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Tado Smart Thermostat Review

What is the Tado Smart Thermostat?

In short: an unexpected surprise. Last year Tado made a splash in the growing Internet of Things market with its first smart thermostat.
We were big fans and customer response was strong so now Tado is back
with a second-generation device. So will it convert skeptics or persuade
existing users to upgrade?

Tado Smart Thermostat – Design

Perhaps
the biggest change in the 2015 Tado is the shift in design. It still
retains the same minimalist white aesthetic that we liked about the
original, but it’s now just two components instead of three: a
thermostat and a bridge.

Out has gone the dedicated solar-powered temperature sensor, with the brains now all contained in the main
thermostat and the bridge wirelessly communicating with the thermostat
and wired into the back of your router.

The result is a much
neater package and a button on the thermostat brings up an attractive
white LED display which can display the ambient temperature and
connection status with short or long presses of the button respectively.
The bridge itself is largely unchanged with simple ‘link’, ‘router’ and
‘Internet’ status lights.

Ultimately it’s a good-looking
package, though its ongoing need for a dedicated bridge is a shame. Most
rivals do the same, but big fish Nest has built a dedicated controller
which communicates with both its thermostat and the router wirelessly
and makes for an even easier setup. Perhaps this will come with Tado’s
third generation.

Tado Smart Thermostat – Features

While
Nest and Tado’s approach may differ when it comes to hardware, the two
have a very similar approach to temperature control. In contrast to
rivals Hive (remote temperature control) and the Honeywell Evohome (room-by-room remote control) both Nest and Tado operate using motion sensors.

With
this method they detect owner presence within the home and adjust the
temperature according to your specified levels, eg 20 degrees when home
in the day, 18 degrees at night and off when out the house. Furthermore
Tado uses its connection to the Internet to monitor the weather forecast
so it knows not to start excessively heating at the beginning of what
will be a hot day or to give it extra oomph to counter a cold one.

Tado
also has another trick up its sleeve: it uses your phone’s WiFi to
detect when you are coming home so it can have the heating switched on
and the home back to your desired temperature as you open the door. If
unwanted, this can be disabled in settings.

Tado has been
expanding its offering as well. A new, optional ‘Connector Kit’ which
allows for smart control of your hot water – something rivals like Hive
and Honeywell are also offering. Unfortunately this wasn’t something we
could try as our test home has a combi (combination) boiler that heats
hot water on demand.

Meanwhile control is now by web
browser, smartphone app or the thermostat’s swanky new LED display and Tado has expanded app support here to add
Windows Phone (8.1 and above) to staples Android (2.3.3 and above) and
iOS (7.0 and above). Get everything working and Tado claims up to 31%
can be cut from the average heating bill.

Tado Smart Thermostat – Setup

Tado
will allow users to perform a self installation if they are proficient,
but it strongly recommends a professional fitter given the importance
of working home heating. We opted for the professional fitter to see how
smoothly this process works (Tado reports it is by far the most popular
option) and it proved to be a doddle.

In signing up for the
service the company asks questions about your existing equipment and
both live online chat and a manned support desk are on hand to help with
this. Tado will then arrange a convenient fitting date with one of its
approved installers (all independent contractors).

Fitting for
us happened within one week (Tado says it can nearly always fit within
two weeks) and the installation process took an hour. Of this only about
30 minutes of the installation was the hardware with a slight delay in
registering the installation with our Tado account online.

One
quirk we did find is the Tado bridge doesn’t have the greatest range and
given it is wired into the back of your router it means the location of
your router cannot be too far away from your thermostat. This is again
why we favour the Nest system as the wireless controller can be further
away from the router which in turn allows the thermostat to be much
further away from the router.

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