Top positive review
Good for a first try but could be better
Reviewed in the United States on November 6, 2021
tldr; a great start for Amazon getting into the thermostat business but needs improvement all the way around.
I'm coming from an original Nest Thermostat which I've been using for over 6 years -- yes, it still works. So, why did I decided to switch? Well, I like new tech and I decided about 8 months that I really hate having multiple eco-systems of smart products. So, I selected Amazon a while back. I've been replacing my cams from Wyze and Ring to Ring. We've got about 10 Echo devices. You can say we are almost fully vested.
This was a great deal. For about $50, you get a fully functioning smart thermostat. I didn't have a proper C-wire (supplies constant power to thermostat) so I had to get the Honeywell C-Wire kit. This is the kit that costs about $20 more which is auto selected if you choose the "no c-wire" model at the product page.
The easiest part of the installation was opening the box. Overall, it took one hour to install including the c-wire adapter. 30 minutes of that was trying to put back on the furnace covers (@#$@!). Again, you don't have to worry about the c-wire adapter and opening the furnace if you already have a c-wire ran. You can check for the c-wire by popping open your current thermostat and seeing if there's a connection to "c-wire" or looking for an extra unused wire if you currently have a "dumb" thermostat.
Amazon says there are stickers to label your wires but there was not! I checked, double-checked, and triple-checked. I'm so glad that my 6 year Nest came with some because I had already taken the time to label the wires. This was a bummer. It may make hooking up the wires to the new thermostat a real pain in the butt for some. Oh, and the honeywell kit also said it had labels. Guess what? Nope. :(
Only if you don't have a c-wire run....They have you install the c-wire adapter first so you can have constant power running to the thermostat. That part was pretty easy but you have to be comfortable taking apart the furnace doors and rewiring to an adapter. ALWAYS TAKE PICTURES OF WIRES BEFORE DOING ANY SORT OF OF THIS TYPE OF WORK. You always want a reference.
Let me complain about the alexa app a bit. Amazon tried. They really tried but damn. I can see this a deal breaker for many. So, check this out, you use your Alexa app to setup the thermostat. You crack open this app FIRST before doing anything else so it can guide you through the entire process. Before you do anything you want to also make sure you have the latest app version installed as well. Go to your app store and make sure to download the latest version.
That being said, the Alexa app itself guides the user through the process. No videos. It's just text and picture. While it is laid out nicely, it can get confusing for some people. There needs to be more clarification on some of the steps. Perhaps a video?
One of the most annoying parts of the app is that while you put your phone down to do some steps, you come back and the app quits the process. You are at the main screen! No joke. You have to literally go through all the steps again to get back to where you left off. I had to do this about 7 times. It was super annoying. Amazon, you must do something to correct this. It is super annoying.
As far as the rest of the installation, it was pretty straightforward. If you wired a thermostat before, you'll get through this. Again, super annoying with the app reverting to the begining due to timing out.
I noticed that the wires in the closure were a super tight fit. At one point I closed the latch and the small closure bulched out. I had to re-open and re-position cables. That took a bit to re-adjust.
The optional decorative plate (presumably to hide wall holes or imperfections), I could not get flat. It seemed thin and flimsy. When looking from an angle, you can tell a bit. :(
The thermostat itself snapped real easily to the connection plate. No issues there. Pretty solid.
The thermostat fired up once I turned the power back on to the hvac. The alexa app took about 2 minutes to talk to the thermostat to connect and configure it. This part was automatic.
If you look at the thermostat itself it can be confusing even though it's simple. The arrows dissapear. The arrows I think need to be there so that anyone can understand where to press the buttons to turn up or down temp.
The thermostat function seems buried in the alexa app. I know you can set favorites, but there should be a way to have it up as soon as you open alexa app. I know the entire purpose is to use alexa via voice but still.
How about some dedicated widgets for the thermostat? Something we can throw on the phone home screen so we can easily adjust temperature?
Another note. My wife also has the alexa app with her own account. She is part of the household. She cannot see the thermostat to adjust in the app. :( I'll have to investigate this more.
Great start. Would I buy it again? Sure. Why? Because it's nice and simple. There really isn't anything that can't be solved with a software update on this one.
Be sure to check with your local utility company as you can essentially get a rebate for it making it 'free.'