Chamberlain myQ review: Making your garage door smart

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Chamberlain myQ review: Making your garage door smart

The Chamberlain myQ smart garage door opener provides more than the simple convenience of controlling your garage door opener from your smartphone. You can set it to open and close the garage door on a preset schedule, and it works with both Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit (though not Alexa). It's also at the top of the list of the best smart garage door openers we've tested.

What's hot

Here's why you should consider the myQ if you want to upgrade to a smart garage door opener.

Simple physical setup requirements. The myQ smart garage hub includes two pieces: a sensor you stick to the inside of the garage door and a plug-in controller that you can mount on the ceiling of the garage using a simple bracket and two wood screws. The garage ceiling controller plugs into the ceiling outlet where your garage door is plugged in. You don't need to use wires to connect the garage door opener — a step I've run into with every other smart garage door opener I've tested.

With the two devices installed and powered up and the app downloaded on my iPhone X, the myQ was running my garage door opener in a very short time. It's a good thing this part was easy, because the setup instructions don't explain what the devices actually do. (More on this in a moment.)

MORE: Best Smart Garage Door Openers - Alexa, Homekit & Wi-Fi Units

Simple app interface: The myQ app (Android, iOS) is fairly straightforward. Create an account, name your garage door opener and pair it up. During the process of teaching the app to talk to the garage door opener, the app warned me that the garage might go up and down. Fair enough, but it referred to this on my phone as "Attempt 1 of 4" and warned me it could be a 15-minute process, but completed the task on Attempt 1 and in about 5 seconds. That's simple and fast — just not clear.

Multiple device management: The myQ is the creation of Chamberlain, a major garage door manufacturer. But the myQ can work with many other brands as well, such as my 17-year-old Genie Excelerator. In addition, the myQ app can control multiple garage door openers and other smart home devices. These include myQ remote light-control switches (an outlet that allows control of a home interior light from your smartphone, and/or control of a light from your vehicle or in conjunction with your garage door opener light); and myQ interior light switches (an actual wall switch that allows you to control a light from your smartphone or in sync with garage door opener lights).

Basic garage door opener features: The myQ provides open/closed status and alerts, while also letting you schedule when to open and close your garage door. And when I pressed the button on the app to close the garage, I also discovered that the myQ sounds an audible alarm and flashes a strobe. It's a good warning that the door is about to close.

Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit compatibility: The myQ is one of the best Google Home compatible devices, though it also works with Alpine, EVE, Nest, Wink, Clare Controls and Xfinity Home. 

What's Not

There are a few issues with the myQ garage opener you should consider before buying.

Credit: Chamberlain

(Image credit: Chamberlain)

MORE: 9 Google Home Gadgets to Start Your Smart Home

No Alexa compatibility: Sorry, Alexa fans. For whatever reason, Alexa isn't on the list of compatible systems. It's all the more confounding because the myQ works with Amazon's Key for Garage service, which allows Amazon deliveries to be dropped off inside your garage.

Convoluted setup instructions: To be fair, I'd rather have convoluted setup instructions if the actual operation is easy and reliable than have clear instructions for a product that simply doesn't work. The myQ printed quick-start guide starts out OK, but once I downloaded the app and created an account, the rest of the setup instructions didn't provide enough context or simply lacked clarity. I was literally standing on a ladder in the center of my garage, watching my garage door go up and down as if controlled by an alien force — and this was a normal part of the setup.

Bottom Line

Despite the lack of clarity in the setup instructions, the MyQ worked as it should and I discovered desirable features I didn't expect, such as the audible and visual alarm when the garage door closes. That's why the myQ has become my favorite smart garage door opener.

The app is stable, secure (I use Face ID in iOS to unlock the app) and has a friendly interface. Among smart garage door openers, though, the MyQ could be more friendly when it comes to working with other smart home devices. While it works with Google Assistant and HomeKit, it doesn't work with Alexa.

Then again, if the MyQ continues to work as expected, these are things I'm willing to overlook.

Credit: Tom's Guide