Davis Weather Instruments was the company that put precise, nearly professional-grade weather stations in the hands of consumers years before the personal weather station became a simple household item. But things have changed, and now there are other excellent options for weather watchers besides Davis.
Over the years, I have purchased two Davis stations personally and paid a significant amount for each. during the 1990s and 2000s You are paying for quality even if the price hasn't changed much.
To be clear, we still favor the Davis Vantage Pro2 despite the greater cost. However, the Vantage Vue is the best alternative if you cannot afford the Vantage Pro2. It measures all of the common weather parameters, such as the temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure inside and outdoors as well as the amount and direction of rain and wind. In addition, the Vantage Vue has a desktop console, which is a convenient substitute for an app or web connection for instant weather updates.
Unfortunately, Davis's incredibly out-of-date connectivity options let us down. You must pay an additional fee to add Internet connectivity; other stations offer it for free. Does it merit it? The answer is based on your personal priorities and the purpose for which you need a weather station.
✔️Accuracy is nearly on par with the Vantage Pro2
✔️Well-constructed and durable
⚠️Internet connectivity costs extra
⚠️5-in-1 sensor suite isn’t the best for most accurate readings
As a Vantage Pro2 substitute, the Davis 6250 Vantage Vue is the superior choice. We advise the latter, nevertheless, if you have the money, if accuracy is crucial. Although it lags behind the Pro2 in several areas, the Vantage Vue is almost as accurate as it. You will need to buy additional proprietary hardware for the Vantage Vue because it lacks internet connectivity out of the box, just like the Pro2.
✔️Indoor Temperature and Humidity
✔️Outdoor Temperature and Humidity (With Radiation Shield)
✔️Wind Speed and Direction
Allow yourself a half-hour to set up the Vantage Vue because it is not plug and play. There will be some little assembly required (attaching this, screwing that), but don't worry, Davis' instructions are simple to understand.
There is no website or mobile app to make setting up the desktop console any easier. Although laborious, it is not tough. It was almost exactly the same procedure as my last Davis weather station, which I used ten years ago, which amused me a little. If it's not broken, don't fix it, as the saying goes.
Depending on which one you purchased, there may be a few extra steps if you purchased WeatherLinkIP to connect to the internet. Later, we'll discuss that. You may see our recommendations for sensor placement in our buyer's guide, but bear in mind that since the sensors are all-in-one, you won't be able to place the anemometer at the suggested 33 feet while having the temperature sensor at 5–6 feet. Depending on the readings that are most relevant to you, you may have to compromise on the height of your installation.
The Vantage Vue delivered the top-notch performance we had hoped for.
All of the sensors worked flawlessly and were among the most precise we've ever observed during the test. For instance, the outdoor temperature/humidity sensor was consistently far closer than any other station we've tested, at a distance of roughly five miles, to our "control" NWS station. Depending on what is being observed, the station also reports conditions in as short as 2.5-second intervals, which is best in class among the stations we have so far examined and matches the Vantage Pro2.
Davis' sensor shielding is what makes the difference. To ensure accurate readings, the temperature/humidity sensor is encased in louvered radiation shielding. This prevents direct sunlight from causing temperature readings to be too high, which is a problem at other stations. We did notice some issues with humidity readings, but nothing major.
The rain gauge, which, like most personal weather stations, works by tipping a small cup inside the gauge to measure rain. The measured rainfall was generally quite accurate and closely matched traditional rain gauge measurements.
The anemometer uses the standard cup and vane, the preferred method among the pros. However, with the Vantage Vue's 5-in-1 sensor package, you can’t get the anemometer separated from the other sensors so you won't be able to mount each sensor at the recommended height for the best accuracy. The temperature and humidity sensors along with the rain gauge should be placed at "eye level (5-6 feet), while the anemometer should be at the height of 33 feet! This is not an issue with the Pro2, as the anemometer is separate from the other sensors. For those who require more precise siting, the Davis Vantage Pro2 will be a better option.
UpgradabilityThis is going to be an awfully short portion of the review for one big reason: there is none. None of Davis’ optional sensors can be added to a Vantage Vue station—you’ll need to purchase a Vantage Pro2 for that.
One area in which we are extremely disappointed—in fact, it is the only area in which either Davis station falls short—is internet connectivity. The optional WeatherLinkIP addon allows you to import data to your computer and then to services such as Weather Underground, as well as through iOS and Android apps.
You're basically paying for the dongle (which attaches to the back of the console) and software licensing. There are Windows and OS X versions available, but for an additional fee, you can get WeatherLinkIP, which connects directly to your router. This module will directly post your weather data to the internet without the use of a PC. That is the version that was sent to us for testing.
We personally recommend WeatherLinkIP because data uploading requires your computer to be turned on at all times with either the Mac or Windows only versions. If you require it, WeatherLinkIP will include the software (Windows only). This is only required if you intend to save the data locally to your computer.
Regardless, using WeatherLinkIP to get your data online is a breeze. Make a note of the device ID and key on the dongle, then turn off the console. Plug in the dongle, connect it to the router via Ethernet cable, and restart the console. Wait for the confirmation beeps. Go to WeatherLink.com, create an account, and you should be able to see all of your data online.
As soon as you log in, go to "My Account" and double-check that all of your information is complete and correct. Go to the "Uploads" tab if you want to upload data to a service like Weather Underground.
Aside from that, the "My Weather" tab displays a nice graphical representation of your data, similar to what the weatherman sees during a weather report. The "Summary" tab will provide more information. However, if you want graphs or more detailed historical data, you'll need to install the software.
In addition to providing a basic overview of the current situation as well as daily, monthly, and annual extremes, WeatherLink is also accessible as a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Give Davis some time so that searches for your station come up here, though. It took us about an hour or so before we finally spotted it using the app's search feature.
Be aware that the WeatherLink desktop apps for Mac or PC have an outdated user interface. The same basic user interface has been in use for about two decades; I even seem to recall an MS-DOS version with this UI! If this worries you, you could spend more money on a more user-friendly third-party software solution, but you still need that dongle.
We looked into that, and there is no way around it.
What We Really LikedThe accuracy of the Vantage Vue is very comparable to that of the Vantage Pro2, which is what we enjoy best about it. This is what has put Davis at the top, and despite efforts to create a station that more customers can afford, that crucial aspect hasn't been lost. Owners report years of trouble-free use with the sensors themselves, which are dependable.
What We Didn’t LikeProviding built-in internet connectivity is what Davis needs to start doing. It is terrible to spend an additional hundred or two dollars only to perform functions that other stations already perform. Despite the fact that it is better, it can be difficult to explain the higher expense for those for whom price is the decisive factor.
Are There Better Alternatives?We suggest the Davis Vantage Pro2 if you're seeking for a great home weather station other than the Vantage Vue and have extra cash to spend. The Vantage Pro2 is built even more robustly than the already outstanding Vantage Vue, and all the sensors may be placed in locations that will produce the most accurate data. If you don't have any extra cash to spare, consider the AcuRite Atlas. It has a contemporary HD console and the option to extend and isolate the anemometer for precise wind readings. Read our review of the Ambient Weather WS-2902C if smart home connectivity is more important to you.
Should You Buy It?
One factor will determine whether a Vantage Vue is the correct choice for you, and that one is the cost. The station hasn't changed all that much throughout the years, and even the console has a somewhat stale appearance and feel. However, the accuracy you obtain from a Davis station is unmatched.
Having said that, we still feel the pain of both the expense of adding internet connectivity and its absence. However, if you have the money, you should put either the Vantage Pro2 or the Vantage Vue at the top of your list because it is the only area where Davis needs to improve. They truly are that wonderful.
Review of Davis Instruments 6250 Vantage Vue in summary
⭐⭐⭐⭐✰ Ease of Installation
⭐⭐⭐✰✰ Ease of Connecting to the Internet
⭐⭐⭐⭐✰ Value for Money
SummaryEven while it's still one of the best, the Davis Vantage Vue, the Cadillac of home weather stations, is getting older. Although it is inconvenient to pay extra for internet connectivity through an antiquated program, the Vantage Vue's performance and dependability more than make up for these drawbacks.
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