Honeywell Smart Thermostat Reviews – Round and T5+

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Wi-Fi thermostats, like the Honeywell Smart Thermostats, were initially used by people who wanted to be updated if their furnaces stopped working when they were traveling. Now, they’re becoming standard for people with busy schedules. They connect to your home’s Wi-Fi service and let you adjust the temperature from an app.

They’re ideal for saving energy without having to fiddle with complicated programming, which is perfect when you’re traveling, at work, or just running errands.

Our Verdict

If you need a basic smart thermostat, the Honeywell T5+ might be all you need. It looks decent, is easy to use and can be controlled with an app.

However, we really prefer the Honeywell Round 2.0 if we had to choose between the two. It looks a little cleaner and has a few more features for only a slightly higher price point. In our opinion, one of the major benefits of a smart thermostat is its ability to learn your routine and automatically adjust accordingly. Although this takes some time with the 2nd generation Round, it’s worth it. You may not have to touch the controls once you’ve used it for a while.

Both thermostats are compatible with a variety of major smart home systems and are controlled via the Honeywell Home app. They also use geofencing to detect when you’re getting close to home so that it can adjust its settings accordingly.

Honeywell Round Smart Thermostat (left) and Honeywell T5+ Smart Thermostat (right)

The image above shows the Honeywell Round Smart Thermostat at left and the Honeywell T5+ Smart Thermostat at right.

Description

Both of the Honeywell Smart Thermostats that we’ve reviewed here can be controlled with the touch of a button using the Honeywell Home app on your smartphone or your voice and an integrated smart home system, such as Alexa and Apple HomeKit.

You can also let them learn your schedule and adjust themselves automatically. To do this, Honeywell uses different technology than some other smart thermostats, such as the Nest. It relies on geofencing to determine the location of your phone and switches to Away mode when you’re outside of a certain radius. When you’re on your way home, the thermostat will set to the ideal temperature so that you’re comfortable when you walk in the door.

These Honeywell thermostats connect to the internet using 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, they do not connect using the less congested 5 GHz band. However, most other smart thermostats have this same problem. For the most part, we don’t expect this to be a problem for most people.

Both thermostats also give you alerts, such as when you should change your air filters or if the temperature inside your home reaches a certain extreme.

Honeywell Round Smart Thermostat – Second Generation

What used to be sold as the Honeywell Lyric Round 2.0 Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat is now referenced simply as the Honeywell Round Smart Thermostat.

The sleek, round display unit is 3.75 inches in diameter and 0.75 inches deep. Press the cloud icon on the left side of the screen for an at-a-glance weather outlook that helps you plan your day before you head out the door. Press the home icon to activate the home/away settings, which you program using the app. Turn the outer ring to change the temperature if you’re doing so manually.

While the functions on the thermostat itself are fairly simple, you can access more complex data using your smartphone. This product has easy-to-understand features, like a colorful halo that indicates whether the unit is cooling or heating, a “feels like” temperature that takes humidity into account and a motion sensor.

Included in the box is the thermostat, a wall mount plate with screws, an optional cover plate for large holes, and a quick start guide.

Honeywell T5+ Smart Thermostat

The Honeywell T5+ Smart Thermostat has a 4-inch square screen that’s also user-friendly but perhaps a little less sleek and contemporary than the 2.0. The T5+ offers more touch-screen options than the Round 2.0 because the temperature is controlled via touchscreen instead of manual rotation of the unit.

This thermostat doesn’t have a motion sensor to “wake it up” as you approach it. On the other hand, you won’t have to deal with a glowing light that stays on for a while when you walk around at night.

While the Round 2.0 takes outside and inside temperature into account when providing the “feels like” temperature, the T5+ does not. However, it can be set to automatically regulate whether the thermostat should be in heating or cooling mode. It also doesn’t learn your preferences as you use it and automate them to reduce your need to control it via the app.

The package includes the thermostat, a mounting bracket and screws, and a quick start guide. In addition, the T5+ includes an adapter kit in case you don’t have a C-wire in your system.

Features Comparison

The table below provides a comparison of the top two Honeywell Smart Thermostats. We’ll discuss the features in more detail after the table.

Honeywell Round Smart Thermostat
Honeywell T5+ Smart Thermostat
Size
3.75″ dia. x 0.75″ thick
Size
4.0625″ x 4.0625″ x 1.0625″
Common Wire
May not be required
Required for HomeKit
Common Wire
Required
or use included adapter kit
Learning
Yes
Learning
No
Voice Control
Yes, with connected voice assistants
Voice Control
Yes, with connected voice assistants
Remote Sensors
None
Remote Sensors
None
Multi-Zone
Yes
Multi-Zone
Yes
Auto Home/Away
Yes
Auto Home/Away
Yes
ENERGY STAR Certified
Yes
ENERGY STAR Certified
No
Color
White
Color
Black
MSRP (Nov 2018)
$199
MSRP (Nov 2018)
$149

Common Wire Requirements

One of the main concerns that many homeowners have is how to install their new thermostat. Honeywell makes it easy by providing a manual, and you can always choose to have your product professionally installed.

Most thermostats are designed to require a constant flow of power. This usually comes from a common wire, or C-wire, as we explain here. This wire tends to be blue or black, or it might be labeled with the letter “C.”

If your home doesn’t have a C-wire, you can may be able to use the Honeywell Round thermostat. It includes a battery and draws power from the existing wires when the AC and heat are running. It cycles the power on if the battery starts to run low. Sometimes this causes problems with the electronics in your boiler or furnace, but many systems run without an issue. You will have to install a common wire or an adapter kit if you start to experience problems after installing the Round without a common wire.

The T5+ thermostat does not have a battery so it requires a common wire to function. Fortunately, T5+ comes with a C-Wire Power Adapter that you can use if you don’t have a common wire. You still need to have a G-wire and a Y-wire to use the power adapter. Otherwise, you’ll need to use another option for your C-wire.

Works With: Compatible Smart Home Products

Both thermostats are compatible with popular voice assistants, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, and Apple Siri. None of these services is built into the units so you’ll need to purchase additional hardware or use your smartphone for voice control.

You can also link either thermostat to many home automation hubs, including Google Home, Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings Hub, and Wink. You can also use software hubs or integrators like Stringify, Yonomi, and IFTTT.

Works with Honeywell Logo

While it is not as common as some of the other “works with” logos, you can keep an eye out for the Works With Honeywell logo, which you can see here. This logo indicates that the device you are considering is compatible with Honeywell smart home products, including their Wi-Fi thermostats.

In-Unit Sensors

The Round 2.0 has humidity and motion sensors in addition to the temperature sensors. The device has a feature called Intelligent Comfort Control that factors in humidity when considering adjustments to the temperature. This will make sure your 70-degree set point really feels like 70-degrees. It features an automatic changeover that selects heating or cooling depending on the temperature of your house.

The motion sensor brightens the lights on the unit when it detects movement, which makes it easy for you to find and adjust the thermostat manually in the dark. However, if you’re using the app to control the thermostat, you might not find this feature useful. It comes in handy as a night light, though.

The T5+ only features a temperature sensor. It automatically detects whether to turn on the heat or the AC based on the indoor temperature, but it doesn’t take humidity into account or light up when you approach it.

Remote Sensors

Remote sensors allow you to gauge the temperature of more than one room instead of just at the location of the thermostat. Neither of these thermostats feature this capability and Honeywell doesn’t sell remote sensors.

Multi-Zone And Multi-Home

The app allows you to add and control multiple thermostats for one device. That means that you can use these thermostats in multiple homes or different zones in a larger building. For instance, your home heating equipment may have different zones for upstairs and downstairs. You will need two thermostats, one to replace the thermostat in each zone.

Automatic Home/Away

You program the app to temperature set points that are used when you are home and a different set from when you are away. Then, you press the home icon on the thermostat to manually set the unit to Home or Away. You can also turn this on or off in the app if you forget to do it when you leave the house.

One of the more convenient features of these thermostats is that is uses geofencing to determine when your mobile device is within a certain radius of the thermostat. Then, it automatically adjusts to your preferred settings. You can adjust the range, which means that you can set the thermostat to change to “home” when you’re 10 miles out, giving your house time to warm up or cool down before you set foot inside. Note: you have to set this up as a shortcut in the app in order for it to work.

This is great for saving energy when you’re not home, and you don’t have to think about programming these settings ahead of time based on your schedule. If you prefer, you can create a seven-day pre-programmed schedule, which will be overridden when you change to Away mode.

When you’re relying on the automated home/away technology, you should know that there are some downfalls to geofencing. Because it works through the app, it relies on Honeywell’s servers as well as your Wi-Fi signal to accurately detect when you’re around. The reliability of geofencing seems to be users’ top complaint about the way that these thermostats function.

In short, it can be glitchy. You might have to get in the habit of checking up on your device by using the app or checking the temperature on the wall to make sure that it actually changes. This makes its automatic home/away feature slightly negligible.

IFTTT – If This, Then That

IFTTT is a free way to connect all of your apps and devices. If you use the Honeywell Home app for more than one device, this could be extremely helpful. It even works with just the thermostats.

For example, IFTTT lets you set the AC to 72 when the outdoor temperature reaches 80 degrees. Of course, this is essentially the same technology that the app uses to set shortcuts and rules. However, you might be able to do a little more with IFTTT, such as integrate your digital calendar with the thermostat to set it to a certain temperature when you’re traveling. This can help you add additional rules to circumvent the problematic geofencing.

Honeywell’s official IFTTT page identifies itself as Total Connect Comfort, but it should still work with either smart thermostat that we have been discussing.

Energy Use Reporting

The Honeywell 2.0 and T5 are not set up to automatically report on energy use. However, they may be compatible with demand response, a system that some local energy companies use to remotely control consumers’ thermostats during periods of heavy usage to avoid brownouts and blackouts.

The lack of an energy reporting feature is a major drawback of the Honeywell thermostats. Part of the reason you install a smart thermostat is to track your energy use and save money on utility bills. It would be nice for Honeywell to develop that technology.

ENERGY STAR Rating

The Honeywell Round 2.0 Smart Thermostat is ENERGY STAR Certified. The Honeywell T5 Plus is not.

ENERGY STAR is a US EPA program that helps consumers identify energy efficient products. You can learn more about thermostat requirements at the ENERGY STAR website.

Setup And Control

These Honeywell thermostats are compatible with 24-volt systems such as forced air, hydronic, heat pump, oil, gas and electric. They can’t be used with 120/240-volt electric baseboard heating systems.

The thermostats come with a detailed guide for installation. Make sure that you turn off the power at the circuit breaker before removing the old thermostat and installing the new one. Keeping track of which wires go where as you’re dismantling the old thermostat can also help you determine where they attach to the new one. We recommend taking a photo of the wire connections before you remove your old thermostat.
The Honeywell Round 2.0 Smart Thermostat comes with an optional wall cover. You may need this to conceal the potentially larger opening behind your previous thermostat.

As you’re mounting the thermostat, download the Honeywell Home app on your mobile device. The app will show you how the wires should connect. Once you have successfully installed the thermostat, you can turn the power back on and configure the unit using the app.

You can also use the on-screen menus on the thermostat to finish setting it up. However, it may be easier and more comprehensive through the app. Setup directly on the Round 2.0 thermostat requires you to spin the dial and press the unit like a huge button, which can be cumbersome.

The first step in the setup process involves designating the type of heating and cooling system that you have. If you have questions during this step, you might want to consult with an HVAC technician.

The thermostat initially sets up a temporary network to which you connect your mobile device. After you’ve done that, you’ll need your home’s Wi-Fi network name and password to finish the setup. From there, you are guided through the rest of the process.

Of course, you can hire an HVAC technician if you are not comfortable installing the thermostat. Honeywell maintains a list of professional installers in your area.

The Honeywell Home App

The Honeywell Home app, which used to be called the Honeywell Lyric app, allows you to control all of your Honeywell thermostats. You can download it on Google Play Store and the iOS App Store. Please note that the app is developed by Resideo Technologies, the parent company for Honeywell smart home products.

The app controls a all of Honeywell’s smart home products, but we’ll focus on the thermostat settings.

Honeywell Home App - Dashboard, Thermostat Control, Schedule, Geofence, Users

The app’s main dashboard lets you see all of the devices that it controls at one glance. This is useful if you have multiple thermostats or other Honeywell smart products, such as security cameras or a water leak detector. You can also quickly adjust the temperature from the home screen by tapping the up and down arrows.

After you download the app, create an account, and log in, you can add the thermostats that you own. Each one is loaded with preconfigured settings, and the app will walk you through customizing those settings as needed, including programming your comfort for the upcoming week.

Various family members can download the app on their own mobile devices. Each one must have a distinct login, but they can add the same thermostat to their apps. Doing this prevents the thermostat from switching to away mode when one person leaves the house while another stays. It also allows users to control the device individually.

The company claims that the newest version of the app has an improved geofence, which may improve the usability of the automatic home/away features. It has better accuracy when it comes to location awareness, but it could still have issues if you have a weak signal.

The icons across the bottom of your thermostat screen allow you to change from heating to cooling mode, control the fan, and adjust the programmed schedule. The settings icon (a gear) in the upper right corner allows you to control more detailed settings of the thermostat.

Pros And Cons

These thermostats are easy to use for the first-time smart-thermostat user. They’re easy to set up, and they offer just enough control to get you started. The Honeywell Round 2.0 is only about $50 more expensive than the T5+, and you get the additional learning capabilities when you use that version. Plus, it features a more streamlined design and motion sensor.

The main complaint about the thermostats is the geofencing reliability, Honeywell claims that it has improved that technology so that it is more accurate and prevents you from having to manually adjust the home and away settings when you come and go.

  Honeywell Thermostat Pros
  • Sleek, streamlined look
  • Easy setup
  • User-friendly app
  • Geofencing automates home/away settings
  • Round 2.0 offers local weather and humidity data

Although these thermostats are competitive with other similarly priced products, they do have some flaws that may or may not affect you. This is what we don’t like:

  Honeywell Thermostat Flaws
  • No energy usage tracking or reporting data
  • Geofencing may be spotty, especially if you have a poor cell or Wi-Fi signal
  • Weak Wi-Fi signals can cause connectivity issues

Rebates

Your utility company may offer you a rebate for purchasing a smart thermostat. That’s because these thermostats save energy. To find out if your local power company offers a rebate in your area, head to the Honeywell Rebates page and enter your zip code.

Other Honeywell Smart Home Products

We consider the Round 2.0 and T5+ to be the best Wi-Fi smart thermostat options from Honeywell. However, they also have a few other smart thermostats that you may want to consider.

In addition to thermostats, Honeywell offers other home automation products, many of which work with the Honeywell Home app. These include:

  • 7-day solar programmable timer switch
  • Wi-Fi security camera
  • Smart home security base station
  • Indoor and outdoor motion viewers
  • Window/door access sensor

You can find all of these products at the Honeywell Home website.

Security And Privacy

Smart home thermostats and other products are convenient, but are they safe to use? According to Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration NEWS, Honeywell places utmost importance on the privacy and security of its smart home systems. Its products communicate only with specific Honeywell servers.

The organization protects the safety of customer data, encrypting any communication that happens between the thermostat and the cloud. When you use the thermostat, you transfer only information about temperature and mode. No personal or location information is shared.

Honeywell did experience a breach in 2015 on its Tuxedo Touch system, but there are no reports of security issues with the current products or app.

About The Manufacturer

Honeywell has been a leading thermostat manufacturer since the advent of its first round thermostat in 1953. By 1957, the organization was working on alarm and fire detection systems for large commercial buildings. Honeywell has also been involved in creating avionics systems.

Honeywell offered its first smart home system, the Total Connect Comfort, in 2010. Although the company has offered internet-connected security systems, this was the first time that it made a Wi-Fi thermostat.

The company’s headquarters are in Morris Plains, NJ. It employs more than 131,000 people across the globe, with more than 1,000 sites in 70 countries. In 2018, the company branched off, with Resideo Technologies, Inc. becoming the standalone face of Honeywell’s Homes and ADI Global Distribution businesses. Resideo expects to become a leader in the smart home industry.

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