Netatmo Weather Station Indoor Outdoor with Wireless Outdoor Sensor – Test and Review
The basic package of the Netatmo weather station provides data on the outside temperature and weather situation as well as on the inside temperature and indoor air quality. With the additional modules such as rain and wind gauges, various weather data can be called up with the good structured Netatmo app brings together all measurement results and provides background information as well as diagrams.
Connected to our Amazon Echo Dot, we tested the Alexa integration of the weather station via the Netatmo skill. Our practical test shows what the Netatmo weather station can do, how it is installed and managed with the Netatmo app, and whether Alexa is needed for this smart home device.
Netatmo significantly improves the indoor climate at home
Headaches, irritated eyes, and dry skin – these are often the effects of a bad indoor climate and stale air. Whether it’s a smart home or not: humidity and CO2 levels play an often underestimated role. Well-being is even more dependent on this than on the temperature. Of course, it could be assumed that exhausting dry air or too little oxygen in the room would be noticed and would be remedied by appropriate ventilation. However, the reality is usually different. Especially when the focus is on work or pleasure.
The smart home-collection of the French company Netatmo includes networked surveillance cameras such as Welcome and Presence also an app-controlled weather station. This problem can be solved because it sends notifications directly to smartphones.
There is also no need to go to the thermometer, because here, too, the sensor measures independently and notifies interested people via the app. There is little that can be done about the climate outside, but thanks to the weather forecast, clothing and holiday planning are appropriate.
Netatmo weather station with rain and anemometer
The Netatmo weather station consists of an indoor and an outdoor module, which are paired via Bluetooth and set up, managed, and accessed via the Netatmo app. The Netatmo anemometer and rain gauge are available as additional modules to feed the personal weather station with additional data.
Using the Netatmo skill, the smart weather station can be verbally questioned with Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa – is this feature as useful as it could be? We have tested the Netatmo weather station including anemometer and rain gauge for weeks and examined the installation and value, the Alexa integration with Echo Dot, and the general added value in smart everyday life.
Installation requirements Netatmo weather station
A prerequisite for use of the Netatmo weather station and the Netatmo rain gauge is a WiFi – Router with Internet access – public hotspots are not supported. The following minimum requirements apply for compatibility:
- Android 4.0
- iPad 2 or iPad mini
- iPod touch 5th generation
- iPhone 4
Installation of the Netatmo weather station with the Netatmo app
The components of the weather station arrived in attractive boxes with a restrained design, next to the devices there is a clear booklet with instructions for the first steps in the packaging. The weather station itself with the indoor module, which is a little smaller, looks high-quality and modest.
The simple surface of the cylinder in chrome design corresponds to that of other Netatmo products such as the Healthy Home Coach and the Welcome camera. It is only interrupted by an elongated LED light display that shows when the device can be paired or what the quality of the room air is. Rubber feet give the two components a secure footing in the household.
The additional components rain gauge and anemometer stand out from the high-quality Netatmo design – they are made of black and white plastic and optically far less appealing. Also, the structure of the anemometer is particularly unstable. Since both devices are intended for outdoor use, the question arose as to how well they could withstand weather conditions or a harsh winter.
For installation, the base module of the indoor weather station must be permanently connected to the power supply using the power supply unit supplied. The next steps are clearly shown in the Netatmo app, which must first be downloaded. It is available for iOS and Android – we used the iOS version in the test and had no problems setting up the weather station.
After the firmware had been updated in the test, the outdoor module was coupled via Bluetooth, here too the Netatmo app guides you through the process. The outdoor measuring device is placed outdoors, but should not be exposed to direct sunlight, wind, or rain. It automatically takes measurements and thus feeds the values in the app for the outside temperature.
In addition to the regular automatic measurements of the Netatmo weather station, a measurement can be initiated manually by softly touching the recess on the top of the base station. The indoor module then requests a status report for the outdoor module and all connected additional components to compile indoor and outdoor temperature, CO2 content, humidity, and weather conditions. The LED display gives direct visual feedback: red means the room air is alarmingly bad, orange indicates ventilation or a more detailed check of the values in the app, and green indicates good air conditions.
If a manual measurement is carried out, the app shows this as a status message on the smartphone’s start screen; tapping it opens the application with a detailed overview of all values.
The Netatmo indoor module measures:
- Noise level
- CO2 concentration
The Netatmo outdoor model measures:
- Air pressure
With the appropriate extensions, however, additional values are also possible.
Netatmo weather station add-on module is available from Amazon:
Integration of the Netatmo additional components rain gauge and anemometer
The integration of the Netatmo rain and/or wind meter is carried out as with the basic modules via the Netatmo app. The start screen shows mini icons for the outdoor module, anemometer, and rain gauge, swiping takes you to the correct field and then selects “Add new component”. The app now guides you through pairing as usual and gives instructions on where the product should be set up and how it should be calibrated. For secure positioning in the garden, on the house wall, or the balcony or terrace, Netatmo has a stand and a wall bracket in its portfolio.
The Netatmo rain gauge could be integrated without any problems, but the Netatmo anemometer could not be found at first. Since our test products had already been used before, we followed the recommendation in the app to remove the batteries and repeat the process. Nevertheless, the anemometer could not be connected. After the batteries were completely replaced, the third pairing attempt was successful – unfortunately, we were unable to collect practical values on how long the components can work reliably with the battery supply in outdoor use.
The already criticized structure of the additional modules made their integration less pleasant than the installation of the basic modules: If the components are not recognized immediately, the app recommends removing the batteries for 30 seconds and reinserting them. This reset is easy to do with the rain gauge, here you only have to remove the bottom by turning it firmly to access the batteries. On the other hand, four screws have to be screwed on the anemometer so that the casing can be removed.
The practical test of the transmission from the measuring device to the app was successful: a glass of water tipped into the funnel of the rain and gauge reported the app as heavy rain, the forceful blowing into the anemometer increased the statistics on wind strength for the day significantly.
Netatmo App: a user-friendly management tool for the weather station
In our test, the Netatmo app not only performed excellently through the initial installation of the weather station, but it is also helpful for daily use to explore all the functions of the Netatmo weather package. It is structured and offers an overview of the current weather with an explanatory graphic in the 7-day forecast; by clicking on it, the user goes one level lower to the breakdown of the values with diagrams.
The Netatmo app also shows values such as air pressure, the perceived outside temperature, the relative humidity, or the dew point. Such detailed information is rather uninteresting in everyday life, but a good basis for precise weather analysis. There is also an “I” icon for the respective measured values, which can be tapped in the app to get information.
The start interface of the Netatmo app shows the internal temperature, the CO2 content in the room and the noise level using a sonometer, and the humidity. The information function offers background facts on AQI (outdoor air quality index) and standard values for sonometers and CO2 values via I-icon. This information is quite useful for evaluating the data collected.
A community factor is also included in the Netatmo app: You can enable your weather station in the settings, and then together with other enabled stations in the area, it appears in a smart weather map.
In addition to the expected weather data such as outside temperature, wind strength, and rain probability, the Netatmo weather station is also responsible for analyzing the room parameters. In addition to the values of the sonometer for noise exposure, the assessment of the CO2 analysis is a particularly pleasing feature:
In the test, we placed the indoor module directly in the bedroom, and on the one hand, we were able to determine whether above-average noise could have impaired sleep at night and how low the oxygen level was by morning. When you briefly press the base after getting up, the dark orange LED indicated that it would have been better to at least leave the window tilted.
Connect the Netatmo weather station to Alexa and control it using the Netatmo Skill
To connect the Netatmo-Skill with our Echo Dot, we used the voice command “Alexa, activate Netatmo-Skill”. Of course, the same applies to the integration with Amazon Echo. Unfortunately, the skill needs identification to be fully activated, but the Alexa app has to be opened for this. There the link to the Netatmo page is already waiting, where the login with the account data takes place and the connection between the weather station and Amazon’s Alexa is already established.
Unfortunately, the skill turned out to be far less helpful than the Netatmo app. “I can call up the weather data from your Netatmo devices, for example, temperature or humidity. What do you want to know? ”Alexa lures from the Dot speaker. However, most of our test questions were not answered satisfactorily. “How is the indoor air quality?” This resulted in the current CO2 value without a reference frame, instead, a “questionable” or “good” rating would have been more useful.
On “Do I have to ventilate?” the skill gives the current wind strength, on “Is the indoor air dangerous?” Alexa only thinks of the temperature. Measurement cannot be triggered by a voice command. Simple inquiries about the temperature or humidity, however, are possible without any problems.
For us, there is no added value with the Netatmo Skill despite the limited use of voice control. Because the skill has to be opened before every simple question about the temperature, instead of being able to ask Alexa directly, reaching for the smartphone with the much more comprehensive app is easier. Whether it’s Alexa, who misunderstands all requests, or whether she only has limited keywords available for interacting with the weather station – we found the Netatmo skill unattractive.
The test result of the Netatmo weather station with rain and anemometer
The Netatmo weather station in itself is a valuable and practical addition to the smart home, as it also serves as a room air meter. In the test, however, the basic package with indoor and outdoor modules turned out to be completely sufficient for the average user.
The additional wind and rain gauges were not very convincing in their design, the purchase of the extra components is at most worthwhile for agriculture or those interested in meteorology. The connection to Amazon Echo or Dot using the Netatmo Skills has not yet convinced us either – here the Netatmo app simply offers too many advantages over the very limited and laborious questioning with Alexa. In this case, less is more – we recommend the Netatmo weather station.
Prices and availability of the Netatmo weather station
The Netatmo weather station is available for: