If you live in an area like Southern California or much of the American Southwest where droughts are a way of life, there are two ways you can manage your yard. You can create a drought-tolerant landscape by stripping out the grass and most of the plants, and replacing them with rocks, succulents and a few trees and shrubs with low water requirements. Or you can buy an intelligent sprinkler system that manages your lawn's water requirements as efficiently as possible, watering only when and where necessary. (You can also do a combination of the two. Even drought-tolerant landscapes need occasional watering.)
The Orbit B-hyve 6-Station, like the vast majority of intelligent sprinkler controllers, can be operated from a dedicated station not unlike those used in earlier generations of sprinkler controllers as well as from a smartphone app. What makes the B-hyve and other robotic controllers truly smart, though, is that they don't just do what you tell them to do; they can offer you advice. If you have strong opinions or considerable expertise on lawn care this may just be annoying. Fortunately, you can override the B-hyve's suggestions with a tap on your smartphone.
The B-hyve can use catch cups, though none are included. These cups catch water from the sprinklers, determine how much water is reaching a given zone and let the B-hyve adjust the amount of water accordingly. This is useful whether you're dealing with a drought or just an astronomically high water bill. The smartphone app allows you to label zones by the type of vegetation and even include a picture of the zone so you'll remember which part of the yard is getting watered.
Great product. The app is very straight forward and easy to connect to the timer. Follow the instruction on your smart device and you are up and running.
No control over automatic rain delays based on weather reports ... In a 15 day period, rain sense program turned off watering for all 15 days even though we received NO RAIN!
Works by calculating the water needs and evaporation for your location. At this point I think it's over calculating how fast the soil dries out at my location.