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Wyze Thermostat review: Affordable tech that competes with the best

Wyze Thermostat installed on a white wall.
Wyze Thermostat
MSRP $74.00
“The Wyze Thermostat and optional Room Sensors make it easy to keep your home warm and cozy.”
Pros
  • Affordable cost
  • Sensors feature an always-on display
  • Easy-to-use and versatile smartphone app
Cons
  • Installation can be a pain

Wyze has quickly become the go-to company for affordable, practical, smart home gadgets. That holds true for the Wyze Thermostat and its new Wyze Room Sensors, which help keep your entire home comfortable with little upkeep required. Regardless of the size of your home or feet running around it, this smart thermostat and its optional Sensors are more than up to the task of keeping its temperature consistent.

The Wyze Thermostat does require a C-wire, although an included adapter allows you to upgrade nearly all existing setups. There are a few quirks that might make it less than perfect for some households, but most families will find heaps of value in the frugal Wyze Thermostat.

Sleek, functional design

Person adjusting Wyze Thermostat using temperature wheel.

If you’re upgrading from a decades-old thermostat, the Wyze Thermostat will feel futuristic as soon as you take it out of the box. Buttons are completely absent on all sides of the black, pill-shaped product, with just a small, motion-activated IPS display and a clickable temperature wheel on its front. It’s a slick-looking thermostat considering its price, and it feels much more expensive than you’d expect.

Each unit also comes with an optional wall plate that can be used to hide unpainted areas from your old thermostat, or if you’d just like to give it a more prominent place on your wall.

The only downside to this sleek design is that much of the Wyze Thermostat’s functionality is paired with a smartphone app. Alternatively, you can use Alexa or Google voice controls to quickly change settings. Wyze does let you toggle through different options directly on the unit using the temperature wheel, although it’s a bit cumbersome to fight through all its menus, and clicking the temperature wheel doesn’t feel as premium as the rest of the product.

Powered by your smartphone

Main screen of the Wyze smartphone app.
Jon Bitner / Digital Trends

Thankfully, the Wyze smartphone app gives you a staggering amount of control over your thermostat. It can actually be overwhelming to check out all its features in one sitting. The main screen is easy enough to navigate, as it shows the current temperature in your home along with what it’s set to. This screen is also where you can quickly turn on or off your HVAC system — which comes in handy if you’re laying in bed and don’t want to get up to turn on your air conditioner.

The Wyze smartphone app includes a nifty chart that tracks your usage.

At the bottom of this main screen is the Controls menu. This lets you switch between different States (Home, Away, or Sleep), Modes (Auto, Heat, Cool, Off), along with a few other settings.

The Settings menu is where you’ll find the true functionality of your Wyze Thermostat. You can tell the thermostat whether you’re interested in Comfort or Savings. You can program different temperatures for different times of the day. You can even enable Auto Switch — which monitors your phone location to determine if it should follow your Home or Away settings.

If you’re curious about your usage, there’s even a nifty chart that lets you see how many hours your HVAC is engaged every single day. It’s rather basic (offering a bar chart showing usage and nothing more), but it’s a good way to monitor your energy consumption and helps pinpoint ways you can decrease your bills.

Whether you actually want to use all these functions is up to you, but it’s great that such a budget product gives you that option. It’s even better that they’re all just a click away, while the main features are front and center on the Wyze app.

Ease of installation depends on your setup

Using the Wyze Thermostat is easy, but getting it installed is another story. Proper installation requires the presence of a C-wire. If your existing setup has one, congratulations — your new thermostat will be up and running in minutes.

But if you’re unlucky, you’ll need to install the included C-wire adapter. This means heading over to your furnace, popping open the front panel, and wading through a sea of wires. It’s not necessarily difficult, but it does take some time. Wyze gives you everything you need for the installation, although you’ll want to allow a bit more than the recommended 30-minutes. It also doesn’t hurt to have an assistant nearby to double-check your work (and for moral support).

After the C-wire is installed and you’ve got the Wyze Thermostat mounted on your wall, it’ll run through a quick series of tests to verify everything was done properly.

The installation process is the main reason the Wyze Thermostat won’t be for everyone. If you don’t have a C-wire and you’re not interested in rewiring your HVAC, you’ll need to either call on a professional or consider alternatives that don’t require a C-wire. But putting up with an extra 20 minutes of fuss is a small price to pay for the thermostat’s affordable price tag and versatility.

Improved by the Wyze Room Sensor?

Wyze Room Sensor on a decorative table.
Jon Bitner / Digital Trends

If you’re looking to get the most out of your Wyze Thermostat, you can pair it with up to six Wyze Room Sensors. These are sold separately ($25 each or a bundle of three for $70) and help eliminate cold and hot spots throughout your home.

After placing them in key locations (I’d recommend at least one in the most used room on each floor), the Wyze Thermostat will essentially average these readings together to improve its performance. They can also sense motion, giving priority to rooms that are occupied.

I was able to get my entire home to stabilize to the same temperature, with just a few degrees of wiggle room.

They sound great on paper, but I had mixed results during the initial phase of my testing. One sensor is placed up in my loft, while a second is downstairs in my living space along with a third in my office. Some days I had readings that were only a few degrees apart, while other days it’d be nearly seven degrees warmer up in my loft.

After a bit of tinkering with my Wyze app settings, however, I was able to get my entire home to stabilize around the same temperature, with just a few degrees of wiggle room. There are still days where some areas are warmer than others, but no doubt the Room Sensors help mitigate these warm spots — but I’d hesitate to say they’re entirely eliminated.

The Wyze Room Sensors certainly enhance the base performance of the Wyze Thermostat, and despite requiring some manual adjusting, I’d still recommend them to most users. They perform up to their price tag, and although they’re not perfect, it’s helpful to see temperatures throughout the home at a glance and help reduce hot spots.

Our take

The Wyze Thermostat and Wyze Room Sensors are an affordable option for folks looking to upgrade their smart home. With sleek designs, friendly price tags, and admirable performance, only those without a C-wire should think twice before making a purchase.

How long will it last?

The Wyze Room Sensors can last for a shocking three years before needing to replace the AAA batteries, and the product itself comes with a limited one-year warranty. The Wyze Thermostat also comes with a one-year warranty. Both products are solidly built and, unless something goes terribly wrong or you ram into them while moving furniture, they should last indefinitely.

Is there a better alternative?

That depends on how you define “better.” If better means cheaper, then not really. Few products in this price range can compete with the Wyze Thermostat, although the Amazon Smart Thermostat is certainly worth a closer look. If better means more features and easier installation, then maybe. Be sure to check out our best smart thermostat roundup, which includes the Google Nest Thermostat, Ecobee SmartThermostat, and more.

Should you buy it

Yes. The only people who might have some hesitations are those without a C-wire and who don’t want to mess around with rewiring their HVAC system. But if you’re willing to go through the installation process (or if you already have a compatible setup), the affordability and functionality of the Wyze Thermostat are impressive. If you have a few extra bucks to spare, syncing it with a few Wyze Room Sensors only makes things more enticing.

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