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Elgato Eve Degree review: Elgato's basic weather sensor can't stand the heat

The Eve Degree brings data tracking to Apple's HomeKit platform, but it can't escape its imperfect design.

David Priest Former editor
David Priest is an award-winning writer and editor who formerly covered home security for CNET.
David Priest
3 min read

Two years ago, early HomeKit partner Elgato released the Eve Room , a sensor that tracked temperature, humidity and air quality. CNET gave the device a middling score -- although it worked reliably, its spare features just weren't worth the $80 price tag. Now Elgato is releasing the Eve Degree, an indoor and outdoor upgrade to the Eve Room, and it's much improved. But the standards for a quality smart home gadget have risen in the past two years.


Elgato Eve Degree

The Good

The Elgato Eve Degree tracks temperature, humidity and air pressure well, and it can trigger HomeKit scenes.

The Bad

The Degree takes awhile to adjust its temperature readings, its HomeKit integration is frustrating and it’s hard to imagine many people paying $70 for a sensor, even if it were excellent.

The Bottom Line

The Elgato Eve Degree works well enough, and a niche audience might get some value from it. But most consumers will not find it a compelling device.

The Elgato Eve Degree tracks temperature, humidity and barometric air pressure -- but it doesn't do anything. HomeKit is a stronger platform, though, so the device benefits from being able to trigger other gadgets. But the fact remains: a $70 (£60 or AU$130) gadget that only tracks data had better be blindingly polished. The problem is, the Eve Degree isn't polished enough.

While Elgato's newest gizmo performs some functions admirably, that simply won't be enough to win over consumers in 2017.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Eighty bucks for… a sensor?  

The first problem with the Elgato Eve Degree is just the basic concept: most people don't want to dish out $70 for a sensor. To be fair, the Eve Degree does fit an impressive number of metrics into its data gathering, including temperature, humidity and barometric pressure. And unlike Elgato's earlier indoor sensor, the Eve Degree will work outside (it's water-resistant), and it tracks changes in those variables with impressive agility.

I tested the Eve Degree in a climate-controlled room, where I adjusted the temperature and humidity at various times and tracked the rate of change on our own sensors versus the Eve Degree. Elgato's gadget tracked temperature quickly and accurately, staying within a degree of the room's actual temperature the whole time. The Degree tracks humidity accurately, but with a little more latency. It took between 10 and 20 minutes for the sensor to register and record changes. These slight inaccuracies and latencies are minor concerns. 

The only real problem I found with the Degree's data tracking was when I tested it outside. In direct sunlight, Elgato's sensor lost all accuracy. At 75 degrees Fahrenheit, the sensor read 125 degrees -- a pattern I found with two separate units. Placing the sensor under shade seemed to be an easy enough solution, but that extra step just means extra hassle.

The biggest problem with Elgato's Eve Degree is that the device still won't do anything with all its data, other than to graph it. Unless you're a data nut (which some of us are), $70 seems a little steep for that info. By contrast, you can get both digital and analog 3-in-1 sensors of this sort online for less than $40.

To really merit the higher price, the Eve Degree needs some standout features -- which it simply doesn't have.

Chris Monroe/CNET

But HomeKit, right?

The argument Elgato seems to make with the Eve Degree is that, while the device itself might not perform commands, it can trigger other devices on the Apple HomeKit platform. That's true: You can trigger a plug with a humidifier if the room gets too dry, or close the shades if it's getting too hot. But most of those triggers can be set up using a connected thermostat (which tracks and controls home temperature) or a basic sensor like the one that comes with the Ecobee thermostat. Paying an additional $70 for that trigger seems like overkill.

Even if someone did want to trigger HomeKit devices using the Eve Degree, the interface for setting up those scenes is convoluted (a representative for Elgato said this was because of a "limitation" on the part of Apple's platform). Essentially, you can't create triggered automations in the iOS Home app using the Eve Degree. Instead, you must create them in the Elgato app, then you can edit them (to a limited degree) in the Home app. Put simply, it's a cumbersome system.

A niche appeal is still appeal

Despite many of my critiques, the Eve Degree offers some cool data-gathering features that could be helpful to users with a particular set of needs. But beyond that niche appeal, the Eve Degree just isn't worth $70 for most people.

Editors' Note, June 8, 2017: An earlier version of this review noted that the screen had been damaged while removing the front sticker. The film over the screen, however, was also meant to be removed, revealing more durable glass. The paragraph has been removed, and the score has been adjusted accordingly.


Elgato Eve Degree

Score Breakdown

Features 5Usability 7Design 5Performance 9