Amazon Smart Thermostat review: A fantastic smart-home value – TechHive
A lot of smart thermostats are actually kinda dumb. They’ll operate on a schedule, or you can use an app or a smart speaker to adjust the target temperature, but they don’t take much else into consideration—such as if your home is even occupied when the time comes to heat or cool. Nest pioneered the idea of a thermostat that anticipates your needs, but the Amazon Smart Thermostat makes the concept affordable for just about anyone: Its list price is $60, but Amazon was selling it for just 48 bucks at the time of this review.
Designed in partnership with Resideo, the Honeywell spin-off that markets smart home products under the Honeywell Home brand, the Amazon Smart Thermostat uses cloud-based machine learning to analyze how you use your HVAC system, it then uses what Amazon calls Hunches to automatically heat and cool your home. Hunches are based on the location of your smartphone and how often someone interacts with Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant.
This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best smart thermostats, where you’ll find reviews of the competition’s offerings, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping for this type of product.
So, if you leave the house for work at roughly the same time every morning, the thermostat will learn to lower the cooling or heating load while you’re out—unless someone is at home interacting with Alexa. The more of your life that revolves around Alexa, the better the thermostat’s Hunches will become. The thermostat can also be programmed manually, but it’s not compatible with Google Assistant or Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem.
Brian Nadel / IDG
The Amazon Smart Thermostat has connections on its backplate for a broad array of HVAC systems, but it requires a C-wire for power.
The Amazon Smart Thermostat works with just about any 24-volt HVAC system, it’s not compatible with line-voltage systems that use 110- or 240-volt wiring (baseboard heaters and the like). It depends on a C-wire for power; if there’s no C-wire in your wall, Amazon sells a bundle that includes an adapter kit. This bumps the thermostat’s MSRP to $85 (the bundle was going for $63 when we reviewed it). You’ll need to connect the thermostat to your Wi-Fi network, but it’s only compatible with 2.4GHz networks.
Amazon Smart Thermostat specs
Brian Nadel / IDG
It should come as no surprise that the Amazon Smart Thermostat integrates tightly into the Amazon’s Alexa ecosystem.
The Amazon Smart Thermostat is shaped like a square with rounded corners, and measures 3.5 x 3.5 x 0.8 inches (HxWxD). You can buy one in any color as long as it’s white. The current temperature is displayed—in Fahrenheit or centigrade—with 0.9-inch numerals on a touch-sensitive display. It’s easy to tap the thermostat’s touch sensitive areas to adjust the temperature and select modes: cooling, heating, fan-only, or auto.
Unlike Nest thermostats, Amazon’s lacks an indicator to report when your HVAC system is saving energy and money (Nest’s products display a green leaf to communicate this). Both company’s products are, however, EnergyStar certified.
Unlike our top pick in smart thermostats, the much more expensive Ecobee Smart Thermostat with voice control, the Amazon Smart Thermostat is not equipped with microphones and is not a smart speaker in and of …….