The Good Stuff
Intuitive App Controls. 7-Day Programmable. Works with Alexa and Wink.
The Not So Good Stuff
Basic LED Display. No Remote Sensors. Doesn’t Learn Your Schedule.
If you’ve been exposed to the Nest Learning Thermostat or the Ecobee 3 it’s difficult to look at any other Smart thermostat without comparing them to those two products. If you look at it that way then the Emerson Sensi isn’t quite up to snuff – for one thing it’s display isn’t color and it can’t learn anything about your behavior and automatically adjust the temperature based on whether your home or not. What it does have is one of the best apps of any Smart thermostat on the market. The app has a very user friendly interface and is capable of controlling all of your thermostats features.
The other thing this thermostat has going for it is that it’s a lot cheaper than the two products we mentioned above. If a thermostat that can make its own adjustments based on your behavior isn’t at the top of your Wish List then you might be quite happy with this offering by Emerson. It’s a fully functional thermostat and it does allow you to set programs for different days of the week to save money.
While you can access all of the Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat’s features on the physical touchscreen of your device it really shines if you use the app. Here’s a summary of this thermostats main features.
Simple LED Touchscreen: The Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat has a very simple LED touchscreen with basic temperature information such as what the temperature is set to and what it actually is inside your home. It also features indicators to tell you if it’s on heat or cool and whether automatic temperature control is on or not. Beyond that the only other thing you’ll see on the physical display is the current time, the strength of your Wi-Fi signal, and your battery level. There isn’t a ton of information here, but everything you need is present.
Easy on the Eye Colors: While everyone loves a color touch screen it isn’t really anything more than a gimmick on a thermostat. A color screen doesn’t add any functionality to your device it simply makes it a little easier on the eye. This Sensi thermostat doesn’t have a color screen, but it’s basic two color LED display is very easy on the eye as well. It features a nice light blue color in the background and black text that’s very easy to read. Other thermostats feature green backlights and I find these a little more difficult to read – there was no problems reading this one.
Basic Onscreen Controls: As we’ve already indicated the onscreen controls are very basic on the actual physical thermostat – in fact the controls are actually buttons not touchscreen controls. There’s a basic button to move the thermostat’s temperature up or down and there are also controls that change the mode you’re in, turn the fan on or off, and set your schedule. It’s simple, straightforward, and to the point.
Easy Installation: The Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat is much simpler to connect than a lot of others on the market and that’s because it does not require the use of the common wire in most cases. It’s designed to get its power from batteries so it doesn’t need that wire as a power source and this makes it a lot simpler to install for anybody that wants to take on a DIY project themselves. You still have to wire it to your HVAC system, but all of the instructions for doing this are included in the package and there’s also a video tutorial as well. If you can follow basic instructions you should be able to set this up yourself.
Everything in an App: When Emerson created this thermostat they decided to make the free companion app that you can find in the IOS or Android app stores the focal point of your controls. They were gambling that most people are in love with remote controls and if my household is any indicator they’re probably right. If anyone in our family can avoid getting up to change the thermostat then they’re bound to be very happy. This app allows you to control all of the thermostats features remotely and one really cool feature is that it actually changes color depending on whether you have it set on heat or cool. If you have it set on heat the background of the app is red and if you have it set on cool the background is blue. This is a really simple little piece of ingenuity which I think adds to the user friendly nature of the app.
Create Customized Seven-Day Schedules: While this app has no ability to learn your schedules you can program it yourself. It’s designed to allow you to program for a seven day schedule which means you can easily set the temperatures based on your known usage. It might not be quite as functional as the Nest or Ecobee 3, but it can still save you a lot of money. During the week this feature will be allow you to reduce the temperature when you’re not at home in winter and the same applies in the summer when the air conditioning is in use.
Responsive: The app isn’t just great because of the color gimmick we’ve talked about above it’s also quite responsive. If you’re sitting on the couch at home and you adjust the temperature from within the app you’ll notice the display and the thermostat will change within a second or two – there’s very little lag. The quick response times are impressive when you consider the instructions are travelling over a Wi-Fi connection. The response times might be a little longer if you’re on the other side of the world, but not much.
Accurate Temperatures: One of Emerson’s biggest selling points for this smart thermostat is the fact that its temperature tolerances are above the industry average. The majority of thermostats on the market today are only designed to be accurate within 2 to 3°, but Emerson prides itself on the fact that this thermostat is accurate to within 1°. There may be a couple of other thermostats on the market that can compete with these tolerances, but not many.
Powered by Two Standard Batteries: One final feature of the Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat that deserves mention is the fact that it’s powered by two simple AA batteries. It doesn’t require direct connection to a common wire that powers many other thermostats and you don’t have to worry about the batteries running out anytime soon either. In a normal use situation those two simple batteries will last you about 9000 hours and there’s a clear indicator on the thermostat that lets you know when the batteries are getting low so there’s no reason to ever truly run out.
Some Other Sources
If you’d like to see a couple of quick videos demonstrating this thermostat in action check out the links below.
A Quick Overview – Watch Video
A More Comprehensive Review – Watch Video
- Works with Alexa Voice Control and it’s HomeKit enabled so you can control it using Siri on your iPhone.