Amazon Smart Thermostat Review – PCMag
If you’re searching for an affordable smart thermostat to control your home’s heating and cooling system, the $59.99 Amazon Smart Thermostat is a solid option that also happens to be the least expensive model we’ve tested. The thermostat is a joint effort between Amazon and Honeywell Home, the same Honeywell that has been making traditional thermostats for ages and, more recently, the Lyric line of smart thermostats. While it lacks features you get with pricier alternatives, like remote sensors and multi-platform integrations, it supports app and Alexa voice control, making it an excellent value if you use the Alexa platform to control your smart home devices. If you don’t, the $129.99 Nest Thermostat is roughly double the price, but supports Google Assistant in addition to Alexa, and integrates with more third-party devices.
Easy to Use With Your Phone or Alexa
The Amazon Smart Thermostat is a white, square-shaped device that measures 3.5 by 3.5 by 0.8 inches (HWD). It supports most 24V forced air, heat pump, and radiant boiler HVAC systems, but doesn’t work with electric baseboard heating systems. (The $114.95 Sinope TH1123WF is a good option if you have that last type of system.) The Amazon thermostat requires a C-wire for power, but if your system doesn’t have one, you can order a Honeywell C-wire adapter ($24.99). The thermostat comes with a mounting plate, wire identification labels, a quick start guide, and mounting hardware.
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The face of the thermostat sports a color LED screen that displays the current temperature and the mode (heating, cooling, fan, or auto). It also has an ECO indicator that lights up when the heating temperature is set to 68 degrees Fahrenheit or below. An alert icon additionally lights up when you have a notification. At the bottom of the screen are up and down arrow buttons for adjusting the temperature set point, as well as a power button. The thermostat doesn’t have a proximity sensor that illuminates the screen when you approach it like the Nest model does. Instead, it remains dimly lit until you use onboard, app, or Alexa controls to change a setting.
In terms of features, Amazon’s thermostat lacks some of the extras that you get with the much pricier Ecobee Smart Thermostat With Voice Control ($249) including remote room sensors; dual-band Wi-Fi; support for HomeKit, IFTTT, and Google Assistant; and embedded Alexa functionality (the thermostat essentially doubles as a smart speaker). However, if you already have an Echo speaker or any other Alexa device, you can control the Amazon Smart Thermostat with Alexa voice commands, routines, and hunches. You can also adjust temperature settings with your voice, but you can’t turn the thermostat on or off; for that, you have to use the app or the onboard controls.
After installing the thermostat (described in the next section), you can find it in the Alexa app (available for Android and iOS) by going to the Devices screen and tapping the Thermostats panel. Once you do, a screen appears with a large temperature dial, the current humidity level, the current room temperature, the current temperature setting, and the system mode. Use the dial to adjust the temperature set point and tap the mode button to switch between cooling and heating modes, as well as to turn the thermostat on or off.
To manage the thermostat’s settings, tap the gear icon …….
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