Tech

Amazon Smart Thermostat review: A steal at $60

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Chris Monroe/CNET

Amazon’s $60 Good Thermostat units a brand new customary for the class. It has a clear, fashionable touchscreen design, and it is easy to make use of, whether or not you are adjusting the temperature on the thermostat, by way of the Alexa app or with Alexa voice instructions. You do want a compatible smart speaker or display for the voice management half, although. Extra on that later. 

The Amazon Good Thermostat can also be the least costly good thermostat I’ve ever examined. Even the Wyze Thermostat prices extra, and that model is understood for its low-priced house merchandise. 

This mannequin would not work with Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit — and it both requires a C-wire or a C-wire adapter to function. Amazon sells two completely different product bundles because of this, the usual $60 model with simply the thermostat and a $75 version that comes with a C-wire adapter. 

For 60 bucks, the CNET Editors’ Choice-award-winning Amazon Good Thermostat gives the very best worth of any good thermostat on the market right now. It appears to be like good, it really works effectively and it gives a wide range of good options by way of the app and with Alexa instructions. I strongly advocate it should you’re on the lookout for a strong good thermostat at an amazing value. 

Like

  • Glorious value
  • Seamless integration with the Alexa app and Alexa voice instructions
  • Engaging design
  • Responsive touchscreen interface

Do not Like

  • Does not work with Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit
  • If you do not have a C-wire, you must set up the C-wire adapter
  • No distant temperature sensor

Getting began

As a result of Amazon sells the C-wire adapter in a separate product bundle, you will need to double-check your HVAC system’s compatibility with the Amazon Good Thermostat before you purchase. Amazon additionally sells the C-wire adapter individually for $25. 

My system has a C-wire (learn more about C-wires), so I opted for the usual $60 choice with out the adapter. That buy contains the thermostat, in addition to an elective wall plate to cowl any previous paint or holes from earlier thermostats. You additionally get mounting {hardware}, a small screwdriver for the set up and just a little instruction guide. Dangle onto the booklet since you’ll must scan the QR code on the again as a part of the set up course of.

Subsequent, obtain the Alexa app and create an account — or sign up if you have already got one. Then choose Units > Add system > Thermostat > Amazon

Like different good thermostats I’ve examined, the Alexa app walks you thru the steps to put in and configure your Amazon Good Thermostat. It helps you affirm your wiring, hook up with the Wi-Fi community and reply numerous different questions on the kind of HVAC system you have got. Observe: At all times seek the advice of an electrician in case you have questions on your HVAC system. 

The set up and configuration course of took me about 10 minutes. As a result of I set up numerous good thermostats in the identical spot, I already had holes drilled that lined up with this mannequin. My thermostat wiring already included a C-wire, too, so it’d take you a bit longer to put in the Amazon Good Thermostat if you might want to set up the C-wire adapter or drill new holes. One other time-saver: You do not have to individually allow an Alexa talent for this thermostat because it’s already an Amazon-branded product. 

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View and management your thermostat on an Alexa-enabled good show like this Echo Present 8.


Chris Monroe/CNET

Testing and issues

As soon as all the things is put in and configured, you are prepared to start out utilizing your thermostat. 

This mannequin can both depend on a selected fastened schedule that you just create within the app or by way of one thing referred to as Hunches. Hunches use your cellphone’s location to routinely replace the temperature for you. You possibly can set most well-liked temperatures for Residence, Away and Sleep modes after which, primarily based in your cellphone’s location, Hunches will make changes should you’re house or away. 

The Hunches function constantly set the temperature to house or away for me — and you’ll add extra customers in case you have a number of individuals residing with you.

It’s a must to give Alexa permission to trace your location to make use of Hunches.


Screenshots by Megan Wollerton/CNET

You can even management the temperature within the app, utilizing Alexa voice instructions or straight on the thermostat itself. 

All three of those choices labored extraordinarily effectively throughout my testing. The thermostat’s contact show has easy up and down arrows for adjusting the temperature. A button within the center enables you to swap between warmth, air con, the fan and different fundamental settings.

Within the app you have got much more choices. That is the place you’ll be able to set a customized schedule, examine on the power consumption of your system over time together with some other appropriate Alexa gadgets you may need — and the entire fundamentals like adjusting the temperature or altering the mode from warmth to AC.

Alter the temperature within the Alexa app.


Screenshot by Megan Wollerton/CNET

You can even use Alexa voice instructions to regulate the thermostat. I used an Echo Show 8 good show, so I used to be each capable of ask Alexa to activate the warmth or to set the warmth to 68 levels, in addition to view and management the thermostat through the good show display screen itself. You can even create scenes (they’re referred to as “Routines” within the Alexa app) akin to “good morning” to routinely alter a wide range of gadgets together with your good thermostat at one time; you might activate the lights, open the shades and set the thermostat to a selected temperature with that one voice command. 

The competitor panorama 

It’s kind of difficult to speak about main good thermostat rivals like Nest and Ecobee right here as a result of all of their thermostats price effectively over $100. Some even retail for as a lot as $250.

With Nest, particularly the flagship Nest Learning Thermostat, you are actually paying a premium for the product design. The $250 Studying Thermostat is made with stainless-steel and has a considerable, luxurious really feel. Nest’s two different thermostats — the Nest Thermostat E (out there by way of sellers) and the newer Nest Thermostat (to not be confused with the Nest Studying Thermostat) — have comparable designs however use inexpensive supplies. Nest sells temperature sensors individually for $39 every. 

Ecobee excels at options, particularly voice integrations. Its $250 Ecobee Smart Thermostat with Voice Control even has a built-in Alexa speaker, so you do not want a separate Alexa-enabled good speaker or show to regulate it with voice instructions. It is also appropriate with Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit, however you want separate audio system for that. That buy additionally features a distant temperature sensor. The $180 Ecobee 3 Lite loses the built-in Alexa speaker and the distant temperature sensor, however nonetheless works with Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit.

It is attention-grabbing that the Amazon Good Thermostat was designed in live performance with Resideo. Resideo makes Honeywell Residence merchandise, together with the Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat, which prices $200 with the included distant sensor. I desire the T9’s temperature sensor over Nest’s and Ecobee’s as a result of it gives essentially the most choices — temperature, humidity and proximity sensing.

Whereas the Amazon Good Thermostat and the Honeywell Residence T9 have completely different designs, Amazon’s model jogs my memory of a few of Honeywell Residence’s older fashions, particularly the sq. Lyric T5 thermostat.

The $71 Wyze Thermostat is the closest competitor to Amazon’s Good Thermostat. Wyze is a Seattle-based firm that sells a wide range of house merchandise at reasonably priced costs. A few of these merchandise outperform dearer fashions, just like the Wyze Bulb and the Wyze Cam. On this case, the Amazon Good Thermostat has extra to supply, significantly by way of {hardware} design, as a result of the Wyze Thermostat’s management dial was tough to make use of.

A superb worth

The Amazon Good Thermostat units a brand new benchmark for related thermostats. Its easy controls, strong design and streamlined Alexa integrations make it stand out, but it surely’s the $60 price ticket that actually units it aside. 

For those who’re on the lookout for premium design, the Nest Studying Thermostat remains to be your greatest wager. If you need the widest number of good house integrations, Ecobee’s SmartThermostat with Voice Management is a wonderful alternative. The Honeywell Residence T9 has the neatest distant sensor (it tracks temperature, humidity and proximity). However should you’re on the lookout for a well-rounded good thermostat at a wonderful value, the Amazon Good Thermostat is the best choice in the marketplace right now.

I do not like that the C-wire adapter is bought in a separate bundle. I might additionally prefer to see integrations with Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit. A distant sensor accent can be good, too. That mentioned, for 60 bucks, you actually cannot beat the worth of this Editors’ Selection award-winning good thermostat. 

https://www.cnet.com/house/energy-and-utilities/amazon-smart-thermostat-review-a-steal-at-60/ | Amazon Good Thermostat assessment: A steal at $60

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