The Best Smart Thermostats of 2017

By Julia MacDougall

If you want to remotely control the temperature and HVAC system in your home, save money with more efficient heating/cooling, or just want to engage in the longstanding thermostat war with your significant other from anywhere in the world, smart thermostats are for you.

But with the recent explosion of smart home devices, which smart thermostat should you choose?

After extensive testing, we recommend the Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat (available at Amazon for $156.04). Its easy setup, intuitive controls, and voice-controlled personal assistant compatibility make it the best choice, regardless of your experience with smart home products.

Before you purchase a smart thermostat, do your research. But if you want to hear what we had to say about 10 smart thermostats, read on.

Updated October 02, 2017

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sensi_touch_big Best Overall
Credit: Sensi

Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-fi Thermostat

Emerson sensi st75
  • Editors' Choice

Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-fi Thermostat

Best Overall

The bottom line: While Nest and Honeywell may be better known smart thermostat brands, with the least stressful installation process, a helpful app, and functionality across multiple “smart” assistants, we would recommend the Emerson Sensi Touch thermostat to anyone with a C-wire.

Compatibility:

Amazon Alexa: Yes, with the “Sensi” Skill enabled

Google Home: Yes, through the Wink (Android/iOS) app

Apple Homekit/Siri: Yes

Setup/Installation: The installation directions in the Sensi app were fantastic and foolproof: the Sensi app actually checks which wires are connected (which tells you if a wire isn’t touching its contact properly), and then checks the viability of that wiring configuration. If you're new at playing around with thermostat wires, this will be hugely reassuring, as will the easy-to-access contact push tabs. A little light around the edge of the thermostat also makes the wires more visible during the installation process.

Sensi_Touch_setup
Wiring instructions and configuration verification are really useful features of the setup for the Sensi Touch.

Sensi_Touch_Inside
Credit: Reviewed.com / Julia MacDougall
The inside of the Sensi Touch has a moderate number of contacts and a small light that can make it easier to see wires during installation.

Setting up Apple Homekit is part of the installation process, but Google Home integration requires you to download the free Wink app as an intermediary. Still, once up and running, the Google Home the functionality works perfectly. The setup for Amazon Alexa is also straightforward, once the “Sensi” skill is enabled.

Usability: A streamlined app makes it easy to change the temperature or toggle the AC, heating, or fan with the tap of a finger. The Sensi Touch also has an “Auto” mode, where it can switch from heating to cooling as necessary to maintain a temperature.

Sensi_Touch_Status
It's easy to use both the app and Apple Homekit/Siri to change the temperature of the Sensi Touch.

The scheduling functionality is especially impressive; different people can design and deploy multiple heating/cooling schedules very easily. Geofencing (when the app uses your phones GPS locator to determine whether you are “home” or “away”, and sets the temperature accordingly) is available, although it states that it is in beta testing.

Sensi_Touch_Schedule
The Sensi Touch scheduling functionality is fully customizable; you can set individual dates, times, and temperatures on multiple schedules.

It is also possible to adjust the thermostat settings using your smartphone, even when you’re outside the range of your home wi-fi network. Alerts that ping your phone once the temperature or humidity goes outside user-defined boundaries are also available. The keypad lockout feature prevents kids or neutral parties in the thermostat wars from changing the temperature. We had no problems using any of the features, although we didn't try geofencing, due to its beta testing status.

We tested the Sensi Touch with Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa, and each one instantly updated both the app and the thermostat itself.

Looks: The Sensi Touch has a black faceplate with a square profile. It is about the same size as a standard thermostat, except for the fact that it juts out the wall a bit more.

Sensi_Touch_outside
Credit: Reviewed.com / Julia MacDougall
The full touchscreen on the Sensi Touch makes it easy to change the temperature at the thermostat.

What users are saying: While not as well known as the Nest or Honeywell smart thermostats, owners were very happy with the sleek look, quick installation, and the easy integration with smart assistants like Amazon Alexa. The keypad lockout is also a big selling point. One complaint is that the Sensi Touch thermostat’s screen goes to sleep within 10-15 seconds of inactivity, and doesn’t “wake up” until the screen is touched; even with a small backlight that can be turned on manually, the thermostat is difficult to see in the dark.

ecobee4_main Best for homes with no C-wire
Credit: ecobee

ecobee4 Thermostat

Ecobee ecobee4

ecobee4 Thermostat

Best for homes with no C-wire

The bottom line: With so many extra goodies, like a built-in Amazon Alexa, a power extender, and a temperature sensor, it’s hard not to be tempted by the ecobee4 thermostat, especially if your thermostat doesn't have a C-wire.

Compatibility:

Amazon Alexa: Yes, with the “ecobee” or “SmartThings” skill enabled

Google Home: Yes, through the Wink (Android/iOS) app

Apple Homekit/Siri: Yes

Setup/Installation: One of the biggest selling points about the ecobee4 is that it comes with a power extender, which eliminates the need for a C-wire. If you do not already have a C wire and you don’t want to shell out for a professional to add one, this is your best bet for upgrading to a smart thermostat. The power extender acts as a middleman between the HVAC system and the thermostat, so to use it, you’ll still need to be able to pull wires from your heating/cooling system, plug them into the power extender, and run those wires behind the wall to the back of the thermostat.

ecobee4_safety
The setup in the app gives very clear directions about ensuring your HVAC system is safely powered down before installing the ecobee4.

The setup instructions are extremely thorough. They are accompanied by videos and diagrams, including a really useful part about verifying that the HVAC system has been shut down safely. For the ecobee4 to work, your R wire (whether it’s an R, Rc, or Rh wire) must be placed in the Rc terminal.

ecobee4_setup
The setup process in the app involves verifying the wire configuration.

We also like that a separate temperature sensor is included with the ecobee4; it can be mounted anywhere, so your ecobee4 can tell how cold the bedroom is, even if it's installed in the hallway.

ecobee4_accessories
Credit: Reviewed.com / Julia MacDougall
The ecobee4 comes with an extra temperature sensor and the power extender kit, which can replace a C-wire.

Amazon Alexa has also been physically integrated with the ecobee4. This means that you can control the ecobee4 thermostat vocally without purchasing or using an additional Amazon Alexa unit. On the other hand, it only worked when we were in shouting distance of the thermostat itself. It is Apple Homekit compatible, and like the Sensi thermostats, the ecobee4 works with Google Home via the third-party Wink app.

Usability: With a full touchscreen on the thermostat interface, it’s easy to make temperature changes at the thermostat. However, we found that the ecobee app is a bit too streamlined. It’s a little bit tougher to navigate because the minimal labeling makes it hard to find exactly what you want. In order to change the temperature in the app, you have to drag the temperature down like a scroll bar, and with no number labels, it is easy to over- or undershoot the desired temperature.

Geofencing works beautifully. It’s easy to adjust the size of the “home” zone, and you are pinged with notifications when you enter or leave the home zone. On the other hand, the scheduling function is not as precise as some other apps, and only lets you schedule different "home", "away", and "sleep" events, where any two events of the same kind (i.e. two "home" events) cannot have different temperature settings.

ecobee4_features
Some features included in the ecobee4 include scheduling, geofencing, and a built-in Amazon Alexa unit.

One thing we did really like about the app is its easy-to-read status screen, which tells you whether the geofencing home/away state, the schedule, or a manual override is currently running; to change to a new command, we were able to click the x in the corner of the status window and it reverted to the previous command.

ecobee4_status
The ecobee app makes it easy to see what is currently driving the thermostat temperature—a manual override, the preset schedule, or the geofencing.

In our experience, vocal commands routed through Amazon Alexa (be sure to stand close to the thermostat if you’re using the built-in Alexa), Google Home, and Siri were executed quickly and correctly. The same was true for remote commands done over a 4G network.

Looks: The ecobee4 is very noticeable, and looks like it belongs on a spaceship. Between its black face plate, curved edges, and Amazon Alexa speaker, we kept wanting to order it around like it was our own personal AI: “Hey ecobee4, do my laundry.” The ecobee4 also comes with an optional large white backplate in case the profile of the ecobee4 is smaller than your previous thermostat, and unsightly paint lines would be visible otherwise.

ecobee4_faceplate
Credit: Reviewed.com / Julia MacDougall
The ecobee4 has a full touchscreen that makes it easy to change the temperature at the thermostat.

What users are saying: The ecobee4 has many happy customers, with the highlights including the external Alexa speaker, easy to follow installation instructions, and the power extender that replaces a C-wire. The biggest complaint is that the Alexa integration has limited functionality compared to a separate Alexa unit.

sensi_wifi_big Best Value
Credit: Sensi

Emerson Sensi Wi-fi Thermostat

Emerson sensi up500w

Emerson Sensi Wi-fi Thermostat

Best Value

The bottom line: This model doesn’t have the futuristic-looking touchscreen of the Sensi Touch thermostat, but with its nearly identical functionality and significantly cheaper cost, the Sensi Wifi Thermostat is a great buy.

Compatibility:

Amazon Alexa: Yes, with the “Sensi” Skill enabled

Google Home: Yes, through the Wink (Android/iOS) app

Apple Homekit/Siri: Yes

Setup/Installation: The wiring configuration for the Sensi Wifi thermostat is a little bit more old school than that of the Sensi Touch thermostat. The Sensi Wifi thermostat has wire contacts that are adjusted with a small screwdriver, as well as batteries that can help to power the thermostat interface.(With some HVAC configurations, it might even be possible to forgo connecting a C-wire with the Sensi Wi-Fi in favor of using the included batteries, but for the sake of simplicity, assume you will need a C-wire for this smart thermostat.)

Sensi_Wifi_inside
Credit: Reviewed.com / Julia MacDougall
The backplate of the Sensi Wi-fi thermostat requires a small screwdriver to attach the wires to the contacts.

The app step-by-step setup process, complete with wire configuration verification, is the same as that of the Sensi Touch thermostat.

Sensi_Wifi_setup
The installation instructions in the app are altered from those of the Sensi Touch to reflect the more analog backplate of the Sensi Wi-fi thermostat.

Usability: We did notice some connectivity issues during setup and testing, where the thermostat would be unavailable from the smartphone app despite the internet working. We were mostly able to work around that by exiting and reopening the app.

Despite the interface having actual buttons rather than a touch screen, the usability is nearly identical to that of the Sensi Touch thermostat, minus the ability to set up temperature and humidity notifications, and the auto HVAC function. In the Sensi Wi-fi thermostat, the only HVAC settings are heat/cool/off.

The flexible scheduling and tentative foray into geofencing found in the Sensi Touch thermostat are also present in the Sensi Wi-fi thermostat.

We were also able to successfully change the temperature of the Sensi Wi-fi thermostat with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Siri. Remote access with mobile data also worked beautifully.

Looks: The Sensi Wi-fi thermostat, while undoubtedly “smart”, looks like the adjective “digital” would be more appropriate. It has a white faceplate with actual buttons, and looks and feels like the updated version of a standard thermostat.

Sensi_Wifi_Front
Credit: Reviewed.com / Julia MacDougall
The Sensi Wi-fi thermostat has a more traditional faceplate with a digital readout and buttons y0u can press to change the temperature or heating/cooling/fan settings.

What users are saying: Owners of the Sensi Wifi thermostat like that it looks a bit like a standard thermostat. The easy setup and keypad lockout features were also a big hit. Like our testing, though, other users also experienced connectivity issues.

How we tested

We're not going to lie, testing multiple thermostats was nerve-wracking. With the threat of damaging a very expensive HVAC system, it was really important that we didn't screw this up.

In the interest of full disclosure, we actually had to have a professional come in and run a C-wire from our HVAC system. We also have both a 2.4 GHz and a 5 GHz wi-fi network in our building, which enabled us to test all 10 of these smart thermostats.

As for our testing process, for each thermostat, we safely (i.e. switching off the HVAC circuit breaker) installed the backplate, mounted the front of the thermostat, and configured it with the smartphone app in both an Android and an Apple smartphone.

breaker_box
Credit: Reviewed.com / Julia MacDougall
We became intimately familiar with the circuit breakers while testing smart thermostats.

Once we had successfully installed and programmed the thermostat, we let it run while we test out the app and voice assistant functionality. With an Amazon Tap, a Google Home, and Siri, we put the thermostats through their paces.

suspects
Credit: Reviewed.com / Julia MacDougall
Amazon Tap, Google Home, and Siri walk into a bar...

We also tried out the extra features on each thermostat to make sure that they are actually useful and doable. There were two main types of features: scheduling and home/away states or geofencing.

schedule
Guess who opted for using the scheduling function instead of manually changing the temperature at 3 AM?

Lastly, we also gut-checked the thermostat's ability to actually turn the HVAC system on or off by collecting temperature data while we were testing.

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We collected temperature data to make sure that the thermostat was actually turning the HVAC system on and off.

That ultimately turned out to be unnecessary, since the Reviewed.com staffers were very aware that thermostats were being tested.

too_cold
Credit: Reviewed.com / Julia MacDougall
We got a lot of requests to turn the AC off, but we persisted in the name of science.

iDevices Thermostat

Idevices thermostat

iDevices Thermostat

The bottom line: The iDevices thermostat is probably the closest a smart thermostat can get to looking and feeling like an analog thermostat.

Compatibility:

Amazon Alexa: Yes, with the “iDevices” skill enabled

Google Home: No

Apple Homekit/Siri: Yes

Setup/Installation: The "guts" of the iDevices thermostat are very similar to those of a traditional thermostat. The contacts are adjusted with a small screwdriver, and a manual jumper wire between the Rc and Rh terminals comes standard.

As a protection against potentially shorting out the system with too many on/off commands in rapid succession, the iDevices thermostat actually waits for 5 minutes before turning the HVAC system on the first time. This is a great safety feature, but during installation, the delay convinced us that we had broken our own HVAC system.

Getting the app up and running depends entirely on the operating system of your smartphone. The setup went quickly on our iOS device, where Homekit configuration was included, but setting it up on an Android device was a completely different process that took a bit longer and required a Bluetooth connection. Adding Amazon Alexa functionality was straightforward, but the iDevices thermostat does not support Google Home integration.

Usability: The iDevices thermostat has four buttons on it that allow for temperature changes at the thermostat itself, in addition to the app. While the app itself is pretty basic, and geofencing is not available, we found the “Override” setting and the scheduling module to be especially useful. The “Override” setting allowed us to manually set the temperature and then set the exact time duration we wanted for that manual override before it reverted to the preset schedule. As for the scheduling function, it’s easy to precisely dial in any temperature at any time of day.

The iDevices thermostat responded well to commands from both Amazon Alexa and from Siri, as well as remotely with mobile data.

Looks: The iDevices thermostat has a rectangular white faceplate with four touch buttons and a small temperature display. It’s pretty slim, and that makes for an unobtrusive profile.

What users are saying: iDevices reviews vary. Many people like its clean look straightforward app implementation, and easy integration with Apple Homekit. While we didn’t have any connectivity issues, some customers had trouble with the thermostat maintaining a wi-fi connection in their homes. Others had difficulty installing the thermostat with an Android smartphone.

Honeywell Lyric Round Thermostat

Honeywell rch9310wf5003

Honeywell Lyric Round Thermostat

The bottom line: It looks cute, it’s easy to use, and can save you money with geofencing (tracking your location as "home" or "away").

Compatibility:

Amazon Alexa: Yes, with the “Honeywell Lyric” or “SmartThings” skill enabled

Google Home: Yes

Apple Homekit/Siri: Yes

Setup/Installation: The Honeywell Lyric Round thermostat has wire contacts that can be depressed with a pen tip, and there’s space for a battery, which is needed to set up the wi-fi connection. The hole in the backplate through which the thermostat wires run is pretty small, and may slow down installation while you try to “thread the needle” with the wires.

It also requires a 2.4 GHz internet connection. Almost all of the other smart thermostats can be used with a 5 GHz connection. If you’re going with the Honeywell Lyric Round thermostat, make sure your router has a strong 2.4 GHz wi-fi signal.

Apple Homekit setup is included in the main setup process (assuming it’s done on an iOS phone). Google Home and Amazon Alexa configuration was also straightforward.

Usability: The Honeywell Lyric app is initially easy to understand and to use. We liked the dial-turning method of changing the temperature, and how the motion detector on the thermostat sensed when we were nearby and lit up the display. Changing the heating/cooling status and turning the fan on and off were both straightforward. One thing we weren’t so keen on was the scheduling part of the app, which defaults to the geofencing. For setting more specific weekly temperature schedules, we had to dig further into the app, and that's when it got a bit clunky and hard to operate.

The geofencing, where the temperature is set depending on whether you and your phone are "home" or "away", worked beautifully for us—although it had a bit of trouble finding us while we were on the subway underground. Once we emerged from the train, however, the thermostat switched to its “away” state. Notifications for high/low temperature and humidity is also available, which is a nice touch for peace of mind when you’re on vacation.

The Honeywell Lyric Round thermostat easily translated voice commands from Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Siri. Remote commands sent over 4G were also received correctly.

Looks: As implied by its name, the Honeywell Lyric Round has a small, round footprint, a white faceplate, a partial touch screen (the menu and weather buttons are operated with touch, but the main display is not), and an extra backplate that can be used to hide screw holes or incomplete paint jobs.

What users are saying: While some users found the setup to be a breeze and the Alexa and SmartThings integration to be highly accessible, others found the setup difficult and the partial touch screen to be confusing. Other customers found themselves annoyed by the interaction of the geofencing home/away state temperature settings and the preset temperature schedules. While we had no trouble with product, there were a significant number of users who had Lyric Round Thermostats that stopped working within a few weeks of installation.

ecobee3 lite Thermostat

Ecobee ecobee3 lite

ecobee3 lite Thermostat

The bottom line: The ecobee3 lite is basically the ecobee4 minus the built-in Amazon Alexa unit. It still includes the power extender to accommodate those without a C-wire.

Compatibility:

Amazon Alexa: Yes, with the “ecobee” or “SmartThings” skill enabled

Google Home: Yes, through the Wink (Android/iOS) app

Apple Homekit/Siri: Yes

Setup/Installation: Other than slightly different wire contact locations, the ecobee3 lite’s installation and setup process is identical to that of the ecobee4.

Usability: The ecobee3 lite experience is just like the ecobee4 experience, except that the ecobee3 lite does not come with an additional temperature sensor or Amazon Alexa built-in. The ecobee3 lite still works with both the temperature sensor and Amazon Alexa, those units just do not come included with the ecobee3 lite.

Looks: It is an identical twin to the ecobee4.

What users are saying: People really like the helpful setup and installation guides. However, there are reports of a few units failing in the first few months of operation.

Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Gen

Nest learning thermostat

Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Gen

The bottom line: The best-known smart thermostat around.

Compatibility:

Amazon Alexa: Yes, with the “Nest Thermostat” skill enabled

Google Home: Yes

Apple Homekit/Siri: No, unless you use the IFTTT applet

Setup/installation: The Nest Learning thermostat has visible contact labels and push tab wire contacts that are large enough to be depressed with a fingertip and an included screwdriver that was helpful in physically mounting the Nest Learning thermostat to the wall.

Configuration through the app is pretty straightforward; it even shows you which thermostat wires are currently connected.

Amazon Alexa and Google Home implementation are pretty standard. However, Nest does currently not support Apple Homekit. Some users have found a work around that using an IFTTT applet. IFTTT is basically a series of if/then commands that link up inputs and actions in different apps. By using that applet, you may be able to use Siri to change the temperature on your Nest Learning thermostat.

Usability: If the "away" state is activated, the Nest Learning thermostat defaults to "Eco" temperatures that are user-defined and are typically meant to use less energy and save you money when you’re out of the house. Over time, the Nest Learning thermostat learn your schedule and temperature preferences, and starts deploying those temperatures without being told to by the user. Alternatively, for those of us who don’t want the complicated "learning" part of the thermostat, it also works well as a regular smart thermostat with an easy-to-use and extremely customizable scheduling app.

Changes can be made on the Nest Learning thermostat by rotating the dial and pushing on the thermostat to select options. It’s a clever interface with one slight drawback—anything that requires extensive data entry is very time consuming. For instance, entering the wi-fi password during setup took a long time because it has to scroll through multiple alphabets and character lists.

The Nest Learning thermostat differs from other smart thermostats because it can "learn". Instead of programming it manually, you establish a “home” area, and then it uses your phone’s GPS as well as the level of activity (measured with a motion sensor on the thermostat that turns on the display, among other things) to determine if it's appropriate to change the temperature to the "Eco" setting.

Happily, the Nest reacts accordingly when given voice commands via Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or remotely over a 4G network.

Looks: The Nest Learning thermostat is small and round, but noticeably juts off of the wall. Its streamlined design gives it a clean, simple appearance that belies its clever learning brain. A larger backplate is also included, in case the small thermostat reveals any imperfections in the wall.

What users are saying: Owners are pretty uniformly happy with the Nest Learning thermostat. Many have noticed greatly reduced energy bills, and love the fact that the thermostat display becomes visible when the motion sensor is activated. Others, however, have bemoaned the fact that the learning feature is either annoying or doesn’t work properly. Additional complaints arise from the fact that the target, rather than the actual temperature is the large number displayed on the thermostat.

Honeywell Lyric T5 Thermostat

Honeywell rcht8610wf2006

Honeywell Lyric T5 Thermostat

The bottom line: The Honeywell Lyric T5 thermostat is the more basic cousin of the Honeywell Lyric Round thermostat.

Compatibility:

Amazon Alexa: Yes, with the “Honeywell Lyric” or “SmartThings” skill enabled

Google Home: Yes

Apple Homekit/Siri: Yes

Setup/Installation: The Lyric T5 has a neat backplate with many possible wire contacts and a little door closes and neatly tucks away all the wires so that they’re not just loose behind the thermostat. The contacts are connected with push tabs, but the push tabs are small, and we’d recommend using a pen tip or something smaller to depress them.

Like the Lyric Round, the Lyric T5 thermostat requires a 2.4 GHz connection to complete setup in the app. We have a relatively weak 2.4 GHz connection in the testing location, so this gave us some grief in the setup process. Unfortunately, we had some connectivity problems throughout testing that were foreshadowed by those we had in the setup process.

Linking Amazon Alexa and Google Home was straightforward.

Usability: The full touchscreen on the T5 makes it easy to change the temperature and check the settings on the thermostat. The Lyric T5 lacks the motion sensor of the Lyric Round thermostat, but other than that, the experience with changing the temperature, geofencing, scheduling, and vocal assistant integration is identical.

Looks: The Lyric T5 looks a bit more industrial than the Lyric Round with a square black profile with a slightly smaller footprint than those of standard thermostats.

What users are saying: Many customers were very happy with the easy installation process, but others experienced the same connectivity issues that we did during the setup process. Some users also had trouble with the incorrect geofencing that would result in home/away temperature programs.

Nest Thermostat E

Nest thermostat e

Nest Thermostat E

The bottom line: The Nest Thermostat E is the baby brother of the Nest Learning Thermostat, and the changes are mostly aesthetic.

Compatibility:

Amazon Alexa: Yes, with the “Nest Thermostat” skill enabled

Google Home: Yes

Apple Homekit/Siri: No, unless you use the IFTTT applet

Setup/Installation: The backplate of the Nest E is slightly different from that of the Nest Learning thermostat. While the Nest Learning thermostat will support most HVAC configurations, the Nest I only has 6 contacts (Y1, W1, G, R, C, and OB*), which means that it is not compatible with more complex HVAC setups, like those with multiple heating or cooling stages.

One improvement that has been made over the Nest Learning thermostat is that when entering a wi-fi password, it is now much faster to page through the different alphabets and character lists.

Usability: Nest E has almost of the same functionalities of the Nest Learning thermostat, including its learning capabilities, but minus the Farsight function, which, on the Nest Learning thermostat, would display the time, date, or weather outside when the motion detector was triggered.

The translucent faceplate can, at times, make it difficult to see the display. Because it is made of plastic, it can feel a little bit more precarious to press than the metal design of the Nest Learning thermostat.

Looks: While the Nest E is the same circular shape as the Nest Learning thermostat, the white frosted screen and white edges make it nearly disappear on white walls; it’s very unobtrusive.

What users are saying: Most people who purchased the Nest Thermostat E are very satisfied to have a similar but cheaper version of the Nest Learning thermostat. There are some complaints about those who did not have configurations appropriate for the Nest Thermostat E, in spite of some indications from the online compatibility checker.

Honeywell Smart Wi-fi Thermostat

Honeywell rth9580wf

Honeywell Smart Wi-fi Thermostat

The bottom line: The Honeywell Smart Wi-fi thermostat is retro in the back and party in the front.

App: Honeywell Total Connect Comfort app (Android/iOS)

Compatibility:

Amazon Alexa: Yes, with the “Honeywell Total Connect Comfort” skill enabled

Google Home: Yes

Apple Homekit/Siri: No

Setup/Installation: The backplate of the Honeywell Smart Wi-fi thermostat is very basic and is definitely old school. Its wire contacts must be depressed with a pen.

The setup from the app was fairly straightforward, but we had a few connectivity issues. After a few false starts, however, the app and installation process went smoothly.

Usability: This thermostat is perfect for bare bones smart functionality. With a full touch screen, we were able to navigate through menus and adjust the temperature. The app is basic as well, with mostly customizable schedule that allows you to adjust the temperatures and times of four states: home, away, return, and sleep.

One quality we really liked is the thermostat status bar. With notifications like “Following schedule” or “Hold until 6:00 PM”, it’s easy to see what is currently driving the thermostat temperature, a manual override or the preset schedule.

Looks: The silver, square face of the Honeywell Smart Wi-fi thermostat is a nice variation from all the black and white thermostats. It has a smaller footprint than older thermostats, so you may need to fix up the wall behind the thermostat if you’re replacing an older one with this model.

What users are saying: People looking to slightly upgrade their thermostats were happy with the increased smart functionality and fast installation, but some people had connectivity issues, inaccurate temperature readings, and others experienced total product failure less than two years after purchase.

Things to consider

If you're shopping for a smart thermostat, be sure to answer these questions before you buy anything:

• Do you have a C wire?

• Would your current HVAC setup work with a smart thermostat?

• How much smart functionality do you want? Are geofencing or "learning" a requirement?

• Do you have any voice assistants, like Siri, Google Home, or Amazon Alexa? Are they compatible with the smart thermostat you're investigating?

• Do you have the right internet requirements for a smart thermostat (i.e. 2.4 GHz vs 5 GHz)?

• Is the wall behind your current thermostat clean/neat enough to be exposed, if you replace you current model with a smaller thermostat?

• Will you want to install the smart thermostat yourself, or will you want a contractor to do it? Keep in mind that contractors may favor smart thermostats not available for resale.

One day, we'll probably be able to turn on the AC with a blink of our eyeballs. But for now, enjoy the brave new world of smart thermostats and the internet of things.

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