The best smart ther­mostats

San Francisco Chronicle - - BUSINESS - These Cnet staff mem­bers con­trib­uted to this re­port: Me­gan Woller­ton and Laura K. Cu­cullu. For more re­views of per­sonal tech­nol­ogy prod­ucts, visit


Cnet rat­ing: 4.5 stars out of 5

The good: It has a re­spon­sive dis­play, a re­mote sen­sor and tons of smart integrations, in­clud­ing a built-in Ama­zon Alexa speaker. The bad: The price is high, par­tic­u­larly if you don’t care about the Alexa speaker or the Ecobee4’s other smart ca­pa­bil­i­ties. The cost: $219 to $234 The bot­tom line: The best smart ther­mo­stat avail­able to­day.

Nest Learn­ing Ther­mo­stat

Cnet rat­ing: 4 stars out of 5

The good: It has a larger dis­play, bet­ter res­o­lu­tion and a far-field sen­sor for view­ing time and tem­per­a­ture in­for­ma­tion from a dis­tance. It works with Google As­sis­tant and Alexa — and Nest fi­nally sells a tem­per­a­ture sen­sor as an op­tional ac­ces­sory. The bad: It isn’t com­pat­i­ble with Ap­ple HomeKit. The cost: $215 to $249 The bot­tom line: Nest is a solid smart ther­mo­stat, but the Ecobee4 of­fers more home integrations and a bet­ter over­all value.

Honey­well Lyric T5

Cnet rat­ing: 4 stars out of 5 The good: The ge­ofenc­ing fea­ture worked con­sis­tently well, it au­to­mated our Home and Away set­tings ev­ery time with­out com­plaint, and it sent prompt no­ti­fi­ca­tions alert­ing us to the changes.

The bad: While we like the gen­eral de­sign, the font and lay­out of the touch-screen in­ter­face looks dated. We would like to see integrations with Google Home, Sam­sung SmartThings, Wink and IFTTT. The cost: $140 The bot­tom line: Honey­well’s Siri-, Alexa-, and ge­ofenc­ing-en­abled Lyric T5 is smart, it works well and it of­fers a bet­ter value than other con­nected ther­mostats.

Ecobee3 Lite

Cnet rat­ing: 4 stars out of 5 The good: A re­spon­sive touch-screen and integrations with Ama­zon Alexa, Ap­ple HomeKit, Sam­sung SmartThings, Wink and IFTTT give the lower-priced Ecobee3 se­ri­ous ap­peal.

The bad: “Smart” is a bit of a stretch for the Ecobee3 Lite, since it doesn’t rely on ac­tiv­ity-track­ing sen­sors or any other sort of adap­tive tech to learn your rou­tine. It is still a lot to spend, es­pe­cially on a pro­gram­mable ther­mo­stat. The cost: $155 to $170 The bot­tom line: No other Wi-Fi ther­mo­stat avail­able to­day of­fers this many smart home part­ner­ships for this low of a price, but you should weigh the im­por­tance of the integrations against the price — many seven-day app-en­abled pro­gram­mable ther­mostats cost just $100.

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