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Honeywell WiFi Smart Color Review

A well-designed, highly-customizable smart thermostat with an easy-to-read screen and lots of features
Honeywell WiFi Smart Color
Credit: Honeywell
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $170 List | $169.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Large screen, easy to see at night, simple remote access app
Cons:  No backup battery, some feature limitations on app
Manufacturer:   Honeywell
By Nick Miley and Matt Spencer  ⋅  Aug 11, 2022
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80
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 13
  • Ease of Use - 40% 8.0
  • Install & Support - 30% 8.0
  • Remote Access - 20% 8.0
  • Accuracy - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Honeywell Wifi Smart Color offers users a highly-programmable platform for controlling one's HVAC system either in person or remotely. Our investigation and testing of this device revealed a thermostat that is easy to install, set up, operate, and program. The device has a large touch-screen that is easy to read, the app allowing remote control is well-designed, and its features practical. In particular, we liked that we could set temperature parameters to individual days or blocks of days such as weekdays and weekends. Our only complaints about this device are that it is spendy and lacks a backup battery. All told, this is a super-smart thermostat.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $170 List
$169.00 at Amazon
$55 List
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$60 List
$59.99 at Amazon
$25 List
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Pros Large screen, easy to see at night, simple remote access appLarge screen, easy to read, straightforward programmingInexpensive, includes a C-wire adapter, great remote access featuresApp-guided installation, easy scheduling, event settingsSimple design, great customer service
Cons No backup battery, some feature limitations on appPoor customer support, nightlight button not illuminatedNot our favorite technical support, could be more accurateDifficult visibility in bright lightNo backlight, no scheduling, small display screen
Bottom Line A well-designed, highly-customizable smart thermostat with an easy-to-read screen and lots of featuresA low-cost, high-performance digital thermostat that is accurate, easy to set up, and program but lacks WiFi and a remote access appIf you are searching for a top-tier smart thermostat on a budget, then we think this is a wise choiceA decent quality, cost-effective, smart thermostat that is easy to operate and integrates with Alexa-connected smart devicesThis simplistic model lacks higher-order programming and remote access, but it's accurate and economic
Rating Categories Honeywell WiFi Smar... Orbit Clear Comfort Wyze Thermostat Amazon Smart Thermo... Emerson NP110
Ease of Use (40%)
8.0
8.0
5.0
4.0
4.0
Install & Support (30%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Remote Access (20%)
8.0
0
8.0
7.0
0
Accuracy (10%)
8.0
8.0
6.0
8.0
8.0
Specs Honeywell WiFi Smar... Orbit Clear Comfort Wyze Thermostat Amazon Smart Thermo... Emerson NP110
Colors Grey, white White Black, white White White
Battery Backup No Yes No No Yes
Learning/ Adaptive Controls Yes No No Yes No
Dimensions Length: 3.5 in
Width: 4.5 in
Depth: .88 in
Length: 5.3 in
Width: 3.25 in
Depth: 1.3 in
Length: 4.7 in
Width: 2.6 in
Depth: 1.3 in
Length: 3.5 in
Width: 3.5 in
Depth: .84 in
Length: 6 in
Width: 4 in
Depth: 1.5 in
Works Directly with Alexa/Amazon Echo Yes/Hey Google No Yes Yes No
Works with Apple HomeKit No No No No No
Model # RTH9585WF1004/U 83521 WTHERM S6ED3R NP110

Our Analysis and Test Results

If you are looking for a modern smart thermostat to help get the temperature in your home or office just right, the Honeywell WiFi Smart Color is the ticket. The unit is a breeze to set up and operate and is also highly programmable.

Performance Comparison


Honeywell WiFi Smart Color thermostat - the honeywell wifi smart color is a feature-packed smart thermostat...
The Honeywell Wifi Smart Color is a feature-packed smart thermostat that tops the class in performance.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Use


The ease of use metric is the most important segment of our thermostat assessment because it measures how one interacts with the device and how well the device responds to our effort. This evaluation includes turning on the device and setting it up. The set-up process includes initial time and date programming, scheduling, and advanced settings. Happily, the Honeywell WiFi Smart Color is a class leader in this metric, excelling in the initial set-up and scheduling categories. However, the initial time and date, as well as the advanced settings, were slightly less straightforward.


The Honeywell WiFi Smart Color is easy to use right from the get-go. When you first turn it on, it immediately goes into the set-up procedure. First, you select your language, then you name the installation location (e.g., office), and let it know what portions of the HVAC system it will control (e.g., heating and cooling). Next, you select the heating type (gas/oil or electric), then the cooling/heating stages. Finally, you connect to WiFi and boom, set-up complete.

Honeywell WiFi Smart Color thermostat - the honeywell wifi smart color has a guided set-up that makes it...
The Honeywell Wifi Smart Color has a guided set-up that makes it easy to get up and running so you can spend more time chilling and less time programming your device.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Scheduling is a bit more involved and a little harder to accomplish than the initial set-up. However, the Honeywell WiFi Smart Color's scheduling remains one of the easiest to program in the class. Conveniently, there is a 'Guide Me Through Scheduling' button that will help you set up schedules — a nice feature to be sure. You can also view any grouping of days or select individual days to program. All in all, the interface is intuitive and easy to navigate.

Honeywell WiFi Smart Color thermostat - we found the touch screen to be responsive and the programming easy...
We found the touch screen to be responsive and the programming easy to navigate.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

As we moved on to setting the time and date and the advanced settings, the processes became a little more difficult — but not by much. For example, the initial time and date rely on an internet connection; if you want to change those, you must do it manually. While the advanced settings are fairly simple to program, the sheer number of advanced settings complicates matters slightly. For example, you can create a schedule, set a vacation mode, change the color of the display, check the weather, check equipment status, make temporary changes to the schedule, and access security features. We favor devices that allow customization over ones that limit such actions; however, you should be aware that this will require more time than what is required with a basic device.

Honeywell WiFi Smart Color thermostat - the user interface on this device makes it quite easy to use...
The user interface on this device makes it quite easy to use regardless of your tech-savvy, but the level of detail requires some extra time to read through entirely.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Install & Support


After the ease of use evaluation, the installation and support metric is the most important portion of our thermostat testing because installing a new electronic device hardwired into a home is, for many consumers, the most daunting aspect of ownership. If you are one of these people, you'll be happy to know that the Honeywell WiFi Smart Color is among the easiest devices to install, and their customer support is also helpful. We know this to be the case because we assessed the device for customer service, instructions and documentation, WiFi set-up, and app installation.


Our installation and support evaluation is split into four parts that collectively cover all aspects of the device up to the point of programming. Specifically, this includes customer service response time and quality, supplied documentation and instructions, WiFi set-up, and app installation. All told, the Honeywell WiFi Smart Color did quite well in this evaluation, particularly where documentation is concerned. However, Honeywell's customer service could have been better.

Honeywell WiFi Smart Color thermostat - generally speaking, the crux of the installation process is...
Generally speaking, the crux of the installation process is connecting the HVAC wires to the Honeywell. There is good guidance in the documentation that makes this step a breeze.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

To test customer service, we sent the manufacturer a support email with a photograph of the four wires that feed out of the wall and need to be attached to the thermostat. Our email asks the manufacturer to guide us in attaching these wires to the device. Response time and the quality of the response determine the rating that the device receives. Unfortunately, Honeywell did not respond to us for seven days, at which point we sent a follow-up email that they responded almost immediately. Once we received a response, their email was easy to understand and helpful. The good news is that most people won't have to send an email to Honeywell because it will be unnecessary. The instructions are easy to understand, straightforward, and accurate.

Honeywell WiFi Smart Color thermostat - the honeywell requires you to connect the wifi in the set-up process.
The Honeywell requires you to connect the WiFi in the set-up process.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Finally, the installation and support metric assesses the WiFi set-up and app installation. The WiFi is super easy as it is a required step in the set-up, and the unit's large digital display streamlines the process. Additionally, the app is a breeze to download, with the sign-in being the highest hurdle.

Honeywell WiFi Smart Color thermostat - don't be scared if these wires look complicated to you, honeywell's...
Don't be scared if these wires look complicated to you, Honeywell's documentation and set-up prompts will answer all of your questions.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Remote Access


The Honeywell WiFi Smart Color performed admirably in the remote access metric. This evaluation looks at how well one can control the thermostat with the app on a tablet or phone. We found the Honeywell app to be quite easy to use, and the level of control is relatively high. For example, everything you will want access to is broken up into tabs at the bottom of the app screen with few exceptions. Everything you can access on the device itself is available through the app. You can also see the current indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity, as well as a record of highs and lows.


Scheduling is also a cinch on the Honeywell WiFi Smart Color app. As mentioned, there is a tab at the bottom of the app screen that says scheduling. Once there, you can select the 'Guide Me Through Scheduling' button that will help you set up schedules — it's quite handy. You can also view any grouped days or check each individual day. There are arrows for time, heat, and cool settings for each 'event' each day. Finally, making simple, real-time adjustments with the app is a breeze. Just open the app and use the arrows on the main page to increase/decrease the temperature. When you change the temperature, the app enables a 'hold' — you can set the time for the hold to end or make it permanent.

Honeywell WiFi Smart Color thermostat - we found that the app provided us with convenient and accurate info...
We found that the app provided us with convenient and accurate info in an easy to navigate interface.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Accuracy


When we did our first thermostat review, we didn't think that temperature accuracy would be a huge factor. However, the temperature inaccuracy of some of the thermostats caught us off guard. The good news is that the Honeywell WiFi Smart Color is among the more precise thermostats in the class.


We tested the thermostats in this review with a laboratory-grade thermometer over a wide range of temperatures. Throughout the range of test temperatures, the Honeywell WiFi Smart Color displayed only minor deviations from the control thermometer's reading — never were the two devices more than a degree apart.

Value


The Honeywell WiFi Smart Color is not a cheap device. However, it is accurate, easy to use, and sophisticated. If you need a highly programmable thermostat, this is the model for you, and it will be worth the money spent. However, if you don't need a thermometer with this level of programmability, it will not be worth the outlay.

Conclusion


The Honeywell WiFi Smart Color is a fantastic thermostat. It is highly customizable, simple to master, has remote accessibility, and looks sharp, too. We have nothing bad to say about this device except that it's expensive. But, it's worth every penny if you want a programmable device.

Nick Miley and Matt Spencer
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