CNET First Look
Quirky's got a smarter way to keep cool this summerThe Aros smart air conditioner is the best thing we've seen from Quirky+GE yet.
Hey, I'm CNET's Ry Crist, and I'm standing here beside the Aros Smart Air Conditioner from the team at Quirky NGE. Now this is a connected appliance that will sync with your smartphone, track when you come and go, and learn from your habits in order to cool your house more efficiently. Now we've already tested and reviewed some other Quirky products, like the Spotter and the pivot powered Genius. They also have some other cool things like a portfolio that's a smart piggy bank for your kids. But this is their biggest thing yet. $300 is a major appliance and it has some really cool functionalities to it. So first off, let's take a look at the design of this thing. It looks great. It looks like a very modern and sleek appliance. It's got the nice white face with the LED display. If I turn this thing on, you'll see the bright blue LEDs that shine and tell you the current temperature of the room or what settings you're using. It looks very nice and futuristic. We're a big fan of that. My one problem with the design is that the fans on the side, they're usually accordion style, and they hug the bottom of the little liner here. These don't. They're just like a single panel. They are a little flimsy. And they might let bugs in. They might like a slight breeze in. I'm not saying it's horrible. You could fix it with a piece of duct tape. Not the biggest deal, but still not a perfect design. In our tests, the Aros' smart features did reasonably well. The smart budget feature is one that I like a lot. You can set the exact amount that you want to spend on your utility bill for the air conditioner each month and then as you go through the month, it'll track how much you're using and let you know if you need to use a little less or if you can afford to use a lot more. It's a great way to keep on budget. There's also that smart away feature that tracks when you come and go. It uses geosensing to determine when you've gone more than a hundred meters away from your home and then can switch the air conditioner off or turn to a different setting and then do the same when you come back within that geo-fenced area. That's a cool feature. All in all, I like this machine. I think that the price point is especially attractive. $300 for an 8,000 BTU unit, that's pretty good. That's reasonable. Most other non-connected, not smart 8,000 BTU units would retail for anywhere for $225 to over $300. So $300 for a smart one that works well, I like that. The Aros is an 8,000 BTU air conditioner and that's good for a room of 350 square feet, per Energy Star standards, and it does a pretty good job on our test. It's a nice cool machine and it gets the room nice and cold. One thing to know about this machine is that the fan does make some noise. If you're watching TV and you've got it on the highest setting, it might be a bit of a distraction. It's not a quiet, silent type of machine. It definitely whirs a bit. But I will say that the compressor, the back part of this air conditioner is pretty quiet, actually. It doesn't buzz. It doesn't vibrate. It's just that fan in the front that makes a little bit of noise. And so, if noise just really important to you, you might wanna look for a different unit. But that said, for it's nice design and smart performance, I give Aros high marks. For CNET, I'm Ry Crist. [MUSIC]