Climate Control

Keep Your Home Comfy! The Full Nest Thermostat E Review

(Last Updated On: November 1, 2017)

Nest thermostats have always gotten top reviews ever since it first launched as a pioneer in the learning thermostat space.  It has always been praised for its eye-catching design, its learning capabilities, and other features.   

However, one of the complaints people had about Nest is that it is too expensive.  The hefty price tag might be justified, given that Nest for quite some time had a monopoly on learning thermostats.

Now that there are other smart learning thermostats out there such as the Tado Smart Thermostat, Nest could not rest on its laurels.  Over the years, Nest has also seen some stiff competition from Ecobee and other manufacturers. 

It seems that the Google-owned Nest is listening and came out with Nest Thermostat E.  The Nest Thermostat E sells for only $169 (For the latest prices check here).  In contrast, the company’s third generation flagship learning thermostat sells for $249 (For the latest prices check here).What is behind the $80 price difference? Should you buy the new Nest Thermostat E? 

Design 

If the Nest Learning Thermostat aims to catch your eye, the Nest Thermostat E is designed to blend with the background.  This is for those people who like a minimalist device on their wall. The Nest Thermostat E looks like a frosted white hockey puck.

There are no bright and flashy screens: just a muted 24-bit color LCD display measuring 1.76 inches in diameter.  The screen also has a resolution of 320 pixels by 320 pixels at 182 pixels per inch.

Nest has said that they were aiming for a watercolor effect for the looks of the new smart thermostat, and they succeed in that aspect. 

Simple and easy ways to save on your energy bill while remaining comfortable 

The Nest Thermostat E helps you save on your heating and cooling bills.  Nest says that you can save up to $145 a year on average.   

Nest Thermostat E learns your behavior and your preferences.  When you get a new Nest Thermostat E, just turn it up or down according to the level of comfort that you want.  Over time, it will take these manual adjustments into consideration to adjust the temperature without you lifting a finger.   

It will also know when you are away so that it could turn down the heat or cooling on its own.  The Nest Thermostat E uses geofencing.  It uses your phone’s GPS locations to know where you are.  Once you go out of a specified zone, it will turn down your HVAC to help save costs. 

The Nest Thermostat E will also learn about your home, turning up the cooling when there are more people at home.  Nest also added more features that help you save.

For instance, there is the Nest Leaf, which is a visual confirmation that tells you if you have set your Nest to an energy-saving temperature.   

Nest mobile app 

 

The Nest Thermostat E allows you to control your thermostat with your smartphone.  You can be halfway around the world and still be able to adjust your heating or cooling.

Nest Thermostat E works with a mobile app for iOS and Android devices.  Or you can use the Web browser-based app that you can access on your desktop or laptop computer.   

Apart from that, the app also shows you your energy history, helping you appreciate how much savings you have gained from using the smart thermostat.

The mobile app will also alert you if there are any problems with your heating and cooling systems such as when it is time to change the furnace filters and others.   The Nest mobile app supports family accounts so that everyone in the household could use the Nest app. 

Sensors 

 

The Nest Thermostat E uses four different sensor types to help it control your heating and cooling systems.  These sensors include: 

  • Temperature 
  • Humidity 
  • Proximity or occupancy 
  • Ambient light 

Works with Google Home and Amazon Alexa 

The Nest Thermostat E is compatible with both Amazon Alexa speakers and Google Home.  This means that you can just give out a voice command to adjust the temperature to your liking.

You do not have to fish out your smartphone.  Aside from this, the Nest Thermostat E also works with other connected devices that have been certified under the Works with Nest program. 

Battery 

 

Nest Thermostat E is powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery.  This means that it can work with cooling and heating systems that do not have the common wire.

What’s in the box? 

Each Nest Thermostat E package has the following components: 

  • Display 
  • Base 
  • Installation Guide 
  • Pro installation card 
  • Optional trim plate 
  • Mounting  

What you would love about the Nest Thermostat E 

 

Nest made waves in 2011 when it came out with the first Nest Learning Thermostat.  It has since came out with three generations of the popular smart thermostat but the price remained the same: $249 (For the latest prices check here) at launch.

If people wanted a more affordable thermostat, they would have to buy from another manufacturer.  Honeywell and Ecobee, on the other hand, kept the pressure on Nest by launching thermostats in the same price range as Nest’s but also augmenting it with cheaper alternatives. 

It took three generations, but at least now, we have the Nest Thermostat E that could save you $80 without sacrificing on features, energy savings, and comfort. 

The muted design Nest Thermostat E is also a good decision on the part of Nest.  The manufacturers evidently did not want to take out features in order to cut down the price, so they used cheaper materials.

Fortunately, using white frosted plastic worked for the Thermostat E, as it gave the smart thermostat a minimalist look.

Indeed, most of the cutbacks you see on the Thermostat E involves the materials used, making sure that the features stay intact.  You could say that the Nest Thermostat E is mostly the same as the premium Nest Learning Thermostat inside.

Most importantly, you get the same amount of savings: Nest claims that you can get anywhere from 10% to 12% savings on your heating bills and around 15% from your cooling bills when you use the Thermostat E. 

The Nest Thermostat E is also very easy to use.  You can set up a schedule easily and then let it learn your behavior over time.  It can also know when you are not home.  In short, the Thermostat E will soon control the temperature around your house without you thinking about it. 

Also, if you are one of those whose current cooling and heating systems do not have C-wire, then you should be happy that the Nest Thermostat E does not need one.   

What could be better 

The Nest Thermostat Emakes use of six wire terminals, so it might not be compatible with some heating and cooling systems that Nest Learning Thermostat is compatible with.  You should first check if your current HVAC system is compatible before buying the Nest Thermostat E.

The Nest Thermostat E also has a lower resolution display.  If you are used to the farsight features and the bright and crisp display on the Nest Learning Thermostat, then you will surely notice the difference.

If you do not have your phone with you, you will need to go near the Thermostat E to see the display.  You cannot see it from afar, especially if you have bad eyesight. 

It also does not have room sensors that Ecobee uses for its own smart thermostats.  That means that it might have problems keeping multiple rooms comfortable. 

Comparing Nest Thermostat E and Nest Learning Thermostat 

 

The Nest Thermostat E is an amazing piece of hardware and represents a commendable effort from Nest to give their customers a competent thermostat at a price that everyone would love.

The $80 price cut does not mean you get an inferior smart thermostat.  In fact, you get most of the same technologies and features that make the Nest Learning Thermostat great. 

There are some tradeoffs, of course.  The Nest Thermostat E uses plastic parts with a low-resolution screen.  But it is still pretty well designed, and some would argue better looking than the design elements found on the original.

There is really no point in comparing how the Nest Thermostat E looks with how the Nest Learning Thermostat looks.  The former is designed to blend in while the latter is made to stand out. 

The Thermostat E also does not have Farsight, which allows you to see the display from afar.   

But apart from this, the Thermostat E works as good as the premium Nest Learning Thermostat.  To make it clearer, here is a side-by-side comparison of the 3rd generation of the Nest Learning Thermostat  and Nest Thermostat E. 

Model  Nest Learning Thermostat  Nest Thermostat E 
Price  $249 (For the latest prices check here) $169 (For the latest prices check here)
Diameter  3.3 inches  3.19 inches 
Color  White, copper, black, stainless steel  White 
Ring material  Metal, polished finish  Polycarbonate, ceramic-feel finish 
Nest app  Yes  Yes 
Energy saving features  Yes  Yes 
Can pay for itself in two years or less  Yes  Yes 
Geofencing  Yes  Yes 
Easy scheduling  Yes  Yes 
Frosted display  No  Yes 
High resolution color display  Yes  No 
Farsight capability  Yes  No 

Final recommendation on the Nest Thermostat E 

If you have always wanted to own a Nest Learning Thermostat but hesitated because of its price, then the Nest Thermostat E should be good news for you.  It has the same functionalities and works the same way as the more expensive Nest.

People have been waiting for Nest to come out with a cheaper smart thermostat and the Nest Thermostat E does not disappoint.  Go and buy it! 

About the author

Patrick Sinclair

Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn't have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!

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