Alphabet. Inc's Nest Launches a cheapest thermostat

Alphabet. Inc's Nest Launches a cheapest thermostat

Kenneth Drake
September 1, 2017

The new smart home device was leaked just last week, and will hit the market with a more industrial-style design, that makes use of a frosted display and a white, plastic exterior surrounding the display as opposed to the stainless steel used on all the previous versions of the Nest Learning Thermostat models.

For $80 less than the Learning Thermostat, the Thermostat E looks like a solid deal, especially if you like the new look.

The Nest Thermostat E is meant to be a more subtle presence in homes. We plan to purchase the Nest Thermostat E and run it through our entire testing protocol. It'll do that. Out of the box, it comes set to a "Basic" Schedule - one based on an average of the hundreds of thousands of schedules they've "learned" so far.

Nest has been catering to technology aficionados and style-conscious shoppers since its first Learning Thermostat launched in 2011. The new Nest E can do nearly everything the regular Nest can do, save for a feature called "farsight" that allows the thermostat to detect when you're across the room, and then turn on the display to indicate the time or temperature. One with the same energy-saving features people have come to expect from a Nest Thermostat. Nest's head designer, Sung Bai, feels the new display is "like watercolor".

Unlike the main Nest Learning Thermostat, that costs a potentially prohibitive £279, the new Nest Thermostat E will only sting you for $169 (£130). 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. Rather than a detailed interface, you'll see big, bubbly numbers and notches shine through when you spin the thermostat's ring around to set the temperature.

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"The frosted display was specifically created to deliver the best of both worlds", says Nest spokesman Matt Flegal. You can still, through the settings, switch to Auto Schedule if you want Thermostat E to learn.

The Thermostat E can detect whether anyone is home and turn on or off accordingly.

CR is now testing more than a dozen smart home thermostats. The Nest Thermostat will be connected to the internet and it can be controlled via the companion app and is also integrated with Google Home. That includes support for Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant, though users of Apple's HomeKit platform are still out of luck.

The changes, while minor, are a notable departure from the Alphabet-owned Nest Labs.