Okay lets start with an assumption. You ask yourself is the ecobee4 worth your money? Or even is it worth upgrading from the ecobee3? Or how does it work compared to the famous Nest 3rd Generation and the Honeywell WiFi. Come on guys let’s get straight into it and find answers. (New to all this? Here you find Basic Knowledge about the best Smart Thermostats.)
The new Design
After re-thinking their famous smart thermostat, the new ecobee4 just got bigger in every direction. The display is bigger in both directions and from a kind of square with rounded corners in its previous version the ecobee3 transformed into something between a square and a circle. We like it.
Because of its hugely improved functionality and the big Amazon Alexa add-on which comes with some microphones and speakers the thickness has nearly doubled. The good old slogan “form follows function” is true. In our ecobee4 review we were able to see, that there is nearly a full “Amazon Echo” included using Amazon Alexa with its thousand of convenient voice control possibilities.
✔ The ecobee4 smart thermostat turns on or of your A/C and or your heater automatically depending on hot or cold weather condition. To make this even smarter the ecobee4 is connected to your local weather station to use real time weather reports.
✔ Another great feature is the possibility to control and change temperature of your HVAC using your smartphone – no matter where you are. Often one of the key features for customers like myself.
✔ One of the greatest advantages of the ecobee4 vs. the Nest 3rd Generation vs. Honeywell Thermostat WiFi (our recommended smart thermostat until now(?)) is the possibility to connect several smart sensors so you can monitor additional rooms or zones in your home. This makes the ecobee4 a perfect solution for bigger homes.
With these sensors it can control the different areas in your home and heat or cool the rooms you are really using without wasting energy for the unused areas of your home.
✔ After using your ecobee for a while you can get reports to tweak your energy and money savings even further.
Amazons ALEXA Services
✔✔ Okay, okay I know what most of you are waiting for. 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. Set a timer, turn on or of your lights, play your favorite music or ad products to your shopping list. Of course if you need the latest news – just ask “Alexa” now build within your ecobee4. You even can control most of your other smart devices simply by command. To achieve this the ecobee4 has built in microphones and speakers even for far-field voice recognition.
This feature truly sets the new ecobee4 apart from the other smart thermostats on the market as you simply save lots of money compared to someone who considers buying a smart thermostat from another company without this feature PLUS an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot.
Comparison: ecobee4 vs ecobee3!
What’s New? What changed?
Therefore we want to give you a good overview about the main changes compared to the last version. To put this straight, we try to bring these in a kind of logical order for you.
- main NEW feature of course is the integrated Amazon Alexa feature
- another improvement comes with the display. Slightly bigger, slightly brighter and now it has a really flat surface. This helps to prevent the glare effect that in the past could make it harder to read in bright lights.
- bigger in dimension (about plus 1/2 in thickness)
- now it is of a rounder shape
- new back trim plate for wall mounting (hiding screw wholes – or if you just prefer the look)
- newly designed PEK (Power Extender Kit) with bigger buttons for easier setup. Now it even has a magnet build in to attach it to your HVAC.
- newly designed remote sensors
- LED Light Stripe at the top of the ecobee4 which mainly signals the usage of the ALEXA services
ANNOYING: if you decide not to use the always on voice recognition the LED Light turns into a permanent red. There actually is NO possibility to turn these LED’s simply off which can be a problem when (for example) using it in your bedroom.
If you are upgrading from the predecessor the ecobee3 to the new ecobee4 there is no possibility to save all your settings. You have to do all of them from scratch. Do not think of 3-5 settings like time zone or country. After really tweaking my ecobee3 to the max there are 40 to 50 settings that I slightly changed. Perhaps ecobee can think of a solution for this problem to make upgrading more convenient for their customers in the future.
With all this said one big question remains. If you do already have the previous model should you switch to the new ecobee4? To be clear, the improvements of the new model are all really good and well thought. Of course, if you do not already own an Amazon Echo Dot, you should definitely consider buying the ecobee4. This in mind it is a big money saver.
On the other hand, the improvements of the key features are not that important. Especially if you do not focus on the Alexa features. I would say it is your personal decision. If you always want to be at the cutting edge of modern smart home gadgets there might be no way around it.
Additional Information for You:
If you want to read more about the key benefits of using a smart thermostat you might find this article useful.
Comparing the key features with the Nest 3rd Generation and the Honeywell Thermostat WiFi