Spruce or Rachio?

I have been using Rachio with SmartThings for almost a year now & it has not missed a beat. I have it connected to my personal weather station & it works great for running rain delay when we have had rain that day. I can not be happier.

A few months have passed since the last comment about this discussion, and both systems received hardware and/or software updates in the meantime. Despite spending a substantial amount of time on this forum and reading reviews on others, I’m still uncertain if I should get the Spruce or the Rachio.

It appears that both units have the same amount of supporters when it comes to reliability and support.

I like the IFTTT support of the Rachio, but do not know how important that is, since it is difficult to tell from users’ comments which unit has the best Smartthings integration. Both receive equal amounts of praise and complaints it seems.

Because I will be using the controller in South Africa (the frequency or transmission power of the Spruce moisture sensor will not be an issue) at a location where the closest weather station is about 30 miles away (with mountains in between) and weather stations in general are not as common as in the US, the Spruce unit with its moisture sensors seem to be the logical choice. I’m afraid that the weather data will not be reliable enough for Rachio, but please correct me if I’m wrong.

However, the installation will be at a holiday home 500 miles away and where I’m only about four weeks a year. What worries me, are the complaints about sensors disconnecting and the system afterwards relying on the last reported data until the sensor is re-joined to the controller. The obvious problem, being 500 miles away and no one to re-join the sensor, what do I do if this happens?

Is there a solution which will alert me if a sensor has dropped off?

Moreover, once I know a sensor has lost communication with the controller, what will I do until the sensor has been re-joined (It could be months before I’m able to do that)?

My understanding is that it was not possible to run a single station for a specified time with the Spruce (without starting a complete schedule). Has this limitation been resolved?

Taking into account my specific circumstances, which unit do you guys suggest I go for?

Thanks in advance and hoping to get input from @celblazer; @wjbarton; @nuukem; @rickyricky and others using Spruce.