Netatmo Urban Weather Station Review: What the Hell Is the Point of This Thing?

Illustration for article titled Netatmo Urban Weather Station Review: What the Hell Is the Point of This Thing?

A personal weather station that beams environmental data up to the cloud then down to a colorful smartphone app sounds like an awesome uber gadget. Exciting! But in the end the Netatmo Urban Weather Station just left us confused.

What Is It?

A $180 "weather station" that records seemingly random metrics about indoor and outdoor environmental conditions.

Advertisement

Who's it For?

People who don't trust the National Weather Service, mercury thermometers, or their own common sense. We think?

Design

This is nothing like other weather stations that conveniently present information on easy-to-read displays. Instead, you get two drab cylinders stuffed with sensors and a mobile application. A large indoor AC-powered cylinder measures indoor noise level, CO2, humidity, and temperature. A small outdoor unit, powered by four AAA batteries, measures temperature and humidity. You read the data with an app.

Advertisement

Using It

Once it's configured with your local Wi-Fi, you use this weather station like you use any free weather app for Android or iOS. It shows you weather data on your phone or tablet. Switch between indoor and outdoor info, or graph the data over time.

Advertisement

The Best Part

It tells you about the weather!

Tragic Flaw

It tells you about the weather on your smartphone or tablet, which as it turns out, could tell you the same simple weather facts before you bought a $180 weather station. Where's the added value to owning this ugly, inconvenient thing?

Advertisement

This Is Weird...

It measures indoor noise levels. What does a decibel meter have to do with weather? And isn't noise self-evident?

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Netatmo Urban Weather Station Review: What the Hell Is the Point of This Thing?

Test Notes

  • It is useful to learn your indoor CO2 levels. Beyond that, the system doesn't collect any data that isn't easily accessible or obvious.
  • The outdoor data sensors should really measure more than two measly data points for temperature and humidity.
  • After we went to the trouble of setting up the outdoor probe to record two simple metrics that are already available elsewhere, it didn't even work properly. We set it up out of direct sunlight, but on hot days it still registered temperatures much hotter than the actual outside temperature. During the hottest parts of the day, this probe went completely offline. What's worse: No information or inaccurate information?
  • The outdoor station is supposed to work fine at a distance of up to a 300 feet from the indoor station, but we found that to avoid missing measurements, it's better to keep the distance to about, say, 20-30 feet.
  • It can come up with a forecast. But it doesn't do it on its own: The data is provided by a company called MetroGroup.
Advertisement

Should You Buy It?

No. If you're the type of person who's going to collect data and invest in a weather station, you probably want a ton more information than this provides. Not just basic meteorological data you can get for free elsewhere online.

Advertisement

Netatmo Urban Weather Station

• Connectivity: Wi-Fi and Radio
• Battery: 4 AAA
• Apps: iOS and Android
• Price: $179
Gizrank: 2.5

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Netatmo Urban Weather Station Review: What the Hell Is the Point of This Thing?

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`

DISCUSSION

Okay, Mario. I am truly sorry they assigned the NetAtmo review to you, because you obviously don't get it. Not only that but the editors would not let you use big, sciency, words like temperature and humidity.

What is it?

A $180 test stand that records indoor and outdoor environmental conditions. Outdoor is the traditional temperature and humidity. Indoor it records temp and humidity as well as barometric pressure, carbon dioxide, and sound levels.

Who is it for?

Weather heads who want to know the temperature at THEIR home or office rather than at the airport two counties away. If you live across from the airport, then you might not need this.

Design

Star Wars cosmic. Two aluminum cylinders. The indoor module plugs into a USB port while the outdoor has 4 AAA batteries. You read the data right on your i-device or Android.

Using it

If you can use Wi-Fi on a smart phone you can use this. The app is free.

The Best Part

It tells you about the weather AT YOUR HOME OR OFFICE and keeps the data so you can graph it (included in the app). So if you returned from vacation and found all your plants dead, you can know what happened.

Tragic flaw

It only seems to get reviewed by people who don't get it. This is one of the coolest weather apps/stations out there, and this one also give you CO2 and noise pollution. But all is not rosy. I would like to see wind speed, gust, and direction on a graph. I can nearly predict my weather based on wind direction.

This is NOT weird...

It measures indoor noise levels. If noise was self evident, then the rock stars of the 60s would not be deaf. Sometimes we need to be told to turn the music down.

Mario believes that temperature and humidity data is readily available and/or obvious. I'm here to tell you that in Texas it is humid...two counties away. My nearest Weatherbug sensor is at the airport 40 miles toward the coast from here. They are 40 miles from the coast and I am another 40 miles out into the desert. When that weather station is registering 80% humidity, my hygrometer is showing 43%. My weather bears no resemblance to the weather 40 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.

Should you buy it?

I don't know...$180 is pretty dadgummed steep if you are not already a weatherhead. For $50 everyone should have it. For $70 or so, all the weather heads would have one to supplement their other station instruments. Maybe they are going to ride the demand curve down. Once they sell all they can at $180, they will drop the price to $150 to sell a few more until sales drop off. Later they'll drop it to $120 and pick up some more.