Drayton Digistat RF901 Single-Channel Wireless Thermostat

Programmable room thermostat
Mobile controls
Hands-free controls
Visual features
Audio output
Tactile features
Dexterity features

What is it? A wireless programmable room thermostat with a digital display that can be controlled manually or using the Drayton Wiser app via a Bluetooth (no Wi-FI needed) connection.

Category: A programmable room thermostat with smart features.

Money-saving features:

  • Mobile control
  • Frost protection
  • Away mode
  • Seven-day programming
  • Boost function

Ease-of-use features:

1. Visual features

  • Medium LCD digital screen with a backlight
  • Control interface consists of five buttons which are labelled +/-, settings, schedule, and confirmation symbols
  • There is reasonable colour contrast between markings and the background on the control interface, with symbols displayed in dark grey on a white background.
  • The digital screen has good mono colour contrast, making it relatively easy to read in bright light
  • The actual room temperature is displayed in large figures with setpoint temperatures displayed in smaller figures
  • A medium sized flame symbol appears when the device is calling for heating

2. Tactile features

  • The device has limited tactile or raised markings on the control interface
  • The device does not provide tactile verification (i.e. haptic feedback) when increasing or decreasing the temperature

3. Dexterity features

  • The +/- and confirmation buttons are large-sized. They can be pressed easily with light-medium pressure and adjust the temperature in half degree increments
  • The settings and schedule buttons, however, are smaller in size and require a lot of pressure to press
  • The device is relatively easy to pick up and hold although it will most often be wall mounted

4. Simplicity 

  • After familiarisation with the control interface and on-screen features, this thermostat is very simple to use compared to other thermostats
  • Pre-set programs in the device's settings make it easier to set schedules

5. Mobile controls

  • The device can be controlled remotely via Drayton's Wiser app (for Android and iOS)

6. Audio output

  • The +/- buttons produce audio tones when pressed (high tone for +, low tone for - and double tone for room temperature). However, these tones are faint and there is a lack of differentiation between them
  • Drayton's Wiser app works poorly with Apple's VoiceOver and Android's Talkback screenreaders as they fail to read the labelling of a lot of features

Is there anything I should watch out for?

  • The device cannot be voice-controlled using Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant smart speakers
  • There is no 'stop' on temperature limits when adjusting it (i.e. the temperature just cycles around the range when you continue to press + or -) which could confuse blind users.
  • Audio tones can be enabled in the device’s settings. However, the volume is faint and cannot be adjusted
  • The lack of tactile or raised markings on the control interface make it less user friendly for blind users
  • The setting button requires users to press and hold on it for 3 seconds with considerable pressure. This could be problematic for those with dexterity issues who lack strength

Who might want to buy it?

We think that this product would be great for those who want a simple-to-use programmable thermostat. Its temperature adjustment buttons that require minimal pressure make it ideal for those with dexterity impairments. Other accessibility issues (i.e. faint audio tones, lack of tactile markings and pressure required to press certain buttons) could be avoided by using the Drayton's Wiser app.