Google Nest Thermostat evaluation: Inexpensive excellence (Replace: On sale!)

It’s been almost 10 years for the reason that first Nest Studying Thermostat was launched. For those who ask me, a refresh to the lineup was lengthy overdue. Not that the 2020 Nest Thermostat is revolutionary by any means, however the system’s new design and low cost value level make this an total extra approachable smart home system — significantly for individuals who are new to good thermostats.

Learn our full Google Nest Thermostat evaluation to see if it’s best for you.

About this Google Nest Thermostat evaluation: I used the Google Nest Thermostat for one week in my dwelling in Rockford, Illinois, working software program model 1.0-16.

Replace: April 8, 2021: Google’s Nest Thermostat is on sale for $30 from most retailers for the following two weeks. For those who’ve been holding out for the worth to drop earlier than shopping for one, now’s your probability!

Google Nest Thermostat: What’s new?

The principle variations between the brand new and previous fashions are in design and Google’s cost-cutting measures. To be clear, the Nest Thermostat isn’t changing the Studying Thermostat. As a substitute, it’s the go-to reasonably priced choice now that Google is transitioning the Thermostat E to professional-only installs.

Design and show

google nest thermostat review display temperature on wall 3

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Regardless of being manufactured from historically “cheaper” supplies, I choose the look of the brand new Nest Thermostat. The housing is manufactured from plastic, and it has a pleasant mirror-like end on the entrance. By means of that “mirror glass lens,” you’ll discover a 2.4-inch coloration LCD with a decision of 240 x 320. You may see the show’s sq. cutout at sure angles, however it head-on, you’ll solely see the mirror end. I really like the way in which it appears to be like.

What I don’t love is the truth that it now solely reveals your property’s temperature and never the time. I suppose that is extra according to different conventional thermostats on the market, however it might’ve been good to have entry to a clock in that fairly show.

That is possible the prettiest good thermostat you should buy.

Earlier Nest fashions had you rotate the housing to regulate temperature and scroll by way of menus, whereas a push-in would act as your choose button. The brand new Nest Thermostat solely has a touch-sensitive panel on the appropriate facet to regulate the temperature. Tapping anyplace on the appropriate facet will act because the choose button.

I by no means bumped into points with navigating across the thermostat or altering temperature. I additionally by no means owned the unique Nest Studying Thermostat, which looks as if it might be extra intuitive to manage.

google nest thermostat review touch panel

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

You can not create or edit temperature schedules instantly on the Nest Thermostat like you possibly can on the Studying Thermostat. I doubt many individuals use their Studying Thermostats to create full schedules anyway. Simply know that you just’ll have to edit all of your schedules within the app and that your thermostat must be related to Wi-Fi to obtain these schedule modifications.

You’ll discover my Nest Thermostat has a pleasant trim plate behind the unit. In contrast to different Nest Thermostats, the 2020 mannequin doesn’t include one within the field. I wanted to buy this individually for $15 from the Google Retailer, however they’re additionally obtainable from different retailers like Best Buy. That is an apparent cost-cutting measure on Google’s half.

Presence sensing

google nest thermostat review google home app presence sensing

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Keep in mind that Soli radar tech Google used within the Pixel 4 for gesture and presence sensing? It is probably not within the Pixel 5, however the firm included it within the new Nest Thermostat. It makes use of its low-power radar tech to sense once you’re close to it. It’ll present the show once you’re close to and switch off the show once you’re not. That is much like older Nest Thermostats’ Farsight characteristic that might gentle up the show when it sensed you walked into the room.

In follow, this can be a good manner for the thermostat to indicate you particulars once you want them and save energy once you don’t.

Proximity sensing isn’t the one manner Soli is used right here. Mixed with its onboard sensors and your telephone’s geofencing knowledge, the Nest Thermostat will be capable to detect in case you are or aren’t dwelling. If it doesn’t sense anybody in your house, the thermostat will drop its settings right down to Eco mode in hopes of saving you some vitality. Older Nest Thermostats additionally do that, however the brand new mannequin is the one one to make use of Soli radar tech alongside your telephone’s location parameters.

Google Dwelling app and good monitoring options

google nest thermostat review google home app temperature dial 1

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

One of many larger modifications with this yr’s thermostat is its companion app. It now hooks as much as the Google Dwelling app as a substitute of the Nest app. We knew this transformation was coming. You management Google’s smart home products with the Dwelling app anyway, so it is smart to have your thermostat controls there too. No have to hook up your Nest account by way of the Google Dwelling app.

So far as I can inform, there’s no manner to make use of the Nest app as a substitute of the Google Dwelling app. If your property makes use of different Nest merchandise which can be solely suitable with the Nest app, you’ll now want to make use of each apps concurrently to manage your varied Nest units.

This additionally means you get extra seamless integration with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. It’s not new, however with the ability to ask your good speaker to set a sure temperature is tremendous handy.

Through the setup course of, the Google Dwelling app walks you thru a characteristic referred to as Fast Schedule. This allows you to set customized temperatures at completely different instances on every day of the week. You set your most popular heating and cooling temperatures for Consolation, Eco, and Sleep profiles, and the app creates a schedule for you based mostly on what it thinks you would possibly like. You may change these instances and profiles round as you would like.

google nest thermostat review google home app schedules

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

This differs a bit from the Nest Studying Thermostat. That mannequin learns out of your utilization and adjusts your temperature based mostly in your habits over time. The Nest Thermostat doesn’t. You create schedules within the app and alter them all through the day if want be, but it surely doesn’t do a lot studying based mostly in your habits. It can, nevertheless, nonetheless recommend little tweaks in your schedule the place it thinks it can save you some vitality. Nothing actually occurs robotically, although. These new to the smart thermostat market (good day!) will in all probability be advantageous with this, however these coming from older, “smarter” thermostats would possibly take problem.

With regards to temperature management, the brand new thermostat doesn’t assist exterior temperature sensors. Which means it solely information the temperature from the unit itself. If in case you have an enormous home or your second flooring doesn’t get heat sufficient within the winter, this can be a difficulty. That is the place the Studying Thermostat and Thermostat E actually have a leg up on the brand new mannequin.

Google’s temperature sensors are solely obtainable in choose areas, so this is probably not an enormous draw back for those who reside outdoors North America.

google nest thermostat review google home app hvac reminders filter changes

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Google launched a collection of HVAC monitoring options with the brand new Nest Thermostat. Since HVAC points might be fairly costly for owners, these would possibly actually turn out to be useful. Your Nest will warn you if it senses one thing’s off together with your system, like if it’s taking longer than regular to chill your property or in case your furnace shuts off when it shouldn’t. It’ll additionally inform you when to interchange your air filter. From there, you possibly can both name an HVAC technician of your selecting or undergo Google’s associate Handy to arrange an appointment.

HVAC monitoring rolled out in late October to the Nest Thermostat, Studying Thermostat, and Thermostat E. It’s solely obtainable within the US and elements of Canada for now and requires a forced-air system.

Set up

google nest thermostat review batteries QR code

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The set up course of actually couldn’t be any simpler. Google says it takes about half-hour to put in by yourself, however there are alternatives to get an expert to put in it for $99.99. I went the previous route to avoid wasting money. Total, the method took about 30-45 minutes, minus the time it took me to fill some holes left by my previous thermostat.

The best technique to arrange your thermostat is thru the Google Dwelling app. Hit the + button, choose “arrange system,” then choose the “thermostat” choice. After scanning a QR code on the again of your thermostat, you’re prepared to put in. The Google Dwelling app does a beautiful job of strolling you thru the method step-by-step. For those who want extra help, Google has assist pages and video walkthroughs as effectively.

I gained’t stroll you thru all the setup course of, however right here are some things I realized from going by way of the method myself.

google nest thermostat review wires connectivity setup Y W G R common wire

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

At the start, you’ll want to examine Nest’s compatibility website earlier than you go shopping for a thermostat for your self. My colleague C. Scott Brown discovered the arduous manner that his system doesn’t have a standard wire (or “C wire”), so he couldn’t use the brand new Nest Thermostat with out putting in one. My system had a C wire obtainable, but it surely wasn’t connected. But, the Google Dwelling app gave me zero points in the course of the setup course of. In accordance with Google’s web site, hooking up the C wire could be a safer guess, however apparently, it’s not one thing I want. For those who want a C wire put in in your house, Google’s professional installers can do this for you.

Are you able to inform I’m not an electrician?

The brand new Nest Thermostat helps as much as six wires, whereas the Nest Studying Thermostat helps as much as 10. That’s possible the place the 85-95% compatibility discrepancy takes place. In case your system has greater than six wires, you could have to look into the Studying Thermostat as a substitute of the brand new hotness.

As soon as you recognize your home is suitable with a Nest system, you may get began. Flip off the facility on the breaker field, take away your previous thermostat, and ensure to take photographs of the wiring so you possibly can refer again to it later. That is tremendous necessary. My wires weren’t labeled earlier than I arrange the Nest, and referring again to a photograph of the previous setup was extraordinarily useful.

The one different a part of the method I remotely struggled with was mounting the bottom plate to my wall. The home’s earlier house owners didn’t suppose it was crucial to put in the previous thermostat neatly, so I had some holes to patch earlier than I continued — no huge deal. I truly ordered the trim plate after I discovered the wall was a large number. I’d suggest ordering one simply in case and returning it for those who don’t want it.

Specs

  Google Nest Thermostat (2020) Google Nest Studying Thermostat (third Gen.) Google Nest Thermostat E
Show 2.4-inch QVGA IPS LCD
240 x 320 decision
Digital brightness enhancement movie and mirrored glass lens
2.0-inch diameter, 24-bit coloration LCD
480 x 480 decision
229ppi
1.77-inch diameter, 24-bit coloration LCD
320 x 320 decision
182ppi
Supplies Plastic housing Metallic housing Plastic housing
Dimensions and weight 84 x 27.25mm
139g
83 x 30.7mm
243.7g
81 x 28.9mm
139g
Battery 2 AAA 1.5V alkaline batteries Constructed-in rechargeable lithium ion battery Constructed-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Sensors Soli sensor for movement
Temperature
Humidity
Capacitive contact
Ambient gentle
Temperature
Humidity
Proximity
Occupancy
Ambient gentle
Magnetic (for thermostat ring place)
Temperature
Humidity
Proximity
Occupancy
Ambient gentle
Magnetic (for thermostat ring place)
Wi-fi Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz, 802.11a/n 5GHz
Wi-fi interconnect
Bluetooth Low Vitality
Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4GHz/5GHz)
802.15.4 (2.4GHz)
Bluetooth Low Vitality
Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4GHz/5GHz)
802.15.4 (2.4GHz)
Bluetooth Low Vitality
Nest Temperature Sensor compatibility No Sure, bought individually for $40 Sure, bought individually for $40
HVAC system monitoring and alerts Sure Sure Sure
Companion app Google Dwelling app Nest app Nest app
Compatibility with 24V heating and cooling Works with 85% of programs Works with 95% of programs Works with 85% of programs
Trim plate Not included
$15 from Google Retailer
Included Included
Colours Snow, Sand, Fog, Charcoal Stainless Metal, Mirror Black, Brass, Polished Metal, White, Black, Copper White
Worth $130 $250 $170
Guarantee 1 yr 2 years 1 yr

Worth and competitors

The value is among the essential causes I bought a unit for myself. It’s obtainable outright for $129.99 from the Google Retailer, Best Buy, Home Depot, and different retailers. Nonetheless, since this thermostat (like all different Nests) is Vitality Star licensed, your vitality firm will possible provide an immediate rebate together with your buy. My vitality supplier supplied a $75 rebate with new Nest Thermostat purchases, so I solely wanted to pay $55.

Google Nest Thermostat A less expensive, higher wanting thermostat

Google’s new Nest Thermostat is reasonably priced, engaging, and works with 85% of dwelling HVAC programs. It is not the neatest thermostat you should buy, but it surely’s in all probability the best choice for these new to the good dwelling ecosystem.

The brand new Nest Thermostat is supposed to reside alongside the third-gen Studying Thermostat, which remains to be sitting at $250. Now that the Thermostat E — Google’s beforehand most cost-effective choice — is obtainable for skilled installs solely, the brand new mannequin is the simplest technique to get a Google-made good thermostat in your house.

However there are different rivals to remember. The brand new Nest Thermostat barely undercuts the $170 Ecobee 3 Lite, which is rising somewhat lengthy within the tooth at this level. Ecobee’s $250 flagship Sensible Thermostat is smarter and comes with a distant sensor, but it surely’s not likely in the identical value vary. Though, you do get onboard Amazon Alexa assist with that choice.

It’s additionally extra reasonably priced, smarter, and a hell of so much higher wanting than the $150 Honeywell Dwelling T5 Plus thermostat.

Google Nest Thermostat evaluation: The decision

google nest thermostat review display no power

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

It’s clear by the Nest Thermostat’s characteristic set and new aesthetics that Google needs this to be the good thermostat for everybody. It’s low cost, fairly, and works with most programs. Like most Google merchandise this yr (Pixel 5, Nest Audio, Chromecast with Google TV), the Nest Thermostat is approachable and gained’t break the financial institution. It’s excellent for somebody who needs to get occurring their good dwelling or somebody who needs one thing rather less cheesy than different good thermostats.

The Nest Thermostat is ideal for these new to the good dwelling.

There are downsides. The shortage of assist for exterior temperature sensors is the large one, and I’m stunned there aren’t extra “studying” options as you get with older Nest fashions.

And though the $130 price ticket is good, good thermostats are supposed to prevent cash. They’re fully well worth the funding and can possible pay for themselves over a couple of years’ time. Thus, it’s troublesome to say whether or not or not it is best to spend your cash right here or on the Studying Thermostat. If you may get a good rebate and have the additional money to spend on the higher-end mannequin, it is likely to be value it.

But when Google’s newest and biggest is what you need, you’ll be getting a nice-looking, completely succesful — albeit somewhat primary — good thermostat on a budget.

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