In the last year, the world of wireless hygrometers has made big steps forward. Four years ago, wireless hygrometers meant individual hygrometers that would pair with a centralized receiver. It would allow you to view the humidity and temperature settings from multiple devices all at once. Now, wireless hygrometers largely refer to devices that connect to your smartphone, allowing you to view all that data from your smartphone, and in at least one case, from anywhere in the world.
SensorPush is the advanced option for those looking for a wireless hygrometer. It provides not only more data but more detailed data, as well as more access to that data and uniquely, the ability to see what the current relative humidity is in the cigars being stored in our office humidors as I type this review from the balcony at my home.
WHAT IS IT?
If you say “SensorPush” you likely are referring to a small 1.57 inches x 1.57 x .67 Carolina blue device known as the HT1, but in reality, it’s a family of products, which currently includes:
- SensorPush HT1 ($50) — A small, square device that serves as a humidity and temperature monitor. It must pair with an iOS or Android device in order to display readouts as there is no physical screen.
- SensorPush G1 WiFi Gateway ($100) — An optional wi-fi module that connects to your router and allows you to access live and historical data from anywhere in the world so long as your smartphone has an internet connection and your router is online.
- SensorPush App (Free) — Required to view all data.
The HT1 is the main device. It can work over either Bluetooth or wifi. It measures relative humidity and temperature every 10 seconds and then sends the data to your smartphone via the aforementioned wireless solutions. Data is recorded in a tenth of a percent, i.e. 67.7 percent RH or 71.1 degrees Fahrenheit, a relatively standard way of measuring numbers for cigar humidors. In addition, SensorPush says the HT1 can store over two weeks worth of that data, meaning if you go on vacation for two weeks, all you need to do is come back into range, open the app and the last 14 days worth of humidity and temperature points—over 200,000 data points per device—will be downloaded.
In addition to viewing the data on your smartphone, you can also create push notifications alerts. You can set custom parameters based on humidity and temperature levels, and if your humidors exceed those ranges, you will get a notification just like a text message. This feature is great for people who have humidors that rarely get opened as you can get alerts when it’s time to refill or replace your humidity solution.
SensorPush claims that the line-of-sight Bluetooth range, i.e. obstacle-free path from the device to your phone, is over 300 feet. In addition, the company says that normal use means the batteries (CR2477) last for about a year.
The G1 Gateway is an upgrade option for the SensorPush and is really what sets it apart. It connects to your router either via wifi or ethernet and then pushes all the data to the cloud so that it can be accessed from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
The ability to access detailed historical and live readings of temperature and relative humidity from anywhere in the world is awesome. The wi-fi option involves creating an account, which means you can log in from multiple devices as opposed to just the one paired smartphone of a Bluetooth solution.
- It Works — Everything works as advertised and is super intuitive.
- Setup Is Quick and Easy — In the last three years, the process of setting up wi-fi enabled hygrometers has come a long way. I managed to set up the wireless unit and three SensorPush receivers in under 15 minutes. Additionally, setting up multiple units was a lot easier than competitors’ products due to a unique identification process where you pair the device by moving it around the screen of your smartphone.
- Data Points & Graphs Galore — The app has a great user interface that makes it easy to see really mundane data points about your relative humidity and temperature reading.
- No Monthly Fees — Whether you are using the Bluetooth option, but particularly, the wifi feature, you aren’t charged anything beyond the hardware costs.
- Price — As noted below, SensorPush is two times more expensive than some of its competitors. If you aren’t going to use the wi-fi feature, it’s really difficult to justify the added costs.
- DOA Batteries — One of the four units I purchased came with a battery that was dead on arrival. Given I had purchased four units and batteries don’t last forever, I opted to buy more batteries as they are only $1.80 per piece and that seemed a lot easier than waiting on SensorPush to replace the batteries. The other good news is that opening up your SensorPush device is super easy, all you need is a credit card.
- Screenless — I wish the devices came with a screen, even if it wasn’t always on. I understand this would add more bulk and cost to the device, but it is annoying to open a humidor, see the device and then realize I have to take out my smartphone if I want to see the humidity readings.
Boveda Smart Sensor — The main competition is the Boveda Smart Sensor ($20), a Bluetooth-only wireless hygrometer from the makers of the ubiquitous Boveda humidity packets. Boveda’s device works in much the same way as SensorPush with two large caveats: first, the data isn’t displayed in as detailed fashion as there are fewer data points and numbers are rounded; second, Boveda’s device does not have the option for wifi, meaning you must be in Bluetooth range to get updates.
The biggest difference is the price. Boveda recently slashed the price of its device to $20, meaning you are now paying a huge premium for the more detailed and accessible data. A set-up with three SensorPush HT1s and the G1 Wi-Fi Gateway is $250, over four times what it would cost for Boveda’s Bluetooth-only solution.
- Govee — This $40 device appears to solve my complaint regarding the lack of screen, but it doesn’t appear to offer any wi-fi expandability. I have not tested this device.
- Inkbird — Inkbird makes a variety of solutions ranging from the screen-less IBS-TH1 mini ($25) to the screen-included IBS-TH1 plus ($40). It also doesn’t offer a wireless option. I have not tested this device.
- Kestrel DROP D3 — At $130, this device is not really made for cigars, but it does work. The Kestrel is made for outdoor applications and it can measure a ton of other things like dew point, altitude, station pressure, etc. It’s also made to be rugged and includes the ability to be fully submerged in a meter of water for 30 minutes, a feature I tested.
- Cigar Oasis — Cigar Oasis now offers the ability to have wi-fi monitoring with all of its current generation humidifiers. I haven’t tested them yet, but the company’s previous generation wireless solution worked. Cigar Oasis charges a $2.99 monthly fee to enable the feature, but the company didn’t raise the prices of its humidifiers. If you only have a single Cigar Oasis, you are probably better off just enabling that feature as it would take over four years before you experienced any cost savings compared to a SensorPush plus wi-fi module. However, if want wi-fi monitoring on more than one unit, the SensorPush will pay for itself in under three years.
A FUN FACT
SensorPush recommends Boveda’s Calibration Kit for calibration. Unlike the Boveda Smart Sensor, which comes with a calibration kit, you must spend an extra $7 for the packet.
SHOULD YOU BUY IT?
For most users, I’d recommend the Boveda Smart Sensor. At less than half the price, the Boveda Smart Sensor includes most of the features that most users probably need.
The SensorPush is the upgrade pick for a variety of reasons, including the fact that I’ve already spent $300 on SensorPush devices, it’s my preferred solution going forward. There is no question that it is better than Boveda’s option in just about every way, other than price. The SensorPush provides more data, more detailed data and the ability to see that data—with the $100 wi-fi attachment—anywhere in the world. For companies in the cigar business, or consumers with cigar collections valued at prices that rival cigar businesses, the SensorPush’s premium is a small price to pay for the advanced features, but it’s probably not necessary for 99 percent of the people reading this review.