Thursday, 7 November 2013

[Review] Esaver iConnect Gateway with friends.

In times like these energy preservation and climate awareness are topics that are discussed frequently on the news and all around the general conciousness of the world.
We want to know more of how this all affects us and try to circumvent any unneccesary carbon footprinting of our own.
As consumer electronics keep evolving so does the market for them and more and more nice gadgets are made available to the general market.
Esaver iConnect is one of the actors on that market .

This review will focus on three products from them , the gateway, windmeter with features and the rainmeter.

The gateway itself is to be considered as the centerpiece of your econnected devices.
The design of the gateway resembles a WiFi hotspot or a router with a WiFi antenna.
No configuration is needed for this gateway,just plug it into a free Ethernet slot on your internet a connected router and plug in the power.
With a push of a button your gateway is up and running. Fanless and tiny,just how we like it.

The rainmeter is powered by two AA batteries and once they are inserted the device is on.
No power buttons here.

Support for IOS was in place before the Android app was available and this might be why the configuration is a bit dodgy.
With the app installed you have to go to the "add sensor"page and then push the batterlid for the rainmeter to connect to your app.
The app itself enables you to get the readings of the sensor. In this case the amount of rain .
The rainmeter gathers data from the current day and keeps a historical track of rain fallen weekly,monthly and a total of all rain since first boot.
We will get back to the app and a nice feature later in this review.
The material in the rainmeter is plastic. Rain measurement happens via a small spring mounted lever inside the meter. The lever itself has two small compartments and when one slot gets filled with rain it weighs over and elevates the empty slot of the two to receive the next rain.
A scale for rain in short.

Now, Androidistica has not got a reference rainmeter to measure accuracy of the esaver iconnect rainmeter.

No doubt it measures rain.

The next piece is the windmeter


This one measure windspeed, humidity and temperature. So in fact you get three sensors in one.
Coming with a wall mount and decent screws to attach the wind meter with . This has a documented range of operation up to 100 meters from the gateway.
Installing this sensor into being visible for the econnect app is similar as to the rainmeter.
Navigate to the sensors page, press "add sensor" and close the batterylid
(Yes, the windmeter too is powered by AA batteries).

With the help of the esaver app from play store you get the options that make these
devices pretty darn cool.
While in your home, you can naturally check on the readings from your sensors via your
Android phone , tablet or smart tv even .
You get the windspeed, temperature outside, weather forecast and wind direction.
Historical data of how much rain has fallen the past week or what was the peak cold
temperature outside or max wind registered.
This is all cool and high tech enhancments to your daily life.
Now, what about when you are not at home ?
Well, with the help of "Remote access" you have the options mentioned even when you
are not at home.
Yes ladies and gentlemen, the eSaver iConnect lets you check on all the stats from your
smartphone or tablet via 3G/4G from a remote location.
(There are of course other options available for the other products provided by esaver,
like switching power sockets off and on but this will be covered in a later review.)

Although the response time in the app itself are struggling , this might be due to poor 3G
coverage from my Cell provider or it might be in the app itself.
Updates will surely follow and it should be noted the review was done on a Android 4.3
version . Things might look different on earlier Android version when it comes to the
performance of the app itself.

eSaver iConnect devices build quality does not reveal any big surprises or letdowns.
The rainmeter is plastic with springs of metal and a waterproofed batterycompartment.
Windmeter has an aluminium shaft, proper fitting kit to attach the windmeter on a wall or
tree or what you like.
Sturdy design that should be able to stand strong even in more powerful winds.
The gateway casing can't be complained either, plastic as is most consumer electronics
nowadays. Antenna , power adaptor and ethernet ports are of standard quality.
Standard as in as good as it gets with plastic.
Android support is there , leaving a little shed of hope for updates to enhance
performance when reading data from the sensors.
Desing and usability of the app itself feels like a copy / paste of the iOS version which in
this case is good for uniformity.
If you happen to own an iPad and some Android device you can use both to check on
the weather conditions.
Thumbs up for cross support on the platforms!

All in all eSaver iConnect has a whole concept covered.
From measuring moist in your garden soil to checking on last nights wind strenght and
rain you are covered all the way.
These devices can easily elevate any standard home to a smart home if you like.
Make sure you go and check out the eSaver store for your home needs.

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