In the last year or so, smart hygrometers—i.e., hygrometers that connect to a smartphone—have become a let more commonplace. Thanks to efforts by Boveda, smart hygrometers are now being sold at even lower prices and in cigar shops around the world. I’ve been testing and looking into smart hygrometers for a while now and I’ve long had one request: a screen.
Most smart hygrometers tend to be quite small and in an effort to keep the smaller footprint and increase battery life, they generally have not included screens. For the most part, that’s fine, but it’s annoying to open a humidor, see the device and then realize that in order to know the temperature and humidity in that specific humidor, I need to pull out my phone, find and then load an app. It’s even more annoying when I know that it wouldn’t be that challenging to make the device that I seek.
That technology exists and today is a look at one of them: the Govee Smart Hygrometer ($39.99).
Or as it is titled on Amazon: Bluetooth Temperature Humidity Monitor for iPhone/Android, Govee Wireless Indoor Thermometer Hygrometer Humidity Gauge, Humidity Temperature Smart Sensor with Alert(Data Log and Calibration Available).
WHAT IS IT?
Essentially, it’s a hygrometer, just like any other digital hygrometer you’ve ever seen. It measures relative humidity and temperature, the latter of which can be done in either Celsius and Fahrenheit. The difference is that it can connect via Bluetooth to your iOS or Android device, where it can display not only live readings of temperature and relative humidity but also store the historical data of what’s been happening in your humidor.
There’s also the Govee Home app, available for both iOS and Android. It’s free and is needed to take advantage of the smart capabilities of the device.
The app shows the data points by the minute, including on two separate graphs. It can tell you what the relative humidity and temperature are at the moment, or at least within the last minute, as well as the historical data. The company claims the device can store 32,000 data points, which by my math means it can go 22 days without being synced before you lose any data.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
The Govee has a screen.
Most smart hygrometers are really more data loggers than anything else. There are other options that have a screen and smartphone connectivity—see below—but if Amazon rankings are to be believed, this is the most popular of those options.
- The Screen — The reason why I’m reviewing this is the screen. It’s the first time I’ve reviewed a smart hygrometer with just a screen.
- Fast Updates — While the app records data every minute, the actual hardware updates about every second. That’s probably not necessary, but it’s nice.
- Size — It’s not as small as the Boveda Butler, but I also wouldn’t want it to be that small. The screen means that it needs to be large enough to see clearly without being overly bulky. I think the Govee is a happy medium.
- Attaching Base — Govee includes an attaching base that allows the device to slide in and out easily. I’m not sure what the exact use case is, but if you wanted to mount your Govee somewhere and then remove it temporarily—only to then place it back in the original location—that’s very easy to do given the hardware that comes with the box.
- Accuracy — Out of the box, the Govee was 0.2 percent off as far as relative humidity goes. As someone that is calibrating a new hygrometer every two weeks or so, that’s very good. I certainly think you should calibrate new hygrometers, but I imagine most people don’t and as such, this isn’t a good sign. I will note that it’s not like every single Govee is going to be within this range, but credit where credit is due, even if the sample size is only one.
- AAA Batteries — Rather than using a large watch battery, the Govee uses a much more common battery. It also comes with two batteries included.
- Export Data — Like the SensorPush, the Govee’s app will let you export the data into a .csv file, which some people find useful.
- Govee Home App — The smartphone app is maybe passable. Yes, it works. No, it doesn’t work anywhere close to as well as Boveda’s or SensorPush’s apps. That’s a problem. If this was 2012, the app would be fine. But there are a list of small things that aren’t up to par in 2018.
- Would You Like Some Lights? —My issues with the app start with the promotions for Govee’s other products which include LED light strips—including one for a car—smart lights and a smart plug. It’s tacky and unnecessary.
- Loaded 5 Percent — My larger issue with the app is that every time I go into it, it has to do this multi-minute process where a screen reading “Loaded X%” runs. I’m not sure what it’s actually doing, as the data points seem to be there and I can access them while this is happening, but I can’t adjust settings and it screws with the UI. It’s worth noting that every time you leave the specific device’s profile screen, it goes through this cycle. The good news is, if you were just in that screen 10 seconds ago, it only takes about four seconds for the loading process to complete.
- Notifications — Like most other smart hygrometer apps I’ve used, the Govee lets you set alarms for when the device detects relative humidity or temperature out of a certain range. Unlike the Boveda or SensorPush devices, those alarms aren’t push notifications, meaning I only get them in the app itself and not throughout the rest of my iPhone. To makes matters worse, it basically just ends up being a pop-up that I have to clear to use the rest of the app.
And my one issue with the hardware:
- The Button — If you need to change the temperature from Celsius to Fahrenheit, you should hit the physical button on the front of the Govee. The problem is if you keep hitting it, the numbers will oftentimes change and it’s unclear what you are actually doing. A read through of the included manual is of no help about what’s happening. It’s not a huge issue, but it does seem like an oversight.
The most direct competitor seems to be the Inkbird Wireless Bluetooth Temperature And Humidity Monitor. It’s $35.99, so a few dollars less than the Govee ($39.99) but seems to be a similar concept: a smart hygrometer with a screen. I’ve purchased one to use for a future review, I’ll update this post once that happens.