Rachio’s Iro has dominated smart sprinkler category on Amazon for a while, and now the next generation WiFi irrigation controller has been released.
The new Rachio is available on Amazon for $249.99. The unit controls up to 16 zones, supports the full range of devices (iOS, Android, web), and, most importantly, smartly schedules itself.
The name Iro is nowhere to be found on the new unit, it’s just Rachio now.
The new Rachio adds manual control at the unit, with no need to have a smart phone in hand. This is a great feature, but the buttons only run three minutes of manual watering per zone. So it’s more of a feature for testing and not like the full-fledged controls of the RainMachine HD-12.
Inputs for a flow sensor and a rain sensor are on the new Rachio. Of course you really don’t need a rain sensor, as one of the biggest selling points of the device is WiFi weather forecasting. But I have seen chatter in Amazon reviews of various smart sprinkler controllers that people really want flow sensor integration. A flow sensor allows you to get a read on the gallons per minute your sprinkler is putting out. If readings are higher or lower than normal then you may have a leak or clogging somewhere along the line.
Even though the new Rachio hardware is ready to wire up a flow sensor, the current version of the app (2.3) does not yet read data from the sensor. Rachio says it’s coming in a future app release.
Rachio also has a new outdoor enclosure to keep the unit safe and sound if you mount it outside.
Five star reviews are already rolling in on Amazon from beta testers.