Hands-on review: Switchbot wireless hygrometer thermometer
Image credit: Switchbot
Some like it hot. Switchbot's smart wireless thermometer likes it whatever the conditions.
If there's one universal topic of conversation for every corner of the world, it's the weather. The climatic conditions. It's too hot, it's too cold, what's the humidity like? The more informed we are, the happier and more comfortable we can be. Knowledge is power.
Of course, there are also specific situations where monitoring and maintaining a controlled temperature is critical, from keeping tropical pets and hothousing exotic plants to optimally storing cigars in humidors and precious vintage guitars in their cases.
For all these uses and more, the Switchbot wireless hygrometer thermometer could be your well-informed temperature-monitoring friend.
Designed for both indoor and outdoor use, and with an IP65 rating to enable it to withstand airborne moisture (e.g. fine in the rain; not happy at being submerged), the Switchbot thermometer monitors the daily temperature, humidity, absolute humidity, dew point and vapour pressure deficit.
You may be thinking that a lot of this information – and more – is already in our phones, with so many weather apps available that drill down in granular detail about local conditions, but these apps are still operating on a fairly abstract level, even when local region specific.
If you want, or have, to know precisely what is happening in a highly localised environment, a dedicated thermometer is really the only way to go – and the smarter, the better.
Equipped with a high-precision Swiss Sensirion sensor chip, this ensures very precise monitoring of conditions in the immediate vicinity. Neatly designed and compact (hand-sized, 60×28×20mm), it can easily be installed in any location or just as easily moved from place to place, with a lanyard attached to make hanging it from any handy hook, nail or branch a breeze.
Designed to have very low-power consumption, Switchbot estimates continuous usage of around two years before the removable batteries will need replacing. The unit will helpfully ping you a low-battery notification via the app when it's time for a fresh pair. This also helps to ensure uninterrupted monitoring, with no down time.
The sensor refreshes temperature and humidity data every four seconds, with a temperature accuracy of 0.1°C and humidity accuracy of 1 per cent.
The thermometer can also connect to the Switchbot Hub (sold separately), which brings together a number of Switchbot's smart home devices. When connected to the Hub, the thermometer can send its owner real-time push notifications in the event that any preset values are exceeded, e.g. in refrigerators, greenhouses, nurseries, pet houses, warehouses and so on. The Hub also opens up integration with the likes of Google Home, Alexa, Siri, IFTTT and SmartThings to give users control via voice command compatibility.
There's also a Switchbot app, where the user can store and export up to 68 days of data locally or up to two years in the cloud (SwitchBot Hub again required). Depending on how important keeping a long-term record of temperature variations is to you, this may or may not be important. It's certainly useful, and can provide valuable insights over time, although most people will probably be more than happy with daily updates and a couple of months' worth of locally stored data.
Data can also be exported, if required, which could prove a useful historical record to have for critical temperature-controlled environments. Saved data can be exported as a .csv file for in-depth analysis. The thermometer also supports multiple methods of data calibration, so you can finesse it to suit your preferences.
The Switchbot wireless hygrometer thermometer is a very neat solution for one's local climate-monitoring needs. Going way beyond the old mercury thermometer nailed to the greenhouse door, this unit can take your temperature monitoring and analysis to new heights. It's really cheap, too.
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