Honeywell WiFi Smart Color Review
Pros: Large screen, easy to see at night, simple remote access app
Cons: No backup battery, some feature limitations on app
Compare to Similar Products
Honeywell WiFi Smart Color
$169.00 at Amazon
$34.99 at Amazon
$79.98 at Amazon
$59.99 at Amazon
$17.28 at Amazon
|Pros||Large screen, easy to see at night, simple remote access app||Large screen, easy to read, straightforward programming||Inexpensive, includes a C-wire adapter, great remote access features||App-guided installation, easy scheduling, event settings||Simple design, great customer service|
|Cons||No backup battery, some feature limitations on app||Poor customer support, nightlight button not illuminated||Not our favorite technical support, could be more accurate||Difficult visibility in bright light||No backlight, no scheduling, small display screen|
|Bottom Line||A well-designed, highly-customizable smart thermostat with an easy-to-read screen and lots of features||A low-cost, high-performance digital thermostat that is accurate, easy to set up, and program but lacks WiFi and a remote access app||If you are searching for a top-tier smart thermostat on a budget, then we think this is a wise choice||A decent quality, cost-effective, smart thermostat that is easy to operate and integrates with Alexa-connected smart devices||This 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%)|
|Install & Support (30%)|
|Remote Access (20%)|
|Specs||Honeywell WiFi Smar...||Orbit Clear Comfort||Wyze Thermostat||Amazon Smart Thermo...||Emerson NP110|
|Colors||Grey, white||White||Black, white||White||White|
|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|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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