Awair 2nd Edition a few months later

In July when it first became possible, I ordered the Awair 2nd Edition. Giving my opinion then would have been exceptionally positive and in my humble opinion not very honest. Like many devices these days you really need to give it time to discover what using the device is like. I've done that with Awair and I think my feedback will be better for it.

If you're not sure what Awair is exactly, it's a air quality monitor. It's biggest selling point is that for it's price it perhaps has the best over all package. It tracks, temperature, humidity, CO2, Chemicals / VOCs and PM2.5 / Dust. Competing devices from, Netatmo as an example, just don't cover as much. You can argue in most cases chemicals won't matter and it doesn't unless you live in a city. For cityfolk it will come in quite handy. For me, the only time it came close to being a concern was when I covered my deck in protective chemicals. When I was done, I left the back door open and it could pick up the fumes.

So, first, the hardware itself. The device is visually very nice to look at. It will fit into any room quite nicely. The power cable is simply a USB cable going into a power block (This is true for the UK / European version) meaning if the cable doesn't last long you can easily replace it. Moving countries isn't a problem either. Some items, such as Hue Lights are not only expensive but not easily repairable for the average person. It has a nice LED display which can also be turned off if you don't care for that.

There is much to say negatively about the hardware except for one thing. The Awair is loud. Presumably what the issue is that there is a fan inside that pulls in the air. It won't interfere with TV watching or listening to music / podcasts. I've got mine beside a TV and homepod and that's fine. But in a bedroom or any room where you may want peace and quite this just won't provide it. Light sleepers especially should be aware of what they'll be getting into. I can't find any reviews that let you hear what the awair sound is like which is unfortuante and some cases deceptive. Some reviews have noted it makes a sound and that they can't sleep with it. I've uploaded a video of the awair humming to Vimeo. Unfortunately I think you need to turn it up quite a bit and it as you can tell my phone is quite close. Just a warning, I think the iPhone just doesn't pick it up that well. With the TV off I can easily hear it from the other side of the living room. For me, it's not that big of a deal but I would never put it in the bedroom.

That leaves the software which generally is quite nice. The setup of the device is nice and straight forward; I couldn't really ask for more. The over all app is pretty much perfect. It's simple, visually appealing. The Score and Trend tabs will likely be where you spend most of you time. The information here is just fine. I won't dwell on in because you can go to their website, see what it's like and that's pretty much it.

It updates often and frequently when you're looking at the app. It may not necessarily become clear it's been updated in that there is no thing that says "updated..." but as long as you have a connection you can pretty much guarantee what you see in the charts is correct for now.

What I would like to cover are the negatives. The first and quickest note, there is no Homekit support. They sort of vaguely tease that it may be coming soon. I doubt it will, if this matters to you then you need another device such as the Netatmo Healthy Home Coach and just live with the reduced air information.

That leaves one last issue, this device disconnects and when it does you lose any information. There is no form of storage is appears on the device. So once the network is lost that's it, you have a gap in your data for that time and unfortunately when this device disconnects as far as I can tell it's never coming back. The only way to resolve it is to unplug and plug in the thing. In a lot of ways this is a very dumb device. What's concerning is it doesn't appear to be a bug from the new device that will eventually get ironed out. Here's an Awair review from 2017 where the reviewer complains about the same thing. This will be with the first edition. My guess is the 2nd Edition is the first edition in every way except for an improved sensor. An improved sensor is great but it's so unfortunate that no other issues with the device have been solved.

I should note that I have a fiber internet connection. I work from home most days, I have a fair number of Homekit devices, all my television is streamed. I give my internet connection a good work out and nothing falls over. So I don't believe the disconnect issues are my connection. In fact, I'm sure it's coincidence, but more often than not the Awair dies while I'm away so often my gaps are measured in days or maybe half a day because I'm just not around to unplug and plug it in.

For a device that costs 159.00 GBP (189.00 USD) that's just not good enough. If Netatmo were to release a second edition Healthy Home Coach that is the same as it is now but with a better sensor it would blow Awair out of the water no questions asked.

I've paid for the device and it's months later. I'm stuck with and it's fine as it is. It's still worth considering but please keep the negative points in mind. If it will drive you up the wall to have to unplug it anywhere from once a week to one a month then stay away. If you don't mind and this information is important to you, it's sadly the best option going at the moment.