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Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium vs.  Ecobee Smart Thermostat Enhanced


The $250 Smart Thermostat Premium is Ecobee’s new premium thermostat, replacing the SmartThermostat with voice control. The Premium borrowed many of the best features from the last iteration, but also introduced a redesigned screen, zinc body, radar sensor and air quality sensor. A temperature and occupancy sensing SmartSensor is also included with your purchase.

The screen is larger than the SmartThermostat with voice control. I didn’t have the older model on hand for a direct side-by-side comparison, but I could easily read the screen from across the room (about 15 feet away). It also changed the menu layout and added on-screen animations which improved the overall usability. The built-in Alexa speaker, for example, appeared as a light bar at the top of the last-gen model. In the Premium Thermostat, Alexa is fully integrated into the screen, appearing as an animation when you say “Alexa”.

The zinc body adds weight to the Premium Thermostat and introduces a more luxurious look with silver accents compared to the white plastic body of older Ecobee models and the current entry-level Ecobee3 Lite ($150).

Along with the design updates, Ecobee also swapped out a radar sensor to detect motion and occupancy rather than the passive infrared sensor used in the older model. Ecobee claims that the radar sensor can better detect movement from a distance and even around corners. Again, I didn’t have the SmartThermostat with voice control with me to directly compare responses, but I found that the Premium model reliably switched between Home and Away modes.

The most interesting addition here was an air quality sensor, designed to detect volatile organic compounds and carbon dioxide. I haven’t tested the accuracy of the air quality sensor, but a note on the home screen says “Clean”. Clicking on it takes the thermostat to another screen with more information detailing where your score falls on the bad-to-clean range.

Overall this thermostat has a ton of features and it performed well during testing. I wish Ecobee had introduced it at a lower price given the industry’s move towards more affordable models. That makes this solid thermostat harder to recommend, even though it has a lot to offer. If you have the budget for this model and want all the special features, it might be worth it. Other people may want to consider the Ecobee Enhanced Smart Thermostat or one of our favorite affordable thermostats.

Read the full Ecobee Premium Smart Thermostat review.

CNET

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