Smart Thermostat Reviews – Nest, Ecobee, Honeywell, Schneider Electric

If you’re in the market for a smart thermostat and reading smart thermostat reviews you’re likely trying to figure out what the best smart thermostat is and which smart thermostat has the best features.

The main promise of smart thermostats is that they save  money. Another great benefit is the ability to access them from anywhere via a smartphone app, tablet, or laptop. They can save you money and the ability to access from anywhere can be handy.

These are certainly great features, especially the saving money part. But they can be component in a larger home automation system.

Best is always a relative term but we’ll give you the information you need to determine which smart thermostat is best for you.

Smart Thermostat Reviews
Ecobee4 Thermostat
Nest Thermostat
Honeywell Lyric Round
Honeywell Lyric T Series
Schneider Electric Wiser Air Thermostat
Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat
Nest Learning Thermostat
Honeywell Lyric Round Thermostat
Honeywell Lyric T5 Thermostat
Schneider Electric Wiser Air
Smartphone App
Learning Ability
Multiple Motion Sensors

Optional – 1 Included

Optional – Nest Protect Smoke Detectors act as additional motion sensors

Humidity Control
Weather Display
Internet Accessible 
Google Assistant
Amazon Alexa
Apple HomeKit

Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat Review

Top Pick - Smart House Report

The Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat  is the best smart thermostat on the market today. With most of the products we compare there are trade offs between the various products. While that is still technically the case here the winner is very clear cut and almost completely without any trade offs.

The Ecobee4 has one major advantage over the competition. The addition of a separate motion sensor and ability to add more motion sensors.

Some of the other devices offer detection of when you’re home with geo-fencing. Geo-fencing is when your phone is used to track your location and when you enter a defined perimeter around your home. This sounds great in theory but in reality it can sometimes be unreliable. Even if the manufacturer has managed to sort it out well it assumes that everyone in your family will have their phones on their person and fully charged. On and guests don’t count.

The other great feature it has is that it integrates with almost everything. Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant are covered. It also includes Amazon Alexa. Notice I said “includes” and not “integrates”. The Ecobee4 can act as an actual Amazon Echo speaker. Impressive.

Pros

  • Most Advanced Feature Set
  • Integrates with almost everything
  • Can act as an Amazon Echo
  • Includes a separate motion sensor and supports additional motion sensors

Cons

  • Other options can be found for less money
Smartphone App
Learning Ability
Multiple Motion Sensors

Optional – 1 Included 

Humidity Control
Weather Display
Internet Accessible
Google Assistant
Amazon Alexa
Apple HomeKit

Nest Learning Thermostat Review

The Nest Smart Thermostat was started by a former Apple employee that was in charge of the iPod. The company was later bought by Google. Google bought DropCam and integrated them into the Nest brand to offer a robust smart home suite of products.

The Nest Thermostat was the first of the smart thermostats and is still one of the best options on the market. The breadth of features are nearly as good as the Ecobee4 and the ability to use the Nest Protects as additional occupancy sensors is nearly as good as the Ecobee4  remote sensors flexibility.

The smartphone app is very well thought out, as is the web interface. The only real drawbacks are the lack of Apple HomeKit integration and the slight lack of flexibility of using smoke detectors for occupancy detection versus dedicated sensors that can be placed specifically where needed.

One of the best things about the Nest thermostat though is it’s large network of integrated products. Being first to market and having the weight of the Google brand behind it has allowed it to build a very large network of products that connect with the Nest product line. This could be a factor for you if you have already selected some other products and would like to integrate them together. Or you may be attracted to the strength and reliability offered by the Google-backed Nest system.

Whether you opt to go with Nest for it’s features or the network it’s a compelling option and only bested as a thermostat by the Ecobee4.

Pros

  • Very advanced feature set
  • Has a wide range of products that integrate with it
  • Pairs with the Nest Cams and Nest Protect Smoke Detectors
  • Uses the Nest Protects as motion sensors to determine occupancy

Cons

  • Smoke Detectors are limiting in placement as motion sensors
  • Doesn’t support Apple HomeKit
Smartphone App
Learning Ability
Multiple Motion Sensors

Optional – Nest Protect Smoke Detectors act as additional motion sensors

Humidity Control
Weather Display
Internet Accessible
Google Assistant
Amazon Alexa
Apple HomeKit

Honeywell Lyric Round Thermostat Review

The 2nd generation of the Honeywell Lyric Round smart thermostat is a good product but not the best for the money. The Lyric relies on geo-fencing. Geo-fencing is the process of using GPS tracking of your smartphone to identify your location. Then a designated distance from your home is used as a “fence” to determine if you are home or not. Geo-fencing is reasonably good but can sometimes be unreliable. The use of sensors throughout your home is a much more effective solution.

Unfortunately determining whether you are home or not is very important. This is crucial for the main selling point of smart thermostats which is saving you money by conserving energy when you’re not home. 

The good news however is that the Lyric Round pairs with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit. It also integrates with other smart home hubs. You can likely integrate with a 3rd party product to determine occupancy better.

Pros

  • Good Features
  • Integrates with almost everything

Cons

  • Geofencing isn’t the best method for determining occupancy
Smartphone App
Learning Ability
Multiple Motion Sensors
Humidity Control
Weather Display
Internet Accessible
Google Assistant
Amazon Alexa
Apple HomeKit

Honeywell Lyric T5 Thermostat Review

The Honeywell Lyric T5 is an incredible bargain compared to the competition. It offers the most important features of the competition but for far less.

It’s attractive but the interface design isn’t quite as attractive as the unit itself. A reasonable tradeoff.

It uses geofencing to determine occupancy which is effective but not quite as effective as multiple sensors placed throughout your home. It does pair with Apple HomeKit as well as Amazon Alexa so you can likely supplement presence detection with third party products.

Pros

  • Bargain for the features
  • Integrates with Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa

Cons

  • There are better options available although they’ll cost more
Smartphone App
Learning Ability
Multiple Motion Sensors
Humidity Control
Weather Display
Internet Accessible
Google Assistant
Amazon Alexa
Apple HomeKit

Schneider Electric Wiser Air Thermostat Review

The Wiser Air Smart Thermostat from Schneider Electric is a pretty interesting product with some good features but has one very glaring omission. It currently has no ability to sense when you’re away from home. Adjusting temperatures while your home is unoccupied is the most ideal time to conserve energy.

The Wiser Air works on a unique premise of having you not focus on temperature and focus on your comfort. It tends to automatically inch the temperature toward the edge of your desired “comfort zone”. This can be annoying until it starts to begin to learn your preference.

The feature I like most about the Wiser Air is somewhat more of a novelty but a fairly useful one. It has a backlighting that casts either a blue glow when it’s cooling or a red glow when it’s heating onto the wall behind it. That relatively simple feature is handy and would be nice to see added to the competing models.

Schneider Electric plans to continue to evolve the feature set of the Wiser Air. It currently supports Amazon Alexa and IFTTT but not Apple HomeKit or Google Assistant. Hopefully they’ll add that support soon.

The addition of geofencing at a minimum would be worthwhile however if they added remote occupancy sensors that would be a huge benefit.

Pros

  • Decent feature set
  • Clever blue or red glow to display whether the system is heating or cooling
  • Amazon Alexa integration

Cons

  • No ability to determine if you are home or away
  • No Apple HomeKit or Google Assistant support
Smartphone App
Learning Ability
Multiple Motion Sensors
Humidity Control
Weather Display
Internet Accessible
Google Assistant
Amazon Alexa
Apple HomeKit

What Can You Do with a Smart Thermostat?

The primary use of a smart thermostat is to conserve energy when you’re away from home or otherwise find opportunities to conserve energy.

Some smart thermostats can integrate with a larger smart home system which can allow for additional options or provide input information for the smart home system to act upon. For instance, the occupancy sensors or geofencing options of the thermostat can be used as a trigger for having things happen when you arrive home or leave. The smart home systems can also supplement the occupancy detection of the thermostat.

Integration with systems like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit can give you the ability to verbally ask what the temperature is or verbally set the temperature by saying something like “Alexa, set the temperature to 72º”.

Do Smart Thermostats Really Save You Money?

They definitely can if you take advantage of their features. The main feature that will help save you money is a thermostats ability to detect whether you are home. They also learn your preferences which they can use to find opportunities to conserve energy. Also, some thermostats will adjust temperatures toward the edges of your comfort zone to maximize efficiency.

The EPA Energy Star program determined smart thermostats can save as much as $180/year.

How Does a Smart Thermostat Know When you are away?

Different thermostats use different methods to determine when you are home or away. The Google Nest Learning Thermostat uses the motion sensor built into the thermostat to determine if you’re home. This isn’t ideal since you may not frequently pass by your thermostat. Because of this they offer the Nest Protect Smoke Detector with a built in motion sensor to also determine when you’re home.

The Ecobee4 comes with a remote motion sensor you can place anywhere in your home and you can purchase multiple sensors to supplement it. The sensors also report back to the primary thermostat what the temperature is at the sensors.

The Honeywell Lyric thermostats use geofencing to determine if you’re home or not. The app on your smartphone uses the GPS of your phone to report back to the thermostat where you are. If you’re outside a predetermined perimeter around your house it will assume your not home.

In Conclusion: Smart Thermostat Reviews - Nest, Ecobee, Honeywell, & Schneider Electric

The Ecobee4 is the winner in our opinion. It checks all the boxes. It integrates with almost everything and uses multiple remote sensors for occupancy detection. Nest comes very close but doesn’t integrate with Apple HomeKit and the Nest Protect Smoke Detectors aren’t quite as flexible for extending occupancy detection as the remote sensors that the Ecobee4 offers.

Honeywell and Schneider Electric offer some compelling options and the Honeywell Lyric T5 is especially compelling as a budget-friendly alternative.

Your personal preferences and needs will dictate which route you go. All of these products will continue to evolve and many will improve with software updates. Good luck and happy automating.

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Smart House Report is dedicated to being your #1 Resource for Smart Home Solutions. We curate the best products from Amazon and provide insightful guides to help you with your purchasing decision.

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We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Shop here and add products to your cart. Check out securely at Amazon.com.

Smart House Report is dedicated to being your #1 Resource for Smart Home Solutions. We curate the best products from Amazon and provide insightful guides to help you with your purchasing decision.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Shop here and add products to your cart. Check out securely at Amazon.com.

Smart House Report is dedicated to being your #1 Resource for Smart Home Solutions. We curate the best products from Amazon and provide insightful guides to help you with your purchasing decision.

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