Urban Weather Station Review Masthead

REVIEW: Urban Weather Station

In England the weather at best can be described as ‘middle of the road’. A little bit of rain here, a gale there – and just occasionally we get some sun, so when the opportunity came up to review the Urban Weather Station from netatmo I jumped at the chance. The thing is, with the weather in England a device like this will be great to review – lots of varying weather patterns and always something a little different to look forwards to… Until July this year.

It’s typical that during the hottest continuous spell for a number of years I am reviewing a weather station that keeps telling me it’s hot and going to be hot! Normally I would think it must be broken, but in the week I was testing it I couldn’t argue with it a single time.

The ‘Urban Weather Station’ is a Weather and Environmental Monitor which you can use to measure both your internal and external environments. In the box you get two cylindrical modules, the smaller of which  goes outside whilst the larger of the two is for internal use only. The internal monitor is powered by the supplied mains adaptor whilst the external unit uses four AAA batteries.  You also get a USB cable which is required during the setup process.

Netatmo_App_hd_main-eng-met

To get started you have two options. Using the supplied USB cable you can connect the indoor module directly to your PC / Mac to get the modules linked up to your Wi-Fi or, using an iOS cable you can plug it directly into your iOS device and go through the setup process this way. Part of the setup process will involve the setting up of a user account and depending on how new your unit is a firmware update might be forced.  Once you have completed these few steps you are done and ready to go.

From the supplied guide you are advised to place the internal unit away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Whilst the external unit is best located in a sheltered position, although it can cope with the elements it is not completely waterproof. You are also able to fix it to the wall using the supplied screws or straps. Once positioned you are ready to go…

Netatmo graph iphone

You can access the information from the monitors in a multitude of ways including the iOS  / Android App which you can download from iTunes / Google Play respectively or the desktop App. The dashboard gives you plenty of information and a first glance may leave you feeling a little overwhelmed with detail, however once you start to spend some time with it – it soon becomes clear what’s what.

Firstly, after you have set the monitors up you can get information relating to the signal strength of the units and also the battery power of the external device – this is handy for when you are finding a suitable location for the units – it is suggested that they can operate up to 100 metres apart… Possible but I didn’t get to test it. Via the internal monitor you can get readings relating to the following environmental factors:

  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Pressure
  • CO2
  • Acoustic levels

Whilst the external device monitors:

  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Air quality

The indoor unit also has a unique feature whereby tapping the top of the unit it displays a colour depending on the current CO2 levels – green is good, amber – could be better and red – well if it gets to  that hopefully it isn’t too late and you can make it outside! Via the dashboard you can review all of the data relating to the above measurements – however for some reason although the external device measures air quality it doesn’t plot or store the information.

As mentioned above when you first arrive on the dashboard it can be a little overwhelming but once you start to spend some time with it – the whole thing makes a lot more sense. If you are on a mobile device you are first presented with the main screen, if you want to view the graphs just turn it into landscape mode, to view a different graph just click on the drop down and choose. As you would expect you can use the classic pinch to zoom in or out and view the information in either minutes, hours or days.

Android netatmo weather app

I used the weather station over the course of the week and as mentioned at the top of the page it was pretty much the same weather all week – it was nice seeing some graphs which hovered somewhere between 18°C and 27°C for a change – but annoyingly I actually wanted some crappy weather just to see different readings. I can’ really argue with the accuracy of the units as it felt pretty much spot on with all of its readings. Obviously it is more difficult to compare the CO2 levels but they adjusted as you would expect with the differing weather patterns. The one that was most interesting was the air quality – I live in a village so fortunately the air quality is pretty good however there was some obvious changes when we had a few continuous days of heat and humidity.

netatmo internal and external unit

I can’t argue with the quality and accuracy of the device but as previously mentioned it would have been good to experience some varying weather patterns (typical Englishman… never happy with the weather!) just to see how well it copes.

Devices like this aren’t cheap, the RRP is £139.99 and you really have to be a bit of a weather geek to get the best out of it. It is of course suitable for than just weather enthusiasts, it has been suggested that a keen gardener could gain some benefits from having such a device as would anyone with health issues that could be enhanced by knowledge of localised pollution etc.

For what it is I can’t fault it. The units are well made – a solid piece of aluminium with some plastic. They look pretty good and you wouldn’t be ashamed having it on display in your house, however if you choose to they are small enough to be put out of sight.

So would I recommended it? Well there isn’t really anything bad to report, it does what it is meant to and it does it well. It looks good, the units feel solid and it performs. The only thing against it is the price. The RRP is £139.99 however you can get it cheaper if you shop around, but if weather is really your thing go for it!

Comments
One Response to “REVIEW: Urban Weather Station”
  1. Gerry says:

    Looks an excellent product – bit expensive though!

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