Tado released a new version of the Tado thermostat this fall, under the name Tado V3 +. A new app is also available. The new application is equipped with functions such as Climate Comfort and Auto-Assist, but you have to take out a subscription.
At IFA 2018 in Berlin Tado thermostat and its latest application presented under the name Tado V3. The new thermostat features a modern chipset and better compatibility, but the real improvements are present in the included application. The new version is able to do a number of things that the old app version cannot, but you do need a subscription for this. Such a subscription costs 2.99 euros per month. You can also take out an annual subscription of 24.99 euros.
In this review, we look at the following products:
- The third version of the Tado thermostat. This concerns the starter package worth 199.99 euros.
- The extension kit, to connect the thermostat to the boiler, with a value of 99.99 euros.
Tado V3 + smart thermostat: box content and installation
In principle, it should be possible that you can get started right away with the Tado V3 + Starter Kit (or another version of the starter package). The thermostat contains the connections for the heating system in the house. So if the wires are still coming out of your wall, chances are you can connect the thermostat directly to it. Do you use a wireless system? Then you are obliged to purchase the extension kit, because otherwise you will unfortunately not be able to use the system. So the name can be misleading.
The Tado V3 + starter kit comes with a thermostat, internet bridge, USB cable, plug, ethernet cable, mounting screws, adhesive strips, stickers to mark the cables and three AAA batteries. If you can connect the thermostat immediately, then the kit is more than complete. If you still have to purchase the extension kit separately, you will also receive all the necessities in the box, such as the correct plugs and the like. For a (recommended) price of almost three hundred euros you are completely ready for the installation.
Tado products do not come with installation instructions. A fold-out sheet of paper with general instructions is included, but in general it is best to get right behind your PC or laptop and follow the instructions there. Does everything go well in one go? Fine, then you have completed a standard installation. However, things did not go smoothly for us, because the undersigned switched from the Honeywell Lyric T6R . As a result, I needed personal instructions that were not immediately available.
In addition to contact with the press contact, we also had frequent contact with customer service for support. That was also necessary, because not everything was immediately clear. It therefore took three weeks, but eventually we received an extra plug and got someone on the line who walked us through the installation process step by step. After that it was so easy. Tado has good customer service in order. It may take a long time, but you get the right help and products – free of charge.
Installation is immediately accompanied by online registration. This is necessary, because through this online registration, the products make direct contact with the Tado servers. As a result, customer service can help you better, for example. The software – the app on mobile or Windows 10 – also knows which version to install. Since we have version V3 +, we also get the V3 + application. You don’t have to pay extra for that. However, the Tado subscription still has to be purchased separately.
Different starter packs and application versions
There are currently various starter packages and application versions, which means that the overview for users may be lost. In addition to the recently launched Tado V3 + starter kit, the Tado V3 and V2 packages also exist. These not only have a somewhat older version of the thermostat, they also do not have the new application. Because an external server checks which thermostat variant you have, fortunately you will automatically be assigned the correct app for your device by the manufacturer.
A big difference, for example, is that Tado V2 does not work with Apple Homekit , while V3 and higher does. You also have to do without Auto-Assist, for example. In addition, the Geolocation option has been stopped behind a paywall and you only get access to it if you have a subscription. As a Tado V3 owner, it is possible to upgrade to the V3 + application. The upgrade costs 19.99 euros once. You will then immediately get access to an annual subscription and the new functions.
Tado V3 + smart thermostat: design and use
The thermostat looks sleek and chic and should fit flawlessly into all kinds of different living rooms. The product has a matte white color and round corners and a button that is completely unnoticeable. When you press that button, screens light up with information, such as the temperature. You will also see two arrows below that number, with which you can manually operate the product, without an app. It’s simple and effective. However, most of the operation will be done through the application.
It is of course possible to use all kinds of smart functions without having to purchase a subscription. This way you can set a smart schedule, so that the device does its job all by itself. If you find it too cold or too warm, you can always manually adjust the temperature during the day. If you do this via the product, that temperature will be maintained until you manually change it again. The same applies when you ask the Google Assistant to change the temperature.
So that’s something you should pay attention to; do not forget to adjust it again when you go to bed, for example. Via the application for Windows 10 you can indicate that you want to change the temperature until the next moment when the smart schedule does its work. So, for example, have you set the temperature to be 20 degrees by default in the schedule and do you change that to 21? Then the temperature will be changed automatically when you have set yourself in the smart schedule.
The app for Android strangely does not offer this function. So if you change the temperature there, you must again be careful that you change the temperature itself over time. You can, however, set the new temperature to be used for a specific time. You can plan that x number of hours in advance, so that you can, for example, let it run until the next moment when the temperature had to be adjusted automatically. It takes some getting used to, especially because things like this can be simpler.
Changing the temperature is also done in a different way. You slide a block down or up, after which the temperature is changed. Then confirm the new number by tapping on the screen, after which the heating is immediately activated. Unfortunately it is not immediately visible that the heating is active; for that you have to go to another menu. Fortunately, within that screen you can see exactly at which times the heating system was activated by Tado.
Tado V3 + smart thermostat: applications and subscription
For the review, we used the Android and Windows 10 applications, which are available for free when you buy a Tado V3 + thermostat. Within the Android app you will have to deal with a clear interface where you can quickly see how hot it is. A block further is Climate Comfort. If you tap on it, you will get a picture of the fresh air in and around the house. This gives you an impression of the outdoor air quality and you can see how it is with the quality indoors (dry air, humid, etc.).
We’ve juxtaposed the air quality measurements with the Dyson Pure Cool Desk purifying fan measurements and concluded that the results are largely in agreement. The measurements of the Dyson are of course much more extensive, but as an extra function of a thermostat, the available information is more than welcome. With or without a smart assistant, for which you need the subscription, you can determine what a good time is to open a window or not, for example.
In addition, on both Android and Windows you can get a cutback report for the past month and you can therefore see what you have saved by, for example, using the geolocation (so that the thermostat can see whether someone is home or not), the smart schedule and manual operation. A handy feature, of course, one that can reinforce the company’s marketing message. Because there is a number here in black and white that shows that you have saved. But you can still question that.
Then there is the Auto-Assist, a smart system that can arrange specific things for you at home. This is only possible when you take out a subscription (or 2.99 per month, so you can also take a break now and then or 24.99 euros per year). Geofencing, among other things, is covered by the subscription. Then the thermostat itself can switch the heating on and off when you leave or come home. If you do not want a subscription, you will receive a notification with a reminder to switch off the thermostat when you leave home.
In summary: you pay 199.99 euros for the thermostat, plus possibly 99.99 euros for the extension kit, and 24.99 euros per year for the subscription. the first year you will therefore lose about 225 euros (325 euros with extension kit); a considerable investment to save energy. For hardware, that is something we can expect, because without it we cannot access device control via a smartphone or smart assistant. However, the question is whether the costs for the subscription will ultimately not cancel out the savings.
We understand that people care about the environment and that a smart thermostat can help save on your energy bill. But we also understand that people don’t want to pay too much for that; After all, the content of the wallet plays a major role in the purchase of a new product. Such a subscription does not help with the idea that you can save with a smart thermostat. This is also difficult to say in the short term, as it currently only concerns small monthly amounts.
If you do have such a subscription, it is good to know that your smart thermostat is really smart and can do its job perfectly. For example, you will receive a notification when a window is open and you can use geo-fencing without any worries. The distance to your house can also be reduced or increased, so that, for example, the distance you still have to travel in your car or when you are on your feet can be taken into account. The thermostat can also take the weather into account.
If the system detects that there is a lot of sun in a day, it may be that the decision is made to temporarily switch off the thermostat to save energy. The Auto-Assist actually packs all these functions together and can thus determine the perfect settings, based on your input of course, for your home. It will then look at the weather, your location and more to determine whether there is heating or not. It is a smart and good system for which we understand that money is being asked for – although it is a pity that geofencing is covered.
Tado V3 + smart thermostat: integrations
We just mentioned it: the Tado V3 + can be operated via the smart Google Assistant . But there is also support for Homekit from Apple and Alexa from Amazon . Alexa is not officially available in the Netherlands yet, so you cannot use Dutch commands – which is possible with Google’s Assistant. There is also support for IFTTT , which allows you to automate many processes . The functions are still somewhat limited, but general operation is quick and easy.
Tado V3 + smart thermostat: conclusion
Although the Tado V3 + works best with an annual subscription, there is enough without a subscription to justify the price. In terms of basic functions, the thermostat does not go beyond the competition (the smart controls are the same everywhere), but the Climate Comfort function takes the experience to a higher level by providing insight into the use of the thermostat and the current state of your home (and beyond). The energy report can also be useful, although these are more indications than hard figures.
A subscription can of course provide additional income for the company, which will mainly be generated by people who do not know in advance exactly what is or is not covered by the subscription. And then close one because they already have the product hanging anyway. We can imagine that subscribing to a thermostat can be a high threshold, not least because Tado has included previously available features for free in that subscription.
However, the question is whether this is something people are willing to pay for and whether it will not cost Tado more than it yields in the longer term. Consumers are now expected to pay for the savings. In the field of hardware, we can still make a living there, because that is how it works when you buy a smart product. However, a subscription is a digital product, which means that it can be considered differently. Apart from this idea, the features of the subscription are useful and quite extensive.
Without a subscription, you get a smart thermostat that is on the same level as the competition in terms of experience, but with somewhat cumbersome controls and an extra (handy) function. Fortunately, the design of the product is very sleek and chic. That is also allowed, because of course it hangs in the living room. The app is also clear, but not always easy to use. All in all, the Tado V3 + is not a bad product, but we think it is a great pity that so many functions are included in the subscription.
- Auto-Assist is a smart assistant
- Climate comfort
- Sleek and chic design
- Clear application
- Geofencing is covered by a subscription
- Extension kit must be purchased separately
- Subscription in addition to hardware costs
- Time-consuming operation