Review: View Plus by Airthings

View Plus is the flagship air quality monitor from Airthings which was designed to address as many indoor parameters as possible and it complies with Green Building Certification.

The philosophy behind Airthings air quality monitors is simple. They try to make B2C and B2B clients’ life easy. One clear example is that all monitors, including the View Plus, work on simple AA batteries in order to avoid installation fees (from construction workers) and ugly cables running all over the walls.

Specifications

  • Particulate Matter (PM2.5) Laser OPC Sensor 0-500 μg/m3
  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2) NDIR Sensor 400–5000 ppm
  • Volatile Organic Compound (VOCs) Metal-oxide Sensor 0-10000 ppb
  • Temperature Sensor
  • Humidity Sensor
  • Air Pressure Sensor 500-1100 mBar
  • Light Sensor
  • Hand Gesture Sensor
  • Noise Sensor 35 – 120 dBA SPL
  • E-Ink 2.9″
  • RGB LED Indicator
  • 6 AA batteries or USB-C
  • Mesh SmartLink and Bluetooth LE

There are many configurations of the monitor for Home Owners and Businesses. My version is the Business one which doesn’t have a Radon Sensor. Other Home configurations are the View Pollution, View Radon, and View Plus which is the dope one with all the sensors. I think the naming between the B2B and B2C may create some confusion.

I have an Airthings Hub which uses the SmartLink Mesh to allow up to 10 devices to connect to the Cloud via Ethernet or LTE (the B2B version comes with an embedded eSIM). Connecting the View Plus was as easy as just taking it out of the box. That’s all!

The monitor runs on 6 simple AA batteries or a USB-C cable. The USB-C cable allows it to take more frequent measurements (every 2.5 minutes). On batteries, it can operate for about 1 year and 5 months by taking samples every 10 minutes. You can set it to 5 minutes which will operate for 10 months and 2.5 minutes for 5 months. You can turn on and off all the sensors depending on your needs and achieve a maximum battery life of 3 years and 10 months.

Although the display is not of a high resolution, it offers glanceable information without emitting light and creating a distraction to the occupants. When you look at it from a distance the resolution is not an issue. Remember air quality monitors with CO2 shouldn’t be placed near you either way.

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Dashboard/App

Airthings has one of the best Dashboards available in the market. Full of features as I have mentioned in the past. They keep adding new stuff, so make sure you read the updates.

Below you will see some screenshots of the dashboard and the settings available for the View Plus.

On the dashboard you can also select whether a particular AQ monitor is public or private and you have the ability to display a QR code on the display which allows anyone to read the measurements of the device in that particular place by simple scanning the code.

My Experience

For B2B clients View Plus is a delight. Just take it out of the box and set it up with your business account in a matter of a few minutes. It will do its things automatically. The ability the dashboard offers to generate reports really speeds things up as at the end of the month or term when you really have to quantify the indoor air quality and take decisions for the health of the occupants.

For B2C clients you can easily set up the monitor but you need your mobile phone and the Airthings app. I didn’t have this version to test the whole experience of the setup, but I guess is the typical WiFi configuration like all IoT devices offer.

Personally, I had an issue with the information that is displayed on the e-ink display as it didn’t change to my configuration. I wanted PM2.5 and Humidity as they are my number #1 priorities in my indoor environment but the device had stuck to PM2.5 and CO2. Maybe it needs a firmware update.

Conclusion

This is a no-brainer air quality monitor. The B2C View Plus will cover all possible indoor air pollutants including the underestimated Radon which is the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking in the US. The B2B View Plus lacks the radon sensor but it is meant for offices and classrooms where CO2 and PM2.5 are the antagonists of good indoor air quality, health, and productivity.

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