EVALUATION

Airthings View Plus Review: Real-Time Updates on the Air That’s Killing You

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Airthings View Plus

8.00 / 10

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The Airthings View Plus is one of the most comprehensive indoor air quality monitors available today. The device can last up to two years on a set of AA batteries, and the sensors track the most essential measures of air quality. The data syncs via Wi-Fi, allowing you to view the data on your smartphone or any web browser. Although there are no actionable insights offered, the Airthings View Plus is an excellent investment if you want to learn how about the air you breathe.

Key Features

  • Companion smartphone app and web dashboard to view data
  • Monitors most essential measures of air quality
  • E-ink display
Specifications

  • Brand: Airthings
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Integrations: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT
  • Alerts: Yes
  • Sensors: Radon, PM2.5, CO2, Temperature, Humidity, VOC
Pros

  • Two-year battery life
  • Comprehensive array of sensors
  • CO2 values can be used as a proxy for ventilation effectiveness
Cons

  • Doesn't come with a rechargeable battery
  • No option to manually sync data
  • The app doesn't offer actionable interventions to improve air quality
Buy This Product

Airthings View Plus amazon

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Airthings View Plus

8.00 / 10

Read Reviews

See on amazon

The Airthings View Plus is one of the most comprehensive indoor air quality monitors available today. The device can last up to two years on a set of AA batteries, and the sensors track the most essential measures of air quality. The data syncs via Wi-Fi, allowing you to view the data on your smartphone or any web browser. Although there are no actionable insights offered, the Airthings View Plus is an excellent investment if you want to learn how about the air you breathe.

Key Features

  • Companion smartphone app and web dashboard to view data
  • Monitors most essential measures of air quality
  • E-ink display
Specifications

  • Brand: Airthings
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Integrations: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT
  • Alerts: Yes
  • Sensors: Radon, PM2.5, CO2, Temperature, Humidity, VOC
Pros

  • Two-year battery life
  • Comprehensive array of sensors
  • CO2 values can be used as a proxy for ventilation effectiveness
Cons

  • Doesn't come with a rechargeable battery
  • No option to manually sync data
  • The app doesn't offer actionable interventions to improve air quality
Buy This Product

Airthings View Plus amazon

Shop

Considering how essential it is to our lives, we know very little about the air we breathe. Science has identified that our bodies need oxygen and that we exhale carbon dioxide, but we know there are all sorts of other particles, gases, and other pollutants all around us.

However, these invisible compounds are hard to monitor and even more challenging to correlate to events—like increased traffic or cooking—throughout the day. This makes it hard for us to avoid exposure to viruses, pollution, and other airborne contaminants.

Fortunately, you can monitor your indoor spaces with a device like the AirThings View Plus, a comprehensive, connected air quality monitor.

Airthings View Plus Design

Airthings View Plus quick view

There's nothing more off-putting than a very techie-looking bit of smart home equipment. When integrating connected devices, you don't want them to look like technology; you want them to sit comfortably in your home alongside all your other appliances and decorative items.

Fortunately, the Airthings View Plus is quite pleasing to look at, even if it is a little on the larger side. The rectangular unit's rounded corners have small airflow holes, but they are barely noticeable on the all-white device. On the underside, there's a rubber pad to stop it from moving about on surfaces.

Although most of the essential parts are hidden inside, there's still a modest display on the front of the View Plus. Like the central unit, the display is rounded, but it's also made of e-ink, the same technology you'll find on the Amazon Kindle and other e-readers. This is an interesting and probably wise decision.

There's no real need for a color display, and it would only reduce the battery life. The Airthings View Plus is constantly gathering data, but you won't find yourself glued to the display for long periods, so it makes sense that it should be as efficient as possible. There's a detachable back panel where you'll find a USB-C port for power, though you don't have to keep the View Plus constantly plugged in.

Airthings View Plus batteries

If you want to place the unit away from a mains plug or mount it on the wall without cabling, you can use six AA batteries to power the device instead. While the e-ink display means the monitor isn't unnecessarily using power, it is always gathering data. To achieve long-lasting battery life, you need to keep it plugged in or rely on the batteries.

That said, six single-use batteries seem a little excessive these days. Airthings ships the View Plus with batteries included, but you could replace them with rechargeable versions once depleted. But a rechargeable, swappable battery, as you find in many cameras or certain smartphones, would have seemed more environmentally-minded and could have reduced the unit's thickness.

Airthings View Plus Setup

Airthings View Plus on a coat hanger

In the relatively recent past, installing monitoring equipment around your home would have needed a specialist and probably cost quite a lot. Comparatively, the AIrthings View Plus is remarkably straightforward to set up. You just need a Wi-Fi network, the Airthings smartphone app, and the device itself to get going.

There are no options, settings, buttons, or inputs on the unit, so all of your interaction with the device and its data will be through your smartphone or web browser. When you first unpack the View Plus, you need to remove the plastic tab to connect the batteries, and the unit will power on.

Open the smartphone app on your iPhone or Android smartphone, and you'll be guided through the setup process. Even here, there's not much for you to do, as there aren't many options on this single-function device. You only need to decide where to put the View Plus in your home, which network to connect it to, and customize the display.

Once you've gone through the initial setup, the View Plus will start a seven-day calibration process. This is kind of like an extended version of booting up the device; it'll still capture air quality data, but it might not be as reliable until after the week-long period.

Airthings View Plus Features

Airthings View Plus air holes

The Airthings View Plus is one of the most comprehensive consumer-level air quality monitors you can buy. The unit comes with sensors to measure carbon dioxide (CO2), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter (PM2.5), temperature, humidity, and air pressure.

Each measure is essential, although the CO2 sensor is especially notable. Recently, carbon dioxide has been used as a proxy for ventilation quality. As COVID-19 restrictions ease, many businesses and households are starting to track CO2 levels to limit the spread of the virus.

If the CO2 level is too high, it suggests that the ventilation isn't adequate to prevent the virus from quickly spreading indoors. Although this might not be the highest priority in your home, it's certainly helpful if you're concerned about the safety of any guests in the house.

The particulate matter PM2.5 sensor is also important because it keeps track of what we'd broadly call pollution. Human activities like driving cars, manufacturing, and electricity generation create tiny particles that we inhale and cause long-term health problems.

The company is also one of the few to include a Radon sensor in its products. This radioactive gas is produced naturally by the decay of uranium in rocks and soils. Consequently, your levels of Radon will vary depending on where you live, as certain areas will have more or less exposure depending on the underfoot environment.

You can customize the display using the app's device settings to display the two most valuable readings to you. Waving your hand in front of the display lights up a color-coded LED and message on the screen for a quick overview of your home's air quality. The e-ink display coupled with several batteries means that the View Plus should achieve a two-year battery life if you choose not to use the USB-C input.

Given that the device only launched in the summer of 2021, it's hard to know whether it represents real-world use. That said, after two months of usage, the battery had dropped around 20 percent, so you could estimate it'd last around a year. Still, it's worth noting that, as a test device, I was constantly playing with it, checking the data, and enabling the quick view on the unit.

Airthings View Plus Data

Image Gallery (4 Images)

The Airthings View Plus connects to your Wi-Fi network and syncs data every 10 minutes. To preserve battery life, you can change sync frequency on the web dashboard's settings to every 60 minutes instead. But if you've chosen to power the View Plus via USB, your data will sync automatically every 2.5 minutes.

Measurements are taken every few minutes, although exact timings vary per sensor. Typically, it's between 5 and 10 minutes. You can quickly check air quality using the Airthings app on your iPhone or Android smartphone. Tapping on the View Plus unit from your devices list opens a swipeable list of all measurements.

Two-thirds of the display is taken up with a traffic light-style color-coded ring so that you can get a quick overview and identify any problem areas. Underneath, you can toggle the trend graphs to show data from 48 hours, one week, one month, or across a year. The smartphone app is the most convenient way to access the data, particularly if you're away from the house, though the web dashboard makes it easier to view trends.

Does the Airthings View Plus Offer Actionable Advice?

Airthings View Plus web dashboard data

As we found in our Airthings Wave Plus review, it can be pretty challenging to know what to do with all of this data. As impressive as the View Plus, smartphone app, and web dashboard are, there's very little actionable advice offered anywhere, so it's up to you to research this yourself and make interventions to improve air quality.

This is a core problem with many smart home data-gathering devices, though. It's relatively easy to capture the data, but making sense of it is the critical and often overlooked part. If your monitor tells you the air quality is poor but offers no way to fix it, the effect can be paralyzing and stressful.

As a result, before you invest in a monitor, it's important to consider why you want to track air quality. Temperature data is easy for us to understand, but it's less obvious how to remedy poor air quality. Similarly, depending on where you are, you might not be able to improve it at all.

But that shouldn't take away from the fantastic job the Airthings View Plus does at gathering valuable, clear data. I preferred using the web dashboard as I could see more data and longer trends, but the smartphone app is, realistically, how most people are going to access the device's information.

Should You Buy the Airthings View Plus?

The Airthings View Plus is easily one of the best indoor air quality monitors you can buy for your home. The unobtrusive unit won't get in the way, no matter where you put it in your home. The all-white design is quite timeless so that it won't look dated in a few years either.

It is also one of the most comprehensive monitors, with several sensors designed to track a range of air quality measures. The inclusion of a Radon sensor is also striking, though the usefulness of this feature will depend on where you live and your exposure to the radioactive gas.

Compared to other similar devices, including Airthings' previous products, the View Plus is simple to use, easy to set up, and long-lasting, even with Wi-Fi syncing. Of course, a rechargeable battery would have been ideal for preventing unnecessary waste, although at least you only have to replace the batteries every couple of years.

As with many smart devices, the Airthings View Plus does a fantastic job gathering data but leaves it to you to research how to improve the air quality in your home. This is a complex challenge, though, as offering actionable individual advice is tricky, but the app could have generalized prompts.

All told, the Airthings View Plus is an excellent addition to any home looking to improve air quality and, ultimately, keep you in good health too. The global pandemic has highlighted how little we understand the air we breathe, and the View Plus helps make things clearer, turning the invisible visible.

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