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Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Review

All the benefits of its predecessor, while being easier to use with a sleeker design
The Sensi Color Touch.
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Price:   $170 List | $144 at Amazon
Pros:  Fantastic mobile app, a breeze to install
Cons:  Still not the easiest to use
Manufacturer:   Sensi
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Aug 2, 2017
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OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 10
  • Ease of Use - 40% 5
  • Install & Support - 30% 7
  • Remote Access - 20% 7
  • Accuracy - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The Touch Wi-Fi by Sensi is definitely a bit more eye-catching than its predecessor, with an overall sleeker design and a touchscreen interface. However, while this model improves on the score of the prior Sensi model, it still failed to distinguish itself. It's getting there, but the Touch Wi-Fi isn't a top model yet and is just a little too expensive to be a good value option. It's a mid-range thermostat with a mid-range score.

New Color Released
Emerson has released a new color of the Sensi Touch, allowing you a bit more freedom to match the thermostat to the aesthetic of your home.


Compare to Similar Products

 
The Sensi Color Touch.
This Product
Sensi Touch Wi-Fi
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award   
Price $170 List
$143.99 at Amazon
$249 List
Check Price at Amazon
$169 List
$153.99 at Amazon
$250 List$179 List
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Pros Fantastic mobile app, a breeze to installSleek, easy to install, accurateVery accurate, subdued design, very easy to set upStylish, accurateEasy to use, good remote access
Cons Still not the easiest to useExpensive, support just refers you to a Nest ProLimited color options, display is harder to readVery expensive, seemed a little buggy to usExpensive, inaccurate, voice control through the app is silly
Bottom Line All the benefits of its predecessor, while being easier to use with a sleeker designBest for the smart home, but may be underutilized in many homesThe Nest Thermostat E is a fantastic product for those that want most of the features of a premium product without paying a premium priceThis expensive thermostat looks great but its performance left a bit to be desiredThe largest screen, and the easiest to use by far
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Rating Categories Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Nest Learning... Nest Thermostat E Johnson Controls... Honeywell Wi-Fi...
Ease Of Use (40%)
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Install & Support (30%)
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Remote Access (20%)
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Specs Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Nest Learning... Nest Thermostat E Johnson Controls... Honeywell Wi-Fi...
Colors Black Stainless Steel, Copper, White, Black, Mirror Black, Brass, Polished Steel Frosted White Transparent screen with silver base Silver
Battery Backup No Built-in, rechargeable lithium-ion battery Built-in, rechargeable lithium-ion battery No No
Learning/ Adaptive Controls No Yes - "Nest Sense" Yes - "Nest Sense" No Yes - "Smart Response Technology"
Dimensions Height: 3.4 in
Width: 5.625 in
Depth: 1.17 in
Diameter: 3.3 in
Depth: 1.21 in
Diameter: 3.1 in
Depth: 1.14 in
Height: 5 in
Width: 5.5 in
Depth: 1 in
Height: 3-1/2 in
Width: 4-1/2 in
Depth: 7/8 in
Works Directly with Alexa/Amazon Echo Yes; and Wink Yes Yes Yes; Also built-in Cortana Yes
Works with Apple HomeKit Yes No No No No
Model # ST75 T3007ES T4000ES SIO2-10000 RTH9580WF

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Sensi Touch Wi-Fi is a little bit easier to use on the device itself, but still, loads more functionality on the mobile app side. Other than that, it is essentially identical in performance aspects to the previous Sensi — a relatively small increase in performance for a significant increase in price.

The Sensi Touch Wi-Fi is a good  not great smart thermostat.
The Sensi Touch Wi-Fi is a good, not great smart thermostat.

Performance Comparison


To see which smart thermostat came out on top, we took the top models on the market today and put them through a series of rigorous side-by-side challenges. We scored each product from 0-100, based on its performance in our four weighted rating metrics: Ease of Use, Install & Support, Remote Access, and Accuracy. The following sections detail exactly how the Sensi Touch Wi-Fi performed and why it received the score that it did.

The touchscreen interface makes this Sensi easier to use than its predecessor.
The touchscreen interface makes this Sensi easier to use than its predecessor.

Ease of Use


The most important metric of the group when it came to thermostats, our Ease of Use metric accounts for 40% of the total score. The score for this metric was based on the ease of initially setting up the product, altering advanced settings, changing the date and time, setting a schedule, adjusting and holding the current temperature, as well as the clarity and visibility of information. Overall, the Sensi Touch Wi-Fi was about average in this metric, meriting a 5 out of 10 for its performance.

This model isn't the most helpful when it comes to initial setup, immediately turning on when hooked up to power, with no series of prompts to guide you through the setup. Instead, you have to refer to the direction in the app to configure the initial settings.

The Sensi app has a helpful set of prompts to guide you through the installation process.
The Sensi app has a helpful set of prompts to guide you through the installation process.

It also wasn't the best at setting up a schedule on the thermostat itself. It limits you to four changes — Wake, Work, Sleep, and Home — in manual mode, with a 7-Day schedule. It also carries over from its predecessor the odd idiosyncrasy of needing the Wi-Fi turned off before the schedule can be set, but at least this model prompts you that this is necessary. It was about average to set the date and time, though again the Wi-Fi needs to be turned off, and gives you access to a decent suite of advanced features to customize your use. However, these can only be accessed through the mobile app.

For more advanced users  there are a plethora of settings that you are able to adjust to fine-tune your HVAC experience.
For more advanced users, there are a plethora of settings that you are able to adjust to fine-tune your HVAC experience.

It is easy enough to adjust the temperature using the touchscreen and the Sensi will hold the adjusted temperature for a minimum of two hours or until the next change in the schedule, whichever is later. The information is clearly displayed, with more emphasis given on the current temperature than the set temperature.

The current temperature is very clearly displayed  a direct contrast to other models that show the set temperature more prominently.
The current temperature is very clearly displayed, a direct contrast to other models that show the set temperature more prominently.

We did wish that the brightness of the screen could be adjusted.

The mounting plate of the Sensi includes a helpful built-in level.
The mounting plate of the Sensi includes a helpful built-in level.

Install & Support


Ranking second to the Ease of Use metric, this metric is responsible for 30% of the total score. This Sensi scored identically to its predecessor, with both models earning a 7 out of 10 for this metric. This was based on the quality of the supplied documentation or digital guides for the install process, the response from the customer support team to a sample query, and the actual difficulty of the installation process when we undertook it.

We sent a sample question to the support staff, stating that we had just moved into a new house and the thermostat had been ripped off the wall, only leaving bare wires behind. It took a few follow-up emails, but eventually, we got a helpful answer from Sensi, though it wasn't quite as elaborative as other manufacturers. All of the supplied documentation pointed you to download the mobile app, which contains a step-by-step guide to completing the installation.

Moving on to the actual install, it was decently easy to accomplish, aided by the built-in level. There were also helpful video tutorials if you got lost.

The layout of the app mirrors the device itself.
The layout of the app mirrors the device itself.

Remote Access


Next, the Remote Access metric accounts for the next largest chunk of the score — 20%. To assess this, we looked at the ease of using the app, setting up a schedule, and adjusting the temperature via a mobile device. Again, the Sensi Touch Wi-Fi performed identically to the Sensi, both meriting a 7 out of 10 for their showing.

The layout of the app is intuitive and easy to use, with the bonus of changing the color of the background to match the thermostat's current activity, red for heating and blue for cooling. The app displays current weather and the low and high temperature of the day as well.

Scheduling on the app is exceptionally easy, offering the most customization out of all the brands. You can break down the schedule into 15-minute increments, up to 8 changes a day. It's also amazingly easy to adjust the temperature, with the app mirroring the main display and offering a fully-automatic mode, where the system will heat or cool your home to stay within a preset range.

The Sensi Touch was decently accurate  usually within about a degree of our control thermometer.
The Sensi Touch was decently accurate, usually within about a degree of our control thermometer.

Accuracy


For the remaining 10% of the total score, we compared the accuracy of each model. To do this, we compared the temperature shown on the thermostat with a lab-grade thermometer, taking multiple readings and averaging the results. The Sensi Touch Wi-Fi did quite well, earning a 7 out of 10 for being about a degree off. However, you can set a temperature offset to account for this.

Value


The Sensi Touch Wi-Fi is a decent smart thermostat, but retails a little high to be a great value option.

Conclusion


While this model did improve on the score of the other Sensi thermostat, it still wasn't enough to compete with the unmatched performance of our Editors' Choice award winner. The Sensi Touch Wi-Fi is a solid, middle-of-the-road product with no major drawbacks but isn't quite worthy of recognition.


David Wise and Austin Palmer