Home / Blog / I tested SwitchBot's new Curtain 3 robot and it made me feel like royalty

I tested SwitchBot's new Curtain 3 robot and it made me feel like royalty

Aug 09, 2023Aug 09, 2023

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

I love a device that offers the convenience of automation and hands-free operation. Dozens of daily tasks could be automated to make routines easier -- automating a coffee maker to run when you walk by an Echo Dot each morning, asking Siri to turn off the bedroom lights from your bed, or having your door automatically lock behind you as soon as it senses that it's closed.

Also: Amazon's Echo Show 5 made me a smart display believer (and my daughter, too)

In the name of convenience, SwitchBot just launched a new smart home device to automate your curtains: the SwitchBot Curtain 3.

The newest robot to automate curtains, with twice as much power as the previous version, but almost half as noisy.

Before testing the SwitchBot Curtain 3, I had the previous SwitchBot Curtain robot opening and closing the curtains in my living room. I like to open them so I can see my kids playing in the sunroom, and they, of course, love the idea of a robot opening curtains.

Also: Here's how to keep your home secure when you travel

But the new Curtain 3 robot wasn't going to replace its predecessor; it warranted a much bigger challenge than my living room. Instead, I put it to the test of handling the heavy, room-darkening curtains in my toddler's bedroom.

If you've ever raised a baby, you probably know that room-darkening curtains are a must -- they really should be the first thing to go in the baby registry. It's a staple I've come to rely on for my kids, who have learned to associate bright lights with waking up. Just think of what this means in the summer when the sun sets a couple of hours after bedtime.

Setting up the SwitchBot Curtain 3 took a few minutes, with some time dedicated to playing with the parts and manual to figure out what went where and which direction it needed to face. If you've never set up any previous versions, I'd recommend setting aside about an hour for installation. Once you become familiar with the process, adding the device to your curtains takes only a few minutes.

Open sesame.

The curtains in my toddler's bedroom are two 84-inch-long room-darkening panels that meet in the middle to close. I added two SwitchBot Curtain 3 bots to keep the functionality of opening the curtains in the middle, but you can add just one to push the curtains from one side to the other.

Also: Leviton launches new smart home devices, including first Matter outdoor plug

I also added two solar panels, as SwitchBot just launched brand new versions of its for-windows model. These panels are larger than the previous model and are attached to the curtain with a charging cable encased in plastic. They face the window to attain power for the Curtain robot. The solar panels move with the Curtain robot, so keeping the area they travel clear is important. Once I set mine up, I noticed an old bracket on my window was in the way, catching the solar panel and not letting the robot advance to close the curtains.

Along with the solar panels, I set up a SwitchBot remote by the light switch. I like to open the curtains each morning when I'm getting the toddler ready, as this helps wake her up. So I can walk into the room and press the button, and the curtains start opening before I even reach her bed.

Also: Blink launches new version of Outdoor cam with improved image quality

Adding the SwitchBot Curtain 3 to the SwitchBot app was as simple as pairing it through Bluetooth with a button on the curtain robot itself and following instructions on the app. Once you're in, you can rename the device and label what room it will be located, in case you're using multiple ones. We already have several SwitchBot devices in the nursery: a smart plug to control the monitor, nightlight, and sound machine, a thermometer/hygrometer and a bot to switch the sound machine from rain to white noise.

Here's how much space the curtain robot takes.

If you have a SwitchBot Hub Mini, you can then turn on Cloud Services in the SwitchBot app to connect the Curtain 3 to the internet, which gives you access to routines and automations, as well as the capability of controlling them remotely and accessing third-party services like Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, and Siri Shortcuts.

The newest Matter-enabled SwitchBot Hub 2 lets you add the SwitchBot Curtain 3 to your preferred home automation system, like Samsung SmartThings, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and even Apple HomeKit.

Also: The best smart home devices, tested and reviewed

Everyday operation has been a seamless experience. I admit, I was a skeptic before I got the previous SwitchBot Curtain 2; I didn't believe a device to automate curtains would work without getting stuck or caught on something. But it did -- and the new Curtain 3 has delivered the same experience, with several improvements.

The SwitchBot Curtain 2 (left) & SwitchBot Curtain 3 (right).

The new SwitchBot Curtain 3 is much quieter than the Curtain 2 model, as it has a QuietDrift mode to keep the noise level at only 25 dB. This mode is slower, but it makes for a quiet experience that is less distracting.

It's also stronger than before, capable of passing up to 36 lbs of curtains, and has a larger battery to ensure a longer time between charging, though the new Solar Panel could mean never having to charge it.

The SwitchBot Curtain 3 is available now on Amazon for $90. If I had to answer whether they're worth the price, I'd say yes, especially if you're like me and spend too long opening all the curtains in the house each day.

For security reasons, I prefer closing all the shades at home every night. The task is tedious (especially when you realize you forgot to do it as you're getting out of the shower), but this is why I love the SwitchBot Blind Tilt and Curtain so much: because they automate the experience for me.

Also: Amazon's Echo Show 5 made me a smart display believer (and my daughter, too)Also: Here's how to keep your home secure when you travelAlso: Leviton launches new smart home devices, including first Matter outdoor plugAlso: Blink launches new version of Outdoor cam with improved image qualityAlso: The best smart home devices, tested and reviewed