Since the Nest Learning Thermostat launched in 2011, no other smart thermostat has emulated its core function — learning your schedule and adapting to it automatically, so you don’t have to lift a finger. This feature has made the Nest one of the best smart thermostats (lots of) money can buy for years. But just a decade on, Amazon has finally done it. The online shopping giant’s $60 Amazon Smart Thermostat can intelligently determine if you’re home, away, or sleeping and automatically adjust your climate to keep you comfortable and potentially save you money. And you don’t have to program anything.
Amazon worked with Resideo (owner of the historic thermostat brand Honeywell Home) to develop the thermostat, and its internals are very similar to the Honeywell Home T9 and T5 smart thermostats. It’s compatible with most 24 volt HVAC systems (you can check compatibility here), but doesn’t support systems with more than three stages or multi-speed fans. Together, Amazon and Resideo seem to have finally cracked the smart thermostat conundrum, and the Amazon Smart Thermostat’s learning feature — called Hunches — is very good. No, it isn’t quite as good as Nest’s, but it also doesn’t cost $250. So, tradeoffs.
8.5 out of 10
- The cheapest smart thermostat you can buy
- Hunches controls your climate intelligently
- Works with Alexa voice control
- Clean, modern design
- Comes with a faceplate
- Limited control over Hunches
- Switching to Away seems slow
- No native temperature sensors
- App experience needs some work
- No Google, HomeKit, or SmartThings support
Hunches — which are part of Amazon’s broader Alexa smart home platform — are AI-driven decisions that use data from your Alexa smart home to decide what to do with your temperature. It follows, unsurprisingly, that the more Echo smart speakers and displays you have in your home, the better it will be. According to Amazon, Hunches also uses “select other smart home devices like lights, locks, and sensors” to determine if you are home or away, as well as geolocation of yours and your household members’ smartphones (everyone has to have the Alexa app installed and location settings turned on for the thermostat).
However, unlike with the similar Nest experience, you don’t have control over which devices make those decisions; you don’t even know which ones make the decisions. This led to some confusion in my testing, including that Alexa now thinks I get up at 4:31AM every morning, I assume because my daughter sat up in bed at that time and has an Echo Show as her bedside clock.
For the next three days, it turned on the heat a little too early, and I had to go into the thermostat settings in the app to tell Alexa its Hunch was wrong. After three times telling it that, no, we do not wake up at 4:31AM, it reverted to our regular wake-up time.
The controls on the Smart …….