As IoT flourishes, we’re seeing new devices get smart connectivity. This includes heaters and coolers, which give users the power to control their climate from the comfort of their own armchair.
This is what EvaPolar has set out to do with their EvaSMART Personal Evaporative Air Cooler. It claims it can cool, clean the air, and humidify your space, but does it live up to its own claims?
Setting Up the EvaSMART
The setup for the EvaSMART was very simple. Fortunately, EvaPolar made the wise decision of powering the unit via a USB 3.0 cable. This allows the device to receive power from a USB port on your computer, and it doesn’t need to be close to a power outlet to work.
Getting the EvaSMART online was easy. Just download the Eva app from the app store, then turn on the EvaSMART. When you hold down the power button, the EvaSMART goes into Wi-Fi mode. This allows you to pair it using the Eva app. Once they’re paired, you tell EvaSMART what Wi-Fi connection to use, give it the log-in details, and you’re set!
When the machine is on, it emits a humming sound while the fan spins. The water tank on the side also lights up, which makes the unit look very attractive.
Controlling the EvaSMART via On-Board Controls
The EvaSMART can be controlled via app or home hub, but it also has an on-board control panel. This is especially useful if you want to tweak it without loading the app.
The dashboard turns on when the device is running. You can tap the sun icon to adjust the brightness of the light. The fan icon lets you change the fan speed. The palette icon lets you adjust the color of the water tank light by using the up and down arrows to go through the color wheel.
Controlling the EvaSMART via App
There’s a good chance you’re not interested in adjusting a smart cooler by hand, though. You can perform all of the above actions via the app, too.
All you need to do is boot up the app and select the EvaSMART on the main menu, and then you can freely adjust the fan speed and light brightness from your phone. The color picker for the water tank light is more advanced than the dashboard version, with an entire spectrum of colors to work with.
What’s impressive is that you can use the app to control the EvaSMART, even when Wi-Fi on the phone is disabled!
Controlling the EvaSMART via Smart Hub
This is the stage where the EvaSMART gets a little spotty. The effectiveness of EvaSMART’s smart hub capabilities depends on the model you own.
For example, if you own an Amazon Alexa, you’re in luck. The EvaSMART Alexa voice command article tells you everything you need to know; you can give the EvaSMART a unique name, then control it entirely with your voice. Actions include setting the fan to a specific percentage and changing the color of the tank.
The Google Home Hub, however, gets three commands. It can turn on/off the device, change the brightness of the tank light, and change the color of the light. You can’t alter the fan at all using Google Home Hub.
When I used my Google Nest Mini with the EvaSMART, I discovered why the fan is off-limits. Google Home registers the device as a smart light, presumably referring to the tank’s light. As such, while you have total control over the light, you’re unable to interact with any other part of the EvaSMART with Google Home.
How Does the Unit Perform?
Now that we’ve covered setting it up and using it, how does it perform? The EvaSMART works best when it’s positioned like a fan. While it can cool a small room like an air conditioner, it’s best experienced when it’s blowing directly at you from a short distance.
As you can see from the above image, the EvaSMART can bring the temperature down by a good amount in a short amount of time. This only took about a minute to achieve, meaning you can cool down very quickly.
But if the EvaSMART is like a fan, why not just buy a fan? After all, the EvaSMART commands a $230 price tag — not something that someone can easily drop on a desk-side cooler.
Besides the smart controls, the EvaSMART uses water-based cooling. This means it introduces water into the air as a by-product. This is why the EvaSMART is labeled as a humidifier; while there are no humidity settings on the cooler, the humidification occurs naturally while it cools.
It also has filters within that purify the air as it passes through. This means the EvaSMART is a cooler, humidifier, and air purifier bundled into one package. Not only that, but it squeezes those features down into a box you can fit on your desk, so you don’t need several large machines clogging up the room.
Finally, the EvaSMART uses the water reservoir for active cooling, unlike a fan that simply pushes air. If your room is so hot that fans just move hot air around, the EvaSMART will actively cool the air like an AC unit.
Unlike an AC unit, however, the EvaSMART doesn’t need a vent to the outside to operate. This makes it a good choice for rooms with small/no windows or renters who can’t have an AC unit installed.
If you don’t use Amazon Alexa and want to use the EvaSMART voice controls, you’ll be disappointed at the range of commands available. On top of this, the $230 price tag will put people off of buying what appears to be a simple desk cooler.
However, if you have an Alexa and are willing to shell out a few hundred dollars, the EvaSMART does what it says on the box. It cools effectively and purifies the air while reintroducing water into dry atmospheres. Even if you don’t own an Alexa, the mobile app works well and does everything you need it to.