ecobee Smart Thermostat, Room Sensor Included

Last updated date: December 17, 2019

DWYM Score
8.1


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We looked at the top Smart Thermostats and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Smart Thermostat you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 164 expert reviews, the ecobee ecobee Smart Thermostat, Room Sensor Included placed 9th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note January 2, 2020:
Checkout The Best Smart Thermostat for a detailed review of all the top smart thermostats.

Expert Summarized Score
8.4
20 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.8
4,342 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Incorporates a number of intelligent features like Free Cooling, which uses cooler outside air instead of AC when conditions allow. Compatible w/Alexa devices.
- BestReviews
The Ecobee4's far-field microphones were just as adept at picking up and understanding my voice as the Echo Dot's. In fact, it might be a bit too good — since my 650-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment is on the cozy side.
- Tom's Guide
November 14, 2018 | Full review
It has a responsive touchscreen display, a remote temperature and proximity sensor, intuitive mobile and web apps and integrations with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings and IFTTT.
- CNET
May 9, 2017 | Full review
When the Nest first came out, we installed it, downloaded the app, and rubbed our hands together gleefully. Energy savings! Controlling the temperature remotely! That beautiful dial!
- Wired
December 9, 2019 | Full review
One feature packed into the device is a microphone and speaker so the thermostat can access Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant.
- Digital Trends
September 9, 2018 | Full review
I performed most of the configuration directly on the thermostat. I started with transferring WiFi information from my iPhone to the ecobee4 by connecting the iPhone directly to the thermostat. It’ll tell you exactly how to do that via instructions on the screen. Then I entered some information about my HVAC equipment and my home, skipped the Alexa setup and finished the installation.
- Michael Kummer
May 20, 2019 | Full review
Built-in Alexa voice control allows you to control ecobee, as well as interact with other Alexa services / devices
- Modern Castle
June 10, 2019 | Full review
This is the only thermostat we tested that comes with a remote sensor that monitors the motion and temperature in another room. This is a big advantage over our top pick, the Nest Learning Thermostat, which requires you to buy a remote sensor separately.
- Top Ten Reviews
July 3, 2018 | Full review
Because it has Alexa built in, you don’t need a separate Echo speaker to control it by voice, and if Alexa isn’t your smart-assistant choice, this model also works with Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit and Siri (although they are not built in).
- New York Times Wirecutter
October 29, 2019 | Full review
You could already control ecobee thermostats with Amazon Alexa using Amazon Echo smart speakers, and building in Alexa basically turns ecobee into a mini Echo speaker on your wall.
- 9to5Mac
November 16, 2017 | Full review
That’s right, the Ecobee4 is not only a smart thermostat, but it also doubles as an Echo Dot of sorts, killing two birds with one stone, especially if you don’t already have an Echo in your home. And even if you do, you can move the current one to another room where you’ve always wanted another Echo device.
- Review Geek
December 14, 2018 | Full review
The Ecobee 4 features the same sleek styling that Ecobee thermostats have offered for years, and it's truly stood the test of time. It still looks great on the wall. With that said, we'd really like Ecobee to consider expanding the screen to fill the full front fascia of the Ecobee, a la most current smartphones.
- The Tech Buyer's Guru
December 16, 2018 | Full review
The top-level display includes room temperature, temperature set-point with adjustment slider, humidity, navigational icons and status icons. Changing the temperature set-point pops up a banner on the top-level display, indicating for how long the new temperature setting will be held.
- Consumer Reports
Also with the ecobee4, you get a room sensor so you can monitor certain hot or cool rooms in your house. The sensor is surprisingly small (1.7″ x 1.7″) and comes with a little stand so you can place pretty much anywhere.
- Riz Knows
You can connect this smart thermostat to the internet, control it via your iOS or Android device, and tell it to alter the temperature once you connect Amazon Alexa. In essence, you have full control over cooling and heating.
- Top Home Review
The device has a couple of different sensors that are integrated into its design including humidity sensors, motion sensors, proximity sensors, and of course, temperature sensors.
- Wired Shopper
Nice touches and extras include a clock on the idle screen, “ESP” to help the thermostat’s built-in Echo distinguish which Echo you’re talking to in a room that has more than one, and alerts for maintenance reminders and temperature readings outside the desired range.
- Smart Thermostat Guide
April 11, 2019 | Full review
What we loved most about ecobee4 is its remote sensor. It will let you configure with other systems like HVAC. The actual home thermostat is tucked away from other main parts of the sensors. So, such an attempt to put all these tiny sensors is a big deal to comfort.
- Great Smart Gadgets
September 19, 2019 | Full review
The newest feature included in the latest version the ecobee4 is the Alexa control. This let’s you use your smart thermostat in nearly all the ways you might know from the famous Amazon Echo Voice Control Assistant.
- Smart Home Tech Reviews
August 15, 2018 | Full review
What’s new here is, the device comes with an Amazon Alexa voice assistant. You can give the command to the unit and it will work accordingly.
- 10 Unbiased
April 9, 2019 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Has surpassed Nest in price but not in value.
- BestReviews
Weak speaker. The small speaker in the back of the Ecobee4 is functional, but it's just as weak as the speaker on the Echo Dot. It's fine for asking short questions of Alexa, but you wouldn't want to use it to play music.
- Tom's Guide
November 14, 2018 | Full review
The price is high, particularly if you don't care about the Alexa speaker or the Ecobee4's other smart capabilities.
- CNET
May 9, 2017 | Full review
And if “less beautiful than stunning” were an actual problem, all actresses would look like Cate Blanchett.
- Wired
December 9, 2019 | Full review
First, you can’t change its wake word from “Alexa” (a bummer if you’ve got a family member with that name). The second is that the voice assistant, oddly, doesn’t control the thermostat very well.
- Digital Trends
September 9, 2018 | Full review
Voice control seemed a little spotty and less precise than standalone Alexa devices
- Modern Castle
June 10, 2019 | Full review
If your home doesn’t have a C wire, which powers Wi-Fi and other essential features, installation can take a little longer because you also have to install the included Power Extender Kit.
- Top Ten Reviews
July 3, 2018 | Full review
ecobee4 initially had an issue with wanting to activate anytime it heard Alexa even if you were talking to another Alexa device closer to you, but a firmware update rolling out adds Echo Spatial Perception which tries to make only the closest Alexa device respond when prompted.
- 9to5Mac
November 16, 2017 | Full review
Setting temperature based on home average takes some getting used to
- The Tech Buyer's Guru
December 16, 2018 | Full review
No native geofencing
- Consumer Reports
The ecobee4 retails for $249 [see on Amazon], making it one of the more expensive smart thermostats on the market.
- Riz Knows
Expensive to buy
- Top Home Review
Some users reported Alexa voice issues
- Wired Shopper
Sound quality is abysmal so you won’t even care that it doesn’t integrate your favorite music services, so we’re surprised at the number of people complaining about this online (was there really that much demand for thermostats to double as speakers?) but other familiar Echo features are missing as well, such as messagin.
- Smart Thermostat Guide
April 11, 2019 | Full review
​Poor execution of implementation with Alexa.
- Great Smart Gadgets
September 19, 2019 | Full review
Build Quality compared with Nest
- Smart Home Tech Reviews
August 15, 2018 | Full review
Some of the functions of the unit are hard to understand for the beginners
- 10 Unbiased
April 9, 2019 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

With built-in Alexa voice service, ecobee4 can listen to your voice commands and respond. Have it set a timer, read you the news, adjust the temperature, and more. It also works well with other Alexa Devices by supporting ESP, so that only the device closest to you responds to your commands. It also comes with a room sensor that helps manage hot or cold spots in your home, delivering comfort in the rooms that matter. And because they can detect occupancy, they can automatically enable the right mode on your ecobee4 for energy savings when it senses no one is home.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Nest Learning Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 17
2. Honeywell Color Touch Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 17
3. Mysa Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 6
4. Honeywell Home Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 14
5. ecobee lite Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 16
6. Honeywell Color Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 10
7. Emerson Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 15
8. Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 16
9. ecobee Smart Thermostat, Room Sensor Included
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 20
10. GoControl Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 13

An Overview On Smart Thermostats

When they first came along, programmable thermostats seemed like a great way to save money on electricity when you weren’t at home. However, many consumers find that they don’t keep the same hours day after day, week after week. When schedules do change, adjusting things takes extra work that they may not want to put in.

Enter learning thermostats. These innovative devices monitor the activity within your home and automatically adjust the temperature as needed. As you start shopping, though, you’ll find that many learning thermostats also have the option to control the temperature using an app or controls on the wall box itself. But as “On The Fly…DIY” writer, producer and narrator Vicki Liston says, this automation can be tricky, so it’s important to choose the right type of smart thermostat.

“I recommend shopping for a smart thermostat that uses both a motion sensor and geo-fencing input to determine settings,” Liston says.

Accuracy also relies heavily on where the thermostat is placed inside your home. Like other types of thermostats, a smart thermostat should be mounted on an inside wall, approximately five feet above the floor.

“Install your smart thermostat in a place where there is no direct sunlight from nearby windows or doors and where it is not in the path of a vent,” Liston says. “Sunlight and drafty locations can cause false temperature readings and the thermostat will not be able to operate as efficiently as it should.”

Liston also reminds shoppers that some thermostats let users set up alerts. You can set your thermostat to notify you that it’s time to change your furnace filter or schedule maintenance with a local heating and air provider.

Before you start shopping, though, note the type of unit you have. Not all thermostats will work with all systems, so you can save time by buying the right product from the start. You’ll find most often you see thermostats that are compatible only with electric heating, which means they won’t work with furnaces. Still other thermostats are universal in nature, but even with those, check to make sure they’re compatible with your system before making your purchase.

DYWM Fun Fact

When many consumers think of smart thermostats, they automatically go to learning thermostats, which gather data on your temperature preferences and household habits to automatically adjust throughout the day. However, smart thermostats fit in a broader category that encompasses all thermostats that hook to your home’s Wi-Fi. That means you can control your home’s temperature remotely, which can come in handy while you’re traveling. Learning thermostats expand that capacity, learning your preferences over time and adjusting the temperature automatically to match. Some learning thermostats also build in motion-sensing technology to detect when people are inside the house. That means if you’re home sick from work and moving around, your thermostat will remove itself from its usual schedule and adjust the temperature to keep you comfortable.

The Smart Thermostat Buying Guide

  • Your thermostat’s display will likely serve as the primary source of information for your household. Some thermostats have larger displays than others, but also look for a higher resolution and easy-to-read text.
  • A thermostat will typically blend with your home’s décor, but make sure you choose one that has the look you prefer. Some have the round design found in pre-digital thermostats, while others take on the boxy look that has become popular in more recent years. You’ll also find some let you change up the color of the screen or come with colored rings.
  • With rare exceptions, you’ll probably need help or wiring expertise to install your thermostat.

“Traditional thermostats could maintain operation on a small battery or low voltage wires, but smart thermostats need a constant source of power from the ‘C wire’ or common wire,” Liston says. “If you are unsure if your current wiring set up has the C wire, please check with a qualified HVAC person.  Incorrect wiring can result in damage to both the thermostat and your heating and cooling system.”

  • Voice control is one of the best “extras” included in smart thermostats. If you have an Alexa or Google Assistant speaker, make sure you choose a smart thermostat that works with it. You’ll be able to raise or lower the temperature by simply speaking the command.
  • Smart thermostats can get a little complicated, so pay close attention to the design of the thermostat you choose. The more minimal the design, the better, especially if you choose a thermostat that monitors your household activity and adjusts accordingly. However, if you prefer to be more hands on with your temperature control, make sure you have a thermostat that makes it easy to set a schedule or adjust throughout the day.
  • Smart thermostats aren’t inexpensive, but be sure as you price them, you consider whether you’ll need multiple thermostats for your home. Some thermostats let you set up separate zones, which could save you money.
  • Most smart thermostats let you control your home’s temperature remotely using an app. You’ll need to choose a thermostat with an app for the type of devices you’ll be using for this control, whether it’s an iOS, Android or other mobile operating system. Some thermostats will even let you control them from a computer.
  • Scheduling is an important part of any smart thermostat. If you don’t want to bother with setting up a schedule, consider a thermostat that automatically adjusts temperature based on your household activity. If you do plan to use the scheduling feature, look for one that comes with a schedule built in. Then you’ll just have to adjust based on your own household needs.
  • Energy savings is one of the perks of using a smart thermostat. Some thermostats can even pull data from your local utility company and adjust the temperature to avoid using too much electricity during peak usage times, when costs are at their highest. Other thermostats will guide you to setting a temperature that is the most environmentally friendly, helping both your bank account and the environment.