This week, I decided to take a step back from my usual writing duties to review our bestselling electric radiator – the Ecostrad iQ Ceramic. Boasting modern smart capabilities, such as cutting-edge WiFi control, this heater promised to be nothing short of a modern marvel when it came to electric heating solutions. To familiarise myself with this electric radiator, I spent Monday to Friday testing out its many features in various rooms of the office. Were the smart functions as clever as they sounded? Did the electric radiator provide long-lasting warmth? I answer all these questions and more in this in-depth review of the innovative iQ Ceramic.
After taking the heater out of its packaging, I instantly noticed its ultra slimline design. As expected, the unobtrusive heater fit neatly into a variety of room layouts throughout the office, from the games room to different workspaces. Sporting a smooth white finish, the iQ Ceramic has a modern, designer aesthetic that would perfectly blend into minimalistic design schemes.
Verdict: An elegant white finish and modern shape means the iQ Ceramic would be a stylish addition to a diverse range of room layouts and décor.
Overall style and design rating:
Once the iQ Ceramic was unboxed, it was time to get to grips with installation. Conveniently, all fixtures and fittings needed for wall mounting the radiator came with it. These included:
- iQ Ceramic Manual
- Wall mounting template
- Wall brackets
- Locking screws
- Wall mounting screws and plugs
For wall-mounted fitting, instructions provided in the iQ Ceramic Manual were clear enough to understand and follow, even for those with very basic DIY skills (like myself!). Once the bracket has been fitted, it’s just a case of slotting the heater into place. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to attempt this type of installation for myself, but judging by the fixtures and fittings provided, as well as the manual’s easy-to-follow instructions, I was confident that wall mounting the iQ Ceramic would be a relatively straightforward task. It’s also worth noting that if you’re planning on installing multiple iQ Ceramic’s in your home, you must have your system hardwired by a qualified electrician – a quick and easy job for a pro.
To move the heater around the office freely, I grabbed the Ecostrad iQ Ceramic feet. These feet are an optional extra that must be purchased separately, but I’d say it’s a worthwhile investment, especially at the affordable price of £14.99. Taking a matter of minutes to assemble, all I had to do was attach the feet onto the bottom of the heater and it was ready for use. No screws, no tools, no fuss. Once clipped on, moving this lightweight electric radiator to different spots around the room was easy enough. All I needed to do was plug it in and switch it on, for that promised ‘plug in and go’ installation.
Verdict: When it comes to freestanding fitting, the installation process couldn’t be easier. As I didn’t attempt wall-mounting the iQ Ceramic, I’ll give a fair rating of four stars. However, judging by all the tools supplied, as well as the clear instructions in the manual, I’m sure wall-mounting would be a doddle.
Overall DIY installation rating:
After plugging in the iQ Ceramic, one thing I noticed immediately was the large touchscreen display recessed into the top of the heater. Boasting a clear LCD screen, this intuitive interface allowed me to effortlessly change the temperature and select between heat levels in a few simple taps. The panel also unlocks a variety of convenient features, such as anti-frost mode and open window detection, both of which help to improve the efficiency of the heater.
Verdict: Highly responsive and user-friendly, the iQ Ceramic’s large touchscreen interface offers a sophisticated yet accessible form of manual adjustment.
Overall control panel rating:
Fast-Acting, Lasting Heat
After exploring the style and DIY aspects of this electric radiator, it was time to get to the nitty gritty: the warmth itself.
The iQ Ceramic is built with heat-retentive ceramic plates that absorb all the heat generated by the radiator, consequently staying warmer for a longer period of time. These plates combined with a highly conductive aluminium body means the iQ Ceramic should continue to emit warmth long after it stops drawing power from the wall, which means using less energy to heat your room. Wednesday was the day I put these heat retentive properties to the test.
After setting up my workstation in the morning, I turned the heater on via the touchscreen control pad and set my preferred temperature level to 20°C. Once activated, the iQ Ceramic started producing heat right away. In fact, it wasn’t long before the whole room was filled with comfortable warmth. I switched the electric radiator off around noon to find that, as each hour passed, the room temperature was slow to drop, staying cosy right up until I went home later that evening.
Verdict: The iQ Ceramic offers an exceptionally high level of heat retention that keeps your room warm even after it’s being switched off, making the radiator an efficient, effective heating solution for the whole property.
Overall warmth rating:
Sophisticated WiFi Control
When I first volunteered to review the iQ Ceramic, built in WiFi control was undoubtedly the selling point that excited me the most, especially as no router or accessories were needed to connect the heater to the internet. I was interested to find out just how accessible these intelligent features were for a first-time user and whether I could see myself using ‘smart heating’ in the long-run. Let’s take a look at how this tech-savvy feature faired up.
WiFi compatibility allows you to connect the electric radiator to an app on your phone and control your heating from the palm of your hand. As long you can connect to the internet, you can use your phone to adjust and monitor your iQ Ceramic from anywhere in the world – an incredibly handy feature for those on the go. You can also connect multiple heaters to the app, allowing you to program them on an individual basis or collectively to best suit your needs.
Downloading the app
After enabling WiFi on the radiator and my smartphone, I downloaded the Smart Life app (the Tuya app is also compatible with the iQ Ceramic) and quickly registered my details. Once up and running, the app immediately detected the radiator and it took just a few taps of the screen to pair the heater with my phone. So far, so good!
Using the app
I then tried to see whether I could use the app to manage the iQ Ceramic from anywhere in the office. I left the room and made temperature adjustments from the other side of the building, with my colleagues keeping a close eye on the iQ Ceramic. They let me know that the heater had indeed registered all the changes I was making via the app, including switching the electric radiator on and off as well as changing the temperature accordingly. The biggest test was when I used my WiFi at home to control the iQ Ceramic in the office and discovered how easy it was to program the heater remotely using my phone. This is a great feature if you’re anything like me and sometimes forget to switch your heating off, because even when you’re away from home, you can use the app to make adjustments. Not only did the app take controllability to the next level, but it was so responsive and easy to use that smart heat management was effortless.
The iQ Ceramic lets you program the heater on an hourly basis, whether you use the app or control panel to do so. In this instance, I opted to schedule the heater via the app, especially as you can use it to micro-manage warmth to the minute. I created custom heat schedules in advance for each day of the week using the convenient in-app calendar, simply choosing heat levels for every hour of every day. With a few simple taps of the screen, I watched the iQ Ceramic automatically turn on and off at exactly the right time. 24/7 programming offers ultimate heat management, taking the guesswork out of warmth and energy usage.
Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, this electric radiator allows for voice control that can be activated via the Smart Life app, so I could manage the heater using quick voice commands. Conveniently, the iQ Ceramic manual contains a comprehensive table of phrases that the radiator recognises – all I had to do was create a name for the radiator. ‘Turn on heater’, ‘set to cool’ and even ‘set heater to 12 degrees’ were all tried and tested options and I was satisfied with how fast the iQ Ceramic responded to the commands. This feature completely eliminates the need for manual adjustment and makes heat management that much easier.
Verdict: WiFi connectivity gives you access to a range of intuitive features, like app control and voice control, that allows you to effortlessly monitor and adjust your heating through a few spoken commands or via your smart device. Excellent controllability will undoubtedly help save energy as you can always see when the iQ Ceramic is in use.
Overall WiFi control rating:
Intuitive Sensor Mode & More
The iQ Ceramic offers five different heat modes that can be programmed through the app or intuitive touchscreen interface. Besides 24/7 programming, these heat modes include:
- Comfort Mode: set the temperature all the way up to 30°C for, you guessed it, ultimate comfort.
- Eco Mode: lets you set the iQ Ceramic to a lower temperature for a less intense heat -perfect if you want to keep the electric radiator on throughout the day whilst you’re out of the house.
- Anti-Freeze Mode: got a winter holiday planned and worried about the electric radiator freezing? Fear not – anti-freeze sets the heater to a minimum of 7°C to prevent this.
Sensor mode, or motion detection, is a setting that only produces warmth when the heater detects movement, like when you enter the room. Equally, if you leave the room, the iQ Ceramic will automatically switch off. Before reviewing the iQ Ceramic, sensor mode was the feature I was most sceptical of, largely because I’d never encountered a heater that intuitively responds to movement. However, as soon as I started experimenting with this function, it soon became clear that sensor mode wasn’t just a futuristic gimmick, but a straightforward way to eliminate the need for manual adjustment.
After easily activating the sensor mode via the app, I found that the heater switched on as soon as I entered the room and walked in front of the radiator, immediately supplying fast-acting, effective warmth. Whilst I wouldn’t recommend using this mode in more frequented space, such as a living room or kitchen, as it will constantly switch on and off, this feature would be a great match for a variety of less occupied areas. With the heater acting on your behalf, you’re much less likely to waste energy warming a room that isn’t in use, so heat is produced when you need it most – yet another way that the iQ Ceramic promotes efficient heating. Impressive stuff.
Verdict: The variety of heat levels to choose from means you can achieve your preferred temperature time and time again. Sophisticated sensor mode controls the iQ Ceramic on your behalf, once again helping you save energy by only heating rooms that are in use.
Overall heat modes rating:
The iQ Ceramic seriously puts the ‘smart’ into ‘smart heating’. Whilst the volume of intuitive control functions may seem daunting for those who aren’t particularly tech-minded, I can report that features like app and voice control are user-friendly and easy to navigate. It also struck me that this electric radiator caters for those who prefer a more traditional style of heat management, with an accessible touchscreen interface for effortless manual adjustment. For times when my phone wasn’t in reach and I wanted to adjust the temperature, I just used the touchscreen control pad to do so. Whichever way you wish to manage your heating, you can rest assured that the iQ Ceramic offers enough versatile functions to suit everyone, so precision control is always a few taps away. Ultimately, the iQ Ceramic would serve as an advanced, efficient primary heating solution for most properties.
Overall iQ Ceramic rating:
Try the iQ Ceramic for yourself
Looking for a low-carbon, smart alternative to conventional heating? Don’t just take my word for it – try the iQ Ceramic out for yourself or browse our full range of sophisticated electric heating solutions today.