Nest's New Thermostat Is Just Like the Original, Only Cheaper

Friday, 01 Sep, 2017

The new Nest Thermostat E was created to be much more subtle and to "blend into your home".

For $80 less than the Learning Thermostat, the Thermostat E looks like a solid deal, especially if you like the new look. Maxime Veron, Nest's director of product marketing, says everything about the Thermostat E's design centered around users not noticing the device. Nest claims that the 10-connector Learning Thermostat covers 95 percent of most USA households, while the Thermostat E will be compatible with 85%. It also comes with a pre-configured schedule to start saving energy straight out of the box.

"In 2011, we reinvented the thermostat category to make it easy for people to save energy", said Matt Rogers, co-founder and chief product officer at Nest. As you can see from the image below, it certainly stands out less than the Learning Thermostat, with its dark screen and metal outer ring.

Besides looking less fancier and less prettier than its predecessor, the new Thermostat E pretty much packs in all the capabilities you'd come to expect on a smart thermostat. At $169, the Thermostat E is priced in line with other mid-range smart thermostats like the Ecobee3 Lite, but it carries the weight of the Nest brand behind it. The display shows softly glowing text and graphics, and when off, the frosted display fades into the background.

The thermostat market now comprises three tiers: cheap, low-end and ugly-looking beige boxes; mid-market thermostats with color screens and sometimes their own apps; and the high-end market dominated by Nest and Ecobee that offer a wide range of features and high-quality design and build quality. Gone is the high-resolution screen, replaced with a lower-resolution one behind a polarized display that lets the display shine through, but blocks light from coming into the thermostat. And as an Internet-connected gadget, you can control Nest E using the company's mobile app, which is available for Android and iOS. Nest Thermostat E also skips the Nest's "farsight" feature that let the thermostat know when you are across the room and turns on the display accordingly.

Nest has now unveiled a more consumer-friendly smart thermostat that won't break your bank.

Lower cost. While the original costs $249, the E will cost $169.

The Alphabet-owned company has been working on the new product for the past two years. The lack of advanced on-device controls doesn't seem like a major feature to give up, especially since the Nest app is so intuitive and ubiquitious across a wide range of devices.