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Ecobee Smart Sensor vs Room Sensor: 9 Differences (2023)

Ecobee Smart Sensor VS Room Sensor

You might be the type of person to easily feel hot or cold…

That’s why you opted for an Ecobee thermostat.

It’s one of the most trusted brands for thermostats and sensors today. 

They offer the Room Sensor and the new and improved SmartSensor.

Having a hard time choosing?

Let me help you out.


Continue reading to know:

  • The newest features on the SmartSensor.
  • Tip on how to mount the sensors on the wall.
  • Easy ways to pair your sensors with your thermostat.
  • 9 unique differences between the SmartSensor and Room Sensor.
  • And many more…

What’s the difference between Ecobee smart sensor and room sensor?

SmartSensor features a lot of improvements from the Room Sensor. It has a newer design. The device also has a farther range and longer battery life. Aside from that, it offers better device compatibility. But, the SmartSensor costs more.  

Ecobee smart sensor vs room sensor: 9 biggest differences

#1: Design

The SmartSensor and Room Sensor from Ecobee have different designs.

First of all, the Room Sensor is an older model.

It features a large square face and a wide plastic stand. 

The device also has a bee icon to reference the brand Ecobee. The print is relatively large and visible even from afar.

Depending on your preference, this can be either cute or tacky.

Now, the SmartSensor is a step up from the older Room Sensor. 

It has a simple yet elegant look. Perfect for today’s popular design trends like minimalism.

Moreover, the SmartSensor is also smaller than the earlier Room Sensor.

Its face measures around 1.6 in (40mm) by 1.6 in (40mm). With the stand, it extends to a height of 1.9 (50mm). 

In comparison, the Room Sensor is 1.7 in (44 mm) by 1.7 (44 mm). 

At first glance, there isn’t much of a difference. Right?

However, the stand on the Room Sensor changes everything.

The sensor mount adds a lot, bringing it to 2 in (53mm) high.

It was the mount that made the biggest difference between the two.

For one, the Room Sensor uses a plastic plate directly attached to the device.

On the other hand, the SmartSensor features a unique magnetic stand. And the cone-like structure is a lot more convenient and flexible.

Both in terms of design and functionality.

Aside from that, SmartSensor got rid of the large gray bee icon at the front.

Instead, it features a smaller, nearly transparent bee print for the brand’s logo.

It’s still there, but it’s not as visible and distracting as before.

Don’t want to use the stand?

You’re in luck. Both the SmartSensor and Room Sensor are wall-mountable.

Pro tip: Mount the sensor within chest level. This gives the best viewing angle for the device. It also offers the most range to read the room temperature.

#2: Material

The Room Sensor features a white square body made of plastic. It also comes with a plastic clip-on base.

The material used on the Room Sensor felt and looked cheap.

It nearly looked like a toy and not a home device.

On the other hand, the improved SmartSensor features a new design.

The body is still made of plastic. However, it features a modern metallic base. As I’ve mentioned previously.

And instead of a clip-on, it uses magnetic force to attach to the sensor. This makes it easier to remove and adjust.

#3: Enhanced Sensor Performance

Ecobee Enhanced Sensor Performance

Ecobee systems have a feature called Occupancy Detection.

What’s that?

It’s the system that can determine if a room is occupied or not.

But how is the SmartSensor any better?

Well, the newer model can do these things:

  • See occupants much faster.
  • Detect occupants farther away.
  • Send information notably quicker.

Yes, you read that right. The SmartSensor has a specified occupancy sensor range.

Ecobee claims that the SmartSensor has a good occupant accuracy within 20 ft (6 m).

Isn’t that pretty impressive?

Walk within 20 ft (6m) of the sensor, and it can identify you right away.

And unfortunately, this feature wasn’t listed on the Room Sensor.

Recommended article: Are Smart Thermostats Universal? 3 Things You Need To Know

#4: Pet Immunity Feature

False alarms are the worse. 

Have you ever panicked over a fire alarm going off? You run thinking your life is in danger. 

But later you find out that it was nothing.

Frustrating. Right?

Ecobee’s Pet Immunity has nothing to do with life-threatening situations.

However, this feature helps deal with false alarms.

But before we dive into the advantages of this new tech…

Let me present how sensors work.

So, imagine that you have a smart thermostat in your home.

This central console is used to control the temperature inside the house. You can:

  • Set the living room warm.
  • Make your room feel chilly.
  • Adjust room temperatures depending on activity.

Your primary device would have sensors installed on them.

However, it can’t reach every bit and corner of your house.

If you have it in your living room or kitchen, it can only scan within a short distance.

So it wouldn’t be able to scan anything more than 20 feet away.

And that’s where the sensors come into play.

The Ecobee Room Sensors and SmartSensors are accessories to the Ecobee Thermostat.

These sensors pair with the main thermostat console. With these, the thermostat can cover more areas in your home.

While you’re in your room, the sensor sees the area as occupied.

The thermostat can then adjust the temperature in that part of the house. Whether you set it cold or warm.

On the other hand, when there’s no one in the room, the sensor will realize that it’s empty. 

It’ll send this information to the Smart Thermostat.

Then, the main console disregards temp settings for that room, knowing that there’s no one in there.

So what does the Pet Immunity feature got to do with this?

Motion-detection sensors aren’t perfect.

It can pick up movements from anything regardless of what it is. If it’s sensitive enough, it can possibly trigger false alarms.

Considering this, do you have pets roaming around the house?

If you do, it’s possible for the sensor to pick your fur baby’s movements.

But you don’t really want your thermostat to change the temperature in your room if you’re not there.

Now, Pet Immunity aims to prevent that.

With this feature, you can avoid false alarms caused by your furry friend.

#5: Communication Range

 In order to work, sensors need to connect to the main console.

Once paired, they can communicate and work together as a system.

But, sensors also need to be placed within range of the console for it to work. 

Now, a sensor out of communication range is practically useless.

The older Ecobee Room Sensor can communicate at most 45 ft (13 m). 

On the other hand, the SmartSensor extends to more than 60 ft (18 m).

However, it’s important to know that these ranges only consider open space.

Do you have 45 ft (13 m) or 60 ft (18 m) of open space in your house?

If not, there’s something else you should consider.

Aside from mere distance, walls and floor levels can affect the pairing range.

Regardless, a farther range provides a stronger signal.

Note: Things with the same frequency as the sensor can also lower their range. This includes baby monitors, radios, and more. 

Think of it as a traffic jam. The signal can get disrupted the farther away they are. 

Moving the sensors closer to the console can fix this problem.

#6: Viewing Angle

Viewing angles allow the sensors to see as much as they can.

Now, The Ecobee Room Sensor has a limited viewing angle. 

The Room Sensor only has a 120° horizontal capacity. It has an even more limited vertical viewing angle of 25 to 30°.

On the other hand, the SmartSensor has better viewing capabilities. It features 140° horizontal and 100° vertical views. 

Pro tip: Placement plays a huge role in viewing angles. Ideally, mount your sensor within 4 ft (1.2 m) to 6.5 ft (2 m). This height is the best for pet immunity and temp readings.

#7: Device Pairing Function

Ecobee made device pairing using the SmartSensor so much easier.

In comparison, the older Room Sensor can only pair through the thermostat console.

On the other hand, the SmartSensor uses the new Ecobee app.

Isn’t that amazing?

You don’t have to stand and walk up to your thermostat to fiddle with the controls.

You can do nearly everything on your phone. 

Need help setting up?

I got you…

Here’s how to pair your Room Sensor:

  • Stand in front of your console
  • Tap your thermostat to wake it up.
  • Pull the green tab on the back of your Room Sensor.
  • Follow the prompt on the thermostat to finish pairing.

And to pair your SmartSensor, you have 2 options:

Option 1:

  1. Download the Ecobee app.
  2. Go to the Home screen.
  3. Find and tap the “+” on the top-right corner of the screen.
  4. Choose Sensor and then SmartSensor.

Option 2:

  1. Open the Ecobee app.
  2. Go to the Home Screen.
  3. Open the Main Menu.
  4. Find the “+ Add Sensor”.
  5. Choose SmartSensor.

Note: This will only start the pairing process. You still need to follow the prompt to add the device. You would need to scan a QR code or enter a pairing code.

Want to learn more? Check this video out: 

#8: Battery Lifespan 

The Ecobee SmartSensor and Room Sensor are wireless devices.

This means that they run solely on batteries. With that, you can’t charge it. 

Instead, you would have to change batteries after some time.

A bit time-consuming, isn’t it?

Ecobee heard you.

And so, they made improvements to the SmartSensor in terms of battery life.

The older Ecobee Room Sensor has an average battery life of just 1 year. Give or take, it can last you at least 8 to 10 months.

Then, it’s up to you to replace the batteries as needed.

On the other hand, the SmartSensor uses a more powerful battery. Instead of 1 year, the SmartSensor claims to last for 5 years.

Talk about convenience. 

Note: The Room Sensor uses a single CR-2032 coin-cell battery. SmartSensor uses a single CR-2477 coin-cell battery.

#9: Price

The Room Sensor was one of Ecobee’s first sensor models.

The SmartSensor is a much-improved version.

It features:

  • Better design.
  • More functionality.
  • Longer battery life.
  • Improved performance.

Thus, there’s a significant price difference between the two.

The Ecobee Room Sensor sells at around $79 for 2 pieces. On the other hand, the SmartSensor 2-pack is priced at $99.99.

With the $20 difference, it can be worth the upgrade.