UPDATE 2024-05-24: You cannot use multiple of the Wisdom Smart Thermostat in your home, because each device uses the same identical QR Code. When you try to add the second device to your smart home, you will get the message “QR code already scanned” with the options to abort the device setup, or to scan a different QR code.

For a long time, I wanted to get into smart home. It has always scared me off that most solutions are manufacturer-specific. This has practical implications I do not want to accept, namely:

  • I need a different app for every manufacturer, which I employ.
  • An unacceptable amount of personal information about my daily routine goes to all these manufacturers.
  • Devices from different manufacturers cannot work together.
  • Any manufacturer may at any time decide to drop support for the hardware I have or to begin charging a regular fee for the cloud services associated with their devices.

We need manufacturer-independent protocols, and there are some. For quite some time, next to a whole bunch of proprietary systems, we had Z-Wave and Zigbee competing with each other. The most recent unification effort, aimed at superseding both, is called Matter and Thread. This effort finally has support from most smart home device manufacturers, so I thought it might now be time to get into smart home.

My requirements

In my home, there are iOS as well as Android phones. Ideally, I’d like to control everything using the open-source Home Assistant project, e.g. on a Home Assistant Yellow. Unfortunately, Home Assistant is not able to control Thread devices without a secondary proprietary home hub from another vendor. Had I known this before getting into this, I might have waited. But then I had devices lying around, so I wanted an intermediate solution.

The devices I had were an Eve Energy smart plug and an Eve Thermo smart thermostat. Their website strongly suggests using an Apple HomeKit base station, e.g. HomePod Mini, even though both devices show a “Thread” logo on the packaging. However, Apple offers no way to control devices attached to a HomePod using an Android, so these gatekeepers are out.

So I bought a Google Nest Hub 2nd gen, which can be used to control Thread devices. Connecting the Eve Energy worked flawlessly by scanning its QR code with the Google Home App, even from my iPhone. The Eve Thermo however could not be added to the Google Nest Hub. I could only control it through the proprietary Eve App via Bluetooth, which removes time-based automation as well as controlling the device while I’m not home. I sent the Eve Thermo back and started to look for actual pure Matter/Thread thermostat devices. After some research, I found one pretty obscure device.

Wisdom Smart Thermostat

  • SKU: WISZWDM-TRV031
  • EAN: 4251295743516
The universal connection to the radiator

The universal connection to the radiator

By obscure, I mean that there are no reports from users to be found, and at the time of this writing I cannot even order it on any well-known online shop platform in Germany. So I bought one from a less known shop and hereby report on how the device works.

Like the Eve Thermo, it comes with multiple adapters for different radiators. It takes three AA batteries instead of the two, which the Eve Thermo needs. The physical installation was okay, however, it fits slightly more loosely than the Eve Thermo did. I’m not an expert, but this might slightly reduce the maximum heating performance, as the valve might not be 100% open due to the loose fit. UPDATE 2024-05-24 If anything it would mean you cannot shut the valve completely, so you always get a little heat. However, this turned out not to happen in any noticable amount.

The firmware on the device is a bit janky and it took some time with multiple un-/reinstallations and factory resets to get it installed. Some tips for the interested:

  • After powering up in the “,n” state, give the device a few minutes before installing it on the radiator.
  • Adding the device to Google Home did not work on an iPhone. But using an Android phone, I was able to add the device, and controlling it now works from both devices.
  • Do not set the device to “off”, but instead just to the minimum temperature of 5°C, because from the “off” state, automation cannot turn the device on.
  • When adding the device by QR code, the app says that the device is not an official Thread device, to which you must reply “Add anyway”.

Conclusion

Overall it seems some corners were cut on the firmware side and I’d be happy to pay more for a device without these flaws. However, as it stands, this device stands without competition, compatibility-wise. I may buy one or two more for the most important use cases, but for converting my whole home and before recommending smart home to others, I intend to wait for Eve to get their act together and finally add real universal Matter/Thread support to their thermostat products, which seem to generally be of a higher quality. Also, I’m of course eager to replace my Google Nest Hub with Home Assistant, as soon as it is possible.

I think Matter/Thread can deliver on what it promises, but even after all those years, it is still not there. Mind you Eve Energy worked instantly and with no problems. Only the energy consumption measuring requires the proprietary Eve app. So while I am somewhat disappointed in the current state of Matter/Thread, I’m happy to finally have made a start in smartifying my home using technology, which I remain hopeful that one day will be all I need from it.

UPDATE 2024-05-24 I now own three Wisdom Smart Thermostat devices, of which I can only use one due to the identical QR code issue mentioned in the beginning.