iClever is a clever brand that has produced a large number of devices covering everything from simple wall charging adapters to smart home products. Their latest to this collection is their iClever Air Quality Monitor that can interact with other (smart home) devices on the network.
It’s a small little box with a size around 2.5″ – 3″ depending on the side, that can connect to your smart home setup using the Smart Life app (available for both Android and iOS). This app is used by hundreds of devices made by multiple manufacturers, mostly Chinese in origin. In fact, we’d say that Smart Life is quite far the most widely used app coming from China (used all around the world) when it comes to the smart home, due to the sheer amount of devices it supports. So this helps to enhance the number of devices and scenes each device has access to interacting with, allowing you to easily create a detailed smart home environment.
Two highlights allow this device to really shine the best. For one, it supports three stages of air quality measurement, including PM2.5, PM10, and PM1.0. These values represent the measure of fine particles in your air, or “particle matter” (PM). The numbers represent the size of this particle matter in micrometers, thus each value is a measurement of particle matter within that size range in your environment. Particle matter can be anything from moisture (water or gas droplets in the air), mold spores, dust, dirt, and other allergens or hazardous particles within the given size range.
If you live in a potentially dangerous area when it comes to pollution, this can be used to determine how effective your actions are at reducing this risk at home. Like the difference between budget air filters and more allergen-focused options from companies like Filterete that go above and beyond to scrub the air being sucked into your AC/heating system.
China is a good example to use for this. Some of their cities that have a huge focus on industrial factories sadly suffer from a tremendous amount of smog and other pollutants. You can see this in the drone footage of the city of Wuhan, where someone recently shot a video of what the city looks like while it has been in its quarantine since January from the coronavirus (quite unfortunate). You can see the thick blanket of smog that is parked above and throughout the city. Other cities like Los Angeles (CA) suffer their own smog troubles, although thankfully, the number of such cities has been coming down over the years as countries push for stricter energy and Earth-friendly solutions/programs.
It’s important when you live in these areas to keep these pollutants from entering your home. You could also be concerned about other driving factors, such as a member of your family that smokes, or other causes of harmful particles that you could benefit from identifying if this has become a problem for your home or not, and then continuously monitor quality into the future with alerts and other possible interactions throughout the network.
This does exactly that. It can measure particles in the air within those three size ranges, and alert you if they reach a concerning level.
It seems to have been working well at measuring the air here. At least, it appears to be. We don’t have anything else to test it against for air quality, but it seems to be working based on things we have brought around or kicked up around it (moisture/steam, powders, etc), that triggered it to adjust/change to the situation. Thankfully, the air quality here is pretty darn good if this is accurate, as we haven’t seen a reading past 1 or 2. It seems most governing agencies (city, state or higher) that set the limits for PM levels, have deemed anything less than 75 as safe.
The bottom of the device lights up with a built-in LED that represents the current values on the screen. Green for normal, yellow for concerning, and red for “you need to get out or fix this immediately” (or simply “dangerous levels”). This is nice since you can see what it sees from a distance without ever reading the screen.
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The green light can’t be turned off independently from the screen which is a little unfortunate. However, it does serve an important function, so it’s not terrible. It’s just for some people, they may not like the light, thus it would be good to have independent control (you still have the app and notifications). Just a thought.
Connecting it to the app, you can see the current values of the sensors from anywhere, set up alerts for when it reaches a specific value or higher and add it to scenes so that it can interact with other devices around the house, like setting off a smart siren/alarm if you go into the read, or trigger your smart lights to turn red or blink. You are only limited by what smart devices you have on the network and the craziness in your head.
The second of the before-mentioned highlights is that it is also a temperature and humidity sensor. There have been many temp/humidity solutions out there that consumers have been buying to add extended function and support to their smart home setup, and it really does allow you to do a lot. Let’s say you have a two-story home and only one thermostat on one of the two floors. With a temp sensor on the other floor, either floor could trigger the thermostat to kick on, if you want. With iClever’s Air Quality Sensor, you get all three worlds in one easy to place sensor! It’s quite the swiss-army knife when it comes to function.
It also appears to be decently durable despite being quite light and seemingly mostly made with thin plastic and simple electronics. It feels and looks pretty basic when it comes to the quality of materials. Nothing fancy here to speak of outside of the fact that it took an accidental drop from about 4 ft, not once but twice, and seems to have survived outside of the bottom plastic diffuser for the LED light popping off (which popped right back into place without trouble). I’d love to say that we did that on purpose during testing, but that wasn’t the case. Nonetheless, it survived. Still, for the price, it would have been nice to see better-looking materials that suggest it has more than $5 worth of electronics going on inside of it.
Coupon Notice: At the time of this story, there is an available coupon on Amazon that saves you 30%, bringing the price to a much better value. The coupon is “LR79L7AE” (while it lasts).
We really liked this. It’s a simple device that doesn’t offer the user any settings. More so a set and forget until you need it to warn you about something. The Smart Life app is where you go into any customization, including interaction with other devices or alerts. Beyond that, the device by itself simply gives you remote access to the readings as well as a live (only) history chart. The LED light is a nice touch, although we’d like to see an option to turn it off if the user prefers (in case it’s in their room while they sleep or something). We found it absolutely fantastic that it also operates as a temperature and humidity sensor, giving you a lot of options in a single device. The price is the only thing we frowned at a little. For $99, it feels a bit cheap. There aren’t even any rubber feet at the bottom to prevent it from sliding around. When you hold it in your hand, it just doesn’t feel like $99, it feels more like $19.99, so it has that weighing down the score a bit. When you consider function without picturing the quality of materials, it sounds like a $49-$59 device when compared to some other options. It still rates highly with us though due to its number of sensors and usability scenarios. If air quality is a concern for you and you have a setup that is already using the Smart Life app, this is a rare gem that can potentially make your day better.
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*Average price is based on the time this article was published
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