New ecobee SmartThermostat is a smart speaker in disguise

At long last, ecobee finally launched its latest product. It may not be the indoor camera some might have hoped but fans of the brand's smart thermostat might appreciate what the upgrade offers. To put it in not so many words, ecobee has practically crammed an Amazon Echo inside its New SmartThermostat with voice control along with the ability to potentially save you money and energy by being better at detecting whether you're home or not.

The changes that the New ecobee SmartThermostat has over the ecobee4 are almost subtle on the outside. Instead of plastic, the company now uses a glass finish and a colored LCD touch screen. Inside, however, the changes are more dramatic, starting with the new but unnamed quad-core processor, dual-band Wi-Fi, and improved Bluetooth that help enable the thermostat's new experiences.

Older ecobee thermostats already had speakers butt the New ecobee SmartThermostat promises a richer sound quality that goes hand in hand with the new Spotify Connect functionality. Digital mics and the more powerful processor improve the device's AI capabilities and voice control, especially with the addition of Alexa Calling, Messaging, and Drop-in.

It's not just the base unit that's been improved, though. The accompanying SmartSensor has received an even more noticeable facelift while also improving its pairing range to up to 60 feet. And despite all those changes, ecobee boasts that the New SmartThermostat with voice control retains everything fans loved about the connected appliance, including its energy rating, energy savings, and integration with other smart assistants and IFTTT.

All of that for the same $249 that the ecobee4 originally had, which is now down to $199. That price tag for the New ecobee SmartThermostat with voice control includes one new SmartSensor but additional ones can be purchased in packs of two for $79.