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July 14, 2014
Smart thermostats have been around for a while now, but the Honeywell Lyric is exceptional because it uses geofencing. It senses when you and your phone have arrived or left your home, and it adjusts for efficiency or comfort accordingly. There are two options: a seven-mile radius for suburban homes, and a 500-foot radius for apartment-dwellers. Available from Lowe's beginning in August 2014 for $279.
Smart Honeywell thermostat with iPhone app

Like its peer, the Nest, it takes into account information like bedtimes and the sunrise to use heating and cooling systems efficiently. Honeywell expects that you will control it mainly through the app itself, which lets you change the temperature from any location, or set it to a timer so the house gets warmed or cooled according to your expected arrival time. 

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Smart Honeywell thermostat in white

The familiar thermostat design can be used without the app, as well. Like previous Honeywell thermostats, turning the exterior wheel changes the temperature, and an audible click indicates each degree of change. The all-white exterior uses motion sensors to light up with control displays, and then dim when you walk away.

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Smart Honeywell thermostat with silver weather display

The rest of the device’s interface is deliberately basic—the only buttons are used to start the “At Home” and “Away” cycles, or to bring up a 12-hour weather forecast. It’s a far more approachable interface than the dense screen display found on Honeywell’s other thermostat, the voice-activated Alto.

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Smart Honeywell thermostat with silver away setting

As an established mega-company with volumes of proprietary technology to its name, Honeywell’s Lyric will be particularly competitive with the Nest because it is the first in what will likely be a wide range of Honeywell-brand smart home products. On its own, too, the Lyric is capable because of its geofencing capabilities and attention to the functional design traits—carried over from the brand’s rich appliance history.

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Smart Honeywell thermostat with iPhone app

Like its peer, the Nest, it takes into account information like bedtimes and the sunrise to use heating and cooling systems efficiently. Honeywell expects that you will control it mainly through the app itself, which lets you change the temperature from any location, or set it to a timer so the house gets warmed or cooled according to your expected arrival time. 

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