Tado Smart Thermostat (second generation) Review
A smart thermostat that’s not quite as clever as it thinks it is.
The latest smart thermostat from the German company Tado aims to make your home heating system easier to control by tying it to your iOS, Android or Windows Phone device. This is Tado’s second-generation model, and unlike the first, it has a display as well as a pair of up and down buttons, so you can adjust the temperature without using your mobile device.
Also new to this latest model is an extension kit. This costs £80 extra and lets you connect the Tado to a wider choice of boilers. You’ll need this kit if you are replacing a wireless thermostat or you want to control your hot water as well as your heating.
As we were already using a wired thermostat (connected to our boiler) in our test home, installation was a simple case of replacing this old thermostat with the Tado. It’s a fairly straightforward DIY job, but if you’re less confident of your abilities you can pay £50 to get an engineer to install it for you; we recommend this if you’re also planning to install the extension kit because this can be tricky.
Included with the Tado is the “bridge”, which is a device that plugs into your router. This provides a wireless connection between your Tado Smart Thermostat and the internet. If your router is some distance from the Smart Thermostat, you can use the extension kit to extend the wireless range of your bridge.
Once the Tado is installed and running, you adjust the thermostat using the mobile app (you can also use a web app on your laptop or PC). You can set minimum night-time and daytime temperatures (see screenshot above right), but the idea is that Tado will automatically set the temperature itself once it learns
Requires iOS. Android or Windows Phone device
• Bridge device requires Ethernet connection to your router
• 104x104x19mm (HxWxD)
• 132g your behaviour and preferences.
That’s the theory, anyway. In practice, we found it needed constant readjustment (using the app or buttons) to get the temperature just right. It did eventually get the message after a few months, but it wasn’t nearly as seamless and perceptive as Nest’s smart thermostat (see our review, Issue 430), which nailed our routine after a few weeks and set the temperature exactly as we liked it.
One clever feature that did work well was the proximity detector. This uses the app and the GPS on your smartphone to detect whether you’re at home or not. When you’re away, the heating is automatically turned down to five degrees centigrade. It then comes back on when you get nearer to home.
The Tado Smart Thermostat is by no means a poor product, and its clever proximity detector is especially useful, but you’ll find a similar feature on the Nest Thermostat. Moreover, Nest is better at learning your habits in order to automatically adjust the temperature, and it doesn’t need a clunky bridge to connect to the internet. For now it remains our favourite smart thermostat.
Not a bad smart thermostat but it’s outsmarted by the competition
Heatmiser Neo (without installation)
Smartphone-controlled thermostat that also controls hot water and has clever seasonal features, but lacks learning capabilities
Nest Thermostat (without installation)
A sleek and easy-to-use smart thermostat with lots of useful features.