There are dozens of sprinkler controllers on the market that promise to offer the best features and capabilities. Sadly, the majority of those promises are false and companies advertise poorly-built irrigation systems that are no good.
So we need to be careful so that we don’t end up with a nonfunctional sprinkler controller. Luckily, there are several notable brands that truly manufacture reliable devices.
Rachio and Skydrop are two popular sprinkler controllers that offer great features and capabilities. These two irrigation system controllers are best-selling products with high ratings and thousands of satisfied customers.
Table of Contets
- 1 Rachio vs Skydrop: Pros & Cons and Verdict
- 1.1 1. Installation Process
- 1.2 Skydrop
- 1.3 2. Design
- 1.4 3. Features
- 1.5 4. Performance
- 1.6 5. Mobile Application
- 1.7 6. Advantages and Disadvantages
- 1.8 7. Support
- 1.9 Rachio Review: Key Takeaway
- 1.10 Skydrop Review: Key Takeaway
- 1.11 8. Comparison Chart: Rachio vs Skydrop
- 1.12 The Bottom Line
Rachio vs Skydrop: Pros & Cons and Verdict
Rachio and Skydrop have pretty interesting features and people widely consider them as two of the bests on the market. In this Skydrop vs Rachio article, we’ll compare, review and evaluate the most important aspects of our sprinkler controllers.
1. Installation Process
The first topic we need to write about is the installation processes of Rachio and Skydrop. It’s essential for a modern smart home product to be easily activatable. Otherwise, buyers will look for alternatives since no one buys products that require hours of reading, searching, and testing to complete a simple task like this.
Setting up your Rachio sprinkler controller is pretty easy and it takes a few minutes to complete. I won’t write a step-by-step guide since Rachio uploaded a wonderful video that perfectly explains all the steps you need to take in order to activate your irrigation system controller.
If you still have trouble understanding how to install your Rachio sprinkler controller, the package of the product includes a well-written user’s manual that’ll guide you through the whole setup process.
As a last resort, you can reach out to the support team of Rachio. Those people are amazing and will help with anything you think is relevant.
Installing the Skydrop sprinkler controller is quick and easy. It’s a DIY device that doesn’t require a professional assistance to activate your irrigation system controller.
Like the case of Rachio, Skydrop uploaded a wonderful guide that perfectly explains how the activation is done. If you’re interested how it’s done, make sure to watch the video posted below.
If it’s somewhat confusing, you can check the user’s manual included in the package of the sprinkler controller for further guidance. Alternatively, contact Skydrop’s customer care and they’ll gladly help to solve all of your issues.
It’s important for a modern device to be both functional and well-designed. Today, modern smart home shoppers try to look for devices that are eye-catching and improve the overall looks of the surrounding area.
Rachio is a not so good looking sprinkler controller that has a simple design and doesn’t raise any curiosity. The dimensions of the sprinkler controller are 5.5 x 1.5 x 9.25 inches and it weighs around 3 pounds.
The cover of Rachio is weatherproof and it was specially designed so that it withstands harsh weather environments. Underneath the cover, there are a few buttons where you can manually select zones or start and stop watering.
Skydrop is a well-built and beautifully-looking sprinkler controller that is one of the most eye-catching devices on the market. Rachio’s dimensions are 1.9 x 9.7 x 3.1 inches and weigh 1.9lbs. It has a 4.3-inch LCD and a 3-inch dial on the right.
I’ve seen the Skydrop mounted a few times and it looks quite attractive. Compared to its competitors, Rachio and RainMachine, Skydrop can be considered as the best-looking irrigation controller on the market.
One of the main reasons why people purchase smart sprinkler controllers is their features and capabilities. So it’s really important to know the features of Rachio and Skydrop to be sure that we’re purchasing capable and functional irrigation system controllers.
So both smart sprinkler controllers have nice sets of features and offer a lot of flexibility. Rachio and Skydrop offer quite similar things but there a few differences in the features and performance capabilities.
What I like about both is the voice-control feature that makes the whole automation process a lot easier. Instead of using the mobile application, you can simply tell your voice assistant to start or stop the watering process.
The next topic we need to discuss the performance capabilities of our irrigation system controllers. This can be considered as the most important aspect of our comparison article since the main reason why people purchase these devices is their performance.
If Rachio and Skydrop can’t meet the minimum requirements of a buyer, there’s no need for us to invest in such devices.
We’ve tested Rachio and made sure that we’ve experimented with the all the features of the sprinkler controller. Rachio’s scheduling feature worked flawlessly and it never made a mistake.
The weather forecast of Rachio works great and it perfectly blends with the scheduling feature. For instance, if Rachio schedules a watering on Wednesday and the weather forecast predicts a heavy rain on Thursday, Rachio will override its original schedule.
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The next thing we did was pairing the smart irrigation system controller with Amazon Alexa. As expected, the process was smooth and we had zero trouble connecting these two devices. Another perk of Rachio is that it also works with Google Assistant.
If you own any of these voice controllers, you give voice-enabled commands without pulling out your phone and launching the mobile application.
Rachio is quite smart and it can easily determine when, where and how much watering is needed. Besides the Alexa and Google Assistant integrations, Rachio supports other notable smart home brands like Nest, IFTTT, Wink and SmartThings.
Unlike other sprinkler controllers that check the weather forecast once a day, Rachio makes sure to gather the data every hour. As soon as it’s finished, Rachio uses the information to better and efficiently water your garden.
Don’t be scared of mounting your sprinkler controller outside. Rachio is wrapped in a specially designed enclosure that protects the smart irrigation system controller from harsh weather environments.
Lastly, Rachio sprinkler controller ideally syncs the schedule and weather forecast data to create the most relevant watering plan that best fits your garden and requirements.
You can control your Skydrop sprinkler controller using the LCD screen but it’s more convenient to use the web app or the mobile application.
As soon as you activate the Skydrop irrigation system controller, it asks a few questions regarding your lawn and location so that it creates a good watering plan and better tracks the local weather.
Skydrop perfectly follows the pre-planned schedule and it never forgets to water. It’s hard to estimate how much water the sprinkler controller will save since I’ve been using it for around a week. But judging from its performance, it’ll definitely do better than my previous one which watered the lawn every single day.
The integration with Amazon Alexa was a bit faulty and it didn’t go as smooth as the case of Rachio. While we tried giving commands, Skydrop had trouble obeying them.
The IFTTT alerts don’t work as it should and for some reason, we had trouble with the email alerts since we weren’t getting them for about a month.
the LCD seems like a cheaply made screen that doesn’t correspond with the price of the sprinkler controller.
On the bright side, the weather forecasts are always on point and it can be checked pretty easily. It has zero trouble following the smart schedule and displays the watering history that is quite convenient.
If you plan on placing the sprinkler controller outdoors, don’t worry, it can be done so if you purchase the Skydrop outdoor enclosure.
5. Mobile Application
It’s essential for smart sprinkler controllers to have functional mobile applications since we use those apps to control, monitor and check the recent activities of our irrigation system controllers.
If Rachio and Skydrop have bad mobile applications, the user experience will be quite low and buyers will start looking for alternatives.
Rachio has a wonderful mobile application that works flawlessly and never glitches, freezes or crashes. It’s a well-built, intuitive and functional application that is comfortable and reliable.
The mobile application offers a lot of flexibility and features. In the process of setting schedules and customizing your Rachio, it’s better to leave it alone and let the sprinkler controller automate the whole process since it’s the best way to save maximum amounts of water.
We’ve activated Smart Cycles and Weather Intelligence so that the full potential of the irrigation system was unleashed. While doing so, Rachio offered a plan of its own which seemed to be a bit off. We were skeptical but after 2 weeks of testing, the grass looked healthy and green.
If you’re interested how the app looks on the inside, take a look at the pictures posted above. The interface of Rachio’s mobile application is intuitive and easy to navigate. There’s no chance of getting lost and the app offers fast access features.
The homepage displays the local weather and shows the forecast along with watering schedules. If you take a look at the picture of the yard, there’s information given about the last time your garden was watered and when the next cycle begins.
What I love about the mobile application of Rachio and the main reason I consider it as a top-notch app is the cool thing it does before starting the watering cycle.
Rachio will send a notification to alert you that in a few minutes it’ll start a water cycle. This way, you won’t be showering your guests and that’s a huge plus. I’ve had such cases with other sprinkler controllers and it creates a really awkward situation.
The homepage of Skydrop’s mobile application is pretty detailed and provides a lot of insights. It literally displays everything and there’s no need to surf through sections in order to find what you came looking for.
Despite the app being informative and well-structured, Skydrop’s app is a bit buggy and freezes quite often.
What we’ve noticed is that whenever the sprinkler controller starts a watering cycle, the stats become irrelevant and it takes time for it to get back in form.
We’ve also had trouble with push notifications and for some unknown reason, it didn’t work as promised.
The biggest drawback of Skydrop’s mobile application is the inability to pause or resume the watering process.
Another disadvantage is the fact that you can’t water a specific zone. For example, if you want to activate the Zone 4, you can’t do it unless Skydrop starts watering from Zone 1 and it won’t stop until the end.
The savings section also glitches and doesn’t operate as it should. It regularly shows different amounts of gallons and it clearly can’t be trusted.
The advantage of the Skydrop’s application is that it flawlessly follows schedules and we’ve never had a case of something going wrong.
Lastly, in the zones section, you can view the latest activities that took place and Skydrop also displays when the next watering cycle starts.
6. Advantages and Disadvantages
In addition to what we’ve discussed, there are a few topics left to write about. One of them is the advantages and disadvantages of Rachio and Skydrop.
It’s essential to know the pros and cons of these sprinkler controllers to avoid any misunderstandings after purchasing either of these two.
In order to do so, we’ve created two lovely charts that perfectly illustrate all the advantages and disadvantages of Skydrop and Rachio irrigation system controllers.
|Zones||Limited Onboard Controls|
|Amazon Alexa & Google Home||Can’t Run Multiple Zones at Once|
|Flexible Mobile Application|
|Reduced Water Bill|
|Easy to Install|
|Beautiful Design||Buggy Push Notifications|
|LCD Screen||No Pause/Resume Button|
|Mobile Application & Web App||Inability to Water Specific Zones|
|Amazon Alexa Support|
|Easy to Install|
Rachio and Skydrop have some good features and these sprinkler controllers offer a lot of uniqueness and flexibility. Compared to their competitors, Rachio and Skydorp surely take the top spots on the market.
It’s important for smart home devices to have responsive, professional and friendly customer care areas since buyers often get lost during certain processes and after failing to find answers on their own, as a last resort, they reach out to the support teams.
Luckily, Skydrop and Rachio are well-known for having superb customer care areas. I’ve reached out to both and always received professional answers and tips.
Rachio Review: Key Takeaway
Before we move forward, we’d like to present the key takeaways of both smart irrigation system controllers so that you’ll know the main and most important features of both Rachio and Skydrop.
- Integrations – Rachio is a third-party integration friendly sprinkler controller that works with the majority of well-known smart home devices. The list includes the likes of Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Nest and Wink. So Rachio offers a lot of diversity and it can be paired with lots of smart devices to make the whole automation process a lot more comfortable.
- Weather Forecast – Besides manually setting schedules, Rachio offers weather forecasts and combines the data with its schedules to create a complete watering plan.
- Zones – You can activate specific zones that, in your opinion, require more watering. Besides doing it manually, you can let the sprinkler controller automate the whole thing.
- Mobile Application – Rachio’s mobile application is one of the rarest ones that doesn’t glitch or freeze. It’s easy to use and offers fast access features.
Shortly, Rachio is one of the best sprinkler controllers on the market that offers interesting features, diversity, flexibility and high reliability. Rachio has thousands of satisfied customers and it never failed a single soul.
Skydrop Review: Key Takeaway
Skydrop is a promising sprinkler controller that has some really good features and outranks the majority of irrigation system controllers on the market.
- Alexa Integration – Skydrop can be integrated with Amazon Alexa and you can give voice-enabled commands. It’s true that the integration is a bit faulty but we have high hopes that it’ll be solved in the nearest future.
- LCD Screen – Besides using the mobile application or the web app, you can control your Skydrop with a controller wheel. That’s pretty convenient since not everyone is fond of using mobile apps as primary controllers.
- Integrations – Skydrop isn’t quite a third-party integration friendly smart irrigation system controller. For now, it only supports Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, and Nest.
- Mobile Application – The mobile application of Skydrop is pretty nice. It’s well-structured and offers a lot of flexibility and insights. Still, it’s a bit buggy and freezes quite frequently.
Frankly, Skydrop is a capable sprinkler controller that works at an acceptable level. Skydrop has one of the highest ratings and thousands of satisfied customers. It’s still regarded as one of the best buys and as a promising smart irrigation system controller.
Before concluding our article, we’d like to present a detailed chart where we directly compare Skydrop and Rachio.
So Skydop and Rachio are reliable smart irrigation system controllers that deliver amazing results. Without a doubt, these two are top-notch devices that lead the market with their innovative and unique features. Rachio and Skydrop will surely meet or exceed your expectations.
The Bottom Line
So these two devices offer quite interesting features. Rachio and Skydrop have thousands of positive reviews and countless of satisfied customers.
If we compare these two in order to find out which one takes the top spot, Rachio undoubtedly is the superior irrigation system controller that is widely regarded as the complete product on the market.
Rachio offers everything a smart sprinkler controller could dream of and it’s still improving. The Amazon Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT, SmartThings and Wink integrations make the Rachio out-of-the-box sprinkler controller that exceeds every other device on the market.
Surely, Skydrop is also a wonderful sprinkler controller that works at an acceptable level and can complete the most basic tasks. If that’s enough for you and don’t like what Rachio sprinkler controller has to offer, Skydrop might satisfy your needs.
If you want to own the best product on the market that offers maximum comfort, flexibility, and trustworthiness, Rachio is the way to go. Today, there’s no other irrigation system controller that could keep up with everything Rachio has to offer.
No doubt, it’s the complete sprinkler controller and there’s no sign of competitors creating anything similar or superior.