A wise dwelling gadget needn’t be costly to ship worth. Or favourite budget-priced sensible thermostat, the Honeywell T5, goes for about $125 on Amazon, and it delivers lots of the similar options as our favourite high-end mannequin that prices practically twice as a lot. The Momentum Meri sensible thermostat—which sells for simply $99 at Wal-Mart—alternatively, is simply plain low cost.
The Meri is spherical and has a colourful face to remind you of the household of Nest Studying Thermostats that shook up this sleepy trade again in 2011. However instead of a rotating stainless-steel dial, the Meri has a set plastic collar. Momentum expects your HVAC system to have a C wire for energy, which isn’t unusual, and the bodily set up course of wasn’t a lot completely different from different sensible thermostats I’ve reviewed for TechHive. So what’s to not like?
For starters, after getting the Meri wired up and have configured its most simple settings, it is going to immediate you to obtain Momentum’s app from the suitable app retailer. The thermostat will then show a QR code that you could scan from the app to hyperlink the thermostat to your account.
However the code scanner constructed into the app appeared unable to focus my smartphone’s digital camera on the QR code. The cellphone’s native digital camera app had no such downside, besides that the QR code took me to a direct obtain of the Chinese language-language model of the app. I wound up doing a handbook seek for the English-language model of the app (accessible for Android and iOS) and put in it on my cellphone.
The Meri has a brilliant touchscreen with decision of 320 x 480 pixels, however the touchscreen is just not very responsive, and the consumer interface displayed on it’s practically inscrutable. Tapping out the Wi-Fi password the thermostat wanted to affix my dwelling community was a mentally painful expertise (it’s additionally value noting that the thermostat can solely hook up with 2.4GHz networks).
The identical goes for configuring any of the thermostat’s settings. The house display screen shows the present temperature inside your house. Swipe throughout the display screen and this modifications to a clock. To entry another settings, you’ll faucet the ability button, after which contact the plus and minus symbols to boost or decrease the goal temperature.
That’s easy sufficient, however you’ll have to entry the “parameters” display screen for every part else. It is a huge checklist of more and more obscure choices beginning with Time/Date and System Sort choices (easy sufficient, proper?) however occurring to incorporate such settings as “multi-stage hysteresis” (huh?). Momentum gives just about no rationalization for the aim of many of those features, and the painfully gradual response time makes it irritating to scroll by them.
This wouldn’t be as massive of a deal for those who might entry the settings you want utilizing the cell app, however lots of them are to not be discovered there. The Meri app does allow you to accomplish primary duties, reminiscent of adjusting the present temperature, establishing schedules, and configuring the settings for House and Eco modes.
As if all that wasn’t dangerous sufficient, the Meri offered to be an unreliable sensible dwelling accomplice. The primary Saturday morning after I had put in the brand new thermostat, we woke as much as uncover the home had been chilled to 58 levels Fahrenheit. I by no means decided what went fallacious, and it occurred solely as soon as. I’d dismiss it as a fluke, besides that the thermostat acted up in different methods, too.
After setting the goal temperature to 72 levels, as an example, the Meri managed my air-conditioning system to keep up that temperature simply advantageous. However then the ambient temperature would rise to 77 with out the thermostat ever triggering the AC to run. There have been different instances when the thermostat labored precisely because it ought to. Intermittent anomalies reminiscent of that one are extremely tough to troubleshoot.
If I have been to enterprise a guess, I’d say the Meri’s reliability points may very well be fastened with a firmware udpate. However I don’t assume that might clear up the sluggish efficiency of its consumer interface—I think this sensible thermostat simply doesn’t have sufficient processor horsepower. For those who’re working with a good price range, there are numerous low-cost sensible thermostats in the marketplace which can be higher than the Momentum Meri.