Review: Elgato Eve Degree HomeKit Temperature & Humidity Monitor | iLounge

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Review: Elgato Eve Degree HomeKit Temperature & Humidity Monitor

A-
Highly Recommended

Company: Elgato

Model: Eve Degree

Price: $70

Compatibility: iOS 10.3 or later

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Jesse Hollington

Elgato was one of the first companies out of the gate with a lineup of sensors for the HomeKit ecosystem back in 2015; the company's Eve Weather and Eve Room sensors are still significant parts of our own HomeKit system, and have become even more useful as Apple has improved the automation capabilities of HomeKit. While Elgato has diversified into other Bluetooth HomeKit accessories such as light switches and outlets, the company returns to its roots with Eve Degree, essentially a redesigned and more elegant version of Eve Weather that not only reports temperature, humidity, and air pressure data to HomeKit, but provides an LCD display for viewing this information, and looks good while doing it.

The first thing we noticed about Eve Degree is that it’s significantly smaller than we expected. While Eve Weather certainly wasn’t huge, Elgato has managed to shrink the size down of Eve Degree to about a quarter of that of its predecessor — 2.1” on each side and 0.6” deep — while still fitting an LCD display inside. This is probably also helped somewhat by the switch from AA batteries to a CR2450 coin battery, which Elgato promises offers about a year of battery life.

There’s not much to the Eve Degree hardware; the face is dominated by a non-backlit LCD display surrounded on the sides by an anodized aluminum frame. On the rear you’ll find the battery cover, a button for switching modes or resetting the device, and a hole for mounting Eve Degree on a wall or other surface. Eve Degree also has the same IPX3 waterproof rating as Eve Weather, so you can mount it outside. The HomeKit pairing code is located on a sticker on the bottom edge, as well as in the accompanying quick start guide; the sticker can be easily peeled off once you’ve paired the device with HomeKit.

Eve Degree works right out of the box as a simple digital thermometer/hygrometer thanks to the integrated LCD display; even without pairing it with HomeKit, the button on the back will toggle between displaying temperature in celsius, temperature in fahrenheit, and relative humidity. The device however also becomes immediately discoverable over Bluetooth for the usual HomeKit pairing process. While this can be accomplished through Apple’s iOS 10 Home app or any other third-party HomeKit app, this is a situation where it’s really best to use Elgato’s own Eve app as it provides the ability to set the elevation for accurate air pressure measurements — this can be dialed in manually or set automatically based on your current location.

As a HomeKit device, Eve Degree works in exactly the same manner as Eve Weather, providing temperature and humidity information that can be viewed in Apple’s Home app or many third-party HomeKit apps, queried via Siri, or used as conditions or triggers in automation rules (so you could, for instance, adjust a HomeKit thermostat or turn on a fan outlet based on temperature). Unfortunately, HomeKit still leaves out support for air pressure data, so as with Eve Weather you’ll still need to go into the Eve app to see this information. That said, you’ll probably want to use Elgato’s Eve app anyway, as it also provides the ability to track environmental conditions over time in visual graphs by hour, day, week, or month, compare data from different time periods, and even export data so you can pull it into a spreadsheet or use it elsewhere.

It’s worth noting that as with all of Elgato’s other Eve devices, Eve Degree uses a Bluetooth Low Energy connection, rather than Wi-Fi. This has the advantage of allowing it to be battery-operated, but it does come with some range limitations. That said, Bluetooth LE generally has a much longer range than traditional Bluetooth speakers or headsets, and we couldn’t find anywhere in our medium-sized house or even our back deck where Eve Degree couldn’t reach the Apple TV home hub in our living room; on the other hand, if you’re looking to use it farther out in your back yard, or you have a larger house, you may want to wait until some of the recently announced HomeKit Bluetooth range extenders become available.

Taken purely as a sensor, Eve Degree doesn’t bring anything new to the table compared to Eve Weather — both devices can provide the same temperature, humidity, and air pressure information, and looking at the data or your iPhone you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two. However, a major advantage of Eve Degree is the built-in LCD display that allows you to see temperature or humidity information at a glance without having to resort to pulling out your iPhone, and we also can’t understate how much more attractive the design of is either — it’s a significant improvement over Eve Weather’s more utilitarian look. Eve Weather remains a solid solution for anybody who just wants to collect weather data into HomeKit, but Eve Degree builds on that feature set with a more elegant device that lets you also see current conditions at a glance, eliminating the need for a separate digital thermometer/hygrometer. Further, now that Apple’s HomeKit technology has caught up with actually being able to use the information these sensors can provide to automatically control other HomeKit accessories, Elgato’s entire Eve sensor lineup has become eminently more useful.

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Editors' Note: iLounge only reviews products in "final" form, but many companies now change their offerings - sometimes several times - after our reviews have been published. This iLounge article provides more information on this practice, known as revving.

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