It’s a little expensive, especially compared to other evaporative coolers, but if you can afford it then the Evapolar evaSMART is very good. Designed for personal use, it emits a surprising amount of cold air to make it more comfortable to work during the day or sleep at night. Clever smart features make it super-easy to control, too.
- Effective cooling
- Useful smart features
- No temperature-based smart actions
- UKRRP: £239
- USARRP: $229
- EuropeRRP: €238
- TypeA personal evaporative cooler, the evaSMART uses a tank of water to cool the air that the fan emits.
- Smart featuresThis cooler offers app control and voice commands via the Google Assistant. There’s no Alexa skill, however.
The Evapolar evaSMART is an evaporative cooler, designed to provide a cool breeze in a small area of a room. It cools air much like sweating cools your skin. As it blows air over a damp surface, water evaporates, cooling down both the surface and the air stream.
This is a smart device in more than one way. It sports a neat, compact and uncluttered design, plus it also links up to your wireless network, allowing you to control almost all of the functions via the app. While you could argue this is a gimmick, it does let you start the cooler running from anywhere, or slow the fan down at night time without having to fumble for a remote.
Design and features
- Stylish looks
- Some brilliant features
- Harder to use without the app
The Evapolar evaSMART looks much like something you’d find by your bed in a luxury hotel. Smaller than a football, with some tastefully curved surfaces, its opaque water tank makes it look a little like a modern teasmade.
On top, a touch-sensitive control panel offers access to a comprehensive range of features. Highlights include 100 fan speeds, and more than 300 colour settings for the water tank’s lights.
I found the control panel responded a little unpredictably, and that some settings were more difficult to understand without reference to the supplied product guide. It’s a good thing, then, that you can connect it to the internet and control almost everything via Evapolar’s app. The only omission I noticed was the colour playlist feature. This scrolls smoothly through different colours, and can only be triggered from the control panel.
Evaporative coolers rely on a steady supply of water, and Evapolar has chosen to make the tank a design feature. In this case, it’s lit up by full-colour LEDs. While the tank isn’t especially big, it’s easily refilled. Evapolar says that it holds enough water four-to-nine hours of operation, depending on fan speed and room humidity. This is similar to the company’s regular cooler, the Evapolar evaCHILL 500.
Although Evapolar doesn’t suggest so, you could add chilled water or ice cubes through the tank’s top flap to improve cooling performance. Like many evaporative devices, the cooling filter needs to be replaced after a few months’ use. Evapolar recommends this at three-to-six-month intervals, but at £35 a pop, this adds up to a considerable running cost.
Connecting the Evapolar evaSMART could be tricky if you have dual-band Wi-Fi – for example, from an 802.11ac or ax router. The cooler supports only 2.4GHz, and the installer insists your phone is on the same network. You can work around it by temporarily disabling the router’s 5GHz range to install and connect the cooler, after which re-enabling it seems doesn’t appear to result in any issues.
Evapolar’s app also provides scheduling features and a useful statistics page. You can connect the Evapolar ecosystem to Google Home or Amazon Alexa, which allows you to use voice commands such as “Hey Google, turn up the evoSMART”.
In use, the evaSMART records the incoming and outgoing air temperatures, along with the relative humidity of incoming air – evaporative coolers work at their best in dry conditions. Unfortunately, you can’t use the readings to trigger actions – for example, stepping down the fan speed as the room temperature falls. There’s manual control over the vertical direction of cooled air, but no horizontal adjustment unless you turn the cooler itself.
- Very quiet at low speeds
- Effective cooling up-close
- Not a powerful fan
The Evapolar evaSMART has 100 fan speed settings, but none is strong enough to trouble a sheaf of papers on the same desktop. While this makes it a polite workplace companion, it also underlines that it’s strictly designed for cooling a small space, rather than an entire room. With this limitation in mind, however, it performs very well.
While I usually test on a fan’s lowest speed, the evaSMART’s 1% setting barely produces any detectable wind, so I opted for 33% – roughly equivalent to the first speed on a three-speed device. At this setting, the cooler consumed just 2W (watts) of power, and was whisper quiet; I measured just 31dB from 15cm away, and 22dB at 1m. Repeating the test from the side – completely out of any buffeting air flow – I recorded 27.6dB and 20.5dB at the same distances.
Even at the grille, the airstream speed was below my anemometer’s minimum threshold, but I could feel a subtle breeze more than 2m away. With a room temperature of 21.7℃ and humidity of 65%, I recorded a frosty 18.5℃ at the grille. This backed up my subjective impression that the evaSMART produces surprisingly cool air – although by 1m the airflow temperature had risen to 20.4℃.
Increase the fan speed to 50% or so and the evaSMART becomes quite audible. At 100% it’s much louder, although it still isn’t unreasonably so. I measured the sound at 47.5dB from 15cm, and 38dB from 1m. From the side, I recorded 44.5dB and 35.2dB from the same distances. Even at this setting, power consumption was just 4W with the LEDs at their brightest. We’re slightly baffled as to why Evapolar quotes a maximum of 12.5W.
At full speed, just 15cm from the grille, air flowed at 1.9m/s, but the wind speed was unmeasurable by 1m. I recorded air temperatures of 18.5℃ at the grille, 18.6℃ from 15cm away, and 19.9℃ at 1m, suggesting a surprisingly penetrative cooling breeze. Again, my subjective experience backed that up: sitting more than 2m away in a t-shirt became uncomfortably cool.
I like this cooler’s LEDs, but they’re not especially bright. They look best in a darkened room, and could be great for mood lighting at night. Unfortunately, they’re barely light enough to read by, which seems a missed opportunity.
Should you buy it?
If you want quiet, gentle cooling at work or in bed, this is a stylish choice. As a bonus, its smart connectivity makes it more practical and easier to control.
You can buy alternative evaporative coolers for much less, or an air conditioner for not much more. If you want a bargain, this probably isn’t it.
The Evapolar evaSMART isn’t designed to stir up a strong wind or cool a big space, but it’s surprisingly effective for its size. Smart and compact, without a withering breeze, it’s a great desktop cooling companion but if you need something bigger, check out our guide to the best fans.
Temperature and relative humidity in your room make a difference, but a full tank of water should provide cooling for between four and nine hours.
Yes, it does. Water evaporation is used to reduce air temperature by a few degrees, so the fan blows out air that’s colder than ambient temperature.