something.
I’m impressed the improved replacement sensors are relatively close to the same overall price after shipping, etc is all included (especially if inflation, tariffs, and CPI changes are taken into account).
In the smart home or IOT industry, I am unaware of any company doing massive recalls, refunds, etc for anything remotely similar, though I won’t rule it out. In my experience, that sort of thing is usually only done when it puts someone at bodily risk or endangers someone else. Especially with profit margins as low as Wyze’s. It’s a little easier for companies with high profit margins to eat such a recall, but almost impossible for someone with low profit margins to recall hundreds of thousands of devices, and many wouldn’t do it anyway. I wouldn’t have returned my V1’s. I personally love them. Even after I learned of the brownout issue, I started buying tons more V1 sensors, as did many other people I know, and there are still tons of people complaining to Wyze that they stopped selling them.
Given their limitations and options to handle this without destroying the company and going broke, I thought their response was fair. I wouldn’t rate it excellent or anything though. I learned how to make sure I don’t let my sensors brownout, and with dozens of sensors, the only ones that have locked up are ones I lost (they fell somewhere and I couldn’t find them until months later, and by then it was too late…definitely not Wyze’s fault). I learned how to prevent the issue, and with dozens of sensors I’ve prevented any brownouts. Also, the brownout doesn’t occur every time, Before I knew about this, I had several sensors batteries die without them going into a brownout, so it’s not every sensor either, apparently, most don’t brownout, but some do…though it is incredibly frustrating when they do. You can actually restore them as the document describes, and then reassing the MAC address posted on the sensor, or just use them on Home Assistant instead.
Still, I agree that Wyze could’ve done much better with communication than they did, but I won’t say their response was terrible or abnormal or poor, though it wasn’t excellent either. It was fair though (TO ME at least).