Honeywell Lyric T5 is the company’s second take at a Wi-Fi thermostat with support for Apple’s HomeKit framework for smart homes. The latest member of Honeywell’s Lyric family of smart thermostats introduces a new design that now includes a touchscreen.
Priced at $149.99, Lyric T5 is currently $50 cheaper than Honeywell’s Lyric Round HomeKit thermostat and $20 under ecobee’s budget version of its HomeKit thermostat. Read on for our full review of Honeywell’s new Lyric T5 Wi-Fi thermostat to see how it compares…
HomeKit support for thermostats generally means the same thing across different models from various companies: you can control and automate heating and cooling with Siri and Apple’s new Home app. But there are differences in other aspects like price, appearance, and smart features that you control from accessory apps outside of HomeKit’s scope.
Honeywell highlights four specific features with Lyric T5:
- 7-day scheduling or location-based temperature control
- Smart alert push notifications for extreme indoor temperatures and reminders to change your air filter
- Auto change from heating to cooling
- Smart response for setting heating and cooling temperatures at optimal times
These are fairly standard features for smart thermostats now so Lyric T5’s appeal is mostly in price and appearance if it fits your taste.
My summary of Honeywell’s pricier Lyric Round thermostat is that it hides HomeKit support in a rather traditional looking product; it doesn’t scream “smart gadget” and a lot of people like the ergonomics of rotating the dial to adjust the temperature.
Lyric T5 takes a different approach.
I would describe Lyric T5 as much more gadget-y on the surface. It’s a mini computer display on your wall for controlling your indoor climate.
In this way, Lyric T5 is more comparable to ecobee (reviewed). The cheaper Lyric T5 features a slightly larger build with a noticeably bigger display. Both Honeywell HomeKit thermostats use the same Honeywell Lyric app.
My first complaint, however, is that the display quality is underwhelming. When off, the display is more reflective and further from black than ecobee’s. The black bezel around it especially emphasizes this, but it may not be noticeable if you’re upgrading from a very basic thermostat.
Installation and setup is on par with other smart thermostats; no major complaints to report.
Priced on the lower end for Wi-Fi thermostats, Lyric T5 generally has a just-average build quality all around: it feels super light in your hand and the metallic-looking casing feels plasticky.
I can imagine this same design in a pricier version that uses more premium materials, but it gets the job done for a reasonable price.
When powered on, the display lights up to present dynamic on-screen controls. The body of Lyric T5 is fixed in place. No rotating a dial to change the temperature; instead you tap on-screen plus or minus buttons to raise or lower the target temperature.
Lyric T5 will display the current time plus Wi-Fi connection status on the top row, followed by target temperature and mode schedule.
The middle row includes buttons for lowering and raising the target temperature on either side. The current temperature is the largest number and totally centered. Labels for current mode (cooling, heating, auto) and fan (on, off, auto) sit in between.
Along the bottom you’ll find buttons for changing the mode and fan activity plus a centered menu button for changing settings. It’s a lot to read on a single screen (I could live without the Wi-Fi status symbol and use more icons and fewer words) and a totally different direction than the basic display on the Lyric Round.
Access to the menu from the thermostat is a welcomed change over Lyric Round. Other smart thermostats do this well but Lyric Round required most setting tweaks to happen in the smartphone app. Lyric T5 offers plenty to tinker with right on the thermostat. One thing I did find odd though is text truncation; it’s a reasonably large display so waiting for text to vertically scroll by didn’t feel too smart.
Lyric T5 does have one handy feature that I haven’t discovered on other smart thermostats: the ability to easily lock controls with a passcode. This could be useful if you don’t want your kids (or in-laws?) to bother the temperature. That scenario aside, I could see it being especially useful for public places where Lyric T5 is used.
Did I mention that the display picks up fingerprints? OK, it’s not really a problem but you will notice fingerprints accumulating in the spots that you tap most often (like temperature up and down). Honeywell’s solution is a menu item for locking the screen for several seconds while you clean the display. This lets you remove any fingerprints without making it snow or boil inside.
Being a smart thermostat means you don’t actually have to interact with it that much. You can control temperature and modes from Apple’s Home app or Siri, and automation lets you schedule different temperatures and modes based on whether or not you’re at home, away, or time of day.
You can also set vacation schedules for specific dates into the future so Lyric T5 can take a break while you’re away and prepare your house for you before your return.
When you’re not interacting with Lyric T5, the display hides the screenful of text and simply displays the current temperature and time. Where ecobee uses a presence sensor to detect that you’re near, Lyric T5 requires a tap of the display to bring back the full controls.
Lyric T5 and ecobee do share one flaw in common here: the display is just too bright when viewed from the side (like when walking by it down a hallway). The ecobee display leaks light from the top left while Lyric T5 is just generally bright.
One solution to this is to change the display brightness. The menu lets you choose between one of five brightness settings. I settled on the medium setting.
Overall, Honeywell Lyric T5 is a decent entry-level smart thermostat and one of the more affordable ways to get into HomeKit and home automation. It’s priced below other HomeKit thermostats and delivers the same basic features like Siri control, setting scenes, scheduling activity, and remote access.
The more affordable price tag comes at the cost of build quality — specifically the display — but Lyric T5 is likely an upgrade over most basic thermostats that it will replace. Lyric T5 carries the same regular price tag as the much more basic iDevices Thermostat which makes it the best option in its price category (before considering sale prices).
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