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on July 14, 2014
My review is mosty "versus the Nest" because I've had three different Nests and know that one well, and I like this one better.

When my Nest died last month, I decided I was going to buy a thermostat from a company with a history of making thermostats work reliably.
I would have installed this myself, but my A/C guy who installed my system and troubleshot my Nest two years ago ... and then came back and troubleshot the replacement Nest last month said he would remove his loaner 'stat and install whatever I decided to buy.

The one feature of the Nest I knew was hooked on was the ability to change the temp from my phone. Sensi and several others do that now, so I had a few to choose from. In my research I learned that my primary complaint the Nest - that the temperature swing was too wide - was addressed by Sensi's "cycle rate" setting.

I like that the Sensi wall unit operates like a traditional thermostat. Nest's no-button design is cool, but using a thermostat is not a lecture in UX minimalism, and black-and-chrome doesn't really disappear into the background of my home (white trim and all).

The Sensi is actually an easier DIY install than Nest (screw-down terminals vs. push in notwithstanding), and the main thing I would tell other folks is: install the app on your phone first and let it walk you through the installation.

This, Sensi, is what I want in a thermostat. Convenient, reliable, programmable, understandable. I am okay with a modest premium for being Internet enabled. It's half the price of Nest and doesn't intimidate non-technical users. You can keep your auto-programming feature - I always fought with the schedule it created and with two young children we're home most of the time anyway. You can keep your monthly energy usage report - it didn't include enough detail to be useful anyway. And you can keep the space-odyssey design - it might be alright in the stainless-and-black kitchen, or media room, but it doesn't work upstairs.

Granted, we didn't also install a second Nest to have more temperature sensors, and we didn't buy their $200 talking smoke detectors which also report environmental statistics back to the thermostat. But I've got what I need from my thermostat now.

P.S. It took the last Nest two years to go kaput, but I'll update here if that happens to my Sensi.

Update: After about a month I'm still very happy with Sensi. Most people won't care about this but being a network security engineer, I'm impressed that the thermostat has exactly 0 open TCP ports, outbound communication is with one IP, and total traffic is very modest. Nest communicated with a whole bunch of different IPs and was much more "noisy" on the network. Good work, Sensi dev team.
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on December 3, 2015
--
UPDATE: 3/22/2017:
I just noticed that Keypad Lockout is now an option on the app, so if you have kids or roommates that you need to prevent from messing with the air, you will be happy about this option! (Original review below).
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UPDATE: 3/4/2016:
Now works with Amazon Echo! So you can control your thermostat with your voice by speaking to your Echo device! Very glad to see this addition. However, still lacking more features for the app (see original review below).
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I had been wanting to get a WiFi Thermostat for a long time now, but I held off because I was worried that I would buy one that wouldn't be compatible with my home or that I wouldn't be able to figure out how to install it. I finally gave in and purchased this Sensi thermostat, and I am extremely happy with the purchase.

Set up could not have been easier. The app walks you through the installation. You select the wires that your current thermostat has, and then the app tells you what to label them and where they will go in the new thermostat. I had never replaced a thermostat before, and it took me under 30 minutes (which includes unboxing, looking for screwdriver, looking for AC unit shut off switch, watching how-to videos included with the app, etc).

The actual operation is simple and efficient. Within minutes, I was able to set up a generic schedule based on when we are usually home. I love being able to change the home's temperature from my bed, office, or anywhere in the world with an Internet connect. The first few days I played with it a lot, but now that I have tweaked the preset schedule, I don't even have to worry about it anymore. If I am out or home at unusual times, you just adjust the temperature manually, and it will temporarily suspend the preset schedule.

The thermostat looks nice, aesthetically, on the wall, and since I apparently had this magical "common wire" I have the option to keep the LED light on at all times, which acts as a night light in the dark, and makes it look even better.

The app is handy because it also tells you your local Hi and Low temps from the forecast as well as the humidity in your home, upcoming schedule, set temp, actual temp, and the background is either blue, red, or grey depending on if your system is on Cool, Heat, or off at the moment. There are also more advanced options that I do not yet understand.

The only thing this is missing is a few more advanced options for the app, such as specific alerts (like if the temperature is changed manually, I would like to be able to get an instant alert on my phone) and an air filter change reminder that can be set for a certain amount of time (like 1, 2, or 3 months). I think it does alert you if your house reaches an extreme temperature, but I have not had that happen yet. Also, I have not been able to figure out how to switch between "Cool" and "Heat" modes within a schedule (without using the "Auto" setting).

I also purchased and installed the wall plate: Emerson F61-2663 Wallplate for Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat, White, White (was approximately an extra $10). I think it should have been included, but I imagine not everyone wants one. It isn't much bigger than the thermostat, but I think it makes it look nice. I included some photos so you can see for yourself.

Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments and I will do my best to answer them.
review imagereview imagereview image
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on December 3, 2016
Love the remote thermostat. App is simple to use and easy to access.

Installation:
Step by step instructions in the app were great. Easy for a first timer as well as a diy'er. The app even has you take a picture of the old thermostat wiring before you remove anything, very smart. I had it swapped out and running in 30 minutes, however there was a problem. I have a water source heat pump and the old thermostat did not have a C wire. The sensi thermostat does not require a C wire, however my compressor was short cycling, it would run for 30 seconds or so and then kick off while the fan was still running, because the set point was not reached. After 2 to 3 minutes the compressor would come on again for another 30 seconds and the kick off. I called the help line and received very good help. The technician asked me to email the picture of the old thermostat wiring and a picture of the new wiring. After several minutes the technician determined that with my unit (McQuay) was not supplying enough power to run the wifi radio on the sinsi without a C wire. While trying to come up with a solution, i decided to see if I actually had a C wire available that was not used by the old thermostat. As with most installations, the unused thermostat wires were wrapped up behind the thermostat, Including the blue wire which is most often used as the C wire. With the power off I opened the area on the heat pump where the thermostat wires were connected and the other end of the extra wires were there, including the blue wire. The thermostat wire connections on the heat pump had a C terminal that had nothing attached. I connected the blue wire to the C terminal on the heat pump and the C terminal in the sinsi thermostat, and the problem was resolved.

I did not buy the optional back cover plate, but should have, and now have it ordered. If you have not have a small hole for the wires, then the thermostat will cover it, however I have a single gang (switch) box mounted vertically and the thermostat will not cover the hole. The back plate will correct that.

Thermostat has now been the service for several days and have had no other issues.

UPDATE:
The entire reason to get the Wi-Fi enabled thermostat was to be able to check and adjust the thermostat when not present. The Sensi is off-line at least 50% of the time. When I check it with the app, it will say the thermostat is off-line. If I check again in a few minutes, it may (or may not) be back on line. It may not be back on-line for a da or more. When it is on line I feel that I have to quickly make any adjustments before it goes back off-line. The issue is not the home Wi-Fi, but with the Emerson server. This if totally useless as a Wi-Fi thermostat and I am replacing it with a Honeywell Wi-Fi. If I could return it I would. As a non Wi-Fi thermostat it works fine, but I could have saved $50 for a non Wi-Fi model, but I wanted the Wi-Fi function.
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on December 14, 2017
UPDATE:Their customer service followed up with me, sent me a brand new unit, and it's working (at the moment) wonderfully with Alexa & Wink HUB. If it keeps working in the months to come, I'll bump up the stars to 5. Moving it now from 1 to 3. VERY impressed with their customer service :)

PRIOR: I simply quote another reviewers here (and have seen many experiencing the same issue): “The Sensi is off-line at least 50% of the time. When I check it with the app, it will say the thermostat is off-line. If I check again in a few minutes, it may (or may not) be back on line. It may not be back on-line for a da or more. When it is on line I feel that I have to quickly make any adjustments before it goes back off-line. The issue is not the home Wi-Fi, but with the Emerson server. This if totally useless as a Wi-Fi thermostat and I am replacing it with a Honeywell Wi-Fi. If I could return it I would.“ I’m super tech savvy and I’m 100% certain it’s a Sensi issue. No problem for about 6 months, then it’s been hoping online off and on for months.
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on October 5, 2017
Bought this thermostat and waited for a professional to install cost us another 65 dollars but thought it was worth it. The furnace was acting up so, called a repairman to come and service the heater, another 75.00. Turns out this item HAS to have a C wire connected or the battery runs down and your connection to the internet is lost constantly. Also was told by the company that you have to have a 2.5 internet and not a 5.0 internet (whatever that means) or you will keep losing your internet connection. This has been the biggest pain and wish I would have never bought this thermostat. As I write this we are still struggling with this thing.
Update: Good customer service did some wire pulling and turns out we may have a faulty thermostat and they are sending a new one. Still very frustrating
6 months later
Still having troubles. Won't connect to the internet and won't kick the heater on at the correct temperature.
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on January 11, 2018
A big disappointment. I bought 4 before I realized what a mistake that was.

- Emerson isn't enhancing this product. I've been accustomed to cloud-based smart home devices being continually improved by the manufacturer. I get the sense that Emerson treats this as a traditional product that once shipped, is "done". I've submitted a number of product feature requests over the past few years, and zero of them have been implemented (and I'm not aware of any material functionality improvements).

- The thermostat uses Legacy Power Save Polling (an old implementation of battery-saving technology), even when running on wired power. Because of this, it's incompatible with a number of WiFi routers. It would be trivial for them to disable power saving when the device isn't running on batteries, but they don't care.

- Emerson has a subscription requirement to use their multi-thermostat management application. Why the heck should I pay a subscription to manage the hardware that I've already purchased?

- Their system does a bad job ensuring that the most recent command is the one that sticks. If you try to turn on the furnace from app, get tired of waiting for it to take effect, and turn the furnace on from the thermostat, the system can end up in a strange state once the request from the app finally hits.

- The app is clunky to navigate if you have more than one thermostat.

Does it control my HVAC system? Yes. Did I expect more for a product at this price point? Absolutely. Look at alternatives, and definitely verify that your WiFi router supports the necessary features to reliably connect to this device.
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on January 14, 2018
This device can be the most fantastic and the most TERRIBLE and FRUSTRATING device all at the same time ever devised. The wifi connection timeout on it is amazingly low, so when you get connected to it, the signal has already shut off and the connection drops. No where in the settings is there a way to set the WiFi to stay on longer. I get connected, the second I enter the password the connection drops off and the provisioning fails. When I first got the device it connected without issue. Now, this thing has me ready to toss it in the trash and get a bluetooth compatible thermostat. This is ridiculously poor software design and they should be ashamed to release it in this fashion.

The android app for the connecting is well designed and easy to implement a schedule. The hardware itself is rather resilient and has a pleasing aesthetic to it. Beyond that, the software powering the device, is the worst thought out collection of garbage I have yet had the "pleasure" of partaking in. I would NEVER advise anyone to purchase such a devise and it makes me question any such device from Emerson.
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on January 11, 2018
I tried calling the number listed (1-888-605-7131) in the warranty leaflet, but I've been on hold for just about an hour now, and my place in the queue fluctuates up and down anywhere between 2 and 7 callers ahead of me. Being on hold for that long is bad enough, but I've never seen anything like this before.

I was trying to speak with someone about my Thermostat which I purchased last February (11-months ago). Everything was working fine until last week when it just burned out. I had noticed the heat wasn't shutting off, so I checked the thermostat and found it to be extremely hot to the touch. The temperature was set to 68-degrees, and the room interior registered 71-degrees. The heat would not shut off until I disconnected the thermostat. I was nervous that the unit was really hot, so I took the batteries out. I tested the batteries and they still had a full charge. After it had some time to cool down, I put the batteries back in the unit and the screen would not turn back on. I tried other batteries and it was still unresponsive. On a few short occasions, I did notice some of the LCD icons barely light up, but that was short-lived. I then installed my prior programmable thermostat, and now my heat works just fine.

As I wrap this up, I'm showing my hold time has now been an hour and eleven minutes, and I've now been pushed back to number 13 in the queue. I have a sneaking suspicion that hell will freeze over before someone answers your phones. Hopefully your email response is quicker and taken more seriously. In the attached, I've included a copy of my receipt. Please let me know how to proceed with my warranty claim.
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on December 14, 2016
Sensi Smart Thermostat, Wi-Fi, UP500W, Works with Amazon Alexa

This was perfect for my fairly unique needs. I have a shop in part of my barn that is heated with a propane wall furnace. It's heat only and it's a millivolt system. There is no common wire used so at face value, this thermostat would have problems. In fact, on the initial installation it seemed to set up just fine and then overnight it stopped working. A quick visit to the manufacturers website helped me conclude that even though the thermostat "technically" didn't need power from a common wire, most problems (wifi shutting off, thermostat not shutting furnace off, etc.) on a setup like mine were attributable to not having or using a common wire connection.

The solution was simple. I ordered a 24 volt transformer from here...this one...

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00872WOR0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

...and plugged it into a nearby outlet. I followed the wiring directions from the manufacturers website for a millivolt system....here...

[...]
...and all was well. I re-configured the wifi and it's been great ever since. If you need a millivolt thermostat for your system, what I did will work just fine.

The thermostat itself has all the features I need. The app works fine. Integration with Alexa (Amazon Echo) exists but the commands are quite limited. For example, I cannot ask Alexa to turn the heat on or off....I have to do that from the app or directly on the thermostat. I also cannot ask Alexa what the current temperature is or what the thermostat is set for. Again, only on the app or the thermostat itself. I can ask Alexa to set the device if it's already on or raise / lower heat. I wish the integration was better but what does exist works fine.

I'm considering buying two more for the house (2 boilers) and now that I got this one working I'm confident I'll be happy with more.
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on December 31, 2016
I really like this thermostat. It has just the features I was looking for without a bunch of learning functions and stuff. I live in a pretty temperate climate and only need heat and cooling a few months out of the year. This allows me to be lazy and adjust settings from the comfort of my bed or couch as well as turn it on or off remotely from my phone (like on the way home from somewhere). It's also a nice feature to adjust the schedule from phone, PC or tablet with a visual menu system rather than punch a bunch of button sequences on a keypad while standing in the hallway. I have had zero problems with the app or wireless flaking out.
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