Ecobee has updated its range of smart thermostats. There are two new models, one of which has the ability to monitor air quality.
The brand is one of the best known names in the smart thermostat space and have been at this for a while. Today they introduced two new devices, Smart Thermostat Premium and Smart Thermostat Enhanced. Both offer substantial upgrades on predecessor models.
Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium
The more high-tech of the two is the $249 Smart Thermostat Premium (check current price on Amazon). That’s around $30 more than the model it replaces – which may now be discontinued. Check the Ecobee website and you’ll notice that it is out of stock.
In terms of looks, Ecobee sticks to the tried and tested overall appearance of its range. But with the added benefit of a new glass screen with a waterfall effect around the edges, along with zinc housing. Predecessor models have a more looking plain plastic build.
The screen has also been upgraded. Now it is 50% bigger as the company is using an internally-housed radar sensor. Also, the infrared sensor is gone, freeing up some more space. Needless to say, the much larger display makes everything easier to read and enhances the user experience. All of this is combined with a refreshed user interface, better responsiveness and simpler navigation.
Under the hood, there are also some improvements. Ecobee says the new sensors improve accuracy of temperature measurements, occupancy and motion.
Another major upgrade is that for the first time on a Ecobee smart thermometer, you can find air quality information. It comes courtesy of a sensor which is capable of measuring VOCs (volatile organic compounds), Co2 (carbone dioxide) and relative humidity.
You can also set up alerts if air quality deteriorates beyond a certain point. This is accompanied with some tips on how to improve it. Although generally, opening a window and letting some fresh air into your home should be enough!
Along with the main unit, you also get a tiny SmartSensor. This used for montion detection and temperature measurements. You can place it anywhere in your home, helping you secure your belongings and manage hot or cold spots.
The motion detection actually allows the device to double-up as a security system. You can even take this up a notch with professional monitoring availabe at a cost of $10 per month in the US.
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The gear is fully compatible with other Ecobee products such as security cameras and sensors for doors and windows. Everything is also smart assistant-enabled and you can control the product with Siri or Alexa courtesy of the built-in speaker. This allows you to, for example, send “Hey Siri” voice commands for certain tasks. Everything is also compatible with Apple HomeKit and you can link up the device to automation platform IFTTT.
Ecobee Smart Thermostat Enhanced
The less pricey of the two new models is the $189 Smart Thermostat Enhanced (check price on Amazon). That one has a slightly less premium build as it lacks the zinc enclosure. But it does have a large, easy to read screen.
This iteration comes with most of the internals of its big brother. What it lacks is the air quality sensor and smart speaker. While the letter probably won’t make a difference to most, the first is very useful. Knowing the air quality in your home is important as we spend most of our times indoors.
The other difference is that you don’t get the SmartSensor. Mind you, Smart Thermostat Enhanced is compatible with it. So you could, in theory, purchase the smart sensor for an additional $50. But then you may as well purchase the Smart Thermostat Premium as the difference in price will be neglegable.
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