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Google Nest Thermostat review: Affordable excellence

It’s been almost 10 years for the reason that first Nest Studying Thermostat was launched. If you happen to 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 worth level make this an general extra approachable good dwelling system — notably 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, operating software program model 1.0-16.

Replace: April 8, 2021: Google’s Nest Thermostat is on sale for $30 from most retailers for the subsequent two weeks. If you happen to’ve been holding out for the value 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The principle variations between the brand new and outdated fashions are in design and Google’s cost-cutting measures.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 inexpensive possibility 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 desire 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 way of that “mirror glass lens,” you’ll discover a 2.4-inch colour 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 best way it appears.

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

That is probably the prettiest good thermostat you should purchase.

Earlier Nest fashions had you rotate the housing to regulate temperature and scroll via menus, whereas a push-in would act as your choose button. The brand new Nest Thermostat solely has a touch-sensitive panel on the best aspect to regulate the temperature. Tapping wherever on the best aspect 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 like it will be extra intuitive to manage.

google nest thermostat review touch panel

Credit score: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

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

You’ll discover my Nest Thermostat has a pleasant trim plate behind the unit. Not like 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 just like older Nest Thermostats’ Farsight characteristic that might mild up the show when it sensed you walked into the room.

In observe, it is 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 cellphone’s geofencing information, the Nest Thermostat will have the ability 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 all the way 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 cellphone’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 12 months’s thermostat is its companion app. It now hooks as much as the Google Dwelling app as an alternative of the Nest app. We knew this alteration was coming. You management Google’s good dwelling merchandise with the Dwelling app anyway, so it is smart to have your thermostat controls there too. No have to hook up your Nest account via the Google Dwelling app.

So far as I can inform, there’s no manner to make use of the Nest app as an alternative of the Google Dwelling app. If your property makes use of different Nest merchandise which are solely appropriate with the Nest app, you’ll now want to make use of each apps concurrently to manage your numerous 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.

Throughout 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 occasions on every day of the week. You set your most well-liked heating and cooling temperatures for Consolation, Eco, and Sleep profiles, and the app creates a schedule for you primarily based on what it thinks you may like. You may change these occasions 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 primarily based 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, however it doesn’t do a lot studying primarily based in your habits. It should, nevertheless, nonetheless counsel little tweaks in your schedule the place it thinks it can save you some vitality. Nothing actually occurs routinely, although. These new to the good thermostat market (howdy!) will in all probability be superb with this, however these coming from older, “smarter” thermostats may take challenge.

With reference to temperature management, the brand new thermostat doesn’t assist exterior temperature sensors. Meaning it solely data the temperature from the unit itself. In case you have a giant home or your second ground 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 a giant draw back in case you stay exterior 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 will be fairly costly for householders, these may actually come in 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 let you know when to interchange your air filter. From there, you’ll be able to both name an HVAC technician of your selecting or undergo Google’s companion 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 knowledgeable 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 outdated thermostat.

The best solution to arrange your thermostat is thru the Google Dwelling app. Hit the + button, choose “arrange system,” then choose the “thermostat” possibility. 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. If you happen to want extra help, Google has assist pages and video walkthroughs as nicely.

I received’t stroll you thru your entire setup course of, however right here are some things I realized from going via 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 verify 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, however it wasn’t attached. But, the Google Dwelling app gave me zero points through the setup course of. In keeping with Google’s web site, hooking up the C wire could be a safer wager, however apparently, it’s not one thing I want. If you happen to 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 probably the place the 85-95% compatibility discrepancy takes place. In case your system has greater than six wires, chances are you’ll have to look into the Studying Thermostat as an alternative of the brand new hotness.

As soon as your own home is appropriate with a Nest system, you may get began. Flip off the ability on the breaker field, take away your outdated thermostat, and ensure to take pictures of the wiring so you’ll be able to 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 outdated 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 homeowners didn’t suppose it was essential to put in the outdated thermostat neatly, so I had some holes to patch earlier than I continued — no massive deal. I really ordered the trim plate after I discovered the wall was a large number. I would advocate ordering one simply in case and returning it in case you don’t want it.


  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 colour LCD
480 x 480 decision
1.77-inch diameter, 24-bit colour LCD
320 x 320 decision
Supplies Plastic housing Steel housing Plastic housing
Dimensions and weight 84 x 27.25mm
83 x 30.7mm
81 x 28.9mm
Battery 2 AAA 1.5V alkaline batteries Constructed-in rechargeable lithium ion battery Constructed-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Sensors Soli sensor for movement
Capacitive contact
Ambient mild
Ambient mild
Magnetic (for thermostat ring place)
Ambient mild
Magnetic (for thermostat ring place)
Wi-fi Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz, 802.11a/n 5GHz
Wi-fi interconnect
Bluetooth Low Power
Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4GHz/5GHz)
802.15.4 (2.4GHz)
Bluetooth Low Power
Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4GHz/5GHz)
802.15.4 (2.4GHz)
Bluetooth Low Power
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 methods Works with 95% of methods Works with 85% of methods
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
Value $130 $250 $170
Guarantee 1 12 months 2 years 1 12 months

Value and competitors

The worth is likely one of 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. Nevertheless, since this thermostat (like all different Nests) is Power Star licensed, your vitality firm will probably supply 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 inexpensive, engaging, and works with 85% of dwelling HVAC methods. It is not the neatest thermostat you should purchase, however it’s in all probability the most suitable choice for these new to the good dwelling ecosystem.

The brand new Nest Thermostat is supposed to stay alongside the third-gen Studying Thermostat, which continues to be sitting at $250. Now that the Thermostat E — Google’s beforehand least expensive possibility — is out there for skilled installs solely, the brand new mannequin is the simplest solution to get a Google-made good thermostat in your house.

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

It’s additionally extra inexpensive, smarter, and a hell of rather a lot 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 desires this to be the good thermostat for everybody. It’s low-cost, fairly, and works with most methods. Like most Google merchandise this 12 months (Pixel 5, Nest Audio, Chromecast with Google TV), the Nest Thermostat is approachable and received’t break the financial institution. It’s good for somebody who desires to get happening their good dwelling or somebody who desires 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 dearth 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 totally well worth the funding and can probably pay for themselves over just a few years’ time. Thus, it’s tough to say whether or not or not it’s 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 perhaps price it.

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

What do you think?

Written by virajthari


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