While HomeKit for 2020 has been dominated by smart cameras so far. We seem to have a break in that with the world’s first HomeKit enabled electric heater. The Rio Arc from Rio heating is a smart electric convector heater which has a power rating of 2000w providing coverage up to 24 square meters. Continue this in-depth Rio Arc Review to find out all about this smart home enabled heater.
Just so I am fully transparent, Rio heating provided the Rio Arc as a media loan for the review. What this means is that the device Rio heating provided it for review and testing purposes and once finished I will return it. This will not affect my opinion wherever it is positive or critical of the device. You can read more on our review promise and ethics statement.
Rio Arc Review key features
- Colour: Black
- Finish Curved black Glass
- Power rating: 2000w
- Size: 820 x 450 x 100mm
- Room coverage: up to 24 square meters
- Safety rating: Full CE mark
- Connecivity: WiFI
- Smart Home: HomeKit, Google Home and Alexa
- Included: Wall fixing kit, feet and user guide
Rio Arc design
The Rio Arc features a sleek, slim curved glass finish on the front and the body of the Arc is made of steel, which will work in any modern home or office. In the top right lives the LCD display that gives you the current room temperature, Wi-Fi status and target temperature. Although it is worth pointing out, this is not a touch screen.
Down the right side you will find the control buttons that can change the temperature up and down along with a button to change between programme and manual mode. You will also find the button to turn the Rio Arc on and off.
The Rio Arc comes with a standard UK plug that is hard wired to the device along with some aluminum feet for to allow you to stand the device. Although the feet could enjoy having some soft rubber on the bottom of the feet, as they feel a little rough.
Around the back you will find the brackets that you can use to hang the Rio Arc onto a wall. It is also around the back you will find the vents for the heat release.
Rio Arc setup
The Rio Arc comes with everything you need to get started and although you can mount it on a wall. I used the included aluminium feet for it to be a freestanding heater. Installing the feet required me to fix some screws into place and then it was ready to plug in.
After I plugged in the device, the Rio Arc LCD came on within about 30 seconds. The set up process is as simple as downloading the Rio App, creating a Rio account, scanning the code on the ARC with my iPhone and then following the instructions.
The last step was to set up the Rio Arc within HomeKit and I did this within the Home App. I first needed to bring the HomeKit code up by holding down on the LCD brightness button for about 5 seconds. The code then appeared, I then scanned the score from within the Home App and followed the setup process.
The setup process, from opening the box to adding to HomeKit, took about 10 minutes. It’s super quick, easy and one of the slickest setups I have done of any HomeKit device.
App, performance and HomeKit
The Rio app is straightforward and laid out in 3 easy-to-understand tabs across the bottom of the app. It is worth mentioning that the app and Rio Arc heater require an active internet connection. This is because the app requires access to the Rio servers to functions and without this then the app will not work.
The first tab gives you control over the Rio Arc heater, but also allows multi Room functionality. You have a simple slider to adjust the temperature. Along with a readout of the current reading temperature and target temperature. The app features a “heat” icon and if red informs you, the heater is active and if blue it is off. Finally, you have a toggle to turn it it to manual or programme mode.
When you are running the heater in programme mode, you have the option to advance to the next programme cycle, change the temperature and extend the programme by 1 hour increments up to a max of 4 hours.
The second tab is where you will find the programme settings. To create a programme you tap the plus sign in the top right and then you have the following options.
- Create a name
- Choose which heaters you want in the programme
- select which days of the week you want in the programme
- Start and end time of the programme
- Target temperature
If you have an existing programme, you can also copy this programme rather than starting from fresh.
The final tab you will find the parental lock which allows you to turn it on and off. You will also find the option to add additional heaters, along with options for help and support.
The Rio Arc is exposed HomeKit in the same way as a thermostat, such as the tado radiator thermostat. At its simplest level you can tap the tile to turn the heater on, but to get more advanced control you need to long press on the tile. In this view you have a lot more control of the temperature settings. You can use the dial to turn up the temperature in increments, which is useful to get the ideal comfort level.
You can also use the Rio Arc in Scenes and automations within HomeKit. For instance, you can create or add the Rio Arc to the arriving home scene, which will then turn the heater on to your desired temperature. I also created an automation to turn the heater on each evening at 9pm and turn off after 30 minutes.
Finally, you can also use Siri to turn the smart heater on and off along with asking “What is the temperature in the room.
It is worth pointing out that the Rio Arc works with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. However, has this is a HomeKit dedicated news and review site, we have only tested it with Apple’s smart home platform.
I am not sure what I was expecting when I first got the heater. But I expected the heat to to come blowing out fast, but it didn’t. The heat comes out from the heat vent, at a slow pace. Although the heater did its job in heating a 15 square meter room quickly from 14 degrees to 22 degrees in about 30 minutes.
Rio Arc Review conclusion
Overall, I am pleased with the build quality of the Rio Arc and it would blend easily into any modern Home or office. Having the option to mount it on a wall or freestanding gives you flexibility on placement.
I really liked how easy it was to set up and the fact it took me 10 minutes from opening the box to having it setup in HomeKit was impressive. I also like the fact you can control the smart heater using manual buttons on the side of the heater.
The Rio app is simple and easy to use with easy-to-understand controls, I also like the programme setup and flexibility. The fact you can also use it with HomeKit is a bonus and the ability to use it in scenes and automations.
However, it’s not all great with the Rio Arc. If the Arc experiences a loss in internet connection, then you lose access via the Rio app. However, HomeKit does not require an active internet connection.
It would also be great if the Rio Arc had some energy monitoring built in. However, speaking with Rio heating, this feature is coming later down the line in a software update.
Price and availability
The Rio Arcis available for £199, which is reduced down by £50 since launch. The smart heater is available in the UK and EU with the US coming later this year. Further countries may follow, however Rio Heating are yet to give any details.
So that’s a wrap on the Rio Arc review and hopefully you have found it useful? Don’t forget to subscribe for more HomeKit News. If you have a question or a comment, then leave it below. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.