Smart technology in the kitchen isn't new: We’ve reviewed connected refrigerators, ovens, ice makers, coffee machines, and cocktail mixers, just to name a few. But the U By Moen Smart Faucet ($709.60 as tested) is the first smart kitchen faucet we're testing. This easy-to-install fixture enables hands-free operation and supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands. It also works with a mobile app that tracks water usage and lets you create presets that will dispense precise amounts of water at specific temperatures. The U By Moen faucet isn't cheap, but its elegant design and smart features might just make it the star of your kitchen.
A Sleek and Smart Faucet
The U By Moen Smart Faucet comes in a variety of styles and finishes, with prices ranging from $671 to $960. Moen sent us the Resist Stainless One-Handle Pulldown Kitchen Faucet in Sleek, a high-arc model that rings up at $709.60. The kit includes the faucet; a control box with the Wi-Fi radio and the circuitry that controls the faucet; a battery pack that provides power to the control box; six D-cell batteries; and assorted mounting nuts and straps.Our Experts Have Tested 127 Products in the Smart Home Category in the Past YearSince 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. (See how we test.)
The faucet has a matte silver stainless steel finish and a curved swiveling spout that measures 15.5 inches high. It’s a one-handle faucet and features a pull-down, auto-retracting nozzle with a 7.6-inch reach. The nozzle has two buttons for toggling between four spray settings including Aerated Stream, Boosted Stream, Cleaning Rinse, and Boosted Rinse. The handle, positioned on the right side of the faucet, controls the water temperature and volume. Push it up for hot water, pull it down for cold water, and pull it out for full pressure.
There’s an LED indicator and a wave sensor embedded in the spout just above the nozzle. The indicator changes color according to the water temperature: It glows red when hot water is dispensed, turns blue when the water is cold, and glows red and blue when the water is lukewarm. The wave sensor lets you turn the faucet on and off without touching the handle; simply wave your hand in front of the sensor to begin dispensing water and wave it again to stop the flow.
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The control box has hot and cold water hoses that attach to your water valves, as well as a snap-in fitting for the faucet hose, a port for the data cable that's hardwired to the faucet, and a power jack for the battery pack.
The U by Moen faucet supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands. You can ask whichever voice assistant you use to have the faucet do things like turn on and off, dispense a cup of water at 100 degrees (Fahrenheit), and wash your hands. You can also use voice commands to instruct the faucet to dispense water according to presets created using the mobile app (more on this in a bit).
An App With Plenty to Sink Into
The faucet uses the U By Moen Smart Faucet app for Android and iOS devices. The Home screen contains two Inspiration panels that advertise other Moen products, plus four buttons at the bottom labeled Home, Devices, Usage, and Settings. The Home button takes you back to the Home screen from wherever you are in the app, while the Devices button opens a screen with panels for all of your installed Moen faucets. Tap the faucet panel to see an overview of water usage by day, week, month, and year displayed in colorful graphs. You can also view detailed historical usage statistics including the time of day, the amount used, the temperature, and what method was used (such as handle, hands-free wave, or voice control). Tap any statistic panel to create a preset based on that usage. For example, you can set the faucet to dispense a specific amount of water at a specific temperature using a specific flow rate. The presets appear as buttons on the Home screen and can be used by name with Alexa or Google voice commands.
At the top of the screen, a Tips button offers useful advice on how to use the faucet and all of its features. There’s also a Settings button that takes you to a screen where you can configure the default water temperature (handle position, coldest, hottest, or equal mix), voice and sensor time-out (how long the faucet will wait before automatically turning off), freeze protection (water trickles to prevent burst pipes), and handle time-out (how long the faucet will run with the handle open before automatically turning off). Missing is a setting that lets you disable the hands-free wave sensor. Although I love using the motion sensor to turn water on and off, every so often, the sensor would trigger when I went to open the cabinet above the sink or made another movement in the same area.
Back at the bottom of the Home screen, tap the Usage button to view the same daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly water usage data that you get in the Device overview. Tap the Settings button to access the same settings menu as mentioned above. Here you can also set temperature limits, configure Alexa and Google voice control settings, and access support FAQs.
Simple to Set Up and Use
Installing the faucet is easy thanks to Moen’s excellent written and video installation instructions. First, I turned off the hot and cold water under my kitchen sink and removed my old faucet and hoses. My sink has three holes (faucet, hot, and cold spigots), so I used the included mounting plate to cover the two unused spigot holes. I then installed a rubber gasket and the pull-down hose, attached the spray nozzle to the hose, and placed the faucet assembly in the center hole of the sink. I used the mounting washer and nut to secure the faucet, installed the hose guide nut, and snapped the control box into place on the guide nut. I attached the hot and cold water hoses to their respective valves, attached the pull-down hose to the control box, and mounted the battery pack to the back of the cabinet. I then attached the data cable and the power cable to the control box, turned the water back on, checked for leaks, and calibrated the faucet handle by turning it to full cold, full hot, and the stop position.
After installing the faucet, I downloaded the U By Moen Smart Faucet app and created an account. I then disconnected and reconnected the power cable, which put the faucet into discovery mode and caused the LED to begin flashing amber and blue. Using my phone’s Wi-Fi settings, I connected to the faucet’s SSID, returned to the app, and entered my home network SSID and password. I waited a few seconds for the faucet to connect to my network and gave it a name to complete the installation.
The U By Moen faucet worked well in testing. It responded instantly to voice commands to turn on and off, as well as to dispense a certain amount of water at a temperature of my choosing. It carried out my presets without issue, too.
The pull-down hose always retracted easily and the wave sensor was very responsive, although as previously mentioned, I did have a few accidental triggers due to errant hand movements. The faucet always followed my handle and voice time-out schedules, while the four water stream settings worked perfectly.
A Fancy Faucet Full of Finesse
We haven't tested any other smart faucets yet, but both Delta and Kohler sell models with similar high-arc designs and voice assistant features. Delta charges between $572 and $960 for its smart faucets, while Kohler lists its models between $907 and $1,378 (although you can find most of these for well under their MSRP). Delta claims that its faucets help reduce the chance of false activations, while the Kohler models work with a dedicated app that's compatible with Apple Home Kit.
With the U By Moen Smart Faucet, you can get precise amounts of water at the perfect temperature simply by touching a button or by using Alexa or Google voice commands. Its high-arc spout provides plenty of room for cleaning large pots, while its pull-down nozzle lets you select the ideal water stream for up-close cleaning and rinsing. At a little over $700, this is an expensive fixture, but it offers lots of smart features including presets, Wi-Fi connectivity, hands-free operation, and a useful mobile app with usage reports. Combined with its sleek design and easy installation, this is a kitchen upgrade that's easy to recommend.
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