Ecobee has beefed up Alexa and the speaker quality in the company's newest smart thermostat. Ecobee has beefed up Alexa and the speaker high quality in the company's newest smart thermostat. The Ecobee4 was considered one of the primary best Alexa suitable gadgets that wasn't a smart speaker first. It was a intelligent idea, one which several other companies have adopted. Nonetheless, that thermostat lacked some of Alexa's core features, and the speaker wasn't all that nice. Ecobee has fixed each points with the Ecobee SmartThermostat with voice management - yes, I want they merely known as it the Ecobee5 - and the corporate added a couple of extra features, too. As the highest shelf pick of one of the best smart thermostats with Alexa inbuilt, this Ecobee (fifth gen) review explains why it is the one to get. Like most third-get together Alexa devices, the Ecobee4 did not support Alexa calling, messaging or Drop-In. The new Ecobee SmartThermostat, nevertheless, consists of all these options. That's a welcome improvement, which will make this system more helpful when you're calling the household to dinner. While you wake Alexa, a blue bar on the top of the Ecobee lights up, awaiting your command. Even with music playing through the Ecobee, I used to be ready to speak in a conversational voice from 15 feet away and nonetheless have Alexa hear me and interpret my voice accurately. Nevertheless, I'm surprised that Ecobee hasn't developed a smart thermostat with Google Assistant in-built. I get that it's not straightforward - Sonos took a year to determine this out - but I would hope that it's on Ecobee's street map. Still, you can pair the Ecobee with Google Assistant (it is probably the greatest Google Dwelling appropriate gadgets). It's the most effective Homekit devices, and is IFTTT and SmartThings suitable, too. The speaker on the Ecobee4 was fairly tinny, so aside from asking Alexa questions, you did not need to do anything with it. The Ecobee SmartThermostat's speaker is a bit beefier, making this a passable entertainment device. It is on a par with an excellent clock radio or someplace between the second- and third-technology Echo Dot. You're not going to use this thermostat to entertain company at a get together, however it's good for playing music within the background while you are doing something else, like cooking or reading a book. Ecobee additionally added Spotify support; Spotify joins Amazon Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and SiriusXM as music companies supported by the thermostat, a very welcome addition. The new remote sensor has a barely smaller design, improved battery life (up to 5 years) and an extended vary (as much as 60 feet). Alexa is nice and all, however the very best parts of Ecobee's thermostats have been the distant sensors, which can detect each temperature and occupancy. With these, you are able to do some fairly good things, like tell the thermostat to verify even the coldest elements of your home get heat, however only if there are folks in that space. The brand new sensor, considered one of which comes with the SmartThermostat, has a slightly smaller design, improved battery life (up to five years, because of a a lot bigger battery) and a longer range (up to 60 ft from the thermostat). The latter improvement is very handy for me; when i tried to place the earlier sensor in my attic, it went out of vary of the thermostat. I had no such problems with the new sensor. You'll be able to purchase further sensors in a pack of two for $79, and older sensors are also appropriate with the new thermostat. The Ecobee now helps both 2.4- and 5-GHz Wi-Fi, which is nice however not a huge deal. On your private home community, gadgets, like the Ecobee, that require little bandwidth should be relegated to the 2.4-GHz network. Devices, corresponding to streaming sticks, that require greater throughput should be assigned to the 5-GHz network. Whereas its face is now glass as an alternative of plastic, the latest Ecobee sensible thermostat appears to be like the same as previous variations: a sq. with rounded corners and a rectangular contact screen in the center. When the Ecobee debuted, I believed its design was a nice departure from Nest Learning Thermostat's circular design. Through the years, though, I think the look of the Nest has held up better than that of the Ecobee. For one, the Nest is more compact, and there's much less of a bezel around its show. On the Ecobee, it now simply looks like there's plenty of wasted area. Because the launch of the Ecobee SmartThermostat, the company has expanded its choices to incorporate the Ecobee SmartCamera, a house security camera with Alexa inbuilt. The SmartCamera has a 180-degree subject of view and may digitally zoom in and track people. The Ecobee SmartThermostat may be integrated with the camera in a quantity of the way. For starters, the digital camera has a thermometer inbuilt, so it can be used as a distant sensor for the thermostat. Moreover, when the SmartThermostat enters Away mode, it could actually send a sign to the digicam to activate. To enable these options, in addition to save cloud recordings of videos, you may have to subscribe to Ecobee Haven, which begins at $5 per thirty days. Similar to Nest, Ecobee makes use of the sensors in its thermostat to detect if you are residence and then alter the temperature accordingly. I solely wish that you possibly can tie the Ecobee's Residence and Away states to different good home units, as you'll be able to with the Works with Nest program. Ecobee's different smart function is named Observe Me, which takes benefit of the system's distant sensors to detect which rooms persons are in after which modify heating and cooling accordingly. The Ecobee SmartThermostat improves nicely upon the 2 core features of its predecessor. I like that it now has the full functionality of Alexa paired with a greater speaker and that its remote sensor has a better range. I wish it had Google Assistant inbuilt, though. If you are in the marketplace for a wise thermostat and use Alexa a lot, then you may want to check out the Ecobee SmartThermostat. If you're an occasional Alexa person, the older Ecobee4 ought to suffice. And if you do not use Amazon's assistant in any respect, then the Ecobee3 Lite or the Nest are the best options for you. The modifications that Ecobee made to its latest smart thermostat aren't radical, however they're welcome.