Author: M.B. Grant

Review: Nest Thermostat E brings beauty and brains at a budget-friendly price

Our Nest Thermostat E rating: The Nest Thermostat E at a glance Quick Summary A little more affordable, reduced accessory support, attractive frosted design.   Known formally as the Nest Thermostat E, the “Nest E” is a fantastic update to the Nest family of smart home products. It fills the “under $200” niche that competitors Ecobee and…
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An Echo for every room: Amazon announces a huge update to the Echo family

Amazon surprised us today with a huge update to the Echo family! The family is getting big – whether this is overwhelming fragmentation or marketing brilliance depends who you ask, but we are excited! Meet the (growing!) Echo family Echo 2nd generation – New! This is the new “default Echo”. It’s shorter and more compact…
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Nest Thermostat E unboxing and early look

Today we’re getting our first hands-on look at the new Nest Thermostat E! What’s new: The E’s $169 MRSP is well below the Nest’s usual price-point of $250, which makes it a) Nest’s first entry into the “below $200” category of smart thermostats and b) a direct competitor to one of our favorites, the ecobee…
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Comparison: ecobee4 vs. ecobee3 smart thermostats

“Alexa, compare these two thermostats.” When ecobee announced the ecobee4, a completely new update to its flagship thermostat, we were intrigued. We already think the ecobee3 is awesome, so what’s the deal with the 4? Let’s take a look! Summary The ecobee4 is just like the ecobee3, except now Amazon’s Alexa is built into the device.…
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Ecobee goes for total home domination with new smart light switch

November 22, 2017 update: ecobee is now looking for “product pilots” to test the new ecobee switch+! Apply here. You’ve probably heard of Alexa by now: Amazon’s voice-activated assistant does everything from adjusting your lights to adding stuff to your shopping list. When Ecobee announced Alexa integration in its May 15 update to its flagship thermostat, we…
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ecobee3 lite vs. ecobee3 smart thermostat

The ecobee3 has been our top pick for nearly 2 years, and the family just got bigger: the ecobee3 lite Smarter Thermostat rolled out this October! Toronto-based ecobee slimmed down the feature set of its flagship thermostat and aimed at the “budget” end of the smart thermostat market with this new addition. It’s cheaper than the ecobee3 “classic”…
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Review: Vine Smart WiFi thermostat (TJ-610)

Our Vine Smart WiFi thermostat rating: Vine at a Glance A new challenger approaches! Vine Smart WiFi Thermostat from Xing Connected Corporation launched just a few months ago (summer 2016) at a reasonable price point with a robust feature set. Their motto: “Smart, yet simple” The affordable alternatives to the most expensive smart thermostats are getting better all the time.…
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Which smart thermostats are compatible with Alexa?

Once you’ve adjusted the temperature just by talking to your Amazon Echo, it’s hard to go back to the barbaric old ways of using an app or a dial. Look for the words “Works With Alexa” to find smart thermostats that you can control through a separate Alexa-enabled device, such as an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, on the same…
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Review: LUX Geo smart thermostat (GEO-WH-003 / GEO-BL-003)

Our Lux Geo rating: Lux Geo at a Glance The affordable alternatives to Nest and Ecobee just keep getting better. The Lux Geo lacks a touch screen, but that’s about the only “smart thermostat” thing missing from this affordable and slick-looking WiFi-enabled thermostat. Control it from an easy to use app, set up schedules with ease, and then take the…
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Review: Honeywell RTH6580WF WiFi 7-Day Programmable thermostat

Our Honeywell RTH6580WF WiFi 7-Day Programmable thermostat rating: Honeywell RTH6580WF at a glance The Honeywell RTH6580WF is a good, simple, affordable WiFi thermostat. It’s for those not ready or not willing to pay $200+ for a fully featured smart thermostat, but still want the convenience of controlling their home’s temperature through their phone. The screen is basic, but…
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