Hive is just not as well-known as Nest, Ecobee or Honeywell within the North American sensible house market, however the UK model (owned by energy-giant, Centrica) is constructing a powerful international presence.
Final yr we had the possibility to evaluation the compact, cute, cuboid Hive View. It was a trendy sensible digital camera that impressed. Whereas it lacked the third-party integrations obtainable from rivals, we swooned over its glossy strains, crafted with care by design-guru Yves Berhar.
The $170 Hive Lively Thermostat can also be born of a collaboration between Hive and Berhar’s industrial design studio, fuseproject. It helps straightforward set up and management from smartphone, pill and laptop computer. Nevertheless, the Hive Lively Thermostat fails to again its flashy design with options.
The Hive Lively Thermostat debuted within the UK again in 2015, and arrived in North America in 2017. Since launch, the has obtained a slight design refresh, swapping the round buttons on the decrease face for touch-sensitive equivalents. In that point, nonetheless, the options widespread in sensible thermostats have modified. That’s courtesy of Ecobee. Its newest mannequin, the Ecobee SmartThermostat, consists of distant room sensors, full Amazon Alexa sensible speaker integration, music and podcast streaming, voice calling and extra.
A sensible thermostat that merely manages house consolation not has a lot to brag about.
The sq., mirror-fronted Hive Lively Thermostat is across the similar dimension because the Ecobee SmartThermostat, and although it lacks some options of that gadget, it’s arguably prettier (though we nonetheless assume that the Nest Studying Thermostat beats everybody on seems to be). The entrance face is clear, apart from a central management knob. Two giant, flush-mounted buttons on the highest of the thermostat allow you to override thermostat settings with a fast blast of cool or heated air.
Scorching seems to be, however the place are the cool equipment?
Whereas we love the look of the Hive Lively Thermostat, we have been dissatisfied by the detachable, flimsy plastic body that surrounds the gadget. An accompanying vary of twelve interchangeable frames has been developed as equipment, in a riot of colours to match your private home decor. It’s an excellent idea and an necessary ingredient within the thermostat’s design.
Terry Walsh/Digital Traits
Right here’s the catch. Whereas these frames can be found to buy within the UK, you received’t discover them in North America. We checked, and Hive doesn’t promote them right here. You’ll must hunt them down by means of third events. Additionally unavailable on this aspect of the pond is a useful thermostat stand that permits you to place the controller on a desktop or shelf as a substitute of a wall.
The choice to not ship equipment to North America is perplexing.
Given the funding Hive has made in using one of many world’s premier industrial design corporations to craft their thermostat, the choice to not ship equipment to North America is perplexing. The corporate says they’ll rethink if there’s client demand.
The remaining components of the thermostat’s design are like its friends. An nameless backplate, with built-in stage and spring-loaded wiring connectors, screws to your wall. A big, rectangular cowl plate hides mounting holes out of your previous thermostat or undecorated components of the wall. The thermostat clips neatly into the backplate, as soon as screwed to the wall. We discovered set up to be straightforward, with Hive’s accompanying set up information offering clear steps to take away our previous gadget.
Put together to hook-up one other hub
Not like most of its friends, the Hive Lively Thermostat should be related to a standalone community hub (wired to your router) to allow distant management. It communicates utilizing the Zigbee sensible house protocol as a substitute of Wi-Fi. Whereas we’ve encountered these hubs for house safety or sensible lighting programs (like Philips Hue), most sensible thermostats join on to your router over Wi-Fi, providing seamless distant entry with out extra muddle.
Terry Walsh/Digital Traits
In case you’re going all-in on Hive’s Sensible House equipment, which now consists of an array of lighting, energy and safety merchandise speaking over a number of protocols, a community bridge is comprehensible. However it’s an inconvenience in case you’re merely on the lookout for a good-value, sensible thermostat with distant management.
The Hive Lively Thermostat should be related to a standalone community hub for distant management.
Fortunately, the thermostat discovers and pairs with the Hive Hub robotically as soon as the latter has been hooked as much as your router. You’ll be guided by means of some easy questions on your heating system to assist configuration, after which you’re free to discover your heating schedule and settings.
Fairly show lacks practicality
We discovered the touchscreen show to be responsive, and the addition of the central management knob actually makes settings choice straightforward. Nevertheless, the selection of a mirrored end elevates kind over perform.
Terry Walsh/Digital Traits
At shut vary, the colour show is vivid and clear, however the management knob reduces display screen actual property, so the show characters are small. At distance (even a number of ft away), it’s close to unimaginable to learn the temperature. We discovered ourselves repeatedly strolling over to the thermostat and tapping the display screen to test the temperature. The gadget has a proximity sensor, however we needed to get shut earlier than the show turned on.
Like every mirror in your house that you just care to faucet repeatedly, we discovered the Hive show rapidly grew to become obscured by smudges and greasy fingerprints. Make sure to have that microfiber material useful. It’s a disgrace – the Hive Lively Thermostat design seems to be nice within the field (in addition to in press images) however within the house, it’s far much less sensible than Nest and Ecobee.
Straightforward app, browser and voice management
Smartphone app management (or desktop, through an online browser) softens that blow. The Hive app is used to handle the corporate’s full vary of sensible house gadgets and we discovered it a pleasure to make use of. Faucet to alter modes (Warmth, Cool, Twin or Off), swipe up or down to alter temperature – straightforward. It’s responsive, too, with instructions pushed to the thermostat inside a second. Schedules are straightforward to create and regulate. We significantly preferred the flexibility to repeat someday’s configuration all through the week.
Having began life with its debut thermostat again in 2013, Hive now boasts an array of sensible house equipment, incorporating energy administration (through Hive Lively Plug) alongside entry sensors, indoor, and out of doors safety cameras. These gadgets are will built-in by means of Actions, obtainable from inside the smartphone and net apps. A spread of pre-set integrations be configured in just some faucets. Or, you possibly can select to spin up your individual – when you have the mandatory Hive . Extra adventurous customers can try an extended listing of recipes at IFTTT for third-party connectivity, whereas full integration with each Amazon Alexa and Google House makes voice management the simplest strategy to handle house temperatures.
The Hive Lively Thermostat is supported by a 1-year guarantee.
The Hive Lively Thermostat is a trendy, sensible gadget that’s easy to put in and presents a flexible array of pleasant administration choices, together with smartphone, voice and net app, whereas a responsive touchscreen and bodily buttons add handy native management. However, 4 years since its debut, the thermostat is overdue for a refresh. No assist for distant room sensors means it lags Nest and Ecobee on complete house consolation, whereas the reliance on a clunky standalone community hub for distant management lacks grace.
It’s actually inexpensive than the brand new Ecobee SmartThermostat, however we’d suggest you make investments just a little extra and obtain extra options in return.
Is there a greater different?
The Nest Studying Thermostat stays a well-liked selection, however our advice can be the Ecobee SmartThermostat. At $249, it’s just a little dearer than the Hive Lively Thermostat however doesn’t want a community hub and has a slew of sensible options over and above easy HVAC management.
How lengthy will it final?
Owned by one of many world’s largest power firms, Centrica, you shouldn’t have any considerations about Hive’s longevity or buyer assist. The gadget does have a number of bodily controls which will put on over time, however we don’t foresee any points.
Must you purchase it?
No. The Hive Lively Thermostat could also be cheaper than its friends, however 4 years after its design debut, we expect it’s due a refresh. Hive’s resolution to not assist the North American gadget with equipment obtainable elsewhere could recommend one’s coming down the road.