Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat Gets Deeper Alexa Integration

Dave Zatz —  April 3, 2017 — 9 Comments

The ecobee4 smart thermostat, originally leaked last month by Apple, has just passed through the FCC. As to what it offers over the ecobee3 and its remote sensors, well, that remains mostly a mystery. We assume it will retain Apple HomeKit integration and there is some thought its profile will match the new and slightly revised ecobee3 lite.

But most curious, based on the FCC glamour shot above, is some sort of round opening along the top of the ecobee4’s enclosure. What I’d originally thought might be additional or relocated environmental sensors, versus an exhaust port, may actually be a small speaker given new intel I have received indicating tighter ecobee+Alexa voice integration. Incorporating Amazon’s voice assistant makes a whole lot of sense given the practicality (why clutter things up with yet another Echo Dot) and recent $35 million dollar investment.

While I largely prefer my ecobee3 over my 2nd gen Nest, given the remote sensors and general paradigm, Google’s offering has a more refined, premium appearance that I wish ecobee4 would emulate. Further, I can’t say ecobee has nailed heat pump optimization (versus the more predictable Nest control of my furnace). As we contemplate moving in the near future and take stock of our IoT investments, I wonder if a simple, anachronistic programmable tstat is sufficient. Native Alexa would certainly get me off the fence…

9 responses to Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat Gets Deeper Alexa Integration

  1. Hi Dave,

    Any guess at a release date? I’ve got two basic thermostats in my current house and have been contemplating an upgrade to Nest or Ecobee. Alexa built-in would also get me off the fence.

    Thanks!
    Sam

  2. I would like to see more NATIVE Alexa apps.

  3. I don’t feel like it’s imminent but don’t really have anything to back that with. FCC confidentiality lifts in September I believe. So I’d wait until the fall to see what this is all about and to see if there’s a 4th gen Nest — those 1000+ Google engineers must be working on something??

  4. For me, the only thing missing from Nest 2nd Gen is the first party remote sensor capability. If they would get that working, I’d be very happy with Nest. Right now, it does the best job of keeping my hallway and mud room comfortable.

    I have considered the Ecobee3 for this very reason, but cannot bring myself to dump $400-$500 on more tstats. Will be interesting to see if the Ecobee4 pushes Nest to upgrade and enhance beyond just a larger display and other minor tweaks of the 3rd gen.

  5. When is someone going to make an attractive, full –
    featured thermostat with a Zwave radio?

  6. Since ecobee just emailed a $50 off offer on the ecobee 3, I’m guessing the ecobee 4 is imminent.

  7. Jon the Heretic April 4, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Looked at the basic wiring and all looked fine so I ordered a whole mess of ecobee3s and remote sensors on Black Friday. The very next week, they were returned.

    House is about 20 yo which is hardly archaic and has zoned heat in a master-slave configuration. AC and furnace are less than a yo. Bottom line is that they didn’t support my zone box and actually told me I should replace the zone controller, dampers etc just to be compatible with them for the tune of $1200.

    Call me old fashioned but shouldn’t they branch out a bit, maybe create some thermostats that work with some other zone controllers? Get out of their comfort zone so that my family can get into theirs? A little ridiculous they should advise me to replace a perfectly good and expensive zone controller just because they can’t be bothered to support more products. When they support me, they will get my money. Til then, I’ll pass.

  8. I’d say the Ecobee 4 release is imminent (within a few months) considering I spotted it on Amazon Vine as a product you can request. It clearly states it’s beta.

  9. Awesome! Thanks, Buzz.

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