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Let your smart home do the twist

Buttons are the best. They can make your smart home “just work” and don’t require wiring, remodeling your home, or shouting at a speaker to make magic happen. Want the lights to dim, your TV to turn on, your thermostat to adjust, and your front door to lock with one tap? Get a button.

The newest button from smart home button maker Flic, launching today, adds an exciting twist to the button concept. The Flic Twist ($88.88) is a button that you can push, double-push, twist, and push and twist to control any connected device.

The twist feature, in particular, is well suited to dimming lights, adjusting speaker volume or thermostat temperature, and controlling shades — all functions that are hard to achieve with just a button press.

As a button, its functions are similar to the Wemo Stage Scene Controller I’ve reviewed, although it uses Bluetooth LE, whereas that uses Thread. The twist function is similar to the Philips Hue Tap Dial, which, while designed for use with Hue lighting products, can be used with Apple Home for wider functions.

The new Flic Hub Mini is a more affordable option for connecting Flic’s buttons.
Image: Flic

However, the Flic Twist has wider compatibility than either of those options. It can control devices from many smart home staples, including Philips Hue, Lifx, Ecobee, Spotify, Ikea, and Sonos. It also works with smart home platforms, including Apple Home, Samsung SmartThings, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT.

The Flic Twist launched on Kickstarter in 2021 but is now available to preorder from Flic’s site for a discount of $80 and will ship later this month. The button has a magnetic mount so you can attach it to a wall, and it runs off two AAA batteries.

The downside here is the cost and the required hub needed to make the Flic Twist work outside of a Bluetooth connection to your phone. However, the company is launching a new, cheaper hub — the Flic Hub Mini ($40) — which powers the Bluetooth LE Flic Twist and Flic’s range of other smart home buttons.

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