Works flawlessly with Amazon Alexa
No support for Google Home and Apple HomeKit
No remote temperature sensors
About the Amazon Smart Thermostat
Smart assistant support: Amazon Alexa
C-wire: Required; available for purchase with C-wire adapter
Dimensions: 3.56-inch H x 3.56-inch W x 0.84-inch D
Weight: 3.86 ounces
Resideo, the company behind the popular Honeywell Home thermostats, helped design the Amazon Smart Thermostat. Amazon estimates that the ENERGY STAR-certified thermostat can help you save up to $50 a year, but this will largely depend on your usage habits and local rebates available in your area.
The device is compatible with most 24-volt HVAC systems and can learn your daily usage habits and preferences to help make tweaks to your system throughout the day and night to provide comfortable temperatures and energy savings.
Inside the box you’ll find the thermostat, an installation tool, wall plate, cosmetic plate, drywall anchors and screws, and a quick start guide (hang onto this, it includes a QR code to add the thermostat to the Alexa app). The entire setup process is done in the Amazon Alexa app, available for iOS and Android, offering step-by-step instructions alongside helpful images and videos. The app is also where you’ll manage your thermostat. Once set up, the thermostat will run several self-tests to ensure everything is working properly.
You may need other tools, like a power drill, 3/16-inch bit, and a level for the installation. Make sure to shut off the breaker for your thermostat before fiddling with any wires. For the purposes of this review, I connected the Amazon Smart Thermostat to a rig built by Reviewed’s Chief Scientist, Dave Ellerby, using a five-wire setup commonly found on most HVAC systems: W for heat, Y for cooling, G for a fan, R for 24V AC, and C for 24 AC common.
The thermostat requires a C-wire (common wire). If your home needs one, consider purchasing the Amazon Smart Thermostat with C-wire Adapter.
What we like
Intuitive features to automate your HVAC system for energy savings
There are a lot of reasons to buy a smart thermostat, but two of the biggest factors are convenience and energy savings. Amazon’s smart thermostat can help with both thanks to intuitive settings like Alexa Hunches, a feature that gives Alexa permission to automatically adjust the temperature based on your preferences and can help learn your thermostat habits.
For example, if she gets a “hunch” that you’re not home (based on your location) or that everyone is asleep (if no one has interacted with the thermostat for a while at night), she will adjust the temperature accordingly. The idea is that Hunches will get smarter over time as Alexa learns your family’s routines and habits and make proactive adjustments to your thermostat along the way.
Hunches worked well for me when it came to adjusting the thermostat to my preferred temperature when it sensed I was at home (you can set your preferences in the Alexa app and change them at any time). The feature was hit or miss when I was away from home, though I suspect to at least some degree that’s because the device is still getting to know me. Again, the idea is that Hunches will become more accurate over time.
Alternatively, you can schedule your own temperature changes up to four times a day, seven days a week in the Amazon Alexa app.
All of these adjustments can help reduce the amount of energy your thermostat uses and, in turn, save you some money on your upcoming energy bill. For a full breakdown of your thermostat’s energy usage, pull up the Alexa Energy Dashboard in the Amazon Alexa app.
Sleek, minimalist design that’s easy to navigate
The all-white Amazon Smart Thermostat is beautifully designed with its rounded edges, modern digital interface, and sleek tap-to-touch controls. Amazon claims it’s made from 33 percent post-consumer recycled plastic, and it feels sturdy. It also comes with a matching backplate (optional for installation), which is an additional purchase for comparably-priced devices like the Nest Thermostat.
Based on looks alone, Amazon’s model appears more expensive than it actually is. It doesn’t come in multiple color options like Nest’s $99 smart thermostat, but for $60 it offers modern beauty on a budget.
Looks aren’t everything, though. Usability matters, too, and this thermostat knocks it out of the park here. The interface is clean, straightforward, and simple for easy navigation. I also like that the digital numbers for the temperature display are large and easy to see from across the room and in the dark.
I found the touch controls easy to use by tapping my finger on each one to adjust the modes and temperatures (there are no physical buttons to push or dials to spin). I typically prefer the satisfaction of pressing down on an actual button or turning a dial, but the thermostat was responsive to my taps every time.
Flawless Alexa control
As one might expect, the Amazon Smart Thermostat works beautifully with Alexa devices like Amazon Echo speakers and smart displays. Alexa herself is not built into the thermostat like the pricier Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control, but if you don’t own an Echo speaker or smart display, you can access her via the Alexa app.
With Alexa voice control, you can adjust the temperature, change the mode (heating/cooling/auto/off), and get the current temperature settings. The thermostat is also easy to incorporate into Alexa Routines. For example, with a “good morning” routine, Alexa can set the HVAC to your desired temperature, as well as other tasks you assign, like turning on smart lights and starting a smart coffee maker, all in one fell swoop.
Of course, you can do all of this by tapping through the Alexa app, too, but when you’re running late out the door with kids in tow or don’t feel like getting up to adjust the thermostat from under the covers, sometimes it’s easier to let Alexa handle it.
The only hang-up is that I wish there was a faster way to access the thermostat controls in the app instead of having to click around. For now, I’ve added it to my Favorites section on the home page of Devices, which saves a couple of extra clicks.
What we don’t like
It doesn’t work with Google Home or Apple HomeKit
As is the case with most Amazon smart devices, the thermostat only works with the Amazon Echo ecosystem. That could change once Matter, a smart home protocol aimed at helping smart devices work across all popular ecosystems, rolls out sometime in 2022 (hopefully). For now, though, Alexa is the only smart assistant that can control the Amazon Smart Thermostat. For comparison’s sake, Google Nest thermostats support voice control for both Alexa and Google Assistant, and Ecobee and Sensi smart thermostats are compatible with Apple HomeKit.
There are no remote temperature sensors
They aren't totally necessary, but temperature sensors, when placed throughout your home, can help your HVAC system more accurately heat and cool by constantly talking to your thermostat. These sensors can make the biggest difference in large homes where there’s more square footage for your system to cover. For example, it might be warmer in your front guest bedroom than it is in the hallway where your thermostat is located.
Nest and Ecobee offer temperature sensors for some of their thermostat models, but these thermostats also cost much more than Amazon's. It's a sacrifice you’ll have to make to use the Amazon Smart Thermostat, but unless you’re already accustomed to using temperature sensors at home, this is a small tradeoff to make and you likely won’t notice much difference.
It requires a C-wire
This is more than an FYI above all else, but you do need a C-wire in order to install and use the Amazon Smart Thermostat (as is the case with most smart thermostats). A C-wire is responsible for providing continuous power between your thermostat and HVAC system.
While this wire is commonly found in new builds throughout the last several decades, it’s not found as often in older homes, which used analog thermostats that functioned more like flipping a light switch than today’s smart thermostats that rely on constant power. If you don’t have a C-wire, Amazon sells a version of its thermostat that comes with a C-wire adapter—and it’s still a bargain.
The Amazon Smart Thermostat is tied to your Amazon account, which offers security features like multi-factor authentication to keep your account secure. If you plan to use the location-based Alexa Hunches feature, you will need to provide your home address in the Amazon Alexa app and allow the device to track your location.
Using an Echo device for voice control with the Amazon Smart Thermostat? You can stop your Echo speaker from listening for (and possibly mishearing) your wake word by turning off your mic via the mute button on the top of the device. Or, turn on audible alerts within Settings in the Amazon Alexa app to know when your Echo is listening beyond just the indicator light.
You can opt-out of having your voice recordings included in the review process by going to Settings > Alexa Privacy > Manage Your Alexa Data, then toggling off the setting that says Use Voice Recordings to Improve Amazon Services.
In these privacy settings, you can also delete voice recordings, which are accessible to anyone you share the app with. You can even set up auto-deletion every three or 18 months.
Should you buy it?
Yes, this smart thermostat offers incredible value for Alexa setups
Amazon’s Smart Thermostat is one of the best smart thermostats money can buy, offering similar money-saving smarts and intuitive, habit learning features you’ll find on more expensive thermostats.
There are a couple of drawbacks, like a lack of support for Google Home and Apple HomeKit, as well as no option to add remote sensors, but there’s no denying that Amazon’s Smart Thermostat is a downright steal at half the price. Even better, you may be able to find it on sale for less than $50, making it a no-brainer to buy if you’re in need of a reliable smart thermostat.
The Wyze Smart Thermostat (which debuted with a $60 MSRP but has since increased in price to $70.99), and the Nest Thermostat (MSRP $99) are the closest competitors to the Amazon Smart Thermostat (MRP $59.99). Wyze and Nest both work with Alexa and Google Assistant, but if your home is already loaded up with Alexa devices like Echo speakers and smart displays, or if you plan to build your system with Alexa at the helm, the Amazon Smart Thermostat is the way to go.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Senior Staff Writer@rachel_murphy
Rachel Murphy covers smart home for Reviewed. She lives in an actual smart home home full of smart plugs, smart lights, and smart speakers equipped with voice assistants Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. Murphy holds a journalism degree from the University of Central Florida and has over a decade of experience reporting and writing. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer for Business Insider, Mashable, Elite Daily, and other major publications. Prior to her work in online journalism, Murphy worked as an associate editorial producer for ABC News' Good Morning America in New York City.
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