Fifth-gen ecobee thermostat with HomeKit promises better Wi-Fi, added Alexa & Spotify feat...

Posted:
in iPhone
ecobee's fifth-generation thermostat, compatible with Apple HomeKit, should be mostly an evolutionary device but include important upgrades in wireless, Spotify, and Amazon Alexa connectivity, according to a product leak.

ecobee5


The thermostat will have a quad-core processor and include dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support for the first time, big-box chain Lowe's said in a product listing spotted by Zatz Not Funny. ecobee is simultaneously planning a new remote "SmartSensor" with better pairing range and battery life, plus faster occupancy detection.

That detection can potentially improve heating and cooling efficiency, but ecobee's existing remote sensors have been criticized as too slow, often taking many minutes before they realize someone has left a room.

People enabling the thermostat's built-in Alexa speaker will finally be able to take advantage of calling, drop-in, and messaging features, something normally reserved for Amazon Echo devices. Spotify subscribers will meanwhile be able to push music and podcasts to the speaker via Spotify Connect.

U.S. pricing and a release date have yet to be revealed, though Lowe's claims the product will cost $329 Canadian, about $243 U.S.

The ecobee4 is one of the most popular smart thermostats on the market, competing mainly with Google's Nest. The Nest doesn't yet support HomeKit, although it does connect with iPhones and iPads in other ways.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,291member
    Trash.  They basically ran out of ideas a couple of years ago and now stuff in services that aren't complementary.  
    red oakStrangeDays
  • Reply 2 of 20
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,746member
    I just installed a Homekit-compatible ceiling fan, my first homekit device ever and I'm sold on the idea.  It's just amazing to how Apple has made all this stuff so easy.

    I've always been thinking of putting in a modern thermostat, but now that the thought of one being homekit compatible will certainly have me as a potential customer.
    Roger_Fingasred oakStrangeDays
  • Reply 3 of 20
    red oakred oak Posts: 679member
    LOL.  Spotify.   Here is a company that is seriously overreaching and does not even understand its place in the market or its mission.   It has gone off the rails  

    (which is bad for me personally, as I have Ecobee 3's in my home)
    lolliver
  • Reply 4 of 20
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,291member
    red oak said:
    LOL.  Spotify.   Here is a company that is seriously overreaching and does not even understand its place in the market or its mission.   It has gone off the rails  

    (which is bad for me personally, as I have Ecobee 3's in my home)
    My first smart thermostats was the Ecobee 2nd gen (if that's the one that started supporting HomeKit) and it was nice.  The only reason why I didn't go Ecobee for my 2nd thermo was that I got a great deal on a Honeywell T5 and frankly 250 bucks is too much for a thermostat.  Two generations later I can't really say that this company has it's pulse on the future.  They announced an overdone switch (when people really want dimmers) and have gotten too cozy with Alexa.    Innovate guys. 
    red oaklolliver
  • Reply 5 of 20
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 371member
    sflocal said:
    I just installed a Homekit-compatible ceiling fan, my first homekit device ever and I'm sold on the idea.  It's just amazing to how Apple has made all this stuff so easy.

    I've always been thinking of putting in a modern thermostat, but now that the thought of one being homekit compatible will certainly have me as a potential customer.
    Ecobee 3 had been homekit since
    Roger_Fingas
  • Reply 6 of 20
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 471member
    I have an ecobee 4 which I got for free from Entergy- my electric utility. I am quite sure other utilities offer a similar program. It is not income qualified- all you have to do is consent to the monitoring and rare dial back of your cooling. Also in the deal is a year of prepaid service contract for the HVAC system to include a complete system cleaning. They also throw in a small cash rebate on your bill each December. You can leave the program at any time- they pay for the installation but if you drop out of the program it is on you. If you live in the parts of Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi or Arkansas served by Entergy this should be available to you.

    They have a program where you give them permission to monitor your power consumption after coming in and analyzing your system and home for efficiency. They also have permission to override your settings remotely during peak load events and you do have the ability to opt out. Last summer they ran programmed dial-backs maybe a half dozen times for a few afternoon hours. My normal setting is 73 in the summer and they pushed it back to 76. Every time the dial-back ended at 4 PM so your house would be back to normal by the time most come home from work or school.

    I have had mine for over a year now and have had no problem from either the main unit or the satellites. The iOS apps allow you easy control of your HVAC. There is also web access for your Mac or other computer. The data available shows your home relative to the community, neighborhood and everyone else.

    Never have used the Alexa, but I do use the HomeKit capability. The 3rd party Home app available in the app store is better than Apples.

    Roger_Fingasjbdragon
  • Reply 7 of 20
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 612member
    davgreg said:
    I have an ecobee 4 which I got for free from Entergy- my electric utility. I am quite sure other utilities offer a similar program. It is not income qualified- all you have to do is consent to the monitoring and rare dial back of your cooling. Also in the deal is a year of prepaid service contract for the HVAC system to include a complete system cleaning. They also throw in a small cash rebate on your bill each December. You can leave the program at any time- they pay for the installation but if you drop out of the program it is on you. If you live in the parts of Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi or Arkansas served by Entergy this should be available to you.

    They have a program where you give them permission to monitor your power consumption after coming in and analyzing your system and home for efficiency. They also have permission to override your settings remotely during peak load events and you do have the ability to opt out. Last summer they ran programmed dial-backs maybe a half dozen times for a few afternoon hours. My normal setting is 73 in the summer and they pushed it back to 76. Every time the dial-back ended at 4 PM so your house would be back to normal by the time most come home from work or school.

    I have had mine for over a year now and have had no problem from either the main unit or the satellites. The iOS apps allow you easy control of your HVAC. There is also web access for your Mac or other computer. The data available shows your home relative to the community, neighborhood and everyone else.

    Never have used the Alexa, but I do use the HomeKit capability. The 3rd party Home app available in the app store is better than Apples.

    Letting an electric company control the temperature in your house is NUTS. If they can control the temps in your house, they can see occupancy. 

    If they get hacked, they can switch your thermostat to heat in summer and bring the temps to over 100F inside. What if you have pets? What if you have elderly living with you? 

    I was offered such a deal, and I refused. I also wrote ecobee to tell them what a horrible idea that is. 

    Having Alexa that sends audio to Amazon from your hose is bad enough, but having the electric company control the temps in your house is straight from the Big Brother playbook.  
    edited May 29 lolliver
  • Reply 8 of 20
    ttollertonttollerton Posts: 205member
    sirozha said:
    davgreg said:
    I have an ecobee 4 which I got for free from Entergy- my electric utility. I am quite sure other utilities offer a similar program. It is not income qualified- all you have to do is consent to the monitoring and rare dial back of your cooling. Also in the deal is a year of prepaid service contract for the HVAC system to include a complete system cleaning. They also throw in a small cash rebate on your bill each December. You can leave the program at any time- they pay for the installation but if you drop out of the program it is on you. If you live in the parts of Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi or Arkansas served by Entergy this should be available to you.

    They have a program where you give them permission to monitor your power consumption after coming in and analyzing your system and home for efficiency. They also have permission to override your settings remotely during peak load events and you do have the ability to opt out. Last summer they ran programmed dial-backs maybe a half dozen times for a few afternoon hours. My normal setting is 73 in the summer and they pushed it back to 76. Every time the dial-back ended at 4 PM so your house would be back to normal by the time most come home from work or school.

    I have had mine for over a year now and have had no problem from either the main unit or the satellites. The iOS apps allow you easy control of your HVAC. There is also web access for your Mac or other computer. The data available shows your home relative to the community, neighborhood and everyone else.

    Never have used the Alexa, but I do use the HomeKit capability. The 3rd party Home app available in the app store is better than Apples.

    Letting an electric company control the temperature in your house is NUTS. If they can control the temps in your house, they can see occupancy. 

    If they get hacked, they can switch your thermostat to heat in summer and bring the temps to over 100F inside. What if you have pets? What if you have elderly living with you? 

    I was offered such a deal, and I refused. I also wrote ecobee to tell them what a horrible idea that is. 

    Having Alexa that sends audio to Amazon from your hose is bad enough, but having the electric company control the temps in your house is straight from the Big Brother playbook.  
    This is the most logical and well reasoned posts ever on AI.   Just the Alexa interface is enough for me to pass on the ecobee4 or above.  
    edited May 29 lolliver
  • Reply 9 of 20
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,104member
    ttollerton said:

     Just the Alexa interface is enough for me to pass on the ecobee4 or above.  
    I have the ecobee 4.  It has Alexa.  I’ve never set it up or turned it on.  If you don’t want Alexa you don’t have to use it or configure it.  
    jbdragon
  • Reply 10 of 20
    roakeroake Posts: 668member
    As long as the customer is not the product and privacy is something that the makers of the ecobee truly honor, it would purchase it over a Nest.
  • Reply 11 of 20
    chadbag said:
    ttollerton said:

     Just the Alexa interface is enough for me to pass on the ecobee4 or above.  
    I have the ecobee 4.  It has Alexa.  I’ve never set it up or turned it on.  If you don’t want Alexa you don’t have to use it or configure it.  
    I don’t trust them not to “accidentally” turn it on in an update and then act shocked that it happened.
  • Reply 12 of 20
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,104member
    chadbag said:
    ttollerton said:

     Just the Alexa interface is enough for me to pass on the ecobee4 or above.  
    I have the ecobee 4.  It has Alexa.  I’ve never set it up or turned it on.  If you don’t want Alexa you don’t have to use it or configure it.  
    I don’t trust them not to “accidentally” turn it on in an update and then act shocked that it happened.
    Just how are they supposed to “turn it on” accidentally if you don’t configure any amazon account info in it?

    FWIW I replaced a Nest with the Ecobee (by way of a Honeywell Lyric Round 2.0 in between) as Nest does not support HomeKit and I don’t really want Google involved in my house.  
  • Reply 13 of 20
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,017member
    Google ruins everything it buys. 
  • Reply 14 of 20
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,184member
    chadbag said:
    ttollerton said:

     Just the Alexa interface is enough for me to pass on the ecobee4 or above.  
    I have the ecobee 4.  It has Alexa.  I’ve never set it up or turned it on.  If you don’t want Alexa you don’t have to use it or configure it.  
    I also have a Ecobee 4. I rarely use Alexa on it. But ya, you can just not set that up. Use just Homekit. Or better yet, just get the Ecobee 3. No Alexa on that, still Homekit compatible and cheaper. If you want Alexa, I still suggest the 3 and then just get a Amazon Dot that you can place is a better location to be more useful.

    The Speaker on the Ecobee 4 is not very good. You would never want to play Music on it from Spotify or anyone else. This does seem like they have nothing else. It is a Thermostat after all. What else do you really need one to do that they don't already do? No they're just throwing crap onto them and hoping people will upgrade to bring in more money.

    On Amazon, I see right now you can get a Ecobee 3 Lite which means no remote sensors for $134.99. Which is just fine for many people. You can get a 2 pack of the remote sensors for about $70. I do see the Ecobee 4 for $199 which comes with 1 sensor. They are both Homekit compatible.
    edited May 30
  • Reply 15 of 20
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 612member
    sirozha said:
    davgreg said:
    I have an ecobee 4 which I got for free from Entergy- my electric utility. I am quite sure other utilities offer a similar program. It is not income qualified- all you have to do is consent to the monitoring and rare dial back of your cooling. Also in the deal is a year of prepaid service contract for the HVAC system to include a complete system cleaning. They also throw in a small cash rebate on your bill each December. You can leave the program at any time- they pay for the installation but if you drop out of the program it is on you. If you live in the parts of Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi or Arkansas served by Entergy this should be available to you.

    They have a program where you give them permission to monitor your power consumption after coming in and analyzing your system and home for efficiency. They also have permission to override your settings remotely during peak load events and you do have the ability to opt out. Last summer they ran programmed dial-backs maybe a half dozen times for a few afternoon hours. My normal setting is 73 in the summer and they pushed it back to 76. Every time the dial-back ended at 4 PM so your house would be back to normal by the time most come home from work or school.

    I have had mine for over a year now and have had no problem from either the main unit or the satellites. The iOS apps allow you easy control of your HVAC. There is also web access for your Mac or other computer. The data available shows your home relative to the community, neighborhood and everyone else.

    Never have used the Alexa, but I do use the HomeKit capability. The 3rd party Home app available in the app store is better than Apples.

    Letting an electric company control the temperature in your house is NUTS. If they can control the temps in your house, they can see occupancy. 

    If they get hacked, they can switch your thermostat to heat in summer and bring the temps to over 100F inside. What if you have pets? What if you have elderly living with you? 

    I was offered such a deal, and I refused. I also wrote ecobee to tell them what a horrible idea that is. 

    Having Alexa that sends audio to Amazon from your hose is bad enough, but having the electric company control the temps in your house is straight from the Big Brother playbook.  
    This is the most logical and well reasoned posts ever on AI.   Just the Alexa interface is enough for me to pass on the ecobee4 or above.  
    I want to qualify that I myself own two Ecobee 3 thermostats and love them. They have no Alexa. However, the program described in this thread that allows the electric company to control temps in the residence is an opt-in program that's initiated by electric companies. If one agrees, the price of the thermostats is heavily subsidized or even completely eliminated. There is absolutely no requirement to opt in to this program when one buys an Ecobee thermostat. Moreover, the initiative comes from the electric company, not from Ecobee. 
  • Reply 16 of 20
    mbezzombezzo Posts: 73member
    I just want this updated thermostat with the pretty glass WITHOUT the voice stuff/spotify.  Ugh.  With Nest killing their API access, this was a perfect opportunity to launch a new Ecobee to pick up users like me starting to figure out our next steps with a post-Nest world.  BUT my god - what research are they running that says people want Spotify in their THERMOSTAT!?!?  I just don't get it.  Hell, I'd pay the same price for the thermostat without those features.  I'd prefer to pay less but... if that's what it takes!

    StrangeDays
  • Reply 17 of 20
    We got an Ecobee 3 Lite with two sensors as part of a Christmas deal. We've been pretty happy with it. I kinda understand why they're integrating Alexa, since Nest is probably their biggest competitor. But seriously they should double down on HomeKit.
  • Reply 18 of 20
    tookitooki Posts: 3member
    sirozha said:
    davgreg said:
    I have an ecobee 4 which I got for free from Entergy- my electric utility. I am quite sure other utilities offer a similar program. It is not income qualified- all you have to do is consent to the monitoring and rare dial back of your cooling. Also in the deal is a year of prepaid service contract for the HVAC system to include a complete system cleaning. They also throw in a small cash rebate on your bill each December. You can leave the program at any time- they pay for the installation but if you drop out of the program it is on you. If you live in the parts of Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi or Arkansas served by Entergy this should be available to you.

    They have a program where you give them permission to monitor your power consumption after coming in and analyzing your system and home for efficiency. They also have permission to override your settings remotely during peak load events and you do have the ability to opt out. Last summer they ran programmed dial-backs maybe a half dozen times for a few afternoon hours. My normal setting is 73 in the summer and they pushed it back to 76. Every time the dial-back ended at 4 PM so your house would be back to normal by the time most come home from work or school.

    I have had mine for over a year now and have had no problem from either the main unit or the satellites. The iOS apps allow you easy control of your HVAC. There is also web access for your Mac or other computer. The data available shows your home relative to the community, neighborhood and everyone else.

    Never have used the Alexa, but I do use the HomeKit capability. The 3rd party Home app available in the app store is better than Apples.

    Letting an electric company control the temperature in your house is NUTS. If they can control the temps in your house, they can see occupancy. 

    If they get hacked, they can switch your thermostat to heat in summer and bring the temps to over 100F inside. What if you have pets? What if you have elderly living with you? 

    I was offered such a deal, and I refused. I also wrote ecobee to tell them what a horrible idea that is. 

    Having Alexa that sends audio to Amazon from your hose is bad enough, but having the electric company control the temps in your house is straight from the Big Brother playbook.  
    Electric companies have had these peak power deals for YEARS, long before smart thermostats existed. The non-smart devices use some kind of radio signals, but even they've had web-based utilities for setting the thermostat remotely (just a one-way command). So the security risks are not new with smart thermostats.

    Customers opt in to these programs in exchange for surprisingly large discounts on summer electric bills (even if a cool summer means the electric company doesn't end up reducing the cooling at all). You also get a certain number of overrides. 

    Writing ecobee to whine about them supporting these features is crazy. It's opt-in, and if ecobee DIDN'T support it, they'd have users of these savings programs writing them and asking (justifiably) why they don't support this. It's not like you HAVE to use it, and it doesn't harm you for this to be available!

    As for your claim that if the electric company can control temps, they can see occupancy... what? That makes no sense at all.
  • Reply 19 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,239member
    sirozha said:
    davgreg said:
    I have an ecobee 4 which I got for free from Entergy- my electric utility. I am quite sure other utilities offer a similar program. It is not income qualified- all you have to do is consent to the monitoring and rare dial back of your cooling. Also in the deal is a year of prepaid service contract for the HVAC system to include a complete system cleaning. They also throw in a small cash rebate on your bill each December. You can leave the program at any time- they pay for the installation but if you drop out of the program it is on you. If you live in the parts of Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi or Arkansas served by Entergy this should be available to you.

    They have a program where you give them permission to monitor your power consumption after coming in and analyzing your system and home for efficiency. They also have permission to override your settings remotely during peak load events and you do have the ability to opt out. Last summer they ran programmed dial-backs maybe a half dozen times for a few afternoon hours. My normal setting is 73 in the summer and they pushed it back to 76. Every time the dial-back ended at 4 PM so your house would be back to normal by the time most come home from work or school.

    I have had mine for over a year now and have had no problem from either the main unit or the satellites. The iOS apps allow you easy control of your HVAC. There is also web access for your Mac or other computer. The data available shows your home relative to the community, neighborhood and everyone else.

    Never have used the Alexa, but I do use the HomeKit capability. The 3rd party Home app available in the app store is better than Apples.

    Letting an electric company control the temperature in your house is NUTS. If they can control the temps in your house, they can see occupancy. 

    If they get hacked, they can switch your thermostat to heat in summer and bring the temps to over 100F inside. What if you have pets? What if you have elderly living with you? 

    I was offered such a deal, and I refused. I also wrote ecobee to tell them what a horrible idea that is. 

    Having Alexa that sends audio to Amazon from your hose is bad enough, but having the electric company control the temps in your house is straight from the Big Brother playbook.  
    This is the most logical and well reasoned posts ever on AI.   Just the Alexa interface is enough for me to pass on the ecobee4 or above.  
    If you don't have a "smart-meter" now you more than likely will in the relatively near future. In our area the Public Service Commission allows customers to opt out of the program but unbelievably it will cost the homeowner money to do so, adding a "Meter Reading Fee" if the power company can't do so remotely! How much is the fee? Roughly $250 a year NOT to be monitored. 

    https://www.smartgridobserver.com/industry-news/florida-psc-gives-teco-customers-opt-out-option-on-smart-meters
    edited June 3
  • Reply 20 of 20
    mobirdmobird Posts: 314member
    davgreg said:
     The 3rd party Home app available in the app store is better than Apples.

    Which Home app are you referring to?
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