Bosch has a solid and reliable lower-cost thermostat in its Connected Control BCC100; unfortunately, it wasn’t quite as technologically advanced as other more expensive choices. Nearly three years later, the company has finally released a follow-up with an even lower price tag. Bosch throws out the touchscreen with its Connected Control BCC50, but otherwise offers the same connectivity features to hit a street price of just $89.
This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best smart thermostats, where you’ll find reviews of competing products, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping.
Low-priced, but relatively risk free
This price range of the smart thermostat market is crowded, but in our experience, you get what you pay for. So, Bosch’s name should give you some reassurance this will be a reliable product even if it’s not as feature packed as some of its competitors. The BCC50’s footprint is nearly identical to the BCC100, almost as if they took the more expensive model, ditched its touchscreen, and replaced it with a much smaller, simpler display.
A two-inch circular LCD display sits in the center of the rectangular box with flat illuminated buttons to each side. It looks a lot like iDevices’ budget smart thermostat and is far from our favorite aesthetic, but it is unobtrusive and easily blends into the background. The BCC50 installs largely identically to the BCC100 and depends on the presence of a C-wire for power.
A regimented schedule
The Bosch BCC50 should be compatible with most conventional heating and cooling systems, including two-stage heat pumps and dehumidifiers. Unlike the BCC100, however, this model requires the Bosch Connected Control app for setup. It’s important to use this specific app, as Bosch has a confusingly large number of apps in the mobile app stores, and this is the only one that will work with this device. That warning aside, installation and setup are kept largely simplistic.
The BCC50 is an entirely schedule-based thermostat with app controls. Unlike a Nest and several other smart thermostats, it won’t learn your usage patterns and program itself. You can program it with up to four schedules, and will it stick with the one that’s relevant at the time unless you override it. You can change the temperature at the thermostat itself or from anywhere else with the app. You can ask either Alexa or Google Assistant about the current temperature and use one of those digital assistants to change the target temperature; other than that, the BCC50 is about as basic as a smart thermostat can be. It doesn’t support geofencing, there are no remote room sensors, no smart algorithms, or other advanced features.
Simple, but reliable
The Bosch BCC50 doesn’t have a proximity sensor, either, so when you…